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This area is dedicated to retro games and how best to enjoy and play them! Think of it as a snobby wine tasting, except with more prestigious pixel art and evocative 8-bit soundtracks, all safe from those rambunctious and vulgar casual-gamers, old boy.  xD

I would like to start this off with a couple of videos on how to get a crisp look on your old SD-based consoles in a HDTV world as well as show some exciting new technologies that can possibly enrich your retro experience.

Thoughts? Opinions? Advice?

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Well it's safe to say that Retro Game Consoles range up from the very beginning with Pong and such all the way up to I'd say PS2/GC/Original Xbox, now considering that we have the Xbox One and PS4 we could count the 360, PS3, and Wii. For Portables we should count those all the way up to the PSP and Nintendo DS, so yeah the GBA would count as Retro.

I mean that's how I view it, Retro just means anything that has some age to it that isn't very recent. I do however know of a site that does articles regarding mainly retro games that you guys might know of.

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/

This site has TONS of articles regarding video games from well known to obscure, and they make their own series of books containing interviews with several different developers and creators, this site gave me a list of games I had no idea about as well as the most obscure of games. How else do I know about all these various games, this site helped a lot. xD

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  • 2 months later...

https://www.youtube.com/user/ReplayBurners/about

This channel and others under the Replay Burners line are Japanese Youtube Pages (as far as I can tell) that focus on multiple different games, the main channel right here focuses on Arcade Games that can be played on MAME, I'd say check them out with their other channels they are great, skilled playthroughs of some of the best or toughest of Arcade Games.

Considering I call myself Mike Arcade, me linking this channel is rather fitting. :P 

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I still have my NES, SNES, Gamecube, and Wii, and enjoy dusting them off from time to time. I also snagged my brother's old Gameboy Color when he abandoned it. If "retro" games include those from before the current generation of consoles, then that's all I play, since the most advanced consoles I have are a Wii and a X-Box 360.

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15 hours ago, TheRedAuthar said:

I got a snes-remake console.  Been trying to play a lot of the old Super Nintendo games.  Sadly while quite a few are great, many so called classics are well....underwhelming 

I still think A Link To The Past was the best of the series, up until Twilight Princess came out.

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  • 3 months later...

I was thinking about making a Sega Classic topic, but I think making this post here is a much better idea.
 


So recently, as in today as of this post Sega Forever finally kicked in, that being a mobile service that does what Sega usually does best, port the crap out of their old games. XP

Here's the kicker though, it's for Mobile (Android and iOS) Phones and Such AND all the games are Free with Adds. That being you can buy off the games for about 2 US dollars for most games and 5 for something like Crazy Taxi and get the adds off of the ports. That being said each month they'll be a number of Classic Games from apparently all Sega Consoles ever made which according to the trailer here includes Saturn and Dreamcast Games. So far the first wave here it out now and is rather standard.

We got a new re-release of Sonic 1 (THANKFULLY it's still the Christian Whitehead Port, only with adds if you never bought it before) with Crazy Taxi Classic (Same Port as before, only with adds) and New Emulated Ports of Altered Beast, Phantasy Star II, Kid Chameleon, and Comix Zone.

The two new ports of Sonic 1 and Crazy Taxi play like how they did before, though the adds are more obnoxious with 30 second video adds after every gameplay menu selection but doesn't effect you when playing the game itself. However I think these ports when you buy away the adds are now cheaper then when they first came out, I mean Crazy Taxi was originally like 8 to 11 US dollars when it came out and to get adds of you only gotta pay 5, that's a VERY good deal if I may say.

I checked out the new ports all but Phantasy Star II, Altered Beast plays just about right, Kid Chameleon has some framerate issues, with Comix Zone's framerate suffering the most. Apparently there's some sound issues as well but I didn't notice anything myself, for the new ports the team doing this does have some kinks to iron out which isn't a surprise, but for 2 to 3 dollars to play it add free and offline is a nice deal.

So if you didn't get Sonic 1 and Crazy Taxi before I'd highly recommend you get the ports and buy off those adds, if you already have the releases before Sega Forever then you don't need to get them. All the other ports however I'd say wait until they are updated and fixed before you buy off the adds, Well unless you already have the games on anything else really, I think it's a nice thought for Sega to do this but they're new ports have some issues they need fixing, they're not the M2 3DS ports that's for sure.

Just a few more notes to say here, Sonic 1's new release lacks any achievements unlike the original Taxman Port, Sonic CD has gone missing today strangely enough which is sad, and for this first wave of games here I gotta say it's a pretty nice selection. I mean Kid Chameleon is a bit standard but still a fun game, Phantasy Star II is a great RPG, and I love Comix Zone. Altered Beast however I'm getting sick of seeing as they are STILL using the Genesis/Mega Drive Version rather then the Arcade Version, even M2 when making their Sega 3D Classics on the 3DS ported that over then the Arcade Original. I know that was a pack in for the original Genesis back in 89' but still this is ridiculous. Altered Beast is a decent game and all but the Arcade Game looks so much better and it's not like the Console Version added anything extra either. It's still mind boggling to me.

Edit: So I found this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Forever

This service could expand to other platforms with games coming out every 2 weeks, it'll also determine which series could make a comeback (SO BUY EVERY GAME OF STREETS OF RAGE, SHINOBI, AND GOLDEN AXE WHEN THEY COME OUT) so that's nice. They're also going with some obscure and originally japan only games too like Girl's Garden, Yuji Naka's first game.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/12/2017 at 9:19 PM, F07E said:

*obligatory star-fox 2 was good and should have been finalised post*

*obligatory star-fox 2 is getting released after a 22 year hiatus, apparently*

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/27/15879656/star-fox-2-release-nintendo-snes-classic

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-06-26-why-star-fox-2s-release-on-snes-mini-is-such-a-big-deal

just found that out about a month later than expected, I wonder how many fan artists are kicking themselves now that they revealed fay is taller than miyu.

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  • 6 months later...

You can play SNES games in HD with a Super Nt...

Play SNES classics in the HD resolution of memory with the Super Nt

According to the article, the Mt is NOT an emulator.

Quote

A ‘modern SNES’? What does that entail? If you know Analogue’s past work, you know it essentially means building a custom FPGA processor that can play actual original SNES and SFC cartridges as they were intended to be played – not using emulation, the typical means these days of recreating classic gaming experiences on modern hardware.

Super Turrican: Director’s Cut is in included and Super Turrican 2 is coded into the console itself.

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  • 9 months later...

Finally got time to play Resident Evil Outbreak on PlayStation 2, all on a CRTV I bought in a yard sale . Brought me back to my childhood. There is some unique aesthetic to the CR that really brings out the PS2’s graphics and not just in resolution, the colors seem more rich and the image less flat. Retrogames just look like blown up mud on a HD without something like a framemiester.

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There is a very noticeable blur if you try using a Retro Console on an LCD TV. At least to Retro Enthusiasts it's very noticeable.

Haven't really had the time to play any games lately, but the other day I did play some Perfect Dark's 360 Port. FINALLY got a grip on how to play it too. It really is one of the best FPS games out there and I'd love to have a PC port of it some day. I say that as Microsoft's Console Market while overall successful it doesn't seem likely they'll stick around for another Console Gen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Way cool video! Thanks for sharing. For whatever reason, I cannot download it though >.<

 

On 12/9/2018 at 8:14 PM, Mike Arcade said:

This is a retro game appreciation topic after all. XP

Although regarding Sonic perhaps there should be an in general game discussion for Sonic games.

Yes, and that's a retro game I still appreciate ;D

{Edit: BTW, my S3 + S&K "Boss Guide" is still up at Tripod}

 

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  • 5 months later...

http://genesismini.sega.com/
http://megadrivemini.sega.com/
https://sega.jp/mdmini/titlelist.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Genesis_Mini

Okay everyone, we officially got the run down on all the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Mini titles for this console. (Which is a much better deal than the dwindling priced PS Classic we got last year)

I gotta say, we got a pretty good list of games overall in the US and PAL regions. Although those of you expecting to have a lot of Sonic games are to be sorely mistaken...but I don't mind that at all. It's a Sega Genesis Mini, not a Sega Sonic Mini. XP

Of course, Japan with it's Mega Drive Mini got a lot more Shmups and RPGs than us. But each game in both versions of the collection you can tell have been carefully picked, especially compared to say the AtGames cheap compilation console that's been out for a few years now. Each game has significance to the console and it's success, although Virtua Fighter 2 for the Genesis to me is a HORRIBLE choice that any other game should have taken it's place. I'd seriously trade that game in with Alien Soldier or MUSHA, it's not that it's a bad game but still a poor blunder on their part. Especially since it's been in just about every compilation since 2005.

