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SEGA Mega Drive: Ultimate Collection (Xbox 360)

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14 Reviews

Genre: Arcade & Platform / Parental Guidance / Release Date: 2009-02-20 / Published by Sega

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    14 Reviews
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    • More +
      10.09.2011 19:10
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      Its cheap so why not

      I brought this game a while ago now as i used to own a megadrive back in the 90's when i was about 7+ years old. I used to own a lot of these games back then and as an avid xbox and computer in general fan i decided to buy this game for old times sake and at £20 for over 40 old games i thought why not.

      The feel of being that age again while pelting it along as a blue hedgehog still brought a smile to my face and makes you realise how far games have come from what was a typical left to right platform game. It amazes me how the government pg 12 18 ratings etc didnt apply back then as in the streets of rage series you and a friend go walking round the streets beating the crap out of a horde of street thugs with similar names,feauturs,looks with either your fists, a metal bar,knife,sword or chucking them against walls or through fruit machines..... to top it off women were not safe either from an arse kicking either.

      I found the old style music and graphics amusing from there obvious cost of about 10p to make each while the games themselves used to cost £39.99 and that was in woolworths for sonic 2 in 1992 so you could imaging how much that would be worth now.

      I reccomend this game for people who want that nostalgic feeling again without breaking the bank plus it might make the newer generation realise how lucky they are with the gaming standard of today as i am sure a few parents out there remember the early mario bros games and even back as far as the atari 2600 amstrad etc.

      Nothing like the reliability of the old ways to make you realise how fragile the discs are today compared to the old cartridges that you could throw out your bedroom window and they would still work.

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      • More +
        25.08.2010 19:52
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        Easy retro gaming.

        I've always been into 'retro gaming' and in fact still own several old consoles and compatible collections of games. It then dawned on me; wouldn't it be more convenient if I could get these to run on my pc? - So I spend days messing around with emulators and different ROMS trying in vain to make something playable. It was by pure chance, on a trip to my local supermarket no less, when I stumbled across Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for the Xbox 360. I felt like singing hallelujah, THIS was what I had been looking for!

        To quickly summarize: the game is an epic collection of 40 classic Sega Mega Drive games all now fully compatible with your Xbox 360 and in HD! This presents an opportunity to replay all the old games without the hassle of dragging old consoles out of the attic or messing around with emulator on the pc. The collection includes favourites such as Sonic 1, 2 and 3, Streets of Rage 1, 2 and 3, Phantasy Star and its sequels, Kid Chameleon and many more.

        The controls are intuitive with X, A and B generally set as run, jump and a special action - remember the original Sega Mega Drive controllers only had 3 action buttons and in fact I find the placing of the buttons and probably the advances in response times etc. makes the games easier to play on the Xbox than they ever where with the Sega. The initial menu is a simple scroll down selection screen where all the 40 games are listed alphabetically and you select which one you wish to play. A feature I particularly like here is the ability to 'grade' the games out of a score of 5, meaning you can quickly find all games you have listed as you favourites (5/5), or scroll through all the games without seeing the ones you dislike( 1/5).

        The games themselves are identical to how they were on the Sega Mega Drive and this I find is a refreshing change to the modern games on the market. Many has 2 play co-op options which is fun to have your friends gather round for a night of retro gaming and has sparked many 'remember the days' reminiscing conversations. However there is not an option to play online through the Xbox Live, this I find slightly disappointing as been able to play Street Fighter 2 with some one half way across the world would of taken the game to the next level.

        There are a few unlock able achievements although in comparison to many of the other games that I own there doesn't appear to be as many as usual and I think it would have been better if the achievement tracked your progress through the games more, e.g. an achievement for completing stage 1 in Sonic.

        Graphically the games are presented well, with bright clear HD colours. However this isn't full screen, this may be because I am playing on a wide screen TV, but I think it is more probably due to resolution difference on modern TV's compared to what they would have been two decades ago. I'm not all that bothered that it isn't full screen as it doesn't dramatically affect game play but my major gripe is that because I have a plasma Television the static border around all the games whilst playing (not present on the menus) burns in nastily after a while. The static borders are generally brightly coloured and patterned and although this is visually attractive I feel as though Sega should have thought of issues with the static images burning into plasma TVs and made the border black to avoid the problem.

        But otherwise this is a very enjoyable game to play and own without out the hassle of emulators and old consoles. Anyone who enjoys replaying older games would love this and so I think it would make an excellent birthday or Christmas gift to someone in there 20's/30's who enjoyed gaming as a kid as this would be a fab trip down memory lane for them! And at just over £10 on amazon what a bargain too!

        Also available on the PS3.

        Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
        Alien Storm
        Altered Beast
        Beyond Oasis
        Bonanza Bros.
        Columns
        Comix Zone
        Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head
        Dr. Robotnik's MBM
        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

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        • More +
          24.07.2010 13:42
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          The definitive compilation for the Xbox 360

          This game will Megadrive you to keep playing more! (sorry for the awful pun :( )

          OVERVIEW -- The Sega Megadrive was a success throughout the early 1990s ever since it's release in 1991. Now we can relive the glory by playing over 40 of them on one disc. Awesome, right? I remember playing on Sonic the Hedgehog on the Megadrive when we went to my Auntie's house ages ago. That's what made me the Sonic-obsessed freak I am today. Anyways, on with the review.

          GRAPHICS -- Hard to comment on. These games are at least 15 years old, if not more. And the fact that there are over 40 of them is unbelievable. None have been revamped; perfect ports of the prized gems. You can smoothen the textures, which is nice. The menus are simple but effective. One game i'd like to mention is Vectorman 1+2. The great framerate, fluency and style allows for a varied and appealing game to look at. Don't believe me? Buy the game and play them for yourself! You won't regret it.

