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6-PAK – Genesis

gen 6pak Platform: Sega Genesis

Developer: SegaSoft

Publisher: SegaSoft

Release Date (NA): Summer 1995

Genre: Compilation

Nerd Rating: Individually ratedGenesis_6-Pak_Title

Genesis 6-PAK is a compilation cartridge released by SegaSoft in the summer of 1995.  It always amazed me how they can fit 6 FULL games on 1 cartridge, but they can’t add more content to the individual game before they released it (such as adding another level or 2 to Sonic 1).  This compilation encompasses a wide variety of genres including platformer, puzzle, racing, beat’em up, action, and adventure.  Read below for a quick summary of each game!

Sonic the Hedgehog – 9 out of 10

gen 6pak sonic

What more can be said about this game?  Sonic the Hedgehog, also known as Sonic 1 after the release of the other Sonic games, gen 6pak sonic screenrevolutionized platformers as we know them.  Originally developed as a way to showcase the technical speed of the Genesis hardware, Sonic 1 would take the world by storm and become as popular as Mario (albeit for a much shorter period of time).  Sonic had the persona of being “cooler” than Mario, so this undoubtedly was responsible for much of the Genesis’s success and Sonic’s success.

Sonic 1 is a prime example of Platforming and is a truly fun experience.  By including Sonic 1 on the 6-PAK, Sega could guarantee the sales of the 6-PAK.  The inclusion of Sonic 1 on the 6-PAK should be enough for you to go buy this compilation.

 

Streets of Rage (FULL REVIEW COMING SOON) 7 out of 10

6pak streets of rage

Streets of Rage is your everyday beat’em up game, but it holds some serious fun-appeal.  Even today!  My girlfriend does NOT play Streets_of_Rage_GEN_ScreenShot4video games… ever… but I convinced her to pick up a Genesis controller one night with me and the 2 of us played Streets of Rage for close to 2 hours and almost beat the game!  What makes this game fun is the fact that you can simply punch and kick your way from one end of the “mean streets” to the other.  Along the way you can pick up metal rods and other objects and either hit someone with them or use them as a one-time projectile.  One of the downsides is the friendly fire.  Be careful to not kick your partner in the back of the head.

Streets of Rage produced multiple sequels due to the wild success of this one.  There is no question as to why Sega would put Streets of Rage on the 6-PAK.

Columns (FULL REVIEW COMING SOON) 6.5 out of 10

columns

Columns is a fun puzzle game for 1 or 2 people.  It’s not easy by any means, but it’s not impossible either.  Various colored jewels drop down in groups of 3 very similar to Tetris.  Instead of producing a solid line from left to right, it is the player’s duty to match like columns-segacolors in groups of 3 or larger.  The 3-jewel “blocks” can only be dropped vertically, but the formation can be altered as they drop, allowing the player to match up the correct colored jewels.  Columns can be exceptionally challenging in the later levels as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish colors while the jewels fly down in high speed.

Columns was a very popular game, but hardly exclusive to the Sega Genesis as it saw releases on multiple other platforms such as the Super Famicom, Turbografx, and Game Boy to name a few.  The inclusion of this game on the 6-PAK makes sense, but due to its non-exclusivity, one might wonder why Sega chose to include this game and not Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine?  We may never know, but for now, it is a welcome inclusion on the 6-PAK.

Golden Axe (FULL REVIEW COMING SOON) 5.5 out of 10

6pak golden axe

A straight up beat’em up game with some awesome animation and some decent sound, Golden Axe delivered in a way most games 6pak golden axe screenshotcouldn’t.  That was 1990 though.  My friend Peeps loved this game, but I could never really enjoy it. It was all too simple and too much of the same nonsense with a great deal of luck (or unluckiness). You walk slowly across the screen, a bad guy comes up and you punch punch punch until he’s dead. Then you walk some more and do the same.  But Streets of Rage is the same, so why was that more fun?  Maybe it’s because I’m not all that into fantasy.  Or maybe it’s because Streets of Rage added just a tad bit more edginess and variety.  Either way, Golden Axe is a good game with plenty to offer.  One just needs to be prepared for some extremely frustrating moments as you try to kill off 3 enemies at the same time even though you can only swing in one direction at a time.

