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[SEGA CD] Advice regarding the Sega CD requested!

DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
edited March 2012 in Games and Technology
Hey dudes, I was thinking of picking up a Sega CD, but I had a few concerns about purchasing a 20 year old CD-based accessory and I figured you folks would know what's what. How's the hardware reliability? I've had pretty terrible personal experiences with disc consoles such as the ps2. Just curious how well these work, in other words, because these things are pretty expensive for what they are. The "memory card" costs the same as the damn system, don't know if I'd even bother with that.

In any event, feel free to discuss the system and games in general if you wish. If you're wondering why the hell I'd want one, its because I picked up a few games, and prefer the real console experience. Same reason I play my SNES games on SNES, even if they have ports to newer systems.

Just no clue where else I'd ask for advice on this thing since I certainly don't know anyone who ever owned one. So what do y'all think of it?

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Posts

  • MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    My favorite resource for Sega stuff is Sega-16:

    http://www.sega-16.com/

    Lots of great info there, especially in the forums.

    I can't really speak about reliability, I'm using a Model 2 Sega CD and it hasn't failed (yet). I've heard that Model 1's are more prone to fail. Even just by design (mechanized tray vs. "flip top") there are more components that could break. If you got a CDX or JVC X'Eye, those should be similarly reliable (but again, I have no experience with anything except the Model 2 SCD).

    CD back-up RAM carts are usually expensive, only advice there I can offer is to stay alert since they can pop up for more reasonable prices from time to time. The "Sonic's Bazaar" section of Sega 16 can have some good deals on those, too, so check into that.

    I'm not sure if there's any alternatives outside of flash carts, and you wouldn't save much money going that route (but you would get a lot of extra functionality). The Neo Myth MD can already be used as a CD backup RAM cartridge, the Mega EverDrive will also offer that feature but it hasn't been released yet.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention the MegaCart, that would work as well, but it's not cheaper than buying the Sega branded cart:

    http://products.genny4ever.net/megacart_v1x.html

    EDIT 2: I did a little reading, and apparently the Japanese back-up RAM carts will work just fine (and are usually much cheaper). Here's a listing that's more reasonable, you might find something even better if you keep looking around:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mega-CD-BACK-UP-RAM-Cartridge-SEGA-Genesis-JAPAN-mc-/360388839758?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e8d9494e

    You'll have to make it fit with a pass-through (don't think a Game Genie would work in this instance, but I can't say for sure) or by modifying your Genesis. There's a US cart going for a little more if you'd rather not go that route (probably should have just linked this first, haha, but you can find them for cheaper than this if you're patient and watch eBay):

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEGA-CD-BACKUP-RAM-CART-X16-INTERNAL-MEMORY-/380404336021?pt=Video_Games_Accessories&hash=item5891dd8595

    Mugenmidget on
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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Ah, thank you for the resources and huge write up, I will check that out. The whole Genesis in general is a convoluted mess, so many various models. There's even that CDX console you mentioned, with both systems integrated. I'm more of a gamer than a collector though, so I'm just looking at picking up the cheaper but (hopefully) functional Sega CD.

    Very interesting that the Japanese pack works. I suppose that isn't all that uncommon, but cool none the less.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Haha yeah, no problem man, I hope some of it helps. Sorry if I jumped all over the place. I definitely feel you on being "more of a gamer than a collector", there was plenty of stuff I wanted to check out on the Genesis and Sega CD so I went through a similar phase.

    Something cool about the MegaCart/Neo Myth MD/likely the EverDrive as well is that they allow you to load different BIOSes for "region free" Sega CD gaming. You can also back up your games, patch them for your region, then write them to a CD-R to bypass that problem.

    Mugenmidget on
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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I love the Sega CD. It's not a perfect console(I've gone through two), but the battery is more reliable than the Saturn's, somehow.

    Genuine classics:

    -Lunar: The Silver Star
    -Popful Mail
    -Lunar II: Eternal Blue
    -Panic!
    -Road Avenger
    -The Secret of Monkey Island
    -Rise of the Dragon
    -Heart of the Alien (Out of this World 1 & 2)

    Guilty pleasures:
    -Night Trap
    -Double Switch
    -Corpse Killer
    -Sewer Shark

    It has an internal battery, so you don't need a memory card. How well the battery will hold up... well, that's the trick.

    cj iwakura on
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    蒼く咲く華 日は灯り 天に流れる | Kill The Past
  • MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    Yeah that's true, I didn't even think to mention that. Shining Force CD is the only game that requires it, right?

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  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Oh man, I love the Ecco games. The Sega CD versions have music in them that are so good.

