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View topic - You, the SMS and Genesis/Megadrive?

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  • Joined: 13 Jun 2017
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You, the SMS and Genesis/Megadrive?
Post Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:13 am
Hi,

I know here we usually talk about the older consoles but I'd like to know how good or bad are your opinions on the Genesis/Megadrive?
Do/did you like it or not? Back it its days did you have it? How do you consider its technical capabilities and game titles compared to the previous SMS one?

Back in those days I could have never asked for such expensive 16bit console and so I never really cared about it; also we received the pal SMS probably just one year before the Megadrive EU release (and later the GG) until maybe the 1994/5 when the PC gaming was more interesting to me. The only experience I had with the Megadrive was when a friend of mine during a summer of the early 90's had the first console version with the game "Toki" that I used to play that same summer in the arcade better version.
Cause the big differences in graphic/gameplay, that single game experience mostly ruined my opinions in the Megadrive back then. The only other game I played back then was Altered Beast, again a game I never liked on the gameplay and not really a fan of its graphic.
Even if the SMS and the GG are/will ever be in my heart, lately I'm also discovering the Megadrive story/games/hardware and impressed by the quality of some titles and the power of its hardware. Games like Kawasaki Superbikes, PGA Tour Golf, Streets of Rage 2, Sonic 2.. are impressive.

What about you?
Thank
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  • Joined: 08 Sep 2018
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:36 pm
Warning Wall Of Text.
The MegaDrive/Genesis is in my opinion Sega's greatest creation. With hardware backwards compatibility and built like a cut down arcade rather than like a totally new and complex hardware platform (cough cough SNES) it was amazing.
The Good
near the second quarter of the consoles lifespan, good arcade ports and hardware pushers started really utilizing what the MegaDrive could do. Games like Streets of Rage, Super Hang-On, Castlevania Bloodlines, Golden Axe, Comix Zone, The Sonic Trilogy, the list goes on but titles like these really made the MegaDrive a unique experience. Games for the MegaDrive never played or felt the same on their GG or SMS counterparts. On top of that Programming for it was so easy as well, the architecture the M68k was well known and used in a lot of micro computers at the time. The VDP was also easy to work with especially compared to the SNES PPU pipeline which was extremely complex no matter what mode you decided to work in. I have an incredible amount of fond memories both playing games on and developing software for the MegaDrive and think any Sega fan should experience the platform.
The Bad
Some of the bad things about the MegaDrive had to be the lack of backwards compatibility out of box. I would have paid a little more for the MegaDrive if a simple cart adapter to play SMS games right then and there was added. The early games were poor in my opinion. It seemed like a rush job to port some quick arcade and SMS titles to the console so games like Altered Beast look ugly and control horribly compared to what the MegaDrive could do. Add-ons are another bad though I always recommend having a Mega CD/Sega CD the games for both that and the 32x are not worth it and they're a hassle to deal with an maintain compared to the simplicity of just the MegaDrive. Too many Sports games as well made the console seem like more a virtual Foosball Table rather than something filled with unique adventures, sports, puzzles, etc... Lastly Programming, The VDP was not as powerful as it should have been and part of this I think was due to how early the MegaDrive came out and how Sega underestimated their projection of the future for the console. It should have had 2 more background layers, two more palette entries, and double the Max Hardware Sprites.
Conclusion
The MegaDrive was simply the best replacement to have for the SMS. It was a fun console both as a gamer and dev and even coming back to it now to play and develop games for it, its still just as interesting as it was back then.
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:44 pm
IllusionOfMana wrote
Warning Wall Of Text.
The MegaDrive/Genesis is in my opinion Sega's greatest creation. With hardware backwards compatibility and built like a cut down arcade rather than like a totally new and complex hardware platform (cough cough SNES) it was amazing.
The Good
near the second quarter of the consoles lifespan, good arcade ports and hardware pushers started really utilizing what the MegaDrive could do. Games like Streets of Rage, Super Hang-On, Castlevania Bloodlines, Golden Axe, Comix Zone, The Sonic Trilogy, the list goes on but titles like these really made the MegaDrive a unique experience. Games for the MegaDrive never played or felt the same on their GG or SMS counterparts. On top of that Programming for it was so easy as well, the architecture the M68k was well known and used in a lot of micro computers at the time. The VDP was also easy to work with especially compared to the SNES PPU pipeline which was extremely complex no matter what mode you decided to work in. I have an incredible amount of fond memories both playing games on and developing software for the MegaDrive and think any Sega fan should experience the platform.
The Bad
Some of the bad things about the MegaDrive had to be the lack of backwards compatibility out of box. I would have paid a little more for the MegaDrive if a simple cart adapter to play SMS games right then and there was added. The early games were poor in my opinion. It seemed like a rush job to port some quick arcade and SMS titles to the console so games like Altered Beast look ugly and control horribly compared to what the MegaDrive could do. Add-ons are another bad though I always recommend having a Mega CD/Sega CD the games for both that and the 32x are not worth it and they're a hassle to deal with an maintain compared to the simplicity of just the MegaDrive. Too many Sports games as well made the console seem like more a virtual Foosball Table rather than something filled with unique adventures, sports, puzzles, etc... Lastly Programming, The VDP was not as powerful as it should have been and part of this I think was due to how early the MegaDrive came out and how Sega underestimated their projection of the future for the console. It should have had 2 more background layers, two more palette entries, and double the Max Hardware Sprites.
Conclusion
The MegaDrive was simply the best replacement to have for the SMS. It was a fun console both as a gamer and dev and even coming back to it now to play and develop games for it, its still just as interesting as it was back then.


Thank! I think to remember reading somewhere (maybe some line of an interview of the hardware designer story of the original MegaDrive in some book) that (I'm not sure) the VDP maybe was already becoming big in size, costs and internals. The MD VDP has indeed a big package chip. Maybe there was some limits for costs/transistors in the 1988 manufacturing process?

I always thought that including the Motorola 68000 maybe the costs were really high. Was considered a powerful cpu back in the first console release? Well in the PC industry there was already the fast 80386SX@16Mhz but for a game home console I imagine it was a fast cpu for specific computing tasks. Probably most pc still had 80286 cpus <10Mhz.
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:57 pm
yes, profitable yields go down the bigger the die gets. Most Arcades offset this by separating the pipeline into a Sprite VDP and a Tile VDP, some even dedicate VDPs to specific tile layers or even FMV playback. Only one console that I know of ever came to market with the separate VDP for sprites and tiles, that was the PCEngine/TurboGrafx16. Though the Saturn had 2 VDPs they could do any mix range of jobs, not just Sprites or Tiles.

I want to say that RAM was the leading cause for the consoles high cost, at the time memory was still very expensive.
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  • Joined: 30 Oct 2018
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:06 pm
My main positive is it being compatible with SMS. Mind you not out of the box, but once you have a converter, you effectively have 2 systems in one.
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  • Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:25 am
I wanted one but it was out of my budget and I made do with my SMS 2 & Gamegear.
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  • Joined: 30 Jun 2016
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:32 pm
I am a bit younger than most here - I grew up with the Mega Drive at first, until my Father pointed out to me the Master System II he kept in a shed.
It turns out it was non-functional, the RF modulator had blown.

Later that evening, we looked through the Trading Post, and found a pair of local Master System IIs being sold for just $10, with some controllers - this would've been in the late 90s.
We snagged them, and then I got to playing all the Master System games my parents owned - it was amazing being introduced to them!
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