          SOUND -- It's the Megadrive. No symphonics just some memorable chords from the Green Hill zone of Sonic the Hedgehog to the Comix zone music. If only video game music was as musically fascinating as this. Sound FX are your average "BOOM"s and "CHING"s and there's nothing wrong with them.

          GAMEPLAY -- I'll try to shorten it as much as I can because if I talk about every single game on the disc, we'll be here all day. So all play differently: Sonic games are all about speed, collecting rings for health and stopping Eggman from conquering the world. Comix Zone is a beat em up that has the protagonist Sketch Turner fight his way through a comic book he's been sucked into. Ristar uses his arms to grab creatures then kicking them away as welll as gripping onto platforms. Streets of Rage is a beat em up similar to final fight; reach the end to face a boss and move on. Golden Axe is another beat em up where you cast spells, kill enemies and ride on monsters. These are a handful of games that I can remember by heart. Save states means no losing progress. Yay! Also you can customise the control scheme for each game. Whilst some are hits and others are a bit of a miss, all of them are playable. That's a very good thing since Sonic Gems collection for the PS2 only had 3 decent games.

          LIFESPAN -- 40 games, interviews to unlock, over a dozen arcade games to unlock and bios for each game. Yeah, this is a long game if you're willing to play through each one. And as this game goes fairly cheap on Ebay, Amazon and whatnot, you're getting value for money.

          OVERALL -- The best compilation game I've ever played. Cheap nowadays and worth the purchase. Loads of games, plenty of bonus material and of incredible variety. Even if you've never played on the Megadrive, you are bound to find one title you like or love. So close to a 5 star, but the missing essentials like Toejam, Gunstar Heroes and The Ooze is a shame.
          In conclusion, it's Brilliant! It's called an ULTIMATE collection for a reason!

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          • More +
            08.01.2010 09:51
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            Seriously, if you are a video games fan, it is criminal for you to NOT buy this compilation title

            To begin I would just like to say that this is going to be a LONG review. If you're going to sit through it, I advise you to bring a packed lunch. However if you're not of a mind to sit through my personal Iliad, each section is clearly marked with the information it contains for you to skip through it and find what you need :)

            ---------------

            In 1986 SEGA entered the resurgent video game market with the Master System as a direct challenge to Nintendo's NES console. Despite being a superior machine, Nintendo's grip on the market was too strong, and although it had some success in Europe, the Master System was ultimately not a success.

            This led SEGA to develop it's next console, the Mega Drive (called Genesis in North America) which was released in 1988 in Japan, 89 in USA and 90 in Europe. It is the games from this console which make up the bulk of the games available on this title.

            The Mega Drive was effectively the console which began the 'console wars' with Nintendo (who released their next console, the SNES in 1991). Arguably (and certainly in my opinion) the Mega Drive was the superior console of this generation, and many of the greatest games from this period were on the Mega Drive. Whatever anyone's opinions on the matter, without question, the Mega Drive was Sega's 'golden years' in the industry, and this title showcases many of the greatest games from the Mega Drive.

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            The 'Ultimate Collection'
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            Release and Critical Reception
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            SEGA released the 'Mega Drive: Ultimate Collection' (titled 'Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection' in North America) for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on February 10th and 20th 2009 in North America and Europe respectively. There was limited publicity for the release however it still garnered a 79% average across 45 reviews on Metacritic (the score was unfairly brought down in my opinion by some very poor reviews).

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            How it Works
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            Certainly anyone who has gamed on PC or console over the years knows that at times when hardware changes, older games become incompatible with the newer technology. Some consoles allow for 'Backwards compatibility' allowing you to play older games from the same console manufacturer on its newer systems (Playstation 2, for example, let you play any game from the original Playstation).

            However this is not the case here as no modern gaming system has been made to be able to play these older games. Instead, this title uses something called 'emulation software'. In essence, the title contains a small programme that is compatible with the Xbox 360 which imitates the SEGA Mega drive, thus making the games playable. In truth the execution of this software is somewhat more complex than this, but this is the general idea of how this title allows us to play these games.

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            Packaging and Price
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            At launch, this title was priced at the RRP of £40, at the time I thought this was a bargain (I still do). Today, this will set you back at anywhere from £10-£15 on average, not a huge difference but for those who want to save a bit of cash, a quick shop around on the internet will help you find the best prices. This title comes packaged in the standard green case for Xbox 360 complete with box art and a surprisingly small instruction manual.

            The box art insert, as you can make out from the image attached to this product above, proudly states its Mega Drive origins and that it contains over 40 games. A particularly nice touch is the use of multiple small screenshots of different games meaning that anyone who is of a mind to can take the time to peruse some images of the games held within.

            The instruction manual is light and well presented. Inside the manual you will find the usual expected contents, a list of all the games available and simple assistance in navigating the menu. The manual also gives over a reasonable amount of space to provide instructions on how to play some of its games, and information pertinent to the game play of each one. Sonic, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage and Phantasy Star are all present as well as a few others. These instructions cover a number of games as all the games in each franchise are on this set, and each game had basically the same control system, so whilst on the surface it sees the instructions are limited to a few games, the actual number is high. However, there are a lot of the games missing and I do wonder at why. Certainly Sonic the Hedgehog is not more complex than, say, Fatal Labyrinth, a game which by the standards of this generation of games WAS quite complicated, and could really have benefited from having space given to it in the instruction manual. A curious decision to leave so many games without their instructions, one I personally think was a bad decision. One thing the manual does do however is provide us, at the top of page 5, with a URL to where we can view every instruction manual for every game in detail.

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            Menu and Interface
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            From the moment you start to play this title, anyone who grew up with these games will be hit by a wave of spine tingling nostalgia. From the SEGA logo with a voice over saying 'SEGA' to the jaunty music that accompanies the small intro movie which provides a short glimpse at some of the games in action, and the music which accompanies the menu, all has a hauntingly familiar feel to it. The music is not taken from any Mega Drive game I am aware of, however it is of that same quality (simple bars of cheerful music) that was common to most games of this generation.

