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Luke
29 Jan, 2007

Sega Mega Drive Collection Review

PS2 Review | One of the best compilations ever.
A few years ago retro compilations were obscure, nowadays they're big business as just about every publisher rushes to bring out a retro compilation. Big companies like Activision, Namco, EA, Midway, Capcom and Taito have all dipped into their back catalogue and re-released older titles on newer consoles. Sega themselves have previously released a few retro compilation packs, such as Sega Classics Collection, but these compilations were very forgettable. The newer consoles also offer an opportunity for publishers to offer their older titles for download but Sega Mega Drive Collection proves that sometimes a plain old fashioned disk can contain a bundle of quality. For Sega Mega Drive Collection Sega have included thirty Sega Mega Drive titles including Alex Kidd and Bonanza Bros. Thankfully most of the titles on the compilation are still enjoyable to this day.

The most important aspect of retro compilations are the titles, there are a staggering thirty games included with Sega Mega Drive Collection, the thirty games included are: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Super Thunder Blade, Super Vermilion, VectorMan, VectorMan 2, Virtua Fighter 2, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, Altered Beast, Bonanza Bros. Columns, Comix Zone, Decap Attack, Ecco the Dolphin, Ecco: The Tides of Time, Ecco Jnr., Flicky, Gain Ground, Golden Axe, Golden Axe II, Golden Axe III, Kid Chameleon, Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star III, Phantasy Star IV, Ristar and Shinobi III.

Even if you used to own a Mega Drive then Sega Mega Drive Collection still comes highly recommended, there may be a few titles you've played repeatedly (such as Sonic 2) but it's very unlikely that you used to own all of these games. If you used to own a Super Nintendo and missed out on the Mega Drive then this collection is the best way to catch up on lost games. If you're too young to actually remember these consoles then this is your chance to see just how good 16 bit gaming used to be.

Memories...

Memories...
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Some of the games included on the compilation have been re-released before such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Ecco the Dolphin. However, there are some titles which we haven’t seen on a retro collection before including Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle and Bonanza Bros. As the game is budget priced, the sheer number of games also means you’re only paying a couple of bucks per title. It's worth mentioning that although a few of the games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Ristar are available on Nintendo's Virtual Console, you're paying about five times as much for the privledge to play the game on Nintendo's console. The PlayStation 2 editions of these games even include a short history of the games you're playing.

Digital Eclipse handled the emulation for the games and they've done a great job. It's nearly perfect, all games run at a great speed and the colours remain vibrant, making the games look as good as ever. The sound has turned out well too. Great emulation may not seem all that hard to execute, but quite a few compilations suffer from poor emulation which can slow titles down. PAL gamers will also be pleased to know that you can change the scan rate to 60Hz, although this option is hidden in the menus.

A classic.

A classic.
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Even though Sega Mega Drive Collection is a budget title the presentation in game is fantastic. For every title you're able to bring up a short history which tells you when the title was released and provides a short write up on the game. There are also a few “did you knows?” for each game. This kind of presentation is really what sets this collection apart from previous retro compilations, which usually take on a bare bones approach. Impressively the loading in the game is minimal, with only a few seconds of loading for each title. This makes it very easy to jump in and out of games quickly. If you don’t think you can complete each title in one sitting then you can also save your game at any time.

Sega have also included eighteen unlockables which range from interviews with key developers through to a Virtua Fighter 5 trailer and a Sega Cheat book. These extras are unlocked in a variety of ways but generally all you need to do is play a game or get to a certain point in a game and you’ll have unlocked a bonus. The game will notify you by way of a pop up when you’ve unlocked an extra. If thirty games isn’t enough then there are also four other titles to be unlocked: Future Spy, Tac / Scan, Zaxxon and Zector. The PlayStation 2 version of the game also includes the original arcade version of Altered Beast. The amount of unlockables really is very impressive and should have you coming back to this collection quite frequently. All games which originally featured two player modes still allow you to play with a friend as well.

Not quite as freaky now is it?

