Wonder Boy in Monster World

Wonder Boy in Monster World is a kid-oriented, somewhat light-hearted game with lots of bright colors and super-cute characters.  We decided to use a lot of screenshots in this entry, in the hope of conveying some of this happier mood across to you, the reader.  Well, that and I was up late last night eating a Zebra Cakes and watching old episodes of Roseanne and now I don’t really feel like writing today.  There’s just something about the combination of bad TV, sleep deprivation, and eating enough snack cakes to qualify as the world’s 3rd largest importer of sugar that saps your creative energies the next day.  Anyway, enjoy the pictures and, of course, our insightful commentary.

This is the very first sentence of the entire game, and it doesn’t really seem to make a lot of sense at first.  I mean, really – Monster World was once a peaceful region?  The place with all the monsters in it?  Are you sure?  But you quickly learn that it was only invaded invaded by monsters a few years ago, and that’s when the problems started.  Really, though, they were just asking for trouble by naming it “Monster World” in the first place.  What did they think would happen?

There is a problem inherent with make all your graphics all bright and cheerful like this.  See that happy crab over there?  Yeah, you’re totally going to stab him to death in a few seconds.  For money.  And then you’ll kill a cute little monkey after that.  In fact, by the end of the game, you’ll have murdered hundreds of adorable little critters, and every single one of them will have been smiling at you right up to the moment you sliced them open.  Parent’s groups like to complain about Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto, but this is the kind of stuff that trains kids to be serial killers.

Nice try, lady.  I’m not buying a jellyfish.

You thought it was bad when we were killing happy little crabs and monkeys?  Well now you get to kill a walking mushroom RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS KID.  Then you kill the little mushroom, too.  Monster World is a cruel, cruel place.  Mostly because of you.

Of time?  Because that would be a lot more fun than this.

Have you ever seen an old cartoon from the 1930s or so, and the depictions of various minorities are generally um… what’s the word for it… oh yeah, incredibly fucking racist?  Yeah, well apparently they were making Genesis games back then, too, because I can’t possibly imagine anyone in the last 20 years somehow thinking that this wasn’t offensive.  Well, ok I can think of a few, but I’m pretty sure the guy who played Kramer on Seinfeld doesn’t know how to program video games.  I guess we should just be happy this guy isn’t dribbling a basketball.  Oh, and of course you kill him and all his friends.  So yeah, Wonder Boy in Monster World is a game where you run around killing cute, happy animals and black people.  Amazing what developers got away with back then.

I’m no economist, but I have to think that part of the kingdom’s woes might stem from the fact that the princess has 5 servants all doing the job of standing in a line and telling you to make yourself at home.  Maybe this kingdom prides itself on providing full employment to all its citizens or something, but there’s got to be a better use for at least 2 of these ladies.  Perhaps we could give them some brooms and have them spend their time shooing away the adorable, yet deadly, monsters that keep invading the region.

Fantastic Dizzy

Brad: Kidnapping.  It’s one of the most famous and frequently used plot devices in video games.  From Super Mario, to Bad Dudes, to Double Dragon, few things are as effective at getting us to play through a challenging game than the chance to foil an abduction, except for maybe a chance to win the Super Bowl.  Or to shoot someone in the junk.  After those two things though, we love a good rescue mission.  In fact, if you were to combine all three and make a game where you rescued someone by shooting bad guys in the groin while inside a stadium, it would probably be the greatest thing ever.  Except I think I just described the final stage of Revolution X, and that game was horrible.  So perhaps my theory still needs some fine-tuning.

Fantastic Dizzy003

Just one of those quaint European towns where they leave their execution devices right out in the middle of the street.

Anyway, the whole kidnapping thing brings us to Fantastic Dizzy, the story of a sentient egg and his quest to rescue his abducted girlfriend.  I have to admit that having an egg for a main character seemed kind of weird.  I mean, there’s not too many games where you play as a piece of food.  Some other games may star cute, edible animals, but generally speaking, they don’t look like lunch – a live cow looks a lot different than a Double Whopper, after all.  But an egg?  That’s my breakfast walking around, solving puzzles, and smiling at me.  And I still kind of want to eat him.