            The interface is simple, yet effective. The main menu lists each game in alphabetical order, but a quick press of the left or right bumpers lets you choose a different method of sorting, year of release, genre and favourites (which are chosen by simply flicking the D-Pad or left thumb stick left or right to raise or lower the rating out of 5 of each individual game). Not a huge addition, but for those players like me who have bought this game to keep and go back to play old favourites, it is nice to have the favourites marked as such for quick access.

            However you sort the games on the list, moving through each one is an interesting experience. The list of games is on the left hand side of your screen, and on the right is an image of a games cartridge like the ones the Mega Drive games were provided on. As you move through each game, underneath the list it lets you know the genre of each game and the cartridge on the right shows the entrance movie and menu screen from the game itself. Again not a huge addition, but a nice touch that lets you browse all the games and get (re)acquainted with all the games.

            Another nice touch is the 'museum'. As you scroll through each game you can hit the B button to bring up the museum. The museum has 2 pages which you again traverse with the left and right bumpers. First page is the History which gives you a nice small synopsis about the game and some interesting facts about each one. The second page is a small gallery that shows you the box art for each individual game and the artwork for the label on each cartridge.

            I found the Museum to be one of the most pleasing additions to the game. It was wholly unexpected and for someone like me who is a sucker for nostalgic gaming, I loved reading the different facts about the games. I was a little disappointed that the artwork provided was only taken from the North American versions of the games, meaning every game had 'Genesis' printed on it, but SEGA kindly informs us of this before we reach the main menu, so it was not wholly unexpected. Regardless, it is still a little jarring to see some of the box art which was very different from what we had when these games were originally released.

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            Extras
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            Another very pleasing addition to this title is the host of extras available. To begin with there are 8 interviews with different Japanese games developers who worked on some of these games. Then we have 9 games taken from SEGA's Back catalogue containing 2 Master System titles and 7 Arcade titles. You also have the option of hitting the Y button at any time to play the credit reel and see who worked to bring this title to us.

            All these extras need to be unlocked before they can be used, however this is no great trial as highlighting each one individually will tell you what you need to do to unlock it, and none of the tasks presented are difficult or arduous.

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            Game Interface
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            This title comes packaged with a total 49 games, including those unlockable in the extras. All games are accessed in exactly the same fashion, highlight the game of your choice, hit the A button to start the game. The first screen to appear is a control's screen. A useful addition so every player knows the controls for every game without the need to peruse the manual or the website, however it does not give any other information that the manual and website may contain, so be aware that you may still want to read/ visit as appropriate.

            From this screen, hit the start button and you are into the game. Rather than take you into each game directly however, pressing the start button actually only initializes the emulation software. On previous Mega Drive/Genesis compilation titles this has taken considerable time, meaning a wait for the software to run before being able to play the game, and on some occasions had visual, audio or interface problems for particular games. Very pleasingly however, this is not the case here, the emulation in this case is instantaneous and flawless. Each game begins as if it were just turned on in a Mega Drive itself, the opening menus, videos, everything is present and you can move through the games options as normal.

            One further addition to this title is the presence of a universal options screen that is not specific to any one game, rather it is available to ALL games at any time. Pressing the Back button brings up a simple menu that offers a range of options: return, control, video, save, load, reset and exit. This is a particularly nice addition as many of these older games lumbered you with one particular control scheme and did not have a save game facility. Backbone (the development studio who put this title together on SEGA's behalf) have taken note of this and provided players with this universal system. Whilst universal in respects that it is accessible to every game, each game does is in fact handled individually, so the control scheme and video options you set for one game does not affect the others. The control setup, video setup and Save/load additions are of particular note.

            The Control Setup allows you to pick specific functions for each button on the control pad or use the pre selected ones. A nice little addition to this is the option to change the control scheme from their specific functions (shoot, jump etc) to a particular button from the old Mega Drive control pad. A useful option for those older gamers who remembered how to play a game by the specific buttons rather than the functions. Also available is the option to turn on or off 'rapid fire' which allowed you to just hold a button down and get constant function activity (constant jumping, shooting etc) rather than pressing the button every time you want to do something. A useful addition for some games that require a lot of shooting as 'rapid fire' was often faster than what the human hand could produce.

            The Video Setup allows you to choose to play each game in it's original 4:3 ratio (a square box in the centre of the screen) or the modern widescreen 16:9 ratio. There is little difference between the two, and certainly nothing is lost form moving to 16:9 ratio, however depending on the size of your TV it can be a little much if your TV is large, or a necessity if your TV is smaller. Personally I feel the 16:9 ratio can make things seem a little bit stretched, but by no means does it stop me enjoying the games. However I do have a TV that is stupidly large and so I personally use the 4:3 ratio. The Video Setup also allows you to choose whether to turn smoothing on or off. Simply, the smoothing was included to soften the edges of the games. Older games, especially on larger TV's, noticeably have very rough, jaggy edges which were common through gaming at the time. Smoothing allows you to change this and take away those jaggy edges. I personally don't use this option as one side effect of it, in my opinion, is that it makes the colour palette a little to bulky, like the colours were added with thick gloss paint. Personally I think it makes the games look smudged and blotted. It has no other effect than the aesthetics however, so there is no harm in using it if you prefer how it looks.

            The Save/Load game system allocates 3 save spots to each game and, crucially, allows you to save at any point you like. Hugely helpful on many of the games, particularly the RPG's. You can load the game at any time from this menu regardless of current game progress. The game has no built in autosave system which is common in modern gaming, so you must be aware of saving your game manually if you so require.

            The other options are simple there to allow you return to, restart or exit the game in question.

