Its now been around a week and a half since SEGA launched the Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub, and with it Steam Workshop support for all 50 games. This in turn has allowed gamers to mod their favourite Mega Drive / Genesis games in any way they want. And that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Whereas being a fan of mods once required the use of ROMs, Sega’s Steam Workshop support has now made this a thing of the past. That’s because all of these Sega Mega Drive Mods can now be legally modded, shared, and then played providing you own the original game on Steam. In essence what SEGA have done, is give these classic titles a new lease of life.
There are currently over 350 of these Sega Mega Drive Mods now available on Steam. As such, there’s an awful lot to choose from. Not only that, but these mods range from exactly what you’d expect, all the way through to what can only be described as very strange.
For example, one of the most popular mods currently on Steam allows you to play through the entirety of the cult classic Streets of Rage 2 as you remember, expect now the game “makes that weird Tim Allen noise when people die”. This really is one that has to be seen to be believed, hence the video below. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.
Another one of the stranger mods doing the rounds is the recently released Sonic Boom inspired revision to the blue hedgehog’s first adventure, a game that we’ve spoken of before here at Rings & Coins. The big difference this time round, is that it’s all perfectly legal and above board. There’s also the April Fool’s Day hack Knuckles, Knuckles & Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, which if hadn’t guessed, makes the whole game about Knuckles, and even a fishing game centred around Big the Cat from Sonic Adventure.
Nevertheless, they’re not all silly and stupid. In fact, the grand majority of them are exactly what we have been clamouring for for years. Things like Knuckles in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, or a complete Sonic 3 & Knuckles experience that not only brings the two halves of the game together, but also includes a slew of improvements and tweaks.
Many of them also allow you play the original unedited 60hz Japanese versions of these classics. The grand majority of which were only accessible via importing back in the 80s and 90s. Currently some of the most popular import versions include Streets of Rage 3 (or Bare Knuckle 3 as it is known in Japan), Alien Soldier, and Ecco The Dolphin.
Finally, some are even using the modding process to make available unreleased games that have only previously been available via a ROM download. Sadly one of the most popular right now is the extra terrible unlicensed Venezuelan game Crazy Bus. A game which was originally intended to just be a test but somehow found its way to something of a release.
As you can see, there’s an awful lot of fun and creativity to be had through the hundreds of Sega Mega Drive mods currently available. Once again proving not only how much life is still in retro gaming, but also how much the gaming community still treasures Sega’s 16-bit back catalogue. All that’s left now is to get the phenomenal Streets of Rage Remake up on Steam Workshop for everyone to enjoy.