One of the finest gaming consoles is back. Sega's Mega Drive has been stripped, gutted, cloned and shoved into a smaller, cheaper box from Blaze, and it comes with 15 classic Mega Drive games pre-loaded. Plus, it'll work with all those original Sega cartridges. We just had to check one out.
Once you get past the fact that the Blaze console is small, lightweight and a bit cheap-looking, you'll be thrilled to see it works just like the classic Mega Drive. It plugs directly into a TV using composite cables and includes two controllers with the original Mega Drive button layout.
It's pre-loaded games include such classics as Sonic and Knuckles, Golden Axe and Alex Kidd. Sadly, there's no Road Rash, Streets of Rage or The Revenge of Shinobi, but fear not, retro gamer -- they're all available on eBay and can be stuck in the console's cartridge slot. That's a 1-Up right there.
Games themselves play perfectly, though some on-screen artefacts -- little fuzzy blocks, a little bit like those you'd expect from a YouTube video blown up to full-screen -- reminded us that this was, in fact, not quite up to the quality of the original. Uh oh...
Can the affordability of the unit defeat the complaints of image quality? Absolutely. At £39 with a bunch of games, it's a relatively trivial issue that that wouldn't stop us buying one.
If you can pick up a Mega Drive on eBay for a similar price, do so -- it's still going to give you the most mega experience. But as your favourite games are included in the Blaze version, for £39 you really can't complain. It's a great idea and super value from Firebox.com.
Check our gallery above for a bunch of hands-on photos.
The selection screen for the built-in titles. The full list of games comprises: Alex Kid, Alien Storm, Altered Beast, Arrow Flash, Bonanza Bros. Columns, Crack Down, Decap Attack, E Swat, Fatal Labyrinth, Flicky, Gain Ground, Golden Axe, Shadow Dancer and Sonic And Knuckles
Playing a bit of Sonic and Knuckles here.
Compared to the human hand, the Blaze Mega Drive is a lot smaller than the original
The cartridge slot fits all original Mega Drive games.