Stone Age Countdown: Top 5 Sega Genesis One Hit Wonders
Posted by Kris Randazzo on Mar 27th 2023
Have you ever played a Sega Genesis game and thought "Wait, how is there only one of these?" Well, we did! This time on Stone Age Countdown, Kris runs down his favorite Sega Genesis One-Hit Wonders that should have gotten followups.
Transcription of the video:
#5 Alisia Dragoon
While it’s true its name didn’t exactly roll off the tongue, I’d argue its box art more than makes up for that. Alisia Dragoon may not be an absolute masterpiece by today’s standards, but it had a super cool concept that was ripe for evolution. You play as this woman who can shoot lightning out of her hands. As an arcade style platformer game that would have been enough, but there’s this whole other Dragon component that brings it to the next level. You have a series of dragon friends who can follow you around and help you out. You can swap them out on the fly, which adds a fun element of strategy to the proceedings. It’s got killer music too. It didn't release against any crazy competition at the time, it just kinda fizzled for no discernible reason and it bewilders me. Alisia Dragoon could have been something truly cool.
#4 General Chaos
Like Alisia Dragoon, General Chaos wasn’t exactly a sales juggernaut, but it was certainly around. Most Genesis owners gave this a rental or at least knew someone who had it at one point or another. It’s just such a fun game, and it had the weight of Electronic Arts behind it too! There was actually a Kickstarter launched a few years back from the game’s original creator to see if they could get a proper sequel made, but it missed its mark by a pretty wide margin. Which is unfortunate because one of the original game’s biggest drawbacks was its low framerate thanks to being on the Genesis. I’ll never understand why this never got a follow up.
A bright, colorful character platformer with cool mechanics, great character design, awesome music, and plays nothing like Sonic? How did this not take off? It reviewed well, and its existing cult following loves singing its praises whenever they get the chance because, well, the game’s pretty dang good! It gets re-released all the time these days but back when it launched it seemed like it just kinda came and went with very little fanfare, which is all manner of confusing. The 16-bit era was custom built for mascot platformers, and in a world where the likes of Aero the Acrobat and Bubsy got official followups, seeing poor Ristar relegated to one single game is a tragedy. This could have and should have been Sega’s Kirby, a secondary platforming franchise that evolved in tandem with Sonic. Oh well.
#2 Kid Chameleon
I’m not even a big fan of Kid Chameleon, but I remember this game being everywhere back in its day. Everyone who owned a Genesis had some interaction with this game at one point or another, and its concept, a kid who puts on various masks that give him power sets based on popular video game archetypes, has so much potential it’s crazy. Video games keep getting made, so there’s a limitless pool of new genres and styles to pull from. Kid Chameleon is even a cool name. Come on, sega! How did you let this one go like that?
#1 Comix Zone
How in the name of all that is awesome did Comix Zone not turn into a bigger franchise? How has it not been revived by now? Comic Book movies were at an all-time high in terms of popularity just a few years ago, and as such comic books had a ton of visibility they hadn’t had since the 90s. Yet here we are, stuck with Sketch Turner’s single outing as the one and only window into this fantastic world of interactive comic books. Can you imagine what they could do with this concept with modern technology? It’s nuts. Playing a game that literally takes place in the pages of a comic book is such a great idea, and this game only scratches the surface of its potential. Can you imagine if each level was a different issue of the comic and different artists were responsible so the art direction kept changing from stage to stage? It’s insanely difficult, but that didn’t stop it from selling well, and Sega’s been putting it on various compilations for decades. Comix Zone should have been huge, and it’s positively baffling that its legacy is what it is.