Mega Drive / Genesis Mini – Great System with an Exclusivity Issue
Following after other releases such as the NES, SNES and Playstation retro consoles, the Mega Drive / Genesis Mini is finally here. A fresh release that promises to be a faithful recreation of both the acclaimed console and its gaming experience. Did Sega succeed and live up to their promises? Find out!
About Mega Drive / Genesis Mini:
- Made by Sega with collaboration with M2
- Priced at $79.99 at time of writing
- Comes with 42 games, more than its competitors. A great selection of games for each region. (of which there are three)
- Comes with one or two high-quality, wired controllers. These may be three or six button variants depending on the region, though one can purchase additional compatible controllers.
- Two newly exclusive ports, handled by M2: Tetris and Darius.
- Savestate and pause features.
- HDMI output and 4:3 as well as 16:9 display modes.
Pros of the GEN/MD Mini
To start off, let’s talk about the game library. It’s a wonderful selection. There’re a few titles that you may find yourself wondering about and vice versa, but there’s no denying that the chosen games for the system were cautiously picked. Of note is that many great titles are exclusive to one of the regions, more so than on other retro consoles. It may be wise to look at the game list and decide which regional release is for you. For an example: The amazing Alien Soldier is a China/Korea exclusive, while only the American and European release gets the sublime Shinobi 3 – both of these titles are regarded as some of the best games on the system.
The controllers are great. Note that the device isn’t compatible with old controllers due to USB port usage. Despite this, they’re true to the classics they’re based on.
The device looks great. The GEN/MD was always a cool-looking system and this replica is up to snuff.
Savestate and pause features make gaming more convenient. The display is also great, especially the widescreen mode.
As with most retro systems, it can be hacked/modded, though with its recent release, only time will tell how extensive this will be for the GEN/MD midi.
Tetris and Darius are brand new ports. While nothing incredible, collectors will appreciate this addition.
Cons of the Mini
You may have to purchase an additional controller for full enjoyment. RetroBit is the official seller for the Mini.
Extensive region exclusivity means that you’ll miss out on some great titles no matter which version you grab. There’s no clear winner.
Tetris and Darius are overshadowed by other games of the system. Puyo games come as a great example of the former, and Darius’s sequel is already on the system (though not the Mini) and plays far better. This doesn’t make the games unfun by any means, just a tad weak.
GEN/MD games are already widely available on other systems at low prices, meaning that unless you’re hunting for the two new ports, this is more of a nostalgia or aesthetic piece than a noteworthy console.
Is it worth it?
The Mini is a wonderful device with few flaws. The game exclusivity will most-likely be a thing of the past once a hack is made available. Should you buy the Mini? It depends on whether or not you want the authentic feel of the original console. If you’re only after the games, you may find that buying them on PC, Switch or elsewhere is a much better deal.
If you want to feel like you’re truly playing on the Mega Drive/Genesis, then this is for you. The device is also a great introduction for anyone who never played the system’s games before, as the library, despite its exclusivity issues, remains masterfully picked. Overall, there’s few things to complain about, so don’t hesitate if you desire to get one.