Ding-dong. Who is it? It’s nostalgia, baby!
I hope you’re all happy, you certainly should be. That said, if you’re here looking for a calm and collected article, balanced by pros and cons in equal measure, stop reading now. Seriously, just scroll on past.
What follows is no critique or analysis, it is a celebration – a celebration of one of the greatest gaming consoles ever to grace a 12-inch TV screen. The one… the only… Sega Mega Drive… miniaturised!
You know what they say, “if it isn’t broken; don’t fix it”. This is all very well and good, though the passage of time has seen the coveted Sega Mega Drive supplanted by successive generations of high-powered games consoles, with technological advances culminating in the coming into being of the current-gen gaming behemoths, the likes of the PS4, the Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.
Well, the beautifully conceived classic that was the Sega Mega Drive is making a triumphant comeback, and truly, it’s what the people want! According to Wikipedia, 30.75 million first-party Sega Mega Drive units were sold worldwide, and even as recently as the mid-2010s, licensed third-party Mega Drive re-releases were still being sold by AtGames in North America (Genesis) and Europe.
It just goes to show that it’s not all about MIPS and fps, and that there is more to capturing the imaginations of gamers than raw processing power and refined visuals. There is something captivating about the Sega Mega Drive and the classic games playable following its initial worldwide release in 1990, and the cream of the crop shortly to be made available once again, following the Sega Mega Drive Mini’s release date of 19th September 2019.
I hear you; I hear you… “Enough preamble and make with the game speak”, I hear you cry. Well, with a hefty roster comprising 42 of the best games ever to grace a game cartridge, the 19th September promises to be an historic day for gamers the world over, whether or not previously initiated with the Original Sega Mega Drive.
The full list of the 42 games can be found in the spoiler box above, but as for those most eagerly anticipated by yours truly, and I suspect many of you reading this article, my top five would have to be Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Castlevania: The New Generation, Streets of Rage II, Tetris® and Darius. “Why?”, you may ask. Well, here’s why…
1/ Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Because Sonic… The logic is incontrovertible. Sonic is to Sega what Mario is to Nintendo! Indeed, Sonic IS Sega. The supersonic, ring-collecting, spring-jumping, Robotnic-stomping blue hedgehog is back in town, and I for one couldn’t be more excited!
2/ Castlevania: The New Generation: Castlevania is a gothic classic, filled with zombie show-downs, hellish creatures and tense melees, bathed in horrific ambiance and played out in foreboding settings. A tense horror game to look forward to.
3/ Streets of Rage II: Perhaps my favourite, despite never having managed to beat it (I sucked and lacked persistence). I absolutely cannot wait to once again take control – however ineptly – of Axel Stone (my body double), Blaze Fielding (my one-time future wife), Eddie “Skate” Hunter (the cool kid I never was), and Max “Thunder” Hatchett (my body double on juice). I still remember the weird and wonderful assortment of thugs and bad guys scattered along the linear plane by name! I’ll never forget the first time I tentatively approached Abadede, terrified for my ‘virtual’ life. He was one menacing dude, and that threatful music DID NOT HELP. I can’t wait!
4/ Tetris®: Because you just know, in one form or another, this highly addictive and endlessly satisfying game will still be alive and kicking long after you and I have left this mortal coil. My scores were never up to much, but many a happy hour was spent contending with this classic.
5/ Darius: Last but not least, a bit of a dark horse, Darius. Full disclosure, I’ve never played it, but I hear positive and enticing things. This is ostensibly to be a port of the 1987 Taito arcade shoot-em-up, Darius. A relentlessly fast paced, reflex inducing barrage of spaceships, missiles and lasers, this late entry looks set to have fans weaving among enemy aircraft and dodging projectiles until the cows come home.
Well folks, that’s it. I hope you’re as excited as I am, and also that this article has gone some way toward whetting your appetite for all things retro, and all things to come following the Sega Mega Drive Mini Release on 19th September 2019!
- Sega Mega Drive Mini will cost £69.99 RRP when it launches.
- Unit comes bundled with two replica three-button USB Genesis controllers.
- It’s based on the original Model 1 Genesis which launched in Oct. 1988 in Japan, Aug. 1989 in North America, and Nov. 1990 everywhere else.
- For more info, visit http://megadrivemini.sega.com/