For my October console of the month, I decided to stick with the Sega Genesis. Well, that’s only partially true. What I’ve actually chosen is two of the Genesis’s add-ons, the Sega CD and 32X. Typically console add-ons wouldn’t warrant their own month of coverage but these two console add-ons have a bit more muscle and depth in their libraries than most add-ons such as the Turbo CD for the Turbografx-16 or the Jaguar CD add-on for the Atari Jaguar. Plus they both require their own AC adapter!!!! So that must mean they should be categorized as their own consoles, right?
Both console add-ons (from here on out, I will simply refer to them as consoles even though I understand it is not technically correct) have their detractors & fans. For the Sega CD, the detractors say it’s library is bogged down with shitty FMV (Full Motion Video) games with ridiculous acting and horrible gameplay. The 32X detractors say that Sega’s misguided attempt to stay relevant in the 32-bit wars while extending the life of the Genesis has NO good games. None, ok maybe 1 or 2. Not to mention the apparent corporate greed of putting out the 32X (released in 1994) when Sega had every intention of releasing it’s own true dedicated 32-bit console, the Sega Saturn, less than a year later in 1995.
The detractors are only half wrong. While I do admit the 32X library is not only short on titles, it also short on truly fun games. In my opinion, the Sega CD is a highly underrated console and the list of quality games is much longer than the list of FMV crap that it gets blamed for introducing to the gaming public in 1992.
In my personal collection, I own a model 2 Sega CD which was released in 1993 and fits the model 2 Genesis better than the model 1. In order for the model 1 Genesis to fit properly with the model 2 Sega CD, you would have to own an extension piece that makes the base of the Sega CD longer to accommodate the longer model 1 Genesis. I don’t own this extension piece so my model 2 Genesis is the only one that gets connected to the model 2 CD. The model 2 Sega CD disc drive opens from the top and the console sits along the side as opposed to the model 1 CD which opens up a CD tray and the Genesis console sits on top of the unit. I purchased my model 2 Sega CD in the early 2000’s off ebay and it still works today, which isn’t always the case with this console.
The 32X only had one iteration in its short life span, a mushroom cloud looking plastic blob that slides into the Genesis’s cartridge slot. As previously mentioned, both the Sega CD and the 32X have their own AC adapters so with the Genesis’s AC adapter, that’s three total adapters needed to get the whole shebang to work. The 32X also must be connected to the Genesis AV out and you will need a different cord depending on which Genesis model you’re using because they had different sized AV slots (ugh!). Not to mention that the 32X doesn’t properly fit onto the model 2 Genesis without a plastic spacer, which could mean that the 32X could come loose while playing and prematurely end your game of Motocross Championship (a blessing actually). I have all of the aforementioned pieces….but I’m missing some bogus metal RF shield plates (1 for the model 1 & 1 for the model 2 Genesis) that are supposed to keep your units from catching fire or something…..like I said, bogus. I also have a nice looking 32X box and manual with directions for hooking up this convoluted contraption.
I’m excited about spending the month playing the Sega CD games I already have, collecting new games & giving the 32X the benefit of the doubt and actually playing the games I own while trying to find a few more quality titles.