Other than that, great choices all around. Fun fact, Ghouls n' Ghosts' Genesis Port was developed in-house by SEGA. Which is probably why we got it, not to mention that both it and Strider were vastly popular when they came out on it. Some games of course like Alisia Dragoon and Super Fantasy Zone are hidden gems within the consoles Library. Though I can't forget to mention that having Mega Man: The Wily Wars and Monster World IV are great choices as they weren't released in the US. Wily Wars DID come out on the SEGA Channel for a time while MWIV got a Virtual Console and 360 Release. Castle and World of Illusion are a great surprise to see due to Disney's licensing, was not sure if they would show up but it's great to have them in.

Now, the last two games on the collection is gonna cause a lot of head scratching. Those games being Darius and Tetris, which seem like out of left field for a lot of people.

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/06/mega_drive_mini_port_of_darius_is_totally_new_and_not_based_on_fan_work_says_sega

The port of Darius in this collection is actually a brand new port developed by M2, the team working on this Mini Console. While Kotaku (who are pretty shifty to say the least) claim that there is a connection between this and a fan made port, I sincerely doubt that. M2 made an arcade port of sorts for Fantasy Zone II, these guys would never skip out on hard work. If anything, they probably look similar due to using the same sprite assets of the Arcade Original. Although due to M2 being game developing wizards, it looks a lot more cleaner than the fan's very admiral shot in making his own port. I'd put my doubts on such claims, but make it what you will.  If anything, it is possible they could have hired the guy and brought what he did over, but that's speculation on my part. I wouldn't put it pass M2 to recruit someone that shares a passion the devs have, but if so than it just makes it even better. The only question is why make a port of Darius? Perhaps it's because Darius II is on the Genesis, but if so why not include the sequel's port? Although I'm willing to bet it's probably because of Darius' own popularity in Japan, however it may be.

Tetris on the other hand is a much similar story. It's a port that was developed years ago but was never released due to the rights of Tetris being in a weird limbo back then. In fact what very few copies of Tetris on the Genesis/Mega Drive came out fetch for a lot money and is one of the rarest games on the console. It was ported way back in Japan on the SEGA AGES Tetris Collection, and while the ROM has been around online it's nice to finally have this come out everywhere.

So , what do you think of the games we're getting on here? Let us know your thoughts. Don't forget, Genesis Does! XP

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  • 3 months later...

Welcome to the next level! The Sega Genesis Mini came out with high praise. Also that speculation about the fan port of Darius I had was correct, M2 hired him and worked on the port with them.

Does anyone have the Genesis Mini or would like to own one? If you do have it, any thoughts?

Personally, I think they should have made the European version of it with some region exclusive games. Mutant League Football and Decap Attack I heard are quite popular in the UK. Also we got gipped with Virtua Fighter 2's Genesis port being tacked on there. Literally we could have had a much better game replace it, like MUSHA, Revenge of Shinobi, or Alien Soldier. All three of which are in other regional versions of the Mini.

Otherwise, with Mega Man, Monster World IV, and a bunch of other classics that we have I'd say it's one of the best mini consoles to date! Here's looking forward to more good mini consoles. *Que TurboGrafx-16 Mini in 2020*

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  • 8 months later...
8 hours ago, MoKat said:

Yes, and my Genesis 3 is still hooked up to it ;)

I bought a symphonia and have a PS2, Wii, my old N64, a SNES, and Dreamcast for it. I collect retro games and play them with my special needs outreach group I codirect. Older games seems to be much better for their socialization goals than newer online ones, especially games like Perfect Dark, F-Zero, and Mario Party. 
 

I love the warm color look of CRTV’s. I really hope the technology will have some form of niche future for its unique aesthetic. You think they’ll ever have a market for retro gamers? There is demand for them in the design and art world as well.

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/11/2020 at 11:32 AM, Mike Arcade said:

The Namcot Collection is being released world wide as Namco Museum Archives Vol. 1 and 2. For Clarification, these are the console NES Namco games

 I think there are a lot of "Collections" that keep coming out of classic games, and I understand the appeal, and how they preserve these games for history.  However, I think what Nintendo has done in Mario-Maker is a better roadmap for preserving these games in a living, relevant fashion. It's so much fun to be able to re-contextualize these past games, as if they were still making sequels or getting forms of sudden DLC/bugfixes. I think the Minecraft Pac man is also a fun way to keep these retrogames fresh and is the most extreme example of recontexualization I have seen in official development material, mixing two games people feel nostalgia to synthesize a whole new experience out of their respective past fundamentals. Sonic Mania of course is another rich example, as it brings us back to Sonic's Genesis days, reviving forgotten characters, and that Sonic CD-animated feel in a whole new story (without dissonant emo hedgehogs with guns 😝).  For years there have been ROM hacks in our community so we can relive the old Sega days with fresh perspective and affect. The irony I see in all this is that Nostalgia is not truly fulfilled without, what's been recently coined by the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows as Yu-yi,  the longing to feel an experience intensely again. Without changing things up, nostalgia fades into more of an phantom-pain than a pleasurable past-time, with it we can essentially live the past again to the fullest, and for as long as we like. We should embrace the new than can forever be found in the old, conservation and progress are not mutually exclusive, especially to creative minds. Inversely, I think people try slap some "edge" to a lot of stuff in their life that feels stale, for example Shadow The Hedgehog. I think the divide between the fusty, it-can't-be-different preservationalism and edgy antitheticalism, only diminishes the ultimate fundamentals of games we love, and forgets why we found them valuable.

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@TheRedStranger I'd like to point out that in the above collection, the devs who ported it made brand new retro games/ports of older and existing games (Galpus and Pac-Man Championship Edition). M2 has been doing this lately since the Sega Genesis Mini with their ports of Tetris and Darius. It seems to me that with mostly every re-release, we now have new added content kinda like DLC as you alluded too. Speaking of bug fixes, the Aladdin/The Lion King Pack that came out last year has a Final Mix version of Aladdin with said bug fixes. The Kunio & Double Dragon Collection also has updated versions of their NES games that run a lot better compared to the originals too.

From what's been going on in gaming lately, there has been this great resurgence that doesn't just package retro games or games based off such classics. Rather, we're getting new experiences alongside classics from developers that go above and beyond to give the fans more. No one asked for a new Port that's a bit more accurate to the arcade versions of Gradius and Salamander on the TurboGrafx-16 Mini, yet here we are. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/29/2020 at 1:29 PM, Mike Arcade said:

From what's been going on in gaming lately, there has been this great resurgence that doesn't just package retro games or games based off such classics. Rather, we're getting new experiences alongside classics from developers that go above and beyond to give the fans more. No one asked for a new Port that's a bit more accurate to the arcade versions of Gradius and Salamander on the TurboGrafx-16 Mini, yet here we are.

If there was a retro game you would like to see get this treatment - what would it be?

@Mike Arcade

@Wulfsbane

@MoKat

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Where do I start? I'd like to see Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons get the same treatment Link's Awakening got recently. Same goes for Kirby's Dream Land 2 as that was suppose to have a GBC update years ago, but never got made. May I also mention how long I've wanted a Metroid Fusion Remake? Because it deserves one. Considering how eerie that setting is.

I should mention that there are two, separate fan games in the works that are remaking Sonic Chaos and Sonic Triple Trouble in the style of of the 16-bit games. But I would like to see the same treatment done for the Master System/Game Gear versions of Sonic 1 and 2, the latter being an entirely separate game.

There's any of the original Game Boy games of Mega Man, specifically Mega Man V with the Stardroids (Whose Manga adaption of the game is one of the best adaptions of any game ever), and I'd love to see something similar to the HD Remake of Rayforce, only for Thunder Force V.

Honestly, there are like a ton more. As for demake ports, it's hard for me to say. Although I would like M2 to remake Space Harrier II as they originally wanted to do so for the Sega Arcade Board used to remake Fantasy Zone II. I hope they can do that one day, if they still want to. If I can think of any more I can post some more on here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/7/2020 at 5:06 PM, TheRedStranger said:

If there was a retro game you would like to see get this treatment - what would it be?

