Mega Drive turns 34: Remember 8 classic console games | consoles

The Mega Drive turns 34 this Saturday (29). The 16-bit Sega console, released in 1988 in Japan, became famous in the 90s for its fierce rivalry with the Super Nintendo and for producing games with fast gameplay from the Blast Processing feature, such as the famous Streets of Rage, Sonic. The Hedgehog and the Gunstar Heroes. to celebrate TechTudo Listed these and seven other classic console titles, in addition to providing details on remakes, sequels, and a tutorial on how to play them today. Check it out below.

🎮 Mega Drive: seven secrets you didn’t know about the classic console

The Mega Drive turns 34 and remains one of Sega’s most popular consoles — Photo: Reproduction/Rafael Monteiro

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“Beat ’em up” was a very popular genre during the Mega Drive era and consisted of games in which the player walked through stages and beat up people along the way. However, these types of games were more common in arcades, so they suffered from limitations when ported to consoles.

Sega’s Streets of Rage series was one of those that was exclusive to the Mega Drive. The game had a colorful look, great characters on the screen and an addictive soundtrack. When released, its sequel evolved from the first game, with more moves and characters. In 2020, the game gained a new chapter with Streets of Rage 4 available for PlayStation 4 (PS4), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Streets of Rage II offers an extremely fun Beat’em up exclusively for Mega Drive — Photo: Reproduction/Rafael Monteiro

The Mega Drive had an incredible debut adventure with Sonic the Hedgehog, but it was the game’s sequels that cemented the mascot’s popularity. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 brought vibrant colors, more cutscenes, upbeat music, increased speed with the introduction of the Spin Dash move, and the transformation into Super Sonic, a staple of the franchise. The game, which featured Sonic and Trails teaming up against the villainous Eggman, became an integral part of the console’s successful strategy to stay ahead of the industry.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 brought even more speed and looping to the sequence that became the face of the Mega Drive — Photo: Reproduction/Rafael Monteiro

3. Castlevania: Bloodlines

The Castlevania series, previously exclusive to Nintendo consoles, has won an exclusive chapter for the Mega Drive. In the story, the player follows John Morris, a scion of the Belmont family, and his childhood friend Eric Lecard as they try to stop Dracula’s niece, Elizabeth Bartley, from reclaiming her uncle.

The game brought a different gameplay from Super Castlevania 4 on the Super Nintendo, in addition to being more flexible, with more vibrant colors and visual effects rarely seen in other Mega Drive games.

Castlevania Bloodlines is a game in Konami’s vampire hunter series with features that set it apart from Nintendo’s console saga — Photo: Reproduction/Rafael Monteiro

Inspired by the exploits of the Conan the Barbarian character, Golden Ax is a medieval fantasy game that has been adapted straight from the arcade to the Mega Drive. In the game, users choose between three warriors and face hordes of enemies to defeat the tyrant Death Adder, who wields the golden ax of the title. The difficulty level of the game was very high, the gameplay was close to Beat’em up, but it had interesting new features – such as the ability to collect creatures.

Golden Ax brought a challenging action game inspired by classic medieval characters like Conan the Barbarian — Photo: Reproduction/Rafael Monteiro

Based on the Disney animation, the Mega Drive game Aladdin developed by Virgin Interactive differed from the Super Nintendo version, which was developed by Capcom. The Sega console version was an action-platformer that took some liberties with the film’s plot and allowed Aladdin to fight with a sword in hand. The two points that drew the most attention in the game were the visuals and the detailed animations, which featured drawings created by Disney artists specifically for the game.

The Mega Drive version of Aladdin featured action and platforming with incredible animation, very different from Capcom’s game on the Super Nintendo — Photo: Reproduction/Rafael Monteiro

One of the best action games on the Mega Drive was Gunstar Heroes, a game developed by Treasure Studio. The game tells the story of an elite team, the Gunstars, who must stop the evil empire from capturing four powerful gems. To fight enemies, the player has a weapon system that allows you to combine different types of strikes to create different effects, in addition to using acrobatic moves and grappling.

Gunstar Heroes is known for its frenetic action, which has become one of the hallmarks of the Treasure studio, created by former Konami developers. — Photo: Reproduction/Rafael Monteiro

The continuation of the Shinobi series made Sega’s ninja one of the most incredible action games on the Mega Drive. The game tells the story of the return of the ninja master Joe Musashi, who once again encounters the evil organization Neo Zeed, which has changed its name since its last appearance in Shiboy I and II. The gameplay was on a high level of difficulty, but the constant movement and attacks made up for it. The game’s cinematic atmosphere also enhanced the action at various times, such as during cutscenes.

Shinobi III: The Return of Ninja Master became one of the most outstanding action games on the Mega Drive — Photo: Reproduction/Rafael Monteiro

The Boy Wonder series became famous in Brazil for its edited version with the characters of the Monica gang, with titles such as “Mônica na Terra dos Monstros”. However, there was one game in the series that never left Japan called Monster World IV, which featured the main character Asha on a journey to help the elemental spirits of the universe. The game was the pinnacle of everything that had come before in the franchise, with action-packed battles, multiple areas to explore, and RPG elements.

The game has had English re-releases over the years. In 2012, it was released in digital version for Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (PS3). In 2020, it became a Sega Mega Drive Mini bonus game. Even more recently, the game won a remake with full 3D visuals called Wonder Boy: Asha in the Monster World. The game was made available for PlayStation 4 (PS4), Nintendo Switch and PC via the digital store Steam.

Monster World IV wasn’t released outside of Japan on the Mega Drive, but it won re-releases and even a recent remake — Photo: Reproduction/Rafael Monteiro

Most of the titles that ran on the classic console today can be played in the Sega Genesis Classics collection, available for PlayStation 4 (PS4), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC through the Steam digital store. However, they can also be found on Sega’s Mega Drive Mini, a more modern version of the video game.

In addition, more niche games can be obtained through specific collections for each company and series. So, for example, is Castlevania Bloodlines, which is in Konami’s “Castlevania Anniversary Collection”; and Aladdin, The Lion King and The Jungle Book (Mwgli, The Boy Wolf), which are in the Disney Classics collection.

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