Review by Ness Channel
Reviewed: 03/11/03 | Updated: 03/11/03
A missed opportunity
Sonic games must be the most compiled and the most re-released classics of all, and now not even the Gamecube is safe from it. We haven't had any new Sonic titles since Sonic Adventure 2 and the Gamecube hasn't yet had a single new Sonic adventure, unless you count the new features that were added to Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. Sonic Adventure a launch game for the Dreamcast in 1999 is about to be re-released as Sonic Adventure DX and there is no sign that there will be any form of new game for Sonic in the form of Sonic Adventure 3 or anything else. It's a situation similar to Mario & Zelda on the Game Boy Advance, their only outings so far has been in ports which is great for nostalgia but not so great if you're a hardcore gamer who's played all these before.
But even with that I relish the idea of playing these classics on a shiny new Gamecube.
But in truth I feel quite disappointed, because this collection isn't quite mega enough, sure it has the main Sonic games that millions have played but it's a lost opportunity in presenting some of the lesser known yet excellent Sonic games that could have made it to this collection. I am lamenting the loss of Sonic CD, it's almost tragic not to get this, and why not Sonic R?
We could have had Knuckles Chaotix and we could have had the Master System Sonics, if all these had been included the game would have been essential but as it is now it simply resembles all the other previous compilation re-hashes.
First there was Sonic Compilation on the Genesis itself
Then there was a Sonic Jam on the Saturn (I have this and the extra features are very good by comparison)
Then for the more savvy us there were emulators and now there's this.
This is going to disappoint hardcore Sonic fans who want the opportunity to play such classics as Sonic CD (which I have for PC, it is my personal favourite only behind Sonic 1.) and we could have had the Master System classics.
Other things that have been left out are equally unimaginable, no lock on mode for Sonic & Knuckles (I'm speechless as it was in Sonic Jam), Sonic not being able to do the spin dash in Sonic 1 (but maybe they were trying to preserve the nostalgia so fair enough), no universal sound test and above all the missing key Sonic games.
This smacks of laziness but it could have been so much more, this collection has already been described as an interactive DVD of nostalgia giving us the chance to view artwork and browse instruction manuals & any other features that may have been thrown in. But combine this with what Sonic Jam didn't omit and add more actual Sonic games instead of unlockable games that are nice but not really relevant and what would you get, a game that's more of a classic than the originals, and for some reason that was what I expected this title to be when it was first announced.
It's still nice have the Sonic classics we do get in one neat little bundle, but when you think how it could have been. Surely this collection hardly makes any use of the Gamecube's 1.5 GB capacity on the nifty little DVD's.
Maybe they should have called this Sonic Jam 2003, except sadly it isn't even that, Sonic Mega Collection is to put it simply, a missed opportunity.
I'll do now what others have done in their reviews and give synopsis on elements of the game such as Graphics, Sound & Storyline
GRAPHICS - 10/10 Well I'm not going to fault them, because the graphics represent exactly what this collection set out to do, provide perfect copies of the Genesis originals. Perfect emulation.
SOUND - 7/10 The sound is again perfectly emulated, and the tunes are classics of gaming musics with a style that has never been imitated since, it could have been orchestrated but the game didn't have to do that. But since the game's role is as a collector's piece or a museum of Sonic nostalgia, we really should have got a sound test like we did in Sonic Jam. If you want this you're gonna have to unlock them in the various individual Sonic games.
STORY - 5/10 Well it was Sonic Adventure that really included a storyline that was deeply involved in the game, what we have here for these games are a basic premise. But nevertheless these stories evolved into a rich comical world, and don't forget that the game gives us the story of Sonic games. But not enough of the games unfortunately so marks down.
REPLAY - 7/10 If you replayed your Genesis games then there couldn't be a better place to replay them then on this disc. But if we had more of the Sonic legacy to replay, there would be more to replay. Collecting all of the Chaos Emeralds adds quite considerably to the replay of the Sonic games, and you've got the puzzler that is Mean Bean Machine and the Sonic pinball game which work as instant, pick up and play fun.
NOSTALGIA - 8/10 but could have been 10/10 if we could have had more of the whole picture, where could we find Sonic CD now? Ebay anyone?
SEQUEL POSSIBILITY - 1/10 this is the tragedy of this game, it is hardly going to be a commercial success to release the Master System games, Sonic CD, Knuckles Chaotix and Sonic R as a package on their own even under the name Sonic Mega Collection Vol 2. This was the opportunity to get these games into the spotlight but this game seals their fate of being locked away in a dusty drawer at Sega HQ for ever.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
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