Last week, we covered the 20th birthday of the Sega Genesis. The Genesis is one of the best vintage systems there is, and remains popular even now. Sega ran a poll to decide which Genesis game would be released to Xbox Live Arcade, and the poll is over, with ToeJam and Earl the clear winner. It's good to know we have some alien two-player co-op in our future. But let's not forget some other quality Genesis co-op titles of the past.
This game was suggested by a Co-Optimus forum user, who loved the game so much he uses it's name as his own! General Chaos is a hybrid of sorts, a combination of real time strategy and beat em up. Up to four players could team up, which was rare for the time. Players selected squads of troops to control against the computer in a co-op campaign mode. Humor elements and constant action make General Chaos a standout Genesis title.
We all know Sonic, of course. The spiky blue varmint became Sega's mascot, and is still popular to this day. In Sonic 2, the hedgehog was joined by a new character, Tails, a flying fox with two... er... tails. Two could play together at the same time, which was innovative for aplatformer. (Sonic did it way before Mario!) Sonic's extreme speed made the two player mode a bit clunky, but still, sharing Sonic goodness with a friend was a great time.
A fine port of the arcade version, Lethal Enforcers came with a fancy blue gun. An on the rails shooter, Lethal Enforcers put you and a friend in the role of cops on the hunt for criminals. Just make sure you don't hit other cops, or civilians! A sequel set in the Old West was also available. The Lethal Enforcers series is one of the most fondly remembered shooters of the arcade era.
Cyborg Justice might seem like an average side scrolling beat em up, but there's much more to it than meets the eye, to steal a phrase from more famous robots. Players customize their cyborg at the beginning of the game, choosing different parts for
hand, body, and legs. Not only do the parts looks different, they play differently as well, adding lots of replay value as you and a co-op partner experiment with different builds.
X-Men 2: Clone Wars:
This sweet game was totally under my radar, a fact I'll have to correct soon. Two players choose their favorite mutant to brawl their way through the Phalanx, a race of alien invaders. Each mutant had unique powers and attributes, but the best part was playing as Magneto! No other X-Men game had allowed this at the time. Like X-Men: The Arcade Game before it and the X-Men Legends series after, X-Men 2 was a fine co-op experience.
Contra: Hard Corps:
It's Contra; really, what more needs to be said? This was the sixth game in the series. It's notable for several reasons. It was the first Contra to allow players to choose a character, ranging from standard soldiers to a small robot and a cyborg werewolf! Hard Corps also had more of a focus on boss battles than other Contra games. Contra has long been known for great co-op and Hard Corps is no exception.
Just a few months ago, Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection was released, including many of the games featured last week, and this week's Sonic 2. Clearly, the Genesis had an effect on many gamers in the 90s. Sega no longer makes consoles, but is one of the most solid publishers in the industry today. We salute you, Genesis, for your contribution to console gaming, and most especially, for all the lazy days and late nights spent in co-op glory.