Sega Genesis Turns 25

The system that Sonic built celebrates its 25th anniversary!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 11/01/2013 12:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

Ah, the Genesis. In the halcyon days of my youth, I was a Nintendo kid through and through, but I also had a soft spot for Sega and its little blue hedgehog. While I never owned my own Genesis, I got to play it at two different locations; my grandparent’s and my cousin’s homes. SonicVectormanRoad RashX-Men, and numerous other titles would occupy my time during visits to both. While the Genesis might have ultimately claimed second place in the war against Nintendo, Sega’s system is every bit as classic and beloved to this day.

My first Sega memory is, fittingly, Sonic-related, running across Green Hill Zone and marveling at the spinning flowers, flowing water, and blistering speed. It’s a shame that Sega was never able to maintain Sonic’s momentum beyond Dreamcast era. The Genesis Sonic titles, in particular, might not have been as groundbreaking as Nintendo’s Mario games, but they were still incredibly fun and creative. The energy and enthusiasm of the development staff is evident in all four titles, and if they could have kept that spirit burning, who knows what Sega would look like today.

What’s most ironic to think about today is how so many gamers have grown up playing Sonic and Sega games on Nintendo’s consoles and don’t even know about the bitter feud the two were once embroiled in. Yes, dear readers, there was a time when Sonic and Mario were the generals of the greatest console war in the history of video games. SNES versus Genesis was the source of more than a few heated playground (and workplace) arguments. It’s typical for players today to have allegiances to multiple systems, but in the early nineties, it was much less common for a person to have both a Genesis and SNES.

When Sega gave up its console aspirations with the demise of the Dreamcast, the line in the sand vanished and Sonic made his first appearance on a Nintendo system in 2002 with GameCube’s Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. A commercial success, Sonic and Nintendo went together like peanut butter and jelly, and there’s been no looking back. While the blue blur has appeared on virtually every single other video game platform in the years since, his best adventures tend to be on Nintendo’s systems. Many a kid’s mind would be blown if you could travel back to 1993 and tell them that!

It would be nice to see a slew of previously unreleased Genesis games make their way to 3DS and Wii U’s Virtual Consoles in recognition of this anniversary. Too many titles still sit barely remembered and undervalued on little black cartridges across the world; it’s a waste of the system’s wonderful catalogue and legacy. Nintendo might have saved the industry, but Sega’s shot across the bow with the Genesis finally gave it true competition. By doing so, Sega not only paved the way for developers who might not have found a home on SNES, but also spurred Nintendo to up its game with landmark titles like Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and Star Fox. For that alone, the Genesis deserves a great deal of respect.

So happy birthday, Genesis! Long may you Blast Process!

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