The last time I got a Sega Genesis clone system it was the Fei Hao version. And I got that one for the specific purpose of being able to have a direct HDMI hook up for my Genesis carts. I started reading, and youtube watching, some of the reviews of this one from Hyperkin and became very interested.
And let me emphasize that you will only get the best experience with the original hardware. Then there is the Genesis system by Analogue which is a high end hardware clone. $200 is a lot of money for many of us. I am strictly a budget gamer. Low end is where I dwell when it comes to gaming. But at the same time I would like something simple and within my financial boundaries. If I want to hook up my original Genesis to one of my HD flatscreens, it is a pixel jaggie nightmare. But that is my only choice, I have no CRT, it died. The best you can do with the original hardware is get one of those up converters to HDMI. The best ones are very expensive and it would be best if you just went with the alternative of the Analogue console. As for the cheap ďup converters,Ē well, they are just not as good as the clone consoles with the HDMI output. They produce a blurr in the graphics.
I am not really a fan of Hyperkin products. Though I do enjoy the Supaboy portable. I had sort of gotten the impression that seemingly their research and development department was dead. And that they just repackaged their tech occasionally. Never heard or saw any improvements. But this Mega HD console is the first time I feel that my impression has changed.Build and Design:
It has a quality feel to it but I am wondering how much of that is deception. I know from watching youtube videos, of a console tear down, that there are metal weights inside. That is okay with me, it gives it better stability with the rubber feet, no sliding. Plastic thickness is acceptable and I am okay with it. I like the overall design and appeal, to me, it is attractive in its appearance. And I like the big blue ďHĒ on the corner lighting up when the system is turned on. You have the usual ďon & offĒ switch and ďresetĒ button. Up front,two controller ports which are compatible with the original Sega brand controller. Outputs are analog and HDMI. You have a region switch, NTSC, PAL, JP, on the bottom and an aspect ratio switch, 4:3 or 16:9, on the back. One thing I like about inserting a cart is that the connector pins are close to the lid. This is far better than the Fei Hao console where I had difficulty inserting carts due to the depth and reach. Having no guide, like the original hardware, enables the system to accept different region carts, Japan vs NTSC. With the Fei Hao you are dealing with 1.5 inches vs a little under an inch with the Mega HD. Believe me it makes all the difference in the world. One is a straight shot and the other one is a feeling, hunting your way, blindly trying to hit the hole.Video Out:
The games look great, I say that with a bit of hesitation. It depends on the game and the mode of resolution. Low res games has jaggies due to the nature of the beast. I was very happy that my favorite shooter on the Genesis as it is in the high res mode, Bio Hazard Battle. It looks and plays beautiful, love it. With some games, there is something there, like Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition. Playing the game there was something in the background in some stages that I caught out of the corner of my eye, shimmering in the graphics? It could be seen in the vertical lines, just barely noticeable. Enough at the moment that I got a Hy-Yu-Ken against my head. But this only happens when you move in such a way that it causes the background to scale. I saw this in one other game so far. It could bother someone who is picky, but hey, for those that are like that, stick to the original hardware. And it runs Virtua Racing perfectly, totally pleased with it. I did have a bit of trouble at first, freezing during gameplay, red screen. But after cleaning the cart, no problems, runs great. Reproduction carts fit tight, but with the original carts, I didnít really have any trouble. Colors are rich, some might be a slight bit over saturated, but I think that is limited to how the color pallet is used. Graphics are smooth. I understand that it works with the mega system converter. I do not have that to verify. I can verify that it works with the China Everdrive.Audio:
This has been a killer in the clone market for the Genesis games. This time I am pleasantly pleased at what I am hearing. Really not that bad. There is something in certain games that I canít really put my finger on that makes me stop and say ďhuh?Ē There is some things, sounds, notes, that seem louder, at times. Some games ďareĒ louder than others, donít understand that. Other games I donít notice anything that would seem out of place, or doesnít distract me. Not sure how the audio is different in some games. But this is really the best that I have heard on a Genesis clone console, we are closer than we have ever been.Controller:
It comes with all the wiring, hook ups, so you can have it analog or HDMI, whatever. But it only includes one controller. Depends how you look at it, that can be a pro or a con. It is ďokay.Ē I could play shooters with no problem. And I did not have any issues adjusting to it. It is really not that bad. I was able with some difficulty play Street Fighter 2. The only great thing it has going for it is that it has a ten foot cord. Since you will need a second controller, I would suggest getting the original hardware controller or a retro-bit one. The original fits like a glove, and only a retro gamer would understand that statement.
This is only one of those options for the HDMI problem. I am satisfied. It is, what it is, and it works for me. I purchased this system because it had a price drop, ca-ching $37, at Walmart online or Amazon. I feel I got my moneyís worth. Those who are a bit more picky may contend that you get what you pay for. I feel that it is the best Genesis clone out there, at the moment, that is a budget priced low end solution. Of course it is cart only, no way to attach the Sega CD or 32X. I am a bit surprised that Hyperkin is the one to give us Genesis HDMI gaming that really is a nice experience.
Still trying games, a Sega Genesis revival going on right now "in the house."