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Matt Bassos
20 Mar, 2005

Sonic Mega Collection Plus Review

Xbox Review | Let all those Sonic memories come speeding back....again.
Back in the day, when Sega battled their arch-nemesis Nintendo for video game supremacy, a blue hedgehog named Sonic was created and won the hearts of millions. Sonic the Hedgehog was released in 1991 for the Sega Megadrive, becoming an instant success, with many squeals and spin-off games following. Sonic Mega Collection Plus is a compilation of these early Sonic titles, for both the Sega Megadrive and Game Gear. Not only this but the game contains Sonic artwork and bonuses, and as you can imagine is suitably priced as a budget title.

It's Sonic Plus...

While Sonic Mega Collection for the Gamecube was released well over a year ago, Sega have decided that Xbox and Playstation 2 owners deserve a collection of old school Sonic titles. However as you may have noticed, the title includes a noticeable “Plus.” Sonic Mega Collection Plus includes additional games and bonus content, including six Sonic Game Gear titles which Gamecube owners will not find in their versions of Sonic Mega Collection.

The original Sonic in all its 16-bit glory.

The original Sonic in all its 16-bit glory.
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Extra Stuff

Sonic Mega Collection Plus includes seven Sonic Megadrive titles, four hidden Megadrive titles and six Game Gear titles. However it’s the main sonic titles that will draw older Sonic players in, - Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. These four titles are still just as playable and enjoyable as there were over ten years ago. The other three Megadrive Sonic games are true spin-offs of the hedgehog’s success - Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Sonic Spinball and Sonic 3D Flicky’s Island. While not nearly as good as the four main titles they are worth a look, especially for Sonic enthusiasts. The six Sonic Game Gear titles - Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Drift, Sonic Chaos, Sonic Blast, Sonic Labyrinth and the Game Gear version of Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine are also included in this “Plus” edition, and can be played straight away. Finally Sega have thrown in four other classic Megadrive titles which have to be unlocked and include Flicky, Ristar, The Ooze, and Comix Zone.
(Note - The Ooze and Comix Zone were included in the Japanese version of Sonic Mega Collection for the Gamecube.)

Can you feel the speed?

Can you feel the speed?
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So what else is different about this "Plus” version in contrast to the Gamecube’s edition? Apart from the obvious conclusion of Game Gear titles, the menu system which allows you to select Games, Extras, Manuals and Options has been revamped and looks better. “Plus” also includes more hidden titles which consist of Flicky, Ristar, The Ooze, and Comix Zone. While not Sonic titles they are worth checking out, especially Comix Zone which is a side-scrolling, fighting game, done artistically in comic style. Another interesting addition to “Plus” is the ability to save any game at any time. This is a great feature and allows the older Sonic titles to be saved at any time for future play. Sonic Mega Collection Plus includes a mediocre of bonus stuff for Sonic fans including the intro movie for Sonic Heroes, artwork and a compilation of Sonic the Hedgehog comics. A copy of Sonic the Hedgehog "Firsts," which includes several issues of the early series is readable in its entirety, while the rest of the Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure comic’s cover pages can be viewed. Another nice touch is that all the original manuals from the Sonic titles can be viewed at pleasure and read entirely. Still so much more could have been added and what we see here is just scraping the barrel of Sonic memorabilia which is very disappointing.
(NoteSonic Mega Collection Plus does not include these features found in the original Gamecube title Sonic Boom Intro, Sonic Boom Ending, Sonic Advance 2 preview, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle preview, history of Sonic and rare Sonic collectibles.)

Sonic's first 3D experience is better left forgotten.

Sonic's first 3D experience is better left forgotten.
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Pure Hedgehog Goodness

For Sonic purists the games run just as how you remember them on your Megadrive/Game Gear. This is because they are direct emulations of the titles, so don’t expect any bugs or glitches to be fixed or framerate problems to subside, regardless if the game is running on a console a hundred times more powerful then the Megadrive. All titles however are still an enjoyable play, and gamers who grew up on classic Sonic will not be disappointed. Below is a short outline of each of the Sonic Megadrive titles.

Sonic the Hedgehog – Original Release 06/23/1991

Dr Ivo. Robotnik (AKA Dr. Eggman), the mad scientist, is snatching innocent animals and turning them into evil robots! Help our hero to fight the enemies, rescue the helpless animals, and stop Dr. Robotnik form succeeding with his evil plot.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – Original Release 11/24/1992

Dr. Robotnik has returned, again bent on world domination. Join Sonic and his sidekick Miles “Tails” Prower the fox as they try to stop the demented scientist from discovering the Chaos Emeralds and completing the ultimate weapon, the “Death Egg.”

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – Original Release 01/24/1994

Dr. Robotnik’s “Death Egg” has lost its ability to fly after crash landing on Floating Island, and only the power of the Chaos Emeralds can repair his ship. To obtain these, he tricks their guardian Knuckles the Echidna convincing him that Sonic and Tails are really his enemies.

Sonic & Knuckles – Original Release 10/18/1994

Having blasted Robotnik’s “Death Egg” to smithereens, Sonic is determined to find the Emeralds hidden on Floating Island, but Knuckles is equally determined to stop him by all means available. While they’re going the rounds with each other, who will stop Dr. Robotnik?

Sonic Spinball – Original Release 11/15/1993

The deranged scientist Dr. Robotnik is once again turning the animals of Mobius into robots using his monstrous contraption the Veg-O-Fortress. Only Sonic can penetrate the pinball defense system, free the animals, collect the Emeralds and put a stop to his fiendish plan.

Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island – Original Release 11/07/1996

Sonic travels to Flicky Island only to find that Dr. Robotnik has turned the mysterious birds known as Flickies into viscous robots! Help Sonic rescue his friends and foil the deranged scientist’s fiendish plot.

Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine – Original Release 11/29/1993

Dr. Robotnik is changing the jolly folk of Beanville into devious little robots that will help rid planet Mobius of music and fun forever. Group the beans together to help them escape while working your way up to the wilier henchbots.

Obviously you cannot compare visually 16-bit games to today’s standards. However gameplay wise these games still hold their charm, especially the four main titles, which contain the perfect balance of speed and platforming genius. This collection is probably the best group of Sonic titles since Sonic Jam for the Sega Saturn. Still a lot is missing and it is clearly noticeable that many great Sonic titles are absent. This “Plus” edition still hasn’t offered us Sonic CD, one of the best 2D sonic games ever; as well many other obscure and arcade Sonic titles such as Knuckles Chaotix, Sonic R, Sonic the Fighters and Sonic Arcade. The inclusion of Game Gear titles doesn’t offer much to the overall package either. Most look terrible stretched on television, and will offer only a few minutes distraction. Furthermore the selection of Game Gear titles is not complete, with many “better” titles missing.

We Want MORE

So are classic Sonic games worth the budget price? Well that depends on how much you like sonic. Hardcore Sonic fans will love this collection of titles, even with the small amount of bonus items included in the package, as the games retain fantastic appeal even after all these years. With that being said, if you didn’t grow up with Sonic then Sonic Mega Collection Plus is probably more of a rental title to see how the evolution of Sonic has occurred. If you already own the Gamecube version of Sonic Mega Collection, “Plus” really isn’t worth it, as all your getting is six Game Gear titles, most which can already be unlocked in the Gamecube version of Sonic Adventure DX. While being the “definite” collection of early Sonic games, it’s still a shame that Sega didn’t include more Sonic titles and extra bonus goodies, for us true Sonic fans. While providing fans with all those nostalgic memories, it’s important to note that no Sonic devotee should buy this game for its bonus features alone.

The complete list of games featured in Sonic Mega Collection Plus

Sonic the Hedgehog (Megadrive)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Megadrive)
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Megadrive)
Sonic & Knuckles (Megadrive)
Sonic 3D Blast (Megadrive)
Sonic Spinball (Megadrive)
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (Megadrive)
Knuckles in Sonic 2 (Megadrive, - Hidden)
Sonic 3 & Knuckles (Megadrive, - Hidden)
Blue Sphere (Megadrive, - Hidden)
Flicky (Megadrive, - Hidden)
Ristar (Megadrive, - Hidden)
The Ooze (Megadrive, Hidden)
Comix Zone (Megadrive, - Hidden)
Sonic the Hedgehog (Game Gear)
Sonic Drift (Game Gear)
Sonic Chaos (Game Gear)
Sonic Blast (Game Gear)
Sonic Labrynth (Game Gear)
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (Game Gear)
The Score
The best collection of early Sonic games for now. The games are just as you remember them, damn excellent, but the lack of bonus material and additional Sonic games severely hurts the overall package.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Sonic Mega Collection Plus Content

Sonic Mega Collection Plus Screenshots
12 Aug, 2004 Including a confirmed release date, price, finalised games list and first screenshots.
Sonic Mega Collection Plus Game List
05 Aug, 2004 Sega reveals the list of classic Sonic, and non-Sonic, games for Sonic Mega Collection Plus.
Sonic Mega Collection Plus Screenshots
12 Aug, 2004 Including a confirmed release date, price, finalised games list and first screenshots.
5 Comments
9 years ago
Lots of old stuff, nothing new? Nice way to make some quick money if you ask me..

Nice run down though icon_smile.gif
9 years ago
i got this for PS2 because i was not a child of Sega back in the day, but a Nintendo fanboy so i never got to play Sonic...

i think it's pretty fun, i'm a fan of 2D platformers, a genre which ought to be revived imo, maybe i should just track down Abe's Oddysee/Exoddus second hand and do them again...

i didn't know Comix Zone was included... afaik i haven't unlocked any of the bonus material, but i remember this game too, and was one i always wanted to play, so yay icon_smile.gif

one thing i can say about the PS2 version is the load times... wtf? this game has the worst load times of any game i own... once a game is loaded it's fine (ie: no level load between stages, just the initial load of the game menu and when you select which sonic title to play...)
9 years ago
ObsoletE wrote
one thing i can say about the PS2 version is the load times... wtf? this game has the worst load times of any game i own... once a game is loaded it's fine (ie: no level load between stages, just the initial load of the game menu and when you select which sonic title to play...)
The games dont emulate do they?? Possibly that could be the reason..There roms?
9 years ago
The games are Roms... but I don't experience any real bad loading issues on the Xbox version.

Be sure Obsolete to unlock Sonic 3 & Knuckles and play it from start to finish - it's one of the best and longest 2D Sonic games ever!
9 years ago
cool icon_smile.gif

the load times do kill the enjoyment of the games a bit IMO, it's such a pain in the arse to load every time i want to play...

atm i am going through the first game... which is probably what i'll continue doing... go through each game in order... though i'm not really concerned with the GameGear games... maybe later...

that said i have so many games to finish... in no particular order:
KOTOR2
LOTR: BFME
LOTR: ROTK
Doom 3 (still)
Chronicles of Riddick
Republic Commando
MOH: Pacific Assault (which i probably won't bother... i don't really like it)
Dawn of War (up to the last level, just have never even attempted it... MP is where it's at)
Need for Speed: Underground 2
Viewtiful Joe
MGS3
GT4
Mercenaries
GTA:SA
Alias

man thats too many... thats the curse of MMORPGs i guess...
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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:
  Sonic Team
Players:
  1-2

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