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PretentiousHipster
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Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by PretentiousHipster Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:31 pm

I have a confession to make: I practically haven't played any Sega games. The only one I could think of is Panzer Dragoon when I unlocked it when finishing Orta.

A few months ago I went to a flea market and found a genesis along with some mostly useless games for $50. Left my job for medical reasons shortly after so couldn't get any games for it. Now that I got a part-time job I'm willing to slowly start increasing my collection.

The few articles on this website, most notably the defining games and cheap games are useful, but I find the latter to be outdated as when I looked at some prices they were a lot more than listed in the article.

What I'm wondering is, what genesis games would you recommend to someone who is completely new to it? I'm mostly thinking about the more accessible ones that will get me hooked into digging deeper, stuff that is defining (but as a hipster I absolutely love the hidden gems as well), and ones that are not too expensive as my resources are still limited.

So far, this is the list I have with research on this site and forum, and some youtube videos. I haven't checked the prices on all of them though so some may be too expensive.

Aladdin
Sonic Games
Phantasy Star Series
World Series Baseball
Ecco Games
Road Rash II
NBA Jam
Ristar
The Adventures of Batman and Robin
Batman the Video Game
Mickey Mania
Gemfire
Rocket Knight Adventures
Crusader of Centy
Wonder Boy in Monster World
Chiki Chiki Boys
Castle and World of Illusion
Shadowrun
Beyond Oasis
Shining Force II
NHL 94
Comix Zone
Toejam and Earl
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Flashback

Anything to expand on this? Greatly appreciate the help.
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SpaceBooger
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Re: Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by SpaceBooger Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:56 pm

I'm not sure of your gaming preferences, but I would recommend any of the two Shining Force games if you can get a copy of one. To me, they are the best games on the system. The games are nothing like any other game I have played. I don't like most real-time strategy games because of the management details that seem to drag on and Shining Force doesn't have that. You get your characters each one can move so many spaces and attack so many spaces per turn. The detailed management is standard for a 16 bit traditional RPG - win a battle use the gold to buy new weapons and you can upgrade/promote your class at level 10 (I recommend power leveling and not promoting until level 15-20). The story is ok for the time... It's no FF2, but it is enough to entertain you between battles. It feels more like a tabletop RPG and there are no other games like it - I don't agree with the Fire Emblem comparisons... they have totally different vibe and gameplay style.

Oh, and you need to play Sonic 2 & Streets of Rage
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Re: Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by alienjesus Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:18 am

Here's my personal 'must-play' list to keep it short, and then a set of stuff you absolutely should play too. I don't know what prices are like now as I've owned some of these for decades and I'm also in a different region to you, but what I'd say about Mega Drive games is that most of the best ones are very accessible on compilations and collections even if you cant afford the original cartridge. I mostly quite enjoyed playing through the 51(!) games on the Switch collection last year, and there are similar collections on PS2, PSP, PS3, PS4, XBox 360 and XBox One.

Must play - these should be the first 3 games you play on the system imo:
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (and 1, 3 & Knuckles later if you can, but definitely 2 first)
Streets of Rage 2 (1 & 3 are decent too)
Gunstar Heroes


Other great stuff:
Castle of Illusion & World of Illusion
Quackshot
Golden Axe
Alisia Dragoon
Rocket Knight Adventures
Shining Force 1 & 2
Chiki Chiki Boys
Castlevania Bloodlines
Contra Hard Corps
Dynamite Headdy
Ranger X
Wonder Boy in Monster World
Ristar
Revenge of Shinobi & Shinobi III
Decap Attack



Also worth consideration, but maybe more niche:
Ecco the Dolphin
Shining in the Darkness
Light Crusader
Gauntlet 4
Columns III
Toejam & Earl
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Re: Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by Ziggy587 Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:42 am

Castlevania Bloodlines is exclusive to the Genesis and a must play if you're a fan of the series. Even if you're not a huge Castlevania fun, it's still a great side scrolling hack and slash action platformer. It might be a little on the tough side, but if you put it on easy and Google passwords that start you with 9 lives on each level it'll wont be too hard. It's a little pricey right now though. It's part of the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, but that's doesn't help if you're set on using your authentic Genesis.
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Re: Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by opa Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:39 am

If you can find one for dirt cheap, grab a copy of the "Genesis 6-Pak". It is probably the best bang for the buck as you get an instant Genesis collection on one cart. It contains Golden Axe, Sonic 1, Streets of Rage, Columns, Super Hang-On, and Revenge of Shinobi. Cart-only it seems to average between $6-10 on ebay. Not too bad considering that's $1-$1.68 a game. Plus it'd save some space.
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Re: Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by PresidentLeever Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:57 pm

