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Sega Megadrive

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      01.12.2013 23:41
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      Not even close to cutting edge, but very playable and pure fun!

      This might seem a bit bizarre, writing a review about a 20 year old console when the shelves have just been stocked with the new X-Box One and PS4 consoles, but believe it or not this is my current weapon of choice and I'm having a ball!

      The Mega Drive has been around since the late 1980's - early 90's on our shores - and was Sega's first foray into 16 bit gaming following on from the 8-bit Master System. I picked up my first one in 1993 and recently bought my fourth!

      The '16 bit' refers to the bit-rate of the processor. It's almost impossible for a layman like me to explain, but the bit-rate basically determines how many functions can be performed simultaneously.
      With a games console, higher bit-rate means better graphics, since the programmers can use more pixels when designing characters, scenery and so on.
      The 8 bit console games were generally very blocky looking and slow, the 16 bit models were (are) much faster and with far higher resolution. They might look cartoony now, but at the time they were beyond anything we'd ever hoped for!

      Release;
      -------------
      So, the 1980's saw the start of the first real console war, with Nintendo and Sega the clear front runners sharing pretty even market share with their NES and Master System consoles. They were fun machines, a good distraction for an hour or so, but basically just the new kids toy.
      The Mega-Drive hit the market and set about shaking that up. They appealed to a slightly more grown up audience with gory versions of the arcade smash Mortal Kombat, war games and flight simulators, but remembered their core audience with new kids platform games such as Alex Kidd and the award winning Sonic The Hedgehog.
      The console sold in the millions! Retail on it was between £150-£250, which I guess is pretty much comparable to the current offerings around £400, but for a dedicated games console to sell so well at that time was an overwhelming success!

      Competition;
      ------------------
      Initially it was against the Nintendo NES, the 8 bit console, but Nintendo were very close behind coming to the market with the SNES - an upgraded 16 bit version of their machine! Nintendo held exclusive rights to their Mario franchise and it took no time at all for them to draw level with Sega's sales. Sega answered back with Sonic, a character who became synonymous with the brand and easily rivaled Mario as a playable platform game.
      Again, they were level-pegging and between them accounted for over 90% of games consoles sales (let's not talk about the neo-geo!)

      Games;
      ----------------
      Sega had Sonic, Nintendo had Mario.
      For the most part, though, they shared titles. Independent games programmers and manufacturers couldn't afford to choose sides, they make a game and market it to anyone who'll buy it, so we end up with multiple versions of games on different consoles.
      Graphically the Mega Drive probably edges it on most parts. The speed seemed much steadier with less freezing up and slightly better load times.
      The 'first person shooter' genre was in its infancy back then, with Doom on the PC basically holding the market. The 16 bit machines weren't enough to handle Doom (even a stripped down version), but the Mega Drive had a few tricks up its sleeves there. Two awesome early first person shooters hit the shelves in the form of Bloodshot and Zero Tolerance. Much slower frame-rates than the PC games (obviously!), but they were both extremely competent games and helped shape the whole genre. Zero Tolerance was in fact the first game to use texture-mapping, enabling the environments to show damage.

      Racing games were a HUGE market on this generation console, probably equal with platform games in terms of sales. From old school top-down racers where you control your car from above (Micro Machines was easily the best of these!), to arcade racers like Test Drive, to super complex F1 games requiring more than a heavy thumb on the accelerator button and right through to the quite new genre of combat-racing, combining a great race game with violence (Road Rash was the most accomplished there).

      Side-scrolling Platformers were king back then, and got progressively better through the consoles like. Titles like The Simpsons, Earthworm Jim and Sonic really made you feel like you were playing an interactive cartoon!

      The 16-bit system also saw the birth of the football game! Ignore World Cup Italia '90 (sigh) - the Fifa franchise starts HERE! Fifa 96 was utterly breathtaking, and drew the blueprint for the latest incarnations of the game.


      Ease of use;
      -----------------
      Simple. Plug a cartridge in the top (after blowing on the contacts to clear the dust!) and switch it on.
      That is it.
      The control pad is a nice rounded shape which sits comfortably with the 'd-pad' right under your left thumb and buttons A B C under your right. Most games are very simple affairs and easy to grasp even if they use all three of the buttons!
      Lots of peripherals were available though, I quite like the feel of the old fashioned arcade joysticks when playing these games, so I've got one! It makes a simple control system even easier.