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            Achievements
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            There are 34 achievements worth a total of 1000 points. Not a particularly difficult list, it is nonethless a very well thought out list. The achievements contained aid the player in traying and experiencing everything the game has to offer. Not ever game has an achievement attached, which I DO think is a little bit of an odd decision, however a lot of the important games are covered, and there IS an achievement for playing every game, but its a little bit cheap as you don't actaully have to play, just load up each individual game once. There are also achievements for viewing extra material such as the videos.

            Anyone planning on getting all the achievements can expect to get them all done in a weekend at most, but they can also expect to have tried every game and seen everything the whole package has to offer. In my opinion that is the best way to put together an achievement list.

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            The Games
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            Alex Kidd
            ========
            The Fifth game in the Alex Kidd series and the only one to appear on the Mega Drive. Alex Kidd is a platformer with some vague similarities to Nintendo's Super Mario games, however it is very much its own game. Like any platformer, the objective is to get to the end of the level, however there is much more to the progress of the game. You attack enemies buy punching or jump kicking them and they drop coins when defeated. You can also collect coins and money bags through the progress of each level. This money allows you to buy a number o useful items, magic rings and vehicles which all have unique properties to help you progress through the game. A Quirky and colourful title, Alex Kidd is a game I was surprised to find I actually very much enjoy playing.

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            Alien Storm
            ========
            A side scrolling Beat 'em up similar in essence to Golden Axe and Streets of Rage, Alien Storm sees you playing 1 of 3 characters trying to rid the world of an Alien invasion. The game progresses as those other mentioned games, but at the end of every level the game changes focus into a differing game play style, either a gallery shooter (similar to, for example, Duck Hunt on the NES system), or a side scrolling rail shooter (a game where the level moves constantly forwards and you just move the character around the screen and shoot). Another game I quite enjoy. Not quite up to the standards of Golden Axe and Streets of Rage, still an entertaining game to play.

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            Altered Beast
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            An early side scrolling beat 'em up that is not up to the standards of Streets of Rage. A port of the original arcade version, there is little real difference between the two. The one draw of this game was the premise that your character could get stronger as each level progressed, eventually allowing you to change into a creature of some kind such as a werewolf or dragon, depending on the individual level. A game with some nostalgic value, and it is fun for an occasional play, but other than that, not a lot to recommend it.

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            Bonanza Bros.
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            A rather quirky little game, it is essentially a side scrolling platformer, however, it is a truly unique game. The object of each level is to move around the building collecting valuable objects then escaping via the roof. Each building is manned by guards which can be stunned by shooting, avoided and hidden from. Interestingly the game also made use of a simplistic guard warning system, if you fire a gun or make any noise you run the risk of alerting other guards making things much more difficult. A very unique game that is quite entertaining. However, despite its intriguing nature, the game gets repetitive as there is very little to actually do except move around a small level.

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            Columns
            ========
            A puzzle game that was made to be SEGA's answer to Tetris. The premise is very similar to Tetris, a 'well' into which blocks fall and your objective is to make patterns to remove the blocks. However, where Tetris uses blocks of different shapes, Columns uses columns (hence the name) of 3 gems, each of a random shape and colour. You are able to rotate the column on a vertical axis as it falls to negotiate the 3 gems into a particular pattern, then you can move the column left and right into a desired position. You cannot rotate the column from a vertical to a horizontal state. Ultimately neither as popular nor successful as Tetris, this is one of the games I personally enjoy the most on this title.

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            Comix Zone
            ========
            Another side scrolling beat 'em up. Arguably equal to the iconic Streets of Rage games as it has somewhat superior graphics and animations, the soundtrack is also excellent. The premise of the game is frankly quite brilliant. You play as a real world sketch artist creating a comic book who becomes trapped in the world he created. Sounds silly, but it is not the story that is clever so much as the progress of the game. At all times you are aware you are in a comic book, you can rip up pages, break the scene panels, enemies get drawn in rather than appear randomly. The use of the limitations of scene panelling in a comic book to be a limit and an obstacle during the course of a level is very clever and does make the game interesting. It's biggest floor however is that the game is incredibly difficult and very very short. Only 6 levels long which the best players can zip through in under an hour, it does only appear longer because of its difficulty. Despite its clever premise, it is not a game I enjoy very much due to its excessive level of difficulty.

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            Decap Attack
            ========
            An amusing platformer. Decap attack sees you playing the character of a headless mummy with his face in his abdomen. The progress of the game is typical of a platformer, move left and right or up and down the level to progress to the end and collecting necessary items on the way. The game is not graphically especially impressive and it does nothing particularly note worthy, however it also does nothing bad or wrong and as such is a fun platformer and a generally pleasing game to play.

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            Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
            ========
            Another puzzle game with a similar premise to Tetris. The game itself is a spin off from the Sonic the Hedgehog game series, the Dr in question being Sonic's arch nemesis (more commonly known today as Dr Eggman, although he'll always be Dr Robotnik to me). The game is similar in principle to Tetris, but with a number of differences. Firstly, the game is 2 player, including the single player story mode which sees you compete against a number of Robotnik's robotic henchman, then finally the good Dr himself. The ebb and flow of the game is essentially just like any other 'well' puzzler however in this game rather than blocks or gems, a linked pair of randomly coloured beans is dropped which can be rotated to be either horizontal or vertical and you can choose which position in the pair to have each bean. Once you link together 4 or more beans in any pattern they will burst and disappear. The larger the number of beans in the link and the longer chain of links (when you burst one link, beans drop to fill the gaps, if they then make a link, that too disappears, and the cycle continues until there are no links to remove) the more 'dead' beans you drop into your opponents well. The Dead beans are beans that cannot be a part of a link and block up a lot of space. The Dead beans are removed when a link is burst adjacent to them. I personally adore this game, however it can be very frustrating as the game is designed to cheat if necessary to keep the challenge going. The usual tactic is to withhold a particular colour or pair of beans that you need to make an important link. This can make the game very frustrating and unpredictable as you can be having an excellent game then 2 minutes later you will have lost through no fault of your own. Still a game worth trying out however.

