There were a few good Action/RPGs on the Sega systems, but these three are really top of the line and deserve their thorough fan translations to English. I especially recommend the soundtracks for King Colossus and Monster World IV.
These games are great for RPG lovers who tire of turn-based ‘grinding’ that is so common in the console RPG classics. Check these great games today.
Monster World IV
Part of the Wonder Boy/Monster World series, Monster World IV was eventually released on Playstation, but you can play it as it was originally meant to be played with the fan English translation. This game may look like a platformer, but its more of a Metroidvania/RPG hybrid, like Faxanadu on the NES. As Asha, you set out to become a warrior to help the elementals coming from Monster World. The game has wonderful graphics and some of the most soothing Sega Genesis FM music I’ve ever heard. It’s definitely worth playing.
King Colossus Tougi Ou
King Colossus is an excellent action/RPG that plays its cards close to the chest at the start. The best graphical and plot elements are buried deeper in the game. You take the role of a wonderer who does not know his own past and has a strange crest on his hand. One day, being sent by the town elder to retrieve his sword form a nearby cave, causes a whole series of misadventures to begin. The game has large complex dungeons and Zelda-like boss battles. The bosses are especially impressive and there are lots of powers and strategy you can employ in every fight. The translation is well done and those who stick to this seemingly simple game will find some great rewards. This game has a really excellent soundtrack too. It really takes advantage of what the FM synthesis chip can do. I’d go as far to say its the best medieval sounding OST for any Sega game. The FM chip doesn’t really lend itself to non-electronic music, but the soundtrack for this game sounds like epic french horns and harps. I highly recommend it.
Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
Based on the Anime series of the same name, this is more like a point and click adventure game than a standard console RPG. Just imagine your standard overhead 16-bit RPG without any battles at all. The story follows the plot of the anime, having to do with Nadia, a girl with a mysterious blue pendant that various bad guys are after. It’s a dialogue-heavy game but it has some great graphics and is well-translated. Its very unique to play an RPG set in alternate universe 1889 instead of distant past or distant future.