SNES vs. GENESIS: the Eternal Struggle

Do you remember the Sega commercial that showed some frenetic Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Ecco the Dolphin footage (shown on a screen attached to a drag racer, because the games are “fast”), and a comparatively languid two seconds or so of Super Mario Kart (shown on a screen attached to a busted old milk truck or whatever it was supposed to be, because that game is “slow”)? Do you remember Sega claiming the advantage of “blast processing”? Were you mad?

I was fucking pissed off. Because I was young, and my console of choice had been insulted. Because I knew that blast processing was a meaningless term invented by some slimy marketing scuzzball and that Sonic 2 was clearly inferior to its SNES counterparts and that Kart alone was pretty much better than anything Genesis even had to offer at the time and that the dumber-than-bread kids at my crappy middle school liked Genesis for all the wrong reasons and it just wasn’t faaaaaair maaan.

I was easily agitated back then. I will admit to having been a SNES fanboy, but I’m also pleased that in hindsight, my preference was clearly justified. But know that I enjoyed ye Mega Drive too. I spent many happy hours playing Aladdin, Road Rash II, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage 2 and Phantasy Star IV at my friend Jay’s house. I am capable of making this comparison without bias.

Let's take it frame by frame.

If you look at Genesis and SNES side by side, you'll notice that the sprites and backgrounds on Genesis games seem to be moving much faster. This may be an advantage the Genesis has, but I would think that it can move the sprites faster because the sprites in question are much less detailed. What I'm saying is, Genesis graphics look bad, so they fling a lot of them at you, hoping you won't really notice.

The Genesis does have some truly beautiful games, but when you're working with a palette of 512 colors, there's only so much you can do. Oh, the SNES? 32,768 colors, and it could display 256 of those onscreen at once--compare that to the Genesis's 62.

That's this

vs. this.

And this

vs. this.

The SNES had better hardware effects too (Mode-7), plus the Super FX chips which didn't require peripherals like the 32X (the Super FX and Super FX2 chips had exactly one good game each: Star Fox and Yoshi's Island, respectively. They made it count).

Good Lord, are you kidding me? The Genesis had a Yamaha sound chip and a Texas Instruments PSG, with 8K of sound RAM between them. The SNES had a custom-designed Sony sound chip and Sony DSP, with 64K of sound RAM to play with. Without getting too technical, what this basically means is that the Genesis sounded like a coughing toaster compared to the SNES. That crunchy metallic twang allowed the Genesis to do the cheesy melodic thrash metal-type soundtracks pretty well (cf. Thunderforce series), but the SNES is versatile and sounds luscious. I've heard some nerds call it "toothless," which incidentally is exactly how one moron I had the misfortune of talking to at a party once described the Beach Boys. Some people do not respond to beauty.

The NES marked the birth of the gamepad. One generation later, the SNES brings us near perfection. Arguably the best gamepad ever made.

The Genesis controller... well.

Sega's first attempt at a gamepad was pretty much a straight-up copy of the NES pad, just with a different D-pad to get around the patent. They greatly improved on the D-pad for the Genesis, but the Genesis was also the first time they tried a design different from Nintendo's: it was a different shape, wider, and with three buttons in a row, not two. As it turned out, Sega would themselves perfect this design the next generation: the Saturn pad is possibly even better than the SNES pad. SNES wins this round thanks to the "Sega style" pad's later arrival.


Haha. No, seriously. Let's just talk about the peripherals worth talking about. There's always a torrent of forgettable crap released for popular systems, which the SNES and Genesis both were.

32X had, what? Kolibri, Virtua Racing and a decent After Burner II port about eight years after the fact. It was a piece of shit, admit it.

Sega CD was bona fide cool, but expensive, pretty much a console unto itself. No denying it had some great games.

Super Game Boy was actually awesome for playing Game Boy games that were crippled by the small, dim screen, especially Metroid II, which many people still do not know is a pretty decent game. Still, you're playing Game Boy games on a big screen, with a four-color palette.

Oh, and the Konami Justifier was probably the better light gun, but SNES had the only 16-bit light gun game worth playing, Metal Combat. You could use a light gun with Snatcher on the Sega CD, but that isn't really a light gun game, is it?

No clear winner here. The Sega add-ons did get expensive though, just like keeping a loved one on life support gets expensive in real life.

Broadcast Services
Sega Channel sounded SO COOL, but I never got to try it because I didn't know anyone who had it. Satellaview also sounded SO COOL, but I never got to try it because I didn't live in Japan. I have to call this one a draw.

As far as shared games and franchises go, Mortal Kombat was better on Genesis, as was Aladdin. SNES's Street Fighter II games were better by a wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide margin, even if the six-button Genesis controller was kinda better for fighting games. SNES's Contra III was better than Genesis's Contra Hard Corps. Other games are tossups, like Earthworm Jim, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Super Castlevania IV and Castlevania: Bloodlines and the Aleste games.

But in the end, it's no contest. Genesis had a ton of great games. SNES had literally a dozen or more that are legitimate masterpieces. I'm not exaggerating: Super Mario World, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Final Fantasy VI (aka III), Chrono Trigger, Panel de Pon (aka Tetris Attack), The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, F-Zero, Super Mario Kart, Mother 2 (aka Earthbound), SimCity (best version of that game, no lie), and Seiken Densetsu 2 (aka Secret of Mana). That's a dozen masterpieces. As in better than excellent.

Look, the Genesis had some of my all-time faves, including Herzog Zwei and Gunstar Heroes. But pound for pound... come on, man. I dare you to say you prefer Gain Ground to ActRaiser or Comix Zone to Mega Man X2 or Shining Force II to Bahamut Lagoon (well, I might give you that last one).

And the winner is...

For the record, Genesis rules. But I think we can put this one to bed.


Anonymous said...

I'll just leave this here.

>I was fucking pissed off.
>I am capable of making this comparison without bias.

Release dates:
Sonic the Hedgehog - 1991
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - 05.08.1995

Shining Force - 21.03.1992
Final Fantasy III (VI) - 02.04.1994

Justin Bailey said...

Actually, that's a pic of Shining Force II, which was released Oct. 1, '93.

Hit the books kid.

Anonymous said...

Hah! Sonic the Hedgehog against Super Mario World 2 is hardly a fair comparison. They were four years apart, and the latter also made use of a SuperFX chip!

Sega's own version of the SuperFX used in Virtua Racing was better than the one Nintendo used in StarFox.

Another thing, you say that you think that the Saturn controller is possibly even better than the SNES controller, and the Genesis one is no so good. But the Genesis 6-button controller (made standard after the release of Street Fighter 2) is almost exactly the same as the Saturn one, minus shoulder buttons.

Also, Street Fighter 2 Turbo on the SNES and Genesis were totally a dead heat, so you can't really say that one was better than the other. Super Street Fighter 2 is a different story though.

Justin Bailey said...

So, in your opinion,

- The Genesis six-button controller is "almost exactly the same as the Saturn one," which I guess includes things like quality of components and ergonomics.

- Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition for Genesis is just as good as Street Fighter II Turbo for SNES.

- The 32X is "better" than the SuperFX, and you cite Virtua Racing as the reason.

Sir, I can say with total confidence that you are a moron. Go put on your fur suit and play Sonic some more.

Justin Bailey said...

In light of the criticism of my comparing Sonic 1 to Yoshi's Island, I have updated the post and instead used Vectorman, which was released a few weeks after Yoshi's Island. Note that, even when you choose a Genesis game of the same vintage, my point still stands, since the Genesis's palette was just as limited in 1995 as it was in 1991.

Megavolt said...

Regarding the Street Fighter II Turbo and Champion Edition comparison, there's a comparison video on Youtube from Classic Game Room in which the visual comparison is either inaccurate or dishonest. The games are compared side by side, but the guy uses a small video capture (I don't know if he used emulators or not) in order to claim that the Genny visuals look sharper. I have both versions and playing them side by side on an actual TV, the SNES version looks better. The colors on the Genny version are a bit washed out. Also, it's pretty obvious that the SNES version sounds better, but some Genesis fans will say it's a preference call. Both games play very well, and the Genesis version is an impressive port, but you have to give the SNES version the edge.

MyTMouse said...

Man there's still a lot of Genesis fanboys around. Look, play a bunch of games from both systems (there are Emulators out there) and you will see the SNES versions win the vast majority of the time. Genesis games looked and sounded like muddled crap compared to the SNES games.

The SNES not only had better hardware but it generally had better games too. There are more than a dozen games (most of which have been listed already) that are absolute gems and still hold up well even today.

Nintendo was a better gaming company and guess what? They are still in the console business and still making better games than Sega!

Anonymous said...

As is always the case with fanboys, this article is filled with bias, and poor comparisons. On the sound front, get yourself a real audio system, and give the systems a side by side listen using good examples. The reason people say the SNES sounds 'toothless' is because of the compression of the sound samples to 32khz, which takes the life and top end out of them, while allowing for more data to be processed. On a hifi system, the SNES definately sounds hollow. On your old tv back in the day, the fake DSP echo sounded 'cool' but is rather gimmicky sounding now. The genesis audio was comprised of both the yamaha and TI chips for a total of 10 channels of much higher sampled audio delivering a much crisper sound. The ring collection sound in Sonic is especially crisp and lively sounding. The whole 'grainy colors' thing is particularly bothersome to me, because that falls on the developers. Green Hill Zone in Sonic anybody? Pretty damned lush and bright. No graininess there. Maybe compare Sonic 3 to SMW 2. Btw, SMW2 with the whole yoshi and baby mario thing is retarded, not to mention SMW2 made use of external chips, and still pales next to the later Sonics. (which didn't need such trinkets)

Justin Bailey said...

Yay, another idiotic comment by an idiotic idiot.

Super Mario World 2 "pales [in comparison to] the later Sonics"?

You suck at liking video games.

megavolt67 said...