      Longevity?
      ---------------
      Hmmmm, tricky this one.
      For half a decade this was cutting edge, but then the 32-bit Playstation came out and made this look totally out of date. (Sega did try to answer with the 'Saturn', but low advertising budgets, constant production delays and a unfulfilled pre-orders meant the Playstation outsold the Saturn 10-1).
      In the late 90's, the Mega Drive was dead in the water. Low quality and outdated games didn't hold water when compared top the 32-bit machines.
      A decade after its demise, though, it went through a bit of a resurgence. A company called BLAZE released a mini version of the Mega Drive with a slew of its best known titles already programmed into the console! Sales were only ok, but at £40 it's a great way to play retro games, and it takes the original cartridges!

      Peripherals;
      -----------------
      Loads of different control pads are available. For beat-em-up games there are 6 button versions, there are various joysticks and even a mouse, to play point-and-click adventure games.
      Light Guns were a really big deal at the time. Sega supports the Menacer, a multi-part light gun to be used as a pistol, rifle or shotgun blaster. A dozen or so titles were compatible (most on the Mega CD).

      Mega CD: This was touted as an add-on, but was in fact a console in its own right, utilising laser technology to read games from CD's rather than a cartridge. Graphics were comparable to mid-low end PC's of the time, but sadly more went into the graphics that the gameplay - it was a flop!

      32x: Now we're talking! This is an add-on with a whole new range of games using 32-bit technology! Finally we have Doom, along with dozens of other super high resolution games, on our 16-bit console. This was an utter showstopping moment in video games, though sadly short lived. The 32x came out in 1994 and was very quickly overshadowed by the Playstation. A few months earlier and this would have had an enormous impact, but as it stands this only sold about half a million units.


      How does it look today?
      --------------------------------
      Well, the games still have a certain charm, but there is no getting away from the fact that an average mobile phone can now support bigger and better games than the big black box.
      I am a fan of retro games, so will happily sit down and play a few hours on the old titles. I have friends, however, who have downloaded an emulator to their PC and have every mega drive game in history at their fingertips for free.
      So what is the appeal to own the console? Quite simply, playability!
      If you've played a 4 player game of Micro Machines (two extra pads plug into the actual cartridge!) or spent a button-bashing afternoon on Mortal Kombat with a friend, then playing at a keyboard with a high resolution screen will never feel the same.

      BUT;
      The console is big and cumbersome, the games are in huge boxes and take up a shelf that would fit three times the number of new games and the pads are also bulky and hard to store.

      Thankfully, the BLAZE Mega Drive is a good compact version and slots just about anywhere, so I'd recommend that one to anyone looking to dip their toe back into retro gaming. Be warned though, it's not as sturdy. The control pads slowly work their way out of the ports and the slightest knock will crash/freeze your game, meaning you're starting from scratch! I've also had issues with mine when using the tall cartridges such as Theme Park and Road Rash, I suppose again because it's not quite as sturdy as the original the carts don't sit as low).


      Result?
      ------------
      I love mine. I can happily spend the best part of a day jumping in and out of old games from yesteryear. This is not a console to take over your life (like 20 hour stints on GTA and Fallout on the x-box 360!), it's a box full of fun that serves as an entertaining diversion when you have a little time to kill.

      Graphically it stinks.
      A low res game console and a high res TV mean the games look even more dated than they really should, but there are still some welcome surprises in graphics, game-play and original ideas when you realise just how much our recent games owe to the old-guard.


      If you have space, the Mega Drive makes a good addition to a game collection. It's totally ideal for a 'man cave' and also makes a perfect pick-up-and-play system for a younger gamer! Lots of fun, innocent and easy to play Disney titles back that one up too.


      Availability and affordability;
      ------------------------------------
      There are loads of these consoles out there. They sold 40 million worldwide so let's say you're likely to find one if you want one.
      e.bay is flooded with the original consoles in good working order, and they seem to sell for £10+ for a console and £1 and up for games. With around a thousand titles to choose from there are a good range of games out there, some common and some extremely rare.

