[ Retro Scan ] Vectorman “Play to Win”

May 23rd, 2016 by Benj Edwards

BlueSky Software Vectorman Play to Win Sega Genesis Advertisement Scan - 1995IT”SSSS AWEESSSOOOMME

I was a big fan of Vectorman back when it first came out. Around that time, I bought a used Sega Genesis from a friend (my first), and I rented a copy from Vectorman from Blockbuster (or did I rent an entire Genesis itself first — my memory is hazy on that point). I was blown away by Vectorman’s fluid animations, great sound effects and music, and tight overall feel of the game. I still think Vectorman is one of the best games on the Genesis.

This ad comes from Wizard (the comic book magazine), and in a two-page spread, it took up one whole page on the left and about a third of the page on the right. I have cropped out the remaining 2/3 of the right page which was unrelated to the ad.

That right portion, by the way, describes Sega’s “Play to Win” contest that tied into the game. Apparently, certain randomly distributed Vectorman cartridges contained in-game messages that advised the player to call a phone number and claim a prize. The top prize was $25,000 and some other perks, which you can read about on Wikipedia. The contest was a clever way to entice people to play the game at a time when 16-bit systems were on the way out.

[ From Wizard, December 1995, p.10-11 ]

Discussion Topic: In your opinion, which Sega Genesis game had the best graphics?

6 Responses to “[ Retro Scan ] Vectorman “Play to Win””

  1. V Says:

    Vectorman, along with its sequel, were the best-looking games on the Genesis, in my opinion. They were Sega’s answer to the SNES’ Donkey Kong Country during the 16-bit era’s last hurrah.

    The other game I’d give honorable mention to is Virtua Racing. Sure, it cost nearly $100, but it was a damn good port of the arcade game and definitely not what the Genesis was designed to do (which was sprite graphics, not polygons).

  2. tortimer Says:

    I have a vague memory of this game as well (probably rented from the video store for a weekend). Without thinking too long on it I’m going to suggest Out of This World and perhaps Phantasy Star II as candidates for best graphics. Oh, and probably Disney’s Aladdin would have to be in there.

    The previous comment made me think of Hard Drivin, by far one of the most fun gaming experiences I remember on the Genesis. Really wouldn’t hold up to the test of time but such a novel experience in those days before kids like me had access to fancy computers with graphics cards.

  3. V Says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot about Aladdin. Disney games always looked great; The Lion King was another one (though better on the SNES if I remember). Some games based on Warner Bros. characters, like the Taz games, also had impressive graphics, but unfortunately they were terrible games.

  4. V Says:

    And speaking of terrible games with good graphics on the Genesis, Rise of the Robots might win the prize (if they gave a prize out for the widest disparity between graphics and gameplay).

  5. Zoyous Says:

    The first title that springs to mind is Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master. It’s a tour de force in all aspects, certainly including graphics.

    Other games like Ristar and Comix Zone used clever pixel-placement techniques to give the impression of a more abundant color palette than the hardware provided.

    There are also a number of other titles that I recall use various graphics techniques that had been considered impossible on the MD/Genesis, like the sprite scaling in the Road Rash series; the 3D enemies in Contra: Hard Corps and Gunstar Heroes; and the clever rotation and full-motion video in games like SubTerrania and Red Zone, developed by Zyrinx (a team that emerged from the Amiga demoscene).

  6. Benj Edwards Says:

    Good answer, Zoyous. You make me want to play all those games again.

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