Does that make me a bad person?

Plus there’s always the fact that at any given moment, a chicken might come bursting out of him, Alien style.  You know, I kind of feel sorry for Dizzy.  Being an egg seems like a stressful life, even without a kidnapped girlfriend.

Now most of these rescue-themed games are beat ’em ups where you just punch people until you find your girlfriend or the president or whatever.  But violence is not Dizzy’s way (despite the fact that he appears to be wearing boxing gloves at all times) – he’s a pacifist.  Which kinda makes sense, since an egg would probably try to avoid violence.  The only real attack he would have would be to slime someone, and he can’t do that without breaking himself open and spilling his yolky guts on them, which is kind of a game-ender for him.  I guess he could also launch himself into someone’s car, or give his enemies high cholesterol, but again, those are suicide attacks from his point of view.

Of course, this makes it harder for Dizzy to know where he’s supposed to go.  In a beat-em-up, all you have to do is follow the trail of bad guys waiting for you to punch them.  No such luck with Fantastic Dizzy – you’re going to have to explore and solve puzzles if you expect to rescue Dizzy’s girlfriend.  The majority of the gameplay centers around you trying to locate and recover 250 stars that have been scattered around the landscape and, for reasons never fully explained, are a critical part of completing this rescue.

Dizzy’s not alone in this venture, however.  He has several friends who are willing to help him, or at least would be if they weren’t under the influence of a spell.  At least that’s what the game tells you.  To the casual observer, it seems like they’re really just assholes who don’t want to help Dizzy until after he solves their far less significant problems for them.  And even then, their idea of “helping” Dizzy is usually either just getting out of his way, or giving him stuff that they weren’t using anyway.  Hey, sorry you can’t find your bag of gold, but my girlfriend has been kidnapped and might be in serious danger – would you mind letting me use that ladder you’re blocking, and I’ll help you find the gold later?  No?  Fine, I’ll waste time helping you now while she gets hard-boiled, cockmaster.  Thanks for nothing.

Fantastic Dizzy005Ok, this isn’t really relevant to the picture, but it reminds me of the TV Guide description for the movie Leprechaun: “Evil Irish fairy goes on gory quest for gold.”

My biggest complaint with Fantastic Dizzy was the way the game is laid out.  As you explore, you find items you can pick up, and most of the puzzle solving is simply a matter of carrying these items to wherever they are needed.  Where it gets challenging is that you can only carry three items at a time, and if you already have three items, you have to drop one and then try to remember where you left it, because you WILL need it later.  This gets to be especially frustrating because most of the puzzles aren’t exactly obvious, so it’s often a matter of trying every single item you’ve have with you, and if that doesn’t work, backtracking through the entire game to pick up every other item you’ve come across and seeing if those work.

It doesn’t take too long for this to start to get old.

To put it another way – it takes a special kind of failure to make the nightmarish inventory management from Resident Evil seem like a preferable alternative, but Fantastic Dizzy manages to do so.  What I wouldn’t have given for 3 more item slots and those bottomless storage chests that magically teleport your items from one box to another.  Fantastic Dizzy made it pretty far in this contest based on the strength of its concept, but it’s not going to make the Top 50 because its somewhat haphazard execution.

Stryker: Look, Fantastic Dizzy, I’ve got two small kids.  The last thing I want to do is play a game where the object is to pick up junk that someone else left laying around and put it back where it belongs.  I already have that game at home – it’s called “living room”.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors!

Brad: Ever since this game first came out, people have been telling me how great it is, and immediately after playing it for the first time, I’ve wondered how it was possible that so many people I know could be on drugs.  I mean, I didn’t grow up in that bad of a neighborhood.  Over the last 16 years, I’ve come to accept that I’m apparently the only person in the world who doesn’t like Zombies Ate My Neighbors!  But unlike other times in which this has been the case, such knowledge hasn’t made me reconsider my opinion in the least.  Instead, I’ve just gone through life assuming that I’m the one who’s right, and the rest of you would light your hair on fire if only they hadn’t child-proofed the lighters back in the 80s.  So nice job maintaining the ZAMN! fanbase, overprotective government agencies.  Someone at LucasArts owes you a thank you card.

