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!


  1. Happy Birthday Mr Chalgyr! I hope you were spoiled! :)

  2. Happy Birthday!!!

    ....the Genesis, wtf? lol

  3.  Thanks!  And LOL - what's wrong with my Sega Genesis?  I loved that system!

  4.  Well, I am only 40 minutes into it (12:40 here), but playing hookey from work tomorrow so that'll be nice.  Thanks Matt!

  5. Happy Birthday.

    I was a SNES gamer, actually had a bit of a hate on for the Genesis for a while, but around 1996-1997 after the 16-bit era had ended, I bought a used Gen2 Genny and , a 32X, the Sega 6 pack game, Castlevania, Vectorman 1 and 2, Sonic 1,2,3 and Knuckles and I had a whole lot of fun playing.

    16-bit was and still is my favorite generation :)

  6.  Thanks Dexter!

    I was much later along on the SNES front - that was a later Christmas gift a year or so later.  I had my Genesis all set up with the CD/32X to.  I had a lot of fun with a few of the titles like Vay, Lunar, Dark Wizard and Shining Force CD.

    I definitely enjoyed the SNES - one of my friends had one so I played it at his place, but I always preferred my Genesis.  Thanks for the comment!

  7. :)  Noticed you have your 3DS phone code up (lol)  here's mine, 0044-2807-6796   I've already added you.

    P.S. found your site through coffeewithgames,  have to say I'm enjoying reading your multiplat reviews. You like a lot of things!

  8. The Girl Gamer22 May, 2012 01:24

    Happy Birthday!! Hope you had an awesome birthday!

    I always wanted a Sega Genesis, but never did get one. Can't complain though since I got SNES for Christmas from my grandparents. Instead I always played Sega Genesis when my parents go to the mall. Sears had the Sega Genesis plugged in with one of the Sonic games and I would play there while my parents were shopping.

  9.  Thanks Dexter - and I'll definitely get you added today then too! :)

    And glad you're digging the site (and nice to know where you came from - Coffee's a favorite blog of mine!).  I definitely play my share of games - and on different systems.  Hope you like what you see!

  10.  Hey, thanks for stopping in and for the well wishing!

    I really enjoyed getting to play the Genesis at my Uncle's house - but he didn't live REAL close by so I didn't get to play it real often.  So, you can probably imagine my delight/surprise when he presented me with his system - he had even kept his original box for it so even though I knew it wasn't new, it was close enough for me!

  11. Happy birthday, Chalgyr! Hope it's been a good one so far :) BTW, I can't believe you not only got a Genesis, but SIX Genesis games, too! I was lucky to get a game or two as a kid. I don't suppose you still have it?

    "Any particularly memorable video game related birthdays readers want to share?"

    I remember getting Super Mario Bros. 3 as a bday gift in the early 90s, and also one of the SNES Street Fighter games ( I think II), but I need to check the stash for that one.
    Super Mario Bros. 3 was played A LOT after I got it. I remember thinking how awesome the Super Leaf was (and is)...and just tonight I was helping our oldest son run and jump through a few levels in the original Super Mario Bros. on the Virtual Console. Great gaming memories with the Mario Bros. games.

    "Any particularly memorable video game related birthdays readers want to share?"

    I remember getting Super Mario Bros. 3 as a bday gift in the early 90s, and also one of the SNES Street Fighter games ( I think II), but I need to check the stash for that one.
    Super Mario Bros. 3 was played A LOT after I got it. I remember thinking how awesome the Super Leaf was (and is)...and just tonight I was helping our oldest son run and jump through a few levels in the original Super Mario Bros. on the Virtual Console. Great gaming memories with the Mario Bros. games.

  14. Ahh games. They certainly make a birthday better! Happy birthday Chalgyr!

    Also, to answer your question "Any particularly memorable video game related birthdays readers want to share?"; every birthday of mine is full of new 3DS/Wii games, and that is awesome. I value my birthday, which comes every year two days after Christmas! (Lucky me :P)

  15. Alfred n the Fettuc22 May, 2012 07:46

    Happy birthday Chalgyr! Lots of good things for your blog and your real life on this new year coming!

    I remember getting my SNES on my birthday too with Super Mario World. I just couldn't believe how beautiful it was (and still is). Being a child definitely helped and I wonder if I'll ever feel the same thing again for a new system or a video game...

