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#Genesis

Super Hang-On Review Rewind

A Winning Run

When I was a wee lad in the arcades, motorcycle racers were not often a priority for me to spend my quarters. I was too busy playing After Burner, Galaga, or Ms. Pac-Man. But one day, I saw something that stood out from the usual bunch- Sega’s Super Hang-On, initially released in 1987. As I hopped on the mechanical bike and blasted around that first corner, I knew it was worth every quarter spent. I was one with the road- until I crashed seconds later. While I never won the race or played it in the arcade again, I always remembered how much fun it was. Thankfully, most of the traits that made the coin-op version fun translated well on the Sega Genesis.

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Sonic the Hedgehog Review Rewind

30 years ago today, Sega's blue blur made his debut.

By 1990, Sega was enjoying newfound success with their new 16-bit Genesis system. It quickly became a competent competitor to the NES with popular titles like Golden Axe, Phantasy Star II, and Revenge of Shinobi. But despite the rising success of the Genesis, the platform didn’t have a brand character that could rival Super Mario. Tasked with creating such a mascot, character designer Naoto Oshima came up with Sonic- a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog. Sonic the Hedgehog was released on June 23, 1991- two full months ahead of the Super Nintendo’s debut in America. It was a big summer for Sega, and today marks the 30th anniversary of the moment that made them an icon in the home console gaming space.

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Sega Genesis Classics Review

It's a tubular collection, dude.

Sega has done a lot of great things with emulation as of late. On the 3DS, they released 3D remasters of a handful of games, which boasted a handful of improvements to the source material. Their Sega Ages line marks another batch of games that are seeing improvements to the original games as they release on the Switch. However, Sega Genesis Classics is more of a compilation of classic Genesis games with some additional features that make it a great collection to have on your Switch if you grew up with these old games.

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Trampoline Terror! Review Rewind

Jump Around

Developed by Masaya, published by DreamWorks (no relation to the movie studio), and released in 1990, Trampoline Terror was quite the unique title if you managed to find out about it somehow. I’ve got to hand it to the design team-- they had me fooled with this game. Thanks to my youthful first-time impression of the game many moons ago, I always thought I was playing an overhead action title. I had so much fun with the game, that I didn’t even notice that I was really playing a puzzle\strategy game sneakily dressed in an action game’s clothes (more or less). I’m not sure why it didn’t click with me until now- some 20 years later- especially when most of the gameplay elements practically scream “this is a puzzle game”.

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Captain America and the Avengers Review Rewind

Some assembly required

As a small fledgling in the first grade, I liked comic books superheroes, but I wasn’t nearly as familiar with them as I am now. Sure, I knew about guys like Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man. But for the most part, I had only a narrow understanding of the world of comic books and the heroes within them.

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Thunder Force III Review Rewind

Lightning strikes thrice.

A while back when I officially started collecting retro consoles and games, I swore that I’d never become one of those elitists in the gaming community who always makes a big deal about his vast, all-encompassing knowledge of video games; at least not in public. However, in my own mind, I was the master of all things retro.  Well, that all came to a screeching halt in recent years thanks to Wikipedia when I discovered that, aside from owning the fifth game in the series, I knew next to nothing about the Thunder Force saga.  As I learned of its existence on Sega's 16-bit console, it became painfully clear that I had barely gotten my toes wet with Technosoft’s  bread and butter.  How I missed it back in the day, I will never know.  But after playing Thunder Force III, I soon realized that there was a whole ocean I was missing out on: the Genesis was the system for shoot-‘em-ups.

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Thunder Force II Review Rewind

Thunder rumbles on the Genesis.

If there was one thing that Techno Soft did very well in the 16-bit days, it was shoot ‘em ups.  It all started when they created Thunder Force in 1984. It was released on the NEC PC-8801 and several other Japanese home computers at the time, but never saw the light of day in the US.  The game featured an overhead free-roaming viewpoint and the goal was to destroy the enemy’s shield generators, using your main shot for air targets and the bomb shot for ground targets in each stage. While it’s tough to gauge the game’s popularity from back then, it apparently did well enough to warrant a sequel. Thunder Force II was released four years later for the Sega Genesis in 1989, making it the very first shoot ‘em up on the system.

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3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Review

Takin’ it back to the old school ('cause I'm an old fool).

As an SNES kid, there’s a sizable selection of Genesis classics that I’ve never had the opportunity to play. With the exception of the first game, the Shinobi series unfortunately falls into that category. However, thanks to Sega’s recent efforts to 3D-ify some of their classic Genesis titles, I’ve finally been able to give Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master a shot. I’m happy to report that not only is this title still fantastic today, but that M2 has done a phenomenal job in bringing this game to the 3DS.

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Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World Review

Even if you didn't like the similar adventure in Zelda 2, you may still like this game.

One question frequently asked about the Monster World games is “Did Zelda influence the Wonder Boy franchise?” While there’s a well-documented commonality between these games and Nintendo’s Zelda franchise—particularly Link’s second NES adventure— there’s enough done here to make it feel unique from its rumored 8 bit Hyrulian influences. It is safe to say however, that if you enjoyed even the concept of Zelda 2, you can stop reading now and hit the marketplace to pick this up. If the mere mention of The Adventure of Link brings fear or loathing to your soul, read on, as the game may still be right for you.

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GameStop Now Offering Retro Games for Reward Points

New “Retro Game Vault” section lists new PowerUp rewards for members.

Visitors to GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards website may have noticed a new section called the Retro Game Vault.  It would appear GameStop is getting into the business of selling classic games for reward points for systems dating all the way back to the Atari 2600.  There are even some accessories listed for future availability such as the Nintendo Power Pad and the infamous NES Power glove, which come with World Class Track Meet and Super Gloveball respectively. 

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