Can Blaze's latest take on the classic Sega console sate our appetite for retro gaming?
When Blaze unveiled its handheld Megadrive last year, Stuffers of a certain age reveled in its ability to transport us back to a more innocent age of 2D platform titles and controllers with fewer than 15 buttons.
Alas, its tiny screen caused some of us to develop squints that last reared their head when we gaming on 11in TVs in the early 90s. So Blaze has stepped up and delivered with this new, full–on version of the Sega Megadrive.
Sonic and friends
As with the handheld model, there are 15 games on board, including classics such as Golden Axe, Alex Kidd and Sonic and Knuckles.
You’re not just stuck with that lot though – Blaze has looked to sate the appetite of niche gamers with the inclusion of a cartridge slot. It'll take any games you happen to have lying around or pick up on eBay. Suffice to say digging out a copy of James Pond: Robocod kept us occupied for hours.
Unsurprisingly, this budget console does have some issues. The two bundled controllers feel incredibly plasticky and you'll realise there was a reason you played the Megadrive on an portable CRT TV in your bedroom. We hooked it up to a 42in Samsung LCD and it felt a bit, well, wrong. Not to mention it looked blockier than Legoland.
Mixed gaming bag
The bundled games are also a little niche. Columns was always a naff version of Tetris and Arrow Flash was never at the top of our must buy list after watching GamesMaster on Channel 4.
That said, these are minor grumbles for a gadget that'll bring you unbridled joy and a taste of days when games didn't have expansion packs, downloadable content and achievements. Just roundhouse kicks to the face and endless hours of button bashing. Good times.