Released in 1992, one year after the classic Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s big contribution to the series was the introduction of two-player games of Sonic. It was also a Japanese/American co-production this time, by Sega Technical Institute.
When Sega bigwigs asked their talented designers to create a video game character that would become the company mascot, the designers rubbed their chins for a while, then came up with a blue hedgehog, called Sonic.
In fact, the designers were so enamoured with their new creation that they changed their name to Sonic Team as they developed the game.
Released in 1989 for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis, Phantasy Star II is a pioneering RPG for its time. It’s a sequel, obviously; to the classic Sega Master System release of 1987, Phantasy Star.
My personal favourite of the Alex Kidd Sega Master System games – Miracle World was first released in 1986.
This classic level-grinder first came out on the Sega Dreamcast in 2000 and was later remade for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002.
Skies of Arcadia Legends – as the remake is called – is a fantastic slice of traditional Japanese role-playing and story-telling, with a main character who is a young ‘air pirate’, that is: a pirate who sails ships that fly in the air. His name is Vyse, and you control him through a complex chain of events, and a procession of seemingly never-ending, Final Fantasy-style, turn-based battles.
Skies of Arcadia Legends is brilliant fun, with nice graphics and engaging gameplay. Definitely one of the best games on the GameCube.
For my money: THE best game on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis.
Sega‘s very own level-grinding RPG franchise comes to full fruition in this fourth instalment of the Phantasy Star series, first released in 1993.
Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium is a perfect mix of Final Fantasy-style adventuring, with a futuristic setting, great graphics, sound, and a humorous script. The combat is fantastic, with lots of detail, and decent rules, and great variety in the monsters, backdrops, and bosses. There are vehicle sections too. It’s a huge game.
Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium is one of the best level-grinders/dungeon-crawlers of all time! And it’s still available on Steam.