SEGA Genesis Mini Review

“SEGA Genesis does what Nintendon’t.”

I’ve always considered myself a SEGA fan at heart.  When I was young, I was the only one of my friends to own a SEGA Genesis.  If a game came out that was for both the SEGA and SNES consoles, I’d get the SEGA version and brag about how much better the graphics were.

Yeah, I was that kid.

Last week, SEGA released the SEGA Genesis Mini, a classic console in the same vein as the previously released NES, SNES & Playstation Classics.  Now that I’ve spent a decent amount of time with it, I feel like I’m back in 1992 when I got the original Genesis for Christmas.  Despite the fact one of the games is pretty much unplayable unless you buy the extra $30 6 button controller, the SEGA Genesis Mini is definitely the best classic mini console on the market with a great line-up of games that will overwhelm you with nostalgia.

Included in the box is the console itself, two wired controllers, HDMI cord,  USB power cord (something that was actually missing from the Playstation Classic) and 42 pre-loaded games.  The design of the system is great and feels just like the original.  The reset button takes you to a menu to save and load different game states, the headphone volume button is adjustable (but doesn’t actually do anything), and you flick the power button left or right to turn it on or off (just like the original!).  When you start up the console, the game selection screen is easy to navigate and can be sorted by genre, release date, etc.  The settings menu is limited.  You can change the border around the games you’re playing and change the games to either be played regular or full-screen (stretched).  While playing games, you can hold the Start button or push Reset on the console to save, load, reset, or head back to the game selection menu.  Being able to use save states is a godsend for games with limited lives.  I know it’s a common feature, but I didn’t really appreciate it until now when I was playing the dice board game in Gunstar Heroes.  I honestly don’t know how I made it through back in the good old days without save states.     

The game line-up is fantastic, with classic titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2, Sonic Spinball, Phantasy Star IVCastlevania: Bloodlines, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage 2, Monster World IV, Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck, Shining Force, ToeJam & Earl, Comix Zone, Shinobi III, Vectorman, Kid Chameleon, and my absolute favorite Gunstar Heroes.  The graphics really pop in HD (especially Monster World IV and it’s sick soundtrack).  Street Fighter is the only one included with the 42 games that just seems like SEGA being greedy.  You can play Street Fighter with the 3 button controller that’s included, but the 3 buttons can only do punching or kicking depending on if you push the Start button to switch to punching or kicking.  It’s a pain in the ass, and if you want to play the game as intended, you’ll need to drop $30 on the 6 button controller that’s sold separately.  It just feels like a slimy way to earn some extra money.  I love SEGA, but I feel like there should have been one 6 button and one 3 button controller already included with the console.


Overall, the price of the SEGA Genesis Mini ($99.99 CAD) is remarkable considering the line-up of games you’re getting with it.  The Playstation Classic cost more, didn’t have nearly as great a game line-up (until you hacked it) and didn’t even come with a power cord!  Did I mention it didn’t come with a power cord?  Because it didn’t!

I’m sure the hacking community will really open up this SEGA bad boy so I can add some DeCap AttackAladdin, Lion King, Spider-Man, X-Men, & Batman to the roster (yeah I have a wide range of taste in games) but for what you’re getting straight out of the box, it’s definitely the best mini classic console on the market.  I really hope there is a Dreamcast Mini in our future. – NVJ

SEGA Genesis Mini is now available for $99.99 CAD 

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