A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
What's it about?
SEGA GENESIS CLASSICS revisits this "golden" era of gaming by collecting more than 50 epic titles from the history of the Genesis timeline. Back in the heyday of the 16-bit console wars, the Sega Genesis was a "shining force" for gaming, letting players live out their fantasies as everything from werewolves and ninjas to alien rappers and comic book heroes. It even saw the debut of a certain blue hedgehog with a penchant for speed. Each game has been faithfully recreated here, with a few new tricks such as online multiplayer mode, achievement and trophy support, mirror modes, rewind, and save-game capabilities.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Does the violence in Sega Genesis Classics have less impact because the violence isn't realistic?
How has gaming changed over the years? What are some of the "timeless" qualities that make for a good game?
What are some of the content differences in games made for general audiences and more mature games? How does that content affect gamers of different ages?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Sega of America
- Release date: May 29, 2018
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Superheroes, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Blood, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.