Review by CaliGamer25850

Reviewed: 08/22/14

Probably one of my favorite Sonic compilations in the series, but I digress... almost.

Yeah, I’m pretty much running out of games to review, and yes, I admit that I’m being pretty sporadic about my reviews, because at the beginning of the summer, I thought I was going to play a crapload of games, but unfortunately, things don’t really pan out. Guess that’s life huh? However, I might as well review one more game before heading back to college in a couple weeks, and what better game to end my break than one of my favorite Sonic compilations, Sonic Mega Collection? I can pretty much say that this was pretty much what I played to review the Sonic games of the Genesis (1, 2, 3, Knuckles, and 3D Blast), but it I didn’t play this or have it at the time, I still could’ve done those reviews by just playing the games off of either Xbox Live or Ultimate Genesis collection, but I digress. I first played Mega Collection back in 2007 when I got my Gamecube, and then picked up another copy last year when I was in my first year at college. So does my opinion of this compilation still hold up today? Let’s find out.

Games (overall score: 7.2 out of 10): Okay, since I already reviewed most of these games by themselves, I’m just going to have to talk about them in different ways, but the scores here will still be the same as the other reviews, more or less, starting with...

Sonic 1 (8.5 out of 10): What more can I say about the game that not only started one of the most iconic franchises in the gaming industry but also put Sega on the map? Not much though, but I’ll try. This game was great when I first played and still pretty decent to this day, and for good reason, because the levels were fun to play, the gameplay was good, and Sonic controlled pretty nicely. Granted, there were some levels that were pretty cumbersome, like Marble Zone and Labyrinth Zone, and also Scrap Brain Zone was pretty hard to get through, but the game still felt fast-paced and enjoyable. The soundtrack was pretty nice and was probably one of the better soundtracks on the Genesis, and the level aesthetics were pretty good to look at. I especially liked Star Light Zone, because it was fast-paced, the music was great, and the level looked great; still my favorite level in the game. Sure, the bosses are kind of easy, except for Final Zone, but the acts leading up to them are a little more challenging though. This was a good game to start out the series, and I couldn’t really agree more.

Sonic 2 (9 out of 10): Sonic 1 was a good game, and a sequel would’ve had a challenging time to top it, but Sega proved people wrong in 1992 when Sonic 2 was released. It not only improved on the already good gameplay and physics from Sonic 1, but also brought some new things to the table, like the Spin Dash, which is pretty damn awesome to use. However, it didn’t take away from the experience, if anything it enhanced the feel, because the levels were bigger and more fun to play in than Sonic 1, the bosses were improved and made more challenging, and the overall game was longer and more enjoyable to play. I also like the addition of Super Sonic, even though the emerald stages are pretty irritating and Super Sonic is hard to control, and I did like the introduction of Tails, even though he can get in your way during the game and he can’t really fly, but I digress. I know a lot of Sonic fans say this is the best game in the series, and I can partially agree, but I don’t think it’s the best. To me, it’s #3 in my top 10 Sonic games, behind Generations (2nd) and Sonic 3 & Knuckles (1st), but still, it was fun to play.

Sonic 3 & Knuckles (10 out of 10, but only if you play the two together): I wasn’t joking or anything when I said that Sonic 3 & Knuckles was my all-time favorite game in the series, because I loved it a lot when I first played, and I still love to play it time and time again nowadays, because, to me, this is what I played Sonic games for, and still do. The gameplay is outstanding, the levels are an excellent fusion of both challenge and enjoyment, and the super/hyper forms are pretty great.

However, I know that you have to unlock the lock-on version, so I’ll just put down the score for each of those two games here: Sonic 3 (9.5 out of 10), and Sonic & Knuckles (9.5 out of 10).

Sonic Spinball (5 out of 10): I could probably care less about pinball games as a whole, so I wouldn’t say I would be interested in playing a Sonic pinball game, and probably for good reason. That’s not to say that the game is bad, mind you, but it’s just not my cup of tea.

Sonic 3D Blast (4 out of 10): I still don’t like this game at all, and what else could I say about it? My review pretty much said all I needed to say about probably one of the worst Sonic games I’ve ever played, and for good reason, because this game is incredibly sluggish, incredibly bland, and most of all, incredibly boring.

Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (4 out of 10): Another genre I can care less about would be puzzles, and because this game is pretty lackluster on its own, I can feel comfortable not caring enough here. All you do is some kind of Tetris-like puzzle game, only instead of blocks, you play with beans, hence the name. That’s all. Well, the art design is based off of the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog show, which was an okay show, but wasn’t really my thing, but I digress. This has little to offer, and you’re probably better off avoiding it.