Sega’s inclusion of Golden Axe on the 6-PAK is more than understandable.  It was a popular arcade title and porting it directly to the Genesis 6-PAK could directly affect the compilation’s sales.

 

Super Hang On (FULL REVIEW COMING SOON) 3 out of 10

super hang on coverart

Super Hang On is a motorcycle racing game semi-similar to Road Rash but nowhere near as mechanically sound in game control nor does it even feel remotely fun after all these years like Road Rash felt.  Super Hang On is a very VERY outdated racing game with little to no reward for spending your time trying to control the clunky slow bike and rudimentary button scheme.  Accelerate, super hang on screenshotbrake, left, right.  It’s so basic that there’s no way Sega could make this Arcade port unenjoyable.  But they did.

The awesome thing about the Arcade version was actually getting to sit on the bike and lean left, lean right, control the throttle with the handle, and more.  That entire experience is stripped away by bringing it to the Sega Genesis and then is worsened by the delayed response (and sometimes non-responsive) of controls.  The music sounds like it belongs on the Sega Master System, not the powerful 16-bit Sega Genesis!  The graphics are halfway decent although the animation is pretty basic.  I like the color contrast of the blue sky with the tan sand.

Overall, Super Hang On is a pretty tough game to get into these days.  Granted it was released in 1989 for the Mega Drive, but so was Sonic the Hedgehog.  Sega’s inclusion of Super Hang On for the Genesis 6-PAK brings the overall value of the 6-PAK down, as Super Hang On is without question the weakest of the 6 games.

 

Revenge of Shinobi (FULL REVIEW COMING SOON) 7 out of 10

The_Revenge_of_Shinobi_Coverart

With the release of the much anticipated and highly superior Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, the second installment in the series, Revenge of Shinobi, found itself on the backburner and a little outdated.  Unfortunately for me, I played these games in genesis-revenge-of-shinobi-7the wrong order growing up.  I grew up playing Shinobi III with Giant Metal Zorio, but it wasn’t until years later when I got my hands on a Genesis 6-PAK game that I actually played Revenge of Shinobi.

The simple beauty of Revenge of Shinobi lies in the brilliant music composed by the famous Yuzo Koshiro (know for such titles as the Streets of Rage series, Shinobi series, Sonic the Hedgehog on the SMS, Shenmue 1 and 2, and many more) and the masterfully animated backgrounds with changing colors and all.  Those 2 aspects alone provide a dreamlike experience for the gamer and really set a tone and mood unlike any game before or after it (except the other Shinobi games, of course).  Shinobi games will always be remembered for their perfect blend of action and platforming in a Japanese-Ninja realm.  The enemies are tough but beatable.  The levels are difficult to traverse but are navigable.  The bosses are larger than life but so is Shinobi and so are you when you take control of him.  I highly recommend Shinobi III over the Revenge of Shinobi, but this game deserves to be recognized for its efforts and advanced gameplay from the original.  It is very deservedly appropriate for the Genesis 6-PAK.

 

Conclusion

Overall the 6-PAK is a nice compilation for the Sega Genesis.  The games are entirely random but that also adds to the fun factor and variety of the cartridge!  I’m sure it did wonders for sales of the sequels to these games and Sega could sit back and rake in the cheddar.  Other than that, owners who haven’t picked up this game in a while should be pleased with some nice variety and the practical use of space by combining 6 games into one cartridge.  If you do NOT own this game (or any of the 6 games on here), it is almost a must-own.  Go get you a copy.  They’re pretty cheap.  Enjoy the crispiness y’all.

Review by NerdBerry

Written by Nerdberry

Nerdberry

What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

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