Sega Megadrive

The Sega Megadrive was released in Japan in November 1988 and was the first 16-bit video games console. The Sega Master System (the predecessor to the Sega Megadrive) had declined in popularity due to the increase in 16-bit computers such as the Atari ST and the Commodore Amiga, and Sega had lost the battle with the Nintendo Corporation and its Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Having already enjoyed considerable success with 16-bit arcade games such as Space Harrier and Outrun, Sega decided to rush out the new Megadrive console ahead of their rivals Nintendo, and the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo) which they had been secretly developing.

Released almost one year later, in October 1989, the Sega Megadrive was known as the Sega Genesis in the USA and Canada. A further year later, just in time for Christmas the Sega Megadrive landed in Europe and the whole world had now been introduced to 16-bit console gaming. However, despite being first off the mark with its next generation console, and having reasonable sales in early 1991 Sega was still losing out to the still popular NES. That was until a Spiky haired blue hedgehog made an appearance and changed everything!

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The demand for the Sega Megadrive hit the roof as everyone wanted to play the latest game - Sonic the Hedgehog. For the first time, Sega had knocked Nintendo off the number one spot in the video game markets of Europe and North America. Nintendo responded by rushing forward the release of its Super Nintendo (SNES) but it was too late and the Sega Megadrive had established itself as the number one choice of video games console. Nintendo still remained more popular in Japan - which had always been considered its stronghold, but the shake-up in the western markets was a considerable embarrassment for the video games giant.

The Sega Megadrive underwent a transformation a few years later and the Sega Megadrive 2 was released. The console was smaller, and had the headphone jack and volume control removed. In addition to this the TMSS (Trade Mark Security System) was introduced which prevented the playing of imported cartridges through a series of hardware and software checks.

The Sega Mega CD went on sale in Japan in December 1991. It had an additional processor, more RAM, a new Sound Chip and an (obvious) bonus was the ability to play normal music CD's as CD players were still relatively new at this time. As usual, one year later, the unit went on sale in the US, with a slightly better game line up which included the excellent Sewer Shark. Unfortunately for Sega, it was the price of the consoles that prevented them from gaining popularity, despite the fact that many excellent RPG's went onto Mega-CD only, compared to the Sega Megadrive the unit had very limited worldwide success.

In 1993 Sega started to fall behind Nintendo in the 3D development field. Nintendo had wowed the world with Starwing (Starfox in the US) and the SuperFX Chip. Initially Sega had developed the SVP Adapter (Super Virtua Play) with Hitachi, and this had been incorporated into many new arcade releases including the massive hit, Virtua Fighter. Virtua Racer, released in 1994, was the only 3D polygon game that made it to the Sega Megadrive and had the SVP Adapter incorporated into the game cartridge - similar to the SuperFX chip on the Nintendo.

Sega released the Sega 32X add-on in 1995 which incorporated the SVP capabilities into the new base unit via twin Hitachi processors and an overhaul of the internal architecture. The unit plugged into the existing cartridge slot, and had it own power supply and video feed. Existing games could be played in the new slot, as well as beefed up 32X games which now featured 3D processing, better graphics, better sound and faster game play. The best of the bunch were Star Wars Arcade, Knuckles Chaotix and Virtua Fighter.

Despite this last ditch attempt by Sega to save the Megadrive, its popularity dwindled - largely due to the overwhelming success of the Sony Playstation. The machine was officially discontinued in 1998, and was replaced by Sega's true 32bit machine, the Sega Saturn. Although the Sega Megadrive never matched the Super Nintendo's worldwide success, it certainly gave it a run for its money, especially in the United States and Great Britain. Boasting a ten year history and a back catalogue of more than a thousand games including the Sonic series, Ecco the Dolphin and Streets of Rage games, the Sega Megadrive is certainly a console which will not be forgotten for many years.

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X-Men

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Wolverine, Gambit, Cyclops and Nightcrawler join Storm, iceman, Archangel, Jean Grey and Rogue to stop Magneto from carrying out a diabolical plan.  Lying in ambush are murderous arch-villains Juggernaut, Sabretooth, Mojo and Deathbird with their armies

Super Fantasy Zone

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The Fantasy Zone is once again under siege! Dark Menon is back, and his forces are stronger than ever! Guide Opa-Opa through hosts of creepy creatures and stop Menons for good!

T2 - The Arcade Game

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The #1 arcade shooting game of all time explodes onto the Megadrive. You're a T800 Terminator with an awesome array of weapons: rapid fire machine gun, shot-gun, rockets and an M-79 grenade launcher. Blast endoskeletons and HKs. terminate the liquid metal

Strider

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Hiryu, the youngest yet most able Strider, has been chosen by his elders to stop Grand Master Meio from making the earth his private playground! Use Falchion, the plasma sword, and Hiryu's cat-like movements to swing through jungles, scale snow-capped mou

Paperboy 2

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Paperboy 2, and awesome sequel to arcade-lands most popular bike ride. More customers to deliver to (both sides of the street), more non-subscribers to annoy, more obstacles, more meanies and more excitement than ever before.

Mutant League Football

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Sixteen wild teams of the Mutant League's best aliens, robots, trolls and skeletons!  19 different fields of Bad Dreams - trapped with fire pits, craters and mines!  Over a dozen Nasty plays from Dynamite and bombs to Rocket Packs and Invisibility!

Jurassic Park

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A hurricane rips through the Jurassic Park dinosaur preserve, trapping the tourists and freeing the most terrifying animals ever! Play the character of Grant the palaeontologist in a deadly battle against the creatures, or be a Raptor, battling the other

Burning Force

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The training program at Earth University is gruelling. But the title of 'Space Fighter' is well worth it. You and Hiromi must withstand five days of intense testing before the final exam - deep-space combat!

Virtua Racing

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From the arcade to the armchair! Sega's revolutionary SVP chip puts you in the driving seat of the most technically advanced game ever. Stunning polygon graphics, four selectable viewpoints and high speed action combine to make this the greatest ride of y

Virtua Fighter 2

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The arcade smash hit explodes onto the Megadrive! Select one of eight fighters, then pummel the opposition, either a computer or friend, who stand in the way of a showdown with the mysterious Dural.

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