In addition to those games, you can unlock a few lesser-known Sega titles that were on the Genesis, but I don’t really care for those unlockable games, except for Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but I digress. In order to unlock them, you have to play through the 7 games already available 20 times each (you don’t have to beat each game 20 times, only play them, and by that, I mean spamming the hell out of going to the title screen). The games are...

Blue Sphere (5 out of 10): This is basically just a collection of blue sphere levels from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but instead of getting Chaos Emeralds, the only purpose is to try to get the best time on time. Yeah, this is a pretty lackluster game, and to me, this is pretty much something you only play for 10 minutes, get bored of it quickly, quit it, and play something else. Moving on.

Knuckles in Sonic 2 (8 out of 10): You remember locking on Sonic 2 to Sonic & Knuckles back in the day, well they decided to bring it back, and this is basically Knuckles playing through every level and boss in Sonic 2, but only serves as another Sonic skin. Aside from the Sonic 2 levels, there’s not much appeal, although this game is good enough, but I digress.

Flicky (6 out of 10): For what it’s worth, it’s an okay game, but I digress. This game plays similarly to Elevator Action, but instead, you have to collect birds and drop them off at doors and that stuff. This game is right on the line between okay and mediocre, because the gameplay is okay, but the game can feel dragged out at times, and I’ll probably doubt you’ll be able to play through this for more than 20 minutes, but that’s just me. It’s also not very memorable, in my opinion.

Ristar (7.5 out of 10): I thought this was Sonic Mega Collection, but I digress; after all, Sonic Team did develop this game, and for what it’s worth, it’s a relatively decent title. Maybe I’ll consider doing a separate review of Ristar, but I don’t know. However, this may end up being the last game you’ll unlock in this compilation, because you have to play (not beat) the other 4 unlockable games 20 times each to unlock it, and to me, it’s sort of worth it, because this is a decent game, nonetheless.

Yeah, I might have raised some questions of the score for the games, but that’s pretty much the overall score. Yes, Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles are excellent games, but unfortunately, the compilation kind of gets dragged down by lackluster titles like 3D Blast, Spinball, and Mean Bean Machine. Granted, there are a couple decent titles to balance it out, like Ristar and Knuckles in Sonic 2, but overall, the selection of games is decent at best.

Unlockables (8.5 out of 10): Yeah, I already talked about the unlockable games as much as I did back in the “Games,” section, but for the most part, they seem pretty decent. However, the score is mainly for Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Knuckles in Sonic 2, and probably Ristar. However, the other games I don’t really care for, but I digress. Why it’s not higher is because for some of the other unlockable games, you kind of have to play the other games in order to unlock them, and it’s not a problem to play Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Knuckles again, because I like those games, but I could really care less about 3D Blast, Spinball, and Mean Bean Machine. It also doesn’t help that you have to play the unlockables in order to unlock Ristar; even though that game was decent, it barely justifies having to play Flicky or Blue Sphere 20 times.

Extras (8 out of 10): Last section, I promise you. Yeah, this is pretty much my first review of a compilation title (unless you want to count THPS2x, but even I don’t count it), so it is a little challenging to structure it differently from my regular reviews, but I’ll finish this one up. In addition to the games, which were overall decent, you can also view some artwork, movies, and also some issues of the Archie comics, which are pretty decent, but I digress.

Final Score: 7.9 out of 10

So this was Sonic Mega Collection, and overall, it was good. There were the great 2D Sonic games, like 1, 2, 3, and Knuckles, there was Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which still remains my favorite game in the series. However, there were some decent games, like Ristar and Knuckles in Sonic 2; there were some lackluster games like Spinball, Flicky, and Blue Sphere; and there were bad games, like 3D Blast and Mean Bean Machine. I still stand by saying that this is one of my favorite compilations in the series, probably even my favorite, barring Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection, which I will get to as soon as I get my PS3, but I digress. I had a good time reviewing this, and it was fitting enough to finish off my summer break from college with something good, and yeah. I still regret not doing many reviews over the summer, because for me, it was pretty lackluster; sure I took a trip to see some family this summer, but overall, there wasn’t enough for me to do. Regardless, I’ll probably do some more gaming and more reviews this fall, because I’ll have more to do to keep me busy, so yeah. Anyway, see you guys next time.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Sonic Mega Collection (Player's Choice) (US, 12/31/04)

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