The Genesis known as the メガドライブ [Mega Doraibu], "Mega-Drive" in Japan and Europe, is a fourth generation video game console created by Sega and released in Japan on 1988-10-29, and in the USA on 1989-08-14. The console's main CPU is a Motorola 68000, but it also includes a Zilog Z80 to process audio and for backward compatibility with the Master System.
I never owned a Genesis, and, at least in my group of friends, it was viewed as an afterthought to the NES. Sure, the games looked and sounded better, but it meant buying a whole new system. The Genesis seemed to be owned by kids with parents rich enough to buy them a second console, or those oblivious enough to not know about the NES.
I think my major hangup for the bulk of the system's library is that the designers were too focused on stage-based games, which I don't enjoy as much. Stage-based games make sense in the arcade where players don't expect a long-term commitment, but for a home console, I prefer games that take you into a different world like The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, or Shadowgate. This isn't to say the Genesis didn't have adventure games and RPGs, but when you look at people's list of favorite games for the system they're mostly stage-based platformers like Sonic the Hedgehog, stage-based scrolling-shooters like Thunderforce, or various sports games. I rarely enjoy sports games, and while I do enjoy some stage-based games, they don't have the same allure to me.
I do not own, nor have I ever owned a Genesis. However, several of my friends had one growing up, so I played a fair amount of the games. I have also played a lot more using emulators.
- See all Genesis Games.
These are Genesis games that are important to me:
- Game Genie
- Genesis Controller
- Genesis Six-Button Controller
- Mega Modem
- Power Base Converter
- Sega CD
- The Genesis had a great graphics processing unit, which out-stripped the NES by leaps and bounds, surpassed the TurboGrafx-16, and even gave the SNES a run for its money.
- The audio chip was pretty decent, and though the FM synthesis never sounded right to me, it was still a very competent chip, and the designers made some very impressive music on it.
- I liked the addition of the third button on the controller instead of a useless select button.
- Probably the thing that will make or break any system, the games, always felt lacking for me on the Genesis.
- The default controller always felt a bit bulky to me.