The Co-op Tales: My Older Brother (Part 2) – Genesis Doesn’t What Nintendid

In part 1 of this series, I talked about the good times CJ and I had with the Super Nintendo (SNES). I wouldn’t stop gushing over the great games we had for the console and how it influenced both of us over the years. With how popular the console was to us, there was another that mysteriously found its way into our home. Hidden away in a back room in our house sat a Sega Genesis. The Genesis never left the room and was connected to a small television that was in there. It was in the back corner of the room, and at the time we were using it as a storage room; so we had to make a path and sit on bins in order to play the console. We had no interest in moving the console since we didn’t know how to set it up at the time.

Despite the obstacles, we got some millage off of the console. We had a handful of games that we would constantly play. Just like with the SNES games, we have no idea where these games came from, but I guess our dad just saw them and thought they were fun.

The game that we played the most was Sonic the Hedgehog 2. This was our first introduction to Sonic, and it left a lasting impression. Besides the kickass stages and music, Sonic 2 came with a feature that we were all about, “co-op.” While one person controlled Sonic, player 2 could join the fun by playing as Tails. This was the ultimate “hand an unplugged controller to your younger sibling” as player 2 was just….there. The game did not care about player 2 since the game was called Sonic the Hedgehog and not Sonic and Tails. To make matters worse, Tails could not carry Sonic like he could in the following game. This did not ruin the fun for me since I was a dumb kid and I was just happy to be playing a game with my brother. He would try to slow down to let me catch up, but not even he could control the wild speeds. I was, however, a great resource when it came to boss fights.

Brushing off from Sonic 2, we also had Sonic and Knuckles. This was the weird cartridge that had a slot on top to insert another Genesis cartridge in. It was basically an DLC expansion pack for Sonic 3 if you had it. You could also play as Knuckles if you connected it with Sonic 2. I remember playing this but not as much as we did with the second game. It wasn’t until the Gamecube era that we were able to play the full game of Sonic 3 and Knuckles.

The last game that we were fascinated over was the creation tool game called Wacky Worlds Creativity Studio. I am convinced that no one has ever heard of this game, or it was so bad that no one wanted to talk about it. This was Sega’s answer to Mario Paint and it has a lot going for it. There were applications for creating music, animations, and artwork. It even came with a mouse that we never used (this is a console, not a computer!). Sadly, the contents of the game have faded from my memory. Even when I was looking up images from the game, the user interface (UI) doesn’t look familiar. I’m sure if I asked CJ he might remember more than I do.

There were a few other games that we had, but they were hard, like Aladdin, or forgettable like Disney’s Bonkers (anyone remember Bonkers?). There were games that we would rent from the local video store to play, but nothing really kept us coming back to the console. We had more enjoyment out of it when we would visit a cousin of ours who had a large collection of games. To this day, CJ still has the Sega Genesis, although he can’t really use it as is.

I forget what year it was, but one day we decided to resurrect the old console from the storage room. The console was connected to the TV via a one-pin cable cord (the same one still use for cable). What was suppose to be a simple “unscrew the cord” turned into me yanking the cord and breaking the pin. This was before the going online and ordering a replacement, or going to the store and finding a new cord. In a small town where we grew up, it felt like we had screwed up big time and we would never use the console again. I bet we could find a replacement cord today, but there is no real point now. When the GameCube came out, we got the Sonic games back; and honestly those were the only games that we enjoyed on the system. Plus most Genesis games are available on current gen consoles and PC.

This is where today’s story ends. Continuing the stories revolving around each console generation, we are heading to the fifth generation of consoles with the Nintendo 64! If you felt that this post felt bland at most, that perfectly describes my feelings towards it.

Thank you for reading,


Advent Gaming Calendar 2019 Day 25: Shadow the Hedgehog

Credit to TheRealSonicFan’s YouTube Channel

WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! Just hear me out for one moment! No do not close out of this immediately just hear me out!


Shadow the Hedgehog……is not……a good game, but it is not a terrible game if you stop taking it seriously. I believe the game might have worked better if they created a whole new character and not set in the Sonic universe. But no, we are left with this ridiculous work of art. So what gives? Why did I like this intro so much? I can’t help it, but this opening always leaves a smile on my face and makes me glad to be alive in this time and age.

Everything is just stupid and silly. Why Shadow? Why? I die a little bit every time I see Shadow use a gun because it feels so out of place. Apparently after falling from space Shadow gained the ability to be bulletproof and create explosions. Unknown aliens have taken over Earth. Shadow is fighting the aliens but also the army….no I take it back I hate everything about this once again. I know that the developers were going for a mature serious tone, but jeez I can’t stop laughing every time I watch this.

The best thing about the intro is the Crush 90 and their track “I am all…all I am.” This is my favorite theme for Shadow and my second favorite Crush 90 song next to “Escape From the City.” Again, in the context of a different original character, this would work perfectly. Just like you can do in the game. the track talks about choosing who you are. If I am ever feeling stress with a mountain of work that needs to be done, without shame I blast this track to keep me motivated. For how kickass this track is however, it just adds to the ridiculous factor of this game.

With all of its flaws, I can’t hate this opening. It brings me joy and that is why I believe this intro embodies the spirit of the holidays. During the year, we face a lot stress and hard times. We sometimes find it difficult to stop and enjoy the small things around us and just find simple enjoyment out of the little things. That is why I want to thank Shadow the Hedgehog. Every time I am reminded about its existence, it reminds me that life is not as stressful as I believe that it is and I should stop taking things too serious. I need to enjoy things for what they are and not be bitter about it if it did not meet my imaginary expectations. Keep an open mind and find some enjoyment in what you can make of what you have. I know this philosophy does not apply to everything, but at least with Shadow, you can have fun doing whatever you want with him.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone, and thank you for joining in this year’s advent calendar!


Advent Gaming Calendar 2019: Day 4 – Sonic Mania

From Official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube Channel

How can you not smile while watching this opening? Sonic Mania was one of those games that you thought you would never see again officially, but Christian Whitehead and Sega surprised us with this blast from the past. This opening oozes with charm and makes you feel like playing a Sonic game from the Genesis era. This is due part to the wonderful animation done by Aaron Webber.

The animation in this opening is one of the most impressive works I have ever seen. The character expressions match their personalities perfectly. You have Sonic, the cool confident guy who has a careless side to him; Tails, the child who is amazed at everything he sees around him; and Knuckles being Knuckles. This helps that the backgrounds are all colorful and the level of detail with the lightening of signs and eyes just make me feel like a kid watching a Saturday morning cartoon. Webber would go on to make two mini series that helped promote this game and Team Sonic Racing. I would do anything to have more of this in my life.

To accompany the gorgeous set piece is a track called “Friends” by Hyper Potions. I had never heard of them prior to their work for this game and I am now a massive fan. The idea and theme behind the title “Friends” makes me think that this is an old friend that has recently comeback into my life. It makes me think that no matter what hardships go on in life, I have the support of my close friends behind my back no matter what. This translates to the game since you do have the support of Tails and Knuckles (and later Mighty and Ray) as they can do things that Sonic cannot do; which includes air travel, destroying walls, and gliding. It is the idea that it takes everyone together to uncover all of the paths and secrets that are hidden in the game.

Overall, this is a solid opening. If you have never played Sonic Mania or have seen the Sonic Mania Shorts, I highly recommend it. I have been jamming to the opening theme the entire time writing this and now I want to pick the game back up and play it through again

Sonic Mania Adventures if you are interested in watching them

Tune in tomorrow for Day 5!