Ok – few consoles have flopped so dramatically as the Sega 32X (Sega Mega Drive 32X here in the UK and Europe). I can see where Sega were going with the idea and had it come out about two years earlier and not been as messy to plug in to your Mega Drive/Mega CD (which required 3 AC adapters if you had all three!) then it might have been a success. In reality it came at a time when new consoles like the Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64 and the mighty Sony Playstation made the Sega CD 32X combo look like the Frankenstein of gaming.
Nevertheless Sega had high hopes for it…At least at first. As the add-on was launched in late 1994 there were a huge number of titles planned for it many of which didn’t see the light of day on the 32X. Many did see life on other consoles however and are quite well known and loved games. Could they have saved the 32X? No. The fact of the matter is a Genesis/Mega Drive add-on was looking backwards and gamers wanted the shiny new systems which Sega soon realised when it dropped support for the 32X less than two years later. Nevertheless the box art I have tried to replicate here for the 32X gives us an idea of what these would have looked like on the shelf.
Alien Trilogy remains one of the best video game adaptions of the Alien franchise. I had the Sony Playstation version and I remember the sheer eeriness of running around in the first person viewpoint with my gun waiting to be savaged by a Xenomorph or a facehugger. I actually rediscovered that feeling this very Halloween as I played it again with my brother-in-law and while the graphics are obviously dated everything else is as good as it was back then. It still stands up well today.
Alien Trilogy for the 32X was announced in March 1995 but then quietly disappeared. Unless there was a CD 32X version then the cartridge-only game could never hope to live up to the same standard as the Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation versions. Gameplay wise I would expect it at least look similar but who knows.
Bug! was released on the Sega Saturn in 1995. Having seen the writing on the wall back then I switched allegiance from Sega to Sony trading in my Mega Drive for the Playstation so I have never played this. The game is described as a 2.5D platformer meaning that for the most part the game plays like a traditional 2D platformer akin to Sonic the Hedgehog (who actually makes a guest appearance in a bonus stage) but there are times when he can move closer or further away from the screen hence the “2.5D”.
Having seen video and screencaps of the game I could quite easily see this game on the Sega 32X. It isn’t too taxing on the old processors although again being a cartridge the sound wouldn’t be up to the Saturn version’s standards. I have put this cover in the style of the UK version.
Die Hard Trilogy
Oh boy the nostalgia goggles are thick on this one. If you have never played it the game is actually three smaller games each based on each of the three original movies and encompassing different genres. That in itself is nothing new but what was great about it was that all of them were highly playable, thoroughly enjoyable and felt like full games in themselves.
Like Alien Trilogy this was one of the games that defined the early 32-bit era and is a must-have on both the Playstation and the Saturn. What I never knew until researching this article was that this game was actually going to be one of the last Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games and when I thought more about it I could definitely see it on there. The polygons are quite Virtua Fighter which the Mega Drive could just about handle so it shouldn’t have been too taxing for the 32X to handle. I can’t help but wonder what playing Die Hard 2 with the Sega Menacer would have been like.
Don’t judge me…I will let that sink in for a minute as you realise that YES I am that guy…but I actually enjoyed the movie. I know it had about as much to do with the comic books as a tin of soup but at least it was more faithful to its source material than the Street Fighter movie.
There are two possibilities as to what this game was. It was either a 32-bit upgrade of the Genesis/Mega Drive game released in 1995 or perhaps less likely an earlier version of the 1998 Playstation game. The former seems most likely to me and if that is the case then this would have been a run-and-gun game not too dissimilar to another Sly Stallone game Demolition Man. I have played the Sega Game Gear version of Judge Dredd and it was nothing to write home about.
So there we have it. Four rather familiar game titles that could have ended up on the Sega 32X. There are many others and I may make box art for those too as well and perhaps some “fantasy ones” for myself.
Hope you have enjoyed this little trip in to the mirror universe.
Thanks for reading.