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Sega Genesis Mini Review: $ 80 Delivers Tons Of Fun With Explosive Processing

  Miniature system to giant built-in controller. (Comes with two 3-button pads.)
Enlarge / Miniature system to giant control pack. (It comes with two 3-button pads.)

Sam Makovech

Shortly after the NES Classic fever flooded the US in 2016, a series of nostalgia-powered systems followed, all designed to emulate classic games via HDMI on today's port televisions. None of them, except for Nintendo's own SNES Classic, achieved the same level of success or quality. The C64 Mini was a half-baked boom. The Neo-Geo Mini was powered by a weird form factor and a missing controller. After a remarkably quiet launch, the PlayStation Classic eventually became a solid value … about one-third of its original MSRP.

The ATGames Sega Genesis is perhaps the most disturbing of them all, as it has rendered extremely poor service to its source 1

6-bit system. The audio, the video, the choice of games – they were all rubbish. Every time we heard whispers that Sega could launch another Genesis little one, I involuntarily shuddered, assuming that the company's managers meant recycling ATGames' disaster.

But, behold, the Sega Genesis Mini is arriving this month and is discovering the basics we have wanted from so many other nostalgia boxes over the last few years. Eighty dollars you get a diverse selection of 42 embedded games from the 90's, with a blend of obvious hits, cult classics and weird people. All this is rounded off by two well-shaped controllers and connected to an HDMI system, which provides fully competent emulation of both the audio and visual fronts. I can delete this stuff a lot (keep scrolling), but as a direct item for holidays or gifts, it's a pretty easy recommendation. This is exactly the 90s package Sega needed to get to its feet with Nintendo's SNES Classic.

Something (missing) for everyone

Before we get into the technical details, we need to address the question of the biggest selling proposition: pre-installed games. Like other recent retro systems, the Genesis Mini is designed to play only what is already installed, not to download other games via Wi-Fi or memory cards. With the classic Nintendo system, this sales offer tends to click more neatly. "Take the old Nintendo" means a guarantee for significant series and their biggest hits: every Super Mario, every Zelda, every Metroid, many Donkey Kong and Kirby games, etc.

Sega Genesis Mini selection game
Alex Kid in the Enchanted Castle Alicia Dragun The Beast Changed
Beyond the Oasis The Illusion Castle with the participation of Mickey Mouse Castles: Bloodlines
Columns Comics : Hard Case
Darius † Dr. Robotnik Middle Bean Machine Dynamite Headdy
Earthworm Jim Ecco the Dolphin Eternal Champions
Ghouls & # 39; n Ghosts Golden Ax Gunstar Heroes
Kid Chameleon Landstalker Light Crusader
Mega Man: The Wily Wars † Monster World IV † Fhantasy Star 4
Road Rash II Shining Force Shinobi 3: The Return of the Ninja Master
The Hedgehog Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball
Space Harrier II Street Fighter 2 & # 39; Special Champion Edition Streets of Rage 2
Strider 1965] Fantasy Zone Tetris †
ToeJam & Earl Thunder Force 3 Vectorman
Virtua Fighter 2 Wonder Boy in Monster World Starring Mickey Mouse [19659064] †: previously unpublished in the USA
  Product image of the product Sega Genesis Mini "class =" ars-circle- image-img ars-buy-box-image

Sega Genesis Mini

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What is the equivalent of Sega Genesis? Sonic is the obvious entry (and it's here for the most part), but the rest of your must-have list may vary from that of the Genesis Mini. Bombastic side scrolling action games? Genesis Mini Says Yes to Classics Like Weapon Heroes Jim the Eater and Contra: Hard Case But No Robocop Vs. The Terminator or Rocket Knight Adventures .

Wonderful Adventures of a Mascot? The Genesis Mini has some really great ones, in particular the licensed mess of two Mickey Mouse games, but gems like Ristar and Cool Spot didn't make the cut, AND you can absolutely forget about the sport of the Sega Genesis Mini – easily the biggest pass on a platform full of likes of Sports Talk Football, Sports Talk Baseball, NBA Jam, branded boxing hits and EA Sports press on Madden, NBA, NHL and FIFA.

