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Core - For GENESIS
Bubba 'N' Stix
Puzzle-Platformer | 8 MB
Release: June 1994
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Move over Puggsy, there's a new off-beat, sort of slow, comical-looking puzzle-platformer in town! Bubba 'N' Stix, brought to you by Core Design, is a novel take on this aging formula. Now to its credit, Bubba leans further into the action scene than its slower counterparts. The gameplay is admittedly challenging, and the animations are stylistic enough (Like Bart Simpson in the Bayou -Jet). Play this side-scroller for just a short while, and it will be rather evident just how dull and repetitive these puzzlers have become. It becomes a downright chore! If you must copy a gameplay style, copy Gunstar Heroes.


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Takara - For GENESIS
Fatal Fury 2
Fighter | 24 MB
Release: June 1994
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Coming in with a mighty 24-MEG cartridge, Fatal Fury 2 barrels forth onto the SEGA Genesis as the latest and greatest conversion of a Neo-Geo masterpiece. This conversion from Takara is leagues better than the first entry on the Genesis, and its gameplay speed is throttled-up high courtesy of that killer blast processing! Fighters seem to be a dime a dozen these days, but Fatal Fury never does get old. Play control is fantastic, the graphics are smooth and well-done, and dueling with the six-button gamepad pulls you right back to the arcades. It's practically begging for your buck!


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Koei - For GENESIS
Operation Europe
Strategy | 8 MB
Release: June 1994
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Operation Europe: Path to Victory 1939-45, or as it is known in Japan, Europa Sensen, is a newly released war strategy game developed by Koei exclusively for the Genesis. To preface this review, you need to be a very specific kind of games player to get the most out of Operation Europe. If managing microscopic military units meticulously on a chessboard-like map sounds like your deal, then you'll fall in love. For the rest of us, our brains ache a bit just thinking about it! Our team prefers the Shining Force breed of strategy, but geeky WWII historians (and them alone) should check this one out.


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Virtua Racing
Racing | 16 MB
Release: May 1994
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Utilizing the all-new SEGA Virtual Processing (SVP) chip, Virtua Racing for Genesis has zoomed onto store shelves. Racing fans, arcade fans, and high-octane action game fans will all undoubtedly appreciate this hot new cart. Race to your heart's content with three courses, two transmission options, and high-flying speed. Cramming a state-of-the-art coin-op onto this home system was no easy feat. Indeed, the SVP chip was custom made for VR in order to help generate quick movement for the complex 3-D polygons. Even then, at a startling $100 price tag, this one may be reserved for super fans.


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Sunsoft - For GENESIS
Pirates of Dark Water
Brawler | 8 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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Sunsoft's Pirates of Dark Water is an action-adventure title based on the animated TV show. Your quest in this swashbuckling tale is to find the six Treasures of Rule in order to drain the dreaded Dark Water the high seas. The truth is, if you've owned a Genesis for a fair bit of time, chances are you've played several carts in the exact mold of Pirates. Grab your trusty sword, slash at your foes, jump across obstacles, etc. Nevertheless, Pirates shines best in the graphical realm, exhibiting detailed sprites and parallax-scrolling backgrounds galore. Good, challenging (but somewhat forgettable) fun!


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Asterix
Act-Puzzle | 16 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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The Europeans are at it again! Asterix and the Great Rescue is a puzzler with a color palette about as bright and saturated as any hit Amiga game. Guide our titular hero across a host of levels fraught with dangerous obstacles, pitfalls, traps, and bucking broncos, all without breaking his stride. Saving your kidnapped dog, Dogmatix, from the dastardly Romans is paramount to victory! Asterix may primarily appeal to younger gamers looking for a brain tease, but if thematic predecessors like Lemmings or Krusty's Fun House are your jam, then this Genesis game is an absolute buy.


