Throwback Thursday - Second Chances for Sega
Before I start, let's ask the obvious question. "C.J. Why do you hate Sega so much?" Answer: Prejudice.
See, when I was a kid there were two types of gamers in my class: Segaphiles and Nintendorks. Based on those names, I am guessing you extrapolate your own conclusions about the type of folks landed in each category. The former tended to be your athletes, cool kids, and bullies (you know, the ones who had inherent blood lust that MK satiated); the latter group consisted of your RPG enthusiasts and people who were a bit more sheltered and, arguably, awkward.
(Editor’s Note – I had both systems, would that make me a hybrid Jock-Nerd? In my experience it actually doubled the negatives and someone punched me for no reason most of the time)
Need a real world Anecdote? How's this? One afternoon, a group made up of myself and three kids from the neighborhood were playing Sonic 2 and having a good ol' time, when someone recommended we take a break and go outside. Okay, why not? We could take a break. So we divided into teams to play forts, guns, and war. I and another kid from the neighborhood headed into the woods to take positions to fire at our opponents, and there we sat. And waited. And Waited. After about 45 minutes, my comrade and I headed back toward the house. The Sega Genesis owner and his fellow militant had not only decided they did not want to play, but they conveniently forgot to come get us. Lo and behold, there they were, sitting inside the warm house playing that half-pipe, laughing hysterically at their own cleverness. The event became somewhat synonymous with Sega Genesis as far as I was concerned. Genesis was for jerks.
Need more proof? Genesis kids were bloodthirsty mongrels who favored their gruesome Mortal Kombat more than Street Fighter. I mean, c'mon. And let's not forget that Sonic himself was ever touted as the hero with attitude compared to that middle-aged obese plumber.
Yeah, when I was a kid, Sega was a different breed of tween, a group in which I and my fellow geeks had no place. If I was at a house with a Sega Genesis, I basically just wanted to leave.
Looking back on these long-held stereotypes is embarrassing, but better to identify and overcome them now than let them follow me to a shameful grave. Truth be told, I've been living as something of a hypocrite. Beneath my entrenched ideology, I have had a longing to play Sega well, a handful of specific games on Sega. I did want to play Sega. But life being what it is, I have been anti-Sega for a very long time. This summer, I'll get to PLAY a few as part of my retro duties here on Gaming With Swag.
What's on deck:
Ecco The Dolphin: in a world of violent fighters, extreme sports, and endless oddities, this game seemed to be a real piece of digital art. I still remember the old commercials with the salty sea captain. This was the most unSega of Sega games as far as I could tell, and I've always wanted to give it a go.
X-men: I played a fair amount of SNES' Spiderman & The Xmen: Arcade's Revenge, but it was not great. Word on the street has always been that Xmen for Sega Genesis was the best console Marvel game of the era, and I believe it (even though I really love Mutant Apocalypse). Now, I will finally give it a chance.
Jurassic Park: I think I have memories of being at someone's house who had a Sega, and their making me watch, while they played. Of course, this could be my prejudice clouding my memory, and I might have actually played this one. Not sure. That being said, I will get to try it this summer...I mean, you can play as a raptor, so it's got to be worth playing for an hour.
Aladdin: The SNES version of Aladdin is fantastic the music, the levels, and the Prince of Persia jump-and-grip interface just made for a wonderful gaming experience...but the Sega version ALWAYS looked better. Not sure if it had to do with the studio itself or the animators assigned to the different games, but I have long wanted to give that Sega version a try (and again, one will note the Sega version, Aladdin uses a sword again for the more violent and intense Sega crowd).
Streets of Rage 2: As a kid who grew up with Double Dragon, Final Fight, and a litany of knockoffs, I was always led to believe that Streets of Rage was the best brawler available outside an arcade. I guess this summer I'll find out.
(Editor’s note – CJ picked most if not all of these titles. We will likely assign another title or two to expand his admittedly prejudiced mind, maybe a personal favorite of mine like Mazin Saga, or Altered Beast, or Chris’ favorite Gain Ground)
I may have played these once, and hated them. Now, I hope to play them and call them favorites. Time will tell. Stick with us here at Gaming With Swag to join me on this journey.
Old School C.J.