Zombies 8 Neighbors004

The boxes appear to be labeled “cum baby” which is disturbing on many, many levels.  In fact, just writing this caption probably got me onto some kind of government watchlist.

Nevertheless, the game did make it pretty far into our project before getting its seal revoked (you can thank Stryker for keeping it around), so it’s probably worth looking into what everyone finds so appealing about this damned game.  Surely it can’t be the gameplay, which is probably best described as “kind of like Gauntlet, except annoying.”  You play as one of two young protagonists and navigate maze-like levels and shoot zombies, mummies, or whatever other monsters lie in wait for you in order to find victims and save them before they get eaten by the aforementioned monsters.  The level is over when all the people are either rescued or killed, and I can honestly say I have no idea if there are negative consequences for letting everyone die because there was never much of a threat of that happening – these monsters kind of suck at their jobs.  Rescuing people tends to be the preferred tactic if for no other reason than because its usually faster than waiting around for something to eat them.

On the other hand, this is one of the few games in the Genesis or SNES library to feature a co-op mode, so if you want to team up with a friend and not have fun together, there’s always that option.  In fact, some of the most average memories I have of spending time with my brother when we were kids was playing this game together.  You know, before we’d go do something fun, like play tackle football in a narrow hallway or try to drown each other in the pool.

Stryker: I actually do like this game, but its cornball attempts at humor don’t take very long to start getting old.  Fighting zombies with squirt guns and popsicles?  Is that really funny?  The entire game is just a long series of moments that range from mildly amusing to painfully cheesy, not unlike one of those episodes of Scooby Doo where the 3 Stooges were guest stars.  I’m sure there’s somebody out there who finds this game hilarious, but its not like he’s had any free time ever since Big Momma’s House came out in DVD.

Zombies 8 Neighbors000

It just doesn’t get any more rad than this kid.

Mr. Do!: Frustrating level designs, piss-poor inventory management, and terminally unfunny.  This game is a fucking rocket ship of ineptitude.

Devilish

Brad: I appreciate Devilish’s attempt to make an adventure game based around Breakout-style gameplay, but here’s the problem – adventure games have stories.  Stories that attempt to explain what’s going on within the game.  Which is fine if you’re making a game about, say, a knight who goes around stabbing dragons.  It gets harder – though certainly not impossible – if you’re dealing with a narrative about a plumber who likes to stomp on turtles all day long, and harder still if your game is about Shaq competing in a martial arts tournament.  But when your game is basically a modified version of Pong starring skeletons and demons, well… things can get tricky.

Stryker: Which is to say, Devilish’s story doesn’t make any damn sense at all.

Brad: To illustrate our point, we’re going to put up pictures of the game’s intro screens and discuss them:

Part 1 of 4

Devilsh005

Brad: Ok, so far, so good – this seems like pretty standard fare for video games.  You just know this isn’t going to end well, though.  I’m amazed video games haven’t abandoned the monarchy already.  It seems like bad things are always happening to members of the royal family.

Stryker: And the system is particularly vulnerable to this kind of thing.  At least when President Ronnie gets kidnapped by the ninjas, we have a Vice President and Congress to run the country while I go rescue him.  But if a King becomes ill, or a princess gets captured, all of a sudden the whole kingdom is in chaos, and they just sit around doing nothing and hoping some stranger will go on a lengthy, dangerous quest and fix everything for them.

Brad: I believe that’s exactly how the Pizzaro conquered the Inca.  Well, that and smallpox.

Stryker: Think back to Super Mario Bros. – Princess Toadstool gets kidnapped, and who do they send to get her back?  Some royal guards?  A groups of knights?  No, they send a plumber.  Everyone else just runs around like idiots screaming that she’s gone.  This is the problem with videogame monarchies.