Heh, I don't know where to begin...

*thinks*

I still have Shining in the Darkness & Gargoyles for the Genisis, so it could be cool to see what they can do with those games.

On 7/29/2020 at 12:29 PM, Mike Arcade said:

Speaking of bug fixes, the Aladdin/The Lion King Pack that came out last year has a Final Mix version of Aladdin with said bug fixes. The Kunio & Double Dragon Collection also has updated versions of their NES games that run a lot better compared to the originals too.

I approve of that :)

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  • 7 months later...

Ever since the tail end of last year to the start of this year, I've managed to finally obtain two of those ever famed Mini Consoles that are all the rage. Not the Nintendo Classics (yet), but 2019's Sega Genesis Mini and 2020's Turbografx-16 Mini! Both consoles which, in their own way in Japan and Internationally, dethroned Nintendo's monopoly on Console Gaming. This paved the way for the Playstation and Xbox consoles that have continued to this very day!

 

Both Sega and Konami released these Minis to catch lightning in the bottle that Nintendo left behind. Both are successful in their own ways and are highly sought after (and expensive) in the off market.

 

So why review both? Because the software developer of both Minis are M2, a very talented company who make great games and ports. One of the best in the business in ports and emulation, no one else could have done these Minis better. Hence why both are getting this special treatment. Are both Minis worth buying? Find out now as I give you a hands on review of Nintendo's first true competitors.

 

Sega Genesis & Turbografx-16 Mini Review

 

Synopsis: The Genesis Mini is styled after the Model 1 Genesis, complete with two three button controllers. Outside of the US it's called the Mega Drive Mini, though the Japan and Asia version can come with either one or two 6 Button controllers. You can however buy a 6 Button USB/Bluetooth/Wireless controller from Retrobit.

 

The Turbografx Mini as I call it (called the PC-Engine Mini in Japan and CoreGrafx Mini in Europe) comes with one Turbo Controller which has switches above both buttons up to two speeds for rapid fire attacks or shots. For those that don't know, it's much like the NES controller. The Japanese equivalent has one controller, but does not have Turbo switches. You can get officially licensed PCE Turbo Controllers from Hori, as well as a Multitap from them for games that support up to 5 Players. Yes, the TG16 Mini has Five Player Games! 8bitdo does have Wireless, USB connection alternatives as well.

 

Game List: If I'd review collection games, this is where it would go. However, for this special case, I have to link the Wikipedia articles like so.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Genesis_Mini

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/TurboGrafx-16_Mini

 

Why do something so apparently lazy? Because the Genesis Mini has over 42 Games, and the Turbografx Mini has over 57. That's over 100 titles too long to list on this post! But I will tell you this, even though the US and EU versions of the Minis look different, game wise they are identical in every way. Only certain regional differences apply to Sega's Mini Console. Bit of a missed opportunity, especially on the Genesis Mini as that could have had some great European picks to make it different from the US.

 

Also, not only does Japan have some exclusives on its Mega Drive Mini, so does its Asia Region counterpart! I'll go into some details on the best (English language friendly) games from those versions later.

 

Sadly, the PC-Engine Mini has only one exclusive that you don't need Japanese to understand, but I'll get to that later as well.

 

Greatest Hits: For this section, I'm going to list off at least 10 or so games for both the Genesis and Turbografx Mini you need to check out. These are the must play games, ones I can't recommend enough. Some of these may have been ported before or multiple times. Either way, check them out any way you can.

 

Sega Genesis Mini

 

Sonic 1 & 2 - It's mandatory I put these here. Do I need to add anything about these two? If you're on this site, you've either checked out, played, or already own these games. Sonic put the Genesis on the map and single handedly pushed back Nintendo and their Italian Plumber internationally.

 

Sonic 1 is in every version of the mini console except in Japan, while Sonic 2 is on every version. For beginners I can recommend Sonic 2 over Sonic 1, but don't ignore the original either. No matter what, these are must play games, especially for you Sonic Fans. XP

 

Streets of Rage 2: One of...possibly the best Beat em' up ever made! SOR2 brought in bigger sprites compared to the original and an excellent, club/dance inspired soundtrack by famed game composer Yuzo Koshiro. With four varied, iconic characters and great visuals this is a must play. Check out the long awaited 4th entry now on current consoles!

 

Golden Axe: The classic Arcade Hack n' Slash from Sega. Play as a Barbarian, Amazon, or Dwarf like in D&D to get revenge against the tyrant Death Adder. With powerful Magic, an arena Duel Mode, and one extra level for this port, it's a classic during the Genesis' humble beginnings.

 

Columns & Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (Puyo Puyo): The premier Puzzle games of the Mini Console. The former is one of the first Genesis games, the latter is the first of a long running series that Sega later owned. 

 

Mean Bean Machine is one of two games to have Sonic Characters from the DiC Cartoons in it (Spinball is the other one, which is on the Genesis Mini). Both are great games in their own right with excellent music and visuals. Couldn't choose between the two. Though Puyo Bean Machine is not as balanced as its sequels, it's still great to check out. Switch the language of the console to Japanese to play Puyo Puyo!

 

Columns is very underrated and I would love to see a comeback. It's simple tic tac toe color matching is simple and easy to get into. Plus, it's ancient visuals and classic-like music are excellent. We need more Columns Sega.

 

If you want more details on how Puyo Puyo (Mean Bean Machine) works, as well as a bit of Tetris, check out my review of Puyo Puyo Tetris here: 

Wonder Boy in Monster World (Wonder Boy V: Monster World III): This entry in the Wonder Boy/Monster World/Monster Boy Series (long story) follows the chosen warrior Shion, a blue hair kid who tasks himself to free Monster World from evil.

 

This Action RPG Platformer is similar to say Zelda II, only much better. You slay Monsters and collect gold as you find stuff to buy, hearts to increase your health, items and friends to help you along the way. With a variety of different locations, good visuals, and a great soundtrack I'd highly recommend it. Check out the latest entry, Monster Boy & The Cursed Kingdom out now on all current consoles!

 

Gunstar Heroes: One of the first games by Treasure, this Run n' Gun is famous for its incredible parallax scrolling and programming trickery to show off many cool effects. A great soundtrack, several different weapons, and tons of bosses. This game is great be it solo or with a friend. Check out the other Treasure games on the Genesis Mini!

 

Contra Hard Corps & Castlevania Bloodlines: The late Sega entries in these famous series from Konami. Contra offers some crazy bosses and multiple playable characters with different weapon sets. It's Japanese version has a health bar which will make the game somewhat less difficult, alongside unlimited continues and cheat codes. But the US and EU version (Probotector) are not as kind. With branching paths and multiple endings, this game is a must for Contra and Gunner fans.

 

Also, there's a rom patch for those who use emulators to add back in the hit points and cheats on the US/EU version. Just thought I'd mention it if you want HP and the game in English.

 

Castlevania offers a new setting years after the Belmont's time stars John Morris (related to Quincy Morris from the Bram Stoker Novel, similar events happen in this canon) who wields the Belmont's Vampire Killer and Eric Lacarde who uses the Alucard Spear handed down by its namesake to his family. They must stop Elizabeth Bartley and take down a resurrected Dracula. Both characters use their weapons and play differently from each other. From John's Whip Swing to Eric's High Jump, you'll find a new way to tackle new and old enemies. Also, the game has a password system so you can continue where you left off. 

 

It's US/EU (subtitled The New Generation) version is slightly more difficult than its Japan original (Vampire Killer), but not to a noticeable degree. All versions are in English too, so no matter what you'll have a great time.

 

Both games are great Konami games and are worth checking out, especially if you're fans of each respective series. Both are some of their best entries, don't miss out.

 

Also, to get the full ending for Bloodlines you must beat Expert Mode. As per 90's Konami tradition of locking the ending away on its last difficulty. XP

 

Shinobi III (The Super Shinobi II): The hit sequel to Revenge of Shinobi and 3rd Shinobi title on the Genesis. Joe Musashi once more must take out a new incarnation of Zeed. It has all the great platforming and action of the last game, plus a good dash attack, dive kick, and wall jumping! Playable on many systems, this Super Shinobi is one you don't want to miss.

 

Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition (Street Fighter II' Plus): Late to the party compared to Nintendo and their tricky contracts, this port did not disappoint. You get two versions for the price of one, and go at speeds even crazier that SFII Turbo's Arcade Original! Some would complain about the graphics and music not being that good compared to the SNES, but I think they match their rival console. This is one of three games on the Mini that makes having a 6 button controller completely worth it.