Anonymous, what you describe as 'crisp' could also be described as 'scratchy' or rough, depending on one's perspective. Same way that JB described SNES sound as luscious. At the end of the day, the reason the SNES had superior sound is not because of sound quality, but because of sound versatility. The Genesis had ten channels, but only one allowed for sampled sound, as the rest were for FM synth 'tones'. The SNES allowed for eight channels of sampled/digital sound. There's just no comparison in terms of flexibility. That's not to say the Genesis didn't host some fine soundtracks (it absolutely did - SoR2 for example has a place among my top five favorite game soundtracks of all time), but multiplatform titles tended to sound better on the SNES (Bubsy, Rock 'n Roll Racing, ZAMN, etc), and all in all, most of the more accomplished 16-bit scores were on the SNES. People can argue that the Genesis had a distinctive sound, just as the NES or C64 did, but the SNES sound model was more advanced, and that's a fact. (Also, I would argue that the DSP effects do serve to make the SNES sound distinctive in its own right, though whether it's more or less so in comparison to something else is a matter of opinion) I believe that those who would call the SNES sound 'toothless' represent a bitter minority of Sega fans.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but its plain to see from your comparisons and list of favoured Mega Drive games that you have a lack of experience with the machine.

The graphics comparison should be Yoshi's island and Ristar, a game which came out earlier that year. Maybe Yoshi's island would still win out (it has a distinctive art style which has little to do with the hardware and a lot to do with art direction), but it wouldn't be as marked a difference as you're making out at the moment.

Where it comes to sound I would personally say SNES does indeed have much more range, for instance Super Turrican actually has music that sounds like real instruments, however I can also see the point of view of many Genesis fans who say the SNES sounds a bit muffled.

Another point, where it comes to multi-format games "winning out a vast amount of time" this is simply bollocks, most games designed properly for a system will play to that particular machine's strengths, porting will never work perfectly, something will always be lost 90% of the time. Take Earthworm Jim for instance, at 1st look the SNES version is nice, but after the initial wow of some of those 1st stage effects you realise that the rest of the game has pretty much no improvements, the entire thing is running in a lower resolution to the original Mega Drive version, there's an entire level missing, and all the graphics are horizontally warped due to the SNES having a different resolution.

Also the SNES sound chip makes zero difference if the game is being directly ported from Mega Drive, if this is the case SNES versions simply use samples of the Mega Drive's sound, and pretty much always have a loss of quality.

Contra III is overrated and is a complete joke in comparison to Hard Corps, the only people who disagree are simply biased or bad at videogames. Contra III is ridiculously short, it's gimmicky top down levels play like crap and make up 1/3rd of the game and the last level is a boss rush, that leaves you with only three proper stages! Hard Corps is longer, has a more fleshed out storyline, has far superior graphics effects, has multiple playable characters and a better weapon and moves set, it also has multiple endings, it utterly obliterates Contra 3 (hardly surprising as Contra 3 was a much older game)

Justin Bailey said...

I think if you write maybe another thousand words focusing entirely on minutiae you might convince me.

Megavolt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megavolt said...

There's nothing 'personal' about it, anonymous. The SNES generates sample-based music. There's no question that it has vastly more range. As for the multiplatform sound comparison, I don't see SNES ports offering up diminished music as compared to the way Genesis ports do. For example, the SNES port of Cool Spot actually sounds better in some ways as compared to the original award-winning Genny score, and overall sounds quite good.

I do agree with what you said about the nature of ports in general (that a port will typically be better on the hardware it was originally designed for), but between the SNES and Genesis, I think it depends a bit more on the design style of the game. If it's a more deliberate title, chances are it'll be better on the SNES, if just because of its graphics and sound capabilities (not to mention the more versatile controller). If it's a more manic title, then it'll probably be better on the Genesis, if just because of the console's ability to handle more moving objects on the screen without slowdown.

That said, I'm not sure what the problem is with JB's favorites. Did you want him to mention Alien Soldier, Monster World IV, or Pulseman instead? What do those three games have over SoR2 or Phantasy Star IV other than being more obscure (or more hardcore, if at least in Soldier's case)? All are quality titles. I've seen the argument you're making from Sega fans in the past, but it carries no weight beyond the assumption that anyone who puts the SNES over the Genesis doesn't have enough experience with the latter. The argument could be applied in reverse, after all. How many diehard Genesis fans have played SNES games like Wild Guns and Umihara Kawase on the SNES? Not many, I'll bet. And given that JB didn't reach (as in reaching for underrated and/or overlooked titles) with his SNES picks anymore than he did with his Genesis picks, it's just a poor assumption to be making here.

I have to say, the pretense that many Sega fans have at being more knowledgable about gaming than everyone else is annoying. Yet they always seem to carry it with them as if in 'informed' defiance of the popular Nintendo consoles and games. Luckily for me, I grew up with both the SNES and Genesis, appreciate them both (I do favor the SNES, partly because I'm a big RPG guy, but Genesis was a worthy rival, which says a lot), and can recognize Sega fanboy attempts at drawing biased conclusions from their interpretion of certain facts. Such attempts remind me of the 'Fact Mijin' guy who has a Sega fansite which pretends to be an unbiased effort that 'proves' the equality or superiority of all things Sega. I'm not sure if gamers like that are hateful or just pathetic.

Megavolt said...

To Anonymous: I might've been a bit too harsh there at the end. Based on some of your words (bollocks) and on your referring to the Genesis as the Mega Drive, you appear to be British. In that case, it's entirely possible that you have more experience with the Genesis than the SNES (maybe I read too much into what I thought was a bit of posturing on your part), though it's not your fault that various SNES classics were never released in PAL territories.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I can see why some folks have taken issue with JB's comparisons. Because I agree with most of his conclusions, the attitude (are you kidding me, etc) doesn't bother me, but if I were a bigger Sega fan, I guess it might. He also brought up the Genny's superior parallax scrolling ability (I believe it could scroll more background layers at a time) very briefly only to sort of dismiss it, which might also irk a few people.

Still, on the music question, there should be no debate, and it amazes me that Genesis fans will use any angle to try and prove that the Genny sound hardware was at least 'on par' (or even that it's entirely a matter of preference - neither is true). It's just silly. Like I said before, Streets of Rage 2 has one of my all-time favorite soundtracks, but not because the Genesis sound hardware matches or exceeds that of the SNES.

Anonymous said...

Quote - "If it's a more deliberate title, chances are it'll be better on the SNES, if just because of its graphics and sound capabilities"

Why? if it is a direct port it will have the SAME graphics on SNES as Mega Drive but with horizontal warping due to the different resolutions, and will be using direct samples of the Mega Drive sounds.

Just because the SNES hardware has better capabilities in ANY area doesn't mean that developers will actually re-write any code to make improvements when porting, in fact making improvements to the original was VERY rare in those days.

Quote - "I'm not sure what the problem is with JB's favorites."

My problem is that he criticises the Mega Drive for lack of colours, and then he cherry picks a picture of Vectorman, a game which has very few colours in it, Ristar would make his "lack of colours" argument look unfounded immediately, and Sonic 3 makes his "Genesis games are faster because they look bad" point look stupid too.

Quote "after all. How many diehard Genesis fans have played SNES games like Wild Guns and Umihara Kawase on the SNES? Not many, I'll bet."

Dude, Wild Guns is one of the only SNES games which is unanimously popular on Genesis boards

Quote "I have to say, the pretense that many Sega fans have at being more knowledgable about gaming than everyone else is annoying."

Don't be ridiculous, SNES fans FAR outnumber Mega Drive fans in this regard. I've heard SNES fans on multiple occasions say that Mega Drive fans are just the stupid people from deprived areas.

Quote - "Yet they always seem to carry it with them as if in 'informed' defiance of the popular Nintendo consoles and games."

why don't you actually re-read my post, NOT ONCE did I say the Genesis was better than SNES, I said the comparison is biased towards SNES, which it is, it says the Genesis had too few colours on screen and then uses a picture of a game with no colour in it, had a picture of Ristar been used it would be obvious that maybe the SNES has access to more colours, but that the difference isn't substantial enough as to be massively noteworthy. It also compares the RPG's of the two systems which is pretty much the Genesis' weakest genre, on the other hand shooters on Mega Drive usually had far more sprites, parallax layers and set-pieces than those of the SNES.

Mega Drive is generally better for action games, strategy games and sports games. SNES is generally better for RPG's, slower paced platformers and puzzle games.

Anonymous said...

Lets put it this way segalomaniacs will always defend the genesis to the bitter sweet end even if they know that the Snes was a by far much superior product then the Genesis. Yes my heart belongs to the Genesis but i also know and acknowledge that that the super Nintendo had some pretty good games in its line up that have come to become classic just like the article mentioned. Yes the Genesis was a by far much powerful system however it did not have the third party support like the SNES had and the SNES did color scheme was by far much superior then the Genesis and the added chips like the Super FX chip even gave earlier ps1 games a run for its money. Nonetheless the genesis hardware was also capable of doing some amazing things just look at contra hard core and castlevania bloodline and some of its special effects that the genesis was capable of.
But when it was all said and done the snes was the clear winner in the console wars knowing that 49.10 million Super NES units were sold worldwide in comparison to the 29 million genesis consoles that were also sold worldwide. Nonetheless the war will always continue between the segalomaniacs and the Nintendo fanboys even if those console wars ended over 13 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Quote - "however it did not have the third party support like the SNES had"

This is another wildly spread untruth, a more accurate thing to say would be

"The Mega Drive didn't have as much JAPANESE third party support"

I grew up with European games during the 8-bit era and virtually none of the European developers gave a crap about the SNES, during the 16-bit era all the European developers primarily supported the Amiga, with the rest supporting the Mega Drive, all SNES got was late ports and 1 game odd a year from Rareware (pretty much the only European company that gave the SNES any real support at all)

From what I've seen it looks to me as though the US developers ALSO focussed on the Mega Drive, not least because Sega themselves actually set up loads of US branches to make games, not to mention that EA must've been one of the biggest US developers of the time and they threw all their backing behind Mega Drive.

BrianRf said...

