Review by Princess Lynaly

"A good solid machine."

The Sega Genesis was the most successful system Sega ever made. Forget Saturn and Dreamcast. This one actually lasted for a long time. It came out in 1989, two years before the almighty SNES, and it got a jump start on the 16 bit generation of games. With that said, the Genesis features much older technology than the SNES and the same game on both machines always looked better on the SNES.

Graphics:

Early Genesis games looked only slightly better than 8-bit. It could only display 74 colors on the screen at once and this pales compared to 256 from the SNES. As time went on, games got better looking but they still had a somewhat blandish look at times and for some reason, Genesis games tend to be grainy on anything except emulators. With the Sega CD, the Genesis could do some more effects favorable to the SNES but since the Sega CD relies on Genesis hardware to operate, there were still the limitations in color and the grainy look.

Sound:

It sounds a lot like an Ad-Lib gold or something else of the early nature for the PC. It doesn't really have digital or sampled instruments so the games sound like midi's on an old card with twangy effects and wierd screeching at times. In the right hands, games could sound good, but they were still scratchy and noisy compared to the top-notch sound on a Super Nintendo. Very expressive, or orchestral compositions are just not possible on the Genesis but were with the advent of Sega CD.

Control:

Depends on the game but the Genesis controller had far fewer buttons on it than the Super NES. It was also shaped like a boomerang and feels funny at times.

Appearance:

The 1989 model (the one I have) looks pretty cool with it's headset part and having the sliding tray CD add-on. The next model was made to be smaller and is even less in it's size than the Super NES. The third model doesn't look too different but doesn't feature a port for Sega CD. All models are black and they looked just a tad cooler than the SNES but that isn't important at all. Overall, this machine had a very appealing appearance.

Durability:

Controllers can wear out after a while but Genesis games are programmed to adjust to this. The machine feels a bit cheap, like if you drop it; you would break it. It's lighter than the SNES by a considerable margin. I've never dropped mine since you don't need to hold it when you're playing with it anyway. If you step on it, you'll surely crush it in if it's any one of the three models.

Games:

It was the games that made this thing compete so closely with the SNES. It had some pretty good games but not as many good ones as the SNES. There is a large portion of solid games that you will enjoy playing and it's worth it to find this machine cheap and get the good ones to relive or experience for the first time. Overall it has a decent library of games.

Add-ons:

It had the Sega CD, and the 32X. Neither were successful but the Sega CD had potential that was just never put to use. Get a Sega CD to play games like Lunar. The Master Converter allowed you to play Master System games on it. There was also the Sega Channel which allowed you to play games over a cable line and it was interesting. Too bad the SNES didn't have the same thing.

Overall:

A good machine with good games. If you don't have one, I encourage you to add it to your collection. It's dirt cheap now and that goes the same for most of the games. It's not as good as the Super Nintendo, but it's pretty close in the quality of games.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 09/15/01, Updated 04/07/02


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