I have a lot to say about this. So get prepared. However, we all know where this will begin.
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, there was a blue hedgehog. Not only was he blue, he was lightning fast. And not only was he fast, he was COOL. His name was Sonic, and for reasons I didn’t understand, I identified with him right away. It took a random thought over 20 plus years later to understand why. That thought was a simple, yet silly question. Is Sonic black?
I asked myself this question, and then I laughed at its silliness. I mean, think about it. He’s always in a rush. He had flashy sneakers. Money gave him power. He loved cracking jokes at his enemies expense. I mean, Jaleel White was his freaking voice actor. On BOTH CARTOONS! Come on.
What made this train of thought less silly and more interesting was when I compared him to Mario. Think of Mario. Always stashing his coins. Always defending the kingdom. Plain suspenders. So workmanlike. No time for fun. No style. He needed special powers for me to even care. Plain Mario is garbage.
Thinking about that comparison made me realize that Sega saw this gaming future coming. They knew that gaming would become “cool” in time. Someone just needed to lead the way. And the Sega Genesis did it’s part. America just wasn’t ready yet. Think about this. A whole lot of people will tell you the SNES is the greatest console ever. But ask a gamer how many games they remember from the SNES and the Genesis. I would not be shocked if they remember more Genesis games. Because they were COOLER. Sega was making games that spoke to our generation, the young generation that would grow to be known as the hip hop generation. Nintendo were still making games for Japanese kids. We just so happened to love them too.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I really want to give this a proper breakdown. So I’ll be back in part 2 to examine the libraries a little further. I’ll also talk about some other key differences between Nintendo and Sega during that era. All in all, I truly do feel that the Sega Genesis may have paved the way for gaming to truly “grow up.”