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Everyone remembers the Sega Genesis (aka MegaDrive). If nothing else, you probably remember the slogan from the commercials – “Genesis does what Ninten-don’t.” What people don’t remember as often, and generally with good reason, is the 32 bit attachment called the 32X.
This interested console was not actually a console at all, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, it plugged into the cartridge slot of the existing Genesis and was unable to function on its own. Right off the bat, you can already tell that it was a terrible idea, but alas, Sega released it, and to say it was not successful would be an understatement.
In spite of its poor performance, there were actually some good games released for the 32X, it’s just that no one actually played them. In total, there were only 40 games, which is insanely small when you compare it to other consoles released in that era. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the gems released for the console. So, if you have a 32X sitting around, it’s time to bust it out and have some fun!
This game is not a 32X exclusive, as it actually came to the SNES first. However, the visuals were bumped up quite a few notches, and it makes the game a bit better here. This game actually came from Blizzard, which is a little developer you might have heard of for games like Starcraft, Warcraft and WOW.
The important thing about the 32X version of this game is that it is a heavily cinematic platformer, so the better it looks, the better it is. The game mixes fun and challenging platforming with an interesting gunfight mechanic that is not to be missed. Even if you don’t have access to the 32X version, you can also play this game on the aforementioned SNES, Mac, and GameBoy Advanced.
This is actually the only Sonic game released for the 32X, which is pretty odd considering that Sega brought the blue hedgehog to every platform under the sun before this and since. Thankfully, since this is all Sega gave us, it just so happens to be a fantastic game. It captures the Sonic gameplay, even if it doesn’t fall into the traditional Sonic series.
Knuckles Chaotix actually features a big change to the way multiplayer functions. In the previous Sonic games, Tails could move off the screen and eventually return to Sonic when he strayed too far. In this, neither character takes the lead, which makes for some interesting and fun cooperative experiences that other Sonic games can’t match. That, along with the quality 32 bit graphics makes this a game worth playing.
Everything about this game is weird. The core mechanics may not sound weird at first, since it is just a side-scrolling shooter, but when you find out that instead of controlling a space ship or airplane you control a hummingbird, you start to understand the weirdness. That’s along with the incredibly weird and interesting story make this the awesome game that no one asked for.
The game looks beautiful on the 32X, and it’s one of the rare games that was only made for the Genesis add-on. Many other games were given some extra visual polish and ported, but this one was made with the 32X in mind, and it show, as the game is made with a level of quality and polish that far too many on the console are lacking.
Many aspects of this game will remind you of the Nintendo classic known as Star Fox. It features space battles with polygonal ships, and it does it in an awesome way. It features fantastic controls that give the player perfect accuracy while controlling their spacecraft.
The only thing really lacking from the game is much of a story. That’s okay though, because the gameplay more than makes up for the weak narrative. While it doesn’t rewrite the book on the 3D space shooter in any way, it’s still a really fun game that also released on the Sega Saturn (another failed Sega console). Because of where it was released, not enough gamers experienced it, which is quite sad.
Think the 32X is just a bad add-on for the Genesis filled with games no one would ever want to play? Think again. In spite of having a tiny library, there are some real gems tucked away. If you’ve never experience any of these, what are you waiting for? Dig out your old 32X and get to playing!
What 32X games do you love? Hit the comments section below and let us know!