The Game Gear, SEGA’s answer to the almighty Game Boy; with true 8-bit color graphics, a backlit screen and the innards of a SEGA Master System, it outclassed the Game Boy’s technical specifications by miles. With an adapter, sold separately of course, it even had access to the Master System’s library… What could possibly go wrong? Well, a lack of first party support by SEGA with regards to original games, higher price tag than the Game Boy, and the Game Gear’s unquenchable thirst for its required 6 AA batteries helped expedite its demise; but does it have any great games? The answer is a resounding yes.
I’ve spent many a year tethered to my electrical outlet via the Game Gear’s short AC adapter playing the likes of Streets of Rage, Sonic Triple Trouble, Sonic Chaos, Ren and Stimpy: Quest for the Shaven Yak, and the shameless, yet incredibly fun Castlevania clone, Master of Darkness. There were however some gems I missed out on; that is, until I revisited the Game Gear as an adult. One of these games is The G.G. Shinobi II: Silent Fury.
Easily my favorite beat em’ up series of all time, Streets of Rage/Bare Knuckle is an essential for any retro gamer. The gameplay in this series is timeless, setting standards in the genre that have rarely been surpassed. The music is the best in the genre bar none, and can be included in talks for best video game soundtracks of all time.
In addition to the objective greatness of the series, the games have been central to many of my childhood memories and are so universally appealing that even my wife, who has only a mild interest in video games, adores the games.
Below is a link to a hub pages article I wrote that includes an overview of the entire series as well as fan projects. The article was written before I created this blog, but it contains a tremendous amount of useful information.