Published on June 6th, 2018 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: Sega Mega Drive Classics
The Mega Drive classics are back in this latest compilation for the Xbox one and Playstation 4 (WHERE IS THE SWITCH RELEASE).
This collection of Sega’s finest sports over 50 titles from classics such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage and Golden Axe, to the more obscure titles like Dynamite Headdy, Shadow Dancer and Landstalker.
Now you may have noticed this review isn’t following our standard template and that’s because this collection tackles so many games spread over so many genres from beat em ups, platformers and puzzle games to fighting games, RPGs and shooters. This collection almost has everything, but some notable absences are the racing and sporting titles. With that being said their are still so many genre’s on hand that you can be sure that there is something for everyone.
The Bedroom/Hub, I wish my room was that big.
Now let’s talk about presentation. When booting up the game you’re treated to a cool little intro and upon entering you are taken to what looks like a typical kid from the 90s bedroom. You have the Mega Drive system set up to a small CRT, an Altered Beast poster on the wall (which I would have killed for as a kid) some VHS laying on the ground and some other noticeable trinkets. Spread over the room these items are labeled with things such as Extras, Online Multiplayer, Input options, Console settings, Room settings, Audio settings etc and to the right though is shelving which houses all the games that you can choose from. Now you can only read the spines (no cover art) and hovering over each title allows you to select the game, load a previous save, favourite the game or select some extras which come in the way of some little achievements to tackle. I would have liked a bit more presentation on the games and maybe some info on each title, but alas that is no where to be found. Once you select the game of your choice, the cartridge is placed into the Mega Drive and off you go. Now i do want to mention that when in this ‘hub’ area there is no music, which seems like a big oversight because having some classic tunes playing whilst selecting your game or scrolling through the options would just give that nostalgia hit and pump you up before jumping in.
Before playing a game I would recommend jumping into the console settings as it is here that you can choose from some nice smoothing options, as well as add scanlines and a cool little adjustment option to curve the screen to make it look like a CRT display. You can also select different border art or have the game stretched to fill your whole display. Another cool feature is mirror mode which literally flips the game, so for sonic as you are always running towards your right to progress, you will now be running to the left. It’s a nice little gimmick that changes things up a bit.
Using my 4K 55 inch display i was worried the games would look ridiculously pixelated, but i found having the stretched full screen option selected with the XBR smoothing effect looked really nice on my display and depending on the game I would sometimes add scanlines.
Streets of Rage never gets old and look at that sweet background.
Some cool features whilst playing a game that have been added are of course the quick save/load options so that you can save anywhere in these games that never had save states, which makes finally beating those games that forever plagued you all the more possible. Now added to that you also have a rewind feature added to your left trigger so that if you made a simple mistake of jumping into a hole midway through a level and don’t want to have to start again you can now rewind back to before you made said jump. Probably my favourite feature though is the fast forward option which makes going through some of the super slow text in the RPG titles just a bit more bearable. So all in all there is some really nice extras to tinker with and family friendly features to help out newcomers or even struggling veterens.
Jumping over to the library of games, there is definitely a nice variety of titles sprawling over many genres, but as i mentioned earlier, there are some odd omissions. Whilst i love games like Streets of Rage, Altered beast, Wonderboy and of course my favourite game of all time Sonic 2, there are some classics missing such as first party offerings like Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Outrun, Super Hang-on and Super fantasy zone which is quite baffling, but also you’re missing out on amazing 3rd party offerings such as Aladdin, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Boogerman, Castlevania Bloodlines, Road rash, Castle of illusion and more. So whilst this compilation does have over 50 games, it’s a shame to see a lack of great third party titles, especially when third party offerings show up on the NES and SNES mini’s or even the poorly made Megadrive Classic console.
If you wanna go really old-school, they’ve got you covered
Now a lot of the games on offer do hold up really well such as Sonic 2, Wonderboy in Monster world, Alex Kidd, Streets of Rage, Gunstar heroes and Dynamite Headdy to name a few, all with amazing visuals, great catchy music and fun gameplay mechanics still to this day. There are however some games regarded as classics that do not hold up at all like Vectorman, Alien storm, Bonanza Bros etc which have no sense of direction, poor quality audio and some ugly art and stiff mechanics. I will say though that this is all depending on what you grew up playing and what your personal preferences are, so take it all with a grain of salt.
Of the games on offer, titles like the Phantasy Star series are massive RPGs that can take 30+ hours to complete, where as something like Altered Beast can be completed in an hour. So you really do have a nice mix of deep games or quick pick up and play titles.
Probably the coolest thing in this collection would have to be the online multiplayer. A lot of these games were designed for couch co-op, which you can still do, but having the option to play Golden Axe with a friend online is something really special, especially when a friend of family member you grew up playing these titles with has moved state or even overseas. Definitely a nice addition that will create more replayablity and longevity with this title.
“Welcome to your DOOM”
Overall I think what is on offer here is a great starting point for people digging their toes into some classic games they have never played and also just as equally fun for people who grew up playing these titles. Whilst their are missing games that I would have loved to have seen included, I also understand that the way licencing works, especially with sports titles and Movie properties, getting those games onto a collection like this might prove to be more expensive then the pay off.
So for all you die hard Sega fans out there this is definitely one to add to the collection and for those of you who missed out on this classic era of gaming, get on it and see some of the magic us oldies were consumed with back in our heyday.
Out of 5 Bugs
Summary: So for all you die hard Sega fans out there this is definitely one to add to the collection and for those of you who missed out on this classic era of gaming, get on it and see some of the magic us oldies were consumed with back in our heyday.