The Genesis: When SEGA Was More Boring And Less Evil
by TheArchVillain

I have been lurking in the shadows long enough! The Sega Genesis? Really? I smashed my desk when I saw that on my viewscreen. Could anyone have picked a more boring, vanilla experience in gaming to ask for submissions on? There's no moral conflict between good and evil in that era of gaming. The sides were clear: Nintendo vs. Sega. Pick your poison: you either have a plumber and magic mushrooms or a hedgehog and gold rings. And don't get me started on the one-dimensional villains trapped in a two-dimensional game space. The heavy-hitters: a spiky turtle who has a thing for women of royal descent, or a fat scientist who gets his jollies by turning cutesy little rodents into robots.

As a result of seeing this insulting topic on my internet, I'm not going to treat any of you readers to an enjoyable, enlightening writing submission because this very idea of a "Sega Genesis Week" is mutually exclusive from any concept of what could be remotely considered "good writing". Instead I'm just going to do the equivalent of shitting on some nice stationary, putting it in an envelope, and sending it to your door, C.O.D. Since I'd never publish this kind of garbage on my own site, because I have standards, I'll take the opportune invitation to soil somebody else's space. In fact, quality-wise this submission will probably be on par with everything else written that will further liter the internet here this week, the difference being that I recognize the Genesis is Sega's "Achilles Heel" and I'm not even going to try to pretend that any other outcome is possible.


Yes, Sonic started out blue, collecting gold power rings. Now, Sega isn't bothering to lie to your face anymore. I'm glad to say that it was always really only about the gangsta bling!


If you compare the Genesis to Sega's later ventures, it's clear to see that the Genesis is boring, uninspired, and indicative of a lack of maturity on the part of Sega. In this way, I really respect Sega, because their journey mirrors my own. Yes, you start out fighting the good fight, playing by the arbitrary and restricting rules. But then after one day of wallowing in the urine-like stench of self-pity and sorrow, you come to the sweet realization that you've only been wasting your time and you say to yourself, "I've been busting my ass trying to do the right thing. Where has it gotten me? Nowhere, express lane fast." You, my dear, dim readers, may think that Sega, after the Genesis, suffered pitfalls in the Saturn and Dreamcast, which ultimately put them out of the hardware business, and readers, you'd be wrong. Dead wrong.

The Genesis showed Sega that they were doing everything wrong by fighting a conventional console "war" in a capitalist battleground, and became liberated by learning from the mistake of trying to be "the good guys" or build the best business empire. Why compete for money when you can just take it from suckers like yourselves? Since Sega cut out the hardware side of things, and scaled back their business model, they're not making as much money as they could be, but the money they do get is easier to come by, and when it's spread amongst fewer people, it becomes much, much more pocket filler. Pull out your Wii-motes and wag them frantically and futilely at that reasoning!

Despite my undeniably truthful and accurate boast about the Genesis being a boring gaming experience, I will begrudgingly admit that Sega had some small devil on their shoulders whispering away while they were working on the Genesis, which in Sega's history is probably the first fifteen minutes of any superhero movie lacking a number at the end of its title these days (except of course that Sega, in a non-superheroic act, didn't use their "great power" with any sense of what is currently society's definition of "great responsibility", much to my satisfaction). For evidence of the seeds of later evil, see the 32X and Sega CD: ventures that couldn't possibly be seen as successful in any sense of the word, yet flirted with the hopes and dreams of Sega's loyal consumer flock, and these two console "additions" flirted undeniably better than Nintendo's pitiful attempts at evil at the time. How many suckers really bit at the Virtual Boy? Not many. Not enough to make people weep at what could have been.