Obviously, the biggest sports games of the era would be licensing nightmares (or would require a bottom-up hack to eliminate any name in real life), and licenses are easily to blame for other missing games. But Sega Genesis was a behemoth for third-party games, and their relative absence in the Sega Genesis Mini cannot be discounted. (For starters, listing every good EA game that's missing here, even outside of EA Sports, can take forever. Ah, it's nice to remember the better days of EA.)

Deal with it this fact, especially if you like the first edition of Genog Genesis and are still in pretty good hands. Very Good Port Street Fighter II tops Third Party Selection of SGM, while Jim the Earthworm Contra: Solid Hulls and Mega Man: The Wily Wars each represents different high points in the 16-bit side-scrolling pantheon.

The four-time "never-seen-before" selection of the SNES Classic

MM: TWW is doubly interesting, as a game previously captured on the Now Channel network. Sega and Capcom's efforts to bring this rare gem into circulation in 2019 are delightful, and this, along with several other rarities, may be the best reason to buy this system. The SNES Classic came with just one such precious gem that had not previously been released: its world premiere on Star Fox 2 . SGM has three more long-lost rows on top of MM: TWW in the form of Monster World 4 (whose English port is brand new), Darius (port, made by a home fan licensed by the Taito serial manipulator to be included in SGM) and Tetris (prepared by the Sega port of the classic puzzle that was postponed after the notorious Nintendo claim). [19659005] In the meantime, on the first front, I admit that it is easy to look at the list above and I would like Sega to change a few choices. Why did we get Golden ax 1 instead of Golden ax 2 ? Why not sneak in Shinobi's Revenge in, perhaps, a better game than its sequel Shinobi III ? If we're going to have the system's earliest arcade ports, why Space Harrier II instead of the more exciting option than After Burner ? Where the hell is Sonic 3 ? And couldn't one of the less included games be dumping in favor of the phenomenal Duke of Zwei ?

But all this is quite controversial. Nintendo charges the same $ 80 price tag for its Super Nintendo remake with just 21 games. You can easily grab the SGM list above and pump your fist in half of the options.

What's more, don't worry about the T-for-Teen rating if you want to pass this system on to a child. Several games are pushing the envelope against violence: the Road Rash II Road Rash II motorcycle racing oddity of the Orange Blood Fight The Eternal Champions and a number of beats – up and down games. But what has hit the threshold of T-for-Teen from the old looks really weird in one Fortnite world, and there's nothing comparable to Mortal Kombat here (from Eternal Champions "Fatalities" were already a favor in the 90's, let alone today).

Nitpicks can't ruin incredible emulation

With all that said, the developers at the respected Japanese M2 Company deserve all the nifty in the world for shepherding the emulation core of this system, this is mostly because Genesis emulation has often been subject to the nail art of the original its a Yamaha FM synthetic chip on the original console (which itself has had numerous hardware revisions over the years) You really won't have much to complain about introducing the M2.The frequency processing and the low pass filter are in the right range for the sounds of Rage Streets 2 " sound just right. The music and sounds in the 42 games are more accurate across the board than even Nintendo's own emulation efforts, which themselves have suffered from surprising squeaks and imperfections.

But the work of the M2 is not perfect and the most obvious luggage attached to the Sega Genesis Mini is sound emulation delay in tone with about three to four frames of animation between screen actions and its sound effect. This is on top of another emulation latency problem. My tests on the Sega Genesis Mini to the analog Mega Sg confirm that the new Sega system adds an additional three to four frames of delay between the push of a button and the action that happens on the screen.

By themselves, no problem is all that horrible, but they have the combined effect of creating a constant "bluff" sound of Sonic jumping or "pew!" of a Mega Man firing a gun seems a little ridiculous when they are out of sync at all. But this is the only nitric I have about the basic emulation of the system and thus the resulting collection is so much easier to recommend than the Sega Genesis Classics collection sold on modern consoles and PCs. (In fact, M2 went and eliminated at least one nasty problem with Genesis original hardware: messy two-player interpolation Sonic 2 . Now, it goes like a dream. Thanks, M2!)

annoyed that the M2 doesn't include a "pixel perfect" option for its classic games, the standard 4: 3 mode scales each pixel up "4.5x" to fill the top and bottom of a standard 1080p panel. Like the analog Mega Sg, the resulting visuals look fresh and solid, again without hideous interpolation or blurry pixel scaling, preventing this input. You can also switch to full screen zoom or CRT effect, but you don't. Former pixel cultures are from live play (though M2 forces specific magnification ratios to minimize this impact), while the latter needs a second pass to adjust brightness before it goes live. This blurry scanning system makes games look criminally dark and fuzzy. Do not touch it.

