Friday, April 27, 2012

Genesis Controller Types + Reviews

Happy Friday Gamers! Today I want to take some time to cover different controller types. I happen to have 4 different types of controllers for the genesis, each unique in their own way. Are there more than 4? I'm pretty sure yes, but these are what I've been able to find and get pictures of.

So lets start with the original...

The original Genesis controller....while not quite the behemoth that is the original XBOX's still large and awkward. I never liked it. Don't get me wrong, it does the job, BUT, to someone with smaller hands it is not very comfortable. Also the D-Pad on these versions are more likely to go after time and become unresponsive. Some people don't mind the bulk to it...but, it's not for me.

This is a variant of the original controller called the Megafire. It's the exact same in every way except it has the Auto feature similar to the smaller 6 button controllers Turbo/Normal/Slow switches. Also the end connector to the Genesis is flat unlike the original which is a little bulkier. Either way, same poor bulky design with an added feature, red for the buttons, an added auto switch, and a moved over start not make this any better.

This is the 6 button turbo controller. To this day..still one of the best controllers ever made. It's comfortable, the D-Pad lasts and isn't prone to sticking like the original. For those with really big hands, I apologize on what you may be missing out on. Also if your saying to yourself, " I've owned a turbo controller, but could never figure out what it does..." a lot of games it isn't usable, but if your hammering out some serious game time in say...Street Fighter, this button will turbo mimic button mashing. So you want to punch faster than the PC or opponent, then this is where the turbo comes in. Cheap? yes. Awesome? Duh. 

This is an off brand controller by InterAct called the SG PROPAD 6. I haven't spent much time with it as I've only recently came across it, but I can tell you it doesn't feel very good. Size wise its close to the small 6 button Sega controller, but because of the lack of arch like in the official Sega feels a lot bigger and personally isn't very comfortable for me. Another Turbo controller, but a little fancier looking. This also suffers from the bad D-Pad design of the original controllers. The buttons aren't as loose and take a little more effort to push. Face it with any controller your going to generally hear the pressing of the buttons, but usually when your gaming you tune it out as your paying attention to the game. With this controller however I just couldn't escape the loud clicking each button made. 

I know wireless controllers exist, but I've never owned them and when I do find some..I shall review them :P 

Oh...and the Sega Action day...for those who don't's a chair with the controller and joystick built in. Epic? Yes, yes it is.

Overall the revised smaller 6 button official Sega controller is the best, hands down. If I had to rank controllers on comfort, design, and responsiveness...I'd put the Genesis 6 button at #1 followed by the Sega Saturn controller, and the Xbox S or 360 controller for my top 3.

So in the future I will do an accessory/add-on blowout ...I just need to hunt most of them down - according to Wikipedia...



Add OnsEdit

Don't worry, I will post as I find and hopefully review them all in the future! Thanks guys and have a great day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Basic Issues With the Genesis + A New Review : World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck

Hey everyone, just a short post today - I'm not planning on going to in depth as I've already repaired what I have, but when I fix a friends Model 1 Genesis I will make sure I do pictures to help. So, I just want to bring of 2 specific issues that are common place in an older system like the Sega Genesis...

Issue 1: Loose A/C connector in the back. Find yourself  having to wiggle your power cord around to get the power to stay on? Simple problem with a simple fix. All you need is a Soldering Iron and some Flux. You can buy a cheap kit from Sears for about $10. All this problem is, is the solder connecting the power input to the main board has corroded away over time. All you have to do is re-solder the connectors and voila! Problem solved.

Issue 2: Intermittent connection issues with the controllers. Recently in the middle of a battle in Shining Force my controller decided to sporadically work. Sometimes it wouldn't work at all, others I can only move left. Some games I can jump and move right, but not attack and move left. So just like the issue above...take the Genesis apart and take a look at the bottom of the board where the solder joints are for the controllers. This one you need a good eye for. The first time I looked at these joints I didn't see an issue...then I put my Genesis back together and tried the second controller port, and it worked. So I took it back apart and compared the 2. What I saw was that on controller port 2's joints, it still looked shiny and the solder covered them completely down to the board. On controller port 1 however, it looked very dull and at the base were tiny lines or cracks. So I re-soldered the joints so they touched to the board and bam..problem fixed!

