Anyone who grew up during the Video Game boom of the late 80's and 90's has fond memories of the 16-bit consoles that made our beloved video games so much better. The consoles had better graphics, better music, and the games sometimes even had a story!! The 90's were a simpler time with bright colored clothes and triangle patterned shorts in pastel colors, a president who "didn't inhale" and we Believed that Love was the answer. Not to mention we had a huge console war going on and it made for some pretty awesome games.
I could go on and on about the Genesis versus the SNES but I wont because that's not what I'm here for (If you are curious however I was a Nintendo Fan Boy) I finally got my hands on the self proclaimed holy grail of 16-bit SEGA goodness. "Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection."
I was first attracted to this game way back when I was reading on the SEGA website trying to find out some info on a little game called Alpha Protocol, and saw the Ultimate Genesis Collection (UGC From now on) plugged on their front page. It promised to have 40+ games from Altered Beast to VectorMan. Well being a product of the 90's and remembering those games from childhood of course I was intrigued. I made it a priority to get a hold of this game and run it through the Rough Rider Ringer.
I could take the time to detail all of the games included in the collection but who is going to benefit from that? Well definitely not my fingers, but I will put a list of all the games included in the collection.
· Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
· Alien Storm
· Altered Beast
· Beyond Oasis
· Bonanza Bros.
· Comix Zone
· Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head
· Dr. Robotnik's MBM
· Dynamite Headdy
· Ecco the Dolphin
· Ecco II: The Tides of Time
· Fatal Labyrinth
· 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
· 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 2
Quite the exhaustive list yea? That's not including 9 games you can unlock by doing some stuff within the games like beating high scores and whatnot. I wont spoil those games for you, well ok maybe one of them SPACE HARRIER! Yea that one you waisted all those quarters on in the arcade, or if you were a Dreamcast buff you waisted all your virtual Yen from Shenmue on that game.
So What did they do to the games? The biggest thing is 720P Full HD the emulation for the games is great nice and smooth; very faithful to their cartridge counterparts. Before you ask yes you can make the game 16:9 so you don't have to play with the stupid frames around the game that annoy you to death.
With virtually no loading time as should be expected for our current systems to run 10+ year old games. Each game has an interesting 'Museum' feature that you can access and read a summary of the game and get some interesting facts about, also look at some fancy Box art and the actual cartridge from back in the day. The controls are good as it would be rather difficult to mess them up.
Ok well let me sell you this game right here and I could quit now and would probably have the game in your hands.
All of the Phantasy Star Games 1-4 on one disc, that's right. While you do have to unlock the Original Phantasy Star to play it that collection alone would be worth the MSRP. If that's not enough All of the games from the Shining series are here as well. Still not enough for you? Well then this will get you for sure. ALL THE SONIC GAMES (the old good ones anyway) That's right they even threw in 3D blast.
Honestly 3D blast was pushing the console hard and you can tell the minute you boot it up. But it did a decent job especially since they didn't have real 3D they just used an awkward isometric view with prerendered sprites but it was a novelty. The next time they make a collection they need to put the Saturn Version of this game on the disc but hey.
Ok well there is also a little collection of games that start with Golden Axe and Streets of Rage but who likes those games?
Also there are a few stinkers in the collection. Alex Kidd, Flicky and Congo Bongo stand out from the bunch. They could have replaced those games with. Gunstar Heroes, or Revenge of Shinobi they already put Shinobi 3 in why not?
Every compilation has its good and bad games but thankfully the UGC had more good than bad and for $30 its definitely worth picking up, if you can find it I had a dog of a time getting my hands on it.
Good: Its a great collection, faithfully recreated with over 40 games along with bonus interviews and stuff to read. The graphics look and feel faithful and the price isn't half bad.
Bad: Some rotten ones in the collection annoying frames in standard mode. Useless smoothing mode. No Online?
~Ride Hard, Game On!