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February 5 2007
Sega Mega Drive Collection - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
Digital Eclipse
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Sonic; absolute classic.
Retro compilations are one of the most exciting aspects of the gaming industry. Games that you played a decade ago are still available but rather then spending $100 on a single title we can now get over 20 games for half that price! The game doesn't change, and nor does the gameplay, which makes any compilation a lengthy, and very playable, package. We've seen plenty of compilations in recent years from companies such as Capcom, Midway, Namco and Taito, and now Sega are joining the list with Sega Mega Drive Collection (or Sega Genesis Collection as it will be known in America).

For those unaware the Mega Drive is Sega's 16-bit console release in Japan in October 1998, America in August 1989 and Europe in November 1990 (and we complain about a 4 month wait for the PS3!). The system sold some 29 million units worldwide and was home to some of the most memorable characters in videogame history. Now Sega is bringing together many of their most loved titles in one package, Sega Mega Drive Collection.

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Golden Axe is here too!
So what are the games in this compilation then? Well the package includes Alex Kidd, Altered Beast, Bonanza Bros, Columns, Comix Zone, Decap Attack, Ecco the Dolphin, Ecco 2, Ecco Jnr, Flicky, Gain Ground, Golden Axe, Golden Axe II, Golden Axe III, Kid Chameleon, Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star III, Phantasy Star IV, Ristar, Shinobi III, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Super Thunder Blade, Sword of Vermillion, Vector Man, Vector Man 2, Virtua Fighter 2.

It's a pretty awesome lineup and games such as Sonic, Golden Axe, Virtua Fighter 2 and Phantasy Star should be familiar to millions of gamers the world over. The Phantasy Star titles alone could chew up days, if not weeks, of your life. Sega Mega Drive Collection really only includes a couple of dud titles. Altered Beast, which was a massive launch title for the system, is actually a horrendous game looking back. Gain Ground is also pretty average and Super Thunder Blade is also well below the standards of other titles. Only a couple of bad titles out of 27 isn't bad at all though.

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Altered Beast - looking dated.
As expected the PS2 has no problems emulating the games and the PS2 Dual Shock 2 controller is also up to the task. With plenty of buttons on offer there's no problem mapping the Mega Drive's controller to Sony's system. Rumble isn't used, but that no suprise. All-in-all each of the games is perfectly reproduced down to the last pixel so those with a nostalgic eye will be quite happy.

The compilation also includes a tonne of additional items such as interviews with the original developers (which we must add are pretty high in quality unlike some compilations), artwork, game information and some bonus games among others. Many of these are unlockable by completing certain goals in many of the games - fortunately they tell you the goals required to unlock content so you can aim for them if you wish.

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The much loved Shinobi III.
In terms of disappointments there are few with the biggest being the lack of online gameplay. It's also quite obvious that there will be a second compilation arriving at a later date with classic series' such as Streets of Rage, Super Monaco GP, World Series Baseball, Outrun, and Shining Force not being given a look in at all, while there are several more Sonic titles missing.

Graphics in this title are naturally restrained by their original offerings. Having said that the developers have included the option to stretch the images to fit your screen, and have also provided a rather neat front end to the package which includes options for the additional content and so on.

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Look, more Sonic action.
Much like the graphics, the audio in this title is accurate to the original games. It's a bit of a shame that unlike some other compilations there isn't an option for remixed music, but there is no complaints here. The front end audio does a decent enough job, but doesn't really serve any real purpose.

All-in-all Sega Mega Drive Collection is one of the best compilations on the PS2 - and is right up there with the current leader, Capcom Classics Collection. If you like retro compilations and especially Sega's 16-bit titles then there is no reason to pass this title over. Perhaps most impressively the game retails in Australia for only $AU49.95 with many retailers undercutting this price by a fair margin. Go get it.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSFaithful reproductions of the original games, great interview quality.
SOUNDOriginal sounds and effects in the games, pretty average menu audio.
GAMEPLAYObviously each game is different, but overall a brilliant package.
VALUEThere's some obvious exclusions, but there's plenty of great games.
OVERALLSega Mega Drive Collection is a fantastic compilation which covers a wide range of genres and includes some classic titles. At only $AU49.95 this is an essential retro compilation for fans of the genre.

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