About this time next month, Australians will be able to get their hands on a mini version of the Sega Mega Drive. And while the mini console is shipping with a pretty solid list — 42 games in all — all of that is for nothing if it doesn't have your favourite games.
But what are those?
I'll always remember Ecco The Dolphin, Road Rash and Afterburner 2, only because they were the first games I remember playing on the console. (For reasons unknown, and I didn't ask at the time, a courtesy aunt who lived across the road from my grandmother had a Sega Mega Drive setup in her bedroom that had Ghouls & Ghosts and Road Rash on it. I'm not sure if it was hers or one from a son that had since moved out of home.)
For reference, here's the full list of 42 games shipping on the Mega Drive Mini on September 19:
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Ecco the Dolphin
- Castlevania: The New Generation
- Space Harrier 2
- Shining Force
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- ToeJam & Earl
- Comix Zone
- Altered Beast
- Gunstar Heroes
- Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
- World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
- Thunder Force III
- Super Fantasy Zone
- Shinobi III
- Streets of Rage 2
- Earthworm Jim
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Mega Man®: The Wily Wars
- Street Fighter II’®: Special Champion Edition
- Ghouls ‘n Ghosts®
- Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
- The Story of Thor
- Golden Axe
- Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
- Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
- Wonder Boy in Monster World
- Road Rash II
- Virtua Fighter 2
- Alisia Dragoon
- Kid Chameleon
- Monster World IV
- Eternal Champions
- Dynamite Headdy
- Light Crusader
I still have no love for Ghouls & Ghosts, mind you. Fuck that game.
An interesting aside about the Sega Drive Mini is that it comes not only with Columns, SEGA's Tetris knock-off, but also the company's unreleased version of Tetris they tried to license back in the day. Apparently, SEGA wanted to license the game for the console and only realised halfway through development that they were buying fake rights to Tetris. The game never officially shipped, and work began on Columns instead, but you can play the dodgy-not-legal-in-the-'90s version of SEGA Tetris on the Mega Drive Mini.
On the Mini, I can happily report that the controllers are really solid! I only got about half an hour with the console, which was enough time to play some Streets of Rage 2 and co-op World of Illusion. Both games played smoothly and didn't have any noticeable audio problems coming out of the TV, but it wasn't a full exhaustive test, and I wasn't allowed to take direct capture from the console for further analysis.
Still, the console stacks up so far. The cables are a good length, and there's a solid roster of games. I would have loved to see SEGA Rally Championship on there to relive those arcade days, but it's looking a much better buy than the Mini NES or the PlayStation Classic did at launch.
What's your favourite Sega Mega Drive game, and what games would you put on the console if you had the choice?