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Tengen - For GENESIS
Grind Stormer
Shooter | 8 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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With the onset of the fighting game revolution, PPM has noticed a stark lack of premier-league shooters on the super systems. Tengen and Toaplan's Grind Stormer seeks to answer that call! This vertically oriented shooting title puts the player in the seat of a Terran Defense Force pilot tasked with repelling an evil alien invasion. Not the most original plotline, but GS offers a tremendous amount of challenge in its gameplay. Toaplan, the makers of Truxton, programmed an ultra-tough game! Otherwise, a run-of-the-mill blaster. Fair for experienced players and shooter fans, awful for newbies.


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Data East - For GENESIS
Mega Turrican
Action-Platformer | 8 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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"Another Turrican?" Oh, Heck yes! Mega Turrican, on store shelves now for Genesis consoles, is not merely a lazy redressing of last year's Super Turrican. Mega offers a ton of new features exclusive to this version, including a tricky plasma rope for ledge-scaling and wall-climbing, a shuffled mix of power-ups and level layouts, and a secret stage or two. The graphics here are not the best and may appear blurry or repetitive. Excellent play control, fun gameplay, and rockin' sound keeps this from becoming a sour experience. It's mega-action with Mega Turrican on the Mega Drive.


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BlueSky - For GENESIS
Shadowrun
Role-Playing | 8 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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Genesis players better brace themselves. If you have not yet tried out Shadowrun, you are in for a treat! Maniacal corporations have taken over the planet (This is meant to be fiction? -Jet) and Shadowrunners prowl the dilapidated streets of Seattle. Shadowrun is a top-down role-playing game far removed from its beloved SNES counterpart. Unlike that point-and-click entry, this new cart is action-oriented with a touch more grit, violence, and open-endedness. Don't forget the hard-hitting soundtrack! Certainly, several weeks worth of inspired enjoyment for RPG lovers.


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Data East - For GENESIS
High Seas Havoc
Action-Platformer | 8 MB
Release: Feb 1994
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The Evil Pirate Bernardo has stolen a legendary emerald, and it's all up to the rookie, Havoc, to save the day! High Seas Havoc is your stereotypical action-platformer staring a fluffy yet spunky mascot. Data East looks to join the ranks of Virgin and Konami in delivering a top-quality Sonic-like, and it has done it in spades. This cart is a sight to see with crisp and gorgeous graphics galore and some excellently emotive character sprites. Havoc enjoys satisfactory play control and a unique jump-kick attack to vanquish foes with ease. Though it heavily borrows from the best, HSH proves itself a title worthy of its pricetag.


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Konami - For GENESIS
Castlevania
Action-Platformer | 8 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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Konami has released yet another epic to the gaming landscape. Castlevania: Bloodlines on the Genesis is, well, the best in the series since Super Castlevania IV; a well-rounded effort in virtually every avenue. Play as Eric Lecarde with Alcarde Spear in-tow or John Morris with his trusty whip. Chase down your bloodstained ancestry beginning in Castle Dracula, Romania, thrashing minotaurs, giants, and dragons of all sorts. Beautiful boss designs as well. Konami's animation, special effects work, and horror soundtrack is top-notch as usual, making Bloodlines a worthwhile pick for all Castlevania fans.


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Zyrinx - For GENESIS
Sub-Terrania
Shooter | 8 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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Sub-Terrania is best described as Asteroids for the 90s. You pilot a tiny, prototype spaceship tasked with rescuing underground miners from a sudden alien attack. Players must drive their shuttle throughout the treacherous caverns, engaging in some interstellar combat whilst discovering weapons upgrades on the way. Beneath an intriguing exterior, even experienced games may find frustration in Sub-Terrania's gravity-centric physics and delayed controller response. Watch your gauges! Thrusters deplete fuel and shields fade quickly, meaning the alien fighters may be the least of your worries.


