According to Gizmodo, Sega’s taking another crack at officially endorsed Genesis emulation, this time with Ultimate Genesis. It’s reputedly an iPhone app that allows users to download games that cost between $3 and $6. Best of all, it’s a fine way to relive the console that changed playground debates forever.
Kids these days don’t know what console wars were like in the early ’90s, just when Nintendo got its first real competition. Lockers were plastered with posters of mascots, playgrounds were filled with endless comparisons of “bits”, “blast processing”, “Super FX” and what console had the nicer looking games. Children would do everything they could to persuade their friends to join their side and buy their beloved console of choice.
As for me, I was a Sega kid. When Sega dropped out of the console race, we were like exiles from a lost cause. Yet like all things, Sega never really went away. They just went third-party, making games for other platforms.
Now, Sega has been producing games for the iPhone. A few of those games amounted to little more than emulated Genesis titles, but performance on anything less than an iPhone 3GS was kind of crummy. Indie developer Christian Whitehead showed off what native ports of Genesis or Sega CD games could do on the iPhone, but Sega never said a word about them, and the trickle of emulated Genesis ports slowed to almost nothing.
The rumored initial lineup of titles for Ultimate Genesis consists of classics like the underrated Shining Force, a strategy RPG from the makers of Golden Sun; Ecco the Dolphin, a beautiful but crazy difficult platformer that almost requires a walkthrough to finish; Golden Axe, a Conan-influenced beat-’em-up from the team that later went on to make the House of the Dead games; and, of course, Sonic the Hedgehog, back when his games were fun to play. The app also comes with Space Harrier II, a shooter that kind of pales in comparison to the original arcade game, but it should give you some idea of how well the emulator performs on your iPhone.
Ultimate Genesis is reputedly due for an early February release, at which point Sega will rightfully be able to brag that Genesis does what Nintendon’t.