      The Blaze system retails at £40 (with 30 games built in) but I've seem them on Amazon for half that amount. Seriously, if you can't get £20 worth of fun out of that console then you're not even trying!



      So the answer is: Yes, you can go back - you might not want to stay long though.

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        07.03.2012 20:50
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        For any retro gaming collector it is a must.

        I owned a sega megadrive for the first time back in 1990 when my dad brought me and my brother one to share at xmas. The megadrive is a simple 16bit console that went head to head with its main rival Nintendo and had two of the classic gaming franchise faces in both Sonic the hedgehog and Super Mario.

        I was lucky throughout my life to have a whole host of computers such as the Atari 2600,Nes, Megadrive,Snes, Atari jaguar, Gameboy, N64,Playstion 1,2and briefly 3 and xbox 360 and now my laptops as well. Adding to that host of computers I owned have also used friends computers as well so that covered the Amstrad,Master system,Gamegear, Sega saturn, Dreamcast,xbox so throughout my life I consider myself extremely well versed through the gaming worlds console range as growing up everyone has always been at mates houses using each other stuff more times than I remember as that is what under 15's do.

        The thing about the megadrive was that it was the first computer I owned and really loved plus itwas one of the two best available at the time along with the Snes. On reflection it is amazing how much longer they can last as where the games back then were cartridges they were nearly indestructible and even with cracked cases the good old reliable Sega would always soldier on compared to the scratched discs nowadays that can ruin a game instantly.

        Most of the games of the 90's were simple left to right platform games and the megadrive had good graphics which after owning the earlier 2,4,8 bit computers the graphics took a massive leap from previous consoles. Bear in mind that after the 16bit Sega/ Snes period the disc generation of gaming set in that would be the Playstation era although the megadrive had a mega cd option (It docked into the cartridge slot) that although revolutionary for the time (A lot of music was still sold on tapes at the time people) it never seamed to take off as mainstream as you would of expected although that maybe of been due to the lack of internet and magazine coverage or just in the uk PAL system area as I would of thought Japan and the USA would of snapped it up.

        Anyway..... Back to basics, The megadrive 1 had a very simple layout which consists of two ports for controllers, a small white reset button and a sliding power on/off switch along with a sliding volume control for headphones (I have never used this) with a bulky plug for the power source and the RF antenna tv switch to put in the tv.

        The controllers were very simple and bulky too with a Dpad (up,down,left,right/Diagonals) a start/pause button and three buttons A,B,C which was all you needed although in the case of sonic1 all the buttons did the same thing! The buttons were nothing like the touch sensitive stuff we have nowadays but in my opinion that just adds to the retro feel of the whole thing .

        The thing that staggers me is that the games in the 90's would cost £39:99 from woolworths (remember them) and considering how much the exchange rate is now compared to then that works out to be a lot of money for old technology compared to today's state of the art gaming which £40 now would be a premium new release.

        Places like ebay still sell megadrive stuff and it must be collectors to some as I have seen a unopened copy of Streets of rage 3 up for sale for over £200 which is absurd considering on the xbox megadrive collection it is on there along with loads of other games for under £20 but it shows it's worth as an old gaming collectable.

        Megadrive along with snes started to die out along with the other old classics around 1996 when the N64 hit the shelves and after that period the gaming world and consoles came thick and fast.

        I brought an old megadrive console a year ago just to reminisce and it is amazing how far we have come in this industry but also how younger gamers are lucky that they are spoilt by the technology nowadays and would consider my generations computers rubbish where I have enjoyed the progress they have made over the last 22years.

        To summarise the computer launched for over £100 and you could buy one now for £20 but for starters 1) The games will last longer than any new cd's 2) It was a great source of my childhood entertainment and will hold a very important place not just 90's gaming but the computer history full stop.

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        13.01.2011 23:17
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        Best console ever. Cheap as chips now, so I seriously recommend people to pick one up ASAP.

        Yes. Yes it is.

        Back in 1989, the NES was in steady competition with the SEGA Master System. The NES was leading the way, but only just. Then, in 1990 (in Europe, 1988 in Japan) along came the SEGA Mega Drive, known as the SEGA Genesis in America, and completely destroyed the NES. Not literally, of course. Simply put, the NES was 8-bit and the Mega Drive was 16-bit and the NES could not compete.

