Genesis Exclusives – Phantasy Star 2, ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron and Vectorman

The three games in the title of this post represent three very different games conceptually but the common thread is that they are all Genesis exclusives and classics. I’m happy to have all three in my collection but admittedly I haven’t spent a lot of time with any of them. The other common thread is I’d like to add additional titles from their respective series to my collection as well.

Phantasy Star 2 is the sequel to popular Sega Master System original and is a turn based RPG in the same vein as Final Fantasy for the NES. When purchased new, this game was sold with a 110-page hint book or as we call them today, a walkthrough. The decision for Sega to bundle the game with this guidebook is fairly telling in how difficult they thought it was. Either that, or they decided that American gamers needed Sega to hold their hands through the epic-ness that is Phantasy Star 2. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with walkthroughs. I love them because, let’s be honest, RPG’s take a long fucking time to play. Add on to that all the trials and errors and back tracking after making a mistake and walking around figuring out where to go, they can take an exhausting amount of time to complete. Sure, if it was 1990 and I owned a Genesis and this was my primary game for the next 6 months, I could handle it. As an adult with a family and a full time job, the time needed to spend on an RPG isn’t what it needs to be in order to fully appreciate the game how it was meant to be played. The hate part of a walkthrough for me is losing that ability to figure stuff out on your own, which we all know is infinitely more rewarding then simply being told where to go and what to do then just following through. It would be hard as a gamer to ignore the hint book I was provided and just play the game. Since I don’t have the hint book, its a non-issue for me and any future attempt I make at completing this game will likely be done the old fashioned way.

The next title, ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron, is also a sequel. The original ToeJam & Earl wasn’t a Sega Master System game however, instead it too was released for the Genesis. This sequel came out for the system in 1993 and adopted a slightly different gameplay style that it’s predecessor. It takes more of a side scroller approach instead of the top-down look the original used. The funky whimsy of the two main hip-hop loving aliens and their plight to capture all of the stowed away humans on their home plant is endearing in a cheesy and tongue in cheek way. Don’t take this title too seriously and you’ll enjoy it.

Final game is Vectorman, released for the Genesis in 1995. Vectorman is a run and gun side scroller, similar to Gunstar Heroes, where the main character is made of various shaped green orbs. Its a cool looking game and plays well, but I found it to be extremely difficult and couldn’t get very far after a few plays. It’s a highly regarded game so I think I will need to spend a little more time with this title just like the other two before I can properly grade any of them. I guess these games have “Game of the Week” written all over them for future installments when the Genesis is my focus again.

Currently in my collection:

  • Phantasy Star 2 – cartridge only
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron – cartridge and manual
  • Vectorman – cartridge and manual

Wish List Add:

  • Phantasy Star 2 manual, case & hint book
  • Phantasy Star 3
  • Phantasy Star 4
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • Vectorman 2
I only need a solid week off work to finish this game. Worth it?
So many fun Genesis games, so little time. Need to spend more time with these two.
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