Review by ShadowGuardian9

Reviewed: 08/22/05

Sonic Fans Rejoice!

Sonic Gems Collection

As a long-time fan of Sonic the Hedgehog and his excellent assortment of games, I was pleased when Sonic Gems Collection was announced for the Gamecube. I was even more pleased when I heard the inclusion of Sonic CD, the critically-acclaimed Sega CD game which was not included in Sonic’s previous collection for the Gamecube, Sonic Mega Collection. Sonic Gems Collection also includes some other games, including Sonic R, a collection of Sonic games for the Game Gear, and the arcade-only released fighting game, Sonic: The Fighters. Does this new collection surpass Sonic Mega Collection? Let’s take a look.

Sonic: The Fighters 7/10

Sonic: The Fighters is a fighting game featuring Sonic and a variety of other characters. The fighting system is surprisingly deep and complex. Timing is critical when facing opponents and combos can be chained together in a pinch. While the fighting game does have some neat techniques to use and a variety of characters, don’t expect it to surpass Super Smash Bros because it is a bit of a button-masher. Fortunately, graphics are solid and have a smooth frame rate. The overly-used ring sound was annoying, but sound overall is good. The game is short, but it’s a fun and unique place in the Sonic universe.

Sonic R 7/10

Sonic R is a Sonic racing game that was released on the Sega Saturn. In it, Sonic and his friends race along long open-ended tracks. The tracks do vary and have some interesting quirks, but the controls of the game are clunky and difficult to use. The graphics are pretty good, and the idea of a Sonic racing game is rather cool. The soundtrack, however, is not. The lyrics are terrible, but can be turned off. Gathering items during races extends the replay value. Sonic R is not a stellar Sonic game, but it can satisfy a gamer’s desire to play a different type of Sonic game.

Sonic CD 10/10

Arguably the best Sonic game ever made, Sonic CD was released on the Sega CD system. Sonic CD follows the original 2-D platformer style of Sonic games and does it successfully. The use of time travel in the game creates different versions of a single level, giving the game variety. Sonic’s animations are absolutely incredible, and the overall graphics are amazing. Even better is the stellar soundtrack, which gives the levels even more personality. The Special Stages aren’t as good as some in other Sonic games, but are fluid and well-designed. Load-times are frequent, but very short. The anime intro and closing sequences are as good as ever, and the “Sonic Boom” song remains good. This is probably the reason Sonic fans will buy this collection, and it’s a good one. It was worth the wait.

Game Gear Games 7/10

Most of these games having been recycled from the Sonic Adventure DX game, and don’t really do much to improve, but overall, the Game Gear titles are good. If you already have Sonic Adventure DX, these probably won’t be the reason you buy this game. Graphics are acceptable, and so is sound. Gameplay remains okay.

Museum 9/10

Sonic Mega Collection was packed with extras and Gems Collection doesn’t skip on the extras. Unlockable art and music is included along with all the manuals for the games. The game even included both the CD and PC manuals for Sonic CD, and both the Saturn and PC manuals for Sonic R. Full of content, Sonic Gems Collection will keep you entertained between games.

Final Verdict 8/10

Sonic Gems Collection does an acceptable job of including the more obscure Sonic games. Sonic CD alone is worth the price of admission. Sonic: The Fighters and Sonic R are far from perfect but do a good job of bringing variety into the Sonic universe. The Game Gear games are okay as well. Sonic Gems Collection is much more focused toward the hard-core Sonic fans.. If you’re looking for a game to enter the franchise with, Sonic Mega Collection is a better choice. But, Sonic fans (like me) will rejoice at this game’s large amount of content and collection of different, but fun titles.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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