Jump to content
Awoo.

Was Mean Bean Machine a success when it first came out?


EmmBee
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is a bit of a random subject, but I was recently talking to a friend about the Genesis games and collecting in-box copies of the Sonic games. Somehow our conversation led to Mean Bean Machine and whether the game was a success or not.

I didn't have any luck finding sales data anywhere online, or even a brief mention of it doing well in some interview. We know Spinball was a success, thanks to the hype and thirst for new Sonic games at the time, but what about Mean Bean? It's not like it's an obscure game, it's pretty well known these days, but that might be more because of the numerous compilations it's been included in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say it was. Reviews at the time were positive and I'm pretty sure it sold decently (Compared to, let's say, Chaotix, which was barely known when it was released), but not as much as the main titles. Where I live there are several local stores that sell the Genesis, alongside some games. These are normally the classics such as Sonic 2, Sonic 3D Blast (probably the two most common), and, more rarely, Sonic 1, Sonic Spinball, Sonic & Knuckles, or Sonic 3, which are sold as either separate cartridges, or bundled in compilations that include 50 games in one. Not to say it isn't seen, but Mean Bean Machine is not as common as any of these entries mentioned.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, FairPlay said:

I would say it was. Reviews at the time were positive and I'm pretty sure it sold decently (Compared to, let's say, Chaotix, which was barely known when it was released), but not as much as the main titles. Where I live there are several local stores that sell the Genesis, alongside some games. These are normally the classics such as Sonic 2, Sonic 3D Blast (probably the two most common), and, more rarely, Sonic 1, Sonic Spinball, Sonic & Knuckles, or Sonic 3, which are sold as either separate cartridges, or bundled in compilations that include 50 games in one. Not to say it isn't seen, but Mean Bean Machine is not as common as any of these entries mentioned.

Same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm... Despite being a tie in to AoSTH and likely got a few extra buyers, I wouldn't say that it was successful. Not a flop due to circumstances. Like most puzzle games that aren't Tetris, Candy Crush Saga or even Bejeweled; they are more of a niche category. Not strong sellers and some who buy these games are from a different demographic however many have become a cult such as its original form Puyo Puyo, Tetris: The Grand Master, Puzzle Bobble/Bust A Move. Some got lucky like Klax where that ported to a lot of devices at the time because it did well in the arcades in the US. A bit like Columns, not really a strong seller in its own right but did okay apart from perhaps Japan where it got more sequels however was made into various compilations quickly and became more well known. Well except the Game Gear game where it was usually a pack in game to counter act with Tetris. Mean Bean Machine was one of the 3 games in the Sonic Compilation aka Sonic Classics cart and some of the later Mega Drive/Genesis owners played it on there. Probably more played it on Sonic Mega Collection or any of the later collections.

It might also be timing too since it was released between Spinball (November 1993) and Sonic 3 (February 1994) meaning that it probably got lost in the shuffle and came out in a time where people don't usually buy games, plus depending where you were missed the Christmas buying season. It wasn't as marketed as the other games barely any by early 1990s Sonic standards and more comparable to current Sega marketing, even the tie-in was finished by then.

Even the good reviews doesn't mean that magazines would review them. Mean Machines Sega that was one of the more well known magazines of the time instead reviewed Puyo Puyo that came out in the year and I imagine that the hardcore importers would rather play that game since it was already available and a different graphical style. The magazine even wanted people to buy Puyo Puyo rather than a Sonic themed game.

As for the other versions. The Master System version of the game was one of the last 1st party games on the system and that would have got a small print run hence why that and Spinball are some of the more expensive games to buy on the console. It has become a bit of a desirable game to buy if you are a collector. The Game Gear version not sure about however there weren't many strong sellers from that point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, FairPlay said:

I would say it was. Reviews at the time were positive and I'm pretty sure it sold decently (Compared to, let's say, Chaotix, which was barely known when it was released), but not as much as the main titles. Where I live there are several local stores that sell the Genesis, alongside some games. These are normally the classics such as Sonic 2, Sonic 3D Blast (probably the two most common), and, more rarely, Sonic 1, Sonic Spinball, Sonic & Knuckles, or Sonic 3, which are sold as either separate cartridges, or bundled in compilations that include 50 games in one. Not to say it isn't seen, but Mean Bean Machine is not as common as any of these entries mentioned.

This is what got my friend and I thinking about it. I've never seen an in-box copy of it anywhere near me, even in dedicated game stores. The cartridge comes up once in a while, but not as often as Sonic 1-3 and Spinball (Sonic and Knuckles is a bit rarer in my experience. I still don't have a cart of it for that reason).