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Arena - For GENESIS
NBA Jam
Sports | 8 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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This is a Slam Jam! The PPM Review Crew rarely recognizes sport titles (And for good reason! -Jet), but the likes of NBA Jam is guaranteed to appeal to anyone who fancies video games. Acclaim and Arena have released stellar ports of the arcade cab on SNES and Genesis. Both versions are kick-butt fun! NBA Jam displays superb graphics, flawless and addictive gameplay, one to four-player modes, and slam dunks that may literally end up in flames! Some sacrifices were made to squeeze this title onto consoles, meaning fewer sound effects and music tracks, but this remains the funnest competitive game in a long while.


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RaisingH - For GENESIS
Wiz 'n' Liz
Platformer | 16 MB
Release: Jan 1994
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A wizarding duo is in desperate need of some ingredients to prepare their spells just right. Collecting the proper bits can only be achieved by nabbing up tons of "wabbits," odd alien rabbit creatures, which grants you power-ups, spell characters, time extenders, and more. This arcade-style game is in some ways a throwback to coin-ops of yore: A simple yet addictive concept that requires no prior research or combo memorization. Your main challenge is to beat the clock, and to do so you must run faster than a naked squirrel through each winding stage. Blast processing was made for this!


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Sonic 3
Platformer | 16 MB
Release: Feb 1994
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Hot on the tail of CD, Chaos, and Spinball comes the newest iteration in the main series of spiny adventures with Sonic 3. Sega surprised us with a release on February 2nd (hours before printing, no less! -Jet), and boy are we overjoyed. 3 is packed with brand-new enemies, giant zones to explore, and much-improved stylized graphics to boot. You'll meet Knuckles and Echidna, a dastardly foe duped into siding with Dr. Robotnik, as well as elemental shield abilities, cool bonus stages, and a battery save system! We've even seen Snowboarding Sonic in Ice Cap Zone! Sega's work speaks for itself. Well done.


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Traveller's - For GENESIS
Puggsy
Puzzle-Platformer | 8 MB
Release: Jan 1994
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Puggsy is a cute action/puzzle game published by Psygnosis for the Genesis. It reminds us of some similarly styled Amiga games, but it's rather rare that these are ported to home consoles. Your objective as the titular character is to wander across various technicolor stages as the titular orange alien to collect pieces of a broken spaceship. Much like Wiz 'n' Liz, Puggsy is fun and suitable for all ages, but this cart is waaay slow. Prepare for Mach Negative 10 because this alien is in no rush at all. The animations are done well enough for an 8 MEG cart, but this one's nothing too special.


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Eternal Champions
1vs1 Fighting | 24 MB
Release: Dec 1993
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With every last combat game and its sister claiming to be the natural successor to SF2, its surely been proven that such a mantle is hard to attain. Eternal Champions overpromises and underdelivers dramatically. Movesets are basic, characters are unbalanced, the music is horrid, and glitches are running rampant! Now, onto the graphics. We admit the animations are quite good. But for a 24MB cart with this much hype, it falls short. Here's the skinny: EC is an all-around OK fighting game that in '92 may have blown audiences away. But these days, go for the real deal and stick with Capcom.


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GAU - For GENESIS
Ranger X
Action-Shooter | 8 MB
Release: Oct 1993
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Also known by its Japanese title "Ex-Ranza," Ranger X from GAU Entertainment and published by Sega is yet another fantastic action-shooter available now on Genesis. For a paltry 8 MB cart, its effects astounded us. The character sprites are well-textured and defined, the enemy types are varied, and the backgrounds are as detailed as a Picasso painting. Ranger X's color palette proves how the Genesis can easily match the SNES despite hardware limitations. Its controls are a bit unorthodox, and your tactics will need honing, but the chaotic carnage of this title is pure Sega fun.


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Mean Bean Machine
Puzzle | 8 MB
Release: Nov 1993
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Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a Sonic-themed puzzle game available now on Genesis. Memories of Tetris and Columns flooded the heads of our reviewers the minute this cart sprang into action, and could you blame us? We know full well these types of one-screen puzzle games have their audience, but our team wasn't overjoyed this time. The player drops multi-colored beans in the right order to make them vanish, and in turn drop colorless beans onto your opponent's screen. The loser is whomever suffers from a bean overdose, or in our case, from boredom playing this slow cart.


