games / Columns

Top 8 Missing Games from the Genesis Classic – Sonic 3, Jurassic Park, More

August 20, 2019 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Sonic 3 Knuckles

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. I was going to talk about video game music last week but I hit a delay. That’ll probably come to pass by next week. Instead, I wanted to talk a bit about that Genesis Mini/Genesis Classic thing Sega is putting out. More popular reviewers than I got ahold of it and they seem positive. Still, the game lineup could be a tad better, which is where my list comes in. I’m sure on day 1, that thing is going to be cracked immediately, and you can throw on any game you want onto it. So, here are the games that should be there from the start.

#8: Rocket Knight Adventures

It’s funny, Rocket Knight kind of reminds me of Gunstar Heroes. Not in the way it plays, per se, but just how it looks and is kind of constructed. Also, the slightly “wild” character movement is fairly similar as well. The titular Rocket Knight (I don’t care about the stupid convoluted back story) has some interesting powers. He can grab branches and hang from them. He can fire his sword off as short-range attacks. However, you can also charge up your attack to do rocket moves, like a high jump, or dashing across the screen, dealing damage to enemies. I guess there was a SNES port of this game in development but it was cancelled. I think if it had come out, it probably wouldn’t have been as snappy as this version.

#7: Mutant League Football

Mutant League Football has what all football games need: land mines. There are also other traps like pits, big rocks, low gravity and so on. MLF also has a pretty ripping soundtrack, which is bolstered by the Sega Genesis audio quality. I’m not a big football game, and picking plays in this game can be annoying, but the game is certainly fun enough to deserve a place on the Mini Genesis lineup. Plus, unlike with a game further down on this list, there’s no pesky licensing of real people to contend with, so it actually would be probably pretty cheap, from a financial standpoint.

#6: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist

Hyperstone Heist is an odd game. It’s basically a weird port/sequel to TMNT: Turtles in Time, complete with an intro of the Statue of Liberty being taken again. Hyperstone Heist is a somewhat more “basic” game than Turtles in Time, but it’s actually more fun. Here’s an example: in Turtles in Time, you could occasionally throw Foot Soldiers at the screen, which was a technically/visually impressive trick. You can’t do this in Hyperstone. However, the throw move is fairly unreliable/wonky, so if you have a boss that requires you to do this (Shredder), it becomes really annoying. Also, Hyperstone doesn’t look/sound quite as good as the SNES version, but it’s still pretty decent.

#5: Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse

Castle of Illusion generally is more fondly remembered but I much preferred Mickey Mania, which I only played the Genesis version, even though it was multi-system. Mickey Mania just felt snappier and faster than Castle of Illusion. I also enjoyed the historical aspect, like starting the first level in Steamboat Willie and then going through various eras of Mickey Mouse like the Mad Doctor or the Prince and the Pauper. I remember playing this game a lot on a Target Sega Genesis demo station, back when the thing had about 6 games you could select.

#4: Jurassic Park

It’s kind of sad that this is still regarded as one of the best Jurassic Park games in existence. The gods have not been kind to this franchise. This game is great in that you can play as Dr. Alan Grant or a Velociraptor. Grant has the usual weapons: stun gun, grenades, rocket launcher, etc. Playing as him as fine but kind of standard. The reason the game stands out is for being able to play as the Raptor. It is a lot of fun, you have to defeat security guards around the island and occasionally deal with other dinosaurs. You regain health by eating the little Compy dinosaurs scattered in the levels. The Raptor has a shorter campaign than Grant does but is more memorable.

#3: NHL ‘94

I can understand why this game isn’t on the Genesis Classic. Player/team licensing would make it fairly expensive. The only reason Tecmo Bowl got a pass is because it had no players to pay and not even any team names. It was just generic stuff like “Chicago” and “Detroit”, so it was a non-issue. NHL ’94 is widely regarded as one of the best sports games because it just keeps things simple. You basically had pass, shoot and change lanes on offense, and hook, check, turbo on defense. This is all you really need. They did introduce a few new game systems in the game, like shooting off a pass, that made this much deeper than earlier games. Heck, this game is so revered they put in a NHL ’94 Anniversary Mode into NHL 14 to recapture some of the glory from this game.

#2: Aladdin

Every right-thinking person knows that the Genesis version of Aladdin is far superior to the SNES one. With this basic fact said, why not throw the game on the Genesis Classic? They could somehow tie it into that recent Aladdin movie with like “Hey, this was based on the classic movie” or something. Also, the music and visuals for this game are still fairly strong.

#1: Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles

I imagine the reason they don’t have Sonic 3 on the Genesis Classic is due to the Michael Jackson relationship. It’s a long narrative, but basically he was going to do some music for Sonic 3 but the relationship soured and he left it. There are still a few songs that are very similar to Jackson’s other work though. This is the likely reason why Sonic 3 isn’t on it. My thought? If this is the reason, just replace the songs. You could say why (or talk around it) in the game info or something. Say like “Certain tracks had to be altered due to rights issues.” That’s fine. As for Sonic and Knuckles, I haven’t a clue why they aren’t included. That game does exist as a separate cartridge/rom, so it escapes me. Frankly, I’d dump Ecco the Dolphin and have these two games on there instead.

For comments, list which games you think are missing from the Genesis Mini.

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