For better or worse, we’re living in the era of reboots and rehashes. Every other year, Spider-Man gets a new reboot, the X-Men come and go, almost every major film of the 1980’s has been rebooted (sometimes twice), to name a few. Heck, not even gaming consoles escape this trend as we’re constantly bombarded with “mini” versions of hugely successful gaming devices of the past generations. First, it was the Atari Flashback series, then the NES and SNES Classic, then it was the PS1 Classic. We also wrote about the Capcom Home Arcade in a previous article; other companies have also been announcing new Mini machines, including the TurboGrafx-16. And now, we’re presented with the Sega Genesis Mini.
What is it?
One of the newest kids on the block is Sega’s entry into the “mini” console trend. Like the other entries, it features hardware shaped like the original console it was based on, in this case the Genesis, but on a smaller scale. The console itself, while not at all similar in hardware to the original, is designed to faithfully emulate the OG Genesis experience. To this end, it comes packed with 42 of the most popular titles of the original console, as well as several quality-of-life features such as USB controllers and a USB AC adapter.
Speaking of the controllers, their USB connection might mean that they’re compatible with PCs, so that you can play not only Genesis games on your console, but other computer games using the gamepad. We can say with a degree of certainty that, even if the controller isn’t compatible right off the bat, the community will quickly create a mod or workaround to make it function. This is added value if we’ve ever seen any.
But I digress.
Like with the other miniature consoles, the Sega Genesis Mini comes with everything you need to recreate the original experience, even on your high-end display. The HDMI cable makes it so that you can hook it up to virtually any HDTV and enjoy quality gameplay. The games are even ported so that they display correctly on widescreen resolutions, without any sort of artifacts nor stretching issues.
The only thing we don’t particularly like about this iteration is that the controllers are the 3-button versions of the original, instead of the 6-button models. While the games are definitely playable with these gamepads, it might limit their effectiveness if they are, at some point, ported for use on the PC. Luckily, you can also find 6-button controllers for this console, sold separately on other marketplaces like Amazon.
What would a gaming console be without software to play on it? Fortunately, the Sega Genesis Mini has lots of these, and then some. As we mentioned above, this device with 42 games preinstalled, 40 of which are from the OG console and 2 are ports from their arcade releases.
Furthermore, as we mentioned above, each title can be played in the original 4:3 ratio, or stretched in 16:9 widescreen format. When set to the latter, the UI elements have been redesigned to correctly fit this ratio. In this sense, more than an “emulation machine,” as these consoles are called by some users, they’re more like ports. In other words, they’re old school games updated for modern hardware. A blast from the past with a twist, so to speak.
Among some of the titles we can find are the popular Castle of Illusions and World of Illusions, the famous platformers starring our favorite cartoon mouse; the wacky Earthworm Jim with its wacky animations and repulsive humor (a sign of the times), and Phantasy Star IV, the precursor to what would become one of the first MMO games.
Of course, we can’t have a Sega console without its mascot, Sonic. The Sega Genesis comes with the original Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as well as its lesser-known spinoff, Sonic Spinball. Another popular title here is Castlevania Bloodlines, which is one of the most merciless 2D platformers of its generations.
Ecco the Dolphin, the game that has risen to cult status due to its gruesome setting that was overlooked at the time, also makes an appearance here. This is a game starring a Dolphin, and which features grotesque aliens with steampunk machinery hellbent on taking over the world. Also, these aliens look like this:
This is a game that starts off with you controlling a regular, carefree Dolphin that gains superpowers after being exposed to mysterious energies. If that’s not awesome, then this might not be the console for you!
Other great games include Street Fighter II, as well as a bunch of side-scroller beat ‘em ups like Streets of Rage, and Altered Beast. And if you’re really into having your butt kicked over and over, you can also find Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Contra: Hard Corps, and Space Harrier, all of which are games infamous for their difficulties.
The Sega Genesis Mini is shaping up to be a strong entry into the miniature console trend. The device is scheduled for release this next September 19 in most of the world. However, if you’re in the Middle East or Europe, you’ll need to wait till October 4. Nevertheless, as of right now, you can already pre order your own console to get it as soon as it releases.
Here at PrimeTime Amusements, we like to keep ahead of the curve in arcade game rental and sales and pride ourselves in providing the best service in the country. If you’re looking for a game in particular, or have a few questions about the industry, feel free to give us a call at 1.800.550.0090 or to swing by at 5300 Powerline Rd. Suite 210, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 33309.