 

If you use emulators, there are sound, color, and game patches made by fans that improve this great port and make it even better. Now remember, SNES fans had to buy SFII twice to get what this game had to offer. ;)

 

Thunder Force III: Had to top it off with a shmup, and TFIII is one of the best on the system. The sequel to the cool but difficult 2nd game, this entry is where the series found its footing. Use the Fire Leo 03 Styx and take down the Orn Empire and its battleship Cerberus. With 5 weapons you can collect and select, adjustable ship speed, and nice Genesis synth, give this pretty challenging game a go. Highly recommended, and lean forward at the start of the Hades level. You'll thank me later.

 

Turbografx-16 Mini

 

Splatterhouse: The horror themed Namco Arcade Classic. Play as Rick as you wear the Terror Mask to save your girlfriend. This game has some very grotesque monsters, but it all looks really cool like out of an 80's movie. It's a tough but good side scroller that's worth to go through. It's also probably the reason why this Mini got an M/PEGI 18 Rating. XD

 

Blazing Lazers (Gunhed): This Shooter published by Hudson Soft, but developed by Compile (of Zanac, Aleste, and Puyo Puyo fame) shows off the first of MANY good shmups that this console has to offer. 

 

In this Vertical STG, you play as the Gunhed Star Fighter. Your mission is to take down the aliens known as the Dark Squadron. 

 

You have 4 incredible weapons, along with alternate versions should you pick up the "F" sub weapon. Collect more of the same weapon you have to power up your weapons. You also have other sub weapons like Homing Missles, Multi Bodies (Drones), and a Shield to take extra hits. Without a Shield, any time you take a hit it downgrades your main weapon until you have the basic shot. This game uses checkpoints, unless you pick up a glowing purple orb (shoot the roulette power ups until it does so) that will turn your ship life icon gold, allowing you to continue on the fly for one life. You can also adjust the speed of your ship by pressing select. Not to mention the bombs you have to heavily damage enemies and clear bullets in its path. Should you grab the same type of sub weapon, you gain an extra bomb as well. 

 

The game can get pretty tough, especially once you reach the 4th stage. There is plenty to blast away in its 9 Stages, a pretty long game for a shmup as per Compile Tradition.

 

Clearly there's a lot going on here for what many would say is a "simple arcade shooter". It's one of the best on the console, and Hudson would use it as the basis for every Star Soldier sequel on the TG16/PCE. Highly recommended.

 

Military Madness (Nectaris): I wanted to add some good variety on this list, something for everyone. Military Madness is a simple but fun turn based tactics game similar to say Advance Wars. You move out your soldiers, tanks, and more through hexagon based grid to either destroy all your enemies or capture the enemy base. With 32 levels to go through, despite its simplicity compared to other Tactics games, it's worth checking out. Best of all, you and a friend can try and outwit each other! Hence the recommendation.

 

New Adventure Island: The 4th Entry in the Adventure Island Series. Master Higgins (Takahashi in Japan) must rescue the local villagers and his new wife Tina from Baron Bronski. 

 

Much like the first game, it's a Arcade Platformer where you must run forward and reach the goal. You have a stamina timer that you can fill up by picking up fruit, if you run out you die. 

 

One button jumps, the other allows you to use your picked up weapon. Hold the 2nd Button down to run faster. Your weapons consists of axes, boomerangs, arrows, and more! You also die in one hit, but you can pick up a skateboard for an extra hit and more speed.

 

It can be a challenging game, but it's still a fun time and if you want a fast pace platformer you can't go wrong.

 

R-Type: "Blast off and strike the evil Bydo Empire!" This phrase marks the top right corner of the title screen, and sums up the story pretty well. The horrific Bydo have set their sights on Earth, and it's up to the pilot of the R-9A Arrowhead to take them down in a last ditch effort to save the Earth.

 

You have a standard shot by default, but you can hold down the 2nd button for the charge shot called the Wave Cannon. Collect the first crystal to obtain the Force Pod. It's the essential weapon needed to beat the game. You can fire it out at any time and reattach it at your leisure in the front or back of your ship with the 1st Button. Afterwards, you can upgrade your Force twice with one of 3 different Laser Crystals. A Red Forward Laser, which turns into a double helix fully powered up. Blue Triple Lasers that bounce along walls. Then Yellow Double Lasers that shoot up and down, then track along the ground & ceiling. Best of all, you can upgrade with any crystals so you don't need to collect the same power up twice like other shooters.

 

You also have other pick ups, like Speed Ups, Homing Missles, and Bits that hover above then below for further defense.

 

This Horizontal Shmup created an iconic series with many sequels and spin offs, this port is very near the Arcade Version in terms of accuracy. Granted this can be a very challenging game, some say too hard but I'd disagree. You can get through the first 3 to 4 levels well enough Once you get to the 5th and 6th stage, you'll be put to the test as you watch the patterns and layouts of the stages. But the challenge, music, and strange enemies keep you going.

 

It's a great game, and I can't recommend it enough. You can also play it's remake/port on Steam and PS4 under R-Type Dimensions EX. Also, the newest entry in the series, R-Type Final 2 came out in April! Check them out.

 

PC Genjin (Bonk's Adventure) & Bonk's Revenge: Every Console back in the day needed a Mascot. Nintendo had Mario, and later on Sega had Sonic. Hudson gave it a go with PC Genjin, better known outside Japan as Bonk. He's a cavekid with a VERY thick skull. King Drool the T-Rex has kidnapped and brainwashed his friends, along with Princess Za the Plesiosaur (and Bonk's girlfriend!?). So it's up to him to save the day! The Sequel follows up with Drool at it again with his own crew of Rogues, so Bonk's back to headbutt his foes once more.

 

The 2nd Button attacks with his gnoggin, while in the air let's him drop his big head on his foes. The 1st Button allows you to jump. You can also rapidly press the attack button in the air to basically hover as well. Jumping above enemies with Bonk also hurts them as well. 

 

In Bonk's Revenge you can wall kick by bashing Bonk's head against the wall...no I'm not kidding. The hover move also allows you better control as you can tell by the animation if Bonk is going to "head stomp" or land on his feet.

 

Both games are pretty fun platforms, even if they feel a little off. As in not as smooth or precise as Mario or Sonic. Also, the 1st game gets tough fast starting at Stage 3. You need a lot of careful timing and patience with the lengthy 5th and Final Stage. Bonk's Revenge is not as difficult, but will be challenging in its last three stages.

 

Bonk is an odd series of platforms. Hitting bosses can be a bit jank at times (more so in the first game), but there's enough quality to these games to make up for any shortcomings. Also, if you beat Adventure and play through Revenge, the sequel's ending ties up very well with the first game.

 

They are an acquired taste, and I'd recommend Bonk's Revenge over Adventure first. If you want to see what Hudson's TG16 Mascot has to offer, try these games out. He may have won the Bronze medal among Mascot Platformers, but Bonk is a Shiny Bronze Medal.

 

Bomberman '93 & '94: While Bonk (and his future counterpart Zonk) served as Hudson's Mascot for the TG16, there's no doubt that Hudson's de facto Company Mascot was the loveable robot Bomberman.

 

The 2D Bomberman games are quite simple puzzle maze affairs. You start with one, droppable bomb with a set timer. You blow up blocks and enemies while you try to collect power ups like more bombs, more fire power, and others like the ability to kick bombs. Don't forget the extremely useful Bomb Line to set a row of as many bombs you have collected. Then there's the remote bomb that allows you active the bombs at any time.

 

Bomberman 94 introduces Kangaroo-like creatures called Louies, who offer an extra hit of protection and have different abilities. Such as kicking blocks away, bombs over blocks, jump over blocks, dash along the ground at extreme speed, and even Dance! They really spice up both the single and battle games.

 

Your goal for the single player games vary. In 93 you must destroy all the enemies while trying to find the goal post. In 94 you have to destroy the green lamps to obtain stone pieces of a tablet. After several levels and collected power ups, you fight a boss at the end of each world.

 

The story for both games are rather simple as you control the main Bomber known as White Bomberman, who we'll call Shiro for short. 93 has Black Bomberman (we'll call him Kuro) stolen several chips for an important super computer, it's up to Shiro to bring him down and get the chips back. 94 introduces a long recurring villain known as Bagura who with his artifical comet and Robot Army, split Shiro's world to 5 pieces. It's up to Bomberman to collect stone relics that can restore the planet and face off against the mad scientist.

