Sega has confirmed that the Sega Genesis Mini 2 will be launching on October 27 this year in North America (there’s still no confirmation on a launch date for Europe). For those unaware, the Sega Genesis Mini is a… mini console that can play 16-bit games. The two versions can only play the games they ship with, but it’s a great purchase if you’re looking for a retro experience.
The Genesis Mini 2 will include more than 50 games and while not all of them have been revealed, we do have a list of 23 games we know will be on it. We’ve sorted them into categories and provided short descriptions to each of them so you know what you can expect if you’re in the market for a new console filled with old games.
There’s four racing titles coming to the Genesis Mini 2 so far, all quite different from one another.
OutRun was originally released as an arcade game, physical car design included, in 1986 before making its way to nine more gaming systems. The game is notable for its implementation of features such as horsepower, torque, gear ratios and tire grip, elements that weren’t common in racing games back then.
OutRunners is a sequel to the aforementioned OutRun, but all the cars are convertibles now! Back when it launched in 1993 it was praised for its amazing graphics and also served as the first online arcade game, where player from different cities could race against each other.
Virtua Racing is yet another game that saw its debut in the arcade format when it launched across Japan in 1992. It continues the theme of driving with different cars as this one features Formula One vehicles (you know, the adult go-kart-looking ones). It is regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time and was among the highest-grossing arcade games of its debut year.
Super Hang-On is our fourth and final racing game (so far), and in this one you race with motorcycles.
Who doesn’t love a sidescroller? Let’s get right into it.
Alien Soldier is a sidescroller run & gun from 1995 where you play as Epsilon-Eagle, an… eagle in a suit. Yeah, you might wonder why, but that’s not a question that was relevant in the 90s. The game has 25 stages and 26 bosses, but don’t be scared by these big numbers – the stages are pretty short.
Lightening Force / Thunder Force IV
If your childhood took place in the 90s or early 2000s, you probably played something similar to Lightening Force – a sidescroller where you’re a ship, and you’re shooting at things that spawn from the right side of the screen. What’s not to like?
Another sidescrolling shooter! This time, however, you’re on rollerblades! This one definitely plays more with movement and jumping, but it just shows there’s something for everyone in this console.
Rolling Thunder 2
This one absolutely gorgeous. A classic run & gun released in 1991 that has you shooting all sorts of cyborgs and bats, going through ancient tombs and so much more in what is basically a Hollywood spy story.
If you’re more interested in the macabre, perhaps you’ll like playing as Rick, wearer of the Terror Mask, puncher, kicker and slicer of monsters.
The Ninja Warriors
If you’re not interested in the macabre, perhaps being a ninja is what you want? Hand-to-hand combat, kunais, shurikens; all in a dystopian future where martial law has been declared in the United States. But why are ninjas in the US? They’re androids, of course.
Bonanza Bros. is this 2D sidescroller that sort of looks like it’s 3D, but do not let your eyes fool you! It’s just pretend 3D. This one’s a stealth action game where you take control or Robo and Mobo (or both if single-player), two robot brothers that need to travel across a building, grab some objects and get to the roof without alerting any of the guards to your presence. You still get to shoot – guards can be temporarily knocked out with your gun or by hitting them with a door, so there’s lots of varied gameplay to keep you entertained here.
Rainbow Islands Extra
In the market for something more colorful, perhaps to a fault? Rainbow Islands Extra is a extremely rainbow-y sidescroller, if the sides you’re talking about are up and down. Navigate this cute yet treacherous land by spawning rainbows out of thin air and using them as stairs and death rays (against your enemies).
Iconic franchise? Check. Character that actually has a reason to be sidescrolling? Check. Awesome main menu theme? Check.
Listen, it’s a sonic game. You pinball your way through various environments, collects rings and whatnot. It’s fun. You know what to expect!
If you paid attention to what I wrote about Lightening Force eight headings above, then you know what this game’s about. Instead of a spaceship, you’re a sentient spaceship. Additionally, you can move backwards, land, upgrade your ship and quite a bit more!
