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Power Base Converter Review

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29th October 1988; the 16-bit wars have officially started. The Megadrive is released in Japan, and people are upgrading from their old Master Systems to the new revolutionary system. Then, you realize something; you’ve spent a lot of money on last gen, and now you can’t play any of the games on the new system. Time passes, and you just have to plug in both systems.

Then, Sega answers your calls and releases the Sega Master System Converter. This peripheral (which is affectionately known as the Power Base Converter) allows you to play your old games without having to own the old system! But, was this converter any good? Let’s find out!

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Look at this beauty! (sarcasm)

 

First, let’s discuss what the extension did. The Master System’s main CPU was a Zilog Z80, which is an 8 -bit processor. The Megadrive, on the other hand, has the Zilog Z80 as a sub-processor, and a Motorola 68000 as the main processor. Unlike common belief, the Power Base Converter does not contain a murdered Master System. It does, however, contain a few chips. Basically, it is a glorified pin adapter. You could probably make your own home-made version of this device, if you really wanted to.

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The Powerbase Converter: Like a brain slug!

 

But, the main thing you came here to hear is whether it is any good. And, it works really well! The games run at full speed, and the audio sounds just like the original system. Since controllers use the same port, you can use your old accessories with the Megadrive. The downside is the adapter looks like it is leaching life off of the MegaDrive. Another downside is the price. It is quite expensive, especially when you can get a Master System at the same price, boxed.…

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Sonic Spinball (16-Bit) Review

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Time to finish off my “review worst games thingy” topic by reviewing Sonic Spinball (the Megadrive version)! Instead of reviewing a game with a bad reputation (even though it may or may not deserve it), I decided to do the opposite and talk about a game that is considered mediocre, and see if it deserves that reputation. Is this game fun? Let’s find out!

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Let’s start with the gameplay; it’s pinball. I’m assuming you already know how to play pinball, but just in case you don’t (and are still living under a rock from Pac-Man 2600), here’s a quick summary: you move a ball in a playing field to score points. To get points, you have to hit multiple targets. At the bottom is 2 plastic bats called flippers. Don’t let your ball fall in the drain!

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Well, that sounds like exciting gameplay (not). In the previous article, I stated how I despise this game. And I do. That is because of the terrible controls. I don’t mind the game being different, and “not a platformer”, as long as the game controls well, and is fun. But, they messed up this game too much for it to be enjoyable.

Casino Night Zone is 100 times better than this game, and it’s built into an already great game! It may not be a pinball game, but it’s much more fun to play, and less tedious!

There is a story, but it’s basically nothing. The back of the box says that “Dr Robotnik’s latest fortress is a giant pinball machine!” and Sonic needs to destroy it. That’s it. According to Wikipedia, there is a bigger story, but most players won’t get to hear it. It’s basically saying Tails and Sonic fly into the scene (I assume on the

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Sonic The Hedgehog Review (MegaDrive)

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Now that I have talked about the Beta of Sonic 1, I can review the actual game! So, yes, Sonic The Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis/Megadrive; this is an awesome game. I own the game multiple times. However, this review will only incorporate the Megadrive version. No ports will be used, as some are different (cough cough Sonic Genesis for the GBA, I’m looking at you).

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Let’s talk about the story first; Dr Robotnik (or Eggman as the Japanese version states) is taking little woodland creatures and shoving them into evil robots. He wants to take over the world, and is turning everything into factories. This is bad, and only Sonic The Hedgehog can stop him. The story is pretty good, especially when, at the time, platformers only had stories about princesses in the wrong castle.

Let’s talk about the controls and physics first; these are amazing! The physics are really good, especially when you are running around loops, or jumping over hazards. The controls complement the physics perfectly. With these two things, you get a game with some of the best gameplay elements ever. It is really good, and words cannot describe how the game plays.

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The graphics are either vibrant, like in Green Hill Zone, or dark and mysterious (like Scrap Brain Zone Acts 1 & 2). The graphics complement the game very well, and only a few times was I moaning about the graphics looking out of place (this was mainly Marble Zone, where it looks strange. I’m not sure what it is, but it looks really strange).

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The music is amazing. It enhances the game a lot, and you get music that could compare to the SNES music. However, some sound effects may get rid of one of the sound channels. This is annoying; I …

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The Sonic Adventure Beta

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Sonic Adventure; one of Sonic’s first fully-3D games. But, there were many scrapped ideas, concepts and objects. So, in this article, I will be talking about the beta of Sonic Adventure.

Before Sonic Adventure was even considered, there was another game in development. This game would be called, “Sonic Xtreme”. This game was originally being developed for the MegaDrive, ported to the 32X, and rewrote again for the Saturn. However, it was stuck in development hell for many years, so the game was cancelled in 1997.

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Sonic Xtreme

Many considered Sonic Xtreme doomed from the start. The future head of Sonic Team simply shook his head and said, “Good luck”. Sonic Xtreme is considered one of the main reasons the Saturn failure outside of Japan. Sega tried to fill the gap left from Xtreme by releasing a port of Sonic 3D Blast for the Saturn. They also released Knuckles Chaotix on the 32X.

The game designer for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles began creating concepts for an RPG game. This means that Sonic Adventure was originally going to be an RPG, similar to how Banjo-Kazooie/Dream originally started. It would be on the Sega Saturn and was supposed to be Sonic’s next big game.

But, with the new 3D capable systems (the Sega Saturn, and its competitors), they dropped the RPG elements of Sonic RPG, and decided to focus on the main storyline.

While the game was being developed on the Saturn, Sega started to show the Dreamcast to developers. Sonic Team didn’t want to abandon their current project, but they wanted to develop the game on the new system.

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So, because of this dilemma, they released the prototype of Sonic Adventure on the Saturn as a Megadrive compilation called, “Sonic Jam” (the prototype was in the …