    Bartholamue on
    Steam- SteveBartz Xbox Live- SteveBartz PSN Name- SteveBartz
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    It has an internal battery, so you don't need a memory card. How well the battery will hold up... well, that's the trick.

    I've yet to have a battery fail on me (though I have carts I haven't played in a decade so that's hardly definitive), but who knows with used games and systems. Really its the disc drives that worry me. Though using top loaders, rather than trays, seem to be the key to avoiding that sort of shit.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    They, like most consoles from the 90's, are going through a horrible bought of capacitor plague en-mass. Within a few years, most old consoles from the late 80's till the late 90's are going to fail within a short time span of one another unless you give them a total capacitor replacement. I'd say that, in 5 years, the retro gaming market is going to become very, very expensive. Especially since most people don't know about capacitor plague and will assume the hardware is just permanently broken, and throw it away. If you're not savvy enough to replace the caps in your sega CD, I can get you the contact info of someone who will do it for a fee (usually about $25). Usually the first sign of capacitor plague is slow loading and audio glitches.

    There is also a fuse that is very prone to blowing on the mainboard which will result in the sega cd not turning on at all. This is a super easy fix and can be done for under the price of a quarter.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    They, like most consoles from the 90's, are going through a horrible bought of capacitor plague en-mass. Within a few years, most old consoles from the late 80's till the late 90's are going to fail within a short time span of one another unless you give them a total capacitor replacement. I'd say that, in 5 years, the retro gaming market is going to become very, very expensive. Especially since most people don't know about capacitor plague and will assume the hardware is just permanently broken, and throw it away.

    Well. Now I'm depressed.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote: »
    They, like most consoles from the 90's, are going through a horrible bought of capacitor plague en-mass. Within a few years, most old consoles from the late 80's till the late 90's are going to fail within a short time span of one another unless you give them a total capacitor replacement. I'd say that, in 5 years, the retro gaming market is going to become very, very expensive. Especially since most people don't know about capacitor plague and will assume the hardware is just permanently broken, and throw it away.

    Well. Now I'm depressed.

    An hour or two worth of soldering or a hundred or so bucks, and all your old consoles from the 90's will be good and guaranteed to work for the next 20-30 years. So it's not that depressing. Buy now, fix them up, and you can keep enjoying them for a long time.

    I'd actually recommend everyone with a 90's console that wants to enjoy it well into the future give their console a total tune up, even if it's still working. That is to say, replace all the caps, check all the fuses, and replace the CD-Rom mechanisms (motor, lens, and belt if applicable). This will ensure you decades more enjoyment. It's not nearly as complex as it sounds, and you can wander into virtually any dedicated community (sega-16, atari age, Assembler, Racketboy, Super PC Engine FX, etc) and find either people willing to help you through the process or flat out do it for you.

  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    Well, that's certainly worth knowing. I'm techy enough to build PCs, but I've never messed around with the boards themselves. I probably wouldn't be comfortable with anything more complicated than doing a battery switch on a cart.

    On the other hand, I guess that makes me far less worried about how well the console will run; if it would need tune up anyway.

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  • LBD_NytetraynLBD_Nytetrayn TorontoRegistered User regular
    They, like most consoles from the 90's, are going through a horrible bought of capacitor plague en-mass. Within a few years, most old consoles from the late 80's till the late 90's are going to fail within a short time span of one another unless you give them a total capacitor replacement. I'd say that, in 5 years, the retro gaming market is going to become very, very expensive. Especially since most people don't know about capacitor plague and will assume the hardware is just permanently broken, and throw it away. If you're not savvy enough to replace the caps in your sega CD, I can get you the contact info of someone who will do it for a fee (usually about $25). Usually the first sign of capacitor plague is slow loading and audio glitches.

    There is also a fuse that is very prone to blowing on the mainboard which will result in the sega cd not turning on at all. This is a super easy fix and can be done for under the price of a quarter.

    Please tell me that this is based in some large part on usage...

    qjWUWdm.gif1edr1cF.gif0g9jaoG.gifuWt4fLV.gif
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    They, like most consoles from the 90's, are going through a horrible bought of capacitor plague en-mass. Within a few years, most old consoles from the late 80's till the late 90's are going to fail within a short time span of one another unless you give them a total capacitor replacement. I'd say that, in 5 years, the retro gaming market is going to become very, very expensive. Especially since most people don't know about capacitor plague and will assume the hardware is just permanently broken, and throw it away. If you're not savvy enough to replace the caps in your sega CD, I can get you the contact info of someone who will do it for a fee (usually about $25). Usually the first sign of capacitor plague is slow loading and audio glitches.