I think the argument can be led to this: the Snes ultimately won simply because it had the better library of games. here is why:

As one said earlier: "Mega Drive is generally better for action games, strategy games and sports games. SNES is generally better for RPG's, slower paced platformers and puzzle games".

This is specifically part of the problem.
I disagree with one thing, and thats the action games bit. I think both the Snes and Genesis/MD have equal ground on action games and neither wins, plus, action games is a bit too general to be a proper category.
Sports games is where Sega fails, because sports games DO NOT AGE WELL, especially from the older generations, and the sports games that do age well usually belong to Nintendo (Ice hockey NES, Super Punch Out and the original, Tecmo Super Bowl, Baseball Stars). Back then they did the trick, but today they don't age well and aren't really a good reason to get a genesis.
Strategy games are also a poor choice, as they are usually reserved for hardcore gamers. Nobody buys a genesis for strategy games and can call themselves a casual gamer...in fact, most people will buy a snes used and cheap with some base games like amrio world just because it has that casual pick up and go feel, which is why the snes sold better in the long run and also has a bigger following.
And finally, the snes was an rpg titan, which at the time more than sucked in hardcore gamers and still does today.
So from a game standpoint, the genesis is more of a refined taste, and not nearly as approachable as the SNes. Its kind of like comparing the Saturn to the PS1...both have great games each their own, but, both systems have different architectures, have different respective strengths which neither one can usurp from one another.

I'll say this...the genesis, with its better processor and slightly more market generic parts (want to make it plain, that is a fact...for example, The Genesis sound chip is actually the same processor as the Master System’s CPU, which also explains the master systems carttop converter.
In terms of horsepower, the genesis was superior in its peak powers, but, the system overall was not as smooth or refined.
I own both (actually, I own everything from the atari800 up to the dreamcast and everything in between), and can say that the genesis is fuzzier, less defined, and rougher around the edges than the snes.
I doubt anyone can state that the snes or genesis is superior to one another because they are vastly different systems.

But in terms of accessibility, the Snes is the most approachable and also the most refined.
In terms of games, the SNes catalog wins in terms of flexibility and quality (the genesis could never match the snes on its own grounds, but the snes could at least match the genesis in its strengths with a few classics here and there...for example, virtua racing can be argued as a hardware accomplishment, but is nowhere near as presentable or playable as starfox...or even f-zero for that matter).
In now way am I slamming sega, or the genesis (it just so happens, my fav system of all time is the saturn and I own three because I always want one working if I need it).
But I would have to give the nod to the Snes. The genesis deserves respect, but it lost a great battle to a worthy foe in the long run and is now in the pantheon of hardcore gamers collections much more so than the flea market casual pickups that you see nintendo consoles going for everywhere.

Anonymous said...

1# Action games on SNES are a joke compared to those on the Mega Drive, anyone who even has a slight interest in these games knows this, there's just hardly any worthwhile scrolling shmups on the system whilst the Mega drive has, if anything, way too many quality shmups, putting things into perspective the original NES kicks the crap out of the SNES at scrolling shmups, all of the big companies who specialised in these sorts of games flocked to the Mega Drive and TG-16 for some reason leaving only a handfull of good shmups for SNES. Run N' Gun games follow a similar pattern with only a handfull on SNES and tons on Mega Drive, some, but not all of this was due to the fact that Treasure, who were famous for creating high quality run N' Guns were exclusively supporting Sega back in those days, but other than that there was just a general lack of development in this area again, possibly due to developers feeling that the SNES CPU wasn't up to the task? who knows, but thats the way it was.

2# You contradict yourself, first you say that there's less interest in Mega Drive because genre's like strategy are only reserved for hardcore gamers, then you subsequently say that the SNES is more popular because it excells in RPG's which are popular with hardcore gamers.

3# If you think the Mega Drive is fuzzy and ill defined then its because you have crappy leads for it, end of story. 90% of Mega Drive games run at 320x224 resolution whilst 90% of SNES games run at 256x224 resolution, this is a FACT, and anyone with a good TV and high quality S-Video or RGB cables would be able to clearly see the difference in detail afforded by the higher resolution (I know I can) on the other hand however the Mega Drive can occasionally look grainy, which is due to the fact that it doesn't have access to as many colours as SNES and so can't blend colours nearly as well.

4# The SNES "won" mainly because Sega were always very weak in the Japanese market, the Mega Drive sold next to nothing there whilst the SNES sold tens of millions which is pretty much the end number of units the SNES won by worldwide.

5# owning a Mega Drive and a bunch of famous games means very little, to see a proper picture of gaming behemoths like the SNES and Mega Drive you need to have played literally hundreds of games on them, I own roughly around 300 (real) games for both systems. And

anyway, both these systems pale in comparison to the original NES, which has, in itself no major genre weaknesses in its library (same with the PS1 too).

Justin Bailey said...

Thank you, BrianRf, for showing us that there are meatheads on both sides of this asinine debate.

BrianRF said...

My reply:
1# Action games a joke? The only real difference is that Genesis action games are usually a little more on the straightforward side. Example: Contra Hard Corps, Streets of Rage 2...self explainatory. Snes? Metroid Prime (blows any action game away on the genesis in my humble opinion; and it has aesthetics to its name..not just mindless violence...a defining factor of Snes action games..what it did have that was good for action was good for better reasons...TMNT IV, Mystical Ninja, I could list many more...).
If you like your frantic, busy shooter games, then by all means, the Genesis wins (The Turbografx is better for that though, much much better).

2#. I do not contradict myself. I was talking to a friend the other day, and hes not a big gamer. We remembered the good old days..I mentioned Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana...he smiled a broad grin. I mentioned Herzog Zwei and he...gave me a look like I was covered in manuer. Yes, RPG's are mostly reserved for a hardcore following, but they do have a casual appeal to them...strategy games do not. Those that do are on the PC, not a console.

3#. Resolution means nothing, really, if you don't have the colors to back it up..its like saying that a semitruck will win a race against a Honda Civic because it has more horsepower...a poor argument. Plus, in terms of hardware power, the SNES WAS capable of a much, much higherinterlacing resolution, as well as other tricks up its sleeve. But once Nintendo hired Rare, they turned the tables on Sega with their pre-rendered graphic technique. Pre-rendering's didn't require any CPU horsepower, only raw memory. The SNES had almost twice the memory of the Genesis and that gave the SNES the advantage. The Donkey Kong Country series, Killer Instinct, Yoshi's Island... all of these could not be done correctly on the Genesis. I said it before, I say it again: the ssnes was the more advanced machine, and it showed it with its premium games. No 320x224 can help the genny there.

4# The snes was a quality machine that delivered strong quality games, and thats why it won. The Japanese know quality games when they see em.

5# I have a VERy extensive library of games, with roughly every system between the atari 800 to the dreamcast. The genesis makes no real lasting impression on me like the Snes did. I like Platform games, Rpg's, and adventure games, so that also why. Shooters and sport games don't do much for me. I save my arcade thirst for my Neo Geo or Turbo Cd.

In fact, coming to think fo it...the Genny doesn't have alot to offer anymore...most of its titles are 'okay', and its premium games are not on par with the best of the Snes other than a handfull of games.
Not only did the Genesis lose out to the Snes, it also lost despite having a head start, a superior CPU, and no real competition for a couple years. Its a sad loss.
The Snes is not only the superior system..its also one of the greatest systems ever made period, second only to the Nes; The only point you made I agree with.

Anonymous said...

After playing the SNES, I couldn't go back to playing Genesis games back in the day. The graphics were more lively and colorful and the sound was light years ahead. Plus the SNES had great graphical touches such as hardware scaling and transparency effects.

A friend of mine summed it up best when he said "Genesis games make him think of the 80s, while SNES games make him think of the 90's."

Genesis had some good games, but not the depth and variety of the SNES lineup. Plus most multiplatform games looked and sounded better on SNES, unless the developers were simply lazy.

It's no wonder SNES outsold Genesis by such a huge margin.

And yes, the Sega SVP chip was superior to the Super FX chip, but it also made the game cost 100 freaking dollars!

Anonymous said...

SNES had just as many great shooters as Genesis. Space Megaforce, Darius Twin, Axelay, Biometal, Pop'n Twinbee, R-Type 3, UN Squadron, Aero Fighters, Strike Gunner, etc, etc.

Plus, Rendering Ranger on SNES pushes more sprites with no slowdown than I've ever seen on a Genesis, and it didn't use a single enhancement chip.

Anonymous said...

Wow Justin, all you do is insult people who leave comments on this article. You are a prick.

BTW, that guy who was saying that "Sega's version of the Super FX chip" used on Virtua Racing was better than Nintendo's was referring to the Genesis version of Virtua Racing; not the 32X version. Yet, you called him a moron when YOU were the one who make the mistake. That makes you a complete tool.

Justin Bailey said...

You're right, that does make me a tool, but weren't my fanboy-baiting, Bill O'Reilly-esque screeds transparent enough?

Just to be sure, let me offer up a little more: the Genesis version of Virtua Racing cost $80 originally ($100 if you believe Wikipedia) and was still not as good a game as Star Fox, even if it was more technically impressive (I guess? Both games look like shit, really).

And the vastly superior 32X version, Virtua Racing Deluxe, that I mistakenly thought he was talking about? Considered in total it's still not as good as Star Fox, even if it pushes a lot more polygons--and required a $160 peripheral to play!

jlenoconel said...

Both consoles were great. Obviously some games like Street Fighter II are going to be better on the SNES because the SNES was made for these games. That being said, both consoles had excellent conversions of Street Fighter II Turbo and SSF2 so what does it really matter? There were some games that Genesis had that were better than SNES actually. One of these is Mortal Kombat I.

Jim said...

1# Metroid Prime?!!? On the SNES? Yeah….and what an amazing feat of programming for the system it was too! I think you meant Super Metroid, which is an ADVENTURE GAME.

The Turbografx may be better for scrolling shooters (very arguable) but it is not “much” better, and for run n’ gun action games it's most certainly far worse.

