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Jan. 21, 2006
Sega Classics Collection - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price

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Virtua Racing.
Last year we reviewed what we believe to be the greatest retro compilation of all time, that being Capcom Classics Collection. Like most companies Sega are also going into their vaults to bring back many classic games. There's a little bit of a difference however, rather then direct emulations these games include upgraded graphics to drag the games into the 21st Century. Does it work? Well we've played some of the Japanese versions which we assume are being ported and the results are somewhat mixed (more on that later).

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One of Sega's greatest.
So what games does Sega Classics Collection actually contain. Well gamers will be very pleased to hear that this compilation includes eight of Sega's most love arcade, Sega Megadrive and Sega Master System games. On the action side the disc includes the classic shooting game Fantasy Zone. This highly colourful title was one of the best shooters during the SMS days and its inclusion here is well worthwhile. On a more action front Golden Axe and Space Harrier have both been included, the first a medievil hack and slash and the second a, well, into the screen styled shooter. If puzzle games are your thing then Colums is Sega's alternative to Nintendo's Tetris during its day, and it actually plays very well indeed.

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Golden Axe, a highlight!
If you're a racing fan then there's little doubt that you'll be looking forward to Monaco GP, Outrun and most definately Virtua Racing which is quite possibly the highlight of this pack. That was one of the very first games to use 3D polygons, so it will be tremendous to see how games have progressed over the years. Outrun has also been given and updated and actually comes over as a pretty good update graphically. It's still very basic, and dont expect anything near the recently released Outrun game on XBox, but it's not too bad.

To round out the package Sega are including Tant R & Bonanza Bros which allows you to play alone or grab three friends to play through 40 mini-games!

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Fantasy Zone was/is great fun.
Now, in my opening paragraph I mentioned that the results of the upgrades were somewhat mixed. It must be said that the switch from the 2D sprites to 3D polygons can be quite jarring. Games like Golden Axe seem to have lost some of that spark as a result, and Monaco GP, I'm not even going to go there. I guess though the fact is that this game was released in Japan as single discs, not as compilations so we are going to end up with much greater value overall. Hopefully Sega also include emulations of the original titles in the pack - perhaps thats a reason for the delay until early 2006! Fingers crossed.