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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Arcade Classics

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Three classic arcade games. Missile Command: Battle the Krytolians to the finish as a missile commander in the game that helped make arcades what they are today. Centipede: Battle the infamous creatures of the Enchanted Forest in this original shoot-em-up. Ultra Pong: Play solo or challenge a buddy in the video game that started it all. Featuring classic Pong and Hockey!

Another World

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Following a freak accident, scientist Lester Chakin materialises, dazed and confused in unfamiliar surroundings. This is not Earth. This is another world and as huge inquisitive tentacles snaked towards him he knew he had to do something fast. The fight for survival had begun.

Andretti Racing

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Three types of racing in one game, fifteen different tracks, race from chase or cockpit view in one or two player mode, slipstream the lead car and go for the pass; Sprint cars slide turns call for serious driving skills; Digitised video of real pit sequences; Single race, circuit and career modes.

Animaniacs

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Be afraid, be very afraid! The Warner Brothers and Sister have bust loose once more and are off on an hilarious adventure around the Warner Movie Lot. Help them evade the guard and collect the props they need for their new film shop.

Altered Beast

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Enter a time when men were warriors and Gods ruled the world. A time of good against evil, a place of danger. Summoned by Zeus to rescue Athena, you will infiltrate the Underworld with the power to transform into mythical creatures with supernatural strength.

Andre Agassi Tennis

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Three Andre Agassi's forehand is yours! Be Agassi or play against Agassi. For the first-time ever, win big cash with the skins match, where stakes double with every return. With four courts, eight exciting players each with different styles and an umpire who calls every shot, Andre Agassi Tennis cannot be beaten.

Alien Storm

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Shape changing Alien scum take over your city. Fry the slimy horrors and smash their bid for global conquest. Blast into action with ray guns, flame throwers, power whips and more! Fight from two different perspectives, including a 3D view into the screen. The excitement is red hot in this arcade classic.

Alisia Dragoon

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Baldour, the very embodiment of evil, is nearing the end of his dormancy. Alisia must destroy him before he awakes, or he'll wreak havoc as he did thirteen years ago. His last rampage cost Alisia's father his life. Help her to avenge his death!

Alien 3

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The Xenomorph are fast, spit acid and are right behind you! Can't see very far ahead in these air ducts. Hard to breathe. Face huggers can be anywhere. Must find the mother alien. The closer you get the more Aliens you find. better not have them find you first! Just keep telling yourself "This isn't really happening. It's only a game.".

Alien Soldier

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In the year 2015 the planet Sierra is in the grips on Xi-Tigers Scarlet terrorists. All hop now lies with Epsilon Eagle, a fearsome warrior with a lethal arsenal. Armed with all the hardware you can carry, blast shoot and burn through level after level of incredible cyber-action before confronting the mighty Xi-Tiger.

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