Alright guys, it's time to take a trip back to a simpler time. A time when idiots weren't running amok on an online gaming service. A time when no one cared whether or not there was online multiplayer. A time before crippiling hardware errors that caused you to go without your games for weeks because you had to ship it back while millions of others were shipping their borked consoles at the same time because rather than have quality control do their job they chose to get a head start on everyone else for the sake of money (deep breath). That time my friends, is the 90's.
The Sega Genesis (Sega Mega Drive)
Japanese Mega Drive (left) and US Genesis model 2 (right)Alright, now we're getting into the tougher, yet still manageable region locked consoles. The main issue here is that Japanese Mega Drive cartridges are wider than American Genesis games, so they can't fit into the cartridge slot. Now, there are a few ways to get around this.
1. The cheapest, yet most brutal way, is to modify the Genesis' cartridge slot
Cutting the tabs at the rear of the slot will allow the rounder Mega Drive cartridges to fit. It works, but you have to cause visible damage to the console.
2. Purchase a Game Genie or some other pass-through device for a couple bucks. This is the simplest method. No fuss, no muss.
3. Buy an imported system, Japanese game systems will run fine on American outlets since the voltage difference is so small (110V in US, 100V in JP). The same can not be said for European consoles, since they require a much higher voltage than what the standard output in the US is (Europe uses 220V if I'm not mistaken). If you want to use a European console, you'll have to buy a step-up transformer to get it to work properly.
There are also a few important things to note. After a certain point (around 93 or 94), Sega started region locking cartridges, but this is simple to get around (although it requires some skill with a soldering iron). Just look up a guide on how to do a switchboard mod. Another thing to note is that unless you do a video mod, you can't play PAL (European) games on an American or Japanese system due to differences in video frequencies.
Games of interest:
The only reason I'm hilighting this is because this is where the infamous "All your base are belong to us" meme comes from. Zero Wing is a decent sidescrolling shmup (shoot 'em up for those who aren't up on the lingo). It isn't the best, but it is definitely worth a look. The European release of this can be played on an American console without any problems.
That's it for today kids, see you tomorrow for the next entry!