Review by Computerbug8

Reviewed: 08/29/05

The Genesis: The brave system that dared to rebel against the mighty Nintendo Empire

Let's go back in time, shall we? A time where Nintendo monopolized the gaming industry. Yup, if anyone had a console, it would be the NES. But then, in the late 80s, a new system was introduced-a new system that could hold twice as much memory as the NES, one with a faster processor, and one that out-powered the NES in every single way. Thus, we begin the Legend of the Genesis: The Brave System that Dared to Rebel Against the Mighty Nintendo Empire.

As stated, the Genesis was superior to the NES in every single way. To prove this, I shall compare Nintendo's mascot, Mario, to Sega's mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. When you saw Mario on the NES, you just saw him walk slowly across the screen, making wimpy little jumps with the screen moving very slowly as Mario moved across. Sonic was different. Sonic would use his spin ball action and would be flying around the screen so fast it was hard to keep track of. He'd jump twice as high as Mario, and the only thing that moved faster than Sonic was the screen as he charged across it. Sound like the Genesis had Nintendo in its place? Well, it did, but unfortunately for the Genesis, not for long...

Realizing the Genesis would totally demolish their once proud gaming empire, Nintendo realized they had to take action, so they had a new gizmo up their sleeve: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The SNES had the same 16 bit memory as the Genesis, but sadly for the Genesis, it had more. Sega had 256 usable colors. Sure, it sounded impressive then, but when the SNES was introduced with its literally thousands of colors, it was easy to see what system was the clear cut winner there. The SNES also got a faster processing chip, much high quality sound, and improvements in everything the Genesis had outmatched the NES in.

The Genesis lasted an impressive 8 years, with hoards of great games. Everyone knows of Sonic the Hedgehog and his trilogy of games, along with a lot of other spin offs, but there was more. The Genesis had RPGs like Shining Force and Phantasy Star, along with more action packed games, including an uncensored Castlevania game. Sadly, the Genesis tried to make use of sports game that got them nowhere. The games looked darker compared to the SNES, along with lower quality sound and bad luck in the handheld market. (shame, it would take Nintendo another 10 years to have color in their handhelds, unlike the Genesis)

The 16 bit war had begun, and no one was sure who would turn out the victor: the SNES, or the Genesis? Take the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees rivalry and translate it to the gaming industry, and you'll get the Genesis and the SNES in the 90s. The battle raged on through out the entire first half of the decade, but after that, things started to fall Nintendo's way. The Genesis was being downgraded due to expenses, while the SNES continued to still make money and put Nintendo on the map.

In short...

The gameplay was great for its time period. The games moved faster and could be longer than the NES, and had much more color than the NES as well. Although the Genesis was less powerful than the SNES, the Genesis still had impressive gaming titles that were so much fun to play back then. In fact, they're still fun to play now.

The graphics were spectacular for a 16 bit system. Unlike games today that have all this great digital technology that knows no boundries that still have lousy pictures anyway, the Genesis made full use of this 16 bit memory. The backgrounds were nice and detailed in most of the games, although the characters onscreen sometimes looked pretty blocky.

The sound for the Genesis was good in general. Even though the sound quality wasn't perfect, and that the sound effects were usually downright terrible, the sound was still pretty good. Most background tracks for the game didn't get old for a while.

The Genesis died off late in the 90s, with the short lived Dreamcast being the final system the Sega company ever released. The Genesis couldn't accomplish what they wanted to: bringing down Nintendo and becoming the dominant system, but it sure opened the eyes of all of Nintendo's competitors today. Now, with the Playstation and the XBox competing against Nintendo in the gaming market, Nintendo now is actually the underdog and least favorite of the three systems played today. Someday, maybe one of those systems will finish Sega's work and finish off Nintendo. Just don't get me wrong, I'm not hoping that will happen.

In my room, there sits a Sega Genesis that I've had for 10 years. Although I don't play it too much, when I do play it, it brings back memories of when Nintendo and Sega were competing in the market. Like a deceased loved one, the Genesis is an old system that you just can't forget. If it wasn't for the bold action of Sega to release the Genesis to compete, Nintendo might still have monopolized the gaming industry. (although, I have my doubts about it) A lack of good sound, darker, blockier graphics and more time trying to downgrade rather than improve, along with just some plain bad luck ultimately led to the demise of the Genesis and of Sega. The games, systems and all other products may be gone from production from forever now, but the memories will last forever.

Thus, we conclude the Legend of the Genesis: The Brave Console that Dared to Rebel Against the Mighty Nintendo Empire.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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