  16. Happy Birthday! Those are some great games to begin life with a SEGA console.

    The only video game birthday memory of mine that stands out is when I got Donkey Kong Country 2. I was sick with a fever of 103 and remember trying to play through the lava levels in the second world. I couldn't continue playing, so I had to watch my brother have fun with my birthday gift lol.

  17.  Thanks!  I don't have that Genesis, but I do have my replacement one I bought a few years later.  Still have a decent collection of games too.  :)

  18.  That's awesome, Coffee.  I still remember all of the SMB 3 marketing back then - I was so excited when that game came out.  My best friend and I spent so much time on that game, it was amazing.  As for the SNES game, yeah - it was likely Stret Fighter 2 - probably Championship Edition.  I remember when I got that or my Genesis and a buddy got it for the SNES - the SNES one played and looked a lot better. ;)

  19.  Two days after Christmas?  Very nice - my youngest's birthday is Dec 27th as well. :)  and like you - she usually looks forward to a gaming title of some sort.  Thanks Strikester!

  20.  Good point.  I can appreciate the technical levels of current gen systems, and I still enjoy the games, bu even the better systems I later really liked - like my PlayStations or N64 - they don't quite carry the same level of nostalgia for me that my NES, SNES and Genesis did.  Thanks for the well wishing!

  21.  Thanks!

    And ROFL - it's funny now, but it must have sorta sucked watching your brother play with your birthday present while you were sick.  It sort of reminds me of when we got our Gamecube.  My wife picked it up while I was home sick from work, having found it cheap at a garage sale with a bunch of games.  I was just super out of it, and my son was like five at the time.  He was the only one home with me after my wife dropped it off.  I told her I would hook it up later when I was feeling better.

    My wife went back out garage saling and came back later and was like: I see you got the gamecube hooked up?

    I was like: I haven't left this bed.

    My son figured out how to hook it up to the VCR and get the channel inputs right at 5 while I was too sick to bother.  hehe

  22. BTW, you can delete the comment above, with the WRONG file uploaded...*fail for uploading wrong file initially

  23. Happy Birthday old man!  I creep (and sometimes creak) ahead closer to 40 later on this year myself... :)  (just forgot how old I actually am and had to do some math. lol)

    Your genesis birthday sounds pretty awesome actually.  I was never wrapped up in the 16-bit flame war situation much and enjoyed playing a friends'.  We had some great times with altered beast even if it was terrible.  Though I remember even more time spent on Rambo for some reason.

    Offhand I don't have any memories that particularly jump out at me, though I'm sure I did receive various games.  (NES and TG16 were christmas)  I guess this past birthday where I bought my 3DS with gift cards was pretty memorable and remains a great gaming option. 

  24. Happy birthday, man (even though it was two days ago)! The Genesis was a fantastic system for sure. I personally preferred the SNES as a kid, but as I've gotten older, it's clear to me that the Genesis was a much darker, more adult system. Either way, both are legit.

  25.  Yeah, I've -never- understood the whole console war thing.  Heck, my friends and I would buy consoles and games that the others didn't have most of the time, so we could play different things when we hung out. :P  Thanks for poppin' in!

  26.  Thank you! :)  Better late than never, eh?

    And I agree that the Genesis did seem to have a slightly more mature theme to a lot of its content, but both systems were a blast to play.  Like I said to Robert below, I've never gotten into the whole console war thing.  Sure, I have preferences for one to another sometimes, but there's so much offered on them that tuning one system out just to pick a side or make a point, I think you're doing yourself a disservice in the end.

  27. Happy Exceptionally Belated Birthday.

    was always a Nintendo boy myself, back when the industry was split
    between Sega and Nintendo, so I had little interaction with the Genesis,
    but being an RPG fanatic, that was always for the best--the Genesis had
    a few decent RPG titles (Phantasy Star 4 springs most readily to mind,
    though I'll also always have a strange childhood obsession with Shining
    Force 1 thanks to that awesome little pamphlet in an issue of Game
    Players that I read a million times because it seemed so cool), but
    there was never any question that the SNES was RPG king.  But I can
    recall some pleasant afternoons spent at friends' houses with the
    Genesis, playing Vectorman and...other games that I can't remember now.

  28.  Absolutely, the SNES definitely won on the RPG front, though I shared your Phantasy Star and Shining Force appreciation (I also liked the 1st person RPG Shining in the Darkness by the makers of Shining force.  I had some serious graphing paper going on with that game).  Thanks for the comment!

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