 

Of course, while that can be fun, we all know everyone is about the multi-player. With an adapter and more controllers (sold separately), you can play with up to 5 Players!  Something that is exclusive to the TG16 Bomberman games, whereas most later entries have up to 4 Players. You can select different stages with a variety of gimmicks, as well as set up which Bombers are players or computers. Also, there's the skull icon, which serves as a random, but usually hazardous effects. Bombers that touch others also become infected. Effects can range from near-uncontrollable speed, slowing you down and reduce bomb power, to reversing controls.

 

Bomberman 94 has more multi-player options, aside from adding Louies. Such as different Bomberman character skins, and a tag team mode!

 

Needless to say, these Bomberman games offer a lot, especially with your friends. Easily the best multi-player games on the TG16 Mini, highly recommended. 

 

You can also play the latest entry in the series, Super Bomberman R, on all current consoles and PC.

 

Lords of Thunder (Winds of Thunder): Yes, it's another horizontal shooter, but this one is really unique! This is a bona-fide classic for the Turbografx/PC-Engine's CD add on, as are the next two games on this list. 

 

You play as Duran (Landis) the descendent of a legendary knight who must defeat the evil army of the sorcerer Deoric (Zaggart).

 

The Fantasy setting isn't the only thing that makes this different. For one you have a health bar! Granted, it's game over if you die, but before every stage you can buy more health, shields, bombs, and fire power. You have 4 different armors, each with their own shots and bombs made up of four elements, but using the different armors is all preference. I'd recommend the Water Armor to start off as it can fire behind you and is well rounded.

 

You can also use a sword if you are up close for some pretty good damage as well! Best of all however, is this game's soundtrack. Simply put, it is METAL. Some of the best hard rocking tunes in any game! I'd highly recommend you play this game, it can be difficult at first, but it's so fun to figure out and play.

 

Ys Book I & II: I've gushed about this game's remake before, but this first remake of the Japanese PC Classics still stands the test of time. One of the first games to be on a CD for Consoles, it's got recorded remixes, animated cutscenes, and voice acting! In English, the acting is actually good compared to others of its time.

 

The gameplay is like the later remake, only without vertical movement. But while it's bump based combat is very simple, it's effective and addicting. Simply put, play this game, the later remake, or both. Ys is a true classic that any retro gamer shouldn't miss out on.

 

For more details on the story and such, check out my review of this game's remake here: 

 

 

Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo (Castlevania: Rondo of Blood): This is the best Turbografx game ever made. The End.

 

...okay, maybe that statement alone isn't enough. This was for the longest time, one of the last Classic Castlevania games made before its sequel Sympathy of the Night came out and the Metroidvania style took over a majority of the series. But that's not a bad thing, nor was there any way at the time they could have topped Rondo of Blood.

 

In 1792, you play as the latest descendent in the Belmont Bloodline, Richter Belmont. Dracula has been revived and it's up to you to stop him. Also, you have to save 4 young women, one of whom is Richter's sweetheart Annette.

 

The gameplay is Classicvania at its finest, while you can't whip in multiple directions like in SCIV, you can whip the chain around by holding attack and moving the D-Pad. It's useful for the occasional annoying bat or fireball. You also have a backward somersault if you press jump twice, which is good for dodging boss attacks.

 

You also have another playable character that you can rescue, a young girl named Maria Renard, who has animals that can help her fight. She's the easy mode of the game with her faster movement, short but fast attack, slide for certain areas, and double jump.

 

Both Characters also have the Item Crash, which functions just like a shmup Bomb. Each Subweapon has one that costs a certain amount of hearts, and each are useful in their own ways.

 

What sets this Castlevania apart from any other is its multiple paths, which leads to new levels and bosses! You also gotta go to a few of these alternate levels to save two of the four ladies. But that just opens up even more replay value.

 

The soundtrack is amazing and iconic, the graphics are great and highly detailed, and there's so much to explore and see. It's original copy is highly sought after for a reason.

 

It's one of the best Castlevania games ever made, and I highly recommend you play it if you love platformers and games in general. I've played through it multiple times, it's that good.

 

It was on the Wii untranslated years ago (cutscenes aside, all the menus are in English), and was translated as an unlockable bonus in its 2.5D PSP Remake, Dracula X Chronicles. You can now get its translated version on the PS4 alongside SOTN. Play this when you can!

 

[This concludes the first post of this Mega Review. Check out the next part for some other great games. As well as a few duds. ]

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Noticeable Gems: These are games that aren't in the last topic due to how rare they are, have few to no ports anywhere else, or debuted for the first time on these Mini Consoles!  They're on the same level as the Greatest Hits to me, but I'll let you make the call on how good they are.

Sega Genesis Mini

Alisia Dragoon: This Fantasy Run n' Gun-like platformer sees you play as the titular Alisia, a young sorceress who seeks to avenge her father's death from the evil Baldour.

You use your thunder magic to destroy enemies, if you don't fire for a bit your lightning can sweep the screen with its charge attack. You can also enlist the help of your familiars. A Dragon, a Will O Wisp, a Griffin, and a Boomerang Lizard (yes, really). You can level up your magic and friends with hidden power ups throughout the first 7 levels. If a Familiar dies, they can be brought back should you find a revive power up. However, you only have one life and a limited number of continues.

While the game can be quite difficult, it's incredible art and music will leave you wanting more. Couldn't expect more from Game Arts, great devs who would later create the Lunar and Grandia games. The story and art of the game however was done by Gainax, an Anime studio with quite an insane legacy to say the least.

This game has only been re-released on the Genesis Mini, and this hidden gem is definitely worth checking out.

Road Rash II: It took the Genesis Mini for me to see how chaotic and awesome this Racer is. Drive across a few US States on a motorbike as you punch, kick, and occasionally club your way to victory. Play with or against a friend at the same time! A must play for any fan of driving and mayhem.

Castle & World of Illusion: These Disney games related by Sega really pushed sales for the Genesis, and are excellent platforms to boot. 

In Castle of Illusion, you play as Mickey Mouse as you try to save Minnie from the witch Mizrabel. In World of Illusion, Mickey and Donald Duck end up trapped in a box containing an entire world, they must work together to escape and defeat an evil magician.

Both play differently from each other, but have very solid controls. WoI has Co-Op so you and a friend can play together, or you alone can play as either Mickey or Donald.

Both games have a catchy soundtrack and look great, as expected from something with Disney at that time. While I like CoI a bit more, both games shouldn't be looked over and I'd recommend them.

Sega would later remake Castle of Illusion in 2013, which was delisted after some time. However, it was re-listed in 2020 and can be bought again on all consoles of that time, PC, and Android. Get it while you still can, as it's a fine remake.

Super Fantasy Zone: This Defender-like Cute em up was the last in the series before M2 remade Fantasy Zone II. It never originally made it to the US (though those in Europe got it) until it was released on the Wii in 2008.

In this colorful shooter, you once again play as Opa-Opa who must not avenge his father's death against the forces of Dark Menon. You go around, much like in Defender, destroying bases in each level. Once you do, you'll face a boss, then continue to the next stage. You can collect gold in order to buy power ups like different bombs or firepower, as well as extra lives.

Overall, while it can be a challenging game, it's very fun to play through. It's got good visuals and a nice soundtrack. I can recommend it even to those that don't normally play shooters.

Mega Man: The Wily Wars (Rockman: Mega World): This 16-bit Remake/Completion only came out in the US via the Sega Channel, a subscription based service to download games and demos via cable. This marks the first time it's been re-released in the US, whereas Europe got this game when it came out.

It comprises the first 3 games in the Classic Mega Man Series, only with a save feature included. Obviously, these games were rebuilt from the ground up, and a few sprite inconsistencies aside (like Mega Man's sprite compared to say other Robot Masters or Protoman) the game looks good. The music is pretty nice too, although it could have been better as most tracks don't compare to the NES originals. They could have been remixed far better considering some games on this list.

I will say that a few Bosses are balanced differently, such as Cutman who doesn't flinch when hit by your Buster. Making it a bit more difficult, whereas Fireman is a much easier Boss to take down. But such changes in enemies and weapons are few and far between.

Should you beat all 3 games on a save file, you'll access the Wily Tower. A mini game with brand new bosses and the ability to mix and match all 3 games weapons and items. It's a real treat that no Mega Man fan should miss out on.

