"With Sega absolutely destroying Nintendo with their hyper cool comparison ads, you've got to wonder if Nintendo remembered to check the flight list before taking off..."
- Quartermann, EGM November 1991

Quite possibly the worst ad Sega ever produced...
Streets Of Rage
4 megabits

Streets of Rage was part of Sega's "second wave" of Genesis software, which benefitted from three years of Mega Drive programming experience. Electronic Gaming Monthly reviewed Streets of Rage and SNES Final Fight side by side and concluded that Sega's title was clearly the superior game.

The graphics in Streets of Rage are quite good, with details such as twinkling lights and wind-blown trash commonplace in the background. The game's visuals would ultimately be completely overshadowed, however, by its own 1992 sequel (which should come as no surprise, as part 2 came on a 16 megabit cartridge!).

What really makes Streets of Rage stand out even to this day, though, is its unbelievable soundtrack. Yuzo Koshiro's tuneage for this game deserves particular mention because it is uniformly excellent, even by his high standards. You can actually play some of the music from Streets of Rage through a stereo system, and if you stand a few feet away you'd be hard pressed to tell that it's not CD audio. I'd actually go so far as to say that many of the tunes in the first game are superior to those found in the second, despite it's greater storage capacity.

Streets of Rage is truly a Sega classic, and one of the best Genesis games ever released. It would eventually come packaged as part of a Sega "greatest hits" collection CD-ROM with the Sega CD system. Despite being put on CD, Sega wisely left the game's soundtrack alone...

"Fighting games are not my cup of tea, but this cart totally blew me away from beginning to end. The game play is so good it puts all other fighting games, including Final Fight, to shame."
- Martin Alessi, EGM August 1991

"Have you been craving a hot fist-fighting type game for your Genesis? Well, now you can start dancing in the streets, Streets of Rage that is!"
- Doctor Dave, GamePro October 1991

The large mouth helps remind readers of this game's unique "Sportstalk" feature. Or something.
Joe Montana II Sportstalk Football
8 megabits

As you might guess, the second game in the Joe Montana series made extensive use of digitised speech. Oddly, the game also made use of playfield scaling, something the Genesis hardware wasn't supposed to be able to do...

Joe Montana II Sportstalk Football received an honourable mention in the "Most Innovative Video Game" category in Video Games & Computer Entertainment's third annual game awards.

"The digitized speech is some of the cleanest that I've ever heard on the Genesis. Whenever I played Sportstalk Football and someone was in the adjacent room, I was usually asked what game was on TV. The inherent raspy-metallic audio that seems to afflict the Genesis is nowhere to be found here."
- Mike Davila, VG&CE December 1991

"Unfortunately, even though Montana 2 is better than the first game, it's not even close to Madden '92. There's always next year, Joe!"
- Sushi-X, EGM January 1992

"Joe Montana II's awesome graphics and excellent gameplay set it among the leaders of the video football league. The unprecedented Sports Talk feature catapults this cart into a category all its own - just like Joe Montana!"
- The Weekend Warrior, GamePro December 1991

Perhaps Michael J. Fox looks so horrified in this ad because he's just played Back to the Future III...
Back To The Future III
4 megabits

I know very little about this game, but contemporary reviews labelled it as licenced crap.

"Hope you have a receipt because this cart is going back to the toy store."
- Bart, Mega Play January/February 1992

No slow balls around here.
Speedball 2
4 megabits

Urgh, another futuristic sports game. This one was apparently inferior to Powerball, for what it's worth...

"While I give this game a couple of points for at least trying to give us something new and different, the execution and control just don't deliver."
- Steve Harris, EGM October 1991

"I don't like this game."
- Bart, Mega Play September/October 1991

Pioneered by EA, now Arena gets in on the act of dissing previous RPGs in their ads.
4 megabits

A strategy game which supposedly featured some realtime combat elements, Battlemaster seems to have come and gone without much fanfare.

"Battlemaster is an epic adventure cart of epic proportions. Trying to combine engaging RPG with satisfying hack-n-slash action is the current rage, and Arena's made a worthy attempt."
- Slo Mo, GamePro December 1991

"The graphics need work and the quest is too nebulous. This must have been a computer game."
- Bart, Mega Play January/February 1992

"Amazingly Exciting!"
Heavy Nova
8 megabits

Heavy Nova started life as a Mega-CD title in Japan. Bignet must have been inpatient to get the game released in North America, though, because they stripped out the CD quality music and brought the game out here as an 8 megabit cartridge instead of waiting for the domestic release of the Sega CD.

The rather James Bond-ish Rolling Thunder 2 ad.
Rolling Thunder 2
8 megabits

Another arcade conversion from Namco, the people who brought you Burning Force!

"Is it just me or are these new beat-'em-up games becoming increasingly impossible in difficulty to complete? Case in point is Rolling Thunder 2. Even with unlimited continues (you'll need every one of them), this game is tough - real tough."
- Howard H. Wen, VG&CE January 1992

"The graphics will grab ya'. They don't explore new territory, but they're nicely drawn and painted with bright colors. The main characters, Albatross and Leila, sport the classic Rolling Thunder look - thin and leggy."
- Ugg the Bug, GamePro December 1991

Somehow I doubt too many gamers would trade Sonic for James Pond...
James Pond II, Codename: Robocod
Electronic Arts
4 megabits

EA ditched the unique gameplay of the first Pond title in favour of a more traditional action/platform style for the sequel. The critics approved!

"Great action, fantastic backgrounds, a wide variety of different levels and decent game play set this game head and fin above the rest."
- Ed Semrad, EGM January 1992

"I didn't like the first Pond at all, but this is what a sequel should be. Great game play filled with techniques and loads of different power-ups."
- Bart, Mega Play November/December 1991

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