Ghostbusters for the SEGA Genesis is a game that holds a very special place in my heart. During Christmas 1991 I received my Model 1 SEGA Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog bundled in, and from that point forward I was a SEGA fan. Owning a Genesis also meant that a whole world of games opened up to me, and since the console was a little over two years old, I spent much of 1992 buying up games I had missed out on. Buying games in the early ’90’s was tough. Nowadays we have instant access to the internet, so it’s easy to spot a game on the shelf, Google search reviews, and make the decision to purchase. Back in ’92 all I had to go by was the box art and the few screenshots provided on the back. Being a huge fan of both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters, it only made sense for me to seek out the Genesis titles those franchises provided, and boy did I strike gold.
In the early 90s SEGA was in a pretty good place. They had finally managed to break through Nintendo’s monopoly over the market, Sonic was a hit and the Genesis was on top. Even so, the Genesis’s position was still precarious. By 1992 the Genesis was four years old and its age was beginning to show. The SNES was beginning to really show off its superior graphics and sound capabilities and the incredible Mode 7 effect on display in Mario Kart was out of the Genesis’s reach (at least, until the release of Pier Solar twenty years later).
So how does SEGA respond? With awesome marketing of course! Marketing that brags about the one thing that the Genesis can do better than the Super Nintendo: speed. What makes this ad even more spectacular is how it takes Mario Kart, the SNES’s most impressive looking game at the time, and compares it to a broken down jalopy. That takes some serious balls.
Blast processing may have been bullshit, but you can’t deny the sheer effectiveness of this ad. Especially since the Genesis continued to dominate the industry in the West after 1992.
In mid-January we made the announcement that all year long we’d be celebrating five famous (and infamous) pieces of SEGA hardware hitting milestone anniversaries in what we dubbed 2014: The Year of the SEGA Console. While the 32X, Saturn, Dreamcast, and Pico are slated for month long celebrations later this year, all of March will be focused on SEGA’s 16-bit underdog the SEGA Genesis.
As an American who grew up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the Genesis is a console that is near and dear to my heart. The Genesis was my introduction to the world of SEGA games, as well as the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. I know I’m not alone, as that period from 1989 to the mid ’90’s is filled with nostalgic memories for many SEGA fans of the era. As time went on, I became more savvy of SEGA’s impact on other territories, leading to the realization that the Genesis was actually the Mega Drive to everywhere else but America. Still, to me it was the Genesis, not the Mega Drive, that shaped my SEGA fandom and played a major part of defining my childhood.
To honor the Genesis, we plan to feature exciting content both here at SEGAbits and at the SEGAbits YouTube Channel. Expect to see another SEGAbits Franchise Week – this time dedicated to a certain bare knuckle brawler – as well as retro reviews, interviews, round tables, special edition podcasts, and a few surprises. So plug in your controller of choice, clean off those cartridges, and power on for SEGA GENESIS MONTH!