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February 16 2009
Sega MegaDrive Ultimate Collection - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
26/2/2009SegaSegaBackbone Ent.
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-2None$69.95
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Phantasy Star is a classic RPG series.
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Arcade Space Herrier is being included.

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Sega MegaDrive Ultimate Collection at 720p.
While Sega has long since left the hardware business, and struggled to reinvent itself as a software company (although in the last couple of years they have turned that around with some solid games) one thing they do have going for them is a massive back catalogue which they can release, and re-release, and re-release.

The Playstation 3 is about to get an all new compilation from Sega, Sega MegaDrive Ultimate Collection (Which will be called Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection in America). Ultimate it seems too as this package includes well over 40 games according to Sega - and by our count that number could be as high as 48 games... now that's great value in a release that is set to cost only $US69.95 at retail.

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Golden Axe... we can't wait!
So this is a compilation, nothing to surprising about that. Each of the games has been emulated to run on the PS3 as accurate to the originals as possible, but Backbone Entertainment have thrown in some extra features including unlockable content and improved visuals (more on that later). This additional, and unlockable, content will include interviews with the developers as well as historical tidbits and notes. We can only hope that some of this content is new, and not just recycled from previous compilations, especially given the low-ish quality and briefness of the clips seen previously.

So what games will you get in this game? Well the following titles will be unlocked from the start...
Alex Kidd in Enchanted Castle
Alien Storm
Beyond Oasis
Bonanza Bros.
Columns
Comix Zone
Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
Dynamite Headdy
Ecco the Dolphin
Ecco II: The Tides of Time
E-SWAT
Fatal Labyrinth
Flicky
Gain Ground
Golden Axe I
Golden Axe II
Golden Axe III
Kid Chameleon
Phantasy Star II
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
Ristar
Shining in the Darkness
Shining Force
Shining Force 2
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
Sonic 3D Blast
Sonic and Knuckles
Sonic Spinball
Sonic The Hedgehog
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Sonic The Hedgehog 3
Streets of Rage
Streets of Rage 2
Streets of Rage 3
Super Thunder Blade
Vectorman
Vectorman 2

There are more though. The following games have been listed elsewhere as being in the compilation as unlockable titles - but without confirmation from Sega Australia these must remain 'unconfirmed' for our territory for now.
Alien Syndrome (arcade)
Altered Beast (arcade)
Congo Bongo (arcade)
Fantasy Zone (arcade)
Golden Axe Warrior (Sega Master System)
Phantasy Star (Sega Master System)
Shinobi (arcade)
Space Harrier (arcade)
Zaxxon (arcade)

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Comix Zone, under appreciated.
As with all Playstation 3 games being released from 2009 Trophies will be supported and the developers are putting in a trophy for almost every game in the compilation (we believe there will be 34 trophies in total). These include things such as Using Magic 10 times in Golden Axe III, completion the first level without dying in Shinobi III, getting 20,000 points in Columns III and completing the first episode in Comix Zone. If you want to achieve all the

In terms of disappointments the only thing we can see so far is the lack of online gameplay. I'm sure that given the age of the titles, and the speed of today's internet connections 2-player online gameplay could have been achieved online quite easily however it is not to be. Fortunately the games will include offline multi-player modes as they originally appeared.

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Fantasy Zone is a classic shooter.
One of the big changes being made to these games for release on the PS3 is the upgrade to 720p visuals. While this may create a 'smoothing' effect the developers have promised that there will be an option to view the games in their original resolution. Backbone Entertainment have handled this quite well in the past (on the PS2 you could stretch the image to fit your screen), so let's hope it continues.

We're very keen to see this title from Sega. We've reviewed their compilations in the past, and they have been very competent. This certainly looks like the best technically (with the bump to 720p visuals) and has the best list we've ever seen in a compilation package. With a release set for late February there won't be too long to find out if this is worth your time and hard earned cash.