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Capcom - For GENESIS
SFII: SCE
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Fighting | 24 MB | Sept 1993
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If you've read through our Nintendo vs. Sega article from September, you'd know exactly how we feel about Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition and how it compares to Turbo on SNES. Frankly, we love it! First, get yourself a six-button controller before even thinking about buying this cart. With that taken care of, you'll have a blast. The whole package is a faithful carry-over from the arcades, complete with a lightning-fast speed mode and killer graphics. Our biggest gripe is in the sound department, but we'll gladly take it over Turbo's slowdown problem.


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Treasure - For GENESIS
Gunstar Heroes
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action-Shooter | 16 MB | Sept 1993
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This caught us by surprise! Now available for your Sega Genesis is Gunstar Heroes a fun and chaotic action game developed by Treasure. This cart is the first ever title published by this studio, and boy-oh-boy does this set the bar high. Gunstar is a kick-butt scrolling shooter game with non-stop action and intensity to keep you occupied. Think Contra paired with the speedy nature of Sonic. Excellent chip music, a diverse cast if baddies to fight, tough as nails combat, and beautiful stage design makes this a game worth your time and spare cash. Not to mention a sick 2-player mode!


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Virgin - For GENESIS
Aladdin
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Platformer | 16 MB | Oct 1993
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Riff raff. Street rat. We don't buy that! Disney's Aladdin on Genesis is the latest translation of an animated film to gaming consoles, and do not be deceived by the kid-friendly branding of this platformer, we had a heck of a time with this cart. As we mentioned in last issue's preview, Virgin Games brought aboard Disney animators to assist with this project, and their work shines in the fantastic sprite work and character movements. The addictive gameplay is above average and level variety hits the spot: from the streets of Agrabah to the halls of Jafar's Palace. Movie-quality magic!


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U.S. Gold - For GENESIS
Strider Returns
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | Sept 1993
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Since the success of the well-received Genesis port of Strider, many fans had high hopes for future titles. We at PPM were ecstatic to learn of a sequel in development. Yet, the final product is lacking in more areas than one. Strider Returns was not created by the same developers as the original, and once that fact is known everything comes into focus. The graphics took a nose-dive from Strider's 1990 outing, the controls feel somewhat sloppy, and the action is merely so-so. An abundance of digitized voices is a pleasant treat, however. Rent it if you're a die-hard fan of the ninja platformer, otherwise steer clear and replay the original.


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Sega - For GENESIS
Shinobi III
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | Sept 1993
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Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master comes to Sega Genesis with more challenging action than ever before. The Neo-Zeed criminal syndicate is taking over! Only Shinobi can take them on, sword in-hand. We found the latest entry in this beloved series much improved over 1991's Shadow Dancer in nearly every way (see, Strider II, you CAN improve upon a great title!) Players will discover smoother action scrolling, stronger bosses, new attacks, and some killer riding segments to boot. The premier Sega Ninja gets our vote of confidence, and we can say without a doubt it's worth a look or two, or three.


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Sunsoft - For GENESIS
Aero the Acro-Bat
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | August 1993
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Move over Sonic (and Bubsy.. and Sparkster...) here comes the official Sunsoft mascot, Aero the Acro-Bat!, in his very own 16-bit adventure on the Genesis. Aero is a nimble circus bat, capable of launching himself with an aerial drill attack and shooting star-shaped weapons at his many enemies. Stopping the nefarious Edgar Ektor from ruining our big-top fun is this batty hero's mission. So, Aero, what separates you from the furry competition? Beyond the flashy character design and amusing level arrangements, we struggle to come up with an answer. A commendable first foray, indeed - but we hope for more in the inevitable sequel!


