SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection Review for PlayStation3

md1In what almost seems like a distant memory, the SEGA introduction to any game once conjured many positive emotions as you knew that a special warm magic was about to appear in front of your eyes in 16bit glory.  Nowadays though you can’t help but feel that something is seriously missing.

The legend hasn’t completely dissipated as titles such as SEGA Rally and Virtua Tennis were certainly strong contenders to regain the once proud throne that SEGA adorned.  Unfortunately though, the once loved mascot Sonic the Hedgehog has become more of a gimmick roller-coaster which never seems to end and Golden Axe: Beast Rider has more in common with the muck scraped off your shoe than the once heralded arcade experience.

Thankfully for those who grew up with the SEGA happy years will no doubt rejoice in the return of so many true classic titles.  In fact 40 in total, which is sure to get the nostalgic among us spin dashing for joy.

The relentless march to 3D graphics have almost totally ignored the old 2D presentation bar a few exceptions, however if anything it is the style that seems to age far more gracefully than its new aspect.  So here we are sporting enhanced visuals thanks to a simple graphical filter that removes the blockyness and 1080p support, while also offering the ability to stretch the image on a widescreen display if you so desire.  I am sure many of us like myself will have only originally played the games on a television with a single speaker, so the graphical enhancements aside, hearing the music and sound effects in stereo is a treat not to be missed as well.

SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection Review for PlayStation3 – My Video Review!

md2We were also far more patient back in the day as well as the vast majority of games didn’t have any kind of save feature, which is unimaginable now!  Nostalgia is great, but I am sure we all cheer now we can save at any point and skip to another game of our choosing as we wish.  With so many SEGA titles included, its quite common to want to hop from one classic to another so saving is a must.

The SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection includes many favourites for us gaming old timers including Sonic 1,2,3 and Sonic and Knuckles, Golden Axe 1 and 2, Streets of Rage 1,2 and 3, Ecco the Dolphin 1 and 2 and I could go on. There are of course the more forgettable titles including Golden Axe 3, but there are still tons of gems to compensate for the inferior.

The game library may be extensive, however the presentation around it is pretty terrible.  Nothing more than a scrollable almost never-ending list, which you can filter, but fails to hype up the splendour to come.  Trophies are included for completing simple and more advanced tasks within the games, although they are spread out quite thin.  I would have liked to have seen multiple trophies for each game, however certain challenges will also unlock videos and even additional titles (including arcade versions) for your gaming pleasures.

md3The emulation is very accurate except for the odd little niggle here and there where certain sound or music effects don’t exactly react as you remember.   Although the audio is faithfully reproduced in stereo, there is no enhancement for surround sound systems. The ‘blugh’ audio when you slay an enemy on Golden Axe 2 though thankfully remains intact.

Support for additional players remains, although online co-operative is completely left behind. Now I am used to playing Golden Axe on Xbox Live Arcade with this feature, it seems a little lonely on the PlayStation3.

md4Even with so many included titles, it is a testament to the quality of games that were available on the SEGA Mega Drive that I can still dream of further releases and what they could entail without having to concentrate.  Quackshot, Mickey and Donald’s World of Illusion, World Cup Italia ’90 to mention just a few.

SEGA may have lost their way recently, but this seems a sure fire way of reminding many of us gamers the potential and vision our old friend once released.  Hopefully one day, we will see that magic I spoke of earlier return, however until then, at least we have the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection.

md5For the price and the large array of classic titles featured, you would be hard pushed to really find excuses for missing such a superb release.  This will certainly appeal to the SEGA faithful and hopefully newcomers will experience the once golden age of 2D gaming and come to realise that this aspect shouldn’t be forgotten.

Rating: 4.5 / 5 

List of Titles

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Alien Storm
  • Altered Beast
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Columns
  • Comix Zone
  • Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head
  • Dr. Robotnik’s MBM
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Ecco II: The Tides of Time
  • E-SWAT
  • Fatal Labyrinth
  • Flicky
  • Gain Ground
  • Golden Axe I
  • Golden Axe II
  • Golden Axe III
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Ristar
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force 2
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic and Knuckles
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 3
  • Streets of Rage
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Streets of Rage 3
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Vectorman
  • Vectorman 2

Unlockables

  • Alien Syndrome
  • Altered Beast Arcade
  • Golden Axe Warrior
  • Phantasy Star
  • Tip Top
  • Fantasy Zone
  • Shinobi
  • Space Harrier
  • Zaxxon