    There is also a fuse that is very prone to blowing on the mainboard which will result in the sega cd not turning on at all. This is a super easy fix and can be done for under the price of a quarter.

    Please tell me that this is based in some large part on usage...

    It's based entirely on time. A brand new, never before used system, still in box, could be experiencing cap plague right now.

  • agoajagoaj Hey You Pichu I don't like your girlfriendRegistered User regular
    Remember to freeze your consoles to keep them fresh!
    Spoiler:

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  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X When you speak I hear muffinsRegistered User regular
    Man, my Sega Saturn never worked when it was new. Would reformat it's hard drive every time it powered on. I didn't even know it had a hard drive.

    If you end up with a CD, get Snatcher, man! It holds up, which I really can't say about most of the other cult CD classics.

    Also, Earthworm Jim was way better than the MD/Genesis version. But be wary about most of those ports, they only got minor changes from the cart versions, but they'll probably cost you way more.

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  • MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Man, my Sega Saturn never worked when it was new. Would reformat it's hard drive every time it powered on. I didn't even know it had a hard drive.
    It doesn't, but it does have internal RAM for holding saves (similar to the Sega CD) that is powered by a CR2032 battery. Your battery might have been defective/missing/expired from sitting on the shelf so long. Cheap and easy to replace, too. If only I could go back in time and tell you this!

    Mugenmidget on
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  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    I love the Sega CD. It's not a perfect console(I've gone through two), but the battery is more reliable than the Saturn's, somehow.

    Genuine classics:

    -Lunar: The Silver Star
    -Popful Mail
    -Lunar II: Eternal Blue
    -Panic!
    -Road Avenger
    -The Secret of Monkey Island
    -Rise of the Dragon
    -Heart of the Alien (Out of this World 1 & 2)

    Guilty pleasures:
    -Night Trap
    -Double Switch
    -Corpse Killer
    -Sewer Shark

    It has an internal battery, so you don't need a memory card. How well the battery will hold up... well, that's the trick.

    I'd add Dark Wizard to the classics list, with the caveat that you have to turn off the battle animations because they're boring and take too long to load.

    And now I am depressed from reading about capacitor plague.

  • anoffdayanoffday To be changed whenever Anoffday gets around to it. Registered User regular
    They, like most consoles from the 90's, are going through a horrible bought of capacitor plague en-mass. Within a few years, most old consoles from the late 80's till the late 90's are going to fail within a short time span of one another unless you give them a total capacitor replacement. I'd say that, in 5 years, the retro gaming market is going to become very, very expensive. Especially since most people don't know about capacitor plague and will assume the hardware is just permanently broken, and throw it away. If you're not savvy enough to replace the caps in your sega CD, I can get you the contact info of someone who will do it for a fee (usually about $25). Usually the first sign of capacitor plague is slow loading and audio glitches.

    There is also a fuse that is very prone to blowing on the mainboard which will result in the sega cd not turning on at all. This is a super easy fix and can be done for under the price of a quarter.

    Please tell me that this is based in some large part on usage...

    It's based entirely on time. A brand new, never before used system, still in box, could be experiencing cap plague right now.

    Does this affect all 90s systems? Or just disc based systems?

    steam_sig.png
  • NickTheNewbieNickTheNewbie Registered User regular
    It affects all electronics, period. The silent scope machine in my basement just received a much needed capacitor replacement job on its monitor.

  • NickTheNewbieNickTheNewbie Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Here's my pride and joy!
    sK7pSl.jpg

    Model 1 genesis and model 1 sega cd means that it has the best sound quality, has the mechanical drive bay, plus it just looks straight up wicked cool.

    Only downside is that it can sometimes be pretty finnicky, so I have to take the cover off the sega cd and lightly graze the side of the disc with my finger to make it read. It doesn't happen with all, games, though.

    NickTheNewbie on
  • Dr_KeenbeanDr_Keenbean Registered User regular
    Man, my Sega Saturn never worked when it was new. Would reformat it's hard drive every time it powered on. I didn't even know it had a hard drive.
    It doesn't, but it does have internal RAM for holding saves (similar to the Sega CD) that is powered by a CR2032 battery. Your battery might have been defective/missing/expired from sitting on the shelf so long. Cheap and easy to replace, too. If only I could go back in time and tell you this!

    Oh snap! That's all I need to fix that?

    Time to dig that bitch back out and Nights it up.

    PSN: Dr_Keenbean LIVE: Dr Keenbean
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  • anoffdayanoffday To be changed whenever Anoffday gets around to it. Registered User regular
    Here's my pride and joy!
    sK7pSl.jpg

    Model 1 genesis and model 1 sega cd means that it has the best sound quality, has the mechanical drive bay, plus it just looks straight up wicked cool.

