Also known as Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection in the European version, Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection is a complitation of 48 Genesis – and a few Sega Master System – games, (re)developed in California, US, by Backbone Entertainment and published by Japan’s Sega company. The game was released for both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in North America on February 10, 2009, February 20th in Europe, and February 26 in 2009.
Some of the titles include such classics as Sonic 1 to 3, Altered Beasts (both the Genesis and arcade version) Phantasy Star 1 to 4, Ecco the Dolphin 1 and 2, Golden Axe 1 to 3, Shinobi 3, and Streets of Rage 1 to 3, among many others.
Not only were the games upgraded with achievements and trophies, but each individual title has three save slots, a menu screen which allows the player to “rate” their favourite games (much like a playlist on most computer music players) and interviews with some of the game’s original creators – spoken in Japanese but subtitled in English – which can be unlocked by performing certain challenges in particular games.
What I liked:
As an avid fan of retro games, I loved having all these classic Sega games compliled neatly (and with trophies!) onto a single blu-ray. It’s amazing to think how far technology has come, when we can take nearly 50 cartridges and squeeze them all onto a disk, and still have room to throw in a few added videos.
Playing each game, one after another, felt incredibly nostalgic. I was thrilled to replay the two first Genesis games I’d ever owned – Sonic the Hedgehog and Alien Storm. I remember buying those, along with a new Genesis system, with my hard-earned babysitting money and first playing them in a hotel in Florida during a snowstorm (yeah, go figure). Sure, most of these games could be considered far out-dated, but one thing many of them possess is the charm of playing a side-scroller, which has become rare in most 3-D games today. I’ve played the 2006 Sonic 360, and in my heart, it just doesn’t compare to the excitement of the original 2D version.
Having the save slots was a nice treat, which meant not requiring to play the game from beginning to end in one sitting. As a result, I was able to clear many titles that I just didn’t have the time or patience for when I was a kid, such as Ecco the Dolphin or the later Sonic titles.
Not to sound like a Trophy Whore, but I had a lot of fun in collecting this platinum. This game isn’t difficult to achieve 100%, and is perfect for anyone with ADD. Just load up a game, play until you collect the required trophy/achievement, then load up the next game. It’s impossible to get bored, because you’re always playing something completely different, every twenty minutes.
What I didn’t like:
There were a few Genesis games which I was disappointed to see didn’t make the collection. Populous was one of my all-time favourite games, and I was hoping Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker would be on there, considering it was one of the first Genesis titles. But to be fair, you can’t please everybody. And with 48 titles, there’s certainly something to please someone.
Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection is a great experience for anyone who wishes to relive their gaming past. There are certainly enough titles in this collection to keep you busy for at least a year, if not longer. I can’t imagine anyone outside the Generation X bracket, like myself, who would enjoy playing such outdated games; but for those of you who grew up with Sonic and Ecco distracting you from your homework, this is a great Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 title to have in your collection.