Ah, the Sega Genesis days. A simpler time when you didn’t need to purchase a season pass or coordinate time zones with your friend in Japan. No, if you wanted to play, you’d fire up your console and get to it.
Back then the superhero genre wasn’t as massive as it is now. Sure, people knew all about Batman, Spider-Man and all the rest of them, but it wasn’t the mania we have now. In terms of video games, there were still a plethora of superpowered games for you to play. Truth be told, most of them were okay, while only a handful of them stood out. So, let’s take a look at those that deserve to be revisited.
Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage
Taking the title for arguably the coolest cartridge of all time was 1994’s Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage. If you were one of the lucky few to pick up a first print of the game, you’d get a blood-red cartridge that just screamed cool. It also didn’t hurt that the game rocked.
Inspired by the comic-book storyline Maximum Carnage, you could control Spidey and Venom, who’d receive assistance from allies, as you tried to stop Carnage and his team of dastardly villains. It was a straight-up beat ’em up, but all the colourful characters and the computerised Green Jellÿ soundtrack made this one of the premium games of its time.
First released as an arcade game, The Punisher was Marvel’s answer to Final Fight. Choosing either Frank Castle or Nick Fury, players embarked on a side-scrolling beat-’em-up journey as you used your fists and all the weapons around you to put holes in Kingpin and his goons.
The Genesis port of The Punisher naturally didn’t have the capabilities of the arcade version and had to be toned down in scope; however, it still delivered most of the thrills and spills for the home console.
X-Men 2: Clone Wars
While a lot of people will tell you the original X-Men on the Genesis was great, which it was, the follow-up, X-Men 2: Clone Wars, was a significant upgrade. The 1995 platformer featured seven playable characters, including Magneto (who was simply boss in the game), and the storyline was more linear and clearer than its predecessor.
The only real negatives of the game were the music and special effects. It suffered from being far too quiet and not having enough oomph. If you can get past that, the graphics and gameplay more than makeup for it.
The Adventures of Batman & Robin
Based on Batman: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman & Robin was the game we needed in 1994. That said, the Super NES version of the game, which was developed by Konami, was much better than the Genesis one, which was handled by Clockwork Tortoise.
Even so, the run-‘n’-gun gameplay made the Genesis version a fast-paced and engaging adventure, which was best played with a second player. Playing as the Dynamic Duo has never been more fun, as you put the smackdown on all of Gotham’s rogues.
The Death and Return of Superman
Poor Superman hasn’t had the greatest run in video games. Yet, Sunspot pulled off quite the coup by adapting The Death of Superman storyline for home consoles in 1994 – and it didn’t suck. The side-scrolling beat ’em up was incredibly difficult to finish as the game was merciless, but it was a rewarding experience nonetheless.
In terms of character choices, players had Superman, Superboy, Steel, Cyborg, the Eradicator and Doomsday at their disposal. They were pre-determined for each level, however, so that made it a little more challenging (as if the game really needed it). Still, The Death and Return of Superman remains one of the best adaptations of the Man of Steel in gaming history.
Tell us, which is your favourite superhero game on the Sega Genesis? Let us know in the comments.