Not quite as freaky now is it?
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Sega Mega Drive Collection is an easy to recommend retro compilation. The game comes with thirty of the best Mega Drive titles released as well as five bonus unlockable games. There are still a few notable exceptions, Streets of Rage is disappointingly nowhere to be found, but we’re pleased that obscure titles such as Ristar and Bonanza Bros. made it into the game. If you're an old school gamer or just new to gaming then there is plenty of fun to be had with Sega Mega Drive Collection. Both the PSP and the PlayStation 2 version are budget priced as well so there is no doubts in our minds that Sega Mega Drive Collection is one of the best compilations ever.
The Score
Sega Mega Drive Collection is one of the best compilations ever, we're just hoping that Sega bring out some compilations for the Sega Saturn and the Sega Master System. At a budget price the game comes well recommended.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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11 Aug, 2006 That would be a Mega Drive collection for us, then.
21 Comments
7 years ago
Budget price too! This is great; I can give my carts a rest, plus play lots of other titles that I dont have already, AND free to lend the disc to a mate, or trade in the title at a later date. This is a much smarter way of doing things than that BS expensive VC rubbish.

OK I'll add it to my shopping list.
7 years ago
Video games never really got better than the 16-bit era, you whack in a cartridge, you turn on the console and you just play, no bullshit cut scenes, no stupid loading times, just playing

Sonic 3 & Knuckles really should have made this list, it was gaming perfection

Master System titles also deserve a compilation, and/or going up on VC, Saturn would be harder, especially one of its best games, Panzer Dragoon Saga took up 4 CD's on its own
7 years ago
I'm extremely pleased with this - Bonanza Bros was in my top 5 for this vintage. I agree with the disappointing omission of Streets of Rage, but really it's just constructive criticism. Your review said all I needed to know Luke. Thanks - Time to Buy!
7 years ago
No Wonderboy! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
7 years ago
Shinobi 3 was the best Shinobi ever! I hope the invincibility and infinite shurikens codes are still in there!! icon_smile.gif
7 years ago
This is a fantastic compilation! If it only had "the Humans" and "Mega Bomberman" on it I could buy this and pack my MegaDrive away in the shed for good.

Actually I will more than likely get it anyway. It is much easier just to pop a Disk in the PS2 than it is to get the MegaDrive out of the drawer and hook it up.
7 years ago
Awesome.

Ghouls and Ghosts would have topped off a list of classics. Oh well, one can dare to dream.
7 years ago
I didnt have console in 16-bit generation. Maybe I should touch up on the classics.
7 years ago
No Sreets Of Rage or Streets Of Rage II....equals no sale
7 years ago
Ellegarden wrote
I didnt have console in 16-bit generation. Maybe I should touch up on the classics.
Ummm. yeah, this collection barley touches the surface of a console flooded with classics, my recommendation is buy this for the games it has, then go on eBay and buy a Mega Drive and get the games that are not on this.
7 years ago
renegadesx wrote
Ellegarden wrote
I didnt have console in 16-bit generation. Maybe I should touch up on the classics.
Ummm. yeah, this collection barley touches the surface of a console flooded with classics, my recommendation is buy this for the games it has, then go on eBay and buy a Mega Drive and get the games that are not on this.
One problem, too pricey.
7 years ago
I have all of these games on cart, although ill be buying it for sure.
It does eem thought they left plenty of room for a Sega classics collection 2 though.

SoR
Sor2
SoR3
Wonderboy in Monster World
Virtua Racing, etc etc.
7 years ago
It's worth owning a PSP purely for this alone. The review didn't mention that the PSP version has ad-hoc multiplayer... Anyone else have fond memories of playing Sonic 2 split-screen? Setting all the item boxes to teleports, seeing your opponent about to hit one, and purposely manouvering yourself so that after the screen flashes white, your opponent finds himself hovering an inch above a set of spikes without time to avoid them? Ah the good ol' days....

At any rate, Streets of Rage not being here is no shock. The game would up the rating, which is why it was neglected from Sonic Gems outside of Japan.

I wouldn't expect to see Virtua Racing on the next compilation (difficult to emulate), but it wasn't a bad move by Sega to hold off on Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles for a future compilation. I'm at least crossing my fingers that's the reason Shining Force isn't on the list, seeing as they already had Phantasy Star there.

Oh, and Landstalker, obviously.

Flashback is another gem from the era, but I don't know about the licensing on that. We won't be seeing any of the "Strike" games, because they're on the EA compilation.
7 years ago
Oh I want. I'm not bothered about missing Sonic 3 and Knuckles I have Sonic Mega Collection.

