Review by bladerestored

Reviewed: 12/09/02 | Updated: 12/09/02

SMC is great, though missing a crucial element...

Preamble: Sonic. One of the most revered names in the gaming industry. It all started back in 1991, with the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Megadrive(Genesis). It produced an experience unlike any other. The dizzying high speeds were an addiction that no true Sonic fan could shake. This game would also be like no other platformer. It was truly different. Different from Mario, who collected coins and shot fire, but who wasn't a speed freak. Different from the Alien-tribute Metroid, featuring Samus Aran with a gun. Different from anything we had seen to date. Following, in 1992, Sonic 2, introduced Miles ''Tails'' Prower into the series. 1993, to follow suit, Sonic CD (which is conspicuously absent in this compilation) was released for the Sega CD console, introducing Amy Rose into the series. Sonic CD didn't get the kind of attention I would've liked, mostly due to the failure of Sega CD. In 1994 came Sonic 3, introducing Knuckles the Echidna into the series. Sonic 3 might have been the best 16-bit era platformer to date, had it not been split off into two parts: Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles. Time restrictions forced Sonic Team to take apart the two games. The plethora of Sonic games, comics, merchandise, and other in eleven years is astonishing, and I must say I'm not minding a bit of it (especially the Sonic Adventure calling cards, those are nifty, aren't they?).

The aptly-named Sonic Team's latest game is a compilation of sorts (well,it actually is a compilation) containing seven games upon startup and five ''secret'' games (really, if you read Gamespot or any other gaming site, you probably know what the big two are already), with loads of extras (most likely why ST didn't include Sonic CD, CD games are a big space-eater). So, how did it do?

Graphics: (individual score for each full game included)

Let's face it: People bash 2D games nowadays. Any 2D game that isn't a puzzle game or isn't on GBA gets left in the dust. I happen to not be one of those people. Practically every game in this compilation has excellent graphical crafting. Sonic's graphics are great, especially in Sonic 3, HOWEVER, smite me if you will, the Megadrive Sonic games can't hold a candle to Ristar in the graphics department. Ristar has Seiken Densetsu(Secret of Mana/Legend of the Holy Sword)-caliber graphics. That says a lot. Boy, do the developers know how to push the console. I see Sonic Team included Ristar for a reason. 'Tis all good. =p

Sonic the Hedgehog: 7/10 (could've made the graphics a little crisper, but change nothing else)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2: 8/10 (better, could've used a graphical update though)
Sonic the Hedgehog 3: 9/10 (the complex and intricate graphics provide absolute eye candy)
Sonic and Knuckles: 9/10 (more of the same, which is good!)
Sonic Spinball: 8/10 (seems to depart from the Sonic graphical style a bit, but great nonetheless)
Sonic 3D Blast: 8/10 (the graphic artists really pushed the pixels on this one!)
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine: 9/10 (the character models are detailed, about as good as it gets for a 2D puzzler)
Flicky: 6/10 (hmm...)
Ristar: 10/10 (Now that's what I'm talking about! Absolutely beautiful!)

Gameplay: (individual score for each full game included)

Pretty much all of these games provide snappy controller response with the control stick, which is good news for the people who don't want to use the D-Pad because of its position on the GC controller. Once did I lose a special stage (Sonic and Knuckles) because of the analog stick. All of these games play very well, though it might take a bit to get used to Ristar's controls after playing Sonic. Gameplay is very good, though I know at least ONE game that is CRUCIAL was missing. (I'll give you one guess.)

Sonic the Hedgehog: 9/10 (speedy platforming with little time hung-up)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2: 9/10 (Yuji really puts those traps in inconvenient places)
Sonic the Hedgehog 3: 9/10 (Notice I'm just putting comments here as filler)
Sonic and Knuckles: 9/10 (Nice, isn't it?)
Sonic Spinball: 8/10 (the control suffered a bit due to the inability to control Sonic at times. Wait, the controller. Not the control. I smashed the controller.)
Sonic 3D Blast: 8/10 (Might take a bit of getting used to)
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine: 9/10 (The addictive Puyo-Puyo style gameplay is great)
Flicky: 9/10 (addictive as well, though repetitive)
Ristar: 9/10 (distinctly different style of gameplay, but that's good.)

Replayability: 8/10

SMC serves more as a Sonic compendium of sorts. There's loads of extras, manuals, and the like. So, in essence, SMC is more like a way past cool interactive DVD. =p It's a way for fans of the series to look back on the past while glimpsing forward to the future (sorry, had to do it. The past-future thing.) as well as newcomers to see where Sonic got his roots. Unfortunately, there's not really much to do once you unlock Ristar (though I am suspicious of Ristar's Game Log screen...if I've unlocked everything, shouldn't the Game Log go away?) Unless you want to race your friends to see who can get the fastest time, or play multiplayer pinball or bean machine, there isn't much to do as a whole. Though it is nice to read the full comic once in a while (yes, a full comic).

Sound/Musical Score: 10/10

Now comes the fun part of the review. The music is a feast for the ears. Trust me. Even the 8-bit Flicky's tunes I was humming. Sonic 3/Knuckles has some of the best BGM I've heard. Period. Among tunes I liked were...wait, I'm just going to list all the zones. =p The 2D Sonics have complex beats that hold on and won't let go. Sorry, Sonic Adventure, but I like the retro stuff better. =p Ristar is distinctively different in its musical stylings, but it is equal to Sonic (just wait until you get to Planet Sonata). So, all in all? I like Sonic games, however, one crucial element prevented this game from being the perfect compilation. They're not going to give Sonic CD to the Game Cube, are they? =p Comment: I hardly consider Ristar ''filler,'' as stated by a gaming website that shall remain nameless. =F Though some stuff was missing, all in all, a great compilation. 9.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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