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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Atomic Runner

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Alien beings who secretly inhabited earth thousands of years ago are back to claim it as their own. Pull on the Atomic Suit and set your weapons for a race that will take you through searing deserts, deadly caverns and ancient ruins on the way to the ultimate battle!

Asterix and the Great Rescue

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Asterix is back in another highly exciting adventure. Yet again, Asterix and his good friend Obelix are thrown into an amazing adventure, when they find out that Getafix and Dogmatix have been kidnapped by the Romans. Asterix and Obelix must defeat the Romans and bring their friends home.

Asterix and the Power of the Gods

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Emperor Caesar's forces have stolen the legendary shield of Veringtorix and it is Asetrix and Obelix's mission to return it to the Gaulish village. Play as either character as your adventure takes you through twenty levels, through Lutetia, Egypt, Alexandria and Mesopotamia on your way to Rome itself!

Art Alive

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Become the artist you always wanted to be. Create crazy characters and lovely backdrops, animate them and amaze your friends! It's art made easy, and the name is art Alive!

Art of Fighting

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Based on the hot Neo-Geo arcade game, Ryo and Robert brave South Town's mean streets to rescue Ryo's kidnapped sister.

Arnold Palmer Golf

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Tee off! It's time to play in one of the greatest golfing tournaments ever: The Arnold Palmer Tournament! And he's not going to make it easy. With only 16 players allowed to compete, you'll have to prove yourself to qualify. You may be playing on lush country courses, but there's plenty of obstacles, from water hazards to sand traps to the ever present rough.

Arrow Flash

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Zorgon V has been trying for some time to gain entrance to the spacelab or Doctor Herbert Schwinn and steal his time travel project. Dr Schwinn, having lost his beloved wife to the space criminals, has secretly been developing an attack vessel using advanced laser technology. Anna, his only daughter must pilot the vessel into Zorgon V's complex and destroy everything in sight. Help the Schwinns get their revenge - join the arrow flash team!

Ariel the Little Mermaid

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King Triton and his daughter Ariel battle the dangers of the deep. As Triton, rescue Ariel and break the curse of Ursula, the Sea Witch. As Ariel, battle bewitched sea creatures and defeat Ursula to save Triton and the merpeople.

Arch Rivals

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The real arcade action between the Arch Rivals is really hot 'cause tonight there're no fouls! WHAT?! NO FOULS? That's right. No Fouls! This basketball where breaking the rules is part of the rules! If you can't block a shot - knock you're opponents block off. Arch Rivals also takes real skills like passing, shooting, dribbling, ball handling, slam dunks and three point shots. It's not just basketball, It's basketBRAWL!

Aquatic Games starring James Pond

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Three James Pond takes time off for a top sports event before his next big mission! With four new characters, ten crazy events, three difficulty levels, hidden bonuses, practice and multi-player options.

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