We recently covered the release of the SEGA Mega Drive in SA, and after two weeks with the console, there are things that we hate, and things that we love about it. Sure, this console will never replace the Mega Drive console you had back in the day, and the whole experience feels a little dated at times, but it has that classic feel to it, which cannot be ignored.

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Classic Console (FB8200R-80) ID

SEGA Mage Drive Tech-Specs

Unfortunately the technical specifications of this console are not available to public. We however will list the things we are aware of:

Output RCA
Controllers Wireless/Infrared -AAA Batteries x 2
Cartridge Slot Yes – Region unlocked
Resolution 320×448
Sound Mono
Controller Port Yes – Classic Genesis/Mega Drive
Price R1499

Design

The console mimics the classic Genesis/Mega Drive console design. It is light and small compared to the box of the day. On top you will find the cartridge slot, which lets you plug in any old games you might have lying around your house, and play them. We could not test this out unfortunately, as we did not have one. On the front you will find a clear piece of plastic which is used to receive the infrared signal from the controllers. On the back, is the RCA port and power port. The device is mono audio only, so it is pretty basic in that regard.

Header

The controllers, like the console, also replicate the look of the classic. They take 2 x AAA batteries to operate, which are placed at the back. The controller unfortunately fails to impress and comes across as cheap. Buttons click and clack as you press them, and it just feels like there was very little design thought behind them. The infrared port on the controller constantly needs to face the console, so you’re used to the modern day comfortableness of the couch, then think again as you will be sitting up right, always pointing at the console. This in a way replicates the classic gaming days of wires.

Performance

The console has 80 built-in games, of which 30 of them are classic SEGA games which you will love and enjoy. The other games are just cushioned titles built-in to enlarge the library, nothing worth checking out really. Games in general run fairly well, and others not so well. Some of them lag due to poor emulation, and some run really smoothly. It took a while to get used to the controller in the games, and which buttons do what, but after some time, it’s like second nature.

39154-Sonic_the_Hedgehog_(USA,_Europe)-5

The device is only capable of outputting mono sound, which adds to the classic feel of the games, but it also brings the experience down as sound is muffled and at times distorted. The Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack is one of the best of its days, but the hardware does not do it justice. Saying that, gaming on the console feels dated, which is completely expected. This is not a PS4, it is a classic console, rebuilt to bring out those classic gaming moments. It is expected to feel a little drawn back by its slow games and flickering home screen, it all depends on how far you are willing to go to be nostalgic.

Verdict

There is a fine line between bringing back a classic experience, and trying to find nostalgia by abusing the past. The SEGA Mega Drive is sitting right on that line. Some might think that it is the greatest iteration of the console, while others will feel that it is too old school for them. If you were obsessed with the Mega Drive and classic games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Kombat, then this is perfect for you. If you are someone who would rather just download a classic collection on your PS3 or Xbox 360, then this is not for you. The SEGA Mega Drive needed its hardware to be perfect in order to replicate the classic experience, unfortunately the hardware fails to impress at times. This means you would need to find the love underneath all that, to make this a home console.

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SEGA Mega Drive Review
Great Built-In LibraryNostalgicDoes not Break the Bank
Performance IssuesCheap Design
75%Mediocre
Design68%
Performance 75%
Value for Money81%
Reader Rating 9 Votes
54%