Tag Archives: sega

Afterburner – Game the game

Afterburner is a pretty boring game


My first attempt resulted in a lame score and only Stage 3

But I’m not sure why. I mean, it has all the elements that should make it pretty awesome (and why little Forsoothed would’ve thought it was awesome): you pilot a sweet F14, your missles ‘lock on’, you get to shoot billions of enemies, it’s not impossibly hard (possibly the name of someone’s sex tape)…

I can’t believe you clicked on that link, you perv! (srsly though, it’s SFW)

Maybe it’s just an example of a game/style that’s been done better as time moves on? Or maybe the ‘fly in a straight line with no real control over where you’re going format’ just doesn’t have any staying power once you’re past the coolness of the F14?

WHO DO I WORK FOR AND WHAT I’M I ACCOMPLISHING HERE? Are we at war? Who are we? What is war?



Warning – “game studies” sentences incoming

Afterburner is probably an example of a seriously ludo-game like Tetris, no story whatsoever, but without the interesting mechanics. A ludo-game without the “fun”.

End “game studies”


Anyhoo, the good parts: all of the aforementioned cool stuff, plus you get to launch from an aircraft carrier, the ‘Sega Enterprise’. Oh Sega, you do go on. The gameplay is quite crisp and since I’m not going to have the patience to play through the boredom, I immediately wanted to find a cheat to see what the bosses (if there are bosses) would be like. Apparently there are 18 stages in Afterburner, I think I made it to 5 or 6 with some real effort.

Final thoughts, or “After” burner (oh self, you do go on)

In retrospect, this should’ve been a ‘played it for 5’ game: worth resurrecting for a quick (barrel) roll, but I’ve spent more time writing about Afterburner than actually playing it.

You let me down younger self, you let me down.

I did get better, 10X my first go-round #hardcore

I did get better, 10X my first go-round #hardcore



Over a few games – NHL 9X – Genesis

Dear readers, did you guess that after playing Blades of Steel I would immediately fall into a Sega Genesis retro hockey game pit and never return? Well you didn’t, but if you HAD guessed that you would be correct!



I’ve been working through NHL’s 93, 94, and 96 (not sure why I skipped 95) looking for the hockey experience that I remember. What I’ve learned so far is that, unsurprisingly, what I remember doesn’t exist… or at least I haven’t found it.

NHL 93 has the slick, tight control that I fondly remember – after a few minutes I could deke almost any CPU player out of their snowpants. But no one-timers! WTH?

NHL 94 brings the one-timer thunder, but they’re really clunky and I couldn’t actually get that many to fire. I have this game for SNES as well, but in addition to clunky one-timers, the gameplay was also pretty sluggish. I have a suspicion that my SNES controller is about to give up the ghost, so I won’t kick the SNES version TOO much.

Also, apparently NHL 94 turned 20 last year and it made Jeremy Roenick a star! Huh, the more you know.

NHL 96 – Genesis

NHL 96 is the closest yet and I spent awhile with it last night. Its gameplay is FAR faster than 93 & 94, and the AI is so stupid. SO STUPID. My own defencemen kept knocking me off my line of attack (if you recall, the best defence in these games is to flatten your opponents – the best players are the best checkers… naturally, Gentleman Joe Sakic LAYS PEOPLE OUT).


So. Good.

And, of course, my Oilers are freaking terrible. In. Each. Game… Does nothing ever change?

A Genesis that transforms into Megatron?

Yes please


Via IGN (the post IGN references at tformers here), apparently there will be an Asia-only release of a Sega Genesis that transforms into a classic-ish Megatron… so cool.

It’s unclear to me if this will be a fully functionaly Genesis, or if it’s just for “this-looks-awesome” appeal. Either way, it looks badass.

R-Type – Sega Master System – Played it for 5

All I remembered was that this game was awesome. And it delivered.

psychologytoday.com (seriously!?!)

I played R-Type for a few minutes yesterday AND IT IS FREAKING AMAZING! I think this thing did my grocery shopping, walked my dog, and invented happiness all while giving me a back massage and telling me I looked amazing today.

I love this damn game. And heck, R-Type probably had the coolest Master System cover (they were generally REALLY bad)


I think there are a few versions of this game, and certainly a few sequels, but I played the Sega Master System version. I remember vaguely playing this game as a kid, but it’s occupied a sweet spot in my heart since then… with River City Ransom and Contra… ahhhhhh

Really, what’s not to love about R-Type? Getting massive powerups (seriously, there was so much carnage that I didn’t even notice when I picked up sweet homing missles… sweet) to kill freaking aliens who are filling the screen trying to kill you… so good.

Read: my previous played it for 5, Altered Beast

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, an original ad for the Sega Master System… so good.

Altered Beast – Genesis – played it for 5

Introducing: “I played for 5 minutes”

In my journey through the land of old, retro games I’ve been finding that I’ll sometimes play a title for a few minutes, then put it down and never really get back to it. My hunch is that this phenomenon happens for one of a few reasons:

  1. The game might have a really steep skill/ learning curve. I’m guessing this is going to happen to me on real killers like Mega-Man. I remember trying out the series as a kid and having no success then – I’m guessing old me is going to get killed… a lot… and not make it very far.
  2. The game might take more of a time investment than I’m willing to give. Some of the big RPG’s will probably land here. Though, if I come to one of those games I really should know what to expect, so if I give one of them up it’s really on me.
  3. Finally, the game might just be rubbish. Let’s face it. Some games haven’t aged well. Some games would’ve appeal to a younger version of me. Some games have just always been terrible, which brings me to…

Altered Beast


Altered Beast is the perfect game for the inaugural Played it for 5.

