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Gens
A Sega Genesis / 32X / CD emulator for Windows reviewed on 8/7/2009 by Vincent T. Vantine.
"Gens is the Open-Source Sega Genesis, Sega CD and 32X emulator that raised the bar on the Genesis front and was even used by Sega of America in a project to revive a couple of the Genesis classics."

Gens began as a Sega Genesis emulator exclusively. Over the years, it received numerous improvements and refinements which eventually led it to become the preferred Genesis emulator of many gamers. From that point, the author branched off to include support for both of the Genesis' ill-fated add-ons, the Sega CD and 32X. Later in development, the source code to Gens was also open-sourced under the GPL.

The first thing you are presented with on any emulator is of course the user interface. Gens' UI can be described as adequate, but unfortunately not much else. The UI is comprised of a basic set of drop-down menus in Windowed mode, and a vertical context menu in full-screen mode. From there, most options can be changed and configured directly on the menu. For other settings such as paths and gamepad configuration, there are separate dialogue boxes that are accessed by the menus. We would've liked to see these boxes added into one tabbed settings menu.

A major benefit of Gens is it's extremely low system requirements. For basic Genesis emulation, a computer as slow as 300Mhz is capable of running it at full speed. For 32X and Sega CD emulation, the recommended speed bumps up to 1GHz, but this shouldn't pose a problem for any computer made within the last seven years. Gens is easily a must-have for any netbook users that might be starved for a little classic gaming.

Gens' compatibility is quite high on all three platforms, but it really excels on the Genesis. This is the core console that Gens has emulated since the beginning, and as such it is the most refined and compatible. Support for the 32X and Sega CD is impressive, but compatibility issues do exist and some compatible titles may exhibit minor glitches. Other projects that are more actively maintained have reached higher compatibility on these two platforms.

Gens has all of the typical video features you would come to expect including Vsync, Full Screen mode, and Stretch to Fit. In addition, Gens has a good assortment of graphical filters to smooth out the jaggies and enhance the visuals. In the audio department, Gens provides a wide range of options and several enhancements that work well with specific titles.

One of the more interesting features in Gens is netplay support via Kaillera. This allows for both LAN and Internet-based two player gaming and communication. In addition to Kaillera, other features include Game Genie support, audio capture and support for up to 8 separate gamepads.

Gens has almost everything a Sega Genesis gamer could want; great Genesis compatibility, low system requirements and a nice assortment of features.


Conclusion:

Compatibility:
Gens has great compatibility on the Genesis that comes from years of refinement and support for the Sega CD and 32X is good, but could use additional work.
Stability:
With the exception of a few minor UI glitches in Full Screen mode, Gens is a stable emulator.
Video:
All of the typical features and a nice assortment of graphical filters provide a good experience.
Audio:
Great Genesis audio accuracy and a nice set of options and enhancements. Minor audio glitches exist in some titles on the Sega CD and 32X.
Final Thoughts:
Gens is the emulator of choice for most Genesis gamers, and for good reason. Gens provides a well-rounded gaming experience.
Emulator Info

Screenshot

Author: Stef
Netplay Support: Yes
Players Supported: 4
Homepage: Click Here
Platform: Windows
Version Reviewed: 2.14

Features Supported:
- Save State
- Joystick Support
- Multiple Rendering Filters
- Full-Screen Mode
- Vsync Support
- Netplay Support
- Cheat Device Support
- Sega CD Support
- Sega 32X Support