Best Sega Genesis launch game? (poll)

Best Sega Genesis launch game?

  • Space Harrier 2

    Votes: 40 17.5%
  • Super Thunder Blade

    Votes: 10 4.4%
  • Altered Beast

    Votes: 66 28.8%
  • Thunder Force 2

    Votes: 85 37.1%
  • Tommy Lasorda Baseball

    Votes: 12 5.2%
  • Last Battle

    Votes: 6 2.6%
  • Can't decide

    Votes: 10 4.4%

  • Total voters
    229

Phediuk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,289
The Sega Genesis launched in North America 30 years ago today, o August 14, 1989. Which of its six North American launch games is best?





Thunder Force 2 wins this one hands down imo. It's the only one of the six that feels like a complete, well-polished game rather than a tech demo. TF3 and 4 are both better games, but 2 is a solid shmup also. The overhead stages are a bit of a drag, but even then, you can blast through them pretty quick once you know what you're doing. Excellent music also. It's so far ahead of the competition here that I don't know what the runner-up would be; either Space Harrier 2 or Altered Beast, I guess. They're ok but there's not much to them. Last Battle and Super Thunder Blade are both pieces of shite, and Tommy Lasorda is a so-so baseball game.

TF2 wins.

Gameplay footage for each game coming up in next post (there's a limit on how much media you can include in one post.)
 

PepsimanVsJoe

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,293
Yeah I'm gonna have to go with Thunder Force 2.
Space Harrier 2 is a close second.
Last Battle and Super Thunder Blade are tied for third.

Lasorda is outdated and Altered Beast is junk.
 

Crackhead_Bob

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,411
Thunderforce 2 had the best, diverse level design of the listed titles above, but Space Harrier 2 was a decent game in its own right, but even better when compared to Super Thunderblade.
 

Jimnymebob

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,363
I've only played Hokuto no Ken and Altered Beast, and while I wasn't a huge fan of Hokuto no Ken, Altered Beast sure as hell wasn't the best anything.
 

Kain

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,562
I would say in Europe the best one (that I played at least) was Golden Axe. Never was a fan of Altered beast.
 

Red Liquorice

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,289
UK
Thunderforce 2 has to be the best from those, kind of a rough line-up tbh What was the UK line-up? Surely it had to be a little better than that.

I got a Mega Drive that Xmas with Altered Beast pack-in and Revenge of Shinobi (PAL). I also got Ghouls & Ghosts and Golden Axe but they were Japanese so I don't remember the full launch line-up.
 

Funky Papa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,644
I would say in Europe the best one (that I played at least) was Golden Axe. Never was a fan of Altered beast.
It was clunky as all hell even in the arcades. Very charming (that aesthetic! those voices!), but very, very clunky.

That said, I would absolutely love to see them both getting a remake or even a reboot. I don't care if we are talking about something retro-like or fully 3D, but they feel wasted just being there.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,908
China
Thunderforce II and it's not even close, none of the other games had so many quality sequels. At launch it was TF II and Altered Beast as the best games though.

Euro release game lineup was much better, but it was a year later.

Japan launch games were only Space Harrier II and Super Thunderblade.
 

truly101

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,189
I'm going with Altered Beast, not so much because its the best game, but it struck the biggest impression with the kids I knew. AB was a recent release in the arcades and fairly well distributed so a lot of people played it. When the Genesis dropped, all anyone could talk about was how the Genesis version of AB was just like the arcade. TF2 is probably a better game, Space harrier 2 and Super Thunderblade seemed a little old and the conversion wasn't the best.
 

Shion

Member
Nov 8, 2017
113
I would say in Europe the best one (that I played at least) was Golden Axe. Never was a fan of Altered beast.
It was Revenge of Shinobi.​

That game looked, sounded and, most importantly, played so incredibly awesome that it ruined games like Altered Beast and Strider for me.​
 

Kain

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,562
It was Revenge of Shinobi.​

That game looked, sounded and, most importantly, played so incredibly awesome that it ruined games like Altered Beast and Strider for me.​
Was it a launch title though? And yes it was so so awesome. I couldn't believe once I got to the Spider-man boss lol
 

Elephant

Member
Nov 2, 2017
895
Nottingham, UK
Was it a launch title though? And yes it was so so awesome. I couldn't believe once I got to the Spider-man boss lol
It was in the UK and Europe, we didn't get Mega Drives until September 1990. Golden Axe was a release title for us too.

EDIT: And I've only just seen the previous conversation i jumped in on. Apologies. Carry on!
 

Ferrs

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
8,426
I guess TF2 but I hated the top down sections. Overall the line up wasn't great.
 

Elephant

Member
Nov 2, 2017
895
Nottingham, UK
Europe Launch Titles:

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Altered Beast
Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf
Forgotten Worlds
Ghouls'n Ghosts
Golden Axe
Last Battle
Mystic Defender
Rambo III
Revenge of Shinobi
Space Harrier II
Super Hang-On
Super League Baseball
Super Thunder Blade
Thunder Force II
Truxton
World Cup Italia '90
Zoom!
 

Kain

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,562
Europe Launch Titles:

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Altered Beast
Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf
Forgotten Worlds
Ghouls'n Ghosts
Golden Axe
Last Battle
Mystic Defender
Rambo III
Revenge of Shinobi
Space Harrier II
Super Hang-On
Super League Baseball
Super Thunder Blade
Thunder Force II
Truxton
World Cup Italia '90
Zoom!
Then there it is, Shinobi wins.

