What’s old is new again with the Sega Genesis Classic
With the recent surge in retro gaming, many consumers are looking for new ways to replay their old favourites. A new generation of gamers is also eager to learn the history behind some of the most beloved modern franchises. Hearken back to to the age of “Genesis does what Nintendon’t” with the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console.
The Sega Genesis was one of the most popular consoles of the 16-bit gaming era. At its height (around 1992-93) it was the best-selling console on the global market. This success was due in particular to its popularity in Europe and North America, where it used a very aggressive youth-oriented marketing campaign. Sega worked hard to develop an image of youthful vitality and edginess over their main competitor Nintendo.
What’s inside the box?
Packaged within the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console you will find the following contents:
- Instruction manual
- Sega Genesis Classic Game Console
- Two wired 6-button arcade-style controllers
- RCA video/audio connector cable
- AC adapter
The instruction manual itself is a great addition to the console package. It contains a description of each of the 81 games that come preloaded on the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console. It also includes the button control layout for each and every game as well, so you can easily reference the inputs for whatever title you’re currently playing.
Classic console hardware
The console itself is quite small and exceedingly lightweight. The unfortunate part of the design on this model is that it is not actually modelled after a genuine Sega Genesis Console. Manufacturer AT Games opted for a generic console model instead. This design may not appeal to a collector’s aesthetic desire, but ultimately it doesn’t affect the function of the product itself.
However a big positive about the console design is the fact that it features a fully-functional top-loading cartridge slot. This means that in addition to the 81 preloaded titles, you can also play any genuine Sega Genesis game cartridges that you own.
Two arcade-style classic controllers
The Sega Genesis Classic Arcade Console comes packaged with two controllers, which is great for those looking to game with their family and friends. The controllers feature the 6-button “arcade” style layout. The Sega Genesis originally launch with controllers using a 3-button layout, so it’s nice that AT Games opted to use the updated 6-button layout from the console’s later years.
Much like the console, the controllers themselves do not feel quite like the genuine article. The good news however is that the controllers are wired, and the ports used to connect them to the console are the same as those on the original Sega Genesis hardware. This means that if the pack-in controllers aren’t exactly your cup of tea, you have the freedom to switch them out with any genuine retro controllers you may have at your disposal.
Retro graphics for a retro console
It is important to note that the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console uses an analog RCA connection for video and audio. The console does not support HDMI. Make sure you plan accordingly when attempting to hook the console up to more modern televisions.
Personally I found that I achieved the best results when I hooked the console up to an older CRT (cathode ray tube) television. As a fan of retro gaming I naturally have a CRT TV in my collection just for such occasions.
That said, the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console works with modern flat-screen TV’s as well (provided they have the necessary RCA connection input). Just remember that these games were programmed with different technology in mind. They will always look their best when played in the environment they were designed for.
Built-in 81 game library
The Sega Genesis Classic Game Console comes with a full 81 game built-in library. A smidge less than half of these are bonafide gems from across the Sega Genesis‘ history. Some of the all-time greats you will find here are:
- Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
- Altered Beast
- Columns III
- Comix Zone
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
- Golden Axe, Golden Axe II, Golden Axe III
- Kid Chameleon
- Mortal Kombat I, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat III
- Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog II
- Sonic & Knuckles
- Sonic Spinball
- Virtua Fighter II
Included here are some of the franchises that defined the Genesis as one of the greatest consoles of its era. Sonic the Hedgehog served as Sega’s tentpole mascot. His speed and edgy attitude were heavily relied on to influence young gamers’ belief that Sega’s system and games were much more hip and exciting than anything offered by that “old plumber” that represented the competition.
The Sega Genesis also had what was considered to be the superior port of the popular arcade hit “Mortal Kombat“. Somewhat controversially, the Sega Genesis port contained a cheat code allowing for the representation of blood in its graphics. Showing much more concern for its family-friendly image, Nintendo’s port maintained the representation of blood as “sweat” at all times.
A few “new” additions
Admittedly, the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console rounds out its library with a number of titles advertised as “new” to the console. In reality many of these titles are just easy ports of shovelware titles that make the cache of games available a bit more robust.
Based on the strength of some of the more celebrated titles noted above, you will likely not spend as much time with games like “Chess”, “Flash Memory”, “Color Puzzle”, or “Whack-A-Wolf”. A few of these are fun to try out, even if only for some shared amusement with a friend. Ultimately however the console offers much better fare in the form of its original Sega classics.
The Sega Genesis Classic Game Console offers up a handful of the finest games from the history of the Sega Genesis. It may not be the most accurate reproduction, but it does offer a few neat features in its functioning cartridge slot and classic controller-compatible inputs.
Remember that this is not an HDMI-compatible console, so make sure your television has an RCA audio/video input. Or better yet try it out on an older CRT television to get the closest-to-genuine experience possible with the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console.