"Sega doesn't have the same kind of marketing strength as Nintendo. We never felt that we needed a license (with Sega). We're still in negotiation with Sega, but we didn't feel that we needed their trademark on our products."
- Trip Hawkins (CEO of Electronic Arts), VG&CE August 1990

Leave no shadow unblasted...
Shadow Blasters
Sage's Creation
4 megabits

I know very little about this game, but it was supposed to be like Mystic Defender, so it can't be all bad, can it?

"There's a little bit of everything in this game, including a lot of atmosphere, some awesome graphics and a few real surprises of the "just when you thought it was over"... variety."
- Joshua Mandel, VG&CE November 1990

"This action game is an insult to my intelligence. Don't waste your time or money. There are better games to spend it on. Graphics and game play, YUK. I give it a 3 for the music also."
- G. O. G., Mega Play January/February 1991

A later revision of this ad invited players to send away for a limited edition Insector X CD soundtrack. I wonder how many people actually did...
Insector X
Sage's Creation
4 megabits

By this point, the whole "side-scrolling-shooter" thing was getting a bit old on the Genesis system. I've never played this one, and I've only heard bad things about it, but VG&CE seemed to like it...

"Insector X does for side-view shoot-'em-ups what Altered Beast did for side-view beat-'em-ups."
- Howard H. Wen, VG&CE October 1990

Despite its title, Whip Rush featured surprisingly few whips or rushes...
Whip Rush
4 megabits

Another side-view shoot-'em-up. They seemed to be churning out dozens of these per month back then...

"The graphics are outstanding. While one or two Genesis arcade games suffer a bit from overkill, when the eye gets dazzled and confused just by the wealth of on-screen happenings, the designers of Whip Rush have made even the most active, colorful screens detailed and complex, but not overly confusing."
- Neil Shapiro, VG&CE November 1990

Remember all those other zones? Well, this one comes after those...
Final Zone
4 megabits

A weird-looking overhead perspective action game of some sort, Final Zone sported a graphical style similar to Renovation's side-scrolling shooters.

4 megabits

Another entry into the prolific "puzzle" genre of the early 90s, Klax took coloured-tile-matching into the third dimension. There were versions of this game for several systems, with the Atari Lynx version (surprisingly) often regarded as the best of the bunch.

"True to the basic premise of the genre, Klax is a game that's very simple to pick up, but with subtleties of strategy that will keep you, and the whole family, coming back again and again."
- Gary Meredith, Game Player's Sega Genesis Strategy Guide February/March, 1991

Lakers vs Celtics and the NBA Playoffs
Electronic Arts
4 megabits

Part of EA's first wave of Genesis titles, this game seems to have faded from most people's memory because of the tremendous success of John Madden Football.

"Although not complex enough to rate as an actual simulation, Lakers vs. Celtics plays a pretty hot game of basketball."
- Clayton Walnum, VG&CE January 1991

"There's only one true 16-bit system." Meow!
1 megabit

Tetris was a huge hit for Nintendo in the early 1990s (and a big disaster for Tengen, but that's another story...), so Sega no doubt felt they needed a popular puzzle game of their own. The fruit of their labours was Columns, a surprisingly addictive colour-matching puzzle game with an appealing classical look and musical score. I actually prefer this game to Tetris, but then I also liked Mystic Defender...

"Two of the most popular puzzle games these days are Tetris and Klax. Wanting a similar contest for the Genesis, Sega has taken the themes from both of these successful titles, combined them and come up with Columns, a colorful and intriguing game of strategy - and, of course, a guaranteed hit."
- Clayton Walnum, VG&CE November 1990

"I guess it's not so bad."
- Bart, Mega Play January/February 1991

The TechnoCop "teaser" ad.
4 megabits

In the early days of the Genesis system, some people thought that Sega would allow a much greater variety of game styles and genres to be developed than was possible on the NES. Nintendo was very restrictive at the time in terms of what kind of content was "acceptable" for a game released on their console.

TechnoCop's level of graphic violence got it a lot of attention, perhaps more than RazorSoft would have liked. Ironically, their next Genesis game, Stormlord, wound up being censored by Sega because it contained "nude" female statues in some scenes. Apparently someone at Sega forgot to play Mystic Defender!

"The criminals literally explode, leaving only a quivering pile of blood and guts. The visual effect can be unsettling, even shocking. For this reason, the game's manufacturer places a Parental Advisory notice on the box, warning that some might be offended by TechnoCop's depiction of violence carried to its grim conclusion."
- Phil Powell, Game Player's Sega Genesis Strategy Guide February/March, 1991

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