Japanese video game company Sega was bound to follow after Nintendo and Sony got into the mini retro game console market. Even though the former got it right, the latter got it very wrong.
Fortunately, Sega learned from Sony’s mistakes and matched or bettered both of Nintendo’s efforts.
The Genesis Mini is a 55 per cent scaled-down version of the 1989 original that sparked the 16-bit console generation. They could have stopped there, but didn’t.
The Mini retains small touches like the headphone volume slider and cartridge slot of the full-sized Genesis for maximum nostalgia amongst potential buyers.
So what’s better?
Since it comes with a USB AC adapter, it’s already better than the PlayStation Classic. It also bests that machine on price, while matching Nintendo’s Super NES Mini at the same Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of US$80.
Where it beats all the others is game-to-price ratio. Sega’s micro-console has twice the number of games as rivals. This would be all moot if the games were bad, and had the execution of Sony. Far from it. The Genesis Mini is a winner with a wide variety of content using high-quality emulation that maintains the playability of the old games on modern televisions. Even the main menu is colourful, blessed with original music from Sega music legend Yuzo Koshiro, and can be easily accessed at any time using a button combination from the controller.
Modern touches like save states are included allowing players to pause, quit and return to their game at specific points in time. Overall, the Sega Genesis Mini is a great Christmas present for anyone who loved Sega in the 90s, and gamers casual or otherwise.
• High-quality presentation and operation.
• Plenty of games to keep players occupied.
• Includes everything to play out of the box.
• Can access all menus from the controller.
• Great gaming value.
• Can switch to the Japanese versions of the games.
• USB controller works on a PC and with MAME.
• Doesn’t come with a six-button controller for Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition.
• Some hardcore fans will notice slight differences in games due to the emulation.
• No sports games.
• The cool Sega Tower of Power isn’t available to western buyers.
• Ecco the Dolphin
• Castlevania: Bloodlines
• Space Harrier 2
• Shining Force
• Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
• Toe Jam & Earl
• Comix Zone
• Sonic the Hedgehog
• Altered Beast
• Gunstar Heroes
• Sonic the Hedgehog 2
• Earthworm Jim
• Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
• World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
• Thunder Force III
• Super Fantasy Zone
• Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
• Streets of Rage 2
• Contra Hard Corps
• Mega Man: The Wily Wars
• Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
• Sonic Spinball
• Phantasy Star IV
• Beyond Oasis
• Ghouls ‘N Ghosts
• Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
• Golden Axe
• Wonder Boy in Monster World
• Virtua Fighter 2
• Alisia Dragoon
• Monster World IV
• Kid Chameleon
• Road Rash II
• Eternal Champions
• Dynamite Headdy
• Light Crusader