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Analogue Mega Sg Lets You Play SEGA Mega Drive Games in HD

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You can now play your old SEGA Mega Drive games on your HD TV lag-free! Imagine!

Analogue first came to my attention with the super sleek aluminium Nt Mini which is a luxury version of the NES Mini. Unlike the various clones of the NES Mini on the market it wasn’t an emulation. It played all your old Nintendo and original Famicom games plus various add-ons and extras where you could essentially customise the console in look and sound. With the success of the Nt Mini and Super Nt, Analogue have now set their sights on SEGA with the Mega Sg, and I for one am way too over excited!

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Due to be released in March 2019 and costing around £150, you can get your preorders in now. There is no need to drag out a heavy CRT TV to experience retro gaming, as you can now play in HD without losing out on video and audio quality. The Mega Sg which can play over 2180 classic cartridges, will make the knock off retro gaming toys out there look very silly!

I am a big SEGA Mega Drive fan. I transitioned straight from the daddy of retro game consoles, Atari, to a Sinclair ZX Spectrum to a 16-bit revolution with a Mega Drive. Yes, I had my dalliances with a Nintendo Game Boy and enduring chronic thumb fatigue playing Track & Field, but receiving a Mega Drive for Christmas with a 6 in 1 game cartridge with the likes of The Revenge of Shinobi, Columns and Golden Axe was and still is my happy place.

Here’s the science!

This bad boy is NOT an emulation machine like the other plug n play systems. This means no lag with video output and 1080p Hi Definition graphics all engineered with FPGA technology. The FPGA is a chip that simulates the original Mega Drive hardware instead of an emulation with software. The audio packs a 48KHz 16 bit stereo which essentially means the sound is upscaled to the highest digital quality. So no more complaints of distorted, variations of sounds when you’re trying to beat those “I only have one move” flying kick bitches in Streets of Rage!

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The use of such high-end tech and precision engineering allows the Mega Sg to be free from compromises allowing you to play all the games as they were intended to be played all those years ago.

“We design systems to celebrate and explore the history of video games with the respect it deserves,” – Analogue.

As well as SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis cartridges and of course the Sega Master System, you are also able to use an original Mega-CD with the Sega Sg. There is a connector concealed in the expansion door that allows you to plug in and get going!

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Analogue are all about preserving the rich gaming history of old skool video games and the consoles of our childhood, so of course they have thought about everything! And by everything, I mean, game cartridge adapters for Game Gear, Mark III, Sega MyCard, SG-1000 and the SC-3000. So, you can play even more retro games and avail of the sophistication and accuracy of FPGA.

With the Mega Sg you can use your old SEGA controllers but if you don’t have them then you will unfortunately have to purchase the control pads separately for roughly £20. But that’s not so bad as Analogue have super fancy wireless 8bitDo M30 controllers that come in black in white… and they look the business!

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I know I know, historically speaking wireless controllers used with retro gaming consoles have always been a taboo matter, mainly down to the fact of the annoying lag you can experience with gameplay, but these wireless 2.4GHz control pads (not Bluetooth) are lag-free. Of course! Even though I have original Mega Drive gamepads, I still think I will purchase these… because reasons!

If you’re a SEGA fan and you want to invest in a bit of tech that we make you cry nostalgic tears of joy… then you need to hit up Analogue post haste!  

General Spec of Mega Sg

Colours

*USA, Europe, Japan and White.

