The “half-step” console that nobody wanted

The Sega 32X.

Before the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X, there was an infamous add-on to the Sega Genesis. My friends and I would always joke about what a waste of money it was and the fact that it was likely a piece of junk. In an age where producing an upgraded version of a current console to sell to hungry consumers exists, Sega of the 1990s tried something bold and almost succeeded.

I was never on team blue, but in retrospect, it was either pretty cool or probably pretty disappointing arguing for blast processing. This time around, trying to be ahead of the curve proved to be disastrous for Sega.

Also, do check out more of the Gaming Historian, it’s a great channel filled with well produced mini-documentaries.

Slipstream is pretty awesome

Steam has plenty of games on it and it’s pretty easy to miss a new release in the shuffle. Especially ones sporting pixel art. So, when a cool game like Slipstream gets released, something needs to be said.

The obvious comparison is Sega’s Out Run and rightfully so. The sense of speed and drifting functions are nailed pretty well. The game comes with a handful of modes and tracks, all of which bring back a classic arcade racing style.

Presentation wise, the graphics highlight the 16-bit era and the controls are fluid and responsive with a gamepad. By far the best thing about Slipstream is its music. There are a ton of burning hot tracks that feel super awesome when you’re cruising, almost as if ansdor knew people would be listening to the soundtrack on a cool evening driving with top down in Miami Beach.

Don’t be shy, pick this up on Steam.

The Mega Man X stage select theme is amazing

You probably already know that it is. I was actually trying to compile a list of some of my favorite character/stage select themes and I could only come up with a few that I really liked. For example, the Street Fighter II and Mega Man 8 are pretty great, but nothing matched the affinity I had for the X1 theme.

But, let’s start with the ones I do like. Street Fighter II. It progresses nicely, doesn’t get on your nerves when it repeats and prepares you mentally for the fight, as all character select music should do.

 

 

And the aforementioned Mega Man 8 stage select song is decent too. It pulses with a great dance beat and synths that are easy going. It’s also kinda upbeat and doesn’t over do itself by being too complicated.

 

 

Street Fighter III: Third Strike definitely goes for something different. It’s hip-hop, funky and just down right cool sounding. It might be the only video game rap song that doesn’t sound dumb as you listen to it. It’s straight dope!

 

 

Nothing hits harder than the Mega Man X stage select theme. And I mean nothing. Just listen to the guitar riff, the snare drum and driving bass… it gets you pumped and ready for battle.

 

 

This song is just begging for a great hard rock or heavy metal cover. And I found a few that are actually pretty good. What actually surprised me the most was how good it could sound remixed on a Sega Genesis. Still, not as good as the Super Nintendo original.

 

 

Basically, we’ve learned that Capcom makes the best character and stage select music, ever.

Forgotten Consoles: That time Sega put the Genesis on airplanes

In the 90s Sega was in direct competition with Nintendo. Not just with their home consoles, but with their portable systems as well. We all know who the winner was in that battle, but Sega proved that it was willing to try new things and one-up Nintendo at just about every corner. The Sega Mega Jet was one of those things.

So, what was the Sega Mega Jet? It essentially was the predecessor to the Sega Nomad, a portable console that could play Genesis games. Only the Mega Jet lacked a screen. Initially, the console was rented for use on Japanese Airlines

The device lacked its own screen but could play Mega Drive cartridges when connected to a small armrest monitor used on JAL flights. The unit featured a directional pad on the left side and six buttons on the right, similar to the layout of a game controller. There was a second joypad port on the bottom of the Mega Jet for multiplayer games.

A consumer version of Mega Jet was released by Sega of Japan on March 10, 1994 at the cost US $123. It was essentially the same as the unit that was used on JAL flights, meaning that it still lacked a screen and couldn’t be powered without an AC adapter. Other than the addition of a mono DIN plug cord and the necessary AC adapter, no other additions or improvements were made.

Sega Wikia

Producer of Genesis Flashback consoles claims review units have early, buggy firmware

Nintendo recently flared the microconsole craze with NES Classic Edition. This spurred nostalgia amongst gamers of the 8-bit era and with that, Nintendo has another console coming preloaded with more games this September. But, they aren’t the only game in town, there’s another preloaded console on the way from AtGames, the Sega Genesis Flashback.

However, early reviews haven’t exactly been kind to the console, coming preloaded with 85 games. With the name “Sega Genesis Flashback,” you’d think that the system would come preloaded with 85 Genesis games. But, that is a misnomer, the console itself comes with a mixture of Master System, Game Gear, Genesis and 28 unrelated Sega games akin to shovelware.

While many like myself wouldn’t mind the non-Genesis content, the extra 28 games just add a the “ugh” factor already surrounding the poor reviews coming several outlets. Many reviewers haven’t been kind to machine, saying that it’s interface is clunky and disjointed. Even worse: that the emulation (which the system uses to play cartridge games) of Genesis games is poor. AtGames claims that most of these issues are do to review units containing outdated system software, but are working to resend newer units with an updated version.

Kotaku writes:

“A batch of our review units were accidentally shipped out with early software builds that do not represent the final version,” AtGames said. “We are working to get updated and correct final products in the hands of reviewers in the coming weeks.”

Systems like these get gamers who grew up in the 1990s a sense of remembrance and a reason to revisit those consoles and games with ease. Many might not care for minor bugs or glitches, but enthusiasts will certainly avoid it if they can’t play it the way they remember it.

AtGames is no stranger to producing Sega Hardware, they’ve been doing it for a long time now, producing a considerable number of Sega and Atari microconsoles. So, it’s a surprise to see something like this happen just before its release in late September.