2# You’re not listening YOU said the Mega Drive wasn’t popular as it was more reserved for hardcore gamers, then YOU said the SNES was popular because it catered to hardcore gamers. I was just pointing out that those two sentences literally contradict each other.

Whether or not your simpleton friend doesn’t like strategy games hardly has any bearing on the conversation.

3# you said “Ill defined and fuzzy” what exactly do you think this relates to? definition is LITERALLY tied in with the resolution, they’re both the same thing, what has colour got to do with anything? Do all black and white photos look fuzzy to you because of lack of colour?!?!

“The SNES was capable of higher resolution”

The higher resolutions are for menu screens and still pictures, they’re virtually impossible to get running during game play, there’s only like 3 games on SNES that manage to run in a resolution comparable to the native Mega Drive resolution.

Colour isn’t everything, and the Mega Drive could do colour pretty well anyway. In a game where the art design is specifically catered to the Mega Drive’s colour limitations the colour can look very nice, and the resolution gives the graphics a fantastic level of detail and clarity. Check out Ristar, Flink or Dynamite Headdy hooked up to a big TV with RGB or S-Video cables, the clarity of the picture is at a level that you do not get with SNES games. Downplay it all you want but the truth is that the definition is a very nice feature of Mega Drive graphics.

You keep talking about the supposed superiority of the SNES, I’ve played tons of multi-format games on both system’s and loads of SNES games have slowdown, the Mega Drive CPU’s superiority is a FACT, its better native resolution is a FACT. Those two features are important requirements of certain game genres therefore the SNES is not necessarily technically superior to the Mega Drive.

4# When the SNES launched in Japan it eclipsed the Mega Drive’s lifetime sales in a matter of weeks, even though the system at that time had virtually no games on it at all. They bought it on faith and brand loyalty alone it was already a huge success there before it even had more than a handful of good games available so your assurance that the SNES trounced the Mega Drive in Japan because “The Japanese know quality games when they see em” is clearly inaccurate.

5# You’re actually declaring the superiority of the SNES, then admitting that your favourite games are RPG’s and Adventure games?! Of course you prefer the system, I already said the SNES was better for those genres, your narrow genre interest pretty much nullifies any opinion you have on the two consoles.

Jimmy said...

“SNES had just as many great shooters as Genesis. Space Megaforce, Darius Twin, Axelay, Biometal, Pop'n Twinbee, R-Type 3, UN Squadron, Aero Fighters, Strike Gunner”

What are you trying to say? Are you trying to prove my point by listing a ton of really mediocre SNES shooters? If anything this list really sums up my point, the SNES is so bad at shooters that people who don’t know any better actually list really average games like Bio Metal, a game with some of the most crude and repetitive level designs of the 16-bit era, trash like Aero Fighters and Strike Gunner, or episodes of the Darius series, a series which has never been anything more than a joke in the shoot-em-up community, with its lazy, dated, uninspired design.

Axelay, R-Type 3 and Space Mega Force are the only games you mentioned which are exceptional, UN Squadron is good, though very overrated and really suffered due to the loss of its 2-player co-op.

“Rendering Ranger on SNES pushes more sprites with no slowdown than I've ever seen on a Genesis, and it didn't use a single enhancement chip”

If you think that then you can’t have seen that many Mega Drive games, if you’re talking about sprite numbers alone then even very old Mega Drive shooters like Gynoug can hold there own.

Arnold said...

Without bias?!!!!
Have you ever played genesis?
105 reasons why Genesis is better than snes:

1.Strider (1990 - Sega - Game of the year)
2.Beyond Oasis (1995 - Sega)
3.Toe Jam & Earl (1991 - Sega)
4.Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992- Sega)
5.Sonic the Hedgehog (1991 - Sega - Game of the year)
6.Shining Force II (1994 - Sega)
7.Flashback (early 1993 - U.S. Gold)
8.Ethernal Champions (1993 - Sega)
9.Landstalker (1993 - Sega)
10.Comix Zone (1994 - Sega)
11.Super Street Fighter II (Capcom - 1994)
12.Pit Fighter (1991 - Tengen)
13.Samurai Shodown (1994 - Sega/Saurus)
14.Moonwalker (1990 - Sega)
15.Mortal Kombat II (1994 - Acclaim)
16.Shinobi III (1993 - Sega)
17.Streets of Rage (1991 - Sega)
18.Streets of Rage 2 (1992 - Sega)
19.The Revenge of Shinobi (1989/90 - Sega)
20.Evander Holyfield
21.Kid Chamaleon (1992 - Sega)
22.Sonic 3 & Knuckles (1994 - Sega)
23.Disney's Aladdin (1993 - Virgin Games/Disney)
24.Gunstar Heroes (1993 - Treasure)
25.Phantasy Star IV (1994 - Sega)
26.Lakers vs Celtics (1990 - Eletronic Arts)
27.Quack Shot (1991 - Sega)
28.Castle of Ilusion (1990 - Sega)
29.Greatest Heavyweights (1994 - Sega)
39.Ayrton Senna’s: Super Monaco GP II (1992 - Sega)
30. Road Rash 2 (EA - 1992)
39. Road Rash (EA - 1991)
40. Duke Nuken 3D (Tectoy - 1996)
41.Ranger X ( Gau - 1993)
42.Streets of Rage 3 (Sega 1994)
44.Ecco (Sega - 1993)
45,Ecco 2 (Sega - 1994)
46,Desert Strike (early 1992 - EA)
49,Shadow Dancer (1990 - Sega)
50,Thunder Force IV (Technosoft - 1992)
51,Desert Demolition (1995 - Sega)
52,Rocket Knight Adventures (Konami - 1993)
53.Spiderman vs. The Kingpin (1991 - Sega)
54.Shadow Dancer (1991 - Sega)
55.Altered Beast (1988 - Sega)
56.X-men 2: Clone Wars (1995 - Sega)
57.Golden Axe (1989 - Sega)
58.Ghouls'n Ghosts (1989 - Sega - Game of the year)
59.Home Alone (1992 - Sega)
60.Dick Tracy (1990 - Sega)
61.FIFA Soccer (Eletronic Arts - 1993)
62.Pulseman (Sega - 1994)
63.Tiny Toons Adventures (Konami - 1993)
64.General Chaos (Eletronic Arts - 1993)
65.Alien Storm (1990/91 - Sega)
66.Star Flight (1991 - EA)
67.Thunder Force IV (Technosoft - 1992)
68.Pocahontas (Funcom – 1996)
69.World Series Baseball (1994 – Sega)
70.Sunset Riders (Konami - 1992)
71.Joe Montana II (Sega - 1992)
72.Virtua Racing (Sega - 1994)
73.Super Monaco GP (Sega - 1989)
74.After Burner 2 (Sega - 1990)
75.Bonanza Brothers (Sega - 1990)
76.Alisia Dragon (Game Arts - 1991)
77.Dahana (1992)
78.Mickey Mania (1994)
79.World of Illusion (Sega - 1992)
80.Vectorman (Sega 1995)
81.Global Gladiators (Virgin - 1992)
82.Biohazard Battle (1992)
83.Rollo (EA - 1993)
84.The Lost Vikings (1993)
85.Soleil (Sega - 1994)
86.Sonic 3D Blast
87.Alien Soldier (treasure - 1995)
88.Ligh Crusader (treasure - 1995)
89.Joe Montana 94 (Sega 1994)
90.The Immortal (EA - 1991)
91.Yu Yu Hakusho (treasure - 1994)
92.Dynamite Headdy (Treasure - 1994)
93. Pirates! Gold (MicroProse - 1993)
94. Zero Tolerance (TechnoPop - 1994)
95. T2: Arcade Game (1992)
96. Castelvania Bloodlines (Konami - 1993)
97.Contra Hard Corps (Konami - 1994)
98. Vectorman 2 (Sega 1996)
99. Tazmania (Sega 1992)
100. Rolling Thunder 2 (Namco - 1991)
101. Two Crude Dudes (Data East - 1991)
102. Spatterhause 2 (Namco - 1992)
103. Adventures of Batman & Robin
104. Hautining (EA - 1993)
105. Phantasy Star II (1990 - Sega)

Arnold said...

150 reasons why Genesis is better than snes (part II):
106. Gargoyles (Buena Vista 1995)
107. Shining and the Darkness (Sega-1991)
108. Shining Force (Sega 1993)
109. Ristar (Sega - 1995)
110. Heavy Nova (1991)
111. Toe Jam and Earl 2 (Sega-1993)
112. Dune (1994)
113. Jurassic Park (Sega 1993)
114. The Sims (EA - 2008)
115. Spot Goes to Holywood (Virgin-1994)
116. Mazin Saga (1994)
117. Cyborg Justice (Sega - 1993)
107. Shadow of the Beast (EA- 1991)
108. Gayares (1990)
109. Sylvester and tweety (1993)
110. Cool Spot (early 1993-Virgin)
111. Bimmini Run (1990)

Arnold said...

150 reasons why Genesis is better than snes (part III):

123. Shadowrun (BlueSky – 1994)
124. Skitchin (EA – 1994)
125. The Terminator (Virgin– 1992)
126. Sim City 4 (EA - 2008)
127. Alien 3 (Arena – 1992)

Arnold said...

150 reasons why Genesis is better than snes (part IV):: Most of the best "snes games" have a genesis version.

128. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Konami – 1992)
129. The Lion King (1994)
130. Out of this World (Virgin–1992)
131. Jungle Strike (EA – 1993)
132. Urban Strike (EA – 1994)
133. Earthworm Jim (1994)
134. Earthworm Jim 2 (1995)
135. Prince of Persia (Tengen–1994)
136. Lethal Enforces (Konami– 1993)
137. Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Konami – 1993)
138. Rocket Knight Adventures 2 (Konami – 1994)
139. Mortal Kombat (Acclaim – 1993)
140. NBA JAM TE (1995)
141. Art of Fighting (Sega – 1994)
142. Demolition Man (1995)
143. Krusty's Super Fun House (Flying Edge- 1992)

Arnold said...