On emulators, due to how the game originally used its save method, without an SRAM patch you couldn't actually save the game at all. So patching roms aside, this is the next best way to play this game.

However, Retrobit announced they will be re-releasing the game physically for the Genesis in a Collector's Edition. Check it out here: https://retro-bit.com/megaman-thewilywars/

Monster World IV: This classic from Westone and Sega was released in 1994, but never outside of Japan. While it did get an English Patch by fans, in 2012 M2 officially released it with an English Translation for the Wii and 360! Much to the excitement of fans in the west.

You play as Asha, a girl from a small village that hears spirits call out to her before embarking on a journey to become a noble warrior. You are then tasked by a Queen to save Monster World from a mysterious evil spreading throughout the land.

The game is far lighter on RPG elements compared to previous games, as in shops you buy and swap out Armor, Swords, and Shields. You don't have magic or attack items either, but you do have an upward and downward attack in the air. Early on, you gain a friend in a blue creature called a Pepelogoo, which will help you in several platforming sections and puzzles.

You do have collectibles in level related items, gold bars that can be traded for more gold, and collectable blue jewels that if you collect 10, gain an extra heart. However, unlike its prequels like Wonder Boy in Monster World, the game is very linear. Meaning if you don't find every jewel in a level, you can't get them ever again.

But every new armor does increase your health separately from the blue jewel health, but some jewels are hidden in a few very obtuse and unfair areas like behind a hidden door early on in the overworld. Such locations are few and far between, you should be able to find more than enough health for the end game.

The game itself is much more of an Action Platformer, with some truly beautiful sprite work fitting for a late era Genesis game. It's music is also very well composed, upbeat, and catchy. My only other gripe besides the linearity is the Frozen Pyramid level, with a labyrinthine maze as you collect items that must be put in the right order. Either take notes or use a guild for this Water Temple equivalent of OoT.

MWIV is quite different from previous entries, but not in a bad way. It's not that hard or easy, and is well designed overall. I'd highly recommend any Sega fan to play this incredible gem, especially if you're a fan of this series! There are plenty of good call backs from WBiMW that you can't miss out on.

Lastly, it's getting a remake called Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World in 2021, created by the original devs years later! Don't miss out. ;)

Darius: Exclusively released for the Genesis Mini, this is one of two "bonus games" added in for this Mini Console. Created by Hidicade as a fan made proof of concept, M2 brought him in and got the okay by Taito to complete it. Giving us not only an official new Genesis game, but possibly one of the best 16-bit ports around!

This classic shmup is about Planet Darius being attacked by Giant Alien Robot Fish (...just bare with me here) from the Belsar. It's up to the pilots of the Silver Hawk ships to stop them. This first entry I will admit can be rather difficult, and it's no different in this port.

You have two buttons for your main shot and another for your bombs. You'll need both to survive these corridors of enemies and collect power ups before you take on a variety of different bosses. It takes awhile to power up your weapons, as they go up to 3 tiers of weapons. You do have shields that can take up multiple hits, with further tiers allowing you to take more hits. However, if you die you lose every power up you've collected, which can make the late game very difficult.

After you beat a Boss, you are given a fork in the road to either lead you up or down, giving you multiple levels. No one playthrough is ever the same, unless you always take the same path. You have multiple endings as well, which are rather simple as this was the first entry.

What makes this an incredible port is not only the near accurate graphics and sound, but also the optional ways to play the game. You have Arcade Mode, Boss Rush Mode, and the choice between the 11 Bosses of the Arcade game, or the 26 Bosses just like in Super Darius for both Modes! All this with the game's screen size compressed down to one monitor compared to the three the Arcade Original used.

However, this game is not without its flaws. For one if you lose all your lives it's game over, no continues. This is accurate to the original version of Darius, but there can be such a thing as too accurate. I suppose it does encourage players to use the Mini's Save States and prevent much progress to those that rip the ROM for emulation, but still that's poor design. You are given an Easy Mode with the Blue Silver Hawk ship, which starts you off with stronger firepower and you get to keep your collected weapons after you die. Though this does make it so that your high score isn't saved.

The graphics are fine overall, though the strange bosses are the highlight of this game and series. The music is pretty good, but a little odd and may not be everyone's cup of tea. Later entries would get even better compared to the original, and while the first Darius may not be casual friendly it's still a good game overall. It truly is for those shmup fans who want a challenge, and I'd like for you to try this game out.

I can easily recommend the sequels, which can be a challenge, but are much easier to get into with better music and crazier graphics (and continues). You can play the first 3 arcade games in the Darius Cozmic Collection for the PS4 and Switch, along with other Console Versions and games as a separate download or bundle. For PS4, Vita, and Steam is Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviors, which has tons of bosses, levels, and cool DLC guest stars for Shmup Fans! If you find them on sale I'd recommend you'd check them out.

Also, be sure to watch out for Darius Cozmic Revelation for the PS4 and Switch. This will have an HD port of G Darius by M2 and an updated version of Dariusburst called Another Chronicle EX+. It's certainly a good time to be a fan of this weird series. XP

One more thing, an upgraded port of this game based on the Extra Version is coming out physically for the Genesis by Limited Run Games, check it out here: https://store.strictlylimitedgames.com/collections/darius/products/darius-extra-version-mega-drive-game-preorder

It does have 3 Continues for you to use in that version, along with three modes of play based on the different arcade variations. So if you really liked what you played then I can recommend it for Genesis and budding Shooter Fans.

Tetris: Back in the late 80's, Sega got the rights to develop their own version of Tetris for the Arcade. This would become the basis for its Mega Drive that would have come out...had it not been for copyright issues. Nintendo had the Console rights, because of that almost every copy was scrapped. Only 10 are known to exist, making it one of the rarest games ever.

As the 2nd Bonus Game of the Genesis Mini, Tetris finally came out for the Genesis in 2019! However...this is not the same version developed in 1988. Rather, this is a brand new port of the Arcade game by M2!

All things considered this is a great port of the Arcade game. The music and sound is very accurate to the Original, while the graphics are very near accurate. The game is very Tetris, so if you've played it once you know what to expect. However, there are differences compared to other versions.

For one, you can't move your Tetromino if you are hugging the wall. By default, you can only turn your piece one way. But in the Options, you can customize which way you can turn the piece, as well as hard drop a piece straight down.

You have one and two player modes, and it's as simple as that. However, it lacks the Time Trial and Doubles mode of the Original port. That's not much of a takeaway from this port, but still. The single track of this game is an acquired taste, you'll either like it or hate it.

Overall, it's Tetris. It's an interesting version to play and a good, near accurate port. My question is why make a new port rather than release the original? My only guess is it's M2 flexing on their talent and skill. They truly are great developers, and I'd highly recommend you'd buy any of their ports and releases when you can. :)

Turbografx-16 Mini 

Galaga '88 ('90): The 4th entry in the Galaxian/Galaga series. Blast your way against alien foes as you go to new levels, or warp your way to newer, tougher levels. Unlike in Galaga, you can actually have your double ships get captured. If you free them, you can have a bigger ship along with a triple shot! It's a great game that is very overlooked, it even has multiple endings based on your rank. Use all the warps for the best ending! I'd really recommend this one.

Daimakaimura (Ghouls 'n Ghosts): The Arcade Classic from Capcom was released for the Supergrafx, an upgraded, separate console that didn't ever get a good footing in Japan. However, this port is a great version of the Arcade game. It is about as hard as the original, which does make it tougher than the Genesis port. But it's still a good, really challenging platformer.

Ninja Ryukenden (Ninja Gaiden): The NES Classic gets a surprising port for the PC-Engine. With some enhanced graphics, but still challenging gameplay, play Ryu Hayabusa's first adventure all over again. It feels very much like the original, though while the music is pretty good it's not as memorable as the original. Still, it's definitely worth checking out and is the same tough legend. Can you be a Super Ninja?

Also, if you use a code, you can play the game in different languages...including English! It's a different translation too from the NES game, so check out the differences.

Super Darius: Much of what I said about Darius MD applies here. You have 26 Bosses, and a Boss Rush Mode using a cheat code. The graphics look pretty accurate, but the color scheme looks a bit washed out. The screen also scrolls a bit up and down to fit the whole game, as all the sprites are about as large as the original.