        Until then, I had never played a games console before, apart from a few games on an Amiga 500. This was my first taste of proper home video gaming. Thanks to the Mega Drive, I love SEGA and anything SEGA related. It kick started my love of gaming. I dread to think what would have happened if I got a SNES instead.

        I got my Mega Drive in Christmas of 1992. I can still remember that because one of my presents was Sonic 2. I remember saying 'We don't have a Sega. We have an Amiga'. Then I opened a nice, big present. To my surprise it was the SEGA Mega Drive. Since then, I've been playing games for 18 years.

        Playing Sonic the Hedgehog on this thing was amazing. The Mega Drive could produce such lush graphics and super fast scrolling, as well as this Blast Processing thing as well. Sega Does What Nintendon't. I stick by that.

        Anyway, the Mega Drive. In my honest opinion, I believe that this was the best of the 16-bit machines, better than the SNES and TurboGrafix16. Although I haven't played a TurboGrafix16, I have played a SNES so I do know what they're like.

        The Mega Drive looked better for a start, with it's sleek, gloss black body. The SNES was white-ish grey, which yellowed over time. The Mega Drive doesn't have this problem, so it'll as good as it did back in 1990. I also thought the controllers were a lot more comfortable. They may have had less buttons, but I don't believe anyone has every wanted more. Plus, the Mega Drive did have a 6-button controller released.

        The other good thing about the Mega Drive was it's 'upgrade' capabilities. This included the Power Base Converter, which allowed Master System games to be played on the Mega Drive. Then came the underrated Mega-CD, one of the first CD based consoles. I liked the Mega-CD. Then there was the Mega-32x, which sort of increased the Mega Drive's power to 32-bit. As we all know, the Mega-CD and 32x didn't exactly set the world alight, and were huge flops. I never owned a 32x. It also had a stereo headphone jack, so you could listen through headphones or hook it up to a stereo system.

        I also believe it was the first console to include 'High Definition Graphics'. The later models of the Mega Drive would include this text emblazoned near the back of the console. To be honest, I'm not sure what gave the Mega Drive the high-def graphics, but it was the first.

        The Mega Drive will always have a place in my heart, as it was the first gaming console I ever played on. Even today, I still get the Mega Drive down from the loft and have a play on it.

        Another good thing about the Mega Drive: Sonic the Hedgehog, Rocket Knight Adventures, World of Illusion, Alex Kidd, Altered Beast, Castlevania, Columns, Comix Zone, Cool Spot, Earthworm Jim and many more. I know some of these were also on the SNES, but the Mega Drive versions, I believe, were always superior.

        In all honesty, I thought I would have more to say about the Mega Drive, but my mind is a blank. It has been a while since I've played it properly. Ah well.

        Overall, the Mega Drive was, and always will be one of the best consoles ever to be released. Forget the SNES, the Mega Drive still has the edge. Since you can pick these up cheap as chips nowadays, I urge anyone who has never owned a Mega Drive to pop to a second hand shop or look on eBay and pick one up. You will not be disappointed.

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          19.10.2010 21:40
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          Great retro console

          When it comes to computer games and consoles, today it is all about the XBOX 360, the PS3 or the Nintendo WII but when I was very young in the late eighties and in to the early nineties you either had an original or Super Nintendo or the rival to this which was the Sega Mega Drive. The Sega Mega Drive was 16 bit if I remember but I had the slightly better 32 bit aptly named Mega Drive 2.

          The Mega Drive 2 was black and fairly slim line for the time with to red buttons towards the front and a slot for games cartridges to be inserted. The joy pads or controllers were not that much different to the ones you would use with a modern day more advanced console, however they were black and a bit chunkier, very smooth and curved in appearance. I can always remember finger marks and grease being left on the controllers after long periods of use, the colour and smooth finish on the pads would show it up.

