Beware! Although this collection looks very interesting because you get twelve legendary classics on one GD-Rom disc, 10 of them are emulated, and rather poorly I might add. The 10 emulated games are the old school Mega Drive (or Genesis in North America) classics; Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Wrestle War, Streets of Rage 2, Revenge of Shinobi, Vector Man, Golden Axe, Columns, Phantasy Star II, and Shining Force. This package also has the Sega Saturn game Virtua Cop II and the limited edition Sega Swirl as well to sweeten the deal. Not a bad collection of Sega games, eh? Wait till you play them!
In this 2 player action game you are undead warrior who has to save Zeus's daughter from a sinister demon but you have the power to transform into different beast to help on your 5 level mission. The game was never all that great since it was so short and the choppier animation doesn't help either. The game even has poorer sound which doesnt help improve the game's image as well. Not a good start to this collection.
Columns was Sega's answer to Tetris but it was never considered to be that good to begin with since matching coloured gems gets old real fast. The game seems even worse now thanks to the weaker soundtracks and the sounds were never that great to begin with. Columns is hardly any fun here and now it is even worse on the Dreamcast.
In this 2 player medieval hack n' slash game similar to Double Dragon or Final Fight, you guide one of three warriors on a mission to kill the evil Death Adder: holder of the Golden Axe. The main problem here is the music didn't translate very well and now it sounds even worse than the Sega Master System version of Golden Axe. It's true!
Phantasy Star II
Easily one of my favourites for the old Mega Drive and this is a great way to play it all over again! In this adventure you help two warriors solve the mysteries of their planet but it won't to easy. The version is a little slower but it's all here and you can even save your game to the VMU. This game is very hard to find on the Genesis, so playing this on the Smash Pack may be your only option but it's still a distance second to the real Genesis PS2 game.
Revenge of Shinobi
Here is another MD classic. This is an awesome sequel to the arcade classic where you control a lone ninja to save his love from the evil Neo Seed. The game still plays great and this one will sure challenge you but it also as its problems in the sound department. The music was so great on the Genesis version and this doesn't do justice to Yuzo Koshiro's music. That is a big part of Revenge of Shinobi and Sega ruined it!
One of the coolest puzzle games for the Dreamcast is this simple little game. The objective is to clear the table of multicoloured swirls and you get bonus points for columns, speed and matching sets. The game ends when you fail to meet the objectives. Although this great game is very addictive, it's also available FREE on other Demo discs so you really don't need to get the Smash Pack to play it.
Here is another great but underrated tactical RPG by Sega. The sound was never all the great in the Genesis version any ways, so I don't mine playing this new version so much on here. Like Phantasy Star II this game is very addictive but it's still not as good as the real thing yet this copy is easier to find then the Genesis copy.
Sonic The Hedgehog
This awesome platform game helped Sega to beat Nintendo from the top spot for a few years. Sadly though you'll see tons of glitches in this edition like failed transparencies (like the start up screen where you can see Sonic's stomach hanging out) and the game even has slower game play too. You can easily buy the old MD for $2 and its way better than this sorry excuse for programming.
Streets of Rage 2
The second Rage game now comes with four Street Fighters has they try to rescue their friend Adam from a powerful crime syndicate in this fun two player game. Like Golden Axe this is another Final Fight clone with cartoon-like like sound effects. Just jumping alone sounds really goofy and this is supposed to be a serious fighting game!
One of the final MD games to really gather a lot of attention before the system was discontinued. Vectorman is an amazing looking and action packed title with 17 levels but it is not so action packed now thanks to the slower game play and weaker visual effects. The game no longer looks like it runs at a smooth 60 frames per second either.
Virtua Cop 2
VC2, like Sega Swirl, is not an emulated MD game and works and sound great unlike the others. This game was fun and it looks very smooth just like the arcade game but it is still a few years behind light gun games like House of the Dead 2. This game helped to avoid a lower rating for the Sega Smash pack here.
I was really looking forward to playing this one because this particular title was never released on the Genesis. The first thing that comes to mind after playing though was Yuck! I don't know what happened here but this wrestling game is absolutely awful! The animation is poor, characters reappear in random locations every so often, and the hit detection is weak at best.
Bottomline: Why Sega, WHY!? This collection could have been the game that would make people buy a DC but don't be fooled because the problems are numerous. First in famous titles like Golden Axe and Columns the music is absolutely horrible to the point of being unlistenable. Second in the games like Wrestle War and Sonic the Hedgehog have tons glitches compared to their 16-bit originals. Third there are only 12 games here although I seen Internet editions that have close or over 50 games in one. Games like Phantasy Star II and Shining Force fair a little better since they are deep RPG's with save options but still have their problems too. Emulated games are suck because they are suppose to be FREE and not $49.99! You would think the all powerful 128-bit Dreamcast would be able to improve the weak 16-bit games but just the opposite happened believe it or not! This is NOT a shot at one of my favourite game systems, this is just my opinion of some really bad remakes. Avoid this compilation especially if youre a true Mega Drive fan but if you are curious then please rent this Dreamcast game first, I beg of you. You may think it's the greatest collection ever or you may think it is the worse.
SEGA SMASH PACK Volume 1 overall rating: 44/100
For 1 or 4 players
Rated (T) for Teen
(Ryan Genno) 2007