Dimensions

*138mm (L)

*168mm (W)

*47mm (H)

 What You Get in the Box

*Analogue Mega Sg

*Analogue SEGA Master System Cartridge Adapter

*USB Cable

*HDMI Cable

*USB Power Cable

 Compatibility

*Mega Drive/Genesis and Sega Master System Cartridges

* Game Gear, Mark III, Sega MyCard, SG-1000 and the SC-3000

*Mega-CD

*Region Free (PSU: 100-240v, 50-60hz)

 Audio

*48Hz 16-bit

*Digital audio via HDMI

*3.5mmm Headphone Jack

 Video

*HDMI 1080p/720p/480p

*NTSC and PAL Support

*Zero Signal Degradation, Lag Free

 Special Features

*Original styled controller ports for Mega Drive/Master System

*Original connector for Mega-CD

*SD Card Slot for Firmware Updates

 8BitDo M30 Game Controller – 2.4g Wireless Receiver

*20hr Battery Life

*Auto Sleep Mode After 15 Minutes

*Lag-Free

 

Retro Game Review : 112 in 1 Sega Mega Drive Game Cartridge

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So recently I came across a product on Amazon that I rolled my eyes so hard at I’m fairly certain I sprained my cornea! It was a Sega Mega Drive game cartridge for 112 games in 1.

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The fact that it was £15 made me think that it was nonsense, or it was full of 112 obscure games with many many duplicates. As described, the game is for only genuine Mega Drive consoles and not compatible with the all in one Sega emulators that also take cartridges. So, as I have an original and I was clearly procrastinating the crap out of my day, I figured I would read on. And by read on, I mean check the reviews.

It has an overall rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 but scrolling down the product page, there is a mixed bag of 1 and 2 star reviews muddled with a handful of 5 stars. My spidey sceptical senses were tingling especially when some folk were saying “Avoid, scam!” or “If I could give this a 0 star I would.” But, my disregard to flaws and always wanting to fight for the underdog, I decided to trust the better reviews and throw money at it because it was payday and I was a little drunk! Yay drunk online purchases!

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And let’s face it, 112 Sega Mega Drive games for 15 quid does sound super attractive.

A few days later my game arrived in an Amazon cardboard envelope. There was no fancy packaging just the cartridge wrapped tightly in bubble wrap and a small plastic bag.

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I eagerly booted up my Mega Drive, inserted the game cartridge… and I honestly waited for it to either blow up, melt or just show me a black screen with ERROR stamped across it! However, once loaded I simply was greeted with the menu of a shed load of games.

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As I scrolled through, I recognised some classics from serials like Streets of Rage, Shinobi and Sonic. But as I got further on in the list I realised that I had stumbled into no man’s land of games I had never heard of. 

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I decided to ignore that for now and figured the only way to see if this was worth anything, would be to actually play it! So, I started with Streets of Rage 2 and I quickly realised from being a die-hard original Streets of Rage fan, why I never really liked this sequel. But apart from my loyalty to the original game, there was nothing abhorrently wrong with the gameplay. The soundtrack still made me feel like I was tripping out in a Japanese electronic dance club, and there appeared to be no glitches. Winner so far.

I then hit restart and played the classic Sonic the Hedgehog. I wanted to see what it was like compared to my original Sonic game in audio and picture quality. I took a couple photos and videos for comparison and then tried to detect any differences.

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I couldn’t find a difference between the original Sonic the Hedgehog and the Sonic installed on a cartridge stuffed with 112 games. Now I’m not a pro retro gamer. I have never pretended to be completely schooled in the fine art of vintage video games. I play because it’s fun and I rarely pay attention if the graphics or audio are slightly amiss from the original. As long as the gameplay is good then…  

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After my little test I scanned through the list a little more and got far too overexcited at a few Sega platform games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Captain America. However, I would need more procrastination tokens to give these games a real go.

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In conclusion…

Pros of 112 in 1 for Sega Mega Drive Game Cartridge

If you’re a casual retro gamer like myself looking to pass some hours for nostalgia’s sake, then this is a great 16-bit buy. When you think that a standalone game can be easily upwards of £20, then £15 for a fair few decent games is bargain town! It’s a fab little journey down memory lane for all you button bashers who enjoy keeping active by consuming alcoholic beverages whilst screaming at your TV screen!

Cons of 112 in 1 for Sega Mega Drive Game Cartridge

If you’re a purist retro gamer, then you probably will hate everything that this stands for! The cartridge does look like a dodgy rip off from Wembley Market circa 1995! And yes, you do get some classic games like Contra, Golden Axe and Double Dragon to dick around with… but you also get a load of games listed in no particular order (which will ruin your OCD!) that are also spelled like someone sneezed!

