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Mega Drive. Yeah!

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There is nothing pretentious about collecting Japanese Megadrive games. There are a few big reasons why people choose to collect them over the alternatives.

This is what always confuses me. The same people that get annoyed because of a couple of borders are more than willing to go to the effort to translate Japanese menus, surely this is infinitely more annoying, or is this part of the charm? Personally it puts me off. The 60Hz/50Hz I can understand.

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Well, a few things really:

1) most Mega Drive games don't have menus, never mind anything else that needs translating

2) borders and slow motion. Once you've played Sonic/insert shmup here at full speed, you can't go back

3) Bare Knuckle III is an argument all of its own

(and anyway 4) most games released for the Megadrive are identical internally and lack region locking, so getting a game in the usually-far-lovelier Japanese packaging loses you nothing - you can play the game in whatever language and speed you want, so why not go for the prettier boxes and carts in those cases?)

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enjoyed my megadrive at the time but i have found there is a lack of quality titles i actually go back to on the system. Then again, there really is a lot of rubbish on the snes too but Nintendo's output seemed better as time went on..

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enjoyed my megadrive at the time but i have found there is a lack of quality titles i actually go back to on the system. Then again, there really is a lot of rubbish on the snes too but Nintendo's output seemed better as time went on..

Bah! Bah, I say! Streets of Rage 2, Alien Soldier, Bare Knuckle 3, Golden Axe, Sonics 1, 2, 3, 3+K, +K, Burning Force*, Puyo Puyo 1 & 2, Gunstar Heroes, Revenge of Shinobi, Thunderforce II-IV, Aeroblasters, Dynamite Headdy, Whip Rush, Ristar, Shining Force I & II, Biohazard Battle, Phantasy Star II-IV, Strider, Gaiares, Toejam & Earl, Ranger X, Landstalker, Hellfire, Gleylancer, Story of Thor, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Contra: The Hard Corps, Dune II (the best version, astonishingly), Micro Machines '96, Monster World III and IV** and Bioship Paladin all spit in your eye.

And that's off the top of my head, and not counting games also available on SNES (or that I simply don't like, against general opinion). A system filled with quality titles, I think you'll find! Particularly, as that list suggests, if you like shmups.

*okay, this one might just be me. I just love into-the-screen shooters, and this is my favourite on the system.

**though, in fairness, IV was never available in English unless hacked

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Or Treasure's! Though I never did try Light Crusader (and left out their McDonalds game from the list because I just can't bring myself to recommend anything so horribly themed :()

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Bah! Bah, I say! Streets of Rage 2, Alien Soldier, Bare Knuckle 3, Golden Axe, Sonics 1, 2, 3, 3+K, +K, Burning Force*, Puyo Puyo 1 & 2, Gunstar Heroes, Revenge of Shinobi, Thunderforce II-IV, Aeroblasters, Dynamite Headdy, Whip Rush, Ristar, Shining Force I & II, Biohazard Battle, Phantasy Star II-IV, Strider, Gaiares, Toejam & Earl, Ranger X, Landstalker, Hellfire, Gleylancer, Story of Thor, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Contra: The Hard Corps, Dune II (the best version, astonishingly), Micro Machines '96, Monster World III and IV** and Bioship Paladin all spit in your eye.

And that's off the top of my head, and not counting games also available on SNES (or that I simply don't like, against general opinion). A system filled with quality titles, I think you'll find! Particularly, as that list suggests, if you like shmups.

*okay, this one might just be me. I just love into-the-screen shooters, and this is my favourite on the system.

**though, in fairness, IV was never available in English unless hacked

Oh don't get me wrong, there were still good games for the system. I had 50 or so games over the lifespan of the console. I even had a mega cd with most of it's library.

Streets of Rage 2 is still one of my favorite games (not a big fan of the other games in the series) and most of the sonic games are decent.

I was never into several of those titles you mention though. I was never a huge shoot em up fan or RPG fan - most of the games i played where platformers or beat em ups.