Besides what's in your list (note that a lot of these are expensive):
Panorama Cotton - Success - Rail shooter
Langrisser II – Masaya - TBS/SRPG, sequel to Warsong
Contra: Hard Corps (Japanese version is easier in that you have a life bar) – Konami
Landstalker – Climax Entertainment - Action Adventure
Micro Machines: Turbo Tournament '96 – Codemasters - Racing (best in MP); includes a track editor
Mega Bomberman – Hudson - MP Maze Action
Thunder Force IV – Technosoft - Shoot 'em up
Thunder Force III – Technosoft - Shoot 'em up
Battle Mania Daiginjou - Vic Tokai - Shoot 'em up
Gunstar Heroes – Treasure - Run 'n Gun. You might be able to find the 4-in-1 classics pack with it included for a lower price.

M.U.S.H.A./MUSHA Aleste – Compile - Shoot 'em up
Dynamite Headdy (Japanese version is uncensored, has a story and is a bit easier) – Treasure - Action Platformer
Monster World IV – Westone - Sequel to Wonder Boy in Monster World, has been fan translated and officially translated in the digital re-release
Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyou Toitsusen – Treasure - 4-player Fighting, similar to Fatal Fury
Mega Turrican – Factor 5 - Action Platformer
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master - Action Platformer
Castlevania: Bloodlines – Konami - Action Platformer
TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist (unless you have Turtles in Time but it's still great) – Konami
Streets of Rage II/Streets of Rage 2
Puyo Puyo Tsuu/Puyo Puyo 2 (more modes on SNES) – Compile - Match 4 Puzzle

Alien Soldier – Treasure - Run 'n Gun/Boss Rush
Super Fantasy Zone – Sunsoft - Shoot 'em up (Defender-like)
Bare Knuckle 3 (Streets of Rage 3 JP - partially different story, easier, different colors and uncensored in JP)
Revenge of Shinobi - Action Platformer
Alisia Dragoon – Game Arts - Action Platformer
Quackshot starring Donald Duck - Action Platformer/Platform Adventure
Twinkle Tale – Zap - Top Down Run 'n Gun/Shoot 'em up
Ghouls 'n' Ghosts – Capcom/Sega - Action Platformer
Earthworm Jim 2 (unless you have the SNES or SAT ver., though there is a w/ weapon select hack for this one) – Shiny Entertainment - Action Platformer
General Chaos – EA - RTT/Squad Combat

NHL '96 – EA
Gaiares – Telenet Japan - Shoot 'em up
Ranger X/Ranger-X – Gau Entertainment - Action Platformer, Mech-based

Also regarding Road Rash, 3 might look worse but it's a tad smoother, there are more weapons plus a weapon inventory, and a bit more variety in the tracks

Edit:
I just remembered this cheap games list I had made a while back:

Top MD/GEN Games under $10 (based on GVN's CIB averages):
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 $2.82$9.87
Columns III $5.14$9.10$42.54NA
NHL 97 $5.37$7.81$24.15NA
NHL 96 $2.13$4.14$15.17$24.73
Columns [Sega Classic]NA$2.89$5.13NA
Columns $1.63$6.30$16.84NA
NHL 95 $2.49$8.25$20.21NA
Ecco: The Tides of Time $4.98$8.90$30.97NA
FIFA Soccer 96 $2.39$4.18$14.24NA
ATP Tour Championship Tennis $3.16$7.88$13.75NA

FIFA Soccer 95 $1.76$7.87$25.74NA
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure $4.15$9.12$66.24NA
NHLPA Hockey '93 $1.92$5.20$9.24NA
Eternal Champions $2.54$7.30$54.83$25.24
Wimbledon Championship Tennis $1.51$3.50$8.18NA
NBA Jam $3.80$9.68$26.67$120.75
Jungle Strike $3.85$7.72$13.18NA
NHL Hockey $2.71$9.30$44.43NA
Zoom! $4.51$9.86$32.81NA
Formula One $2.52$8.31$28.33NA

Asterix and the Great Rescue $2.30$9.58$43.43NA
Zoop $2.02$4.98$7.26NA
NBA Live '95-'97
Lotus II $2.69$8.10$16.01NA
Taz in Escape From Mars [Mega Hit Series]$3.39$3.73$17.16NA
Taz in Escape From Mars $2.95$7.20$34.67NA
Boxing Legends of the Ring $1.46$5.71NANA
Combat Cars $2.57$7.47$14.35NA
Side Pocket $3.61$8.57$45.75NA
Junction $3.14$8.02$27.50NA


