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Hands-On: Sega Mega Drive Super Medley CD Sampler

Genre: Music Arrangers: Takayuki “J99” Aihara, Dr. COVA Publisher: Scitron Digital Content Released: 7/20/05

The Genesis is home to some really great music, and you’ll find hundreds of remixes on the Internet as a result. Sega Mega Drive Super Medley is just what it sounds like: an extensive medley remix of some classic 16-bit Sega songs. Here you’ll find songs from Ristar, Landstalker, Shining in the Darkness, Phantasy Star II, OutRun, Gunstar Heroes, and more; all blended together rather seamlessly to create three fun long songs remembering the past.

The disc contains just three songs, and even one of those is an arranged remix of the prior, more faithful to the original source remix. At a bit under 24 minutes in length, this may not sound like much. Don’t look to the Sega Mega Drive Super Medley if you’re expecting a full CD’s worth of music. Also, don’t expect this release to feature new material. As a Sega fan, you have undoubtedly heard most if not all of these clips. There is very little original content on this disc, consisting mostly of slight embellishments to help link the clips together. This CD is purely for fans of the 16-bit compositions, and while someone unfamiliar with the source can certainly enjoy it, much of the magic of these remixes is hearing the songs arranged together in this manner.

Takayuki “J99” Aihara remixed the first two selections, and his Mega Drive Arrange Medley and its remix are undoubtedly the better half of the disc. The remix is a spastic selection of Genesis music clips often switching after just a few seconds into the next, yet what sounds as though it would result in chaos actually blends together quite well. It’s even better on the remixed remix, with additions both providing a better segue between selections as well as highlight parts of the original compositions and what makes them so great. The chimes that link a Shining in the Darkness clip five minutes into a Space Harrier II segment is just beautifully done, effortlessly transitioning from a light, flute driven ditty to a more dance oriented, somewhat heavier bit. Likewise, I love the way the bass kicks in about a minute into the Monster World IV Arabian theme; it’s more pronounced and clearer than the original, highlighting the genius of Shinichi Sakamoto’s original composition by fusing the Arabian sound with a funk driven bass. While Aihara’s original remix is terrific, the additions and slight liberties taken in the Mega Drive Original Remix Medley make what is more or less the same arrangement of songs sound so much better.

On the other hand, Dr. COVA’s Mega Drive Super Medley does not flow as well as Aihara’s songs. The track begins with a sample of Pulseman‘s “Get ready!” vocal sound effect and drags the introduction out for a minute until switching to a dance oriented clip for another minute, only to fade out to introduce nearly three minutes of a soft blend of Phantasy Star and Ecco the Dolphin. At about the five minute mark, the song shuts down and reboots into dance mode. This track does not have nearly the amount of songs as the prior medley and lacks the polish of it as well. While this final remix does boast more tempo variations than the former and extends the play time of the individual original selections, the sloppy integration make it sound more like a hodgepodge of various sound clips and is less enjoyable as a result.

Though certainly enjoyable when listened to, the songs on the CD really aren’t inspired remixes such as djpretzel‘s Sonic The Hedgehog Love Hurts or the originals redone such as 4-Eyes’s Ristar OceanFlameGroove. The real strength of the disc lay in the quality of the original songs, and the bite-sized samples chosen for the medleys here may not sit well with listeners. Though the medleys and the clips chosen are well thought out, the disc does carry with a “been there done that” feeling, and with no real new content or takes presented, listeners may wonder “what’s the point?”. Many may also balk at purchasing a Genesis music remix disc with so many free Sega remixes available on the Internet, even with the CD’s relatively low price, especially for a Japanese import music CD.

All sound clips are pulled from some twenty-four Genesis games, including some more obscure import-only titles such as Crying and Battle Golfer Yui. Many may find the lack of Sonic the Hedgehog songs here a curious omission, but I find their absence to be rather refreshing here, as everyone and their grandmother have remixed those songs to death. Showcasing these “new” songs is definitely welcomed in a remix landscape which revisits the fan favorite well a bit too much. Much as there are more great NES songs than the constant stream of Mega Man, Mario, and Zelda remixes would have you believe, the same goes for the Genesis. With somewhat more obscure gems such as the fantastic Ristar and Sword of Vermillion soundtracks, Sega Mega Drive Super Medley is a both a great trip down memory lane for Genesis fans and introduction to some great 16-bit tunes for those just starting.


Track Listing

1. Mega Drive Arrange Medley
2.Mega Drive Original Remix Medley
3.Mega Drive Super Medley
Total Time


Rating (out of 5): 

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