Return To Home Page
Click Here To Purchase Item from Games Warehouse
January 14, 2004
Sonic Mega Collection Plus - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
18/2/2005THQSonic Team1-2$69.95

Click To Enlarge Image
Ahhh.. the memories.
I would be surprised if there was a gamer in the world who hasn't heard of Sonic. As Mario is to Nintendo, Sonic is to Sega. A mascot with millions of fans worldwide which has spawned TV shows, comic books, toys and pretty much any other game related tie-in which you can imagine. In recent years the transition to 3D has been a difficult one. While Mario managed due to the slower plodding nature of the character, Sonic lightning fast speed has made recent games feel more on-rails then game. Sonic Mega Collection Plus isn't a new game, but rather all the MegaDrive and GameGear games ported onto a single disc for PS2 gamers to play. Throw in a couple of extras and you have a compilation - and a nice one too!

I guess when you are looking at a compilation of games the best way for people to judge value is to look at the list of games available to play. In Sonic Mega Collection Plus gamers are able to access the following titles to play:

Click To Enlarge Image
About to go downhill.
Seven of the most-loved Sonic games of all time:
Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, plus three Sonic lock-on games (from Sonic & Knuckles)

Six Sega Game Gear games:
Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Chaos, Sonic Drift, Sonic Labyrinth, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, Sonic Blast

Click To Enlarge Image
The game that started it all.
Unlockable Sega Genesis games:
The Ooze, Comix Zone, Flicky, Ristar

With 17 games in total the core of this compilation is, unsurprisingly the Sonic, titles. These were Sega's flagship titles during the 16-bit era with many gamers, myself included, preferring the speed and bright colours over many of Nintendo's games, Mario included. The idea that the main character in the game had to build up momentum to move, and couldn't just stop at an instant is a feature still rarely used today. Many of the games also include a 2-player mode which will add some more longevity, especially with the hugely engrossing Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. If you've never played this Tetris/Columns hybrid then you're in for something very special indeed.

What really makes this compilation interesting is the inclusion of four non-Sonic games including The Ooze, Comix Zone, Flicky, and Ristar. Back in the 16-bit days I owned both Comix Zone and Flicky, both very interesting titles with the former gaining quite a few hardcore fans along the way.

Click To Enlarge Image
Still among the brightest graphics.
As added bonuses the developers - who incidentally are Sonic Team, the creators of all the original titles - are including exclusive bonuses such as artwork, movie clips, illustrations and comic book covers to keep the fans happy and add a bit more of a nostalgic element to the title.

One of the concerns I have with Sonic Mega Collection Plus is that these are direct ports of the original games. The screen for the GameGear was fixed at only 160 x 144 pixels meaning that if the developers don't improve the game on PS2 resolution wise it may look pretty average on a large TV. Fortunately the MegaDrive/Genesis games were designed for TV's and that systems 320 x 224 resolution so should look pretty good. Time will tell. With a release date only a couple of weeks away and a RRP of only $AU69.95 (or only $US39.95 in America) this is one game that retro gamers, and Sonic fans should pick up.