Review: Genesis Remote Arcade System

This is a goody I picked a couple days ago. I had never even heard of the Arcade Remote System before, so imagine my surprise when I happened to stumble across this gem and an additional controller complete in the box. The best part? I only paid about $9 for both of them. How could I pass it up?

Cordless controller technology has come a hell of a long way from the days when a console’s power was measured in bits and it’s games where in megs. Back then it was all infared technology, which basically meant that nobody had better step between your controller and the receiver or else your 15 man tournament in Eternal Champions: Challenger from the Dark is in serious danger of getting away from you.

The Arcade Remote system employs the same infared technology, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First of all we must ask the question: What is the Arcade Remote System? The Sega made Arcade Remote System is basically a wireless six-button Genesis controller and a sensor / receiver that plugs into the console which takes up both controller ports.

The controller itself is actually really nice because it is basically a Sega Genesis six button pad that is the size and weight of the superior 3 button controller. If you have ever spent any time with the original Genesis 3 button pad you know that it is one the best video game controllers ever made in terms of quality, durability, button layout, and comfort. The six button controller always felt like it could have been bigger, and retained more of the boomerang shape of the the 3 button pad. Another really nice feature about the wireless 6 button in the repositioning of the start button away from the center of the pad to just above the X and Y buttons. This adjustment puts the start button in such a place that it can be pressed without having to move your thumbs away from the main buttons.

Considering that this is a wireless controller it’s surprisingly light. Even with the required 2 AAA batteries in it still weighs about the same as the Genesis 3 button. This is really nice, considering some other wireless controllers of the era for the NES and SNES that I have are absolute monsters, to the point where they are nearly impossible to use for any length of time. I played about 2 hours worth of Comix Zone, Shining Force 2, Splatterhouse 3, Aladin, and Rock n’ Roll Racing on this thing tonight without any cramping or other adverse effects on my hands or my wrists.

Alas, it does have it’s drawbacks. This is where that whole infared thing I mentioned earlier comes back to haunt the Arcade Remote System. The connection between the controller is without delay, and works perfectly within about 10-12 feet of the sensor. 10-12 feet on unobstructed space, mind you. That is very important. So if you have a tendency to point the top of the controller up at the ceiling while playing (which I do) or play your video games in a super comfortable reclining leather media chair and put your feet up on an ottoman, there-by inadvertantly blocking the sensor with your feet (which I also do) than you will have problems with losing the signal until you correct the situation.

All in all, however, this controller is worth hunting down just for the controller itself, which is how Sega should have made their 6 button anyway.



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