MD/GEN Under $20 CIB:
6-Pak $6.70$17.26$57.66NA
Sonic the Hedgehog $3.63$11.08$60.80$1004.30
Sonic the Hedgehog [Sega Classic]$7.77$11.50$86.56NA
Sonic Classics $5.16$18.39$42.73NA
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 [Mega Hit Series]$11.91$19.52$66.85NA
Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition $5.90$14.43$32.62NA
Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers $9.34$13.45$75.74NA
Flashback: The Quest for Identity $5.72$17.93$88.23NA
FIFA International Soccer $5.37$10.43$42.80NA
Light Crusader $9.08$18.49$47.98NA

NHL 98 $9.43$19.97
Aladdin $8.61$18.45$42.19NA
Lion King $4.88$15.47$45.74NA
Tiny Toon Adventures: Busters Hidden Treasure $5.61$17.55$39.87NA
Samurai Shodown $7.34$15.67$62.85NA
Lost Vikings $8.31$17.05$46.79$45.74
NHL 94 $10.67$14.09$63.37NA
Mortal Kombat 3 $5.00$11.90$93.41$160.75
Klax $4.44$10.49$35.63NA
Lemmings $12.13$16.69$16.76NA

Lemmings 2: The Tribes $4.42$12.66$30.64NA
NBA Jam Tournament Edition $4.90$10.46$24.02$103.20
Jungle Book $3.51$12.24$42.80NA
FIFA Soccer 97 $4.93$12.61$15.74NA
Ms. Pac-Man $4.39$10.04$17.89NA
Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck $4.12$19.17$48.53NA
Golden Axe [Sega Classic]$11.41$17.05$32.54NA
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (Puyo Puyo) $6.23$15.02$38.10NA
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf $4.73$10.69$24.81NA
Soldiers of Fortune/Chaos Engine $10.18$19.29$42.16$229.31

Animaniacs $3.50$11.45$28.28NA
Bubba n Stix $6.72$19.09NANA
Mortal Kombat II $5.44$13.61$59.74$211.00
Sub-Terrania $3.29$10.76$16.21$95.75
NBA Live 98 $6.52$10.64NANA
Vectorman [Mega Hit Series]$3.96$13.60$27.65NA
Ecco: The Tides of Time [Mega Hit Series]$1.77$19.44NANA
Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote $3.13$15.33$21.59NA
Road Rash II $9.78$19.10$46.78$101.40
T2: The Arcade Game $4.64$12.61$36.68NA

Road Rash $10.08$17.77$70.46NA
Top Gear 2 $5.68$17.65$85.75NA
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures $3.14$11.61$16.55NA
Championship Pro-Am $2.46$13.56$45.15NA
Vectorman $4.91$14.98$37.84$93.68
Bonanza Brothers $6.68$17.74$29.75NA
Marble Madness (Tengen) $4.04$13.18$19.93NA
Rampart $6.26$15.70$22.57NA
Toy Story $5.64$12.22$39.08NA
Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude! $6.84$11.56$34.71NA

Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote [Mega Hit Series]NA$19.52NANA
Ecco the Dolphin $3.76$12.36$51.52NA
Mortal Kombat $3.37$12.17$160.12$165.09
Lethal Enforcers II: Gun Fighters $5.28$12.16$26.23NA
Pete Sampras Tennis $7.84$13.57$24.69NA
Last edited by PresidentLeever on Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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pierrot
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Re: Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by pierrot Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:18 pm

Your entry level games are going to be things like:

Aladdin
Sonic 1
Sonic 2
Revenge of Shinobi
Streets of Rage
Ecco the Dolphin
Vectorman
Kid Chameleon
Bonanza Brothers
Flicky
Mickey Mania
Mortal Kombat
Thunder Force II
World of Illusion
Strider
Golden Axe
etc.


Not many of these are really the best the console has to offer, though (actually, I wouldn't say any of them are, although the first Streets of Rage is really great, and World of Illusion and Mickey Mania are pretty fun).