    Only downside is that it can sometimes be pretty finnicky, so I have to take the cover off the sega cd and lightly graze the side of the disc with my finger to make it read. It doesn't happen with all, games, though.

    Not to start any console wars, but your pride and joy should be to the right of your sega. :winky:

    steam_sig.png
  • NickTheNewbieNickTheNewbie Registered User regular
    anoffday wrote: »
    Here's my pride and joy!
    sK7pSl.jpg

    Model 1 genesis and model 1 sega cd means that it has the best sound quality, has the mechanical drive bay, plus it just looks straight up wicked cool.

    Only downside is that it can sometimes be pretty finnicky, so I have to take the cover off the sega cd and lightly graze the side of the disc with my finger to make it read. It doesn't happen with all, games, though.

    Not to start any console wars, but your pride and joy should be to the right of your sega. :winky:

    My atari lynx? It's alright, I guess.
    Spoiler:

  • EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    Oh man, I love my Sega CD. I had a model 2 and sold it aaages ago. Then picked up a model 1 at a flea market for a few bucks and sent it in to Sega for repairs (it was a mess). They sent me back a brand new, or at least amazingly refurbished, console (Model1 still).

    It's still going strong. The capacitor issue is something I hadn't heard of, but I know many are prone to going bad anyways. I have no issues replacing mine on my own.

    Anyways, it's hard to go wrong with either model from a fun perspective. Although there are a number of the "best" games on it that have been re-released or remade on other consoles since.

    Adding to the above games mentioned, I'd throw in Vay and the Eternal Champions game if you like fighting games. Sonic CD is good, but the recent XBL release is excellent and I'd say that's better off than the original.

  • KadokenKadoken Judgement Time Registered User regular
    The Sega CD is complete fucking garbitch. Full motion video my ass, I'd rather it be full fucking screen!

    (I still love AVGN)

  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X When you speak I hear muffinsRegistered User regular
    The Sega CD review has the best intro to any of his videos; You still don't own a Sega CD? What are you waiting for? Nintendo to make one?

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  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    I've always loved the look of the Model 1 Genesis on a Model 1 Sega CD but I understand that the Model 2 CD is more reliable thanks in part to less moving parts.

    I never bothered owning one myself - but obviously there are some good games on there, especially if you like Ecco and want the amazing soundtrack the CD version has. Eternal Champions Sega CD was also pretty awesome - had a ton of content.

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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    The Sega CD review has the best intro to any of his videos; You still don't own a Sega CD? What are you waiting for? Nintendo to make one?


    His console and accessory reviews, including out of character, are all great (his game reviews are hit or miss though). Thing is, by his nature, he doesn't review anything that's good or that he doesn't own.

    Of course he's right in that few people bought the thing. I knew more people who had a Saturn than a CD (1 versus none).

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    Model 1 genesis and model 1 sega cd means that it has the best sound quality
    Model 1 Genesis systems do have a reputation for "the best sound", but there is at least one motherboard revision (VA7) that sounds as bad as the majority of Model 2 systems. There's a great guide that talks about the differences in video/audio quality between hardware revisions here: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?7796-GUIDE-Telling-apart-good-Genesis-1s-and-Genesis-2s-from-bad-ones

    If you have a "bad" system, you can mod it with TmEE's Crystal Clear Audio Mod:

    http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?7686-Crystal-Clear-Audio-Mod-for-Sega-Mega-Drive-2-amp-Genesis-2-version-1-0



    It really cleans up the audio, possibly a project worth pursuing if you'd rather play on a Model 2.

    Some people think the audio from the Nomad sounds the best, there's a lot of recordings from it on this site:

    http://www.protoman.com/Music/Music/Gunstar Heroes/
    http://www.protoman.com/Music/Music/Streets of Rage 2/
    http://www.protoman.com/Music/Music/Sonic the Hedgehog 2/

    And an outline of the tests he performed: http://www.protoman.com/genesisaudio/

    But after saying all that, I'm still happiest with the VA1-VA6 Model audio. Here's a song that I recorded off my VA6:

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  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X When you speak I hear muffinsRegistered User regular
    I think I had a model 1 Mega Drive - it had white stripes/buttons instead of red? And it said Mega Drive instead of MDII on it. ;D

    How can you tell the difference between the sound cards, btw? Is there some signature tone to each one or something? Like this (excellent example of MIDI guitar YEAAAH!) for instance, can ya tell which model it was recorded on?

