Bamf, snickt, skrazzkoom, fshraakk! – Sega Genesis – X-Men – 1993

X-Men (U) [!]_001

X-Men
Sega Genesis
Western Technologies Inc
© 1993
Genre: Action Platformer

It’s been said before, on this very blog: franchise games tend to be cringe-worthy.  Once in a blue moon, clever developers realize that they shouldn’t make a game based on a franchise merely to sell games, but they ought to put some damn effort into it, and maybe check out the source material.  Tapping into a long established franchise to produce a game that does both of these things is a rarity.  Considering how old this particular comic franchise was, and that it had been dug into before (and after), it was unsurprising that the Genesis’ X-Men came to be. Continue reading

The Poor Man’s Fighter – Sega Genesis – Eternal Champions – 1993

Eternal Champions (U) [!]_004

This wacky cast of lovable characters look like something out of a Saturday Morning Cartoon series.

Eternal Champions
Sega Genesis
Sega Interactive
© 1993
Genre: Fighting

Digging through my catalogue of games to write, I realized we have been heavily neglecting the noble genre of fighting games. I thought first, of course, about some of the long running series that are still alive and kicking to this day – in particular Street Fighter, Art of Fighting and Mortal Kombat.  While they have their place, they would need to have significantly more written about them than I have time for at the moment, much to my chagrin.  I considered writing about some of the later series of fighting games, 2D or 3D: Guilty GearBloody RoarSoul Calibur, Samurai Showdown and others I had torn through with friends over the years. Again, they all felt like a bit too much to write about in just one go.  I decided to dig deep into the B-team of fighting games that were released, to find a title that most other people I have known are unfamiliar with.  A heavy time travelers romp known as Eternal Champions.

Continue reading

It Keeps Raining All the Time – Sega Genesis – Stormlord – 1990

Stormlord (U) [!]_000

Stormlord

Sega Genesis

Hewson Consultants

© 1989/1990

Genre: Dark Fantasy Platformer

 

I remember spotting this game at the store, and my parents were hesitant to let me get it in the early 90’s.  I didn’t understand why at the time – it looked pretty awesome, with art reminiscent of the Frank Franzetta artwork I’d see on the cheap fantasy paperbacks in the bookstore, or better yet, like Golden Axe.  So a few years later, when I had my own paper route, I managed to snag a copy myself from the local game store, and my parents were none the wiser.  Now, of course, I realize why – there had been a small bit of controversy about nudity appearing in the game.  What is laughable now (some sweet pixelated bare lady chest on fairies) was, back then, a hot topic, and for the Genesis release, Sega actually ensured things would be censored. Continue reading

A Different Kind of Comic – Sega Genesis – Comix Zone – 1995

Comix Zone (U) [!]_000

Comix Zone
© 1995
Sega Technical Institute
Genre: Comicbook Beat’em Up

When I was younger, I’d occasionally grab a copy of Sega Power in order to really enhance the fact that I not only played video games, but wanted to buy a new one with the money from my paper route or ask for one for my birthday (or the holidays).  When I spotted Comix Zone in the magazine, I thought it looked fantastic.  Sadly, I never managed to find a copy in my local stores (which were phasing out Genesis & SNES games), so I didn’t get to play it until I found emulated versions later in life on my PSP. Continue reading

Howard Would Be Proud – Sega Genesis – Golden Axe – 1989

Title

See if you can find all the hidden weapons in the kanji!

Golden Axe
(c) 1989
Sega
Genre: Dark Fantasy Hack n’ Slash

Many games borrow heavily from iconic imagery found outside of the world of videogaming. The arcade crime beat’em’up Dead Connection has pretty liberally used images from multiple mobster movies.  Snatcher, a cyberpunk mystery point and click, has scenes lifted straight out of the timeless classic Bladerunner.  Even much beloved games franchises have done it – look at the Silent Hill debacle, where they based their entire creepy elementary school off of the film Kindergarten Cop.  Thankfully, most games do avoid lifting straight from their source material, and try to stick more to homage.  The Golden Axe franchise has its roots in the works of Robert E. Howard (famously known as the creator of Conan the Barbarian stories), and the artwork of Frank Frazetta (Some NSFW art), but does an excellent job of standing up on its own. Continue reading