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Arena - For GENESIS
Mortal Kombat
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Fighting | 8 MB | Sept 1993
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The arcade smash hit comes to a living room near you courtesy of two splendid console ports. Acclaim released their somewhat controversial interpretation of Mortal Kombat on SNES, bringing forth groans of disappointment from fans due to its lack of blood and gore. Worry not, with a special code, blood and gore can be unlocked in the Arena translation on Genesis! It's all there, just as you remember. Some voice samples are a bit choppy and the graphics are noticeably lesser quality than the original, but the Genesis version, with a six-button controller, easily surpasses the SNES'. "Get over here!" and play it today.


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Sonic Soft - For GENESIS
Shining Force
Game Type | Game Size | Release
RPG | 12 MB | July 1993
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Off in the mythical land of Rune, our fearless hero, Max, is sent on a journey to put an end to the notorious Commander Kane and prevent the return of dragons. Shining Force is meant as a sequel to 1991's Shining in the Darkness, yet this cart is an entirely different beast. This RPG takes place on a grid-based battlefield, and has the player strategically move and interact with characters not unlike a chess board. Each party member has his or her own unique skillset, personality, and leveling system. If you enjoy titles like Dragon Warrior, then this will absolutely be up your alley! Give it a try!


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Sega - For GENESIS
Jurassic Park
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | August 1993
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Making its roaring debut on the Sega Genesis, Steven Spielberg's dino-tastic film makes its way to the video game front. Jurassic Park is being advertised as an action-packed thriller matching the likes of Flackback, using state-of-the-art Silicon Graphics computer technology and stop motion photography. The game is quite fun but not Delphine level. This licensed title gives the player the choice to play as a human or a dino and set out on a platforming adventure either to rescue trapped visitors or escape the facility. Atmospheric graphical eye candy aplenty, but subpar gameplay and controls hurt its score.


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Sunsoft - For GENESIS
Blaster Master 2
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | June 1993
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This sequel to the cult classic run-and-gun NES title, Blaster Master, has all of the welcome upgrades we expect from the latest 16-bit-ers without losing any of the original's charm. You control Jason, a small infantryman nestled inside of a lightweight tank named SOPHIA, and have the option of traversing the colorful, graphically diverse landscape either on-foot or in your vehicle. It does play far more like an NES game than a Genesis cart and chooses not to push the envelope in any department, but take that as you will. We've found this one is quite a fun and addicting arcade-like platformer.


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Konami - For GENESIS
Rocket Knight Adv.
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | August 1993
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Move over Sonic and Bubsy, here comes a new face on the mascot scene. Rocket Knight stars an ambitious, speedy possum named Sparkster chock full of personality and abilities (and awful cuddly too). Our possum friend uses a special jetpack to boost across the screen and damage enemies, and like all possums, he can use his tail to hang upside-down! Konami's sprites are very well animated, the gameplay is exemplary, and with over 30 levels, there is plenty to work through on this cart. As far as action-platformers are concerned, Rocket Knight is among the best in our book. Highly recommended for all ages.


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Delphine - For GENESIS
Flashback
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 12 MB | Feb 1993
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Delphine Software strikes back with a brilliant iteration of Flashback for the Genesis. Utilizing cinematic polygon graphics much like the lauded Out of This World, this new quest pits man vs. mystery as you see to learn more about a strange alien planet. We're astounded that all six fun and memorable levels could fit on a standard Sega cart. Unless you have a pricey PC, this is the version to get.


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Sega - For GENESIS
Cool Spot
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | April 1993
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A video game based on the 7-Up mascot? In most cases, we would share your skepticism. Yet Cool Spot is no less thrilling and rewarding as any other action platformer on the market. As the aforementioned red spot, collect soda bottles and mounds of dots on your way to rescue some kidnapped friends. This one's nothing complex or groundbreaking, but it's commendable all around.


