You may remember this past August when I discussed some of my favorite Sega Genesis games. Or probably not. I know I barely remembered it myself. Here’s a handful more that I have fond memories of playing a lot of during the mid-90s.
Some of these games aren’t even that good but the internet was still young and luxury for most people at the time so even if there would have been a million video game review sites, I had no way to access them to warn me about some of these titles. Of course, renting games was a good way to go but in those days. Sometimes though I would buy a game and just hope for the best.
Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994, LJN)
“Maximum Carnage” is easily one of the worst Spider-Man story lines ever produced. Now here’s a bad game to go with it. The game is a repetitive and uninspired side-scrolling beat’em up but the character design is really cool and the game does a great job of feeling like a comic book. The biggest draw of this game for me was the chance to play as Venom. There will never be a Spider-Man game that matches up to the greatness of the arcade classic Spider-Man: The Video Game!
Landstalker (1993, Sega)
Originally released in Japan in 1992 under the cooler title of Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole and featured cooler box art as well.
I guess they were going for more of a Legend of Zelda look with the U.S. release (probably the reason I bought it) and the game isn’t too far off from being that in my opinion. Except for the fact that I didn’t find it to be very good. The game has gotten fairly decent reviews, but I could never figure out what to do exactly and the isometric perspective and gameplay resulting from it was extremely annoying to me. I picked this one up used from a rental place called Video World.
Eternal Champions (1993, Sega)
Sega takes another dip into the fighting genre with a game that heavily borrowed from Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat. I remember when one of my best friends bought this and we were really excited about it. We played it often but it just didn’t compare to the series it was trying to emulate. It did have a few bright spots though: it was one of the first fighting games to incorporate “stage kills” and also had some cool looking characters like Larcen Tyler, Xavier Pendragon and Midknight.
WWF Royal Rumble (1993, Flying Edge)
Seriously, one of my favorite wrestling games ever. Sure it was an extremely basic punch/kick setup, but sometimes the simple stuff can be the most fun. The game came out in ’93, so there’s that weird mix of new WWF guys who had just arrived in the promotion and old WWF guys who were being phased out. I LOVED using everyone’s finishers but Razor Ramon and Bret Hart were my favorite wrestlers to play as. The Royal Rumble match itself was awesome.
WWF Raw (1994, Acclaim)
Though the look is the same as WWF Royal Rumble, this game changes things up a bit by adding new moves, wrestler specific moves called “mega moves” and also attributes that factor in stamina, strength and speed of your wrestler. 1994 was an awful year for wrestling in my opinion so the roster is terrible but there was still Bret Hart, Diesel, Razor Ramon and Owen Hart for me to get by on! Doink the Clown was another favorite just so I could do his whoopee cushion finisher. I really hated that they put a woman (Luna Vachon) in the game though. That’s one less male wrestler the game had!
When Toys R Us marked Sega’s 32X down to $20, I bought it and shortly bought the 32X version of this game as well. There wasn’t much of a difference but I wanted it to play as Kwang the Ninja, who was a 32X exclusive “secret” character.
WWF Super Wrestlemania (1992, Flying Edge)
It’s funny because when this game came out, I was convinced it was the best wrestling game ever. Looking back, I think I was just wowed by what seemed to be excellent graphics at the time and the ability to use everyone’s finishers. These days, I would rather play WWF Wrestlemania Challenge for the NES or the arcade games WWF Superstars and WWF WrestleFest. The game is awful but has a decent roster with guys like British Bulldog, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase and the Ultimate Warrior. My friend had this game and we played it a lot and I remember both of us being full of resentment over the SNES version have a different and slightly larger roster (Sid Justice, the Legion of Doom, the Undertaker!). Years later, I came in possession of this game but I can’t remember if I bought it from him or if he gave it to me.
WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game (1995, Acclaim)
I don’t know what I was thinking by buying this game. WWF goes the Mortal Kombat route by digitizing all of their wrestlers but there was no killing or blood to be found. Instead, when you punched a guy, stuff would fall or shoot out of his body. For example, if you hit Bret Hart, hearts would come bouncing otr and I think if you hit the Undertaker, bats would fly out. It was goofy and fun but an extremely shallow fighting game. I don’t want a wrestling game trying to be a fighting game. There were some cool combos and moves you could do though like Doink’s hand buzzer.
Superman (1992, Sunsoft)
This was one of the earliest games I bought for the Genesis and I was really excited about having a Superman video game. Too bad it isn’t very good. I didn’t get my Genesis until Christmas ’93, so it must’ve been 1994 when I picked this one up and it had already been marked down to about $15 or $20. The graphics are okay, but what kind of Superman game doesn’t let Superman FLY at will? It was too tough for me anyway, I could never make it past Metallo. I ended up trading this to someone for Shining Force.
NBA Jam (1993, Midway)
Ah, the spiritual successor to Arch Rivals (well, I always thought so). I’m not even a sports guy but I loved NBA Jam. The SNES version is even better.
Mortal Kombat II (1994, Acclaim)
Mortal Kombat (1993, Acclaim)
I’m not a fan of the fighting genre anymore but the Mortal Kombat games were really something else for their time. Again, the SNES versions were superior. Well, besides them not letting you see blood.
Batman Returns (1992, Sega)
Fairly bland side-scrolling beat’em up that had decent graphics for the time. The game isn’t bad but I can’t really say it’s good either. Still, it was great just to walk around as Batman.