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            Dynamite Headdy
            ========
            Similar to Decap Attack, Dynamite Headdy is a fun little platformer that offers little of note except the one small quirk in the use of the characters head. The head has a few uses, a weapon that can be thrown a small distance, and a tool for moving around the map. The head can also be replaced with other, short term special heads that grant particular powers or abilities. Similar Decap attack, the game is not the best graphically, however it is not poor either. When I first played this game as a kid I hammered it to death and completed it, now, whilst I still find it fun, it doesn't stand out for me.

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            Ecco the Dolphin
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            This was a truly special game when it was first released. Essentially this game is a platformer, but that is not truly a term that suits this game at all. As the title implies, you control a Dolphin called Echo, and as expected you travel around different bodies of water. The game takes into consideration certain aspects of being a dolphin, for example a dolphin is a marine mammal that requires oxygen to live, this is translated into the game. You cannot breathe underwater for long periods of time and as such need to find regular pockets of air or swim to the surface. Also included is the use of Sonar as a way to speak to other marine mammals, other dolphins, whales etc. It adds a nice touch to the game being able to see what these other ocean denizens are thinking. What I truly love about Ecco though is the music. It is haunting a beautiful, both calming and frightening, an exquisite soundtrack. The game itself is quite similar in that respect as the underwater environments and some of the creatures represented are quite chilling. I remember feeling quite on edge playing this game, having a constant chill down my back. Playing the game now I actually find it to be quite dull, in my opinion it has not aged well. Regardless, I do still think it is worth experiencing for everyone.

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            Ecco 2
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            Direct sequel to Ecco the Dolphin, the game is basically exactly the same with new levels added. there is a new soundtrack for this game that is also quite haunting.

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            E-SWAT
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            A side scrolling platform beat 'em up similar to the Shinobi games where you play a very bad Robocop rip off. Graphically very ugly, sounds are dire and it controls badly. Not a game I enjoy or recommend.

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            Fatal Labyrinth
            ========
            A game not well liked by modern audiences, this is in fact one of my absolute favourites from the Mega Drive catalogue of games. It is a role playing game in which you enter a giant labyrinth to reach the top level and defeat the ultimate baddie. Simple premise really. However the beauty of the game is that it is almost entirely randomly generated. Each time you start the game new, every level of the game is randomly created, the placement of all enemies and items is randomly generated and the properties of many items are also random. There are some staples that never change, certain monster types only appear in specific level sets, weapons and armour have constant strength and armour values. But basically everything else is random, and you can only find out what they do by using them or identifying what they do with a spell. Not all items of this sort or beneficial. Another excellent addition is that certain weapons have different damage properties against certain monster types, Axes are strongest but are generally low hit chance, but do great damage to fleshy and jelly like monsters, spears are weak but hit everything with high frequency, hard carapace enemies take a lot of damage from spears and hit regularly whereas other weapons hit rarely against them. This game brings in a number of little additions like that which make the game far more strategic than it first seems. I could go on all day about this game, but I won't, suffice to say that I adore this game, and highly recommend anyone put in the time to learn how to play it and give it a real go.

            ========
            Flicky
            ========
            A stupid game that I struggle to see as being a game from this generation of consoles, it has more in common with a game you'd expect to find on the Sinclair Spectrum or Commodore 64. Simply, the premise of this game is to go through the 50ish 'levels' collecting little birds and avoiding a tiger or a lizard to try and get them to the. A truly stupid and awful game. The only half positive thing this game has ever done was introduce the 'flickies' which are the names of all the little yellow birdies you rescue from breaking enemies in the Sonic games.

            ========
            Gain Ground
            ========
            If you can believe it, an even worse game than the last. You pick a character than run across the one screen to the next level. That's it. Shoot enemies in your way if you need to, 'rescue' other captive characters on your way through if necessary. Boring, ugly stupid.

            ========
            Golden Axe
            ========
            Aaah, one of the big guns. At first glance you would expect it to be an rpg with it being set in a High Fantasy world, however the games not an RPG of any kind. It is a side scrolling beat 'em up. Choose from one of 3 characters and move through the levels hacking, kicking, stabbing and throwing the different enemies. Not a huge variety of enemies, and graphically not amazing, but it is simple, addictive fun. Love it.

            ========
            Golden Axe 2
            ========
            Essentially exactly the same as the first game in the series except it is graphically quite superior and has far better animations. There is also a greater variety of enemies requiring more tactical thought. MY personal favourite of the series.

            ========
            Golden Axe 3
            ========
            A difficult one this. Again basically the same as the previous instalments, however this game introduces new characters to the mix and many completely redesigned enemies. Graphically not quite as good as the 2nd game, but still better than the first. The one addition of note is the ability to choose your own path at certain sections of the game, so you never see everything in one play through. My least favourite of the 3, but still a good game.

            ========
            Kid Chameleon
            ========
            A clever an addictive platformer. Kid Chameleon has over 100 levels but not all of them are part of the main game. The game contains points where you can be warped to difference locations or levels making progress very tactical, you always need to be careful where you go. You can't at any point get stuck but you can get to a point where you are wandering around random levels a lot. The game uses a mechanic whereby you collect masks that give you different powers, different health, strength etc, again adding a tactical element. An entertaining but very long and draining game. It is however made much more palatable with the new save system available. Worth a shot.

            ========
            Phantasy Star 2
            ========
            The 2nd in a series of 4 games that is part of a much larger franchise. It is much the same as the original game, and has many identifiable game designs to anyone familiar with Japanese RPG's. Heavily story driven, characters fight in random, turn based battles, gather experience and level up. Go around a large map, follow the story and buy new weapons and armour. All the staples of any good RPG, and this is definitely a good RPG. Tough for people who are not fans of the genre, but if you love RPG's, then you'll love it.

            ========
            Phantasy Star 3
            ========
            The Same as the last game just with slightly better graphics and a fresh new story.

