Review by gamelunatic
A great game, if you're sure you want it.
Back in 2002, a game was released on the Gamecube named Sonic Mega Collection. The game offered all of the Sonic games that were on the Sega Genesis, as well as some extras. That game was by far the greatest Sonic the Hedgehog game ever released, yet fans griped about the fact that Sonic CD was absent. A few years later, this game came around, with Sonic CD on it, as well as some other games, but I wouldn't call all of them "gems".
The games on here, while still maintaining the same visuals as the original releases, just aren't that good on the GameCube overall. Out of all the games, the three that stand out visually the most are Sonic CD and the Vectorman duo. All three are ports, which were available on the Sega CD system and PC, and the Sega Genesis, respectively. Sonic CD is widely considered one of the top games of the earlier Sonic era, and the Vectorman games were two very fine titles on the Genesis. Other games, however, such as Sonic R and Sonic Fighters, have graphics that are simply less than stunning. The game includes six Sonic games from the Game Gear, which I will go into detail for later.
Overall, most of the games on this collection have good, responsive, tight controls. Sonic CD and the two Vectorman games still control exactly as they did in the original versions, which is good, but other controls range from so-so to abysmal. The one game on here that should be avoided altogether, Sonic R suffers from very unorganized control just as it did in the original, along with many other problems with this game. There are six Sonic games from the Game Gear included, and while the controls aren't terrible, I feel that in full screen mode the graphics look a little blurry and control feels a little bit loose as a result. It is a shame because the games would have had good control if the dimensions were not full screen.
For the games that are available on this game, they are definitely worth the price. Sonic CD is as good as ever, and Sonic Fighters is a decent game that makes its first US appearance on this disc. Don't even bother with Sonic R, the controls, the graphics, the music, everything about the game is a joke. I played maybe two levels before I stopped playing. Vectorman were two good platformers from the Sega Genesis' later days, and the graphics are stunning. The Game Gear games that are included are Sonic 2, Sonic Drift 2, Sonic Spinball, Sonic Triple Trouble, Tails Adventure, and Tails Sky Patrol. The three standouts are Sonic 2, Tails Adventure, and Tails Sky Patrol. These games are among the better ones from the Game Gear days, and they're still just as good. The other three are not great, but for the most part, OK.
The sounds are the same as they were back in the day. The sounds are good to great, except for Sonic R and Sonic Spinball, which isn't awful but could have been slightly better.
Replay Value: 8/10
You will probably not have fun with these games every time you play. It is a solid collection, but not good enough that you will love playing it every time you turn it on. Like I said, visuals on the Game Gear games could have looked a little better if they didn't take up the whole screen, and control might have been a little easier as well.
Buy/Rent: If you don't already have a lot of these games on your old Game Gear, PC or Genesis, then this is worth picking up.
Final Score: 42/50, or 8/10.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Sonic Gems Collection (US, 08/16/05)
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