So these are just 2 of the issues I wanted to quickly cover - as I'm fixing a friends Genesis soon I will have pictures to put in here just to make it easier. Also I have 2 Game Gears which need fixing - on one the volume is super low and the other the volume is fine, but the picture is wonky. Those I can't guarantee when I will get around to fixing, but be sure that I will post them on here with pics! And yes this is a Genesis collecting blog..but, I'm a Sega I will be posting all my fun finds and other stuff as well...but the main focus is on the Genesis! So check back often for my updates and especially for the repair pics!

Monday, April 23, 2012

First Review : Shining Force

Ok guys, here is my first ever review - Shining Force. This is a game I beat a long time ago, but just finished going back through it again. My review style may change over the course of the different reviews, but stick with me and I'm sure I will find an easy to follow style. So here it goes!

                                            Shining Force Review by Genesaturn

Box Art

Title Screen

Main Battle Map


Synopsis:  The Continent of Rune has slumbered in peace for 50 generations. A horde of invaders swarm across the border, while a dragon that has slept for centuries stirs in its tomb. Only the king's youngest swordsman and his war party and defy the Dark Dragons evil power and crush the mighty army! - As stated on the back of the game box.

Plot: So the main plot of the game isn't something we haven't seen before, but when the game came out it was pretty unique. For the most part the story is simple and you generally know how it will play out from the first few minutes in the game. It's not bad, just pretty basic, but this isn't a game I would recommend just for its plot line anyways. The game never strays from the main story as being one of the first RPG's of its time, it had no need to and it is short compared to modern RPG's. 

Overall Plot Score: 7 out of 10

Game Play: Gameplay is really where the game shines. Its very fun and requires some amount of strategy, as it is a strategy RPG. There is no "world map" like in a lot of RPG's. You pretty much travel from town A to town B, but there are no random encounters or anything of that kind. While in town you can buy/sell items from merchants, save your game, and talk to town folk. Combat is pretty engaging. You can control up to 10 troops in battle at one time. So towards the end of the game when you have way more than 10, you really need to choose your party carefully. In combat you will be on a map and when you select one of your units, a highlighted are will come up to show where they can move. This is where you need to think out your strategy. Running in guns blazing is not a tactic that will work in this game. Overall the combat is fun and pretty time consuming. I've found myself in a single battle for over an hour. It's not overly difficult, but does offer up a challenge and there is a wealth of different types of characters to keep your party fresh if you decide to go back through more than once. 

Overall Gameplay Score: 9 out of 10

Graphics: Gauging graphics on a game from 1993 is hard to do when we have such beautiful games out today. So when looking at the graphics, I compare them to other games from the same time and system. While the Genesis may not exactly have the lively color palette the SNES does, it still has its share of very pretty games. Shining Force has great graphics for its time period. The colors darker and more rugged to fit in with story which is also dark and rugged. In combat especially the characters are done very well and with quite a bit of detail. The brightest spot though would have to be the magic spells and battle animations. All of them are done very well. There are some really ugly games on the Genesis, but this isn't one of them. Shining Force is by far one of the prettier games on the system. 

Overall Graphics Score: 9 out of 10

Music: The music in Shining Force is your standard JRPG music. It's nothing outstanding, but nothing that would make you want to mute the game while you play. I'd have to say though compared to how fun the game is, the music is one of its weaker points. It's fairly repetitive and doesn't change depending on where you are. All towns have the same music as does the battles or dungeon type areas. The sound effects however are top notch. There is quite an array of sound effects for magic spells especially. So again, the music doesn't deter from the game, I personally just wish there was more of it and less repetitiveness. 