150 reasons why Genesis is better than snes (part V): Sega CD games
144. Road Avenger (Wolfteam – 1992)
145. Snatcher (Konami – 1994)
146. Silpheed (Game arts - 1993)
147. Lunar: the Silver Star (Game Arts - 1991)
148. Heart of the Alien (Interplay – 1994)
149. Night Trap (Digital Pictures - 1992)
150. Batman Returns (Sega – 1993)

Justin Bailey said...

Five posts to make absolutely no point whatsoever. Wonderful. My I take these one at a time?

Part I: There are lots of great games on that list. There are others that are not so great (Altered Beast? Pit Fighter? Shadow Dancer, twice no less?)

Part II: The Sims?

Part III: SimCity 4? What the hell are you talking about?

Part IV: Dude, who fucking cares which system had the better version of Demolition Man?

Part V: Night Trap? NIGHT TRAP? This is bullshit, you're baiting me.

Arnold said...

Part I:
Pit Fighter is a great game! Unfortunately the snes version is a crap…
If you have a particular problem with Altered Beast and Shadow Dancer, there are great options like:
Pier Solar (2008)
Sword of Vermilion (Sega - 1990)
Warsong (Treco – 1991)
Herzog Zwei (Technosoft - 1990)
Beggar Prince (1996)
The Punisher (Capcom - 1994)
Rambo III (Sega – 1989)
Mercs (Sega – 1991)
MLBPA Sports Talk Baseball (Sega – 1992)
Tiny Toon Adventures: ACME All-Stars_(Konami – 1994)
The Misadventures of Flink (Psygnosis – 1994)
Spattlerhouse 3 (Namco – 1993)
Chakan (Sega – 1992)
Shadow of the Beast 2 (EA – 1992)
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Sega – 1997)
Dragon Ball Z

Part II & III:
Yes, The Sims!
Yes, Sim City 4!

Part IV: Most of the best "snes games" have a genesis version.
Ok, Demolition Man is not that great, but it's still among the best snes action games.
Other options are:
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure
Toy Story
The Great Circus Mystery: starring Mickey and Minnie (Capcom)
Maui Mallard
Jungle Book
Chuck Rock (Virgin – 1992)
James Pound II (EA – 1991)
Bubsy 1 & 2
New Horizons
Theme Park
Tyrants (1992)
Star Trek - The Next Generation :Echoes From the Past
Peble Beach Golf Links
Madden 95 (EA - 1994)
International Superstar Soccer Deluxe (Konami)
NHL 94 (EA - 1993)
Olympic Summer Games (1996)
Fighting games:
Weapon Lord (Namco – 1995)
Primal Rage
Ball Z
Fatal Fury 2
Best of the Best
Deadly Moves
Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage
Mortal Kombat 3
WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game
Spider-Man & Venom: Separation Anxiety
Outlander (Mindscape – 1992)
Wolverine: Adamantium Rage
Phanton 2040
Revolution X

Part V: Sega CD Games
If you have a particular problem with Night Trap, there are other great options like:
Lunar: Eternal Blue
Popful Mail

Justin Bailey said...

Pit Fighter is a "great game"? Do you live in an alternate dimension or something? You also implied that Night Trap was a quality product, and this detachment from reality is the reason that nobody takes Sega fanboys like you seriously.

Vicious insults aside though, I am genuinely interested to hear why you are listing SimCity 4 and The Sims as reasons that Genesis is better than SNES. Could you elaborate on that? I don't understand how those games relate to the topic at hand.

Arnold said...

Super Mario World 2 has better graphics than Vectorman?!!
Final Fantasy VI battles have better graphics than Shining Force 2 battles?!!
Definitely, I don't live in this weird nintendo fanboy's world.

In contrast with snes, Genesis/Mega Drive still has great official releases even in recent years.

Beggar Prince (1996 -English translation: 2008)

Legend of Wukong (1996 - English tranlation: 2008)

Sim City 4 (EA-Tectoy, 2008)

The Sims 2 (EA-Tectoy, 2008)

Need for Speed Pro Street (EA-Tectoy, 2008)

Guitar Idol (Tectoy, 2009)

Pier Solar (2010, 64 MEG game cartridge!!!!)

You have lost twenty two years…
Run and buy a Sega Genesis!
You have at least 200 reasons to do that.

Justin Bailey said...

Ah, I see. Sketchy Brazilian bootlegs. That's why I was confused. I'll bet you anything this clown also thinks the Master System is better than the NES.

Arnold said...

You are kidding...
I said OFFICIAL releses.
Go and see the links.
You are still confused.

Justin Bailey said...

I can't tell whether those are official releases, but they are apparently for something called the "TecToy," so actually, those are two really good reasons to get a TecToy. Which is not a Genesis. If only I had named this post "SNES vs. TecToy: the Eternal Struggle," then maybe you'd have a valid point.

This has gone from amusing to absurd. Instead of just naming dozens of games, seemingly at random, could you maybe try, oh I don't know, actually constructing an argument?

Chris said...

You are entitled to your own opinions, but let's get one thing right.
The Genesis was vastly superior when it came to arcade titles, and that was because Sega owned the arcade market.
Hardware was improved as it became cheaper, the SNES had that benefit. So yes, the SNES was slightly more advanced in the audio visual department, but better it does not make.
As there were many games that the Genesis with it's slightly speedier processor, that were not technically possible on the SNES.
My textbook example is Gunstar Heroes. I remember reading an interview with treasure stating that development was to begin on the SNES, but it was severely limited when it came to number of sprites. So they ended up developing for the Megadrive instead.
You go out and call someone a moron for citing Virtua racing. Now, i played Starfox previously before Virtua racing. I thought starfox was pretty flippin' amazing. But once i tried virtua racing for the Genesis, i knew this was something else entirely.
He's not a moron for stating the obvious, Virtua Racing was lightyears ahead of Starfox. But then, you can't credit the Genesis for the SVP, you can credit Yu Suzuki for having the idea. Virtua racing wasn't arcade perfect, but it was something the SNES wasn't capable of, and something Nintendo wasn't willing to sell, because it was an expensive game. But boy, was it worth it! I remember thinking to myself "How the hell are they doing this?!"
Now, i can't get into an argument over the controllers. i think you get used to a controller, and then you make it your preference.
I was into Sega, so i clearly enjoyed the 8-way pad, with it's soft rounded corners, and perfect springback throw. I also enjoyed the 6 face buttons. But playing Sega made me slide my thumb on the dpad, where my nintendo friends tapped theirs. because the Dpad was slightly stiffer, and had sharp corners. Again, it's all about what you adopt first. i was lucky enough to buy a Genesis when i was old enough. Had i been younger i might have gotten the SNES.
In the end, it's all about what kinds of games you like to play, if you are into arcade titles and sport, Sega was clearly the way to go. If you liked RPGs, you wanted to get an SNES.
It's that simple.

Justin Bailey said...

Does this whole debate really boil down to just arcade-style games vs. RPGs? Somehow I doubt it.

Arnold said...

In fact, Genesis won in the US market. And won because it had the best games (including RPGs like Phantasy Star IV, Beyond Oasis, Shinig Force II, Soleil, Shadowrun, Light Crusader and many others).
It was not easy for SEGA because in the 8-bit era the third-party developers were required to sign a contract by Nintendo that would obligate these parties to develop exclusively for the NES. People in US want to see games like Super Mario, Zelda, Castenvania, Megaman, Contra, Metroid, Final Fantasy and Adventure Island even though the snes versions were inferior in comparison with games already launched for Genesis.
US sales figures:
Genesis: 20 million, Sega Genesis 3: 2 million, Sega Nomad: 1 million; without considering Sega CD X and JVC X'eye sales.

Justin Bailey said...

Shut up. Seriously, just shut up. I've had more fruitful conversations with 5-year-olds. Post more comments when you have something meaningful to say (like some of the pro-Genesis people here have already been thoughtful enough to do).

Arnold said...

Don't become hysterical nintendo fanboy.
Just take the red pill.
But remember...all I am offering is the truth, nothing more.

Justin Bailey said...

... and he comes back with a joke that was passe 10 years ago. A+, champ.

Chris said...

Are you just out here to irritate and insult people? Many of the posters have stated opinions that have clear logic behind them, and you are oblivions, like a child you defiantly bellow "Nuh uuuuh! The super Nintendo is better, you guys are stupid" Is that how you want to portray yourself?
The genesis wasn't a bad machine, not at all. In fact in the early 90s Nintendo didn't seem to think it was either, they did their best to ape Sega with their "play it load" ad campaign. Nintendo has always had respect for Sega, because only Sega has ever been a worthy foe for Nintendo, and the only company to dethrone them.
Nintendo liked the Genesis so much, they asked Sega to provide them with games for their Wii console.
So please, don't act so abrasive. You didn't have the means to have both consoles in the day, and that's YOUR loss. Both consoles had their strengths. and both were extremely fun.

Justin Bailey said...

If you actually read my post, you'll notice I said, "For the record, Genesis rules." So obviously we are in agreement that the Genesis was a great console.

The reason I'm "abrasive," as you put it, is that it's just delightful (and easy!) to bait Sega fanboys. That, and they say things like "you are oblivions." Oblivions! Haha!

Chris said...

Ah, i see.. So this is what a troll's blog looks like.
I've met many annoying personalities on the internet, you are in the top five.

Justin Bailey said...

Whatever, dude. Just PLAY IT LOAD, okay?

jlenoconel said...

I've commented on this before, and I will do so again. Both the SNES and Genesis are both excellent consoles. Without one there would not be the other. I still play Mortal Kombat II on both systems because I love both versions. The charm to these ports is that they are different and although the SNES version may be technically better, the Genesis has its merits too. Why can't people just enjoy both. One more point, the Genesis was released two years prior to the SNES, meaning the technology was behind. Put into perspective the Genesis was released in 1988 in Japan and released MK2 in 1993, which is about 4/5 years after the systems inception. The SNES version of the same game was released only 3 years after the release of the system, which gives a clear advantage to the SNES as far as technology goes. This is why I love both versions because I appreciate them for what they are, and don't worry so much as to which was the better port. Besides, the Genesis had better ports of many other games.

