Classic cartoon heroes, tiny vehicles and of course, sports games – It’s time for the Retrogaming Chart Show.
As is tradition here on Pug Hoof Gaming, on the last Thursday of every month, I present to you a video game sales chart from this month, but several years ago, to give you a look at the purchasing habits of gamers past. This month you are going to see the SEGA Mega Drive charts of April 1996, as taken from Issue 42 of Mean Machines SEGA, a UK SEGA-focused magazine.
It is at this moment in time that the death of the system is fast approaching, with the Mega Drive and Genesis being officially discontinued in 1997, there aren’t too many major releases left in the ageing 16-bit system. But as you’ll see in this chart, there are still plenty of reasons to play SEGA’s console, so let’s take a look!
10. Brian Lara Cricket (Codemasters)
A sports game opens up this month’s chart, and for once it isn’t football. Brian Lara Cricket props up the chart at number 10, a critically-acclaimed representation of the sport of Cricket. I’ve never played cricket, and I honestly have no idea what’s going on, but I’m sure it’s all very fun.
9. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (SEGA)
Good to see Sonic’s second appearance in the charts, nearly four years after it’s original release! I’ve already spoken about this game as part of The Retrogaming Chart show, and again during a full review of the game, so not much more needs to be said – But here it is at Number 9.
8. Ecco 2: Tides of Time (SEGA)
The idea of a game where you play as a dolphin seems pretty damn ridiculous, but this unique premise was a breath of fresh air, and Tides of Time continues the calm and serene adventures of the titular character as he travels in time. Told you it was unique, and it was certainly interesting enough to reach number 8.
7. Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament (Codemasters)
Who knew that driving tiny vehicles around the breakfast table, garden or bathtub would make for one of the most fun racers in gaming? Anyone who played Micro Machines did, and it’s popularity spawned this sequel, at number 7 in this month’s chart. Turbo Tournament also had one more thing going for it, and that’s the awful J-Cart feature that was exclusive to the Mega Drive version. The cartridge had two controller ports built-in that would allow four players on the same console without the need for a separate multitap adapter. In fact, this version allowed up to eight players to play simultaneously using four pads.
6. PGA Tour ‘96 (EA)
I bet you were wondering where the sports games were? Well, there’s plenty more where that came from, starting with EA Sports’ PGA Tour ‘96. It’s golf, and it plays like many other golf games. It sure is a pretty game of golf though, with some well-animated golfers and quote-unquote “realistic’ courses. It’s on par with a number 6 entry.
5. Mickey Mania (Sony)
Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? Well, it’s M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E, of course! Mickey Mania comes in at number 5, featuring some of Mickey’s greatest adventures, in video game form. It’s a great looking game, and not a bad platformer, either.
4. Micro Machines ‘96 (Codemasters)
Not only is Micro Machines 2 in the charts this month at number 4, but so is its direct follow-up, Micro Machines ‘96. Also featuring the J-Cart technology, it’s a revised version of Micro Machines 2, with new tracks and a brand new construction mode for making your own circuits.
3. Premier Manager (SEGA)
More sports at number 3, only this time it isn’t about playing sports, it’s about not playing and being responsible for a football team. Premier Manager is a long-running series of football manager sims, and here’s the very first title in the franchise. If you like football, numbers and animated scoreboards then this is the game for you.
2. Sonic & Knuckles (SEGA)
More Sonic at number 2, with Sonic & Knuckles proving popular this month. This platformer was not only a full standalone platform game, but thanks to its innovative Lock-On technology, players could turn Sonic 3 into an even bigger adventure, play as Knuckles in Sonic 2, and play an almost infinite amount of Special Stage levels with any other cartridge.
1. FIFA Soccer ‘96 (EA)
Yes, here’s the inevitable FIFA entry, and here it is at the top of this month’s charts with it’s ‘96 instalment. It’s another FIFA game of course, so it plays exactly how you’d expect, only with up to date teams and players. It’s not even the last FIFA game on the Mega Drive, as the system would continue to get new releases all the way up to FIFA 99, and a 2000 edition was even released as a Brazilian exclusive.