16-Bit War Part 3: CD-ROM

Finally writing the last article on the 16-bit war of the 90’s. The big next thing during this era was the advent of the CD-ROM. The CD-ROM allowed games to be a lot more complex because of the huge amount of data they could hold. Your typical Super NES and Genesis games were 4MB. Those sizes increased for more popular games Like Street Fighter 2 which was the first 16MB cartridge and because needing the extra memory chips the price was around $70 if I remember correctly. A CD-ROM disc at the time could hold 650 MB and was a lot cheaper to produce. Sega came out with their cd-rom unit in October of 1992. The first version attatched to the Genesis underneath the console and had a motorized tray that was used for inserting the CDs. However, because of the price not many were sold. A couple of years later Sega released a version 2 of both the Genesis and Sega CD. The new Sega CD attached to the side and opened manually. This unit was a little bit cheaper than the original unit since it didn’t have the motorized tray.

On the Nintendo front they had planned a CD add on for the Super Nintendo. Original Phillips was going to make it and then the project was moved to Sony. Nintendo decided not to follow through with the deal. Rather than cut their losses Sony decided to continue and the system became the original Playstation (i bet Nintendo is kicking themselves over that one).

I was holding out for the Super Nes CD but when it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen I jumped ship again and got a Sega CD. I enjoyed quite a few of the games even though most games at this time overused Full Motion Video. Everyone was saying that video was the future of games. I guess because we hadn’t experienced 3D yet or something. Some of my favorite games for the Sega CD were: Dragon’s Lair (remake of the 1983 Laserdisc arcade game) Which looks just like your playing an interactive cartoon, Mortal Kombat CD the graphics still weren’t up to par of the Super NES version, but did have the blood and with using CD the soundtrack was just like the arcade, Lunar: The Silver Star this was a great RPG for the Final Fantasy fan in me. It had a really involving story and is still a favorite among fans.

16-Bit War Genesis VS Super Nintendo Part 2 Nintendo

At the end of summer in ’91 Nintendo came out with the Super NES. It had new games featuring many of the original character from the original NES. I think it was around October or November that year I decided I wanted to give it a try. I sold of my Genesis to help cover the costs. It came with Super Mario World which is considered to be one of the best mario games of all time. It took me a good month to get thru that game. I also purchased Final Fight which was another game that took me some time to complete. The challenge was back and I loved it.

The Super Nintendo also had a few things that were better than the Genesis. The main thing being the number of colors that could be displayed at one time. The Genesis could only display 64 colors on the screen while the Super Nintendo could display 256. This made the SNES games look a lot more richer looking and games that were ported to both systems it was obvious when comparing side by side which one looked better.

Most of my friends at this time were Genesis fans and couldn’t believe I had switched to the SNES. It worked out great though because when we got together we could bring our systems over and have the best of both worlds. Sometimes we would even trade systems for the weekends. They were all envious though when Street Fighter 2 was announced that it was only coming out to the Super NES and not the Genesis. I pre-ordered my copy months in advance. Street Fighter 2 was the game in the arcades. I remember there always being a line to play and people pumping quarters into those machines like crazy. It is said that this game is what put Nintendo in the lead during the 16-bit era and helped sell many consoles. About 6 months after release it was finally announced that the Champion Edition of Street Fighter 2 was coming to the Genesis. This version allowed players to be the boss character of the game. While it did have those new features the graphics and sound still looked better on the SNES version of the game. The opposite happened though with Mortal Kombat. MK was released for many systems at the same time. The problem though was Nintendo of America had strict rules when it came to violence in Video Games. They forced Akklaim to remove the blood from the game and chance some of the fatality moves so they were less violet. Sega on the other hand allowed those things to stay intact from the arcade version. So even though the graphics and sound are not as good as the Super Nintendo version the Sega version is a closer representation to its arcade counterpart. Nintendo however changed their mind after the outcry from fans and allowed the sequels to stay intact. It was at this time too that the Video Game rating system came about, so parents now had an idea of the content contained in a game. The Super Nintendo was a great system My ten favorites for this system would be

  1. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo
  2. Super Castlevaina 4
  3. Super Mario World
  4. Final Fight
  5. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  6. Final Fantasy 2
  7. Super Star Wars Trilogy
  8. F-Zero
  9. Super Metroid
  10. Killer Instinct

Some of the main commercials I remember are the Pepsi contest,
Super Mario World, Zelda, and Street Fighter 2

16-Bit War Genesis VS Super Nintendo Part 1 Sega

Lately I have been on a classic gaming kick. By doing so I have had a flood of memories coming back from the early 90’s and the console wars of that time. It was pretty much a feud between Sega and Nintendo. I was going to do this in one shot, but I guess I am long winded on the subject so it will be in a 3 part series.

Sega had a head start by a couple of years before the Super Nintendo was released. During that time though most of the games they had were ports of their arcade games. They were obviously much better looking than anything the original Nintendo had, but the genesis didn’t really catch on until summer of ’91 with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog. Sega really tried to hit Nintendo hard with their advertising. The first Sonic commercial I remember was this one that featured a old lady complaining about sonic that reminded me of Dana Carvey playing the Church Lady on SNL. The other commercial I remember is this one with the famous slogan “Genesis does what Nintendont”. It was around this time that I decided to jump on the Genesis band wagon. I sold my original 8-bit NES and all my games and mowed lawns over the summer to earn the money. I think it was late July or early August when I finally bought my Sega Genesis at the J.C. Penny in St. George. I really enjoyed Sonic the Hedgehog I think it took me about a month to finally beat the game. The other game I remember getting shortly after was Golden Axe. I loved that game in the arcades and thought it would be fun to have at home. For some reason though it was difficult to find. I finally picked it up at a game store in Las Vegas. My top ten favorite games for the Genesis would be

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog
  2. Golden Axe
  3. Revenge of Shinobi
  4. Altered Beast
  5. Streets of Rage
  6. Last Battle
  7. Phantasy Star
  8. Strider
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  10. Michael Jackson Moonwalker (It really is a fun game. Really!)

One thing though that I did notice about most Genesis games were that they seemed to be a lot easier than NES games were for me. Sometime I could rent a game and beat it in one day where a NES game would take me a month of play. After owning the Genesis for several months I found I wanted something a little different.

Sega Genesis for sale

Through some dealing I scored an extra Sega Genesis. I already have one, so I am selling this one. If anyone knows anybody that might be interested please pass on the word. Here is the link to the listing.