Justin Bailey said...

You do have to respect the Genesis for coming first--the SNES definitely had an advantage in terms of tech because of that.

Anonymous said...

I love both consoles though in my youth my SNES was running 90% of the time. These days, when I come back to retro gaming, it's almost oposite: my GENESIS runs almost 90% of the time. What does this say to me?!

Anonymous said...

My opinion is that both consoles are evenly matched (I personally own both), and either console "won" if you decide it by sale numbers depended on wheere you live. in Japan and all NTSC reions the SNES won by far, but in PAL reigions (Where I live) the Megadrive/Genesis sold more. (In most PAL areas the Master System beat the NES by far due to the fact there was little to no interest and support on Nintendo's part in those areas, the NES not even seeing PAL reigions until a full 2 years after the NTSC release. This continued to a lesser degree with the SNES.)

While Mode 7 was great for racing games, as it rendered very smoothly, some games on the Megadrive, such as Road Rash could render hills, while this was slightly slower to render it looked very impressive.

The SNES controller was brilliant and the shoulder buttons are now standard on most controllers of today but it was slightly smaller for child's hands, which meant it isn't as comfortable to play with when you are older (and have bigger hands), the Megadrive seemed to aim their target market to older gamers as the controller is larger and is a lot more confortable to hold in my opinion. While the SNES was techinally superior and had more colorful games the Megadrive was styled better IMO (The Model 1 Megadrive dosen't look out of place sitting next to my PS3).

As I said before I like both consoles equally, as they both "win" in different areas. While the Megadrive was on the market first (And if i'm correct was cheaper) and had better styling and a more comfortable controller and some (generally) faster gameplay, the SNES was technically superior in both graphics and sound, and had some truly amazing titles.

Anonymous said...

The genesis came out like 2 years before the super nintendo. It was natural for the nintendo to have better hardware. For some games the snes version was better and some the genesis. I like the mortal kombat games better on the genesis because the 6 button turbo controller was better for fighting games. Everyone I knew who had a genesis they played a lot used one of these, and they were better than a snes controller IMO. SNES had games with better graphics, and genesis had faster paced games due to its processor being loads faster. Games did seem to run smoother on a genesis, but look and sound better on the SNES. It's really a matter of preference. Both systems had many great games. Obviously the person who wrote this likes the snes better than the genesis, so naturally he stated his case and (surprise!) picked it at the end.

Anonymous said...

Genesis does what Nintendont, but NintenDO a lot of things Genesis can't as well.

Offres d'emploi au Cameroun said...

i think that super nes was the best 16 bit console ever made. You cannot find games such as Yoshi's island, or Donkey Kong country 2, or Chrono Trigger on Genesis. Genesis got more mature games but no more enjoyable and no lasting longer than super nes games.

Genesisn't said...

Wow, a lot of lame, mad Genesis fanboys who are ticked-off because they had to play an inferior system with inferior games. You can keep holding your dusty old system that nobody cares about while Nintendo continues to thrive in the video game market...they still exist today because they knew what they were doing and didn't rely on pathetic marketing tactics aimed at immature little boys.

jlenoconel said...

That's bollocks though isn't it Genesisn't. I owned both systems when I was young.

playaz4honeyz said...

As far as the library is concerned, according to sales both consoles had the SAME number of popular games on them. Games the mass consumers thought were popular. That number is somewhere around 250 (not counting gameboy or master system games). It really comes down to a preference in gaming, because these consoles are even.

Both consoles had their advantages and they balance out. SNES had more colors and a slight advantage in audio. Genesis had a faster CPU which allowed it to play arcade games without the slow down SNES suffered from. The Genesis also has the CD add-on, which gives it far superior audio to the SNES for many games.

I agree that certain games are better for certain consoles. Nintendo had better adventure games, plat-formers, and RPG's (largely thanks to Square Enix). The Genesis has superior arcade fighting, strategy, and SHMUP games (largely thanks to Treasure). That doesn't mean Sega was weak in the other areas.

Now if I were to do fair comparisons, I would do something like these:
--Nintendo-- vs --Sega--
Donkey Kong 2 vs Sonic 3 and knuckles (nintendo wins)
SMW2 vs Rocket Knight Adventure (sega wins)
Super Metroid vs Comix Zone (nintendo wins)
Mega Man X vs Shinobi 3 (sega wins)
Mario Kart vs Herzog Zwei (nintendo wins)
R-type 3 vs M.U.S.H.A. (sega wins)
Final Fantasy 3 vs Phantasy Star 4 (nintendo wins)
Tecmo Super Bowl vs Mutant League Football (sega wins)
Chrono Trigger vs Lunar Eternal Blue (nintendo wins)
Final Fight vs Streets of Rage 2 (sega wins)
Zelda: LttP vs Y's II: Ancient Y's Vanished (nintendo wins)
Final Fight Guy vs Final Fight CD (sega wins)

When comparing a multi-platform game like super street fight 2, one should keep in mind that Nintendo did have more colors, but sega had better frame rate and their sprites were given some more details. Personally, I would rather have a reliable frame rate in SSF2 and not miss a few colors. But the difference is marginal at best.

Granted the SNES could play black-and-white gameboy games, but keep in mind that the Genesis is backwards compatible with Sega's 8-bit console, the Master System. Many Sega Game Gear games were ported to the Master System and were thusly playable on the Genesis. Sega's 8-bit library is nothing compared the NES, but it definitely adds to the Genesis as good as the Super Gameboy did the SNES.

A few more things to mention about Sega's CD console, it had graphic novels like Snatcher and Rise of the Dragon. Snatcher, being made my Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear), has just as dark aesthetics as Super Metroid. And the 32x has lots of good games, including the best console ports of Blackthorne, Space Harrier, Mortal Kombat 2, and NBA Jam.

In summary, I'm glad I grew up with a SNES first. It was Square Enix's RPG's that made me a serious gamer. However, these days I have those RPG's ported to my playstation with bonus content. And I have the Mario/Zelda/Donkey Kong games ported to the Gameboy Advance. With those two branches cleared out, I don't see much reason to hold onto a SNES. However, I hold onto my Genesis because of unique games like Comix Zone, Mutant League Football, and Blackthorne. Not to mention classic arcade games like SHMUPS and fighters never lose their appeal.

P.S. While the SNES may have superior RPG's, fans of the genre should definitely check out the Genesis RPG's. They are completely different and a unique experience. Phantasy Star being a sci-fi RPG, and Lunar Silver Star having amazing anime cinematics.

playaz4honeyz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Haha, oh nintendo fans.... all I ever see on SNES vs Genesis arguments is SNES's ability to produce better graphics and sound... but today the Nintendo Wii has far worse graphics and sound compared to its competitors, and the same Nintendo fanboys never like to mention this!

Anonymous said...

Someone still sounds butthurt.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time to let them go, after 20+ years of continuous war. Nintendo fanboys should go play more of the genesis library and SEGA fanboys should do the same with the snes. I still have both systems, I still play on them and I can tell you that both consoles were extraordinary back then and they still are to this day. The 16 BIT era was one of the most important (if not the most) periods of time in gaming history, as it spanned alot of the francises we are playing today. I have to admit, I had the genesis the first, and I liked it, but then I managed to get a snes and play super metroid, donkey kong, yoshi's island...man those are great games. It isn't about the graphics, sound, special effects, that is what you dont understand, IT IS about the games themselves, the gameplay, the feeling that it gives you, these are the things that count. So in the end, we should honor these 2 great play systems for the memories they gave us, and let them rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I think that previous "Anonymous" is right.

Anonymous said...



BlackMageTricky said...

Genesis has MUSHA.
Genesis actually does what Nintendon't.
nuff said

Anonymous said...

Well streets of rage 2 is the best game ever with vs mode and all the codes for it and the replay value. it's just badass! its even better than final fight cd which is worlds better than any snes 1 player final fight anyday.

And you have to consider price and age. Like you cant compare the nes to the genesis, cause it came out like 4 years before it but the genesis came out over 2 years before the snes so comparably speaking I would say that the genesis wins if anything.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is with all u dudes? A bunch of 30 yr old men fighting over some video games that were cool when they were kids. U guys all remind me of old folks, u know the kind that will play there old music from 1960-70 and think that it's still cool. I had snes,genesis, segacd, gameboy and a few others..... They were all good but all of them put together is not as good as some pussy, I grew up started to care less bout games. And more about girls, u guy's should too.

Justin Bailey said...

I like how you can't even be bothered to type the "yo" in "you" (too much physical exertion maybe?) but you do take care to capitalize "U" when it begins a sentence.

Anonymous said...

Good article. As usual, many of the true gems of the SNES/SFAM (you might even call them "masterpieces") get left off, ones that the Genesis can't even touch, simply because they didn't make it to the US. It's the 21st century now; we can include those in reasonable discussion. And when we do, there's simply no more room for debate:

Terranigma. Fire Emblem 4/5. Tactics Ogre. Rockman & Forte. Seiken Densetsu III. Star Ocean. Dragon Quest V/VI.

The SNES was unquestionably superior on a technical level, but it also had *more* great games and *better* games. I can't reiterate this enough: as heated as the fourth generation console war was Stateside, looking back, it was no real contest.

Anonymous said...

Your article is crap. How can you mention garbage 32x games instead of Doom or Virtua Fighter! The 32x version of Doom made the SNES version look like a joke.

Daniel Shae said...

I stumbled upon this looking up Mode 7 and other graphical differences between SNES and Genesis.

Your post was extremely informative compared to other sites, so thanks a lot!

Also, you named all of my favorites in your list of masterpieces.