Overall rating: A solid 7/10

Top Free 80s and 90s Retro Games for the iPhone

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So, are you rocking the latest fancy pants iPhone like every other unimaginative lemming (including myself!) on the planet? Every time my contract is due for a renewal I curse the moons and the stars at how rubbish my now obsolete iPhone is and threaten to cross over to the dark side of SAMSUNG! However, due to me being a creature of habit/lazy mofo and not being a fan of change, I always continue with Apple and ignore the enticing alternative of Android.

The thing is… I may be turned on with ridiculous uber modern techy shite like paying for groceries via my phone… that can only be opened with my entire giant face BUT I also find myself desperately clinging onto the good old retro inspired days especially when it comes to gaming. If I could carry around my Sega Mega Drive and SNES Mini I would... but I fear that I would be this kind of unnecessary hipster wanker!

When vintage and modernity collide... but you're also still a bit of a twat!

When vintage and modernity collide... but you're also still a bit of a twat!

So how do we marry the old grumpy assholes of the world who refuse to move on from their childhood with new technology?? By playing retro video games on your iOS device of choice! Obviously.

Here are my top 5 80s & 90s retro games you can blissfully play on your iPhone all the live long day! I went for simplicity and a heavy dose of nostalgia when picking these. The kind of games that you can tap away on your iPhone when waiting for a bus wishing you called in sick to work! (All games are available for free from the iOS App Store.)

One – Sonic The Hedgehog 2

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I mean, Sonic numero uno is fun and all... but Sonic The Hedgehog 2 in my opinion ups the frivolity and merriment when you have your pal Tails in the mix! This game was originally released in 1992 and you can now be happily kicking Dr. “Eggman” Robotnik’s ass on your daily commute into work in 2018! Woooo science and stuff! This version of the iconic Sega game is the most complete with regards to gameplay with a remastered soundtrack we all will instantly recognise. You can play this game for free (with the usual ad free in-app purchases if you like) Explore 12 zones, collect rings, take on the Time Attack mode and you can also fly as Tails!

Two – Snake ‘97

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If you didn’t spend hours on your Nokia 3210 following a snake around on dot-matrix screen trying not to die… did you even grow up in the 90s?! This is a homage to yesteryear where we all lost ourselves in the most iconic mobile phone game from the 1990s. Snake has all the old features complete with the same monotone sound effects! Get addicted once again and lose more precious hours of your life on this classic retro game!

Three – PAC-MAN

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This highly addictive game is certainly one of, if not THE most popular video games in the entire history of gaming… ever! Recreate the classic arcade feel with your fingers and thumbs as you scurry around in a dark pixelated room popping pills and running away from ghosts! You can play in new tournaments, opt for one of three game difficulty levels including the original 1980 PAC-MAN as well as getting hints and tips along the way. If you’re going to get your retro gaming on, then playing with this iconic character on your iPhone is a good place to start!

Four – Space Invaders

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This is another arcade classic from one of the world’s longest running gaming franchises! Earth is being attacked and you need to defend our planet against the relentless assault! Ooooh drama! Space Invaders along with PAC-MAN are classic examples of gameplay getting faster and harder until you die… a bit like life! Play Space Invaders for free on your iPhone by tilting your phone to steer your spaceship and tapping left or right to blow the crap outta the enemy! For an instant gratification and wave of wistfulness, Space Invaders will keep you distracted long enough to miss your stop on the train!

Five – Breakout

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Breakout is an Atari classic that had gaming geeks hooked forever… or until your mum called you for dinner! This arcade must-have now can be played on your iPhone with enhanced graphics and added features like power ups and boost control. Sounds exciting right?!! You initially get 10 free levels and then you are able to purchase 200+ additional levels. Get involved and share your top scores with the global leader board, because nothing says I have too much time on my hands like an Atari Breakout top score!