          The graphics and game play would not have any chance of matching up to modern efforts but at the time the games I played were exciting and brilliant and provided a lot of fun for my friends and me. I of course played Sonic the Hedgehog who was to Sega what Mario is to Nintendo but mainly we played a lot of sports games as these were often for two players. FIFA football titles are massive games now and a new edition is anticipated each year but the first ever issue was released in 1994 and my friends and I would play tournaments against each other and try and defeat the computer. When I look back the game play was nowhere near what it is on a play station 3 or and XBOX360 but once again at the time was so different to anything we had been able to play before. I also played Pete Sampras Tennis, EA Hockey and PGA Golf and they were all brilliant. You could probably get a Sega Mega Drive original or the second version very cheaply on eBay or from a car boot sale, I really think they could still provide enjoyment and be a good stroll down memory lane for anyone who used to play on this Sega console a few years ago.

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            01.07.2010 15:40
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            A Mega name for a mega console, this epic machine deserves your time.

            Even with the cutting edge-graphics and production quality of 360 games, I still can't stop myself getting the Mega Drive out every now and again for a trip to memory lane. Having received it as my first console as a gift at the age of around 6, it simply blew my mind, and continues to leave me in awe to this day. The console is simple, the pads are uncomfortable and the games are adventurous and unique. And it all makes for an awesome package.

            The Mega Drive really was the console pin-up of the early-mid 90s, until the PS1 came in and destroyed its blaze of glory. The Mega Drive II in particular, with its compact, square design and simple 'reset' and 'power' buttons on the top was a joy to operate. It was also simple to hook up: just plug the aerial into the game lead, into the back of the console and hey presto: the game began. Loading times were non-existent and meant you were always in the thick of the game. The controllers were (and still are) nightmarish, in the strangest of shapes and giving you cramp after extended use (but this is part of the console's great charm). Not forgetting the cartridge slot, which often gathered dust and had to be blown for any chance of getting games to operate. Ah, nostalgia!

            Aside from the console design itself, it was what it could do which had gamers' heads turning. A barrage of fresh, unique games hit the shelves, all sporting an alternative to Nintendo's systems and sporting their own level of polish. Who can forget Road Rash, with its motorbike mayhem, catchy soundtracks and hilarious sound effects? Or Streets of Rage, the classic side-scroller beat-'em-up? Or the Sonic series, which broke boundaries by creating a famous game hero that wasn't Mario? It really was a golden age of games.

            And the funny thing is that it's still addictive today. Only a few days ago, I had my Mega Drive hooked up, with its original controller, playing Toejam and Earl: Panic on Funkotron (possibly the greatest game to ever grace the console). The retro feel, the immense difficulty and the lack of save options were thrilling, frustrating and shocking at the same time. Not only was I greeted with memories of hours spent trying to beat impossible bosses, but I found myself trying to beat them once again, replay value which I simply don't get with my 360 games.

            Maybe that's one thing that the next-gen consoles can learn from. Of course the Mega Drive games were basic. Of course their graphics were rather poor. But it didn't matter. The games were incredibly fun. They were unforgiving. They were unbelievable. These are things that seem to have been lost in a number of games today, and maybe it's time that some developers look to this console as a springboard for newer efforts.

            The best thing of all, though, is that they're incredibly easy and cheap to come by today. If you're an avid gamer who has never had the pleasure of using this delight, you're missing out big time. With the console available for under a fiver in lots of places (including charity shops, boot fairs, I could carry on...) and the cartridges available online for a pound or two, it is well worth a purchase. Forget emulators. Feeling and playing it in the flesh makes it all the more pleasing and impressive, and a console this good deserves to be played as was intended.

            Summary

            This is simply a console of epic proportions. The games were brilliant, it was easy to set up and use and it was unbelievably addictive. Any gamer yet to try it is urged to buy one. They're so cheap and so entertaining that it will be hard to let go of the incredibly poorly-designed controller (or maybe that's the cramp setting in?) With heaps of charm, a catalogue of sublime games and amazing replay value, the Mega Drive is everything you want from a games console.

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              23.03.2010 13:46
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              A must have for a retro gamer

              The sega Megadirve was the first console I ever got when I was just 5 years old, purcahsed second hand for £22, at that time I only had 3 games, art alive, columns and sonic 2, I could easily play it for 6 hours a day and not get bored.

              the console itself is very light compared to others and this is because when you take it apart there is nothing really in there apart form a printed circuit board and 2 sockets for the controlers. Some games also allow up to 4 players by having an additional 2 sockets in the cartridge itself but most games are 2 player at most. With 64 colours the graphics are nowhere even close to anything of todays standards, albeit better than the SNES, but they are fine for the games that play on it, and add to the nostalgic feel.