Brad: I don’t really think anyone sent Mario.  He probably just went on his own.  He was doing some pipe work at the castle when it happened, saw how completely ineffectual it made everyone else, and was like “Damn, looks like nobody’s paying me for unclogging this sink until somebody brings her back.”

Stryker: Or maybe “Hey, here’s a chance to bill some overtime.”

Part 2 of 4

Devilsh006

Brad: I guess this makes sense.  If I was a devil living in the Dark World, I’d probably be jealous of the happy couple, too.  Or maybe not, you’d think devils would like being alone and living in darkness.

Stryker: What is his name supposed to be?  Is that the Prince symbol?

Brad: Hmmm, it is a little strange that they’d bother even mentioning his name at all if it’s just some weird letter.  It would seem to make more sense just to have him be anonymous.

Stryker: Or give him a normal name, like Karl.  Karl the Devil.

Brad: Anyway, I’d bet money that he’s going to kidnap the princess.

Stryker: That’s pretty much a given.  The only question is whether the Prince gets kidnapped too, or if its up to him to rescue her.

Brad: Or if he just stands by while Mario rescues her for him.  I’d say that’s the most likely.

Part 3 of 4

Devilsh007

Brad: Wait… he did what now?

Stryker: I have to admit, I didn’t see that coming.  I mean, I guess maybe I should have, given the gameplay, but no, this was still kind of out of the blue.

Brad: I like the way the game is completely nonchalant about the whole thing.  Apparently this is a pretty routine thing for demons to do.  The whole landscape must be littered with stone paddles.

Stryker: I think it’s a trick by the game developers.  The idea is that if you act like this is totally normal, maybe people will accept it without noticing how insane it is.  That’s how I get my kids to eat vegetables – I act like it’s totally normal to eat Brussels sprouts, even though they taste like dirty socks and we haven’t had them in at least 5 years.

Brad: The Metal Gear Solid games use an advanced version of this technique, where they spend inordinate amounts of time explaining kind-of crazy things, and then the really insane stuff they barely acknowledge at all.  It’s like “Here’s a two and half-hour long cutscene explaining why this guy is evil. Oh and by the way, he only talks in rhyme and inline skates everywhere.  And can shoot bugs at you with his mind.”

Stryker: And he’s named after one of those animals at the zoo nobody ever remembers seeing after they leave.

Part 4 of 4

Devilsh008

Brad: On it’s own, this screen wouldn’t be too weird, but it’s worth noting that this is the end of the intro.  There’s no more text after this.  It’s almost as if the person writing the story realized how bad it was and suddenly gave up right in the middle.

Stryker: Well, it was too late to start over.  They had already written a whole paragraph’s worth of story about a demon who turns people into stone paddles.  Better to just quit in the middle than give up on something that awesome.

Brad: Back when I was in high school, I had a game that was a rip-off of Breakout that I could play on my graphing calculator.  It didn’t have any story at all, and for some inexplicable reason, it was named Pearl Jam.  I was still more involved in that game’s narrative than I am in Devilish’s.

Stryker: At the end of Final Fantasy III, Kefka gives one of my all-time favorite bad guy speeches, at one point illustrating the futility of your quest by asking your characters “Why do you build, knowing destruction is inevitable? Why do you yearn to live, knowing all things must die?”  Along those lines, I would add “Why do you write a story for Devilish, knowing it must suck?”

Brad: It’s a good point except… well, why did we sit through it, then?

Championship Bowling

Brad: Back when I was a teenager, I played in a bowling league.  Now I could regale with stories from those days, telling you all about high scores or the dramatic head-to-head “bowl-off” that occurred on the last week of the season when our team finished in a tie for first place.  But believe it or not, teen bowling leagues are actually not that interesting.  Strip bowling of the beer, the cigarettes, the middle aged construction workers with names like “Sully” or “Smitty”, and all you’ve got left are a bunch of 17 year old nerds with nothing better to do on a Saturday night than work out their sexual frustrations by whipping a big heavy rock at a bunch of little sticks.  More often than not, the highlight of the evening was after the bowling was all over and I could spend some quality time with the alley’s Combatribes arcade machine.  That is, unless I was the lucky guy who won the weekly prize drawing.  Then the highlight of the night was playing Combatribes while drinking a free Shirley Temple.