            ========
            Phantasy Star 4
            ========
            Again the same as the previous but again slightly better looking with a new story. All 3 of these games are worth playing.

            ========
            Ristar
            ========
            SEGA's attempt to create a new hero. Never really took off as he never had the appeal of Sonic. A quirky platformer that has a lot in common with Dynamite Headdy, except you stretch your arms rather than throw your head. Graphically much the same as the later Sonic games. Worth a shot.

            ========
            Shining Force
            ========
            Another game I truly adore. An RPG but a very different kind. Tee premise of this game is to follow the story around the world map. As you move through the game, rather than face random battles with a party of 3 or 4, you pick around a dozen allies who will fight with you on a battlefield. Much like a game of chess or risk, you move your individual soldiers around the 'battlefield' one at a time based on a grid system that lets you move in any direction a certain amount of spaces dependant on your movement range. combat happens when you get close enough to an enemy (or they you) and choose to attack. A magnificent game. The visuals a cutesy and colourful, but also very eye catching and appealing. The story and the journey you take is interesting. But it is the gathering of allies that is most appealing. you can collect dozen of allies through your travels, some you get regardless, others you have to find and work towards. A rewarding experience and a lot of fun.

            ========
            Shining Force 2
            ========
            Exactly the same as the last game but with new story. My favourite of the 2.

            ========
            Shining in the Darkness
            ========
            A part of the same videogame world as the 2 Shining Force games, this was released before either of them and has an entirely different game play style. Chronologically it sits in between the 2 games. the visual style is still cutesy, but that is about the only similarity. This game sees you begin fighting alone but soon you get 2 friends and that is it, 3 of you. The game is set in first person and the objective of the game is to enter a labyrinthine maze of dungeons to rescue the princess. What I love about this game is that it is long, the levels are huge and the variety of monsters you have to fight is extraordinary. Sure some model types are rehashed with just different colours, but there are still dozens of different monster types to begin with. As you play you move around this maze in first person, combat happen randomly, so there is a LOT of fighting. You fight, earn experience and gold, level up and buy stronger weapons and armour. Very straight forward but I find the game tremendously enjoyable and is probably my favourite game on this title.

            ========
            Shinobi 3
            ========
            A side scrolling platform beat 'em up. Unusual that this game was chosen and not one of the earlier ones, however still an excellent representation of a fun series of games. Move through the level throwing shurikens at enemies and continue to progress. Straight forward, but great fun.

            ========
            Sonic
            ========
            Well, the daddy. SEGA's mascot and poster boy character, the rival to Nintendo's Mario. The Jury will always be split on which was better at the time, even though nowadays Mario has translated better to modern gaming. Regardless this is still a tremendous game. The principle, if you didn't know, is to move through the level collecting Golden rings to enable you to reach special stages to collect emeralds. The big appeal of Sonic was certainly the cutesy art style and his colour, but more than anything it was the exhilarating feeling of speed you get when playing the game as Sonic hurtles around the levels with wild abandon. If some how you have never played a sonic game, just try it.

            ========
            Sonic 2
            ========
            Just the same as the last game, but introduces a new character to the mix, and is graphically superior. My favourite of all the Sonic games.

            ========
            Sonic 3
            ========
            Again more of the same but even more graphically superior.

            ========
            Sonic and Knuckles
            ========
            Both an add-on and a new game in its own right. This game introduces yet another new character to the mix. Graphically equal to Sonic 3, the game play is still the same. One interesting thing about this game on original release was that you could plug Sonic 3 into the top of it to allow you to cross the 2 game over. This is not shown in this title as it would require a lot of time and space to work as it needed its own emulation software, meaning it would have meant sacrificing a handful of other games for it.

            ========
            Sonic Spinball
            ========
            A spin-off of the Sonic series, this mixes Sonic game control with pinball. Once in the game you play like pinball, but occasionally you control Sonic directly more like his normal outings. A very odd and quirky game. Not a huge favourite, but enjoyable for a time.

            ========
            Sonic 3D
            ========
            The first real attempt to take sonic into 3D, and not a bad attempt overall. Controls are a little awkward owing to only having 8 directional movement, however it maintains the essence and feel of previous Sonic games. Worth taking a look it.

            ========
            Streets of Rage
            ========
            A hugely important game for SEGA and the Mega Drive. In Streets of Rage you control one of 3 characters in a side scrolling beat 'em up, then move through 8 levels fighting enemies and a boss at the end of each level, finally making it to fight the big boss at the end. Hellishly addictive fun, and the ending with 2 players is interesting.

            ========
            Streets of Rage 2
            ========
            the best of the series and quite possibly my favourite game on the Mega Drive, its a toss up between this and Shining in the Darkness. Much like the first game except this one is graphically superior. One character is dropped (the search for him is the focus of the story for this game) and replaced by 2 others. A greater variety of enemies, better level design, more moves and a more varied fighting style for each character, this game improves upon its predecessor in every way. Of particular note is the fantastic soundtrack. Worth playing the game to hear it alone. A must play for everyone.

            ========
            Streets of Rage 3
            ========
            The worst of the series. Much the same as the previous instalments, not quite as good visually, and the sounds are shockingly bad. Take it or leave, not important really.

            ========
            Super Thunder Blade
            ========
            A very very bad game. A rail shooter that sees you control a helicopter. More around the screen dodging attacks and shooting everything. Graphically ugly, sounds atrocious, game play is dire.

            ========
            Vectorman
            ========
            A game I'd never heard of before, but was apparently something of a cult hit. Basically just a side scrolling platform shoot 'em up. What made Vectorman so appealing was its graphical style, rather than creating the image as you play, which most game of the time did, Vectorman used pre rendered 3D models. What this basically means is that the images were created in 3D elsewhere on a more powerful computer and then transferred to the game. When playing Vectorman the game essentially plays a recording of this pre-rendered model. The finished product looks and feels much smoother than other. Whilst this is very interesting, I personally find the game to be quite boring. however the game was well received critically for its use of the 3D rendering, its level design and soundtrack, which I must admit is very very good.