Sega really hit their stride when they masterfully crushed developer and customer hopes in the 32X by releasing the Saturn. Games like Virtua Fighter and NiGHTS were little treasures that lured starry-eyed, hopeful adventurers even deeper into Sega's sadistic dungeon of broken promises and wallets. Readers, you could not see that, but I just tipped my hat to Sega, well played. Well played indeed. In fact, thinking back on it now, of all the people that I regret saving when I was working for "The Good Guys", Isao Okawa is not one of them. With what Sega has done and become, if given the chance to do it all again, in a heartbeat I would still pull Okawa's limo from the clutches of a giant radioactive lizard. The villainy of Sega truly brings a smile to my face.

With people getting understandably worried about getting burned by the developers of the Genesis, Sega shocked the world again with it's aptly codenamed Katana, which you lovingly refer to in less accurate terms as the Dreamcast. Sega essentially committed Seppuku with Katana/the Dreamcast, finally gutting their hardware division and the majority of their fan base in one swift and elegant blow.

The above point brings to mind the naming of the Genesis in comparison to the Dreamcast, which is very interesting. Genesis, which means beginning. Amusingly, but unsurprisingly, few people recognize the Genesis as the beginning of a descent into evil and villainy, which is captured rather eloquently in the Dreamcast's spirally logo. Instead, the Genesis gets "appreciation weeks" like this one here, where doe-eyed fans will probably weep about what could have been and what was once great. Ah, if only I could taste that kind of despair and heartbreak right now. For these pathetic and savagely abused people, like you readers, who misinterpret what Sega's agenda has really been, the Dreamcast's name can represent one seemingly last chance to attempt to mend their broken dreams like some snapped limb.


Sega's evil spiral. What a terribly evil ride it has been!


And of course, the Dreamcast's honeypot was there, too, for the next wave of consuming and hopeful victims:
  • Seaman
  • Samba de Amigo
  • Shenmue
  • Chu Chu Rocket
  • Armada
  • Power Stone
There are delightful traps of disappointment as well that completely took advantage of fan trust. Phantasy Star Online and Sonic Adventure, which are nothing like their previous incarnations on other Sega platforms, readily come to mind. Sega had candy and puppies in one hand, and a primed thermal detonator in another. As such, it is undeniable that Sega really went out with a satisfying BANG!


Sonic Adventure was a gangbang of slowed down, boring, anthropomorphic creatures. Some seriously fucked-up people have turned ideas from that turn of the series into a new breed of evil: Sonic-based Furry Porn. Applaud Sega, because they really deserve it for fostering that kind of darkness!


Fast forward to now. Sega has really slimmed down and they are doing what the love to do best best: fucking their few but loyal consumers over, again and again. How many copies of Phantasy Star Online have you bought? Did you "play" Phantasy Star Universe? Are you playing Ecco and Sonic games on Xbox360 Live Arcade? How about that awesome new Iron Man game?



I love and respect what Sega has become: evil and soulless to the core, a refreshingly honest image that is currently missing from this generation of console gaming as Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are Special Olympics participants in a "real" race, only half-way to the end, where Sega is kicking back and laughing from now.


Sonic on a Nintendo console. He's not racing Mario, because he's obviously already won. Instead Sonic is alongside his ex-rival, taking a leisurely "fuck you" victory lap to mock you, his fans. You didn't see this back in the Genesis days. How far your boy in blue has come.


So, my lowly readers, go ahead and look back on the past with tears. Misrepresent your miserable little pathetic pasts. Go ahead and believe that Sega ever really even cared about you. Me? I'm looking forward with a smile on my face and admiration in my eyes at the true monster that spawned from the Sega Genesis. Alert me when there's something to actually write about. If you, my dear readers, wish to exact laughably ineffectual vengeance upon me, direct it to thearchvillain@archvillainy.net. In the meantime, I've got some more worthwhile people to exert my villainy on; it's pretty clear Sega has used you all up. Have a fun rest of your "Sega Genesis Week"!


Spitefully,

The ArchVillain


P.S. Be sure to buy the new Sonic "RPG" from BioWare, EA's new bitch. Sega's intellectual property in the hands of EA! That's my Sega, always sinking to a new low!






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