Sega Genesis Mini review

The Sega Genesis is and will always be an iconic videogame system. Dominating the early ’90s, Sega’s powerful 16-Bit System gave us a world of classics like the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, Ecco the Dolphin and so many more. Now, like Nintendo before them, Sega has thrown their hat into the mini console ring and have released The Sega Genesis Mini. Is it as good as, or better than the Nintendo Classic systems? Read on to find out.

First, I must clarify that this is NOT a Sega Genesis Flashback. Those are made by a company called AT Games and in no way belong in any home. This is made by Sega themselves with the legendary M2 handling all of the emulation contained within. So, unlike previous offerings that contained the Sega Genesis name, this system is actually good. You cannot insert separate cartridges into this unit, much like Nintendo’s offerings and are limited by the included games contained. Just hook up the included HDMI cable to your TV, and connect the included 3 Button Genesis controllers and fire it up.

On the device are 40 Sega Genesis Classics plus 2 “extra” games I’ll touch on a bit later. Among the 40 titles included are, Sonic 1 and 2, Streets of Rage 2, Wonder Boy in Monster World, Kid Chameleon, Toe Jam and Earl and many other classic Sega goodness. Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles sadly didn’t make the cut for legal reasons, but you do get games that didn’t get released in the USA like Monster World 4 and Mega Man The Wily Wars. There are also a handful of licensed titles from other developers like Konami with Castlevania Bloodlines, plus 2 great Mickey Mouse games, Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion are also included!

Getting to the 2 extra titles, which were made especially for this mini unit; Darius is a brand new title from the original developers. It was only ever seen in Japanese arcades, but Taito did an excellent job porting this to the Sega Genesis. It’s a shame that it never made it out to an actual cartridge back in the day, but it’s super cool to have it in this collection. The other extra title is the Genesis version of Tetris. This game was never officially released, due to all the licensing issues surrounding Tetris back then and not many people got to play this version. It’s really nothing special, but it’s a very playable version of the classic puzzle game!

Since this is emulation, the visuals will look clean and crisp on any TV today, plus with M2 handling all of the emulation you can expect the games to play just like their original counterparts. You don’t have much in the way of options as far as screen filters and such, but you can stretch the picture to 16:9 or keep it at it’s original 4:3 aspect. You also have a few different backgrounds, or borders you can use if you are playing in 4:3, but not as many as seen on Nintendo’s minis. You do, however, have 4 quick save slots for each game so you can pause the action wherever you want and pick up later in the same spot you left off. One extra feature that is NOT on any other mini console is the ability to completely change the region of the console and play different versions of the included games. Just change the language setting to any included language and you can then play that country’s version of any game. In some cases you can completely change the game itself, for example if you switch the language to Japanese, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine will be replaced with Puyo Puyo (the game it was based on). Also, you can play a more complete version of the original Sonic The Hedgehog, since that game came out later in Japan and Sega had time to fix some glitches and add extra animation not found in the US version.

The included controllers look and feel really nice. They are the original 3 button model and this is a bit troublesome for some of the included games, like Street Fighter II. Fortunately, since the controllers are USB, many other controllers can be recognized by the system, so you may have one that works. Keep in mind that not ALL USB controllers will work, but thankfully Sega has a deal with Retro-Bit who has made a replica of Sega’s own 6 button controller, which is available to buy separately where you can buy the console.

Overall, the Sega Genesis Mini is a fine addition to all of the mini classic consoles already out there. If you are a fan of the Sega Genesis, and want to experience these great classics again, you really can’t go wrong here. You have a cool assortment of games to keep you busy for a long time, and many other games that many will experience for the first time! Definitely pick one up if you have the means. Highly recommended!

Grade: A