Is it too much to hope that we might see retro compilations next gen with 60 or so games? Or maybe all the first title games on Megadrive and Mastersystem. Now that would be really impressive.
7 years ago
Nev wrote
Oh, and Landstalker, obviously.
Oh indeed, I personally think Landstalker is as good as Zelda III and Secret of Mana

I think with 3rd party titles though there is a better chance of them appearing on Virtual Console instead of a compilation but there is a chance of neither happening which would mean selling your old consoles may be a bad move
7 years ago
Even though I own most of these games I'll be picking up the PSP version of this one for sure, Sonic 2 and Ecco, one hell of a way to spend a long trip (assuming the PSP batteries can go the distance...)
7 years ago
I was more pointing at a Virtua Racing Deluxe release, 32X is easier to
emulate the the SVP chip, we could also chuck in ideas of MegaCD Games

Oh and Shining Force,Sf2,Shining in the Darkness could also be on it.
Im still pissed that they put the GG versions of the Sonic games in the
compilations over the Master System Versions, what with the squashed aspect ratio.

Oh and stuff the VC, I want compilations damn you!
7 years ago
Cookie wrote
Budget price too! This is great; I can give my carts a rest, plus play lots of other titles that I dont have already, AND free to lend the disc to a mate, or trade in the title at a later date. This is a much smarter way of doing things than that BS expensive VC rubbish.

OK I'll add it to my shopping list.
Totally agree.

My RF connector broke on my Mega Drive so this kind of thing is fantastic.
7 years ago
Emuaust wrote
Im still pissed that they put the GG versions of the Sonic games in the compilations over the Master System Versions, what with the squashed aspect ratio.
You and me both.. Yeargh. Not only is it cropped to hell and back, but the frame rate is far worse, and in Sonic 1, Sonic doesn't even have a NOSE.

On the subject of aspect ratios, to anyone who buys this game on the PSP, make sure you change the aspect ratio for each game to keep them at their original ratio, as opposed to being stretched up to the top and bottom of the screen (don't even think about making it widescreen). It may be smaller, but it looks a lot crisper and cleaner, and the inevitable screen blur is less apparent.

Ecco really fares the worst on the PSP. The dark blues produce the most amount of screen blur, the D-pad can't quite master diagonals, whilst the analog nub isn't accurate enough for those insanely difficult jumps.
7 years ago
Ellegarden wrote
One problem, too pricey.
Upon reflection I actually agree with you there, perhaps 25/30 clams would be reasonable.
7 years ago
renegadesx wrote
Video games never really got better than the 16-bit era, you whack in a cartridge, you turn on the console and you just play, no Bulls*** cut scenes, no stupid loading times, just playing

Sonic 3 & Knuckles really should have made this list, it was gaming perfection

Master System titles also deserve a compilation, and/or going up on VC, Saturn would be harder, especially one of its best games, Panzer Dragoon Saga took up 4 CD's on its own
Amen brother! icon_cool.gif

There are some terrific games today but it is true that we really have passed the golden era of gaming. I guess the best we can hope for is that publishers don't totally balls up the industry by flooding the market with repeat after repeat of episodic idiocy that relies on slight graphic improvements FMV bloat-ware and accessory snap-ons purchasable by credit card to prompt new sales.

Compare this to the approach taken by smaller dedicated publishers of the 80's and 90's where CPU power was a premium so the focus was on care, simplicity of game play, imagination, plot driven entertainment and lean programming to create games that stimulated the audience (as opposed to spoon feeding them).

The industry was led by people who created games because they wanted to - and for little other reason. I'll give one example: Wizardry series by Sir-Tech. In the late 90's the company was on its knees with no money and no distribution backing and the doors had to be shut, but rather than take redundancy payouts the staff freely elected to stay on and spend their own money to finish Wizardry 8. Why? Because they promised their niche loyal fan base they would finish it and the staff themselves wanted to play out the end to the series. Would a publisher or its staff do this today? The heart & care has gone, replaced by old men in suits & marketing jackasses.

Sorry for the sermon. icon_rolleyes.gif

P.S Yep Ghouls and Ghosts would have been on my list too.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
European Release Date:
  Out Now
Publisher:
  Sega
Developer:
  Sega

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