Championship Bowling000

I, too, was a “finess” bowler when I played.

So, if that’s how geeky bowling is at its core, you can probably imagine what it must be like on your Sega Genesis, where the already limited social aspects are completely removed and you can enjoy it from the comfort of your mother’s basement.  I mean, I suppose you could drink beer or smoke while you’re playing it, but it’s just not the same, and the misguided attempt to recreate an atmosphere of the real thing just makes it seem even more sad.  It would be like treating your kid’s school art show as though it were the opening night a high-end gallery by getting ripped out of your mind on cocaine before attending.  The experience still doesn’t match up to the real thing.

Still, if you can allow yourself to participate in such a particularly geekish activity (and seeing as you’re reading a blog about old Sega Genesis games, that seems like a pretty safe assumption), the game can be pretty fun.  Sure, a game about bowling isn’t going to be that “video game equivalent of Citizen Kane” that the more insufferable journalists in this business are always clamoring for.  But the gameplay is solid and I’d be lying if I didn’t do a little fist pump every time I rolled a strike.  That’s more than I can say about Earthworm Jim.

Championship Bowling010

So this is where all the Railroad Barons and Gay Punks like to hang out.

Which isn’t to say that the gameplay isn’t without it’s limitations.  To throw the ball, you do consecutive timing meters (similar to a golf game, or kicking in football) for spin, location, and power.  In real bowling, you would have to do all of this simultaneously, which is a big part of the challenge.  Doing each in succession allows you to compensate if you screw up one of the earlier inputs.  Try to imagine a picther in baseball trying to throw a curveball so that it starts right down the middle before breaking sharply out of the strike zone, but at the last second realizing that he screwed up the throwing motion and that the ball wasn’t going to curve at all.  In real life, that pitch would get crushed out of the park.  But in the world of Championship Bowling, he’d just change his location to the corner, increase his power, and throw a wicked low and away fastball instead of a curveball.  Theoretically, this kind of change could turn the current starting rotation for the Cincinnati Reds into a group of Nolan Ryans.  Or me into a world-class bowler.

My only other complaint with Championship Bowling is that playing the one player mode seems kind of… pointless.  Obviously, I didn’t expect a bowling game to have an epic story (and really, it’s probably better that there isn’t one), but there isn’t much benefit to beating the computer.  Given what other sports games were offering at the time, it’s not inconceivable to imagine a bowling game with teams, league play, and different players with various abilities – sort of a Madden or Tecmo of bowling.  Instead, you go up against three different opponents in individual games, and when you beat them, you get to do it all over again in a new alley.  Sorry, but I’m going to need something more than the promise of a different background to look forward to if you expect my to sit through 12 games of bowling in one sitting.  Even in real life, with beer, fried foods, and “Smitty” around to enhance to experience, I’ve usually had enough by halfway through the third game.

Championship Bowling002I think a sparkly hooker dress with high heels is totally appropriate for bowling.

 

Stryker: I also bowled as a teen, but unlike Brad and his uber-lame Saturday night bowling league for nerds who can’t get dates, my league at least was on Saturday afternoons.  But even though I was raised in a bowling environment free of smoking and drinking, I still find this game’s sterile representation of the sport to be lacking the bowling atmosphere I’m accustomed to.  Specifically, it just feels weird to bowl without an episode of American Gladiators or WWF Superstars of Wrestling playing on a TV in the background.  Come to think of it, that’s probably why I retired from the sport in 1995 in the first place.

Predator 2

Brad: I think before we go any farther, there is something we have to address.

Stryker: Yes?

