While the North American and European Mega Drive Mini 2 consoles share the same game list and overall design (gray buttons on North American units and red on European units), the Japanese version of the device is actually quite different—both in terms of appearance It’s still a pre-installed game.
For example, the logo on the chassis is completely different, and the buttons are gray (power) and blue (reset). In addition, the ink cartridge slot is equipped with a colored flap. If you ask us, the Japanese model looks more attractive than its Western siblings.
It is also possible to switch between the Japanese and Western versions of several games. Switching the language to English will give you the same Genesis Mini 2 interface as the North American version, but some games (despite English summaries) are still in Japanese. It’s worth noting that the aforementioned Bare Knuckle 3 isn’t included with the Japanese console, though it’s playable under the censorship status of the Western Mega Drive Mini 2.
Nintendo may have temporarily discontinued its own “Classic Edition” series, but Sega has bravely advanced its Mega Drive/Genesis Mini alongside the Astro City Mini, Astro City Mini V, Game Gear Micro, and this year’s Mega Drive/Genesis Mini 2. Via Physical hardware recycling classic games can obviously make a lot of money, and this sequel system offers something very unique: Mega/Sega CD games, some of which will be re-released for the first time ever.
Sega has once again teamed up with emulation specialists M2 on this product; that means you get top-notch emulation and a host of subtle (but welcome) tweaks – and a game that’s never been released before.
But if you already own the original Mega Drive/Genesis Mini is it worth your money, let’s face it, it already contains most of the best games from Mega Drive/Genesis?
That’s before we even mentioned that it’s more expensive than last year’s model, even though it only has one controller.
Mega Drive Mini 2 in Test – Hardware
As the name suggests, the Mega Drive/Genesis Mini 2 is based on a remake of the original 16-bit console that Sega released in 1993. Smaller and cheaper – but lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack – the design is hardly what you would call ugly, but it’s fair to say the Mk1 version has a richer memory for those who’ve lived through this particular era of gaming . Still, it doesn’t make much sense for Sega to just release another Mk1 Mega Drive/Genesis Mini, so here we are.
The device doesn’t differ much from the first Mega Drive/Genesis Mini in terms of footprint. It shares the same cartridge slot design (which is actually open so you can plug in the optional dummy bay like before), and has two USB-A ports on the front; a micro-USB socket on the back (for power) and a full-size HDMI port. Too bad Sega didn’t opt for the more modern USB-C connector for power, which is now widely used in competitions.
The power and reset buttons are at the top, and eagle-eyed fans will immediately notice that something is amiss; Sega chose a Japanese design for all three regional variants of the Mega Drive/Genesis Mini 2, so there’s a power button (not a knob), no center Grid – This means there is no red power LED to indicate when the system is powered up, which can lead to confusion.
While Sega included two controllers with the first Mega Drive / Genesis Mini, this time only one. That’s bad news – the good news is that this controller is based on the six-button controller that was released at the same time as Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition, and is larger than the one that came with the Japanese original Mega Drive/Genesis Mini version (North American and European versions ship with larger 3-button keyboard).
Just one pad but with six buttons, idea for playing Street Fighter II.
It’s arguably the best controller for a console; if you want to play two-player, it’s just a shame that you have to invest in a second game (in case you were wondering, Retro-Bit’s officially licensed Sega Pads work well used in conjunction with the console). Oh, and like the previous model, there’s no power adapter (just a USB cable), so you’ll need to buy it yourself. Latency is always a hot topic when it comes to emulation-based machines, and while the Mega Drive/Genesis Mini 2’s input lag won’t impress those used to MiSTer or Analogue’s FPGA-based options, it feels like it will continue Our expectations for these “classic” mics were pretty good.
Mega Drive Mini 2 Review – Complete Game List (US / JAPAN / EUROPE)
- After Burner II
- Alien Soldier
- Atomic Runner
- Bonanza Bros.
- Crusader of Centy / Ragnacënty / Soleil (My favourite, just fot this game it worth to pay for the mini 2 version).
- Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf
- Earthworm Jim 2
- Elemental Master
- Fatal Fury 2
- Gain Ground
- Golden Axe II
- Herzog Zwei
- Thunder Force IV / Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar
- Midnight Resistance
- Phantasy Star II
- RAINBOW ISLANDS -EXTRA-
- ROLLING THUNDER 2
- Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
- Shining Force II
- Shining in the Darkness
- Sonic 3D Blast
- SPLATTERHOUSE 2
- Streets of Rage 3
- Super Hang-On
- SUPER STREET FIGHTER II THE NEW CHALLENGERS
- The Ooze
- The Revenge of Shinobi
- ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
- VectorMan 2
- Virtua Racing
- Ecco the Dolphin (Sega CD)
- Ecco: The Tides of Time (Sega CD)
- Final Fight CD (Sega CD)
- Mansion of Hidden Souls (Sega CD)
- NIGHT STRIKER (Sega CD)
- Night Trap (Sega CD)
- Robo Aleste (Sega CD)
- Sewer Shark (Sega CD)
- Shining Force CD (Sega CD)
- SILPHEED (Sega CD)
- Sonic CD (Sega CD)
- THE NINJA WARRIORS (Sega CD)
- Devi & Pii (Special Content)
- Fantasy Zone (Special Content)
- Space Harrier II + Space Harrier (Special Content)
- Spatter (Special Content)
- Star Mobile (Special Content)
- Super Locomotive (Special Content)
- VS Puyo Puyo Sun (Special Content)