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Sega - For GENESIS
X-Men
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | April 1993
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Smash up Magneto's minions and take control of one of four X-Men superheroes; Cyclops, Wolverine, Gambit, or Nightcrawler. Graphics and animation for an 8-Meg cart are OK, but this isn't the greatest comics-based game available on the Genesis. If you're a die-hard fan of the genre, you may love this one, but otherwise the choppy, lackluster side-scrolling gameplay is a major turn-off for us.


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Sunsoft - For GENESIS
Superman
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | Dec 1992
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Not a bird, ne'er a plane. The Man of Steel himself makes his way to the Sega Genesis courtesy of Sunsoft (the makers of Batman). As Superman, fight the baddies with your ultra super powers and safe Metropolis from the forces of evil! This game is extremely challenging, requiring fast reflexes, albeit faithful to the comic hero.


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Sega - For GENESIS
Chakan
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | Dec 1992
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Based upon the comic book of the same name, Sega's eerie title Chakan: The Forever Man is a challenging romp through dark lairs and bat-infested castles. If you are up for a Genesis platformer with tons of slashing and thrashing, plus a hearty tinge of frustration, this may be worth picking up. At least you have unlimited lives!


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Konami - For GENESIS
TMNT Hyperstone
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Brawler | 8 MB | Dec 1992
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For all you SEGA cats who felt left out with the sweet Turtles cart on the Nintendo platform, the wait is over at long last. Hyperstone Heist is quite a lot like the SNES title, including all four of our favorite Heroes in a Half-Shell, yet the game is a touch short for our taste and our reviewers found the cart too easy! TMNT is out now!


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EA - For GENESIS
Road Rash 2
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Racing | 8 MB | Dec 1992
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Take a long ride on the ol' highway with the long-awaited sequel, Road Rash 2 from Electronic Arts. This game improves on basically everything from the original classic, giving the player fifteen new bikes to choose from and split-screen, two-player action! You gotta play ruthlessly to make it to the top! Do you have what it takes?


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Ecco the Dolphin
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Adventure | 8 MB | Dec 1992
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Something smells like tuna! Is it Sunkist's Charlie? No, it's Ecco the bottle-nosed dolphin, a sea-dwelling creature tasked with protecting his family and friends from a mysterious force. This unique title allows the player to control the dolphin itself through some beautiful, albeit challenging, levels. Take a ride with Ecco asap for a brand-new experience!


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Sonic 2
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Platformer | 8 MB | Nov 1992
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Sonic fans, your prayers have been answered! The blue devil is back and, indeed, better than ever. This sequel comes packed with a wallop from the start, flaunting corkscrew spins and loops a'plenty. Doctor Robotnik's robots plague the wilderness, and with eiter one or two players, you can bounce them to oblivion. Nearly everying is improved, from music to level design. Believe the hype, players!


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SEGA - For GENESIS
Sports Talk Football
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Sports | 12 MB | Nov 1992
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Play as your favorite NFL team and try your darndest to win on the ol' grid iron. Madden has its merits and its die-hard fans, but our sports crew found this game a surprising close-match. Character and announcer voices keep the realistic feel, and a fair variety of plays as your disposal keep the replay value high. ST FB does well with the task, but in truth you may want to hold on for Madden '93.


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Virgin - For GENESIS
Global Gladiators
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Platformer | 8 MB | Oct 1992
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In this Virgin Games adventure, take control of Mick and Mack as they look to rid the world of a goop-infested species of monsters. Despite the obvious cash-grab nature of this McDonalds-licensee, the game itself is solid enough. The gameplay is fair for a standard platformer and the sound design is nothing to sneeze at. Is it worth the price tag? Our reviewers aren't sure.


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RazorSft - For GENESIS
Death Duel
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | Oct 1992
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In the year 2140, You, the last duelist of the Federation, must eliminate the alien scum taking over the galaxy! This is a first-person shooter game, meaning you will likely wish you had access to a light gun of some sort to take down the baddies. There are plenty of stages and ways to upgrade your arsenal, but the lack of variety leaves this a fun rental, but not much else.


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