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    You can tell the difference between a model 1 and model 2 genesis when you listen to a high pitched wailing sound, specifically a note that's been held out long. A model 2 genesis will generate a warbling sound, which gradually loses it's pitch and winds up sounding flat. It also produces a very tinny noise when producing higher pitched notes. And finally, the bass isn't as deep.

    Most emulators out there sound more like a model 2 genesis than a model 1. The difference between the two is very noticeable. You can hear it very clearly when listening to Emerald Hill Zone from Sonic 2.



    If you got a Genesis with the Sonic the Hedgehog pack-in, you likely have the best sounding genesis period. I have that model, along with a nomad, and I think that model genesis sounds way, way better.

  • MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    How can you tell the difference between the sound cards, btw? Is there some signature tone to each one or something? Like this (excellent example of MIDI guitar YEAAAH!) for instance, can ya tell which model it was recorded on?
    Sonic Spinball doesn't have a sound test, so that's likely from an emulator. Here's a recording of that song on the VA6, though:

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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Also, for you Lunar fans, the Sega CD OST is better than the Saturn/PS1 OST, by a country mile.

    Let's compare!





    And the Saturn version is better than the PS1's, but it still can't compare to the PCM audio version.

    cj iwakura on
    fiV9i14.jpg
    蒼く咲く華 日は灯り 天に流れる | Kill The Past
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    RPG remakes usually suck compared to the original and have either worse graphics, worse sound, or both. The Phantasy Star remakes on PS2 have atrocious music and the art style is pretty shitty in 2.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    True, but the Lunar remakes hit it real big, so that's probably the only remake more fondly remembered than the original. Everyone had a PS1. Sega CDs, not so much.

    fiV9i14.jpg
    蒼く咲く華 日は灯り 天に流れる | Kill The Past
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Model 1 genesis and model 1 sega cd means that it has the best sound quality
    Model 1 Genesis systems do have a reputation for "the best sound", but there is at least one motherboard revision (VA7) that sounds as bad as the majority of Model 2 systems. There's a great guide that talks about the differences in video/audio quality between hardware revisions here: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?7796-GUIDE-Telling-apart-good-Genesis-1s-and-Genesis-2s-from-bad-ones

    If you have a "bad" system, you can mod it with TmEE's Crystal Clear Audio Mod:

    http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?7686-Crystal-Clear-Audio-Mod-for-Sega-Mega-Drive-2-amp-Genesis-2-version-1-0



    It really cleans up the audio, possibly a project worth pursuing if you'd rather play on a Model 2.

    Some people think the audio from the Nomad sounds the best, there's a lot of recordings from it on this site:

    http://www.protoman.com/Music/Music/Gunstar Heroes/
    http://www.protoman.com/Music/Music/Streets of Rage 2/
    http://www.protoman.com/Music/Music/Sonic the Hedgehog 2/

    And an outline of the tests he performed: http://www.protoman.com/genesisaudio/

    But after saying all that, I'm still happiest with the VA1-VA6 Model audio. Here's a song that I recorded off my VA6:


    Fascinating. There's so much more subtle complexity and hardware revision minutiae to be aware of with old Sega consoles than with Nintendo, it seems. With the SNES, for example...you pretty much have an SNES. Full stop. (Unless you have the SNES Jr. thing, but at least there's no mistaking one for the other.) I mean, at least as far as I'm aware, the SNES stayed pretty much completely unchanged for its entire run.

    Compared to the Genesis, where in North America there's three basic models and then so much hardware variation, externally pretty much invisible, even within those three basic generations.

    Apparently the Genesis 2 I just bought is a V0 motherboard. Not sure whether that's good or bad. I am about the farthest thing from an audiophile, so I frankly am not concerned with the sound. I have noticed my Genesis does the vertical rainbow stripes, but it's only visible on the black screen when first booting up.

    Gaslight on
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  • slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    There are some serious classic games on the Sega CD. I recently got one (for Christmas, actually). I never realized how awesome a console this thing is.

    Unfortunately a number of genuine classics on the system go for really high prices.

    I made a list of games I personally am interested in that don't go for absurdly high prices (and some that do):
    Spoiler:


    I have most of these by now. There's a number of good RPGs that just go for crazy prices though, that I didn't list.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Actually, it's more appropriate to call Shining Force CD two 8-bit RPGs, rather. It's a remake of the Game Gear Shining Force games (with a third chapter thrown in if you have an SRAM cart).

  • BigJoeMBigJoeM Registered User regular
    So basically any Sega system pre-Dreamcast will require new capacitors?

    I'll pay somebody then, i don't feel like opening up 5 consoles and i definitely don't want to open up my CDX.

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