Retrospective on 5 Obscure Genesis Games That Shaped My Love For It
by Ed

5. World Cup Italia '90

This is actually the first time I've ever called this game by its proper title. For a long time I seriously thought it was called "Italiano '90", but for an even longer time, my friend Mark (who was pretty much the person who kept getting me more and more engrossed in video games during the Genesis Era) and I referred to it by only one name. Fat Lady Soccer.

I mean look at them, they look like fat ladies...or possibly clones of Ringo Starr.

Anyway, it's like any other soccer game really, just kicking the ball from one end of the pitch to the other, only there doesn't seem to be much in the way of penalties. Just a lot of vicious slide kicking all around, and possibly shoving...or maybe that's just the CPU opponents dry humping my ball carrier until he curls up into the fetal position to avoid it and hope they take the ball.

The game is still pretty serviceable anyway, and features some nice cutaway scenes for things like goal kicks and corner kicks. Most importantly my friend and I had way too much fun with this game whenever we played it, especially with the numerous fat lady jabs. Hours of Fun, I swear.

4. WWF Raw

I kept trying to figure out which of the WWF games it was my friends and I played more of on the Genesis, and it came down to being Raw simply for the roster size at the time, and the fact that it's the only WWF game for the Genesis where you could play as Deisel. Anyway it's pretty reflective of early 90s wreslting, not a lot of zany cruiserweight moves (unless you count the Arcade-style ultra super moves or whatever they were called), and everyone oddly having the same basic moveset (body slam, headbutt, suplex, etc, etc.). But there's still something satisfying about grabbing the chair outside the ring and caving in your opponent's skull with it.

I guess you could also say this game correctly captured the feel of a telecast of RAW what with the 9-windowed titantron victory things at the end and the "tonight's matchup" screen. However at the time that didn't really factor into it and I don't really recall us doing much besides playing matches with no ref, and if there was a ref we'd just spend time punching him in the face until he just said "hell with it" and left. Thus began my love affair with wrestling videogames, which is now consistently becoming love-hate. Thanks a lot, THQ.

3. RBI Baseball '93

RBI '93 was pretty much the first Genesis game I ever played. Back then I was really into baseball and...well I don't know something about the game just clicked for me. Maybe it was the historical mode that let me use teams from as far back as the 80s, maybe it was the draft mode that let me unfairly bolster the roster of the Boston Red Sox with people like Ken Griffey Jr. and Ryne Sandberg. Or maybe it was the accurately designed parks (for the most part). In any event this game was the quintissential baseball simulation for the Genesis for the longest time. Sure it wasn't perfect, for some reason everyone on the field became black once the ball was in play, and sliding didn't count as being safe unless you ended up standing up on the bag by the time the throw came in, but it didn't matter to me it was great! The animations were pretty good too for the time, though that was probably a bit of an undoing seeing as how fun it was to clock people in the head with a pitch and watch them crumple while going "UGH! UGH!"

The greatness continued when they came out with RBI '94, which among other things had the ability to face a secret team consisting of the developers of the game, but I never owned that game, and '93 came first, so that's why it's listed.

2. General Chaos

This game taught me one thing, war can be silly sometimes. It later taught me another thing, which was that Electronic Arts used to not be evil and would actually make unique games.

Anyways the game has two countries fighting each other. Moronica, led by General Chaos, and Vicera, led by General Havoc. I guess they're fighting to see which one of them is better at being disorderly (bad joke). Basically you pick a spot on the map to fight, pick your squad of five (or two if you want to ditch strategy for a little more action) and go at it against the enemy in a knock-down drag-out fight for control of whatever piece of land you're fighting for, occasionally with a bonus objective in destroying or protecting a piece of scenery. Much like Team Fortress, there are 5 classes of soldier each with his own weapon. There's the gunner (machine gun), launcher (rocket launcher), flamer (buttplug flamethrower), chucker (grenades), and blaster (dynamite). You also have a limited number of medics who can recover critically wounded men and replace them, unless of course they've been blasted to pieces or burnt to a crisp, or drowned. Anyway you fight your way across the map until one team takes the others capitol, and then it either starts again or you go to the credits.

Now not only is this game an action/strategy hybrid, it also has a bit of fighting thrown in. Whenever two enemy soldiers get too close to each other, a scuffle ensues. In many cases this results in "close combat" mode, where you can punch, kick, or block at three different heights in a small little fighting minigame to win against your opponent. Now naturally the windmill punch to the groin or the kick to the groin are the most effective attacks, but the game has a little countermeasure built in to prevent people from exploiting one move over and over. See if you spam a move too much, the opposing guy will usually just get fed up with it and shoot you Indiana Jones style, making you lose the fight automatically. I always thought that was pretty sneaky, and I almost wish fighting games nowadays would implement this, just to piss people off.

This game is pretty much just having fun destroying things just because, plus it features good sound effects (i.e. explosions that don't all sound like farts). Also each soldier is detailed well and easily differentiated from the other, making this game an A all around in my book.

1. Dinosaurs for Hire

Apparently this game is based on a series of comics that were somewhat parodying conventions of comics and even movies at the time. But that's not the point. Anyways this game was pretty much THE game Mark and I played for like...ever. Can't ever explain why either, maybe it was the fact it was dinosaur mercenaries fighting Ninjas, maybe it was the fact the game starts off with a perfect bait-and-switch.

But I'm getting just a bit ahead of myself. Basically there were 3 characters to choose from. Archie the T-Rex, who is either a chronic chain-smoker or just likes thumbing his nose at the people he's killed. Also he wears a leather jacket and shades...but no pants. Then there's Reese the Stegosaurus, who's got one eye and no sense of clothing to speak of, then again i'm sure it's hard to find clothes for someone with spikes running down his back. And finally Lorenzo the Triceratops, who I guess is like Magnum PI meets The Continental. I dunno, neither Mark nor I played as him ever. I always played as Archie and he always played as Reese.

Of particular note are the Character Bios for each Dino, which i've posted some shots of below.

So you can see this game is already a bit off the beaten track (though I have a feeling Reese was disappointed by Terminator III and tailwhipped the projectionist to death, in lieu of being able to tailwhip anyone who worked on the movie.). This is made more obvious by the fact that after you pick your character you start off in a boss fight.

A painfully easy boss fight that goes right to the end credits...for all of 10 seconds.

And then the Pteranadon (apparently named Cyrano) tells you your Blast Processing Unit is malfing up...well not really. But the real game does start now.

So it's off to the slums to fight ninjas. Fans of Contra (like me and someone else on this site...who was it?) rejoice, cause it's a lot like that only you're twice the size of your opponents and you can buttstomp a motorcycle into oblivion if you want to.

Hell you even get to fight a stupid wall with guns on it like in Contra. Only they keep sending ninjas to leap out of the floor at ya.

Anyway once that's done with you find yourself in the subway...apparently in Los Angeles during an earthquake given how many girders fall down on you. Or maybe it's the Armored Car the ninjas send after you. Seriously. they've got some bizzare toys, the Shadow Yamato clan.

Now I never beat this game, I only get as far as the Hoover Dam (Where you fight that giant robot from the fake boss fight at the start, only for real) before the jumping puzzles become as annoying as the ones in Double Dragon 3. But I still fire this game up now and again because it's just enjoyable on a visceral level. Plus it's Dinosaurs fighting Ninjas, what more could you want.

SMPS Discord | Twitter | Submissions and Contact | GB | Store | i | c | v3
Contributor Central
© 2005-2023 smps/*-|):D