Good controllers, ridiculous solution

  Sega's new retro controllers come with ample 72-inch cables. OK. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/IMG_0058-980x519.jpg "width =" 980 "height =" 519
Click to enlarge / Sega's new retro controllers come with ample 72-inch cords. OK.

In great news, the pair of Genesis tributary pads included are clear reminders of how deadly a 1989 Sega leak actually was in the controller design. No other "big" gamepad has ever felt so good – hitting the sweet spot for teenagers' hands without entering the original Xbox Duke territory, while striking a comfortable balance between sponges and shimmering both there and so huge his action buttons. For most of the SGM games your hands are in good hands.

But some of the games included, especially Street Fighter II & # 39 ;: Special Edition for Champions and Eternal Champions were specifically created in the 90's to promote six-button Genesis latex pads. By the time you press, you'll need to purchase an "approved" six button USB controller to access this option in SGM, as opposed to plugging in an additional USB controller and rewriting its buttons. (We've seen every retro console gain hacking usability or two from enterprising hackers, and I hope SGM is no exception to at least allow for more controller support.)

In the meantime, if you want to hack yours through Street Fighter II with three-button controller, you're in for a bad time because of a fatal SGM flaw. With a three-button controller, SF2 asks Genesis players to hold down the start button to turn the three buttons from kicks to kicks (thus disabling the pause in the middle of the match). Fair enough. This is an inconvenient way to squeeze your thumbs, but it is still possible if your parents from the 90s would not overthrow the new gamepads.

However, the problem in 2019 is that the SGM includes a shortcut to the reset menu, switching by holding the start button for five seconds.

Imagine playing SF2 as Guile. You are eager to prepare the Flash Kick to turn the tides by holding down the launch button as you descend from one jump to launch your attack, and you are ready to shake as soon as your enemy enters the frame of vulnerability. And then … bzzzzt. The sound effect from the SGM menu is on fire, the game freezes and you have stopped all work. SGM does not allow users to disable this "five second hold" option to access the menu system (which can also be switched at any time by pressing the physical reset button on the hardware).

Why Sega doesn't connect with at least one six button pad as a default option for its dual-controller SKU is beyond me. To Sega's credit, most of SGM's 42-game selection does not support extra buttons, but once you put Street Fighter in the collection, it changes the whole proposal as far as I'm concerned. [19659007] Bottom line: Not perfect, but it's pretty good

Unlike the SNES Classic, SGM does not support rewinding. However, all SGM games come with four slots to save, so you can freeze every game at any time you want and retrieve it later – which is crucial for a system like Genesis, whose best Action games are obviously missing.

The menu interface is functional enough, full of options for organizing games in alphabetical order, year of issue, genre or number of players. It also includes a cute option to turn the game's covers into spikes, as if filed into a bookshelf.

In one go, be sure to please serious fans of Mega Drive (as in, the name of the console in other territories), the interface is transformed if you change the language of the American system to Japanese or other languages ​​to reflect the games in other territories, and it will also serve the translated ROMs in those regions. It even goes so far as to transform the puzzle into English The average Robotnik bean machine of his Japanese counterpart, Puyo Puyo . (За съжаление, това не превръща играта в превъзходното японско продължение Puyo Puyo 2 .)

Що се отнася до конзолите за ретро игри, дишам лесно за повечето от тези предупреждения. Всеки, който се подиграва на някой от изброените проблеми, може да надгради до аналоговия Mega Sg – платформа за хардуерна емулация от 190 долара, която изисква оригинални контролери и оригинални касети, за да достави още по-девственото HDTV гмуркане във всички неща Sega Genesis. Но 80 долара за тази много класически игри и двойка хубаво изградени контролери, всички плаващи върху забележителна база за емулация, е вероятно по-интелигентният начин за всеки, който може да бъде търпелив с леките недостатъци на SGM. Проклет е добре.

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