The upcoming Sega Genesis Mini features solid emulation of several classics, courtesy of M2.
The Sega Genesis Mini may be in the shadow of the NES and SNES Classic, but it is the mini retro console that appeals to me the most. While I wasn’t alive during the system’s heyday, I still have fond memories of playing my dad and uncle’s systems as a kid. I am also very interested in gaming history, and Sega has not been shy about re-releasing their classics in recent years, so I was excited by the wide breadth of the Sega Genesis Mini’s lineup.
After receiving a system early, courtesy of Sega, I’ve had fun unboxing the Sega Genesis Mini, plugging it in, and experiencing great emulation of both classic Genesis games as well as some lesser-known titles. It may not be a revolutionary as the NES Classic was at its release, but you should keep your eye on it if you have a lot of nostalgia for the Sega Genesis or Mega Drive.
The packaging the Sega Genesis Mini comes in alone is grin-inducing, as it is quite similar to the actual Sega Genesis box featuring Sonic the Hedgehog that I still have in good condition. Of course, it is much smaller than the original box but should still evoke memories of seeing it for the first time. After taking the Sega Genesis Mini out of the box, it becomes clear that a lot of work has been put into meticulously recreating the console in a miniature form.
Even though you, unfortunately, can’t use actual cartridges for the system, the console is shaped and designed nearly identically to the original. If the original console is just a bit too big to maintain a stable space on your shelf, the Sega Genesis Mini could serve as a solid stand-in. It would be a shame if that’s all you used it for though, as the Sega Genesis Mini grants you access to 42 Sega Genesis games that are all emulated quite well.
While I haven’t done any all-encompassing technical tests, the emulation from M2 on this console is much more solid than Sega fans may have come to expect from AtGames’ shoddy retro consoles. The decision to split away from AtGames for the production of the Sega Genesis Mini seems to have been the right one as I never ran into game-breaking slowdown or visual glitches, which was common on their previous collaborations. A little more info on each game in the system itself would’ve been appreciated, but the dates and short descriptions of the wide breadth of titles available on the system does paint a nice picture of the Genesis’ extensive game library. The games are modified to fit the chosen region as well, which is fun to mess around with if you are interested in regional differences between games.
Of course, a lot of the classics one would expect are here, though it is worth noting that some notable Genesis titles like Sonic the Hedgehog 3, NBA Jam, and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker are not included. All of the titles are pulled from the standard Genesis library, and Sega did a nice job of including obvious entries like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 alongside lesser-known or weirder titles like Landstalker or Virtua Fighter 2’s Genesis port. I have slowly been making my way through the console’s entire library, and no game seems to have gotten the short end of the emulation stick. It’s also exposed me to some Genesis games that I never played before, but are quickly becoming favorites.
Surprisingly, I had managed to never play Columns until this point, but I am now hooked on the game with the Sega Genesis Mini. There is a brand new Tetris game on the system as well, but Columns is the puzzle game that has garnered the most attention from me. Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole is another game that I didn’t know about before but have now been engrossed by. Some awkward controls aside, it is an ambitious action adventure game for the time with an interesting world and story. Of course, I have also spent ample time with the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Altered Beast, but I appreciate the signal boost the Sega Genesis Mini will be giving some more unknown games.
Not all the games themselves have aged incredibly well, but the Sega Genesis Mini’s game lineup is admirable. Players may be able to nitpick about a game or two that’s not available on the system, but a solid mix of popular and obscure titles should be exploring the contents of the Sega Genesis Mini interested for nostalgic fans and newcomers alike. M2’s emulation is very solid, and the system’s packaging and aesthetic are on point. If you have been waiting for the right time to dive into the Sega Genesis and everything it had to offer, the Sega Genesis Mini might be your best chance yet.