"I think Sega has done a very nice job. They can react a lot quicker than Nintendo can. Nintendo, however, is more stable; you can count on dealing with the same people day in and day out ... Sega tends to have more of a "revolving door" and this can be, at times, frustrating to the third party developer."
- Joe Morici (Vice President of American Operations, Capcom), GameFan November 1993

This one's "special"...
Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition
24 megabits

Genesis players who had to endure the endless Street Fighter II onslaught of 1992 were likely more relieved than excited when the game finally made its way to their system of choice the following year.

Early screenshots of the Genesis version of the game actually looked pretty terrible, with a huge black border at the top of the screen and what appeared to be about three colours on display at any given time. Thankfully, Capcom seemed to realise that their early rev of the game looked like crap, and set about revamping its visuals for the newly rechristened Special Champion Edition. The end result was a game that looked almost as good as the SNES Street Fighter II and let you play as the bosses as well. Unfortunately, the delay caused by Capcom's tinkering with the game's graphics meant that Street Fighter II Turbo had already been released for the SNES, negating any real advantage the Genesis port might have had over the SNES version.

Perhaps the most significant thing about the release of Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition for the Genesis system, however, was that it marked the beginning of a long and fruitful working relationship between Capcom and Sega. Indeed, throughout the days of the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast, Capcom was always one of Sega's staunchest supporters. In that respect, the Genesis version of Street Fighter II was actually pretty special indeed.

"Finally! A Sega version. Now I can play a lightning fast 24 meg SF2 with a controller that doesn't look like a Milk Bone."
- Skid, GameFan October 1993

"It's about time that SF2 came out for the Genesis. All the problems that seemed to plague the first version of SF2 CE were hammered out - like the black bar and such. Now, this version looks and plays just like the Super NES version minus a few colors ... Though the graphics are there, the sound track and voices are horrible! It really is that bad!"
- Ed Semrad, EGM November 1993

Get out of my crease!
NHL '94
Electronic Arts
8 megabits

Okay, stop the presses: I actually own an EA Sports title, and it is NHL '94!

This revision of EA's Genesis hockey series gets rid of fighting, but introduces one-timer shots, 4-way play and control of the goalies. The game also features updated NHL players and team rosters, so you could for example create a reenactment of Wendel Clark knocking Curtis Joseph's helmet off with a slapshot during the '93 playoffs. (Okay, maybe that's just me...)

I still can't really imagine purchasing the same game, slightly tweaked, every year, but NHL '94 is pretty fun to play nonetheless and is still regarded as one of the best releases in the NHL series.

"NHL Hockey '94 is hands down, the best sports simulation I have ever played...and I live for 'em! Don't waste another minute, lace up the blades and get at it!"
- Dr. E, GameFan October 1993

"Using all new stats of real players, and the option of having four players compete, puts this game above and beyond the previous attempts."
- Ed Semrad, EGM October 1993

Where's Tito Santana?
WWF Royal Rumble
16 megabits

Part of Acclaim's multi-platform strategy, WWF Royal Rumble started life on the SNES, then made its way to the Genesis and was received with rapturous apathy...

"Played the Super NES version? This one is basically the same thing on a different platform!"
- Mike Weigand, EGM November 1993

The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare
Flying Edge
8 megabits

The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare was one of several Simpsons-related games released by Acclaim for the SNES and Genesis. It would still be a few more years, though, before everybody realised that Homer was the real star of the show...

"In this reviewer's opinion, Bart's Nightmare is too frustrating to be fun. Much of the game play relies on chance, with unavoidable objects, undependable weapons and intermittently working world gateways making you feel like the game is controlling you, rather than the other way around."
- Clayton Walnum, VideoGames September 1993

"It's the only game in town."
R.B.I. Baseball '93
8 megabits

Interestingly, EA never had the same kind of stranglehold on 16-bit baseball as they did on pretty much every other sport, so in theory games like R.B.I. Baseball '93, with its roster of actual MLB players, should have stood a much greater chance of succeeding or failing on their own merits.

Unfortunately for Tengen, Sega's own World Championship Baseball series appears to have gotten the lion's share of the gaming press' attention, so the relative insignificance of EA in this category probably wasn't as helpful as it could have been.

Total ball control!
Davis Cup Tennis
8 megabits

Davis Cup Tennis from Tengen is interesting in that it features a split-screen two player mode shown in the third-person perspective, rather than attempting to display the entire court from an angled overhead view as did most other tennis games of the day. How this feature affected sales is unclear, but it apparently gave players "total ball control", which can only be seen as a good thing...

"The options list in Davis Cup is long and detailed and the game is an absolute joy to play."
- Talko, GameFan July 1993

"Alright, so Davis Cup Tennis doesn't boast the best graphics, but turn up the volume because these sounds are the most realistic I've heard from a tennis game!"
- Ed Semrad, EGM July 1993

RoboCop - The movie franchise that just won't go away...
RoboCop 3
Flying Edge
8 megabits

I don't know much about this entry in Acclaim's RoboCop series, but judging from the game's critical reception it seems the less one knows, the better.

"I'm sorry, I love the new Acclaim, but no amount of programming could save this version of Robocop."
- Mr. Goo, GameFan October 1993

You can almost hear NEC's lawyers approaching en-masse...
Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck
Virgin/Core Design
8 megabits

Chuck's club-wielding Bonk-like son takes the lead in this sequel to Core's well received Chuck Rock. The game is perhaps best remembered for its platform-defying graphics, featuring all sorts of effects like scaling and rotation that the Genesis wasn't supposed to be able to do.

This series would see one more 16-bit entry on the Sega CD in the form of Chuck Rally before dropping off the face of the earth in favour of Lara Croft's adventures. Opinion is divided on whether or not this was a good thing.

"The programming team at Core must have torn their development system apart piece by piece to pull out the tricks on Dippy the Dinosaur and the Lava Tree, where huge sprites rotate back and forth against a multi-scrolling background. I've only seen the effect done successfully in one other game and I've never seen it done this well on the SNES."
- GameFan August 1993

"I've never seen special effects like these on the Genesis. While it may be simulated scaling and rotation, the effect is fantastic!"
- Ed Semrad, EGM September 1993

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