Welcome once again to the biweekly feature where I move from A to Z archiving exclusive games, features, and developers that the SEGA Genesis brought to the gaming table that Nintendidn’t. This is of course inspired by SEGA’s famous “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t” campaign from the early days of the Genesis. Keep in mind that I try to focus on things that aren’t too obvious, so that way we all learn something.
If you missed our last installment covering the letter B, you can check it out here. Otherwise, let’s look at one of the most overlooked but truly awesome features that Genesis games had that Nintendo was always too damn cheap bothered to adopt.
Collectors everywhere have to celebrate SEGA’s decision to include their awesome clamshell cases with each of their Genesis games. While the tradition began back with the SEGA Master System, these cases really became a trademark of the Genesis, especially given that the box art for many early Master System games was so forgettable (that’s about as kind an adjective as I could come up with).
Conveniently, these handy shells not only housed and protected your cartridge, but they had a slot to keep up with your manual, posters, receipts, warranty cards, or whatever other paperwork you wanted to keep with it. Oh, and they looked great on a shelf as opposed to stacks of loose, gray SNES cartridges. That’s because Nintendo couldn’t be bothered to give it’s consumers a reasonable storage solution for their needlessly oversized gray eyesores. All they packaged in was a non-descript black slipcase for NES games and a clear plastic dust cover for SNES games, leaving the boxes and manuals of countless Nintendo games lost to the ages in trash bins everywhere.
Changes to these cases were made as the Genesis aged, unfortunately. They replaced the super-cool black and gray grid background with a pretty lame red stripe around the time they launched the Genesis model 2 design, and even worse, eventually adopted a cardboard slip case to replace the plastic ones. I can’t say definitively that Sonic & Knuckles was the very first game to get these cardboard cases, but it was definitely the first one I ever noticed at retail back in 1994, and I remember thinking at the time that it made sense due to the odd shape of the cartridge. Imagine my disappointment when all subsequent releases had these cardboard cases as the new standard. It was indeed the end of an era, but at least those cardboard cases still looked okay sitting on the shelf next to their plastic counterparts, and they were markedly more functional than the throwaway cardboard garbage Nintendo shipped with their videotape-sized cartridges.
“C” Honorable Mentions
Crusader of Centy
Chiki Chiki Boys
In two weeks, I’ll examine the letter D. This one will be a little trickier… if you have guesses as to what I may cover, for any letter, give it your best shot in the comments! Here’s where we are so far: