"The Sega CD ... has sold much better in the United States than in Japan. At the system launch, America sold more units in 48 hours than were purchased in Japan in one month."
- Kaz Yano (Marketing Director, Sega Falcom), GameFan November 1993

Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom!
Sonic CD

Early previews of Sonic CD implied that the game would take the form of an expanded version of Sonic's first cartridge game, albeit with a new CD soundtrack and anime intermissions. These plans had apparently changed by the time the game was actually released, however, and instead Sonic fans were treated to an all new CD adventure.

Sonic CD takes good advantage of the Sega CD hardware in several ways. First and foremost, the game is huge. Sonic has the ability to travel back and forth in time to past and future versions of each stage, complete with new graphics and music. There are over sixty stages in all, including the trademark "bonus stages" which in this game take the form of psychedelic 3D zones that make use of the Sega CD's hardware scaling and rotation capabilities.

Also new to the series are the aforementioned anime sequences and CD soundtrack. Oddly, Sonic CD's soundtrack managed to stir up quite a controversy when the game was released in North America, as Sega opted to replace the music from the Japanese version of the game with new tunes by Sega of America's virtuoso composer, Spencer Nilsen. GameFan in particular despised the new soundtrack, and changed their review scores for Sonic CD from solid 100% ratings to scores in the 70s and 80s. Demands from GameFan for a special-edition re-release of the game with its original music intact fell on deaf ears...

Speaking for myself, I think Sonic CD is a solid title and I actually like some of its music, but the game's long gestation period makes it seem like it was created in a sort of bubble, as it were, while Sonic 2 had already gone off in a new and engaging direction. For example, Tails no longer accompanies Sonic on his adventure, and some of the slick new effects from Sonic 2, such as the new shield and invincibility graphics, are conspicuously absent in Sonic CD. To coin a phrase from the recent console wars, to me Sonic CD feels more like Sonic 1.5...

All that being said, with games like Sonic CD, Silpheed and Lunar being released in 1993, the Sega CD was finally starting to get the kind of original software support it deserved instead of rehashed cartridge games with CD music. Sonic Boom!

"The incredible soundtrack is what really got me into the game, it was perfect! In fact, it was the best BGM I had ever heard. The new tunes just don't go with the game. It's a shame that US gamers will never get to experience the feeling the original developers intended. It was really something special."
- Skid, GameFan January 1994

Digitized passing and player movements...
NFL Football '94 Starring Joe Montana
16 megabits

The latest iteration of Sega's football series continued the tradition of play-by-play commentary, along with real NFL players and statistics. Unfortunately, Madden was pretty much unstoppable by this point...

"The addition of full season play and real players with saved league leader statistics is the feature that really sends the game over the top."
- Talko, GameFan December 1993

Ultra Desperation Attack Moves!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters
16 megabits

Konami claimed that each platform's version of their one-on-one fighting game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters, would be unique. Unfortunately, they seem to have decided that the Genesis release would be the crap version...

"The preliminary screen shots looked good but the end result here is beyond sad. I don't understand, the box says Konami but the game inside is devoid of line scrolls, color and animation, and the voice is, well, imagine gargling with kitty litter."
- Skid, GameFan November 1993

"Oh no! What happened to this one? The Super NES version was excellent, but this one isn't even close."
- Mike Weigand, EGM December 1993

Dragons were supposed to breathe fire, and occasionally get themselves slaughtered...
Dragon's Lair

Contrary to popular belief, the much-maligned Full Motion Video game genre didn't actually start with the Sega CD or even the TurboGrafx CD systems. Indeed, one can trace the genre's lineage all the way back to the laserdisc arcade games of the early eighties, the most popular of which was called Dragon's Lair.

The game was originally created by Don Bluth, the animator behind such films as The Secret of Nimh and An American Tail. By the time Space Ace (the spiritual sequel to Dragon's Lair) was released, however, it seems the novelty of laserdisc games had worn off and titles of this ilk began to disappear.

"I have fond memories of this arcade game and the Sega CD version, with a little loss of color taken into account, is the first dead-on translation of the coin-op."
- The Enquirer, GameFan November 1993

Where's Cousin It?
The Addams Family
Flying Edge
8 megabits

I haven't been able to glean much information about this game, except to say that it was based on the Addams Family film series and produced by Flying Edge, purveyors of top tier Genesis entertainment...

"Out with the rest of the garbage."
Awesome Possum
8 megabits

Another addition to the long, long list of scrolling critter games released for the Genesis system in 1993, Awesome Possum's chief claim to fame was that its critter could talk. At length. Ad nauseam.

I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time...

"Shut up! This critter loves to talk, and in excellent voice digitization, but that seems to be at the cost of solid game play."
- Mike Weigand, EGM November 1993

Well, at least it's not Arnold again...
Sony Imagesoft
8 megabits

Drawing upon their vast catalogue of film licenses, Sony unleashed the Genesis version of Cliffhanger in 1993. The subsequent Sega CD version would be marginally more interesting, however, as it made use of the Batman Returns engine to produce smooth 3D snowboarding stages.

Yet more football action from EA.
Mutant League Football
Electronic Arts
8 megabits

I'm not quite sure what inspired EA to produce the Mutant League sports series. Perhaps they were able to reuse some of the code from their Madden and NHL games to speed up development. Whatever the reason, Mutant League Football was not all that well received by the gaming press, and the series eventually faded into obscurity to keep Budokan company...

"After you take out the ref a few times and witness a few gory plays, these effects wear thin. You are left with a choppy, average-playing sports game that resembles football."
- Martin Alessi, EGM May 1993

Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | Next