The disney output I always enjoyed (castle of illusion/quackshot/world of illusion etc), the earthworm jim games, aladdin etc but i ended up getting a snes a year and a half after my megadrive and kinda migrated to that.

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Nothing wrong with that. I guess like anything you migrate to what ever has the most interest to you. I'm not a huge fan of RPGs so have no interest in making the same kind of collection on the SNES (a good thing as it would cost me a fortune).

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When I finally settle into a home and have the room to rebuild my collection I'm going to start with the Megadrive. My last collection was missing out despite having a hefty amount of Saturn and DC stuff, criminally.

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I'm going to start making videos of each game I buy and sticking them up here and Youtube for every one to hopefully enjoy. If I can get some of you to consider buying Mega Drive games again I can sleep easy at night :P

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I think I've got all the Japanese megadrive games I want for my collection at the moment, with the exception of some of the daftly expensive ones like Slap Fight and Battlemania 2. Well you never know, I might get lucky at a car boot!

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Quite fun? It's a classic. Better than the PC Engine version in terms of physics. Freaks out occasionally if you get too high a score and max multipliers though.

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3) Bare Knuckle III is an argument all of its own

Shame the game isn't as good as the either of the other 2 entries though, worst Koshiro soundtrack too, nevermind the cuts or changes, not the first game to be 'localised' for a Western release. The idea had run out of steam by the time they made that one.

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Agreed on the music being worse than the first two, but in terms of gameplay it's definitely 2 > 3 > 1 for me. 1 is fine in 2-player (launching each other across the screen at enemies is always great fun), but unlike 2 and 3 just doesn't manage to be much fun as a single-player experience.

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I found the original Streets Of Rage to be dull as buggery. Got some more games coming soon courtesy of Yiggy. And to think I'd be halfway to a PS4 if I hadn't bought these games :P

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I recently bought a mega drive as it was the first console I played as a kid.

I have a few PAL games which are obviously bordered and slow, but was looking to mod it and buy all the games in the US format. Are they still bordered or something and I should be looking at getting the Japanese stuff instead?

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There's a few things to note re: Mega Drive regions.

Firstly: no, you won't get borders or slowdown when running in US mode - that's because the borders and slowdown are entirely down to the switch from 60Hz NTSC signal (used in the US and Japan) to 50Hz PAL/SECAM (used in Europe/Aus).

Secondly: in the majority of cases the games are internally identical (particularly true for earlier titles), and so will run perfectly if put in a US (or Japanese) system, or system modded to look like it's US/Japanese. Stick UK Sonic into a US machine and you get Sonic running at full speed, without borders. There are exceptions; text-heavy titles like RPGs will tend to be Japanese language only if bought from Japan, and some later games (generally appearing from 1993 and onwards, IIRC) have region locking in them - notable titles include Street Fighter 2, Sonic 3 and Bare Knuckle 3.

In practice, this means that with a modded Mega Drive, ideally with either a US-EU-JAP switch, or two separate switches for Language and Hz (English + 60Hz = US, English + 50Hz = EU, Japanese + 60Hz = Jap, Japanese + 50Hz = Asia), you can experience most of your old games in borderless, full-speed mode without issue. Some games have a region lock, but can be fooled by switching region after they've started. Others will need to be rebought (particularly those that were optimised for PAL, as they will not work properly at all in a different region, even if the region lock is circumvented), but these are the minority.

Oh, and if you do decide to get Japanese games, be aware that they will not fit in a UK/US megadrive - the cart slot needs to be widened slightly. Most modded Mega Drives will have this done, but it's worth checking for!

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Dumb question but is the Mega CD region locked too? Is there a service where I could get a Mega Drive + Mega CD 1 modded for 60Hz and region all in one go?

Also to double check, what is the best video output for a Mega Drive/CD combo? Is it S-Video?

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Oh, and if you do decide to get Japanese games, be aware that they will not fit in a UK/US megadrive - the cart slot needs to be widened slightly. Most modded Mega Drives will have this done, but it's worth checking for!

Or even worse, butchered carts!

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