No kidding around here. Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works is one of the best video game books I have ever read.

I've written about it before, mostly because it looked like a nice coffee table book about one of my favourite video game systems. But my copy arrived on the weekend, so yes, I can now confirm this is a very nice coffee table book.

The hook here though wasn't just that the book was full of pictures of the Mega Drive, it was that the book was full of rare pictures of the Mega Drive, and in this regard it doesn't disappoint (indeed, it's being sold as a "documentary art book"). We get to see the original design sketches put together by Sega in the mid-80s. Game art paintings, unblemished by titles or ratings boxes. Even snapshots of the binders containing design specs and notes on the hardware itself.

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Perhaps the best look behind the curtain, though, is the fact we get to see the original design document for Streets of Rage and Gunstar Heroes, complete with hand-drawn manual notes and sketches of the level design.

There's also some stuff to read, with the front and rear sections of the book dedicated mostly to a history of the machine and interviews with a ton of key Sega personnel from back in the day.

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For those who care, it's a nice book. It's a proper hardcover, with classy embossing on the cover, and while some of the text sections are presented a little rough, the meat of the book - the images - are presented wonderfully, especially the hardware sketches, which fold out.

You can buy the book from the publisher's site.

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