It’s taken fifteen years and hundreds of pounds, but my dream console collection is now complete*! Yes, what started with my beloved 8-bit Master System has reached its fruition with my final purchase, a beautiful 8-bit Game Gear. Funny how things work out, sometimes!

Of course, I’ve been missing a Game Gear for years, so why did I choose to buy one now? Good question. Truth be told, the idea hadn’t even crossed my mind until a few weeks ago, but if there’s one thing to be said about collecting consoles it’s this: it’s really very addictive.IMG_0101-small

Around two months ago a chap came up to the counter and asked if he could trade in some retro consoles. With 99% of customers this translates as “buy my PS1/N64”, so I wasn’t all that excited. That is until he mentioned my favourite four-letter word, and began to produce black console after beautiful black console from his bag.

On any normal day the appearances of a pristine Sega Saturn (Mark One, incidentally) and Mega Drive II would be cause for concern, but I was much more interested in what was attached to the Mega Drive unit. Only a bloomin’ Mega CD 2! It’s always been something of a boyhood dream to own a Mega CD (along with anything else bearing the Sega logo), but I’d never seen one in the wild. And here I was, holding one in my hand!

Just when I thought I couldn’t be any more excited, he played his stunning trump card – a 32X console! It’s a good job there’s no such thing as a lethal Sega overdose. Although there was only one game with it – Doom of all titles! – I was so thrilled I didn’t really mind. In all my years of visiting game shops I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much Sega goodness in one place.

Welcome to the Family, People!

I even bought the Mega Drive II, mine being packed away in the loft somewhere. It goes without saying I paid a reasonable price – there’s no such thing as overpriced when it comes to classic Sega consoles and games!

Since then I’ve only bought one game for my new systems, the completely stunning Sonic CD. Sadly the first copy I bought was lacking a manual and froze when playing he opening movie, but my new copy is in stunning condition and the absolute apple of my eye at the moment. I feel bad that my first copy has since been destroyed – for a Sonic fan, it’s hard to reconcile being responsible for there being one less copy of Sonic CD in the world – but there was no way I would settle for second best in this regard. I’m going to own Sonic CD for the rest of my life!

Shortly after completing Sonic CD, I realised I was only one game away from a complete home Sega console Sonic collection – Sonic Shuffle on Dreamcast. I’m not duplicating titles – I have Sonic Spinball on Mega Drive and Sonic 3D on Saturn  – so Shuffle is the only original title I’m missing. I wonder what my next purchase might be…

This got me thinking about other Sega-shaped holes in my life, and by far the biggest was my lack of a Game Gear. Yes, I knew all about their sub-PSP battery life, blurry screen and wasp-in-a-bottle sound, but love is blind (and deaf). Just the other day a package of pure beauty arrived at work, containing a Game Gear, mains adaptor and around a dozen games, including Sonic, Sonic 2, Sonic Chaos and Shinobi II.

For all the joy this collection is bringing me, it feels very strange to contemplate my last Sega console purchase, but I made a promise and I fully intend to keep it. There will be no Multi-Mega, Nomad or Mark III in my future collection, but I have included a (secret) clause that will allow me to buy up to twenty thousand Dreamcast 2s.

I also no longer own any Sony consoles, having traded in my PSP to afford a DS Lite in time for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood next week, which is shaping up to be awesome. I feel at least 90% purer than I did three weeks ago.

If you just skim-read this article, here it is in picture form:sweet6-small

* I say complete, but what I really mean is “I’d better stop now before Hannah kills me”.