|I was a little reluctant at first to order this system after reading a little about it. But those concerns have gone away after holding this unit in my hands.
First I would like to say that JungleTac, the company that is putting out these little portables, decided to up the quality on this one. The box itself will "wow" you. The glossy package with very thick cardboard construction, containing magnets in the flap to hold the lid in place, gives it an air of "elegance." It is called a "Digital Arcade System."
Upon pulling the unit out and examining it, all the talk was true. I only want to ask the manufacturers one question. Why, why would you want to put a wide screen on a gaming machine? Why scan lines? Why change the screen at all? The other systems, like the OneStation, had a great screen for gaming. There are some interesting design changes on this system that are puzzling and yet a few that are good. This unit feels solid, thicker plastic? And is better constructed in certain ways. Still no headphone jack!! And still no save states!!!
The unit is thicker, a little longer, but not as wide as the OneStation. The speaker is located at the top rather than the bottom. The A, B, C, buttons are arranged in a simple line rather than in a pattern or a formation as with most portables.
The box shows that the system can be found in three colors, blue, white, and black. I have only seen it in two, white and black. I got the black system because, well, I'm playing Sega Genesis games. And the Genesis was black, so it only seems right to have the system black. More of a traditional thing, I guess.
The screen is wide, a 2.7" TFT LCD with scan lines. The scan lines causes it to look sort-of grainy, especially with any lettering on screen. There doesn't seem to be any ghosting or blurring. The color is vibrant and rich with good backlighting. A new design element in this unit is that the screen is nicely recessed. This gives protection against possible scratching. The wide screen, not being the aspect ratio of the games themselves, does distort the graphics, some games it is more noticeable than others. Sometimes it all depends on, what is happening on screen. But it also looks like that the games themselves do not cover the entire screen. There seems to be a slight border down the right hand side and bottom of the screen.
As usual, the controls are tight and right on, though the buttons seem a bit springy. I like the way the directional button is cradled by the area around it. Traditional cross directional button, the only way to get your "game on" with these retro games. I thought at first that the A, B, C, buttons would be terrible the way they are arranged, but I have not even thought about it while playing. We have a reset, start, A, B, C, directional buttons, and an on/off switch along with an analog volume control. I must state that I am very disappointed with the volume of this system. Even through the sound is better it seems much lower than any of their other systems. Without a headphone jack, I need to be able to turn it up! And we are back to having the cheap looking chrome shiny buttons. Having the buttons the same color as the unit, to me, would have been a better choice.
The TV-Out jack is located on the bottom left hand side of the unit right next to the on/off switch. I have been very disappointed with this feature of the OneStation systems. I get only black and white, no color. I have no idea what the problem could be. Is it the drivers? Is it a weak RF signal? Is it the way the game carts connect to the unit? Or is it the fact that the games are Mega Drive games made for a PAL system and here I am trying to use them on NTSC? And the TV-Out, new to this unit, can only be used on NTSC. The other units, that they have produced, were made for both PAL and NTSC. So this system is not international friendly when it comes to TV-Out, which limits this feature.
The cartage slot is located in the upper left hand corner on the backside of the unit. This unit only uses the tiny MD carts that were made for the MD adapter used on the OneStation. The games are Mega Drive/Sega Genesis games. This is the only thing that this unit can play. This is basically the OneStation MD adapter built into a standalone system. In other words, this is a portable Mega Drive/Sega Genesis containing the "Sega on-a-chip" technology. Each game cart is a "multi-cart." Each cart will have any where between two and eight games. I have 34 games on 6 carts with only two repeats, meaning that two of the carts have at least one game that is contained on another cart. And even these tiny carts are sticking past the top of the system housing and protruding like a wart. The backside of the box says, "Compatible more thame 1000 kind of 16 bit games." Is that just hype or what? And that is not a typing error on my part, that is word for word.
This unit takes four AAA batteries instead of the usual three. I wonder if it is because of the new screen or because of the 16 bit games that the extra power is needed? It could be both.
A very portable Sega Gaming System!
Quality build and construction.
Screen aspect ratio and scan lines, this would disturb some gamers out there.
TV-Out is problematic and limited to NTSC
Low speaker volume!
No Save States!!
No headphone jack!!
Plays only Sega games
I like this unit even though it does have its bad points. This unit makes it easier to play the Mega Drive/Sega Genesis game carts. I have found the MD adapter tedious and troublesome to play the MD games on the OneStation. Being a Mega Drive only system, this does limit your gaming choices. This system is great for that retro Sega fan. I will probably spend my time playing the Sega games on this system and have the OneStation dedicated to the NES games. And as for the TV-Out feature, I really got the unit because of the portability. I am into portable gaming. For me, the added TV option would only be a plus that I don't use. But there are some out there that would like this option. Maybe someone else out there would have a better time with getting it to work properly than I have. But being that I have found this feature to be somewhat troublesome on the OneStation and the MD Max, I am thinking that they have not worked out all the bugs. I say thumbs up to this unit because of the portability of having such a small Sega Genesis in your pocket.
|MD Max Review|
|It is called a manual, yet it is only one page. Sort-of like a leaflet.|
|Sega Genesis cart on the left, MD Max cart in the center and the usual GBA cart as reference. You have to keep in mind that the MD Max cart can have as many as 8 Sega games on it.|
|There is a professional look to the over all packaging.|
|OOOooooo.... such a nice sleek look. Now if only we could ditch the cheap looking chrome buttons for some black ones.|
|It still has a nice screen and does well as a Mega Drive /Sega Genesis portable even if it is wide screen.|