            ========
            Vectorman 2
            ========
            More of the same, apart from a much different locale for the game play, the game sis essentially exactly the same as the first one.


            The following games are the 9 unlocked in the Extras menu.

            ========
            Alien Syndrome (Arcade)
            ========

            A game I'd never heard of before seeing it on this title, it is similar to arcade classic Gauntlet. The objective of this game is to run around a small map shooting any enemies who get in your way whilst trying to rescue a pre set number of allies. The game has only 6 levels, each increasingly more difficult, so it is short enough to not get overwhelming and boring. A decent little game for the occasionally quick blast. The game is presented in a 'top down' style.

            ========
            Altered Beast (Arcade)
            ========
            Virtually Identical to the Mega Drive version of the game, except for a few small changes to level progression.

            ========
            Fantasy Zone (Arcade)
            ========
            A very misleading title. Understandably, you'd no doubt be expecting some form of role playing game from this, however this game is in fact a side scrolling space ship shooter. The Game is incredibly colourful and cheerful, and when I play it I can't help but think of dolly mixtures and jelly beans. However as a game it is very basic and I soon grew bored of playing it.

            ========
            Golden Axe Warrior (Master System)
            ========
            A spin off of the Golden Axe series of games (which began life as an arcade game), the most noticeable difference is the format of the game play. This game is virtually identical to the original Zelda games, indeed there was speculation that this game was to be the first in a series of games to challenge Nintendo's Zelda, but nothing ever came of it. I found the game to be quirky and enjoyable, and equally as enjoyable as any of the Zelda games of the time.

            ========
            Phantasy Star (Master System)
            ========
            The First in a vast franchise of games. The game is considered a pioneer of console role playing games for being a story driven game, having a female lead character, and being graphically quite superior to most other games of the time. The game itself is much like the Mega Drive instalments of the series with its control scheme and menu layout.

            ========
            Shinobi (Arcade)
            ========
            The original game in the Shinobi series. Allowing for changes in graphical capability and level design etc, the game itself is near identical to Shinobi 3.

            ========
            Space Harrier (Arcade)
            ========
            A rail shooter similar to Super Thunder Hawk, Space Harrier sees you control a human as you 'run' through each level shooting everything you can and dodging wherever possible. Considered a SEGA classic but personally I find it ugly, boring and a chore to play

            ========
            Tip Top (Arcade)
            ========
            An incredibly poor rip off of Donkey Kong presented in a faux 3D style with isometric view. the game is ugly, sounds horrid and the controls are diabolical. I truly cannot explain just how bad this game is.

            ---------------
            Zaxxon (Arcade)
            ---------------
            A side scrolling space ship rail shooter which is presented in faux 3D isometric view. Popular when first released and considered a SEGA classic, personally I find it horrid to play. It is difficult to see where you are aiming meaning you often crash into random objects and often it occurs that you can't see an obstacle flying at you from some direction.

            ---------------
            Conclusion
            ---------------
            Simply put, I find this title to be an absolute bargain, and more, a truly essential purchase for any gaming fan with a love of nostalgia or who wants to (re)visit old classics. This title has some truly phenomenal games on it, Sonic 2, Streets of Rage 2, Shining in the Darkness, all truly exceptional games that stand the test of time.

            there are some notable absences from this title though. Toe Jam and Earl, Zombies, Soleil are all missing as are a number of other games. Yes this is a Mega Drive only compilation title, so games like Mortal Kombat, FIFA, Street Fighter etc that were released on both Mega Drive and SNES will not be present. And other games, such as those made or published by EA or other major games developers of the time would likely take some serious negotiation between SEGA and said companies, making their appearance unlikely. But there are a few games I am sorry to see lacking. However, whilst it is not a complete compilation, it is still a tremendous package, especially when you consider I owned most of these games at one time or another and they all cost anywhere from £20 to £50 depending on when I bought them. To now get them all for around £12 or £15 is an absolute bargain, hell it's so good its almost theft.

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              06.01.2010 19:15
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              Perfect for a bit of a memory lane trip

              I grew up on the Sega Mega Drive, so I was very excited when I saw this in Game and I bought it straight away. I was actually shopping in Game for a present for someone else, but when I saw this, I could not pass it up and had to buy it!

              Most people of my age will remember the Seag Mega Drive and the brilliant games that came with it. At the time, it was the top console and was the best graphics you could imagine. I know it is nothing compared to the computer games of today, but it really was amazing when I was a child.

              The Sega Collection has all the old sega games I used to play as a child, including Sonic, Streets of Rage and Alex Kidd. There are also other games like Shining Star, Ecco the Dolphin and Flicky. There is around 40 games on the disc, some of which are just the fun, quick play games, and there are other more challenging games which will take some time to play.

              There is even a couple of the old school RPG's, for the truly nostalgic geeks among us. My partner was very excited by this fact, and has spent hour after hour playing them! I really love the fact that there is a good selection of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games on this disc, and I am able to progress much further on the games now than when I was younger! Must be something to do with getting older lol!

              With the amount of games on this disc, there is sure to be something for everyone, especially those who grew up in the sega era. Even the kids of today may well enjoy playing these games, as they are fun, colourful and some of them are nice and easy to play.

              A few of the games on the disc I haven't heard of, but I am sure others will have done, as there are games for all different player styles on here, ranging from the Platform games to the Role Play Games of yesteryear. Even my grandad has this game, and he enjoys it just as much as us grandchildren, which goes to show there really is something for everyone to play on here.

              There really is hours of game play here, and the games are so nice and simple, makes a nice change from the complex, high tech games of today. I love to sit and play Street Fighter on the Xbox, as the game is simple enough to play, but still entertaining and fun.