The levels however feel much longer compared to the Genesis Port, and I'm not sure if it's just me. It seems like they are almost double the length, but your results may vary I suppose. The soundtrack is a straight up CD port of the Arcade Original, which is cool...but I would have preferred a remixed soundtrack as per the usual for the Turbografx-CD.

I'd say check this out as it's still Darius, so if you like the first game in the series you'll like this port as well.

Gradius II: GOFER no Yabo: The Arcade Sequel to Gradius, select from 4 different weapon layouts to strike down Gofer's alien forces. This game is excellent with great graphics, a good soundtrack, and multiple different bosses! The game can be really challenging, but is still a blast to play. I can recommend this classic to any shooter fan, and can recommend it overall. Though I would say to start off on Easy to ease your way in.

Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire: This is one of the most expensive PC-Engine CD games...ever. People spend hundreds in order to obtain it, but how is it really?

Well, this shmup about time traveling Heroines is really awesome. You have 4 Ships to choose from and can play with a friend. The music of the game is simply stellar, with high rocking tunes to go throughout the games 5 Levels.

Yes, it's actually a pretty short game. But graphically it looks amazing with some good pre-rendered sprites. On Normal, it's also a really challenging game to play through as well, but you can give yourself plenty of lives and continues in the Options.

I can see why it's sought after by shmup and TG16/PCE fans as it is a really good game overall. I can recommend for casual fans to at least experience it on Easy. For Fanatics though, you're gonna like it. Enjoy! :)

Needed Replacements: These should have been replaced with other games. Either these games suck, aren't that great enough to be on here (in my personal opinion), or are not accessible due to a language barrier (which is a darn shame).

Sega Genesis Mini

Virtua Fighter 2: ...why is this still here? No really, we've had this pop up in so many collections since 2006 and it still finds a way in.

It's not a horrible game mind you...but you could have had ANYTHING ELSE take its place and that would have been a better choice. Especially with so many better options available over it, like Rocket Knight Adventures or Desert Strike. I'm just tired of seeing Sega push this port down our throats, and while it's not a bad game I never want to see it in another collection again. It's had its time in the limelight, enough is enough.

Turbografx-16 Mini

Power Golf: An early title for the system that's just very frustrating. The biggest flaw is its power meter for shots. It goes WAY too fast compared to any other Golf game I know, leading to many...MANY off shots.

It completely wrecks what would be an okay golf game. I heard it's sequel is better...but then why not put that in? Or anything else!?

Psychosis: A trippy shmup, that while it was given good reviews back then...really doesn't hold up. It looks okay at first, but the graphics are really unpolished and unimpressive. Music isn't really memorable, and there's only one real good weapon worth some salt.

You'll even see some graphical screen tearing in later levels, which is accurate to the original console. It's like this game is held together by duct tape. I was really disappointed with this one, especially when we could have had a much better title instead.

Jaseiken Necromancer: This RPG...is only in Japanese. So I can't exactly play it and see where it goes. Oddly enough, this was also released for the Wii U Virtual Console untranslated. Why that was the case still baffles me to this day.

Super Momotaro Densetsu II: I've heard good things about this Monopoly-like game, unfortunately it was left untranslated. Which is a shame as it's one of the few 5-Player Games on the Mini Console. :/

Snatcher: You don't know how much it pains me to put this game on here, because it's a wonderful game. It was written and directed by Hideo Kojima after all! However, it's only in Japanese. Unless you can read and speak the language well enough, you can't really enjoy the game.

Why Konami had M2 keep three Japanese language only games with no way to play them in English for the international release, I have no idea. Either give us a translation for these games or don't put them in for the US/EU release at all.

At the very least, Snatcher did come out in the US for the Sega-CD, but it's insanely expensive. So the only resort you have to play it is through emulation.

[There will be a few more games left to highlight from import versions of the consoles, then my overall review of the consoles themselves. Be right back. ;) ]

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Imported Exceptions: Noteworthy, (Usually) English friendly Games from the versions of Mini Consoles outside of the US and Europe. I'd highly recommend that you check them out! 

 

Sega Mega Drive Mini

 

The Super Shinobi (The Revenge of Shinobi): This Classic from Ancient with music by Yuzo Koshiro is a personal favorite of mine that I grew up on. Joe Musashi must avenge his Oboro clan, save his kidnapped bride to be, and defeat Neo Zeed once and for all!

 

Controls for this game are much like Shinobi III, sans running or dive kicks. It's still an excellent Action Platformer that can provide a good challenge. Highly recommended!

 

Assault Suit Leynos (Target Earth): The first in the Assault Suit Series, defend the Earth from evil Cyborgs as you pilot a Mecha! This early Genesis game has a variety of weapons as you complete 8 levels that can be really challenging. Figure out what weapons are good for certain situations. It's a good game to try out, good luck!

 

I can also recommend the Remake for PC and PS4, which has more modern controls. Highly recommended for run 'n gun fans.

 

Slap Fight MD: This early classic from the legendary Toaplan got a Mega Drive port/remake in 1993. It has a weapon system much like Gradius, with each power up leading you down a line to select a usable weapon.

 

It comes with two soundtracks, an arrangement by Yuzo Koshiro, and two modes of play. Special Mode really shakes up the visual style, almost looking like a whole new game. This game is a real challenge considering the original was released in '83, but it's still worth checking out.

 

Snow Bros: Snowmen Nick and Tom must save their Princesses from evil forces in this platformer Arcade game. It's much like Bubble Bobble, with 50 levels and a boss every tenth level. You keep pelting enemies with snow until you ball them up. Push them to destroy them and any enemy in the way.

 

It can be tough, but it's a nice game overall and definitely fun with a friend.

 

Puyo Puyo 2: The Japanese hit puzzle game that became the next big Arcade game after Street Fighter II. It's much more balanced compared to the original, whose ruleset I previously described in my PPT review.

 

It's a great game, one of the best Puzzlers out there. Play it with a friend. :)

 

You can also get it on the Sega Classics Collection for the 3DS, and on the Switch as a Sega Ages title.

 

Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyo Toisusen: The 4 player fighting game based on the hit Shonen Jump Manga/Anime! It's a really fun game with a bunch of playable characters from the series based on the famous tournament arc. The moves are executed much more simply than usual fighters, making it more like a beat 'em up. It's really amazing, and I wouldn't expect anything less from our friends at Treasure. Highly recommended.

 

Alien Soldier: Play as Epsilon Eagle as you try to take down the Alien organization known as Scarlet. It's a Run n' Gun game where it's focus lies on short levels, but TONS of Boss Fights! 

 

Master the controls and shoot weapons to collect more ammo for the ones you want. You can also hold multiple of the same weapons. After you run out of ammo you can recharge it by using a different weapon. Master using the Zero Dash to dodge along with the Dash Attack for maximum damage. Remember to counter shots to gain more health as well.

 

It's an excellent game from Treasure, though sadly it's only on the Mega Drive Mini for the Asia Market (South Korea, Taiwan, etc.). Thankfully, you can get it on Steam where it's cheap, especially on sale. I highly recommend you get this game, it's one of the best on the Genesis.

 

Musha Aleste (MUSHA): This is a highly sought after, and expensive, early shooter for the Genesis. One of the reasons why is that it was made by Compile, no kidding considering what series this is a part of. Another is that it's not just one of the best Shooters on the Console, but one of the best Games on the Genesis overall.

 

You play as Eleanor (Terri), who must go after the rogue forces of the AI Dire 51 alone and avenge her squad in the titular Mecha, the MUSHA.

 

You pick up the same of one of three weapons to power them up, each with their own use. Power up your main shot with the Pods as you gain Drones that can be arranged in a variety of different formations with the A button. B fires the collected RBG weapon, and C is for the main shot. You can also adjust the Mecha's speed by pausing and pressing left or right.

 

This game is simply phenomenal, with great pixel art, scrolling effects, and a METAL soundtrack. It's an excellent title that is normally marred by how expensive an original copy is, ranging from 300 to 600 dollars. Simply put, 80 or 100 for a Japanese Mega Drive Mini, importing one to legally own a copy of MUSHA is worth the price of admission alone.

 

It's one of the best shmups and games around, it's not too difficult either, it's just right. I can recommend this game to anyone, play it as soon as you can.

