The Sega Genesis Mini 2 is the company’s latest attempt to bring back nostalgia in a convenient all-in-one package. To be fair, its original model, introduced some time ago, is pretty unbeatable in its game line-up. That said, the Genesis Mini 2 is a nice follow-up, with a few rarities and some oddball favorites that you’re bound to enjoy over and over.
This package features 60 games, including popular hits like After Burner II, Splatterhouse 2 and Ristar, along with weird titles like the Japan exclusive (originally) Super Locomotive and Star Mobile. More notably, it also features a slew of games that appeared on the Sega CD. (Fortunately, the FMV titles are kept to a minimum.) There are some games that sadly didn’t make the final cut in the U.S. version. But if you’re a fan of all things Sega, consider this an absolute must-have.
First off, this system is tiny. The controller is actually bigger than the console itself, which resembles a mini Sega Genesis 2 system and actually features a working reset button and a tray that opens and closes. (No tiny cartridges, though.) The controller is a quality six-button one, primed for fighting games and a little better accuracy than the three-button. There’s also an HDMI cable and USB cord for power, though you’ll need a plug adapter (sold separately) to go into an outlet.
Overall, this system is a technical triumph. The menus are easy to use and customize; you can play around with options to get the “classic” look or go for something new; and the other options are exceptional when it comes to feeling comfortable with your system. The games also look great, though some fare better than others. (Some of these Sega CD titles are certainly “chunkier” than we remember.)
What About the Games?
There are 60 titles on the system in all. Sadly, most of the Japan-only titles, like Star Mobile and Devi & Pii, are forgettable affairs, offering gimmicky gameplay and poor visuals. They likely won’t keep your attention long. However, the technical remakes of Space Harrier II and Fantasy Zone, made specifically for this console, are great.
There are a ton of classics as well. Crusader of Centy and Splatterhouse 2 are full recommends, if only because their original cartridges go for top dollar on eBay; After Burner II, Toejam and Earl: Panic on Funkotron (“Hyperfunk zone!”) and Ristar also made the cut after missing the first game; and Viewpoint and Virtua Racing make for fun technical titles, showing off the system’s old (but still impressive) power.
The Sega CD stuff is pretty good, including games like Silpheed, Night Trap (of course) and Taito exclusives like The Ninja Warriors and Night Striker. However, classics like Lunar and Popful Mail didn’t make the cut, even though they’re featured on the Japanese version of the system. That would’ve make the deal that much sweeter. At least Sonic CD is here, and rad as ever.
Still, there’s something for everyone here, and for every game that’s pretty much a dud, there are two or three that are worth discovering. Rolling Thunder 2 is a blast, especially with two players; Outrunners is surprisingly enjoyable; Super Street Fighter II gets a fairly good port (mind the grainy sound); Truxton, Hellfire, Granada X and Lightening Force deliver the shooting goods; and Alien Soldier is a long-lost Treasure classic, finally getting a U.S. release here.
Honestly, you’ll have hours of fun with this one, even if the game line-up isn’t as stellar as the first.
While the Sega Genesis Mini 2 comes up slightly short in game selection and quality in some places, it more than makes up for it with rarities that deserve to be checked out, along with a superb design and compact little build that will fit in any collection. And, hey, if it sells well, Sega can always give the Saturn Mini or the Dreamcast Mini a shot. Yes, we want those.
The Bottom Line:
It would’ve been nice to see some of the import Sega CD games make the cut (and where’s Time Gal?!), but the Sega Genesis Mini 2 is a sweet little plug-and-play system that fans will truly enjoy.
Prefer a more modern console for your gaming needs? Don’t fret, we’re giving one away!