SegaDoes Episode 28: The Mega Drive / Genesis

 

Sonic2

 

Well, that was a scary four months. Yes, the SegaDoes Podcast returns triumphant with an all new episode detailing the greatness of the Mega Drive. And the Mega Drive is super cool and everything, but guys… the podcast is back.

Sam recently bought some new, presumably expensive recording equipment that more or less allows us to record the podcast in one shot. This quick way of recording saves him hours of time previously spent editing, hence why the podcast is feasible once again. And just in time for the holidays!

In answer to your next question, yes, we will be going back through and taking a gander at some of the games we missed in the months we were away. For completion’s sake, but also because I’m still knee deep in NES books and not churning out reviews as quickly as I used to.

But enough of my written blathering. Here’s the audio blathering that you came here for: Episode 28

I’ll also be putting a link up to the earlier podcasts now that they’re all back on segadoes.libsyn.com. Enjoy the episode! Leave comments below! WE’RE BACK!!!

 

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29 thoughts on “SegaDoes Episode 28: The Mega Drive / Genesis

  1. Great to have an additional UK perspective on all Sega. I often read these marvelous, well-documented, retrospectives on games and the greater gaming/cultural context in wich they are to be situated(especially the ones from Jeremy Parisch) .. only to later find out that these games were never released in Europe or that they played a completely different role wthin our european gaming frramework.

    I kinda wish there was a european “Parish”- equivalant. If there is, please let me know!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great news, really missed the podcast!

    My highlight was the episode where you and Sam were arguing over Alex Kidd and The Lost Stars…probably the most I’ve laughed while stuck in traffic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to see you guys back with the Podcast. When I got my Mega Drive II working again this year I ordered two 6-button controllers which are so much nicer to use than the original monkey pad. I don’t think the original is as bad as all that but its just not that comfortable.

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  4. First of all I’m exstatic the podcast is back. A little about me and the Genesis. So I was the kid with a SMS. I’d say I was buying games through June of 1989. So I remember seeing some game magazines on the newsstand with cover stories on the new Genesis and TG`16. I was exstatic. The Genesis Video games and computer entertainment cover really sold me on the system.

    http://community.retromags.com/gallery/?module=images&section=img_ctrl&img=2103&file=max

    The graphics looked so amazing and the screen shots looked unlike,anything you would believe would be at home. It truly was arcade like. The Altered Beast screens looked pretty much identical. And the ghouls and ghosts shots had me hooked. I remember thinking at the time how graphics couldn’t get any better. (Silly me). I sold all of my SMS games to start saving up to one of those magazine game trade in company’s. In August I was calling Toyrs R Us every day. So finally on a Friday I stopped by they had it. (I believe that was the 18th.) So I came home and had to borrow 20.00 from my parents and came back on Sunday and purchased it. It truly was a revelation at the time how good it was. As far as the sound. I think on the model one the only way you could get stereo out was through the headphone jack. So my dad had a lot of stereo equipment and I’d hook RCA cables up from the headphone jack to his amp and it sounded so good. There was a surprisingly large amount of stereo effects going on in those early Genesis games. Especially the techno soft games. People who bag on the Genesis music irritate me. That system had such good sound capabilities. Generally though Japanese games sounded much better than Americsn ones. And Americsn ones are what people tend to associate with the metallic sound. It’s an FM sound chip , you can make anything you want. Your music largely was based on how good your library was you composed from. Japanese composers tended to make their own custom library’s. So each developer had a distinct sound on the Genesis. Most Americsn games used the GEMS sound library which is what you associate with that metallic guitar heavy sound. It’s a shame people listen to that and bad mouth the the Genesis sound capability. In many ways it was more true music than the SNES. The SNES sounded great, but it’s sound chip mainly used samples as instruments. And most developers used the default Nintendo sample library. Which is why many SNES games are all trumpety, and more soft sounding. You listen to enough SNES music, you can hear the loops on the samples being slightly off making compositions sound a little off from real music. I much prefer Genesis sound. SNES music was of course great due to the great composers who made music on it. I just don’t like the more muffled orchestral sound.

    A couple more things. First it’s F-16 fighting falcon that uses an sg-1000 graphic mode making it incompatible with the Genesis. Second. Objectively the Genesis pad was better than the NES pad. If you factor out the nostalgia factor. It’s more ergonomic and works great. It’s not my favorite controller but I don’t have a problem with it. I especially enjoy the button arrangement horizontally. Coming from arcade games I usually still to,this day hold controllers such that I push the buttons with my fingers and not my thumb. Even on the NES. With the Genesis bad I could have all three middle fingers comfortably on all three buttons due to the cruelest not cutting into my hand. It was perfect for me. If anything it was a little large. The six button controller came out day and date with SF2 Championship edition in the US. This controller is my favorite controller of all time. I still use it today if I’m going to play 2d games on PC. It is small making a perfect fit in your hands. Has a great d pad. The top and bottom row of buttons have a different tactile feel to avoid confusion. And it’s a simple finger extension to reach the upper row. It is the best controller ever for fighting games. A lot of pro fighting games players to this day still use this controller or the Sega Saturn Japanese controller as their default game pad control. I don’t believe they packed this in with hardware. If they did it wouldn’t have been till the Genesis 3. As I said I have nothing against the stock e button, but who would ever go back to that when you have the six button.

