"Everyone expected to be wowed by Nintendo's system. But that's not what happened ... The SNES isn't the threat to Sega many thought it might be. In fact, several software company sources felt Genesis came through this first round [Summer CES] with flying colours."
- Matthew A. Firme, Game Player's Sega Genesis Strategy Guide August/September 1991

Toe Jam and Earl... Leading the 16-bit revolution!
Toe Jam And Earl
4 megabits

In late 1991, Toe Jam & Earl was often mentioned in the same sentence as Sonic the Hedgehog, being part of the second generation of Genesis games which had finally started to make full use of the system's hardware. The game was very well received by the press, and would eventually spawn a side-scrolling Genesis sequel.

I will admit that Toe Jam & Earl never really appealed to me, so I have sadly never played the game. From what I understand, gameplay consisted of searching for missing parts of Toe Jam and Earl's space ship, all the while avoiding the crazy humans and such who weren't happy about their presence on earth. Much attention was given to the game's "funkadelic" soundtrack, which apparently gave SNES audio a run for its money.

"The graphics are goofy, the tunes are undisputably the funkiest anywhere and the humor is out of this world! I recommend it for anyone who likes a good laugh."
- Sushi-X, EGM November 1991

"It tends to get boring after a while because all you do is walk around."
- G.O.G., Mega Play September/October 1991

"Exciting additional special stage"? I'm there, dude...
Raiden Trad
8 megabits

Raiden has often been regarded as a "classic" vertically scrolling shooter; an oldie but a goodie from which numerous later shooters drew much of their inspiration.

Although I have only played the Jaguar version of Raiden, I will say that despite its somewhat straightforward approach (there are really only two different types of main weaponry which can be increased in power, and the graphics lack much in the way of effects or parallax scrolling) it is still quite fun to play. While the difficulty level is actually set rather high, the game is well designed in that the player can memorise enemy patterns and get a little bit further with each succesive play.

The Genesis version of Raiden features an "exciting additional special stage" which I understand is incredibly difficult to clear. Whether you consider this to be a good or a bad thing will rather depend upon how "hard core" a shooter fan you are...

"This game is not as varied as Thunder Force III, but for a straightforward shoot-'em-up it serves its purpose."
- Glenn Rubenstein, VG&CE November 1991

"This game is a virtual carbon copy of the arcade classic."
- Mike, Mega Play September/October 1991

I think RazorSoft tried a little too hard to make this game look ultra-violent.
6 megabits

This one-on-one fighting game started out as a port of a PC title called Tongue of the Fatman, and was subsequently renamed Mondu's Fight Palace for the Genesis version. I'm not familiar with the chain of events that resulted in the game winding up in Razorsoft's hands, but they probably decided to rename the game SlaughterSport so that it would better fit in with the rest of their software lineup.

Unique gameplay technique, or Sega running out of ideas? You be the judge...
4 megabits

DecapAttack is a side-scrolling action/platform game in the traditional Sega style, only it features a main character who hurls his head at approaching enemies. Despite its unique theme, the game received mixed reviews and has never been revisited by Sega...

"One of the first things that the gamer will notice about DecapAttack is the game's highly addicting degree of game play. The first time I played the game was at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show back in June, and every time I had a rare free moment, I found myself heading back to the Sega booth for more."
- Mike Davila, VG&CE December 1991

"If you like a game where you attack people with your stomach then this is a great game."
- G.O.G., Mega Play September/October 1991

From the people who would eventually bring you Tomb Raider...
Chuck Rock
Virgin / Core Design
4 megabits

Chuck Rock was one of the first (if not the first) Genesis games coded by Core Design, the company that would later go on to produce games such as Wonder Dog, Jaguar XJ220, Thunderstrike, Soul Star, Battle Corps, and Chuck Rally for the Sega CD, and later the Tomb Raider series for PlayStation and Saturn.

"This game blew me away completely! Chuck Rock is great fun from beginning to end!"
- G.O.G., Mega Play January/February 1992

More polygonal Genesis action.
F-22 Interceptor
Electronic Arts
4 megabits

Getting a polygonal flight simulator to run on a sub-8MHz 68000 processor was no doubt a daunting task for EA's programmers, but they managed to do a pretty decent job with F-22. One of the highlights of this game for me was the ability to launch a missle at a target and then have the camera switch to the perspective of the projectile as it seeks out its prey. Kind of impressive next to Air Diver!

"This game is not a high-speed shootout but instead it's one of the smoothest, most detailed flight simulators I've ever seen on a home game system."
- Steve Harris, EGM January 1992

"Are you TUFF ENUFF!!??"
KaGeKi Fists Of Steel
Sage's Creation
4 megabits

KaGeKi was one of those Genesis games that was announced what seemed like ages before it was actually released. That being said, it's release date wouldn't have made much difference to me anyway, as I had no intention of buying a goofy-looking beat-em-up like this :)

"You have more moves than a cheerleader."
John Madden Football '92
Electronic Arts
4 megabits

The second Madden title for Genesis introduced the world to the concept of updating sports games every year with new features and player stats.

This sequel was universally regarded as superior to Sega's Joe Montana Sportstalk Football, the sequel to the original Joe Montana football game. Sega wouldn't give up, however, and so continued the EA / Sega Sports Genesis rivalry.

"Madden '92 destroys the competition once more with a football title light-years ahead of its predecessor!"
- Sushi-X, EGM January 1992

"For two years in a row EA has made the best football game on the market ... Sorry Joe, that's twice in a row."
- Bart, Mega Play November/December 1991

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