"Super Mario World, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Final Fantasy VI (aka III), Chrono Trigger, Panel de Pon (aka Tetris Attack), The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, F-Zero, Super Mario Kart, Mother 2 (aka Earthbound), SimCity (best version of that game, no lie), and Seiken Densetsu 2 (aka Secret of Mana)"

WOW. Except I still have never played Yoshi's Island or Super Metroid. Nevertheless, you have FANTASTIC taste!!!!!

Thanks for sharing. ^^

Gunstar Green said...

I don't think you were quite able to write this without bias.

You couldn't give the Genesis props for its smoother animation and gameplay without arbitrarily slamming its available color palette which is completely irrelevant to its gameplay speed and how many sprites it could throw around. The majority of SNES games look better because it has a larger pool of colors to choose from. This doesn't really require additional processing power and the SNES does clearly have a better video architecture, though Genesis games actually run at a higher resolution (made apparent in games like Earthworm Jim, less of the screen is visible on the SNES because of this).

The reason why SNES games often (not all SNES games some programmers were able to do a fine job with it) feel slower and choppier is because the 68000 in the Genesis is twice as fast as the processor in the SNES. Unassisted with add-ons or extra co-processor chips the Genesis IS the faster machine. They admittedly used stupid phrases like "blast processing" to advertise the speed of the system (mainly because it sounded cooler to American kids than explaining to them technical crap about processors) but they weren't entirely blowing smoke. The speed difference isn't just apparent in stressful games like shmups, the Genesis is also better at doing polygons though both systems are still really kind of crap at that without extra processors built into the game carts.

The SNES one-ups the Genesis in many categories but speed is not one of them. The creators of Star Fox even joked that the SNES was just a box to hold their game since the Super FX chip handled the majority of the processing load.

Sega did make a huge mistake with peripherals like the 32X instead of going the route of SNES and their add on chips. This is mainly thanks to Sega of America sorely wanting to upgrade the system instead of just allowing it to continue to sell well on its own like it was. They did make Virtua Racing with a chip but it was terribly expensive and the damage was already done. The SNES took a calculated risk keeping the price-point of their system down by releasing the system with an under-powered processor and it worked out for them but not without some disadvantages.

Mode 7 is neat and sort of came into existence to get around the shortcomings of the SNES design. It was incorporated to do the graphical effects the SNES wouldn't have been able to do thanks to anemic processor. The Genesis hardware is capable of doing a lot of cool things that an unassisted SNES couldn't do without Mode 7's help.

There's also rumors that Nintendo gave the SNES the processor it did because of early plans to make the console backwards compatible with NES games and when that fell through they were too far along in the design stages to change it. I don't know how much truth there is to that.

Both machines can jump through hoops with the right programmers. Just look at Gunstar Heroes on the Genesis and Rendering Rangers R2 on the SNES. Sega also dropped support of the Genesis long before Nintendo would for the SNES which was another stupid move on Sega's part and a big reason why the end-of-life SNES games are pretty technically impressive. There weren't any new Genesis games coming out to compete. The new indie game Pier Solar for the Genesis shows a lot of the potential that was still left in the system.

The homebrew scene for the SNES isn't quite as accomplished so we don't know what wonders it might still hold, but from what I've heard from other people Nintendo had pretty much squeezed every secret out of the hardware.

Anonymous said...

To me the Genesis will always win. Simply because it has the better games out of the two consoles. Rpgs bore me to death, and platformers entertain me for 10 minutes max... Back then if you were into SHMUPs, run n' guns or hack n' slashs, it was a no brainer, the Sega Genesis killed the Snes for those genres. And I never liked the way the Snes sounds: no high-end nor low-end, just over-compressed sampled garbage.

Bathory said...

Yes the Genesis had a better and more rounded gaming library. Yes the Genesis had more horsepower than the SNES. Yes the Genesis excelled at scrolling shooters, beat em ups, sport games and generic arcade titles. But is the Genesis better than the SNES? Absolutely not, no way when looked at in retrospect.

I was a teenager when the Genesis and SNES were locked in mortal combat. I bought a SNES in 1992 to play Street Fighter 2 (I was prior to this a proud PC Engine owner). I ended up picking up a Genesis in 1993. At the time, I did feel that the Genesis was the better system overall but felt some SNES games were above and beyond any standard metric of greatness. By 1995, my mind was made up, the best games on the SNES were better than the best games on the Genesis, no question about it. Screw genre preferences, the Playstation and Saturn were just released - it was only a matter of time that those old 2D arcade style games or those sporting titles were going to be rendered primitive (as I thought at the time).

Now lets roll to 2012. Talking about the Genesis hardware superiority in terms of scrolling or number of sprites is a moot point - who cares nowadays? Only way to judge these consoles is on games and games alone.

Now let us look at the games. Let us be honest here. Gunstar Heroes was a great game on the Genesis. But can anyone look in the mirror and honestly feel that this game is worthy to be included on an all time list? What about some others like Strider, Shinobi III, Vectorman, Contra Hard Corps, Castlevania Bloodlines, Streets of Rage 2, Road Rash 3 etc? Yes, excellent games, but all time greats? Sorry, not even close to warranting an entry amongst the true classics. Excellent games are merely excellent games, and the Genesis had a whole bunch of them. What about Sonic? Great game sure, but when I first played it I completed the game in one sitting within 3 hours. 40 bucks for 3 hours of fun. No replay value either there. Sonic 2? One of the best Genesis games but also one of the easiest. I am no expert gamer either. However, I have to say Sonic 2 is iconic, and has to be considered an all time classic. By the time Sonic 3 came along I was ready to hit the snooze button. It had wonderful graphics as good as, if not better than, anything on the SNES. But push come to shove, it did not deliver anything other than a standard platforming experience. Aladdin on the Genesis (and Earthworm Jim) showed graphics that blew my testicles off, but these games fell in the very good rather than absolute classic category. The best games on the Genesis had to be the Phantasy Star games for me – at least you got your moneys worth here. All time greats? Yeah sure, Phantasy Star blew my mind, I loved this series something serious. Well worth a place among the all time greats. I am not going to bother running through the SNES games, I think we know all the classics here and if we do not, then we are in denial. For me, the greatest 16 bit game of all time is a toss up between Super Metroid and Zelda A Link to the Past. These games were immortal to me and the Genesis did not even have anything remotely close. Throw in Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 3 and perhaps Mario Kart and you have the five best games of the 16 bit era that were unique to the SNES at the time. Hardcore Genesis fanboys can keep their so called superior shoot em ups, action, and scrolling shooters.

Bathory said...

The SNES had its weaknesses in the scrolling shooting genre, the hack n slash genre, and of course the sporting genre. That does not mean there were no good games in this area on the SNES though. People usually assume that the Genesis beats the SNES in terms of beat em ups, but I am not sure. Turtles in Time and Batman Returns were pretty darn good and I enjoyed them as much as Streets of Rage 1/2/3. As for 2D fighters, it is a toss up. Both had very good Mortal Kombat games and Street Fighter games. Choosing which one was better on which console has proved to be a 20 year fruitless exercise. Eternal Champions and Killer Instinct were the best of the rest on both consoles, and which one being better is personal preference. For me Killer Instinct was my personal vice and I would vouch for that. People often point out Street Fighter Alpha on the SNES, but gimme a break, it was no patch on the Saturn version.

As for the temerity of Genesis fanboys – you know you are dealing with sick individuals that turn the debate into a Mario Vs Sonic slagging match. These two games cannot be compared. I had to laugh out loud when reading a forum debate as to why Metal Gear Solid was better than Zelda OOT and thus stood as greatest game of the 32 bit era. Naturally I suggested how could you possibly compare a stealth military ops game to a fantasy game? Both are of course great all time classic games but saying which one is better is plain dumb since it is purely a preference call.

Anonymous said...

Well, I could have posted a regular comment about which system is better, until I saw Justin's lovely remarks about how stupid everyone is, then I decided ... oh what the heck, may as well post about that trivial matter of who has the best brains around here.

Anyhow, I always judge a system on its games and the SNES just barely has the edge, the quality of the games makes me think: "wow, jaw dropping" while genesis games are just like: "Whoa awesome, cool!"

See what I mean, two different mentalities, but as far as game mechanics and flow goes, both systems were powerful enough to create likewise experiences

Music is a big part of immersion in games, but also the Sega Cd had more storage and also extra hardware capabilities.

A CD32X all in one would have worked wonders for Sega of course in that time period new competition would shake things up so it's difficult to say what could have been. The truth is, focusing on one thing is probably better than creating lots of little small things... it's a bit like divide and rule theory... you want one single power structure for the greatest effect.

Anyway, the Snes didn't have any add-ons. Good thing considering the 3D phase picked up pretty quickly (the N64 is a great example of how things advanced over a few years).

Yep, Snes and Genesis are great, but one is warmer and more cosy than the other, with beautiful graphics and thoughtful designs.

While the other is more arcade-like and bold, daring and competitive.

Actually the Genesis could do games that came across very much like Amiga games, some of which were direct ports. The Snes didn't have so much of that.

Anonymous said...

To anyone who thinks the Genesis sound compared to SNES is not technically inferior, but rather just a matter of "preference", go listen to the title screens of the two Maximum Carnage games.

MC on Genesis: Sounds like crap
MC on SNES: Sounds like a rock ballet.

You can make great and enjoyable sounding things with inferior hardware. This is why there are 8-bit style chiptunes still made today. But make no mistake... the Genesis sound hardware is not a matter of "preference" -- it is just simply technically inferior... end of story.

Anonymous said...

Although I used to be a Super NES fanboy years ago, I'm currently leaning towards the Genesis now.

Genesis games for the most part are cheaper to buy and are usually pretty good for the most part while the majority of Super NES mainstays are kinda pricy. $30 for Link to the Past? $50 for Super Metroid? $100-$200 FOR A LOOSE COPY OF EARTHBOUND?! Is it just me, or has the price gouging gone rampant for the Super NES?

To be fair, a few Genesis games are also affected like Castlevania Bloodlines and Contra: Hard Corps.

Anonymous said...

This page is gross, biased, simplistic, uninformative, misinformed, and I'm so sick of seeing it near the top of my Google results whenever I search for something related to the Genesis and SNES :/

Anonymous said...