    For the interview in the Sega Genesis Collected Works book with the hardware engineer, the system was based on the System 16 arcade board. With less ram and slightly slower processor speed. So was basically meant to bring home segas 87-88 era arcade games. What many people don’t know is that the Genesis can output higher resolution than the SNES. On paper the SNES has a high resolution mode. But it can only be used for menus. In practice there was only one game that tried and it run sub 20 fps. The Genesis had many games I. The high resolution mode. Sonic @ runs at a higher resolution than any SNES game for example.

    It’s hard to critique Sega on their decisions too much. Sega actually at peak achieved 65 percent market share in the US. And they supported the Genesis all the way to 95-96.in 93 and 94 there were a lot of great releases still coming out. The 32 X was obviously ill advised. (Though it was a cool piece of hardware) but the Sega CD was great. Obviously Sega was headed in the right direction with it. As the next gen was all cd based. Sony cut their teeth working with Sega CD before the Playststion. The PC Engine CD actually was way before segas add on. And of course Nintendo twice attempted to make their own CD add on. In fact not going CD was one of the things that sunk Nintendo. They never really recovered from going cartridge with N64. They lost that generation to Sony. And Sega to an extent. They rebounded with the Wii but really have never been on top again like they were at the end of the SNES era when they just barely edged out Sega in 16 bit hardware sales.I don’t blame Sega for that. It’s where the industry was going. And the Sega CD was fairly successful. It had some great games. I think the mistake Sega made was going all in on it and trying to be a media production studio. They spent millions making a multimedia studio i. Redwood city CA for multimedia games, when that wasn’t what people really wanted yet. It was better used to make longer regular games and and add more graphical flourishes to existing games. I don’t know what Sam is talking about but Sonic CD was great. That is the kind of game Sega should have made more of , not stuff like night trap. The Sega CD actually had a lot of separate processing hardware giving it scaling capabilities on par exceeding those of the SNES. You’ll eventually play some of these games. Most are forgotten. I think segas real problem was the discord between Japan and us. Kalinske knew from his toy background no one was going to buy a 400.00 game machine. He wanted to add capability so to the Genesis. Sega of Japan forced the Saturn out. Which designed to handle Segas model 1 arcade games. Which it did. But didn’t have the raw 3D power of the PS. And was 100.00 more. But the Saturn was a 2D beast. I love the Saturn. To rally appreciate it you really have to import a lot of games thoug. Remember the Saturn was a huge success in Japan for Sega. And not so much here. Saturn outsold PS in Japan for two solid years until 97 when FF7 came out. The Saturn is Segas most successful console on Japan. Being the case, it has the most unlocalized games of any system. Huge unreleased library of imports.

    I’ll agree with you on Sonic Adventure. I’ve never been able to get into it. I don’t know if it’s bad because I’ve never played more than 2 levels. I don’t like Sonic Adventure 2 though. The knuckles levels killed it for me.

    Anyway I loved the Genesis. It had great titles on every genre. Action, sports, RPGs , strategy. The SNES really had them beat with RPGs but it wasn’t like there weren’t any o. The Genesis. I feel the Genesis overall had a better library. And that’s why they overtook Nintendo. Along with Nintendo sitting on the SNES for years thinking their NES market share was unassuaged. It was an error of hubris that cost them a lot. One that really, they never fully recovered from. If Nintendo had released their system earlier (they had SNES ready for a year or two sitting on milking the NES) they may have never ceded dominance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry, that may have been my longest post ever. Didn’t realize how long it went till I posted,guess I just really had a lot to say. Looking forward to more Genesis reviews. Are you going to finish off SMS for the year first of interspace the. With Genesis games, because a lot of Genesis titles were released in Japan already that you haven’t covered that came out before some of the SMS titles you’ve reviewed this year. (I’m assuming your doing most of this years SMS alphabetically based on release date ambiguity)

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    • All I have to say is, any time you want to be a guest on the podcast, Sean, let me know. Your wealth of information is astounding.

      I can’t wait to dive into the Genesis, Sega CD, 32X, and Saturn (even Game Gear, why not). This was the Sega era I grew up with and there are so many games I never got to play, due to being wrapped up in SNES.

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  5. I’ve been listening to some of the old podcast episodes lately since I was really starting to miss them, so I am really happy to see the show’s glorious return! It sounds better than ever and the background music is a welcome addition.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just to let you know, having trouble getting iTunes to reckonise a show that had once been taken done. I am currently in talks with Apple to resolve the issue. You should be able to download the episodes from segadoes.libsyn.com and you should be able to manually use the rss feed there and insert it into what ever podcast apps you use. I will keep you posted, thanks, sam ‘ that British guy from the show ‘

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  7. Most excellent happy news! Do you know if it will be back on an RSS feed? I use some silly podcast software on my android phone called pocketcast and I’m too far gone to switch from it. I can always just download the hard file and send it to my phone, but the other way is easier 🙂

    Glad you’re back!

    Liked by 1 person

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