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Video Game Uber Fun Fun List: Sega Game Gear

Author: Philippe
Posted: 18 Dec 2005

Welcome, everyone, to another exciting edition of the ol' Video Games Uber Fun Fun list! Fairly fast but fun article for you, here. Today we travel back to 1991...I've already written plenty of crap about 1991 in other articles, so I'm gonna skip the normal crap and get into what I would definitely define as "Not Crap."

Sega's answer to the best-selling system ever made. The Game Gear.

Let's get something straight right off the bat. Technologically speaking, the Game Gear was a billion times better than the Game Boy. It took Nintendo a long frickin' time before they even had anything close to it. The GG was basically a Master System in a convenient, portable, and sleek package. Color graphics, a backlight, and a plethora of ready-made games. Any game that was on the Master System could easily be brought to the Game Gear, and Sega even made a few ports of their Genesis system games which...wait...let me read back a few sentences...I think I made a mistake.

Oh, that's right. I called the system "portable" up there. Silly me. What I meant to say was that while it was technically portable, the batteries could only take about 2 or 3 hours of actual game play. It also took a whopping six AA batteries to fill it up. Compare that to the Gameboy which had at least 20 hours of game play on 2 AA batteries and you can see why the Game Boy kicked Sega's ass.

Really truly and terribly was it kicked. Ahh, well. It still did quite a bit better than the Atari Lynx, but that ain't saying much.

Still, I had one and I loved it. I would play the thing for hours. I'd play it 'til I got a headache from trying to stare at such a tiny screen. It was a killer system. It's just a low-down dirty shame, is all. Why, Sega!? Why would you make a portable system with no portability!? In essence, that was the only thing wrong with it. Sigh.

Oh well, enough of that; let's get to top nine list.

9. Sonic Drift. "If Mario is going to have a racing game, then we're sure as hell gonna have a racing game too, damn it," said the president of Sega to some underling...or so I assume. However it happened, Sonic Drift was the result and it was a fun little racer. Fun enough, it would seem, to squeak in at the bottom of the top.

8. Bust-A-Move. Dragons what destroy bubbles? Hell yeah, we got some dragons what destroy bubbles. And how. I'm sure you've played this game in some form or another. This version stayed as true to the arcade version as you could on the Game Gear. Luckily, it's not to hard to stay true to games like this. Great little puzzle game that's been on damn near every system that I can think of and remains one of my favorite titles of all time.

7. Marble Madness. You are a marble and you need to get through various mazes. Originally released for the PC and then the NES, it didn't take too long to make its way to the Game Gear and we're all thrilled that it did. No story, no character development, just a marble trying to make its way in this crazy maze-like world. Also, you have to avoid acid and there's this cool wave thing at the end of the first level which is pretty sweet.

6. Klax (Tengen, 1991). Ahh, Tengen. I've talked a bit about Tengen before, but for those of you who haven't gotten to every article I'll just sum up a bit. Tengen was formed by a bunch of Atari alumni. They tried to take on Nintendo by releasing games without actually getting the big N's permission. For their trouble, Nintendo told any store selling Tengen games that if they were caught, Nintendo would stop sending authorized products their way. Tengen was a doomed company. Still, they managed to get in a few gems before they died and Klax was one of them. It was a puzzle game which vaguely reminds me of Puzzle Fighter. Tiles would make their way down to your gameboard and you'd match colors up. Match up enough in the right pattern and they'd disappear. Puzzle games are always more fun to play than to describe, I think. This be one of those games, yo.

5. Ecco: Tides of Time (Sega). The dolphin is back to once again save the earth from...I think an alien, or something. The story was never important in the Ecco games really. It was all about being a kick-ass platform puzzler.

4. Earthworm Jim. For those that haven't played Jim...I assume most of you have but if you haven't...then you play as a worm with a giant body, and you are the head/whip for the body. Actually, do you remember Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? It's like that except instead of a brain in the stomach, you were a worm on the shoulders of the presumably robot body...or something. It was a fun platform game.

3. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Sega, 1992). Your everyday Sonic the Hedgehog goodness in a portable package. This was the best of the Game Gear Sonic titles for the Game Gear, in my opinion. You know the drill here. Run and jump and spin really fucking fast and destroy a fat man.

2. Shining Force 2: The Sword of Gayja (Sonic Team, 1993). This is a great game. Period. It's a strategy RPG (think more on the line of Tactics then, say, Final Fantasy). This was a port from the Sega CD game and, while the graphics were limited, it was still pretty hip-looking. I like games that involve the slaughter of your enemies. The only thing that kept this game off the top of the list is the fact that it was a bit too easy. Which leaves the number one slot for...drumroll...

1. Dragon Crystal. A dungeon crawler action game. It had some RPG themes to it, but it had no real story and no maps. Every game you got put into a random dungeon maze and just had to tough it out. You leveled up by fighting creatures that you could see on the screen. You found armor hidden around (which mainly amounted to Armor +1, etc). Money would buy you continues and you had yourself a pet dragon that would follow you around. Sounds dull, but it's truly a great game and it truly deserves its coveted spot as the number 1 game for the Sega Game Gear.

So that wraps up that mystery. A mystery people have been wondering about for years and years. They might not have known they were wondering about which games for the Game Gear were the best, but trust me -- they were. In any case, have fun and play some games!

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