Most people are just not smart enough to realize that over 90% of all genesis games run at a resolution of 320x240 and that over 95% of snes games run at a resolution of 256x224 the same resolution as the regular nintendo! This is why most genesis games look better and less stretched out on a modern tv. the very few games on the snes that have higher resolution than normal are only able to have 16 colors onscreen. which is terrible! I must say with sound the snes does win overall. with music the snes wins by a small amount all things considered there both stereo SNES is clearer but genesis has a low sound generator with much better highs and lows, however sound effects are WAY better on the SNES the only advantage with sound effects that the genesis has is that there can be a little more low end to the explosions and whatnot. However the SNES is better in every other way as far as sound effects go including the addition of stereo sound which the genesis sound effects are all mono and of course all come through 1 channel. and don't forget that in regular resolution mode the SNES can't have as many sprites on screen as the genesis can. the 128 they give in specs is for their high resolution 16 color mode. So cut that in half and that is your max sprite number you can have onscreen at once on a SNES. I love both systems and own several of each but let's face it for being over 2 years older and with nintendo admitting that they built the SNES to be better than the genesis from the ground up. The genesis all things considered is at least slightly better for what it is and when it came out. comparatively speaking it outclasses the SNES for it being older etc.I can tell you where they both messed up though, Nintendo messed up on their main processor wanting to keep it week so that they could make it backwards compatible with NES games. and Sega messed up with having only one third of the available onscreen colors so that it could be master system compatible, and Sega also messed up with only allowing one sound channel for sound effects with only 8 kb of ram total for sound. That is the truth from the smartest video game fan in the world it's just the facts. not biased at all.

Alex said...

Funny, now do it without the bias :)

Anonymous said...

I don't give a shit about Genesis and its crappy games.

Most of the 'superior' Genesis games you mentioned are only remembered by Sega fanboys.

Genesis had a better resolution? So what if it couldn't handle the sprites the size of Snes'? What the OP says is that due to the smaller and low quality sprites it gives an impression of faster or it can be faster as they require less processing power. So you're saying that Genesis has better games (and graphics/sound) than Megaman, Mario, Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong series, Tales of Phantasia, Harvest Moon, Zelda and so on? You must be kidding, for sure. And by the way, x32 and SegaCD are not Genesis as is. SNES didn't need any extra shit on its body to do what it does. And SNES' original gamepad wins by far Genesis', the six button pad only arrived much later. When someone compares Mario to Sonic, it's unfair because Sonic is older, thus comparing extra hardware that wasn't build in the original console (xThirtyandcrappygames and SegaCDfails to SNES without any stereoid) is, then? And I know why you always have to go for those extra hardware, it's just because a barebone Genesis cannot compete with a SNES. Genesis had some better extras against SNES, though it had lots of inferior stats that you will only deny if you are blind or have or had been payed.

There's another thing that is totally bs here: SNES also had many great strategy games. Sega's mistake was focusing too much on sports and just-one-run games. I know that this may be only my case (which I doubt), while I saw only boys playing Genesis, my sister and many girls (even my mother) had games of their likes on SNES. And I don't remember someone buying SNES or Genesis because of multisystem games you love to compare. People purchased them for their exclusive titles. Having a better King Lion here and an Alladin there does not justify anything, and if that's the reason you bought a system I'm very sorry for you.

By the way the only thing that Genesis had that was worth it, in my opinion, is Phantasy Star series and Lunar. All the rest is quite disposable to me. And just a fact that you Segaboys may not know, while you followed each SNES release and hated everything, those on SNES side didn't care what Sega was doing, as playing SNES games were very satisfying and filling, no need to seek the neighbour's system just to be disappointed with what you have (reason of so much hate and loads of Segaboys, while the majority of SNES owners won't waste their time - like I'm doing now - trying to show a picture to a blind person, or teach a cow how to speak English).

Anonymous said...

Sega Genesis was the superior system. Speed is everything. Treasure picked Sega for a reason. Pure raw horsepower. And waaaay more classics on Sega's system. Shinobi, Streets of Rage, Vectorman, Sonic, a better Aladdin, a better Batman & Robin, a better Contra, a better Castlevania, Gunstar Heroes, a better Mortal Kombat, a better SFII, Golden Axe, Altered Beast, a better Jurassic Park, Moonwalker, a better Flashback, a better Out of this World, Quackshot, Strider.....and so much more. Only game I liked on SNES was Mario Kart.
Nuff said. Go back to playing your 'toy' SNES lovers.

Anonymous said...

Each console have their strong points but regarding hardware overall megadrive beats the snes. (if dont believe me ask to byuu the autor of the more acurate snes emulator, visit nesdev forums for the source).

I have no idea why many people keeps repeating on the internet that the snes is technically superior when is well known for people who program in both consoles that megadrive is overall superior. Indeed many games show it.

Snes is only slighty superior on color flexibility and transparencies. I suposse for that reason snes games overall look a little more refinated than MD when you compare static visuals.

My complain with snes is that in general games look more "static" when compared with megadrive.

Another thing that bother me about snes games is that is very common that there exists a delay with the controller input, and controller feel like "sluggish" and "heavy".
In my opinion this hurts very much playability.

Also I notice that games tend to have worst animations on snes when compared games on MD. Of course there exists exceptions
(Donkey Kong comes to my mind and have very good animation). But indeed is a problem created by the limited hardware and is very common IMO.

Then Snes fans will point (fairly) that snes games tend to look more colourful than games on MD. Of course there exists exceptions on megadrive, (alien soldier and gunstar heroes comes to my mind, they look very colourful).

People also complain about the grainy visuals of mortal kombat games for the megadrive but believe me when I tell you that with some color optimization could it look a ton better and very close to the snes version. Simply the coders dont took the time for optimize enough the color palette.

Respect to samples is interesting to note that the sound hardware of the megadrive indeed is very poweful but was poorly used in many cases. The design of the MD sound hardware is very diferent when compared with snes and is debatable which is better, each one have their adventages and drawbacks. Overall voices sounded bad on MD (again there exists exceptions) because sound hardware is more code dependent than snes hardware. The MD only needed a well coded sound driver for crystal clear voice samples.

So on summary MD hardware is overall superior and easier to use than the snes hardware. Snes is only superior on color and blending modes.

Mr.X said...

the person who made this article is TOTALY FUCKING BIASED!!!

nocarpayment said...

Keep in mind that the Genny was made to combat the NES. In that regard it was way and above the NES. The SNES had two more years to progress and the SNES was meant to ward of the Genesis. Even so the Genesis held its own. I also want to remind people that the Genesis was capable of displaying more colors. The Genny had a shadow and higlight mode and other various trickography. Games also appeared a bit smoother. Now Sega released the hardware was getting long in the tooth by the end of the 92, and was starting to lose the slighly superior SNES. Tech back in that period was slow moving and expensive.

Mol!nsky said...

I'm to find a more biased article. The replies are even worst, disrespectful.

I think both hardware are vastly different. For those who bought the Megadrive/Genesis in 1989, how could they buy a SNES? For 2 years, that was the console to have for edge gaming. Of course I bought SNES in 1991 and it's games mostly surpassed the quality of the games released for Sega's console. That is the lifespan of the console, SNES had to get great games because everyone was jumping to the next generation.

The support for the Genesis officially ended in 1995 because of the Saturn. But we still got "Virtua Fighter 2", "Vectorman 2", "The Lost World", "UMK3" and some other great games being launched for the Sega system. They are official, licensed. I'm telling that because I found pretty offensive the citation in one of the replies of "TecToy" as it being a non official third party company, while they were the representatives of Sega in South America (yeah, just that). They made ports like Street Fighter 2 (with 8 Mbits) for the Master System and Duke Nukem 3D for Genesis, they translated games for South American and Europe... and they are still active. Also, how can we dismiss east releases, such as "Panorama Cotton"? And if we see the homebrew community, the Genesis still got very hype and activity with some really great games, with great quality. Why dismiss them? They are example of the legacy of the console.

Said all that, it is hard to say one console ended upon the other. Because they are still alive. Each one's merit should not be considered less meaningful and they both grown up because of the console war, they complement each other.

Anonymous said...

MK series overall was actually much better on SNES than Sega, except for UMK3 being the exception.

MK 1 was only liked more on Sega because of the bloodcode, the gameplay however played like shit and was much better and more arcade accurate on SNES.

MK 2 SNES stomps Sega, this isn't even debatable.

MK 3 was very close to call so will say tie but still looked better on SNES.

UMK3 was better on Sega, more stages, frame rates etc.

Otherwise, I agree with everything else he said. As someone who grew up myself in the Golden age the SNES was much better overall then Sega Genesis. I felt like every Sega game was on "speed" from MK to Sonic to SF...among others.

Yes Imsure said...

Complete fanboy rubbish article.

MKF30 said...

Not rubbish at all, it's the truth. Spec wise and overall game wise SNES is better than Sega Genesis easily...

Anonymous said...

"I was fucking pissed off. Because I was young, and my console of choice had been insulted. Because I knew that blast processing was a meaningless term invented by some slimy marketing scuzzball "

precocious scamp weren't you? ..... I was a whopping 9 years of age when the SNES came out and even younger for the Genesis, I don't think the average kid would have leapt to the conclusion that "blast processing" was a marketing buzzword. Then again, I was never a diehard fanboy for anything (Apple vs PC, Star Wars vs Trek, Nintendo vs Sega), my identity was never so fundamentally intertwined with brands.

Hardware wise I'd have to agree with your article; however, irrespective of hardware differences, commercial success in the gaming industry is rarely *just* about the hardware. A console lives and dies by its software library.

Both Genesis and SNES did well, because they both had a solid library of good games. There was room for both.

Oh and the best version of SimCity was a console one? SimCity is infinitely more accessible and playable on the PC because it's fundamentally a mouse-driven game... saying SNES SimCity is the best version is like saying Marble Madness for the NES is way better than the arcade one.