Your primo Genesis games are going to look like:

Ristar
Crusader of Centy
Sonic 3 & Knuckles (you can't really have one without the other)
Thunder Force III
Lightening Force
Beyond Oasis
Wonder Boy in Monster World
Monster World IV
Pulseman
Streets of Rage 2
Shinobi III
Shining Force
Shining Force II
Phantasy Star IV
Warsong
Ranger X
Rocket Knight Adventures
Contra Hard Corps
Castelvania Bloodlines
Gunstar Heroes
Dynamite Headdy
Comix Zone
Adventures of Batman and Robin
Battle Mania
Battle Mania Daiginjou
Gley Lancer
Elemental Master
Eliminate Down
Fire Shark
Musha
Panorama Cotton
Truxton
Twinkle Tale
Shadowrun
McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure (holy shit did this game get expensive!)
Alien Soldier
The Punisher
Mega Turrican
Splatterhouse 2
Splatterhouse 3
TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist
Dragon's Fury
Alisia Dragoon
Castle of Illusion
Quackshot
Chiki Chiki Boys
Earthworm Jim
Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey and Minnie



There are tons of other games that are potentially worth looking into, also, like High Sea Havoc, or Mystic Fighters, Magical Taruru~to Kun, Jewel Master, Valis 3, Rolling Thunder 2, Rainbow Island Extra, Mystic Defender, Toejam and Earl, Wiz 'n' Liz, X-Men 2, Landstalker, Dahna, El Viento, etc, etc, etc, but generally they're still prohibitively expensive, and not as easy to recommend.


I also need to point out that the best RPGs on the console are actually:

Surging Aura
Dragon Slayer: Legend of Heroes I & II
Madou Monogatari I
Rent-a-Hero
Light Crusader

Almost none of them are available in English, though. Light Crusader is a bit of a divisive game, but the Genesis version is still pretty cheap, and the truth of the matter is that it's easily one of the best games on the console.

You'll see a lot of people pointing out Phantasy Star II and III, but neither is inexpensive (the original game is also technically on the console, but it's a Japaneses exclusive, and literally just the Mark III/Master System version). The problem is that Phantasy Star IV is the most polished, and the one that fits in line with people's more "modern" sensibilities these days, but it's very expensive, and you'd get the most out of it if you played the four games in sequence. I personally don't think it's worth it, though. It's kind of average. Also, the original Phantasy Star is still very good, but if you aren't used to old 8-bit RPGs, you'll probably run into problems. I think the second game might be the best of the series in terms of story, but most people would give up on that one, and if they did actually finish it, they would almost certainly give up on Phantasy Star III (because it's super jank). So, honestly, I'd just pump the breaks on those games. They're not as essential these days, unless you're a hardcore fan of Sega, or something.


Also, I'd recommend checking out this Game Sack video, if you haven't before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhMO5QnRNvo, It's not comprehensive, but it's at least goes into a bit more detail on a wide range of games for the system.
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PretentiousHipster
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Re: Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by PretentiousHipster Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:25 pm

Thanks so much guys. My list is getting quite large now and I am definitely looking forward to it.

Slightly off topic, but I found out that my associated costs with employment like the tb skin test and all that will be reimbursed. The classified website I use has a sega saturn with a few games for sale for $220 CAD. Tempted to get that and delay getting the genesis games until march/april.
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Re: Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by dsheinem Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:20 pm

PretentiousHipster wrote:Thanks so much guys. My list is getting quite large now and I am definitely looking forward to it.

Slightly off topic, but I found out that my associated costs with employment like the tb skin test and all that will be reimbursed. The classified website I use has a sega saturn with a few games for sale for $220 CAD. Tempted to get that and delay getting the genesis games until march/april.


If money is tight, collecting good/cheap Genesis games is way easier than collecting good/cheap Saturn games (unless you set yourself up to play Saturn imports, which is a little cheaper)...
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PretentiousHipster
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Re: Entry Level Genesis Games for a Sega Noob

by PretentiousHipster Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:47 pm

dsheinem wrote:
PretentiousHipster wrote:Thanks so much guys. My list is getting quite large now and I am definitely looking forward to it.

Slightly off topic, but I found out that my associated costs with employment like the tb skin test and all that will be reimbursed. The classified website I use has a sega saturn with a few games for sale for $220 CAD. Tempted to get that and delay getting the genesis games until march/april.


If money is tight, collecting good/cheap Genesis games is way easier than collecting good/cheap Saturn games (unless you set yourself up to play Saturn imports, which is a little cheaper)...


Hmm, with the job I can spare around $125 CAD a month for video games and books, but mostly the former. The saturn deal comes with a cartridge that lets you play burned discs. I am pro-piracy, but am against it for video games for some reason, but perhaps that could be a decent option until my income increases?
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