Translations from Game Labo Vol. 191 -- July 2011 Issue

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Mana-Sama's Nostalgic game inferno

Part 4: Mega Drive & Mega CD

Mega Drive
Company: Sega Enterprises
Release Date: October 29, 1988
Retail Price: 21,000 yen

Mega CD
Company: Sega Enterprises
Release Date: December 12, 1991
Retail Price: 49,800 yen

Since the previous issue was a continuation from the issue before on the PC Engine, everyone who has been reading might think I'm a complete PC Engine fan. Of course I like the PC Engine, but another one I will never forget is the SEGA Mega Drive.

The Mega Drive, a rival to the PC Engine, was a machine that emitted a strong personality as well. In 1988 SEGA released the Mega Drive which raided the gaming industry for the first time with a 16 bit [machine].

It had a jet black body with a brilliant light on top and golden letters that said "16 BIT".

Some how it had a rich design, but at that time there was no mistaking it was an original color scheme. It made an impact. Also, it had the off, on, and volume controls at the top of the body, so the body design might have also had the image of audio type machinery intended for adults. With that kind of significance this original game machine design was like an advanced version of the 3DO REAL.

On the other hand, you can't deny the 8 bit PC Engine's graphics had a different feel compared to the 16 bit being sold.

As for the controller and characteristics, just like the Famicon's A and B buttons and the PC Engine's I and II buttons, until then there was a foundation of two buttons, but on the Mega Drive there were now 3 buttons; A, B, and C. This created more complicated games. Further more, by using a curved design it brought about a futuristic image in comparison to the many controllers that had sharp, angled designs.

Also, when I invested indomitably in both the Mega Drive and PC Engine, to tell you the truth I was conflicted! So, about the Mega CD!! I should probably tell you I was an audio mania (?), and it had a quick front loading style just like the 3DO.

My first encounter on the Mega CD was an virtual Cinema Adventure game known as "Mansion of Hidden Souls". When I think about it, [this game] gave me quite a shock. This game used an entire 3DCG on the CD-ROM to its fullest capacity, so it was my first personal experience with a three dimensional castle being presented. I remember it was really like getting lost inside a castle. I had said, "A new era of 3D is coming now." It was something that convinced me this was the rise of a new era of games.

After that in 1993, the retail price went down, so the popular version, Mega Drive 2, went on sale for 12,800 yen. At this time, when it was supposed to go on sale the shiny golden "16-BIT" letters became grey for some reason, so having said that it was nearly brought into a bad situation. By any chance could it have been because of the weak effects of the 16-BIT characters? Well, the technical term 16-bit isn't really something that hits home with children. The truth is the golden 16-bit might have been quite costly…….

Furthermore, the cost went down for the Mega CD too and the Mega CD2 came out with a top loading style. It also went on sale at the same time as the Mega Drive 2. When only looking at the form it also resembled the PC Engine CD-ROM² quite a bit. While I say that, for me the early days of original style of the Mega Drive was quite refined.

Foot Note:

Although I complain, I do like SEGA. However, before the announcement of the DC, I was shocked by their masochistic advertisements and thought "Has SEGA gone under?"~. (Mana)

Translations by Sarah @