This is a dumb game.

I think Altered Beast was originally included with my Sega Genesis when I got it and I don’t remember ever liking it. At least partially so, because I was epically and completely bad at it. Now I was/am bad at most old games, but I was/ continue to be ridiculously, embarrassingly, hilariously, side-splittingly bad at Altered Beast.

So bad in fact, that I don’t remember ever getting past the 1st boss.

I mean, good Gord! There’s a flying thing that descends on your head to kill you AND YOU CAN’T STOP IT. Stupidity abounds!

There’s a flying thing that descends on your head to kill you AND YOU CAN’T STOP IT

Stupid evil bird thing

Altered Beast is a bad game. It’s really bad.

And seriously, what’s up with this guy?

What's this guy's deal?

NBA Jam TE – Sega Genesis – Game the Game

JOHN STARKS! The dude I couldn’t remember from the Knicks is John Starks!


BUT I decided that I wouldn’t go with ol’ Starksy for my first game, so I chose Da’Bulls. Now, this brings me to an ENTIRE part of NBA Jam that I forgot about: you chose a 3-letter name and immediately set about defeating the entire NBA, starting with the Mavericks.

So, needless to say, I dispatched of the Mavericks without a lot of trouble (I mean: Pippen… come on)…


In my massive 8 pt stomping of Dallas, I learned the following about this game:

  • Using your CPU partner is 100% boring, but actually works (I don’t remember this at all… did I always play this game with friends?)
  • I’m not as good as I remember. Seriously. I didn’t get ONE “HE’S ON FIRE”
  • I had a hard time dunking really awesome dunks. I don’t remember this aspect being that difficult. You know, the “jam” aspect of NBA Jam…
  • I didn’t get a single block
  • Mashing turbo made my thumb hurt (A – shoot; B – turbo; C – pass) feels like I used a different combo. ALSO, remember when the controllers actually made your hands HURT? Geez, my old man hands can’t take this kind of punishment anymore… probably because they took all the contorted-into-weird-Sega-Genesis-controller-shapes-playing-games punishment when I was a teenager
  • And finally, the defensive strategy of ‘knock the other guys over’ seems to work well 🙂

Never did figure out what the “TE” gives me… though I did see online that apparently it’s possible to unlock a whack of hidden players. Like, Bill Clinton…

If you’re into that.

Which I’m not.

Final game stats


And sweet zombie jesus, if you REALLY want to get into the game without playing the game, I found a 4.5 hour playthrough on YouTube… so there’s that…

Because I don’t have a good way to grab video, want to be as multi-sensory as possible, and don’t want to deprive you of an actual review of NBA Jam TE on the Genesis by someone how sound like a game-reviewer, I found this for you:

… aaaaaaaannnnnnndddddddd


Yes, I chose “ASS” as my name. And you would’ve too, you saucy minx.

PS – here’s the pre game.

NBA Jam TE – Genesis – Pre Game


Did I own this game? I don’t think I did… I probably would’ve played it on Genesis (was it even ON SNES or NES??? Must’ve been… anyway). This was definitely a game that I only really played with friends and almost never on my own. Seriously, 2-on-2 and you’re NOT going to do co-op?

I think it was likely a rental. DO YOU REMEMBER RENTING VIDEOGAMES? Holy crap, I suddenly remember renting games, spending 48 hours straight playing them, and having to return them. I love Steam and I buy my share of used games, but renting was a different way to think about gaming…


One of the things I’m very sure about is that I only ever played NBA Jam, not NBA Jam Tournament Edition, or as those of us with blogs with visitor counts in the single digits per week call it, “TE”. In fact, I don’t think I had ever heard of TE until a few weeks ago when I started browsing top-100-old-game-lists. Relatedly, TE is #9 on Dorkly’s list and #87 on Retro-Santuary’s. These things are incredibly subjective so I’m not surprised by the huge variation. IGN gave/gives regular NBA Jam 8.3, great, out of 10 and says that the Genesis version is scaled down from the SNES version. I FEEL RIPPED OFF!

I’m interested to see if I can spot any differences. From my initial reading it seems like TE has loads of easter eggs and I’m guessing a new, or perhaps improved tournament mode? Dear reader, can’t you tell already that I’m one intelligent SOB?


As for gameplay, it was 2-on-2 and I remember loving to sink 3-pointers as <can’t remember his name> from the Knicks… you know… not Patrick Ewing, the other guy. There was turbo or something too, right? Rationing turbo was important for dunks and steals right?

Is it obvious that I don’t recall many details? I mainly remember this game featuring huge dunks ,being  frustrating because the CPU always got super-tough near the end of the game, and it generally being a metric buttload of fun. I can’t wait to put some time in on it.

OOO and the basketball lights on fire!

I’ve written the gaming game post!