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Thread: My take on the Sega Genesis GenMobile - A review

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    Pear (Level 6) Oldskool's Avatar
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    Default My take on the Sega Genesis GenMobile - A review

    I just purchased a GenMobile yesterday at the local game store. I still have mixed feelings about it personally. The box is amazing (go figure). The system appears and feels sort of cheaply made, but I guess that's to be expected.

    My Nomad just seems SO much better built, heavier duty. The D-Pad is hard to get used to, but the more I play it the better it seems, going up down left and right is not the problem, it's the diagonal movements that can get ya sometimes, and in a shooter where you have no time to make any movement errors this can be a problem. The sound at times can be ear splitting.

    Also, I tried 4 different carts I had laying around and only mortal kombat worked. Phantasy Star IV loaded up but had garbage on screen. It would not boot Virtua Racing which is to be expected. Also the 6-pak would no load up. The 20 games that are built in do seem to work fine. Altered Beast seems to have a minor graphical glitch at the top of the screen. I have not tried the other 50 games or so that I own yet.

    The screen is really nice, I have to give it that, and even though the sound is horrible at times, at least it's loud compared to the quiet speakers my Nomad has, but I normally keep the volume down a bit.

    My Nomad has a MUCH larger screen, even if it is blurry doing movement. The Nomad screen is also a bit darker. The GenMobile does not have brightness/contrast controls which I wish it did because it seems that it's almost TOO bright. The battery life is insane, some people are reporting 11 hours. I have yet to kill the battery on it since I charged it and have played maybe a couple of hours on it so far.

    I purchased the GenMobile to replace my Nomad but I have decided to keep the Nomad.

    GenMobile pros = Nice bright and crystal clear screen
    20 built in games is nice for the road
    Battery life is amazing > 10 hours reported
    Box is beautiful
    Very light - Small Form Factor
    Easy to locate, and buy NEW

    GenMobile cons = Sound is at times horrible + Mono
    D-Pad is hard to get used to
    Compatibility so far does not seem to be very good
    Plastic casing feels very cheap
    Minor graphical glitches in some games
    No second controller port
    Not a real Sega Genesis
    Missing the MODE button, not sure if that matters

    Nomad pros = LARGE screen
    Controls are BEAUTIFUL
    Replicates all sounds PERFECTLY + Stereo
    PLAYS ALL GAMES PERFECTLY
    Takes a licking, keeps on ticking
    Has second controller port
    Nomad IS a Sega Genesis in every way

    Nomad cons = Old screen technology
    Sound is somewhat quieter than GenMobile
    Takes 6 AA Batterys < 2 Hours Life
    Very large and Heavy
    Battery Pack can easily be lost/Rare
    Nomad is hard to find/Rare

    My opinion may swing for the better OR worse once I get more time on the GenMobile and can test more games on it.

    If you have a Nomad - DO NOT get rid of it for a GenMobile, you will regret it, I am glad that I didn't sell my Nomad first before getting the GenMobile.

    Am I regretting my purchase? No, not so far, it's actually a nice little unit. But in all honesty, a Nomad is about the same price, if you can find one get the Nomad instead (just make sure it comes with the battery pack!)

    Also, The Nomad's battery life can improve substantially with the use of high mAH rechargeable batteries, preferably 2600+. And even more so if you replace the LCD screen with a new one. This mod is expensive however.

    GenMobile 6/10
    Nomad 8/10

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    Good write up!

    Just confirms that emulating the Genesis/Sega CD on my PSP2001 was the way to go for portable Sega gaming.

    I'm using Pico Drive and it's very accurate. I honestly can't remember encountering any sound or graphical glitches. Sega CD emulation is hit or miss however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldskool View Post

    Nomad pros =
    PLAYS ALL GAMES PERFECTLY
    I'm not so sure...I think a few games will not work. I believe the Tengen version of Ms. Pac did not work on the Nomad. I thought there were a couple more.

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    I thought it played right if you held down the mode button when you started it up?

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    Pear (Level 6) Oldskool's Avatar
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    I have never had an issue with any of my 50+ games on the Nomad. Sometimes they don't boot, but holding down the mode button fixes that. I wonder if the GenMobile does this automatically, since it does not have a mode button.

    Another thing I was thinking about - It seems that people that are selling the GenMobile are giving it good reviews. My review is not biased because I am not trying to sell them to anyone. Also, I think some of the good reviews are coming from people that do not own, nor have ever seen a Nomad, so they don't know the differences in quality.