Overall Music Score: 7 out of 10

Overall Score: 8 out of 10

Final Thoughts: If your a fan of RPG's then this is a must play. Shining Force was one of the first of its kind. At the same time Nintendo had Fire Emblem, but Shining Force is a much more engaging game. You actually get to explore and talk to people. It's more open. I loved the game back in 1993 and I still love it just as much now. It is a solid RPG with a fair amount of replay-ability. Great gameplay and beautiful 16-bit graphics make this a gem in any Genesis collectors collection. If you don't have it...a complete copy will probably set you back about $25 bucks. Well worth the money. It's not perfect, and will probably frustrate you a few times, but in the end..more than worth it! Go pick it up and play!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Last Minute Grabs Thanks to Melanie Z!

So after a nice dinner out with 2 of the most awesome people in the world...aka Melanie and Jeff - we went back to their house and Mel decided to unload some of her loose Genesis games to the greater cause! Huzzah!

Mrs Pac-man
Rambo 3
Power Rangers: The Movie
Toy Story
Jurassic Park
Batman & Robin

This officially boosts me up to 94 games - 6 away from the 100 mark - but remember, my goal is a completed complete collection, boxed w/manuals. This helps though as you never know when empty boxes will appear. Funny story....

I used to work for Game Crazy (part of Hollywood Video) back about 8 years ago. One day we get an e-mail from corporate saying we are to dump boxes and manuals of duplicate old gen games in order to free up space for newer games. So when the day was over - after nearly coming to tears from dumping a crap load of Genesis/NES/SNES/N64/DC/Saturn cases out in the trash...I went on a little dumpster diving trip :)  - needless to say I saved the game cases! lol. Most were pretty common, but luckily I got Splatterhouse 3 with the instructions - this will help me out as Slatterhouse 3 is not a cheap common game to find for the Genny at all.

Ok thats it for today - look for my next update tomorrow or Tuesday! Thanks for reading guys!

Loose Games, Horrid Pictures, and Random Things

Ok guys, here is my second part of the intro this post I will post some horribad pictures of my mini collection thus far...also I will list my loose games and some random tidbits.

SO to start, here are the loose carts I have,

Aliens 3
Aquatic Games
Caesars Palace
Desert Demolition
Family Feud
Garfield Caught in the Act
Home Alone
Jurassic Park : The Lost World
McDonalds Treasure Land Adventure
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Mortal Kombat II
NBA JAM : Tournament Edition
Pac-man 2: The New Adventures
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure
Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare
Sonic 3D Blast
Streets of Rage 2
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
World of Illusion Staring Disney;s Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck

So 86 Games total..I was off by 3 - huzzah for basic counting skills.

Here are the horrible picture I took...

So some stuff that are obviously not noticeable due to my bad pics...I do have some Japanese Saturn games mixed in along with some Dreamcast games, Wii, Gamecube, 32x, Sega CD, Game Gear, PS1, and NeoGeo Pocket color. Since I've been focusing mostly on my Genesis collection, I only have small amounts of other systems games...usually stuff I pick up from thrift stores or get good deals on...or know I won't come across to many of them in the wild...Also a huge shout out to Melanie who seems to have an ungodly amount of luck when thrift store hunting...and needless to say I'm probably her number 1 customer lol!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Let the fun begin :)

      Welcome to my Blog ladies and gents. I was going to wait until I had a complete U.S. Genesis collection before starting the blog, but a friend said...why wait? so...yeah why wait? The point of this blog is going to be to write reviews on every Sega Genesis game released in the U.S. and give some insight on how to identify and fix common hardware problems.

      As of now my collection is 89 games strong, 66 complete ( boxed with instructions) and 23 loose. So...lets start this blog off on a informative note. For those who aren't Sega Genesis collectors, or are just starting...lets get you acquainted with the basics.

      Sega Genesis, the follow up to the SMS (Sega Master System) was release in Japan as the Mega Drive in 1988. It was release in the U.S. in 1989 as the Sega Genesis as Sega could not secure the name rights to the Mega Drive over here. It was then released in Europe under the Mega Drive name in 1990.