My exposure to classic consoles like Atari 2600 and ColecoVision is very limited compared to my time with systems from NES onwards. As a result, my interest in replica consoles modeled to look like old Ataris and other systems has been fairly limited. From a historical standpoint, I think that these replicas are incredibly important, as they offer a variety of classic games in a single package, exposing newer players to games they’d otherwise normally overlook and preserving them, too. Still, for me, the only replica/legacy console that I really got into was the NeoGeo X, but even it didn’t really ever get a stranglehold on my attention.
It was with great enthusiasm, though, that I saw the Sega Genesis Classic Games Console. This, dear readers, is how you do a replica video game console. The system itself is modeled after the Genesis 3 build, which makes it very economical for those with limited shelf space. It comes with two wireless Genesis controllers and has 80 games preinstalled into the system. Sweetening the deal further is the console’s ability to play actual Sega Genesis cartridges. WOW.
I got the Genesis Classic as a Christmas gift and have been incredibly pleased with it ever since. This is the sort of thing that the industry needs more of. Sure, there are a lot of Atari and ColecoVision enthusiast out there, but there are droves of people with 8, 16, and 64-bit memories who are desperate for consoles like the Genesis Classic. Admittedly, the system’s quality is a touch iffy. The controllers are very particular about being directly in line with the console itself, while not all of the 80 included games are worth replaying (and Sonic 3 is conspicuously absent). I also was disappointed that stereo sound was omitted, especially as it ruins the soundtracks of many of the included games (the Sonic games stood out the most).
Regardless, there is so much that the Genesis Classic gets right that I’m willing to overlook its blemishes. I’ve been very happy how the system has opened my eyes to some great games I’d never played before. Prior to this, I had only heard of the Streets of Rage games, and I was really taken with how fun they are all these years later. After playing the SoR trilogy, I was inspired to give the 3D remake of the first game a download on my 3DS. I can’t wait to see what else I find to play that I’ve never experienced!
The Genesis Classic can be found at multiple retailers, including Toys “R” Us, where it sells for between $40 and $50. It’s really a steal considering how much it would cost to track down all the bundled games individually, even on services like Nintendo’s Virtual Console. Beyond that, I think it’s worth supporting systems like these to show publishers just how worthwhile their back catalogues are. Keep your eyes peeled for this one, folks. Hopefully, one day we can get Nintendo to release an NES replica similar to this!