It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!
Released around the same time as the TurboGrafx-16, the Sega Genesis was everything the Sega Master System was not. It was the first Sega console that could accurately recreate some of the best arcade games of the era, something that helped make the system popular in the early 1990s. These days the Sega Genesis is best known for its countless add-ons and accessories, which include the Sega CD, Sega 32X, Menacer and Activator. The Genesis was the first system to really give Nintendo a run for its money, something few saw coming after the overwhelming success of the NES (and the utter failure of the Master System).
Strider, Ghouls 'N Ghosts, Phantasy Star III, Gunstar Heroes, Streets of Rage, Sonic 3, Landstalker, Vectorman, Shinobi III and so on!
Anybody that knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of the Sega Genesis. If you talked to me 15 years ago I would have fought you to the death to convince you that the Genesis was better than the Super NES. But one thing I never liked was the look of the Genesis. While it's not nearly as bad as the Sega Master System, the Genesis just isn't as sexy as I want it to be. It does have a few things going for it, for example I like that it has a headphone jack plugged right into it. But while I'm impressed by that one aspect, I am horrified at the weird volume control on the left side of the system. What do they think this is, a portable game system? Another problem I have is that the system just seems too big and bulky. The Genesis does look a lot better when the first-generation Sega CD is attached to it, but that's the kind of thing you get when you spend hundreds of dollars on a CD add-on with a loading drawer. At the end of the day the Genesis is a better looking system than the Super NES but doesn't look quite as cool as the TurboGrafx-16. Thankfully for Sega it was the games that mattered, not what the system looked like.
If I was Matthew Perry I would say, "Could this thing be any more like a VCR?", but I'm not, so I won't say that. The first incarnation was pretty ghastly; far too big and bulky, especially when combined with the first generation Mega CD expansion. It looks more like I'm about to pirate a copy of Running Man than play Sonic. I much preferred the second version, after it received the glorified "Genesis" moniker and dropped the Mega Drive stuff. It was, much like the Master System and the Turbo Grafx, sleek and, dare I say, sexy. It didn't look quite as durable as systems past, though. I know I beat the hell out of my NES more than I did my Genesis, mostly because I was afraid of breaking it. Black was an excellent color decision, and I'm kind of glad multiple colors weren't a craze at the time. The last thing I want to see is a green Genesis. I just don't, so drop it.