Unboxed: Sega Megadrive Handheld

A confession: we've had this Sega Megadrive Handheld in for weeks, but we've been so busy playing the dinky retro video game player we hadn't got arou

A confession: we've had this Sega Megadrive Handheld in for weeks, but we've been so busy playing the dinky retro video game player we hadn't got around to blogging about it. Now our thumbs are tired and when we dream, we dream in 16k so it's time to share.

The device is about the size of a chunky iPhone, but don't let that comparison excite you too much and it's oldschool through and through. A D-pad and A, B and C keys sit either side of the 2in screen. Other than that there are menu and pause buttons, volume control, on/off switch, headphone jack and an AV out for hooking it up to your telly.

Sure, the concept is very like those cheap as chips units you buy down the market with knock off Asian games like 'Blue Hedgehog Game' and 'Crazy Plumber Land'. Except on this handheld you'll find twenty bon fide classic Sega Megadrive games. 

Controls seem a little flabby (or maybe it's our skills) but Alex Kidd overshot a lot of jumps and Shinobi seemed to have put on a little weight ala Karate Kid 3. But the addictiveness of simple gaming remains. Golden Axe is a delight if a lot harder than we remember and there's even a spot of Ecco the incomprehensible dolphin.

Being the demanding types, we can't help missing notable absences like Streets of Rage, John Madden, Desert Strike and the far inferior Sonic and Knuckles replacing Sonic the Hedgehog.

It won't compete with a DS or a PSP and the spongy controls will get on your nerves after a while (if the music doesn't first). But for a £30 slice of nostalgia, it's way better than 'Human Killing Machine'.

And the full games list:

 Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle

Alien Storm

Altered Beast

Arrow Flash

Columns III

Crack Down

Decap  Attack

Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

Eswat Cyber Police City Under Siege

Ecco

Ecco Jr.

Shinobi III - Return of the Ninja Master

Flicky

Gain Ground

Golden Axe

Jewel Master

Kid Chameleon

Sonic Spinball

Shadow Dancer

Sonic & Knuckles