A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This eclectic collection runs the spectrum of genres and characters, though most have basic stories and themes to set the stage for gameplay.
Positive Role Models
With so many titles in this collection, there's a wide range of character archetypes with a variety of motivations. Some barely have any info provided to give you a sense of any positive -- or negative -- goals.
Ease of Play
These are classic games with classic gameplay. Most titles are easy to pick up and play, and with features like the ability to rewind gameplay on the fly, the difficulty curve is never too steep.
Violence & Scariness
Some games are more violent than others, occasionally featuring hack 'n' slash combat or heavy weapon combat with blood splatter on screen. The visual style is blocky and less detailed, which affects the impact of violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some games feature female and male characters in revealing outfits, such as barbarians in loincloths and bikini armor.
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Products & Purchases
The Sega brand and the Genesis console are the key selling points of this collection, which is meant to strike a nostalgic chord with gamers. Some games in the collection, such as the Sonic franchise, went on to spawn lots of spin-off materials and merchandise, such as cartoons, comic books, toys, and other collectibles.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sega Genesis Classics is a compilation of more than 50 video games originally released on the Sega Genesis console; it's available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows-based PCs. The titles run the spectrum from casual puzzle games like Columns and arcade beat 'em ups like Streets of Rage to role-playing fantasies like Phantasy Star and fan-favorite franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog. Age-appropriateness varies by game; some are very kid-friendly, while others have mild content issues that might not be considered appropriate for young gamers -- such as characters who wear loincloths or bikiniss. Other games with hack 'n' slash gameplay may show blood, but the pixelated visuals affects the impact of the violence.
Is It Any Good?
It may hard to believe in this era of 4k graphics and virtual reality, but there was a time when 16-bit images were king, and gamers milked all kinds of fun out of every available pixel. Players can revisit that period in gaming history with Sega Genesis Classics, a collection of more than 50 titles from the heyday of the Sega Genesis console. Of course, as with any collection, fans are going to have heated opinions about which games are here and which aren't. But you've got to give credit to Sega for including a huge range of themes and genres. There really is something here for just about everyone.
Each game stays faithful to its original presentation, though it's the added little extras that make the collection shine. Things like the save status and rewind functions encourage players to try out different strategies without fear of a dreaded "Game Over." Meanwhile, options like Mirror Mode take the familiarity of some classic experiences and switch things up, offering a fresh new feeling that relies on more than muscle memory. While it would have been nice to toss in some extra trivia or commentary to appeal to fans, this still feels like a real love letter to the retro games that ultimately paved the way for modern gaming hits.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.