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Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 7.0
Sound 6.5
Value 7.0
Classification: M15+
Review Date:
May 2005
Andrew B


The Sonic Mega Collection

The Sonic Mega Collection (available on PlayStation 2 and XBox) returns the gamer to a simpler time when heroes were heroes (no anti-heroes here) and villains just wanted a little respect and maybe become the ruler of the Earth. Sonic the Hedgehog is probably one of the most recognized game characters in existence and his heroics contained colourful graphics, amazing gaming environments, super speeds and of course defeating a plethora of villains using any means possible. SEGA, have thankfully bundled together a plethora of "older" Sonic games, 13 to be exact in what promises to be a walk (more likely run), down memory lane.

Sonic the hedgehog was the brainchild of Japanese game developed Yjui Naka who really injected a healthy dose of arcade gaming to the already stagnant game market of the 1980's with his blue coloured hedgehog. As with all good heroes, Sonic's popularity grew and he was soon joined by a variety of other characters that included Amy, Knuckles and Tails to name a few of the creatures that would help Sonic save the world of man.

So why were most of these 2D games so popular? The original Sonic the Hedgehog not only pushed the graphical and sound limits of the old 16-bit Genesis, but it also was easy enough to pick up and play for just about anybody. The game play was simple, as long as Sonic or his friends have at least one Ring left before they can be defeated by their enemies. Another thing that made the Sonic games so unique and much more intense than the average plat-former is that each character could run incredibly fast. Just imagine ripping across the screen at blazing speeds while you discover new areas or finish a level in no time flat. The concept was fresh and it was just what the game industry needed at the time.

Sonic Mega Collection (Genesis)

* Sonic the Hedgehog
* Sonic the Hedgehog 2
* Sonic the Hedgehog 3
* Sonic and Knuckles (lock on cart)
* Sonic Spinball
* Sonic 3D Blast
* Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

Sonic Mega Collection (Game Gear)

* Sonic the Hedgehog
* Sonic Labyrinth
* Sonic Drift
* Sonic Chaos
* Sonic Blast
* Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

Both the Genesis and Game Gear games are virtually identical to the original games that look, sound and play exactly like they did on these older consoles. With that said, the Sonic Mega Collection is basically a Genesis and Game Gear emulator that allows the XBox or the PlayStation 2 to play the original arcade ROMS in their entirety.

Graphically the games (although a little dated) appear exactly like they did on the original consoles. Everything looks colourful, cartoonish and is extremely smooth which was what arcade gaming was about in the 1980ís and 1990ís. So donít expect the latest 3D bump-mapping special effects that your Xbox or PlayStation 2 is capable of. When the SNES first came out, it boasted Mode 7 scaling and rotation that was a graphical feat in its day and Sega wanted to prove they could compete in 3D games, so they brought Sonic to it. With that said, some of these games are extremely fast, especially when they mix 2D with 3D graphics.

Like the graphics, the sounds are exactly the same as you remember. Both the Genesis and Game Gear werenít known for their stellar music and games like the Ooze and Sonic Drift are unbearably bad, but the other Sonic games like Sonic 3 helped to change that fact with some memorable tracks and sound effects.

As you play these games, you'll also unlock some secret bonus games too that helps with the longevity of the title. When you're done playing the Sonic Mega Collection, head on over to the extras section because youíll find movies (evolution of Sonic), illustrations and comic book covers to name a few of the extras that grace this collection..

In conclusion, the Sonic Mega Collection is truly a nostalgic experience that really brings back memories of my youth. Although the graphics of the titles are a little archaic at the best of times, it's actually the gameplay, music and sounds that really saves this collection. Strictly recommended to the older gamer who wants a walk down memory lane or the younger gamer who just wants fun. Check it out!


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