We all remember our very first video game that got us on the road to becoming a hardcore gamer. Everyone has their all time favorite video games that stood out from all the other games we played in our lifetime. I have a few favorite classic games in my list. The first was the side scrolling action beat’em up, Streets of Rage; and the second was Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which we all know was a fast paced platform jumping game. Both games were released in North America back in 1992 for the Sega Genesis. At the time, we didn’t own any gaming consoles so we didn’t actually buy our Sega Genesis until 1994. Back then my Dad used to rent games and the consoles from Blockbuster video for us to play during the week, and that was when we first played Streets of Rage 2. We loved the game so much that we later bought Streets of Rage 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and the Sega Genesis system all within the same year.
At that time games didn’t have a “Save and load progress” feature, so you had to either put in a password or play the games in one play through, we normally went with the latter. During the weekends my brother and sisters and I used to sit in front of the television all day long, from breakfast until dinner, playing the games on 2 player Coop mode trying to beat the final stages. I remember we had some friends that left their system on all week because they couldn’t get passed the final stage and since they couldn’t save the game they decided to never turn off their Genesis. Sadly, our friend’s system ended up catching on fire and burning out later that week. Fortunately for us that was not the case. We were normally able to conquer the games within a single day, so by the time we had to go to bed we were already watching the end credits and turning the system off. And then the fun would began all over again the next day.
Both games we owned were maybe about an hour to two hours long if you were good enough to play them without dying, but games back then were a lot more difficult than they are now, so it normally took a lot longer to conquer. After owning the games for about a year we later rented Streets of Rage 3, which wasn’t nearly as good as its predecessor and we decided that it wasn’t worth buying. However, we did buy both Sonic and Knuckles and its brother game, Sonic the Hedgehog 3; which I will admit were both amazing games.
Sonic and knuckles was unique because you could link the games together, and by link together I mean that one game cartridge snapped on top of the other, so you could make the games twice as long to connect the two stories into one really epic game called ‘Sonic and knuckles 3’. Sonic and knuckles 3 also added the save and load feature to continue your progress, which was pretty mind blowing at the time. The linked games were like old school versions of downloadable content for the Sega Genesis. You could even link other Sega Genesis games together for unique special stages, or play the older Sonic 2 game with Knuckles as a special character. By far they are my favorite video games of all time. We still played all of those games for over 9 years, and even after all that time our original game controllers, video games, and Sega Genesis still worked perfectly. You just don’t get that kind of quality from gaming consoles now days. Although we no longer own our genesis, even to this day my brother and I will still go back and play some of our classic games again just for fun.
If you don’t own a classic gaming console you can still play HD versions of both Streets of Rage 2 and the Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Playstation Network, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox live arcade as downloadable content. If you haven’t already played them, I highly recommend that you give them a try.
For me, the classics were the real hardcore games, so I must end with- Long live classic gaming!
Have a favorite game? Share it with us in the comments!