              There are almost 1,000 games for the sega megadrive although hundreds never made it to europe. The most famous and popular being the sonic series.

              The console was released in Europe in 1990 and discontinued in 1995 but its still available on ebay readily and in some 2nd hand gaming shops.
              This is a must have for a retro gamer and even a general gaming fan.

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              15.11.2009 16:37
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              Hours of retro-gaming fun available for next to nothing

              Released back in the early 90s to compete with the Super Nintendo, the Sega Megadrive is a hardy, sixteen-bit gaming console with a plethora of original and innovative games available for it. The console allows for colourful cartoonish graphics and smooth animation, excellent midi music and great sound effects, and is robust and well-designed, with simple, ergonomicaly designed boomerang-shaped joypads with just 3 buttons and a direction pad.

              Some of the best games include Desert Strike and Jungle Strike- in which you fly about isometrically-presented cityscapes in a attack helicopter blowing up all and sundry; Sonic 1 and 2- high speed scrolling platform games with beautiful animation and visuals; MERCS- a frenetic Ikari Warriors style top-down shooter; Kid Chameloeon- a rich and inventive platformer that is Sega's answer to the Mario games, and Dune 2- a cracking early strategy game and precursor to the Command and Conquer games. There are also some excellent beat-em ups, including the fantasy themed Golden Axe, the sci-fi themed Alien Storm and the Final-Fight style Streets of Rage series.

              The console is incredibly robust, as are the joypads, both of which stand up to many years of repetitive use without complaint, and the techological limitations of the age forced developers to rely on addictive and inventive gameplay, with the games possessing thir own unique charm, in stark contrast to the unimaginative 3d-accelerated games that are churned out for consoles today. You can pick both the console and individual games up for next to nothing online, and with thousands of titles to choose from the Megadrive is still well worth revisiting.

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                14.11.2009 12:06
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                Quite possibly the best console of all time.

                The Sega Megadrive is an excellent retro console, robust, reliable, dependable, and boasting hundreds upon hundreds of classic games, it is without a doubt the best platform of the 20th century.

                Alien Storm, Streets of Rage, Sonic, James Pond, Populous, Rambo, Mortal Kombat, Terminator and Dune are just some of the incredible titles that this console runs.

                Mine has been working for almost 20 years now, and despite being dusty and knackered as hell, still runs with incredible grace and reliability. The sheer nostalgia that the games hold, and the vastly intuitive joypads that come with the Mega Drive are nothing short of genius. As heavy and clunky as the game cartridges may be, nothing compares to the visceral thrill of slamming a game into the slot and flicking the heavy On/Off button with the side of your hand, before hearing and seeing the sega logo, in beautiful 16-bit graphics and sound.

                Graphics aren't important, sound quality isn't important. The Mega Drive epitomizes what is paramount to gaming - Music, style charm, and of course, gameplay. Who could say no to a few manic superfast levels of Sonic The Hedgehog? If you'd rather mash your way through Gears of War instead, I'm sorry to say that you're not a true gamer.

                The Sega Megadrive is the console of the Gods. You can get one for about twenty pounds from eBay or Amazon, and if you want a slice of your childhood back, or even just want to be reminded of what games used to be like, splash out on a Sega.

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                  29.10.2009 20:04
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                  High-quality retro gaming on a console built to last; suitable for all!

                  The Sega Mega Drive II console was a highlight of my childhood. When my parents sold it to upgrade to a PlayStation, I was devastated. Years later, filled with nostalgic memories and a longing for the games and soundtracks of my past, I bought a console again and became a collector of Mega Drive and Master System games. I've not been disappointed.
                  The console is a true great - a legend amongst those who grew up with it, and an excellent talking point when guests are visiting. The range of games is more than extensive, and there's something to suit everyone - games for girls, for boys, for young and old. Favourites of mine include Land of Illusion, Talmit's Adventure, and The Lion King. The games never grow old, and the music is fun and enjoyable. In fact, the only downside now that we've lived through technological advancement lies in the fact that games can't be saved - some give you passwords at the end of each level, and some see you forced back to the start every time you play, which can be more than a little annoying!
                  My Mega Drive, even now, is reliable and strong. Forget the XBox 360 'Red Ring Of Death', this thing is built to last; and there's something special about slotting a game as old as yourself into a console for a true retro experience. Far better, in my opinion, than any graphic-powerful console on the market today.

