Welcome to the first Retrogaming Chart show of 2017.
By now you should know how this series goes – I present to you a video game sales chart from years go by, and that’s pretty much it really. This month we’re travelling back to January 1993 to take a look at the Top 10 Mega Drive charts from the very first issue of GamesMaster magazine, the print-based spinoff of the popular UK gaming show. While the television show is long gone, the magazine itself remains popular and is still in print, even today.
In Europe, the Mega Drive was arguably the more popular of the 16-bit consoles, thanks to some excellent games and some amazing marketing. But what games were the biggest sellers in January 1993, I hear you ask? Well, I’m just about to get onto that…
Even though Sonic was clearly the Mega Drive’s true mascot, somehow, SEGA’s former poster child, Alex Kidd made his way to the 16-bit system. At this point, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle has been on sale for three years, so it’s place in this chart is more than a little puzzling, especially considering Sonic’s absence. Still, here Alex is at number 10.
Not the first time that this game has appeared on this show, here is the original Mega Drive version of Electronic Art’s Desert Strike, coming in at number 9. I have a soft spot for this unusual helicopter-based action game, and it seems many others felt the same. It may have had a tonne of sequels, but the original is still the best, in my opinion.
One of the strangest characters on the Mega Drive, Greendog The Beached Surfer Dude, makes the chart, surfing in at number 8. This easily forgotten about platformer certainly offers a strange premise, where playing as the titular Beached Surfer Dude, it’s all about lifting an ancient curse that has prohibited the character from surfing. Which is a perfectly reasonable excuse for a platform game.
It’s no contender to Punch-Out!! But the 7th entry, Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing was a somewhat decent attempt to simulate the controller violence of professional boxing. Featuring a sizable career mode and a nearly 30 imaginary fighters to face, as well as the ability to create your own boxer, and train them up to boost their attributes, it’s certainly a good attempt at a more realistic simulator.
Number 6 is another sports game, it’s Super Monaco GP – An early arcade style racer that was pretty damn good at the time. Of course, there are plenty of better racers out there on the Mega Drive, but there are few that attempt to convey the thrills of Formula 1 racing.
If you like sports, dystopian futures and violence, then Number 5 will make you raise your fists in glee. Speedball 2 is a port of the popular and critically acclaimed Amiga game by the Bitmap Brothers, and if you’re looking for something a little gritty, you could do a lot worse.
After all that dark violence, why not lighten up with some cartoon violence in Tazmania, at number 4. Based on the Warner Brothers cartoon of the same name, you are the Tasmanian Devil, and your immense hunger has led you on a quest to find a giant egg that could feed Taz and his family for a year. It’s a very good-looking came, with well-animated sprites – But in terms of how it plays, it’s not particularly enjoyable.
At number 3, no-one can hear you scream…Yup, Alien 3 comes in third this month, one of those movie licenses that found its way onto practically every single console at the time. Easily more violent than the movie itself, it’s not a bad little action platformer.
For a sport that isn’t terribly popular here in the UK, Ice Hockey games seem to do very well in the early 90’s, and the same is true of Electronic Arts’ NHLPA ‘93, reaching No.2 in the charts. It pretty much plays like any other EA NHL game, and as such it’s a pretty good representation of the sport.
More sporting action here at number 1, and of course it has to be the beautiful game. European Club Soccer is another pre-FIFA football game – A port of the Amiga’s Manchester United Europe. It’s a decent football game with several real European teams, but it has nothing on FIFA.
And that is the end of another Retrogaming Chart Show. As always, these charts offer a fantastic insight into the tastes of the games-playing public. Thank you very much for watching, and the Retrogaming Chart Show will be back next month for another look at charts gone by – But I’ll be back next week with another video for your viewing pleasure. Goodbye!