  • Nice Smile 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, EmmBee said:

This is what got my friend and I thinking about it. I've never seen an in-box copy of it anywhere near me, even in dedicated game stores. The cartridge comes up once in a while, but not as often as Sonic 1-3 and Spinball (Sonic and Knuckles is a bit rarer in my experience. I still don't have a cart of it for that reason).

That's basically the situation here in Missouri.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think if SEGA had been impressed with its performance we'd have seen more Puyo Puyo games localised under the guise of Sonic/Robotnik as follow ups.

3 hours ago, FairPlay said:

I would say it was. Reviews at the time were positive and I'm pretty sure it sold decently (Compared to, let's say, Chaotix, which was barely known when it was released), but not as much as the main titles.

Plenty of well reviewed games fail to be fair we can't judge on that. As for Chaotix it probably did outsell it but I don't think the comparison is fair, Chaotix is exclusive to the 32X which had absolutely no install base and the system add on itself was a failure. It's like comparing the sales of a PS4 game to a Vita game to show the PS4 game was a success.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fair point. Maybe it sold well or it did not, we can't really be sure, because there is no data to confirm any of this. From my point of view, however, I believe this game did OK, enough to be included in several "classic" ports, and being referenced in later games, but not enough to warrant new localised Puyo Puyo games under the Sonic brand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Well, Mean Beans was successful enough to be given out in cereal boxes, so I guess it was a success after all. Can't say that it was successful enough to be pirated tho, cause I've never seen a bootleg copy of it, and that's considering that here in Russia Megadrive games get bootlegged all the time to this day. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6 January 2018 at 12:44 AM, AzureLakeSanic said:

As a kid, I preferred Kirby's Avalanche over MBM, and that's saying something. Probably because Sonic wasn't in it. (I liked Knuckles Chaotix because Knuckles was in it.)

I remember that being the reason I hated MBM as a kid. I mean, I LOVE it now, but even now I wonder why exactly they thought that was a good marketing direction. I don't see little kids buying a game just for Robotnik, especially since western Robotnik didn't have the same 'lovability' that modern Eggman does. There's some irony in the fact that to make it relevant to western kids, MBM ended up with an even more obsolete cosmetic than the original Puyo Puyo.

I was pumped about Chaotix when it came out, but alas it was on a new expensive console so nothing could be done about it.

I'm guessing at the very least MBM did achieve some amount of popularity back then since it's included in almost every noteworthy Megadrive/Genesis compilation and distribution these days, even ones not Sonic oriented.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/31/2018 at 11:21 AM, E-122-Psi said:

I remember that being the reason I hated MBM as a kid. I mean, I LOVE it now, but even now I wonder why exactly they thought that was a good marketing direction. I don't see little kids buying a game just for Robotnik, especially since western Robotnik didn't have the same 'lovability' that modern Eggman does. There's some irony in the fact that to make it relevant to western kids, MBM ended up with an even more obsolete cosmetic than the original Puyo Puyo.

I was pumped about Chaotix when it came out, but alas it was on a new expensive console so nothing could be done about it.

I'm guessing at the very least MBM did achieve some amount of popularity back then since it's included in almost every noteworthy Megadrive/Genesis compilation and distribution these days, even ones not Sonic oriented.

I love MBM now too, maybe because I've gotten into Puyo Puyo as a whole (when I was like 9 I only played Kirby's Avalanche and thought that was the better edition) and the MEAN BEAN MECHEAN fanfic (we did a dramatic reading of it on my Discord server last night; I was ROBETNEK, Coconuts and Dragon Breath.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/31/2018 at 10:21 AM, E-122-Psi said:

I remember that being the reason I hated MBM as a kid. I mean, I LOVE it now, but even now I wonder why exactly they thought that was a good marketing direction. I don't see little kids buying a game just for Robotnik, especially since western Robotnik didn't have the same 'lovability' that modern Eggman does. There's some irony in the fact that to make it relevant to western kids, MBM ended up with an even more obsolete cosmetic than the original Puyo Puyo.

I bought the game just for Robotnik. It was like, "dude, Robotnik from the cartoon has his own game?! I gotta have it, mom!"

Of course, I bought ANYTHING vaguely Sonic-related I could find back in the early 90s. Imagine my horror upon buying it that it wasn't a platformer, but rather, a puzzle game. My least favorite genre of game to this day.

Funny enough, my mom LOVED it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.