Sega extols the virtues of their "seal of quality"... ...while EA shills their 4 Way Play adapter with nary a Sega Seal in sight! EA's latest games poster, posted here for posterity.

Mode 7, shmode 7!
Jaguar XJ220

To this day, I am amazed that Jaguar XJ220 has never gotten the acclaim it so richly deserves. Produced by Core, the company that went on to create the Tomb Raider franchise, Jaguar XJ220 was the first home racing game to feature smooth, arcade-style scaling on each and every huge and detailed sprite in the game. The soundtrack is also noteworthy, consisting of a groovy mix of electronic and acoustic sounds mixed perfectly to complement the onscreen action, and all in the crystal clear redbook audio format.

Gameplay in Jaguar XJ220 is equally innovative. Aside from the standard assortment of single race and championship modes, the game also features a split screen two player mode where both players can compete on the same team across an entire championship season, earning points from each race and working towards a common goal.

Cooler still is the game's track editor mode, which lets players design their own courses to race upon and then save them to the Sega CD's internal memory. The editor is surprisingly detailed, giving players control over not only the size and shape of their track's layout, but the height and depth of its hills and valleys as well. Trackside scenery is also under the player's control, and with a large array of sprites to choose from, custom tracks can be as densely populated or as spartan in their decor as the player desires.

It's a shame that few other developers were ever able to eke as much power out of the Sega CD hardware as Core Design. The mind reels at what Sega could have achieved, for example, with ports to this system of their "super scaler" arcade titles, such as Space Harrier, Galaxy Force and Thunder Blade. Perhaps the advantages of games like Jaguar XJ220 were difficult to convey in still screenshots in magazines, so full motion video reigned supreme instead. It's a shame nonetheless that the true power of the Sega CD remained dormant throughout most of the system's brief lifespan...

"JVC/Core has produced the first home scaling racer and established a target that's going to redefine home racing games. You'll no longer be able to stomach lurching sprites and buildings that are shorter than the car you're driving."
- Sgt. Gamer, GameFan June 1993

Green hair never goes out of style...
Time Gal

Although Renovation's Time Gal is technically a Full Motion Video game, history seems to have been kinder to its cartoon brethren (such as Dragon's Lair) than live-action titles like Ground Zero Texas. Time Gal was very well received upon its North American release for a game belonging to such a critically unpopular genre.

"The animations are truly top notch as was the challenge which got progressively harder as you moved ahead in time. The soundtrack is CD quality and the game play is very precise. Overall, one of the best CD games out there."
- Steve Harris, EGM April 1993

Screw "Fido Dido"!
Cool Spot
8 megabits

In the early nineties, the mascot for 7-Up beverages was a little red dot who wore sunglasses. Cool Spot marked the character's first foray onto the Genesis system, and is most notable for the fact that the game was written by David Perry. Perry, of course, would go on to great fame/fortune with the release of Shiny Entertainment's multiplatform adventure title Earthworm Jim in 1994.

"Somehow, Sega manages to squeak in the cutest character to ever hit the TV airwaves, add tons of intricate graphic details, plenty of techniques, and a sense of humor! Cool Spot is the coolest spot around town, and this is one license that didn't get away!"
- Sushi-X, EGM May 1993

At least we hope that's his gun...
Electronic Arts
8 megabits

I always kind of thought that B.O.B. was a pretty cool character design, but his first game wasn't terribly well received and as far as I'm aware he has never been heard from again.

Maybe Jon Madden sat on him...

"The added gadgets may save this one for some, but with competition like Rocket Knight and Sonic, B.O.B.'s going to need a major overhaul to win me over."
- GameFan June 1993

"B.O.B. is a cute character and his many antics and death scenes are amusing, but he suffers from Bubsy's disease: too much cuteness and not enough game play."
- Steve Harris, EGM August 1993

Where's Mr. Sulu when you need him?
8 megabits

There were never very many space flight simulators available for game consoles in the early nineties, but here we have Accolade bucking the trend and venturing out in the vanguard, as it were, with WarpSpeed. Few seem to have noticed, though...

Be the velociraptor!
Jurassic Park
16 megabits

Sega scored something of a licensing coup with Jurassic Park, the biggest blockbuster of 1993 and a great premise for a video game. Opinion is divided on the extent to which they succeeded in capturing the excitement of the film in this scrolling action/platform title, but all was not lost. Sega would spread the dinosaur-hunting joy over the course of several months, with the unique Sega CD version of the game not available until well into 1994.

"The marketing people at Sega seem to think that this is their big game for the fall. Too bad, Gunstar and Silpheed are games, this is a license."
- Sgt. Gamer, GameFan September 1993

"The best aspect is being able to play as the Raptor! Turning the tables on your would-be captors (usually by pouncing on them and chomping them down) is a blast!"
- Steve Harris, EGM September 1993

Mutant scum never learn!
Blaster Master 2
8 megabits

Sunsoft's Blaster Master franchise made the leap from the NES to the Genesis in 1993. Featuring a mix of scrolling battle-tank action and more traditional platforming on foot, Blaster Master 2 proved to be a critical success but as far as I'm aware was the last game released in this series for the Genesis system.

"Oh what a few years will do! I was always a BIG fan of the original Blaster Master, and this enhanced version takes the original concept over the top with better graphics, better sounds, and better play. BM never really seemed to get the attention it deserved years ago - now there's a new chance to right that wrong!"
- Steve Harris, EGM June 1993

EA: A class act, as always...
General Chaos
Electronic Arts
8 megabits

For some reason, war video games in the nineties tended to be turn-based strategic contests. With General Chaos, EA took a more action-oriented approach to the genre and struck a chord with gamers in the process.

"The graphic animations and battles are absolutely hilarious - especially the fist-fights between two individuals! The one-player game is also a blast, with tons of options to choose from."
- Mike Weigand, EGM October 1993

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