Game Title: Sega Genesis Classics
Company: SEGA
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Availability: Retail | Digital
Battery Life: 3 – 5 hours
Cloud Save Support: Yes
Download: 1.1 GB

The SEGA Genesis is a console that will forever hold a place in history. For many, it was their first gaming platform of all time. For others, it was something they discovered later on and enjoyed when either the consoles got re-released by third parties or when collections came out for other platforms.

I was one of those people who discovered Genesis games through collections. The PSP’s SEGA Genesis Collection / Mega Drive Collection was my first real dive into SEGA’s original library, and what showed me the addicting RPG known as Phantasy Star IV.

Since then, I’ve mostly played older Sega games on the Game Gear I bought a few years ago. Thanks to SEGA, though, I now have lots of Genesis games to play on my newest handheld. Here is my review of SEGA Genesis Classics for the Nintendo Switch!

Content / User Interface

sega 2 - crt

Sega Genesis Classics is a big collection of games from the Genesis console of all genres. It has RPGs like Phantasy Stars II, III, and IV and platformers like Sonic the Hedgehog and Alex Kidd. Whether you’re looking for a puzzle game, platformer, or shooter, it’s got something for everyone.

First of all, let’s dive into the difference between this version of Genesis Classics and the other versions. To be blunt about it, the Switch version had some games removed. It is nearly identical, but “Wonder Boy III” and “Wonder Boy in Monster World” are not included in the Nintendo Switch version of this collection, bringing its game count down to 51 vs the 53 of the PS4/Xbox One versions.

Even without these 2 games, you still have over 50 games to play around with, but it’s unfortunate and strange that the Switch version would have these 2 removed (unless Sega is planning to re-release them later on as Sega Ages games).

sega 3 - emu

Now, let’s talk about the User Interface and what it does. When you navigate around the menu, you see a room that looks like a child’s “game” room. There’s a TV and Genesis in the middle with retro speakers set to the side and a bookshelf filled with Genesis Game Boxes. It really gives the collection a retro feel when you’re navigating around before you start playing a game.

All of these things are used by the menu, too. The Bookshelf is the Game Select Menu while the sound system lets you adjust volume settings. The console lets you alter emulator settings, and the speakers let you access the Online Multiplayer setting, which allows for online matchmaking for games like Sonic 2 and the Streets of Rage series.

When it comes to settings and options, there’s a lot you can mess around with. You can change games from 4:3 to fullscreen modes, give it more blur or more pixels to give the games a more polished look, and can make save states as you play and exit games. There’s a fair amount you can fiddle around with and the screen options definitely help the games not look as old as they actually are.

Game Performance

sega 4 - streets of rage

When you actually start playing games, they play pretty well. I have yet to encounter any frame-rate issues in the different games I’ve fiddled with, so the emulation seems to have come in pretty well. Sonic is just as smooth and fast as it’s always been and Streets of Rage is just as button-mashy as it always was.

The only issue with performance is input lag. Most games in this collection have a bit of lag between you hitting buttons on the Joy-Cons and those inputs registering in the game. We aren’t talking massive input lag, but still a good half a second or so. The collection did just receive a patch that helped that input lag in some games, but it’s still very noticeable as you’re playing.

Battery Life

Considering these are Genesis games, I expected great things out of the game’s Battery Life. Here are my times, from 100% to 0%

Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 39 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 06 minutes

Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 26 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 48 minutes

As expected, you can get a ton of Battery Life out of this game.

In conclusion, Sega Genesis Classics brings over tons of classic Sega games over to the Switch. Although the exclusion of the Monster Boy games from the other collections and the slight input lag do bring down the experience a bit, having Sonic 2 and Phantasy Star IV on the go again never felt better.

Final Score: 9/10