The Mega Drive, also known in North America as the Sega Genesis, was a great success in the 90s, being the main competitor of the Super Nintendo at the time. Bringing successes like Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe e Streets of Ragethe console had a library of more than two thousand titles, and with such a large number, it’s no surprise that several may have slipped under the radar of many players.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 13 unknown Mega Drive games that certainly deserve a moment of recognition. Check it out below:
Seeing the big bang caused by Street Fighter II e Mortal KombatSega decided to create its own 2D fighting title, and thus came Eternal Championswhich had unique features to differentiate itself from competitors, such as: emphasis on the plot, characters from different times, force fields and a training mode in which you had to defend yourself from robotic traps.
Even with a good marketing campaign at launch, the game ended up not attracting much attention, and is currently popular mainly among the company’s most passionate fans.
with the success of Super Mario Bros.many developers tried to create their own version of Nintendo’s gold mine, as was the case with Marvel Land – Where Talmit’s Adventure on European territory – a platform game by Namco that featured an elf hero venturing through fantastical and vibrant landscapes and defeating his enemies by jumping on their heads.
Originally released for the Namco System 2 in 1990, it was ported to the Mega Drive in 1991, and while it draws inspiration from the journey of the plumber brothers, it still has fun original ideas and a rapidly increasing difficulty level.
Garfield: Caught in the Act
This side-scrolling platform game is a great option for all ages, with more relaxed than challenging gameplay.
In it, the famous lasagna-loving feline ends up being sucked into the television, having to go through several stages inspired by iconic movies like Casablanca e draculadefeating several enemies with weapons that change at each stage, until finally facing the evil electronic being known as Glitch and returning home.
Flashback: The Quest for Identity
This cinematic platform title was billed as a “CD-ROM game on a cartridge”, being one of the most graphically impressive ever released for the Mega Drive, with hand-crafted sets and rotoscoping animation – similar to the process used in Prince of Persia – which ensured a lot of fluidity for the movement of the characters.
Following a science fiction theme, its plot takes place in 2142, and shows the journey of agent Conrad B. Hart to defeat shapeshifting aliens who have infiltrated human society and want to conquer Earth.
With very interesting gameplay and puzzles, Flashback is currently a hidden console gem. However, it was a commercial success on release, being critically acclaimed and joining the Guinness World Records list as one of the best-selling French games of all time.
Wind – the first of the trilogy that includes the games Earnest Evans e Anett Futatabi – it may seem like just another generic hack-and-slash from the 90s, but its extremely extravagant explosions, unusual scenarios and absurd plot based on the work of HP Lovecraft certainly counterbalance its flaws, forming a beautiful combination that deserves to be enjoyed.
In it, players take on the role of Annet, a young woman who must use magic and her trusty boomerangs to save 1920s America from the evil efforts of mobster Al Capone, along with cult leader Henry and sorceress Restiana, to awaken the fearsome god Hastur.
Even though it seems like an attempt to take advantage of the formula Castlevaniathe game ended up more like a class B action movie found in the late rental stores, which is not without its own appeal and fans, right?
ToeJam & Earl
Much compared to the roguelike genre, this parody of urban life in the 90s features two alien rappers from the planet Funkotron, who end up crashing their spaceship on Earth and need to find the pieces to rebuild it and return to their home.
To do so, the duo must advance through randomly generated stages, defeating enemies that include insane dentists, crazy shoppers and even violent chickens, as well as collecting items that can help or harm them during the stage.
The most interesting thing about this game is its cooperative mode for two people, which divides the screen to give players the freedom to not only explore different parts of the scenario, but even be in different stages at the same time, making it one of the first to offer this type of resource.
Even with a low number of initial sales, the game ended up becoming a success, being critically acclaimed for its originality, soundtrack and humor, and gaining three more sequels later: ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron, ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth e ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove.
Considered the spiritual predecessor of Dark Savior e Alundrathis action RPG has isometric graphics, animations and a distinctive design for the characters that possibly make it one of the most beautiful of its kind for the Mega Drive.
In a fantastic medieval world, treasure hunter Nigel (or Ryle in Japan and France, and Niels in Germany), must look for clues about King Nole’s treasure, traveling through various areas and dungeons, and facing monsters such as ogres, golems and ghosts.
The game has many puzzles, several optional quests provided by NPCs that can provide benefits to the protagonist, and some moments that can be extremely difficult, but without losing the fun side.
A shooter conceived by the same developer of the peculiar homoerotic series Cho Anikiwhich tells the story of the angel Wor, tasked with protecting paradise from the Iccus demons, who are led by an evil being known as the Destroyer.
Even without bringing many innovations in terms of gameplay, Gynoug deserves to be mentioned for its impressive and detailed design for the time, with grotesque enemies and dark levels that really help to set the stage for a battle against the powers of Darkness.
Adventures of Batman & Robin
This action-adventure title was based on the cartoon Batman: The Animated Seriesfrom 1992, and curiously, it was developed by different companies for each console on which it was released.
The Mega Drive version, created by Clockwork Tortoise, allows the adventure to be enjoyed by up to two players, and in solo mode, it’s possible to choose both Batman and Robin to be the protagonist of the story whose ultimate goal is to capture Mister Cold, who after escaping from Arkham Asylum, he intends to freeze all of Gotham.
Even with some defects and difficult gameplay, the game features colorful and beautiful graphics, as well as very complex effects for its time.
This single-player adventure game is part of the series Dizzywhich already had several titles for the home computer before making its Mega Drive debut in 1991.
In it, the protagonist needs to solve several problems in his village, which are related to fairy tales like Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty and the Princess and the Frog, to save his family and his girlfriend.
Fantastic Dizzy had everything to be a great success of the franchise, but a legal dispute between Sega and the publisher Codemasters caused its release to be postponed from Christmas 1990 to April of the following year, which profoundly impacted the number of copies sold and ended up playing the game. this colorful and fun journey into anonymity.
Originally released for home computers in 1988, this British action game was ported to the Mega Drive in 1990.
With possible inspirations in the iconic RoboCopit surprises by the large amount of violence, with moments in which the protagonist needs to shoot down several bad guys with his weapon before time runs out, something that was considered very controversial at the time.
Techno Cop is another title that looks like a B-movie found in video stores, but even with all its problems, it’s still a good fun option with a good dose of brutality.
Being one of the first to feature a female protagonist who doesn’t need help from the opposite sex, Alisia Dragoon narrates the adventure of a young woman capable of shooting lightning and controlling four beasts with different abilities to annihilate the evil forces that killed her father and want to dominate the world.
Unfortunately, the game was not very successful in the Japanese market, despite receiving high praise from critics. Adding this to the lack of publicity in other countries, it ended up falling into anonymity, becoming one of the unknown gems of the Mega Drive.
This futuristic multi-directional shooter puts players in control of a lone pilot who must fight the invasion of an unknown alien race on a space mining colony.
The most interesting about Sub-Terrania are its more realistic gameplay elements and its focus on understanding the controls.
For example, first of all it is necessary to learn not only how to pilot the ship correctly so as not to cause damage, but also to use fuel to propel it at the right times, as gravity will constantly pull the vehicle downwards. In addition, the protagonist’s mission involves rescuing people in each level, which means being very careful with the shots so as not to hit the characters.
Despite being praised for its originality, graphics and soundtrack, the game was considered too difficult by many, which impacted its sales and consequently its popularity.