NOTE: There is no doubt I’m making some insane omissions here, but this is around the era in my life where I start to forget large swaths of time, and if I don’t remember it now, it couldn’t have been THAT good then.
10. Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage: Toss-up between this and Captain America & the Avengers. Both have options for which characters you can play with, but Maximum Carnage changes its story accordingly. The soundtrack also features Green Jelly, which as far as I’m concerned, was the first time an actual band ever contributed to a video game.
8. Street Fighter II – Special Champion Edition: I have wasted so many hours in my youth – and more recently when I rediscovered and hooked up my old Genesis at the beach a couple summers ago – beating this game with every character, and it NEVER. GETS. OLD.
6. Kid Chameleon: I don’t think this game was beatable, like Nintendo’s Bubble Bobble. (Remember that time I made a Bubble Bobble dragon out of gum? I’m not allowed to chew gum anymore… Root canal.) I remember reaching upwards of about Level 116 before blacking out. But the premise was you were this kid running through some world (I recall it being a tropical locale… or am I confusing this with Greendog, a game that narrowly missed my cut) and every so often, collect a new hat/helmet which had its own unique power. The only one I actually remember is the rhino head that let you ram through anything, but I’m sure there was a flying helmet and an invisible helmet.
NOTE: I bit the bullet and looked it up. Everything you just read, I pretty much made all that up, so I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. It changes nothing, though. Warm memories and Kid Chameleon go hand-in-hand.
5. James Pond 2: Codename Robocod: Secret agent fish with cybernetics takes on the evil Dr. Maybe, who has overrun Santa’s workshop in the North Pole. And here’s Wikipedia with the assist:
James Pond is recruited to infiltrate Santa’s grotto, free the captive penguins, retrieve the stolen toys for the children of the world, and defeat Dr Maybe once and for all. This time, however, due to the greater risks involved in this mission, Pond is given a robotic suit and the code name “RoboCod.”
3. NHL 90s series: There is a cult following for this series of games, from the references in Swingers and Mallrats to the universally known mythos of the unstoppable Jeremy Roenick. Trading and creating players, running your own regular season and playoff tournament, BREAKING THE GLASS with a blueline slapper!
2. Streets of Rage 2: Either this or Altered Beast was the first video game I beat for Sega, so there’s a special place in my heart here. The ability to smack the shit out of someone with a baseball bat felt good, years before Grand Theft Auto made aggravated assault a regular gameplay feature. You could also JOIN THE BAD GUY AT THE END OF THE GAME INSTEAD OF FIGHTING HIM. That was revolutionary.
1. Toe Jam & Earl: The first thing I think of when you say “Genesis” is Toe Jam & Earl. My friend Dean and I spent HOURS – EACH DAY – meandering alien worlds, picking up presents and space shuttle parts while avoiding boogeyman mailboxes and bitches with shopping carts. The epitome of mindless entertainment. The epitome of the early 90s.
What were your favorite Genesis games?