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Games

A SEGA fan's lament

SEGA DreamcastIn 1992, one July afternoon, I came home from school with my friend's Sega Genesis inside my backpack. I had pleaded and begged him the past few weeks and because of the kindness in his heart and my treating him to lunch for a week, he lent me his Genesis and the game that came with it-the first Sonic the Hedgehog.

That is, until now, the most unforgettable gaming I have ever had. Simply put, the speed, the variety and intensity of colors and the stereo sound blew my 8-bit Nintendo mind away.

Since then I've had a Mega Drive, Saturn and now a Dreamcast and Sega never ceases to amaze me with the magic in their games. I've also had an SNES and a Playstation. They've also had their share of good games. Nintendo's games however failed to grow up with me. Sony just made the hardware. The good games like the Final Fantasy series had to come from third party developers.

Sega's games, on the other hand, were not only good but fresh and innovative as well. Younger gamers who don't know their history will be surprised to know that Sega ushered in what us old-timers call the Golden Age of gaming with the first 16-bit console, Genesis. Nintendo followed with its SNES and their competition brought out some of the finest games ever. While trying to outdo each other, they managed to strengthen their gaming libraries to a point where gamers had to have both consoles.

Sega also pioneered the advance into 3-d polygon gaming with their arcade hit Virtua Racing. Sure the polygons had no textures and they looked like triangles that looked like a racing game but that was video gaming's first step into a three dimensional world. They also followed with the first 3-d fighter, aptly named Virtua Fighter.

To capitalize on this trend, they released the 32X add-on for the Genesis and the Saturn, which brings us to the sad part of the story. These two along with the Sega CD were failures that cost them a lot of money and turned away even the die-hard fans that unfortunately bought them.

The 32X and Sega CD should never have been released. The Genesis was a strong console by itself already. Releasing add-ons that cost hundreds of dollars that barely improves the existing hardware was a terrible mistake. A few games were released and I can't remember any good ones. Luckily, these two add-ons had fewer victims in the Philippines and I wasn't one of them.

The Saturn had good games like Virtua Fighter 2, Panzer Dragoon and Nights. The problem was they weren't that many. Sony in 1996 had about twice the number of games and better 3-d graphics. A year later they dominated the market and would continue to do so to this day.

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