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                    21.10.2009 21:10
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                    To own it is to love it

                    I am the proud owner of the Mega Drive version 1, not to mention the other Segas, also have the Mega CD still. Cool? I thought I was the coolest kid in class owning these.

                    Mega Drive was Sega's third console. It was a the first ever 16 bit console released in Japan in 1988 and in America in 1989. It was released in the rest of the world in 1990. It had the name Genesis in North America (apparently because Sega was unable to secure the rights to the Mega Drive name. So now you know!).

                    It has sold over 29 million units worldwide thus making it Segas best selling console, quite rightly too.

                    The story=
                    My first experience of the Mega Drive would have been aged around 8 or 9 I believe, I was overwhelmed by the thick instruction manual, and also the £140 price tag (still have the receipt somewhere), the thick black plastic exterior, and my Master System was duly unplugged and therefore began my affair with this 16 bit beast of a machine.

                    I've read there are roughly 914 games ever released on this console. Some of my faves include Goldenaxe, Flashback, Ghouls and Ghosts, Stryder, could go on forever but this is not a games review. There are games for every taste, but of course the most famous one is Sega's character Sonic the Hedgehog which was in direct competition with Nintendo's Mario character, I proudly wore my 'Mario sucks!' badge with pride back in the day free with 'Sega Power' magazine. The Mega Drive boasted better graphics and sound than it's rival anyway.

                    There were a number of add ons for this machine.

                    I owned the 6 button joypads, which provided instant advantages in such games as Streetfighter and Mortal Kombat upon which there were 6 basic actions. So I liked this one. Easier than using the standard 3 button controller.

                    I owned the Mega CD (version 1 as my Mega Drive was version 1). The first version of the Mega CD sits underneath the Mega Drive console and loads CDs via a motorised tray. The release was 1993, and the first version is far superior to the 2nd as in version 1 they sit on top of each other but the 2nd version they sit side by side. Sonic CD is a must buy for this major add on. Only 200,000 of these ever sold and faded away in 1996.

                    The Sega 32X allows the user to play technically superior 32-bit games on the Mega Drive. It was released in 1994 in Japan (after the release of the Sega Saturn in that region) and North America and 1995 in Europe. The 32X plugs into the Mega Drive's cartridge slot and the game cartridges are then plugged into the 32X.

                    Processor= Motorola M68000 16 bit processor
                    running at 7.67Mhz
                    Memory= 64 Kb RAM
                    20 Kb ROM
                    Display Palette= 512
                    Onscreen colours= 64
                    Maximum onscreen sprites= 80
                    Resolution =320 x 224
                    Sound= Yamaha YM2612 6 channel FM.
                    Additional 4 channel PSG
                    Ports separate R.F aerial and R.G.B outputs
                    (AUX connector - Megadrive 1 only),
                    stereo headphone jack (original model only)
                    9 pin EXT port (Early original model only)

                    Purchase one off eBay. Play it. If you own one do not sell it!!
                    Thank you :D

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                      30.08.2009 23:04
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                      This console released in 1990 has made a popular recognition to people worldwide, and truly has made a landmark in video game history with it's wonderful games library and quality of gaming graphics, playability and stereo sound.

                      In my opinion this is the must have retro console if you were to own only one of them, the games released for it were incredibly good, well i certainly never get bored of them, and i still go back to this console and play all the games i have for it!

                      There were two versions released, the first one (Megadrive 1) had features like a headphone socket and was reasonably big, then years later a new model was released (Megadrive II) was about one third smaller than it's predecessor, weighed a little less, had different power and reset buttons in red, all in all just looked a lot smarter than the other, and was made to save space.

                      What is also great about this console was the ability to add a 32x console and a Mega CD console for more choice of games.