I myself played it way later though.
 

Tobor

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,804
Richmond, VA
Had to vote for Altered Beast. It was a game I had played a bunch in the Arcade so it was cool to play on a friends Genesis. None of these games were system sellers, of course.

I didn’t get a Genesis until the Sonic bundle came out.
 

striderno9

The Fallen
Oct 31, 2017
1,277
New York, NY
I'm in the middle of reading The Console Wars right now, it's very good, the Genesis just launched and they are prepping Sonic for CES. Also, my vote is for Altered Beast even though that game doesn't hold up.
 

Funky Papa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,644
Europe Launch Titles:

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Altered Beast
Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf
Forgotten Worlds
Ghouls'n Ghosts
Golden Axe
Last Battle
Mystic Defender
Rambo III
Revenge of Shinobi
Space Harrier II
Super Hang-On
Super League Baseball
Super Thunder Blade
Thunder Force II
Truxton
World Cup Italia '90
Zoom!
The box art game was strong in that line up.
 

Camjo-Z

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,181
Damn, I never knew the Genesis launch line-up was so dire. Thunder Force II is by far the only standout of that miserable bunch, although Altered Beast has probably had the most lasting impact.

Also, glad to see Super Thunder Blade sharing last place. I played that game on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection and was blown away by how bad it was. Imagine my surprise when I finally tried Thunder Blade when they turned it into a 3D Classic and discovered what Super Thunder Blade should have played like.
 

andymcc

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,826
Columbus, OH
I picked Space Harrier II. I really do not like Thuderforce II's overhead sections, even if the side-scrolling parts are better than anything in Space Harrier II.

I loved Altered Beast when it came out. It was wild to pretty much be playing what seemed like the same game as the arcade at home.
 

Kelanflyter

Member
Nov 9, 2017
1,296
France
I love my Megadrive, but man the launch lineup was really poor.
It was better in europe thanks god, but in Japan and USA it was freaking dire.

Still Altered Beast is the only one i liked in the USA Lineup.
 
OP
OP

Phediuk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,289
Europe Launch Titles:

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Altered Beast
Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf
Forgotten Worlds
Ghouls'n Ghosts
Golden Axe
Last Battle
Mystic Defender
Rambo III
Revenge of Shinobi
Space Harrier II
Super Hang-On
Super League Baseball
Super Thunder Blade
Thunder Force II
Truxton
World Cup Italia '90
Zoom!
Revenge of Shinobi takes this one, followed by Ghouls n Ghosts; 3rd place is close between TF2 and Golden Axe.
 

JustinH

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,016
I've only played Altered Beast and Space Harrier II because those two games are always in Genesis collections, so I'll abstain from voting.

Thunder Force II appears to be the best game from those. At the time of release though? I would've been most into Tommy Lasorda baseball lol.
 

Baladium

Member
Apr 18, 2018
2,090
Carbonated Chemical Zone
That Last Battle box art is a total riot. 😂

Everyone pretty much knows this already, but the Genesis really didn’t pick up steam until a few years after launch. There are some gems from the early days but they’re few and far between. Lots of games just felt too “stiff” and were only marginal upgrades from the 8-bit era. At the moment I’m struggling to think of anything on the Genny that I truly loved that was released before ‘91...
 

sibarraz

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
9,049
Cool to see Altered Beast getting some recognition, It still piss me off how much people always shit in that game, now isn't the greatest game ever but is not also a bad game at all imo
 

Cisce

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,297
Thunder Force 2 is fantastic, so I voted for it but I was really tempted to pick Altered Beast for nostalgia's sake. It's a pretty dumb fun beat 'em up with a neat gimmick.
 

Symphony

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,009
I wasn't aware America had such a bad launch lineup, when your best title is merely ok (Thunder Force II) then that's pretty bad. Still it could have been worse, Japan only got Space Harrier 2 and Super Thunder Blade - I literally cannot think of a worse launch lineup for any console than that.
 
OP
OP

Phediuk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,289
The thing about the Thunder Force 2 overhead stages is that you get a huge point bonus (and thus a few extra lives) if you beat them in under a minute), so there's no reason not to rush straight through them.
 
Apr 19, 2018
1,045
ugh, the aesthetics of space harrier 2 <3
Umm, does this mean you like the aesthetics or hate it? Personally, I thought both the framerate and music were such a huge step down from the original Space Harrier that I never played it again beyond those early days.

Altered Beast is my choice for best launch title.
 

Kilgore

Member
Feb 5, 2018
2,361
Umm, does this mean you like the aesthetics or hate it? Personally, I thought both the framerate and music were such a huge step down from the original Space Harrier that I never played it again beyond those early days.

Altered Beast is my choice for best launch title.
I like them, even with the limitations. It was very aesthetically pleasing and still is.
 

logan_cadfgs

Member
Oct 28, 2017
118
Seeing the Genesis try to pull off Space Harrier and Thunder Blade without scaling hardware is awe-inspiring in the worst way. Does anyone have any anecdotes about these games from back in the day?

Personally can’t imagine anyone being impressed with them, especially if they had played the arcade versions beforehand. 😅
 

NeoZeedeater

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,876
still better than Master System Space Harrier.
I liked Space Harrier II but I think SMS Space Harrier was more impressive for its time. It was just a few years earlier but in the '80s, gaming moved quickly.

I voted for Tommy Lasorda Baseball as it's the one in the poll I played the most (and that's in a genre I like less than the others, and it was the one I was least interested in before playing). It had detail and a tactile quality above most sports games.