The Mega-CD is an add-on device for the Mega Drive video game console, designed and produced by Sega and released in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and North America. In North America, it was renamed Sega CD, as the name Mega-CD bore no obvious associative meaning in that market where the console was named “Genesis” instead of “Mega Drive”. The device adds a CD-ROM drive to the Mega Drive, allowing the user to play CD-based games and providing additional hardware functionality. In addition, the add-on can also play audio CDs and CD+G discs.
The development of the Mega-CD was confidential; game developers were not made aware of what exactly they were working on until the add-on was finally revealed at the Tokyo Toy Show in Japan. The Mega-CD was designed to compete with the PC Engine CD (TurboGrafx-16 CD) in Japan, which had a separate CD-ROM drive.
The first version of the Mega-CD sits underneath the Mega Drive console and loads CDs via a motorized tray. A second version places a top-loading CD-ROM drive to the right of the console, and is intended primarily for use with the redesigned Sega Mega Drive 2. Both versions of the Mega-CD are compatible with the intial two versions of the Mega Drive console, but not with the Mega Drive 3 or Genesis 3.
–From the Wikipedia entry
The Best Sega CD Games
Below are some of my favorite games for the Sega CD.
Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side – Arguably the best fighting game on the Sega CD, EC is essentially very similar to the Genesis original but with more characters (16 more!), moves, fatalities, and other stuff. It seems like Sega was taking a page from Capcom’s book here! Champs pulled off some fancy programming and looks very slick compared to other Sega CD games, pushing 256 colors on screen at once instead of 64! Hell, any game where I can roleplay my fantasies of being a senator beating up a chicken has to be good!
Final Fight CD – Fans of the hit beat’em up will be very pleased with this port.
Heart of the Alien – Wow is this a bargain! You get both the original (and excellent!) Out of this World and it’s sequel!
The Lunar games – Working Designs brought out these two excellent RPGs to Sega CD owners and they bought them up like candy. Lunar: The Silver Star is the best selling US SCD game of all time! They featured halfway decent animated cutscenes with halfway decent voice acting, a decent story, and lots of injected humor from Working Designs’s translations. Watch out for those timeless Bill Clinton jokes!
Panic! – This is a very… uh… different sort of game. Panic has you control a boy wandering through surreal environments, hitting switches and dealing with the absurb and often hilarious consequences. You really never know what will happen next. It may not be for everyone, but if you want to relax and have a good time, give Panic! a try.
Shining Force CD – Sega’s popular Strategy/RPG series jumps to the Sega CD. This game features both of the Game Gear games collected with improved graphics and sound, along with a new chapter to tie it all together. Be sure to buy a Sega CD Backup RAM Cartridge or else you’ll can’t finish the game properly!
Snatcher – If you’re a fan of cyberpunk, Blade Runner, Hideo Kojima, or Konami cameos; Snatcher is for you! This is a great graphical adventure game that will cost you a pretty penny to get your hands on.
Sonic CD – Considered by many to be the greatest 2D Sonic game ever, Sonic CD spiced up the usual Sonic formula with some exploration. You can time travel in between different versions of each zone, destroy Robotnik’s machines, and create a better future. It’s too bad they replaced the opening’s music. XD