                      All in all, the best video games console ever!!!!! Go on, treat yourself to one, they don't cost much now!!!

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                        23.07.2009 01:46
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                        Utterly amazing, try to get your hands on one, mine still works and its nearly as old as me!

                        The pinnacle of 16-bit gaming and my first console, a good few years after it was released in Europe as I was 1 when it was released here and not even born when if was introduced to Japan!

                        This console is Sega's SNES killer from the 90's and by the power of Sonic the hedgehog at the helm did it succeed.

                        When Mario came with the SNES, Sega needed something to try and level out the playing field and that knight in shining armour came in the form of a blue spikey hedgehog and later his hovering sidekick Tails!

                        This console was just so amazing and was well suited to arcade style games such as the epic Super Hang On motorbike game I got hours of enjoyment of playing on this console.

                        The problem however was that when talking about PAL games was that the machine was forced to run a 50Hz in order to allow for the refresh rate to sync. This could be over come by voiding your warranty and opening up the machine to cut a single wire but I am sure none of us are that desperate, by cutting the wire aswell, you are removing yout capability to upgrade with the MEGA CD add on.

                        All in all this console is simply fantastic and there are a lot of good games on it, dont be fooled into think that it is archaic and that in Ye-olde'n days of gaming, we all thought that bouncing a ball from board to board was the most rivetting thing in the world. Because believe me; Sonic, Super Hang On, Space Harrier, Pacman, the list goes on. Oh and as a final note, I am in no way saying that Pong was a bad game because it wasnt, it was superb.

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                        13.05.2009 17:48

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                        A must have console! Brilliant fun!!

                        The sega mega drive is by far the best console out there i had one of these when i was about 10 and loved it then! They are coming back into fashion now as a retro console but people under estimate how difficult these older games are it took me months to get through and complete games and once you died there was no way of reviving yourself, you had to start again!!
                        The best game on this console is de cap attack this game is a classic platform game with 3 mini games to each level and then a boss at the end of each level you could collect items to use like the invinsibility shield 10 seconds where you were un touchable except if you fell in the lava, that would kill you!! An all time fave it is brilliant going on these harder yet extremly basic in concept compared to current games on the market this is a must have item even if only for a little nostalgia!!

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                        11.08.2008 14:54
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                        a great games console

                        Sega Megadrive!! Wow I was so jealous of my friend for having one of these when I was younger.

                        Sega Megadrive is one of the older games consoles, it plays many types of games such as arcade and platform of which a lot of the games were 3d!.

                        Sega megadrives consoles are quite large and black in colour and have a control which is connected via a wire to the console.

                        The console itself is not produced any more and if you want to buy one of these it will have to be second hand. If you look hard enough you can get them from ebay and many other places like this, Car boot sales are also a good place to look.

                        Of all the games available on this consolve I remember vividly being jealous of Sonic. I had hours of fun on this game. The graphics are basic compared to technology these days but it was excellent when it was first released.

                        You can get emulators of these games on the internet where you can also download games and keep them on your PC. You can also buy controls which attach to your PC. This allows you to play your Sega via modern technology as it is so hard to get hold of a console and games especially these days.

                        Do not get rid of this console if you have it still as you will find it hard to get a new one.

                        A brilliant console which produced hours of fun back in the day and still would occupy me for hours now.

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                          11.08.2008 14:42
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                          Absolutly a neccesity for game lovers.

                          There seems to be an amazing interest lately in older games consoles such as the Sega Mega Drive, many of my friends have purchased these for quite an impressive price, I am lucky for having the foresight and love of the console not to chuck away my Mega Drive at the first sight of the Playstation, and as such am still the proud player of classic Sonic and my personal favourite Earthworm Jim (rememeber that fantastic Nick cartoon?).

                          The Mega Drive allows simple, fun gaming in a world now consisting of more complex, 3D, multiple camera angled games. There is nothing better than having a half hour of good old retro gaming fun! The only real pity is the difficulty in getting games for this console anymore, Although technlogy has improved I feel producing these games on a minor scale would still see a profit due to the interest in retro gaming!Most brilliant is that my Playstation long ago stopped working at its best, yet my megadrive has absolutly no problems whatsoever, a clear sign of a fine console!

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