    Another thing - many of the younger gamers that are just getting into the retro scene may not notice the sound differences because they may have never heard a real Genesis play. All they have ever seen are clones, youtube videos, and emulators of the Genesis. Take it from someone who had the Genesis brand new when it came with Altered Beast, it does not sound the same. This is also a hunch of mine as to why many people say the sound sucks on a Genesis. Have they ever heard one in stereo, outputted to a nice system? It sounds beautifully on my X'Eye (except for the X'Eye BIOS screen - GOOD GOD MAN!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldskool View Post
    I have never had an issue with any of my 50+ games on the Nomad. Sometimes they don't boot, but holding down the mode button fixes that. I wonder if the GenMobile does this automatically, since it does not have a mode button.
    I think Ms. Pacman "doesn't work" because the built in controller on the Nomad is 6 button, and Ms. Pacman only works with a 3 button controller. I think holding the button down fixes that.

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    If you want I will replace your Nomad screen with a much better one for $65

    http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...p?f=25&t=17415

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    Just hold down the mode button people, that will fix Ms. Pac-Man.

    The only game confirmed to NOT work on the Nomad is DeCapAttack, which screws up the controls as mapping out the controls to each button wrong, even if you hold down mode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjandran View Post
    If you want I will replace your Nomad screen with a much better one for $65

    http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...p?f=25&t=17415
    You'll be getting a PM about this!

    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    Just hold down the mode button people, that will fix Ms. Pac-Man.

    The only game confirmed to NOT work on the Nomad is DeCapAttack, which screws up the controls as mapping out the controls to each button wrong, even if you hold down mode.
    Which SUCKS because DeCapAttack is one of my favorite Genesis titles

    I've had trouble w/ Lightening Force as well, which also sucks because it's my favorite shmup of all time. For some reason, it seems like that game just randomly locks up my Nomad.
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    I have not had an issue with my Mrs. Pac Man or Thunder Force IV carts on the Nomad.

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    I tried a gen mobile at the store and wasnt impressed at all.

    Id rather strap a genesis around my waist, and a battery on my back and wear a TV helmet and just take a real genesis with me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldskool View Post
    I have not had an issue with my Mrs. Pac Man or Thunder Force IV carts on the Nomad.
    Mrs. Pac Man runs but is near impossible to control...without holding the mode button that is.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjandran View Post
    If you want I will replace your Nomad screen with a much better one for $65

    http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...p?f=25&t=17415

    That's honestly the route that I should have taken. That's about what I spent on the GenMobile when it was all said and done. So if anyone has a Nomad and is thinking of getting a GenMobile do this mod instead for the same price and in the end you'll have a better setup.

    Racketboy, I noticed on your website that the pic you took of the Nomad screen BEFORE looks horrible! Are you sure something was not wrong with the screen prior to replacing? Cause mine does not look near that bad, or maybe it was just the camera. The new LCD screen looks amazing though. What kind of a time turnaround is involved with doing something like that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjandran View Post
    If you want I will replace your Nomad screen with a much better one for $65

    http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...p?f=25&t=17415
    Dude, I LOVE YOU!!

    Now my brother can get his fixed! I need to dig out the unit to see if it still works, and if it does (sans damaged LCD), I will contact you!

    Thanks for the awesome link!
    Proud owner of a Neo 25 Neo Geo Candy Cab!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Ice View Post
    I'm not so sure...I think a few games will not work. I believe the Tengen version of Ms. Pac did not work on the Nomad. I thought there were a couple more.
    I was thinking that Virtua Racing was the only game that wouldn't work with the Nomad. It was the game that wouldn't work with the Genesis 3. It never worked with my Nomad.

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    My biggest complaint is the screen size. Why such a small screen? Would bumping it up a 1/2 in. or an inch really cost that much more? I can live with the reduced battery life for a bigger screen, but the screen is so hard to see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MachineGex View Post
    My biggest complaint is the screen size. Why such a small screen? Would bumping it up a 1/2 in. or an inch really cost that much more? I can live with the reduced battery life for a bigger screen, but the screen is so hard to see.
    Yea the 3.5" screen in Hong Kong is very popular and cost is minimal now. Maybe it just wouldn't fit for the size they were going for.

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    Pear (Level 6) Oldskool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retro junkie View Post
    I was thinking that Virtua Racing was the only game that wouldn't work with the Nomad. It was the game that wouldn't work with the Genesis 3. It never worked with my Nomad.
    Hmm that's odd, it works in my Nomad.

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