Brad: According to our methods, which are based on indisputable science, Predator 2 is one of the 100 best games for the Sega Genesis.  Predator 2.  Which, just to clarify, is based on the movie Predator 2 – it’s not the sequel to some game that just happened to be called Predator, or even the sequel to a game based on the first movie.  What we’re saying is that a game based on the movie Predator 2 is better than roughly 85% of the games ever made for this system that we love so dearly.

Predator 2003

You know, seeing the Predator hold up my spine and skull in victory really doesn’t make me feel high-score worthy.

Stryker: To be fair, we did eliminate like 500 sports games because of redundancy.

Brad: The one rule of gaming everyone likes to repeat is that games based on movies are almost never good.  But maybe the truth is that the worse a movie gets, the better the game based on it is.  Jurassic Park – great movie, terrible game.  Predator 2 – bad movie, decent game.

Stryker: That doesn’t explain No Escape.

Brad: Perhaps No Escape is the exception that proves the rule.

Stryker: I think any time someone says “That’s the exception that proves the rule,”  what they really mean is “You’ve just completely discredited my theory, but hopefully this makes me sound smart enough that you’ll believe me anyway.”

Brad: Did it work?

Stryker: No.

Brad:Believe it or not, I actually really, really liked this game until the third level when they decided to make it impossible.

Stryker: It’s kind of like even the developers didn’t expect this game to be any good.  They probably thought “Oh, we’ll just make level 3 crazy hard.  Nobody’s going to play that far into a game based on Predator 2, anyway.”

Brad: It probably never occurred to them that their game was actually fun.

Stryker: I’m a little confused about the story though, it doesn’t really follow the plot from the movie.

Brad: Um… well, there is this drug war, and the drug lords are taking people hostage.  And then the Predator kills the hostages if you don’t rescue them in time.

Stryker: So the drug gangs work for the Predator?

Brad: I guess, but I don’t know why the Predator would want to kill tied up hostages.  There doesn’t seem to be much challenge in that.  In the movie, the Predator was hunting people for sport, and wouldn’t even attack unarmed people.  I don’t know – I get the feeling that there really isn’t supposed to be a plot to this game.  It seems like they just took a bunch of stuff from the movie and just threw it into the game at random.

Stryker: Ok, but why did taxi cabs keep driving by and shooting at me?  Even in a game completely lacking a coherent story, that still strikes me as particularly crazy.

Brad: I think it’s because you play as Danny Glover.

Stryker: Ah, I had forgotten about that.  Now it all makes sense.  Well, not all… just the taxi part.  The rest of the game is still confusing as hell.

Brad: The thing I don’t understand is, if you’re going to just grab bits and pieces from the movie Predator 2 and throw it into a game haphazardly, how do you pass up on Bill Paxton?  He’s awesome.

Stryker: Maybe that’s what the 4th level is.  You just go to Bill Paxton’s house and hang out, and he’s all “Game over, man” and you can be like “Here comes a Twister!” even though that movie wouldn’t be made for a few more years.

Brad: It would be the ultimate reward for getting through that impossible third level with the taxi drivers and motorcycles that hate you…. Hmmm, maybe its not a good sign that the Predator ranks third on the list of things that can kill you on the hardest level in the game.

Stryker: I’m still wondering if it would have turned out better or worse if they stuck closer to the plot of movie.

Brad: To be honest, I managed to avoid the movie, so when it came time to write this, I went on Wikipedia and read about it there.  Which means at some point prior to that, somebody went on Wikipedia and thought, “Hey, this site really needs an entry on Predator 2.”

Stryker: And knowing Wikipedia, the entry for Predator 2 is probably longer and more detailed that the one for Shakespeare’s Othello.

Brad: I’ve come to expect that from Wikipedia, but I’d be pretty upset if it turns out that the entry for Predator 2 is longer than the one for Jason and the Argonauts.  That movie rules.

Stryker: Hold on, let me check…

Stryker: …oh, you’re not going to like this.

Brad: Are you serious?

Stryker: Yeah, plot summary – Jason has 894 words to Predator 2’s 1,114.