 

PC-Engine Mini

 

Due to how this Mini Console's games are laid out and categorized, I can't make a list for any of them as I already pointed them out in previous segments. Two of the games () on here are only in Japanese with no real translation. The only exclusive that you can play however…

 

Splatterhouse: All that's different is there is some more "splatter" to certain enemies. XP

 

But really it's mostly graphical changes, certain bosses, and the Terror Mask looking just like a Hockey Mask.

 

Considering this is the only game you could play on the Japanese PC-Engine Mini that doesn't have a language barrier, I can't recommend getting it just for this game. It's uncensored, but that's not really worth it.

 

Likes: Both Mini Consoles feel excellent and well built. They really are good mini replicas of their respective consoles.

 

The controllers for the Genesis and Turbografx-16 Mini feel excellent and very much like the originals. They are quite sturdy, but feel very light. The Turbo Switches for the TG16 Mini are excellent and help out massively for certain games in a pinch.

 

All Versions of the Genesis Mini have an excellent selection of games for their Regions. We got an overall balanced collection of hits in the US/EU Version. Japan has a good chunk of RPGs and Strategy RPGs along with a few more Shmups. The Asia Version has a mix and match from both US and Japan, all of which can be played in English including their exclusives!

 

Best of all, you have access to different versions of games! If you change the language to say Japanese, you get the Japanese versions of the games! Which can range from minor to big game play changes for certain titles. Sega and M2 went above and beyond here 

 

The Turbografx-16 Mini has a great collection of games, especially considering how many of them are from different formats. They didn't stick to just cartridge (HuCard) games, but those from their CD peripheral and their failed successor the Supergrafx! Now half of the collection consists of Japan Only games (as it was far more popular over there), but thankfully many of them can be played by anyone. Mainly because most of these games are in English, or because the Menus for these games are easy to understand. There are a few exceptions to these rules, and certain voiced cutscenes will be lost to you, but it's not bad at all.

 

Both Consoles have a ton of Rare Games. Games that range in Hundreds to even a Thousand dollars now! But with these Mini Consoles you can play such games Officially, which is a huge bonus. Especially regarding the TG16 Mini, compared to buying both Rondo of Blood and Sapphire it's a bargain no Retro Gamer should pass up on!

 

Dislikes: So regarding the Genesis Mini, I don't have many complaints regarding it. All the games feel fine and accurate, nothing is out of place. Although I do have a few gripes regarding some games being on here, besides Virtua Fighter 2 anyway. 

 

There are a lot of great games on here, but a good chunk of them have been on numerous Sega Compilations already. I don't have anything against these games on here, but we really could have used a few more obscure titles in the west. Granted, some early titles and mainstays like Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, and Sonic are a given. But still, I would have liked at least 5 or so more games that haven't had any re-releases before.

 

Also, while the 3 button controllers are nice, it sucks to have to buy separate 6-button ones to better play titles like SFII compared to Japan having them by default. At the very least, the Retrobit Controllers have multiple console use and PC.

 

So while I may not have had many complaints regarding the Genesis Mini, the Turbografx-16 Mini on the other hand I have a few issues with.

 

For one, that plastic back cover of the Console was VERY tough to remove. In practice, you're supposed to remove it, plug it all in, then put it back on. I opted to leave the back removed as it was not worth putting back on.

 

Now, the TG16 is not that well known of a console, which means you'd want to put in as many hits as possible right? The thing is, unlike the Genesis Mini, there are some very noticeable omissions due to the original's smaller library.

 

For one are the odd exclusions like the 3rd Bonk and 2nd Star Soldier game, despite having the rest of the series on here! Another is the fact that we are left with 3 games in the US that English speakers can't play through without knowing Japanese. That is completely baffling. It just comes off as lazy on Konami's part when English speakers could have had 3 different games they could have played.

 

Granted, some of these missing titles are on say the Wii U Virtual Console, but that implies that'll be open forever...which it won't.

 

Another flaw is games that could have had a release here. Missing titles like the highly sought after Magical Chase and Super Darius II. Not to mention the bizarre exclusion of any Fighting Games like Street Fighter II, Asuka 120%, and Variable Geo.

 

You would think that Konami and Hori (the Hardware Devs of the TG16 Mini) would have banked on selling 6-button controllers like Sega has, they do have multiple PCE Controllers and a Multitap for sale after all. Yet they really dropped the ball on that, which is a pretty poor business decision.

 

Finally, is the odd way Konami had M2 list the games. Now I like the menu switching between the US/EU and Japanese Console Menus, however my problem is with how games are divided.

 

For example, you only have the Japanese Version of the first Bonk, but you only have the sequel's US Version. The lineup for many games that DO have US Versions are like that, and it's so bizarre why we couldn't have both for those certain titles! For some reason, Konami counted regional versions as separate games, and it's so strange that they did this.

 

Don't get me wrong, the games we have for the TG16 Mini are great overall, but there are so many weird choices regarding it. Not to mention how little the differences between the US/EU and Japan Version are.

 

However, one of the most infuriating things about the TG16 and the Japanese Mini Consoles...is the lack of an AC Adapter. You have to buy them separately from the Mini Consoles, which is just ridiculous. At the very least, we have 3rd Party Adapters that are much more affordable. That, and you can use certain ACs from Cell Phone Chargers, but be sure they put out the right voltage as that could possibly cause issues with your Minis.

 

Secrets: You can see the spines of the Genesis games by pressing B on the Genesis Mini menu.

 

If you hold select before you play certain games in the Turbografx-16 Mini, you'll get bonus games. Such as Near Arcade Versions of Fantasy Zone, Gradius, and Salamander with more Arcade Accurate graphics and sound!

 

Would I Recommend?: Considering the Genesis Mini goes for less than 80, especially on sale, I highly recommend you pick it up. It's a definite buy. The Japanese Mega Drive Mini can go for 80 too, or 100 if you buy the W version with two 6-button controllers. If you know what the games are on here, even with a good chunk of Japanese only titles (some of which have English Patches online), then it's so worth a pick up. It really is worth it for MUSHA alone regarding shmup fans.

 

Arguably, the Asia Version has the best mix of titles overall as it has MUSHA and titles like Shining Force II and Alien Soldier. However, I can't find any new copies of it anymore. Resellers want it for as low as 200. If there is a new production for this version, it's a must. Otherwise, only get this if you are a Collector.

 

Then there's the Turbografx-16 Mini. For some reason this was only sold as an Amazon exclusive. Which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact it got such a low print run! After 2020 we have yet to see any new printing of this Mini Console, which is a huge problem considering how sought after it is now, especially the US version. It goes for as low as 200 now and over, making it a hard sell for anyone now other than a Retro Collector.

 

It doesn't help that while the TG16 Mini is a great console, it's for a very niche audience. Heck, 21 of the games on here alone are Shmups, which is not everyone's favorite genre. For someone like me that knows the Console's history both inside and outside of Japan who are into niche titles, it's excellent. But because there has not been another new printing since then, I can't recommend it.

 

Doesn't help that Hori STILL sells new printings of the Mini's Controllers and Multitap, despite the Console itself not having another run. Just what is going on here!?

 

Final Thoughts: The Genesis Mini is for anyone that loves old video games, and I can say whole heartedly that anyone can buy it and have a great time.

Yet, it is also for those Hardcore Retro Fans that love to collect as well. There are quite a few niche and rare titles on here. If anything, it could also serve as a gateway for casual fans to check out types of games outside of the usual CoD or Madden that's out every year.

I recommend any version of the Genesis Mini, but the US version would be the cheapest option. Hopefully, you get one as well, or at least find a way to try out any of the games on it. Sega really did show with their Mini that Genesis Does what Nintendon't. ;)

 

If the Turbografx-16 Mini was still sold for its default price of 100 dollars, it's a complete steal for so many rare and obscure games all in one official package. But honestly, you have to know what you are getting yourself into to have a great time. Almost anyone can still enjoy it, but won't get the context of what many would say is an obscure console compared to the Genesis and SNES.

 

I will say that if there's another run for the TG16 Mini in the future, get one as soon as you can because it'll sell fast to those that want one for its default pricing. It's a very underrated system in the West, and I'd say at least give these games a second glance. Because while it didn't win the West, it laid the ground work starting in Japan with what we have today.

 

I've enjoyed my time reliving some old memories of these classics, and made new ones as well. I highly suggest you try out the games listed on these consoles, you never know what you may find.

 

This review has taken way too long to do, and I'm never gonna review two collections at the same time ever again. If at least one of you guys read it, then I've done well.

If any of you read a little of it, let me know what you think. :)

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