Happy Birthday to meeeee - Reflecting back on the Sega Genesis

So, for starters - it's my Birthday!

Okay, so maybe given where this topic will go, Mario's not the best image to use, but I liked it and went with it.  Let's go a bit Sega-centric here before we move on:

And now that that bit of ridiculousness is over with - I thought this would be a good time to touch on what was arguably my coolest video game related birthday present.  Christmas was a good time for me to get various systems - my TI 99/4a, NES, SNES, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 3DS... but I got my Sega Genesis from my uncle on one birthday many years ago and to this day this was arguably my favorite system ever.  The NES and Playstation 2 were right there in their own right, and I don't know if I could pick which of the three I had more fun with overall, but for me the Genesis is definitely in that conversation.

Now, my uncle bought this for himself.  He has always been a technology guy.  He had the first big screen TV of anyone I knew, he had a computer when they were anything but commonplace and his stereo equipment and CD collection was always pretty amazing.  So, on a whim he picked up the Sega Genesis and a handful of game for it.  Thing is, my uncle was always a) a busy guy and b) someone who preferred to passively watch TV more so than play video games.  So, the Genesis was something that sort of got pushed to the side and left unused unless I came over.  So, a few months later when my birthday rolled around, he surprised me with the system, and a handful of games.

My friends and I were pretty evenly split at that time, half and half between the Sega Genesis and the Super NES.  The games I got with mine were:


This was a pretty straightforward match three puzzle game, but one of the few I could get my dad to play with me, so I really appreciated it for that reason.

Altered Beast:

In retrospect, not a very good game.  At the time I enjoyed it, but I've played it since on Sega classic compilations and really it was not that great of a game.

PGA Tour Golf:

One of two sports titles my uncle had, this was one he and my dad would play with me.  I actually spent quite a bit of time on this game, trying to put up better scores than both of them.

Lakers versus Celtics NBA Playoffs:

This was the other game he had, which I know my uncle initially bought just for me because he really did not like basketball but I did.  Compared to the earlier basketball games I had played on the NES (Double Dribble, Hoops and Tecmo Basketball) this one was so much better at the time.

Sonic the Hedgehog:

This little guy blew me away back then.  Everything looked so crisp, the colors so vibrant and the gameplay so simple yet fast - I absolutely loved it.  This was my favorite game that he had with the system.

Last but not least - Streets of Rage:

This one came from my dad, and not my uncle.  My dad, knowing full well what I was getting for my birthday got me this to go with the system.

So, this was one of my more exciting birthdays really.  A slew of new games on a shiny new system that propelled me into the 16 bit video game era.  My SNES would not come along until Christmas later that year.  I worked a lot of odds and end jobs the summer after I got my Sega Genesis so I could buy games at a pretty regular clip.  Any particularly memorable video game related birthdays readers want to share?  Thanks for reading!
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