Brad: Well then, I’m afraid we’ll have to end our discussion here.  It seems that I have a Wikipedia entry I need to go pad.

Did We Say Top 100? We Meant 50.

So, after more than a year of planning this project, playing and writing about Genesis games, declaring that we had determined the Top 100 Genesis Games and then actually writing the several of the first entries of our countdown and even publishing the first one, we’ve decided to undergo a major change in format.  Instead of doing a Top 100 list as originally planned, we’re going to make it a Top 50.

Our reason for making this change is that, quite simply, we kind of ran into the Top 100 before we ran out of games that we didn’t really like.

When we first began this project, we had a lot of experience playing Genesis games, but hadn’t come anywhere close to playing every title available on the system.  We looked over the list of games made for it, fell back on our knowledge of the ones that we had played, read up on some of the ones we hadn’t, and made the assumption that there had to be AT LEAST 100 really great games for the system.  We then eliminated 600+ of those games to come up with our list of 100 games.  And then we realized that a lot of the games that survived this process, while better than the ones that hadn’t, weren’t really that great.  Don’t get me wrong, none of the games that would have made our Top 100 were bad.  In fact, many of them were pretty good.  But probably only half of them were great.

The problem became more and more apparent as we began writing entries for the countdown.  Obviously, we’ve come at this project with the approach of being critical of every game for two reasons.  The primary reason was for comedy – picking on games tends to lend itself to humor better than raining praise on them.  The second reason was more practical.  Our methodology relies on process of elimination, which means finding flaws, picking on the weakest titles on the list, and removing them from competition.  We intend to keep the same overly critical tone throughout the entire project, all the way down to our entry for the #1 game, but there does come a point where we should be capable of describing the game with something other than unrelenting scorn.  To put it another way, “This game sucks less than most of the other games on the Genesis” isn’t a very compelling reason to put it on any kind of list.  When I wrote the entry for what would have been game #99, I mentioned that it’s inclusion in the Top 100 made a pretty good case for why we should have made a shorter list.  When I found myself making a similar observation game #90, it started to seem less like a joke and more like something to be seriously considered.  Eventually, it was.

Don’t assume that this is a clever guise to suddenly become lazy.  True, we will be counting down half as many titles onto our list as we originally planned.  But now we also have to write another 50 elimination entries.  So it all comes out even.

To put it another way:  Upon further review, we’ve decided that there are actually only 50 Genesis games worthy of keeping their Sega Seal of Quality.  Let the revocations continue.

Did We Say Top 100? We Meant 50.
###############################################################################################################################################################################################################################################################
Our reason for making this change is that, quite simply, we kind of ran into the Top 100 before we ran out of games that we didn’t really like.
###############################################################################################################################################################################################################################################################
The problem became more and more apparent as we began writing entries for the countdown. Obviously, we’ve come at this project with the approach of being critical of every game for two reasons. The pirmary reason was for comedy – picking on games tends to lend itself to humor better than raining praise on them. The second reason was more practical. Our methodology relies on process of elimination, which means finding flaws, picking on the weakest titles on the list, and removing them from competition. We intend to keep the same overly critical tone throughout the entire project, all the way down to our entry for the #1 game, but there does come a point where we should be capable of describing the game with something other than unrelenting scorn. To put it another way, “This game sucks less than most of the other games on the Genesis” isn’t a very compelling reason to put it on any kind of list. When I wrote the entry for what would have been game #99, I mentioned that it’s inclusion in the Top 100 made a pretty good case for why we should have made a shorter list. When I found myself making a similar observation game #90, it started to seem less like a joke and more like something to be seriously considered. Eventually, it was.
Don’t assume that this is a clever guise to suddenly become lazy. True, we will be counting down half as many titles onto our list as we originally planned. But now we also have to write another 50 elimination entries. So it all comes out even.
To put it another way: Upon further review, we’ve decided that there are actually only 50 Genesis games worthy of keeping their Sega Seal of Quality. Better late than never.