Shoot’em Up Titles
Them’s the titles you probably ran into quite a bit if you just like, looked around an arcade for a minute back in the day. You generally just have one direction you’re going in, and one direction you’re shooting in.
After Burner II
After Burner II sees you piloting a jet above the clouds and absolutely destroying waves upon waves of jets. They come from the front, they come from behind, but rest assured they can all be defeated! No ‘insert coin’ required.
Night Striker switches things up a bit by having you pilot what is basically a Gundam mech, soaring through the streets of a metropolis on a neon racetrack and shooting at what seems like an endless amount of Batmobiles. That is, until the boss shows up at the end of a stage! Things get a bit more complicated there as you fight enemies that are less Batmobile and more flying mosquito Gundams, but you’ll probably have it handled.
After besting the streets and clearing the skies, Slipheed takes you on a jet in space. At this point, you’ve seen all that Earth has to offer. This game is the final frontier in the trilogy of shoot’em up games [we currently know] are coming to the Genesis Mini II. Shoot laser balls and listen to an awesome soundtrack while space contorts itself in the background.
What’s up with all of these games announcing bosses with a ‘WARNING’ text on the screen? I’ve seen this before and I feel not enough people talk about it.
The Other Stuff
These games aren’t in any way less interesting than the previous entries, but they’re more unique in terms of genre, so I’ve bundled them up in ‘The Other Stuff’.
Shining Force is a 1994 strategy RPG, a remake of Shining Force Gaiden and Shining Force Gaiden II. It’s more of a top-down experience compared to our previous entries, although the camera angle changes depending on the sequence you’re currently engaged in.
Combat is turn-based. Being a classy RPG, you’ve got a roster of character you can promote, resurrect, equip with weapons and whatnot. The plot is actually quite entertaining too, so I’d suggest story-hungry players give this one a shot!
Shining in the Darkness
While ‘Shining’ is certainly a theme, this game has no relation to its predecessor on this list. Shining in the Darkness is a 1991 RPG, a dungeon crawler with, once again, turn-based battles, player equipment, a fantasy plot and… slug enemies?
To be fair, some slugs in our world can be deadly as well. Many parts of the faux-3D dungeons are randomly generated, such as which monsters you’re going to fight, so each run will have a different outcome depending on whether you’re fighting a slug or a Nightwraith.
Mansion of Hidden Souls
Mansion of Hidden Souls is a trippy adventure game from 1993 where you solve puzzles while navigating a mansion to save your sister, who followed a butterfly into the building. Yep, the butterfly was just a complicated ruse to trap her.
The reason I called this game ‘trippy’ is because it’s a 3D game, but a 3D game from 1993. The first-person movement (walking around the mansion) is pre-rendered; what you do is press a button whenever you find something of interest (like a piece to a puzzle).#
Sonic 3D Blast
Another Sonic game should be no surprise! Sonic 3D Blast has you navigate the world through an isometric camera (at least, most of the time), navigating a blatantly ’tileset’ world to find rings, chaos emeralds and save Flickies. It’s definitely one of the more creative platformers on the list and while the floors don’t generally match the walls, the game is weirdly pretty to look at.
In The Ooze, you are an ooze. I’m sure everyone wanted to be an ooze at some point, so this game should be on your “must-play” list. You take control of a slimy puddle of liquid (an ooze!) and navigate various environments, navigating obstacles and defeating foes. Your body is a resource, of course, as you can spit ooze at opponents, depleting your body of its size. Becoming too small an ooze results in death.
A word of warning: The game has a steep difficulty curve. If you want to be a successful ooze, you’ll have to put in the work!
It’s really hard to find anything on this game. From what I’ve gathered, it’s a puzzle game where you… collect stars that fall from the sky onto a scale? The game doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, but from what I’ve seen the main mechanic of the game has you trying to keep the scale balanced as stars of different weights fall on it. Balance it wrong, and the scale tips, one side’s stars falling to the ground and being lost.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations, that was a pretty long read! Are you planning on buying the Genesis Mini II? Did you already take the Mini I for a spin? Let us know in the comments below!
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