Review by Romshark

Reviewed: 11/13/02 | Updated: 11/13/02

A blast from the past!

I pretty well grew up with Sonic the Hedgehog. I have most of his games, a lot of his comics, and watched many of his cartoon shows. Of course, I couldn't wait to try this game out. Here's what I think so far:
This is actually a port of great games from the last decade during the 16-bit wars. The game includes Sonic 1, 2, 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Spinball, and Robotniks Mean Bean Machine. More games are hidden and must be unlocked.

Graphics
Near perfect. Being a port, they most likely didn't need to change anything here. The colors are a little brighter,
and the characters and objects are sharper. I attribute this to the fact that my Genesis has some weird faint lines vertically on my screen. The GameCube is more powerful, anyway.

Audio
As accurate as anything. They did much better here than in Sega Smash Pak 1 for the Dreamcast. One note: if you played the Genesis using the RF adapter, things may sound different here. I've had my Genesis since 1994, and only got a Genesis stereo AV cable within the last year. I knew before Mega Collection came out that the Genesis AV cable transmitted certain sounds that the Genesis RF adapter didn't. I don't know why my RF adapter dropped whole instruments from the music. The sound from Mega Collection is louder than the Genesis, but every note and sound effect is accurate to a Genesis using an AV cable.

Gameplay
The controls are where things can get confusing. You can move your character using the analog stick or the digital pad. The stick may take some getting used to.
The main problem is the buttons. Many people are used to the A button being the OK or Confirm button, and B being cancel. This is true in Mario Sunshine, Animal Crossing, and even the main menus of Sonic Mega Collection. However, the actual games see it differently. The original controller for the Genesis was A,B,C. The GC controller is B,A,X. Here's what actually happened to me earlier:
I selected Sonic 3, and went past the screen that tells you how to save, using the A button to confirm. I entered the save slot selection area, using A button again. I selected a slot, pressed A, and it dropped me out at the Sonic 3 title screen. It took me a second to figure out what happened. (the reason it didn't do that at the title screen is that there was nothing to back out to in the game, so it took it as a confirm. The Genesis did the same thing.)
There is a way around this, as a second button layout is available. This then confuses someone playing 3D Blast or any other game where all three buttons aren't for jumping, or when using the debug code.
Other than that, the speed, timing, and even tiny glitches are all exactly the same. Really, I notice these things!

Extras
Sega tossed in some cool extras. Sonic CD didn't make the cut, but the intro and outro videos are here. They look much better than the AVI files on my Sonic CD for the PC.
I have most of the comics before 100 for Sonic, and they have cover scans for all of them, and more. They even tossed in the complete Sonic Firsts with all pages (which I have).
Other videos are present on the disc, including, one for Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, a Sonic Advance 2 preview, and a history of Sonic. The video quality is not really well on these, and it can be hard to see the text fly by. They should have had a narrator.
They also include image galleries to view characters and data on the main ones. Manuals for each game can also be found on the disc, straight from the Genesis manuals. They even include the page to show where to put the cartridge into the Genesis.

Some final thoughts
I think this is a very well-made compilation. I do wish they would have tossed in Sonic CD, even taking out Mean Bean Machine to do so. The controls take a little getting used to, but that's expected of any ported game. For about $40, this is a safe bet. Besides, if you buy it, Sega might decide to make more compilations, including Sonic CD and Sonic R.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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