              I would recommend this game to all who grew up playing Sega games, as a good bit of nostalgia is always fun to have. The game graphics are almost the same as what they were on the original Sega Mega Drive, but with a bit of added colour and hi tech stuff. They still look like the original games, but much sharper and clearer. I like the fact they have done this as it makes it look like the old stuff, but not in such a way that you do not wish to play them.

              The good part of the games in this collection is the fact that you can save your progess as you go, in any point of the game, instead of just at particular save points like in the games of today. This makes it easier to stop a game when you need to, and then come back to the same point at a later time.

              You can now buy this game on Amazon for just under £14, and this I think is a brilliant price for a massive collection of games that can provide hours of fun and entertainment. I love this game and I give it a 5 out of 5 stars. Totally Recommended.

              *This review is also on Ciao under the user name of Hailee*

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                31.07.2009 10:38
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                Fantastic value.

                Sega has been around for a while and even though they have stopped making consoles they still release one of these compilations of their classic games every now and then.

                This game is loaded with classics so if you were into Segas games during the megadrive era youll no doubt be chomping at the bit to get into this one!

                There are a total of over 40 Megadrive games to get your hands on including Alex Kidd, Altered Beast, Ecco the Dolphin, Golden Axe, Phantasy Star, Streets of Rage and because its Sega you'll get a bunch of Sonic titles.

                The games are presented to you from a menu of box arts and you simply select the one you want and away you go. The Xbox 360 has no trouble emulating the games and performace is good.

                With such a diverse library of games available the gameplay varies tremendously, from your standard jumping and platforming, a mysterious dolphin adventure, a bean sorting puzzler, a role playing adventure, a hack and slash to the classic and addictive sensation of speed from the Sonic games.

                Now if you're in it for the graphics which have apparently been remastered for 720p and high definition you may be a little disappointed they don't really look great even with smoothing switched on, but you're not here for the graphics on a Sega Megadive compilation!

                If you have any fondness for the days of the Sega Megadrive you definitely want to pick this up, you can find a copy for around £25 and that's a bargain but only if you can appreciate the classics!

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                  29.07.2009 14:15

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                  Some classic games to re-live your youth

                  COOL! When I saw this on the shelf on the day of its release I knew I had to have it! There are a few gems on this compilation I simply had to own again. If you're of the mega drive generation I highly recommend getting this game. Story of Thor, Golden Axe 1,2 & 3, The Sonic Games, Ecco The Dolphin, Comix Zone & Streets of Rage 1,2 & 3 are worth paying the price tag alone! Get ready for nostalgia time! Of course, not ALL the games are classics that you'll actually WANT to play again (Altered Beast, Alien Storm, Vectorman to name but a few) but the quality games make this a must for anyone who had a mega drive. Though NOT for anyone who never owned one. A handy save facility lets you save anywhere mid game up to 3 slots (handy for those tough to beat bosses) Games don't play full screen either but this is barely noticable. 8/10

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                  14.07.2009 21:15

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                  the retrun of the megadrive is superb and at under £20 it's definitely worth a look

                  anyone who loved their old megadrive years ago is gonna love this! the megadrive collection is an accumulation of some of the best titles the console had to offer and it certainly does not let you down. I was pleased to see the streets of rage and golden axe titles included as these where some of my personal favourites. it is a shame though that they couldn't have got a few other developers to jump on board too such as EA as it would have great to be able to play some of the old madden games or PGA golf or even fifa, I wouldn't have mid seeing mortal kombat on this either, although this can be downloaded on xbox marketplace separately. the games themselves are prefect recreations of the old legends, the xbox 360 control system fits in great too. the best thing though has to be the achievements as it is one of the easiest game on the 360 to get 1000 achievement points. for under £20 it's worth a look even for old times sake.

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                  13.07.2009 14:58
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                  Worth a purchase for the classics, but not the greatest of games.

                  The Sega Mega Drive, such good memories, Monaco GP, Speedball, Spot goes to Hollywood..... Shame they aren't included on this 'Ultimate Edition'. The Front cover does however boast a host of favourites, Streets of Rage, Sonic, Golden Axe and in their own words '"Many More". Its a shame that the many more games are total rubbish.

                  On the positive side this really is a good old trip down memory lane, playing games such as Streets of Rage and Alien Storm for the first time in years was a great experience, and it seems none of these games appeal have worn off over the years. On the plus side, things which were then state of the art, such as graphics and sound effects now appear humorous, for example the way every man seems to have a orgasm when they are killed on Streets of Rage.

                  The problem here is that many of the games that appear on this ultimate edition, frankly wouldn't appear on the 'bargain basement' edition. So from all the games available, you may only find yourself playing 10 at the most. Also, the game does not boast longevity, many of the games are rather hard and if you don't have the patience you'll find yourself giving up quickly.

                  All in all, a nice trip down memory lane, which if done properly could be brilliant, however the ultimate edition doesn't deliver on its title, and you may find yourself putting this on the shelf sooner than you think.

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                    25.06.2009 09:44
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                    Good fun, not for serious gamers though

                    I didn't know this game existed until my youngest brother got a copy for his birthday and lent me it a couple of months ago. For me, the Streets of Rage series was brilliant back in the day, especially playing it with a friend, as was the Golden Axe series.

                    It was amazing just how much of it I'd remembered from all those years ago, one thing I will say is that this isn't for hardcore gamers as given the progression gaming consoles have made over the last 10-12 years the games on this compilation won't necessarily keep you entertained for prolonged periods but more for, say, having a few gaming friends round for the night, a few drinks and a retro gaming theme.

                    For the price you can pick a copy up for I'd suggest if you were a big Mega Drive fan in your youth then yes, you should add this to your collection. It is a lot of fun and for the memories alone it's well worth a look.

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                    20.05.2009 04:22
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                    Remember The Greats at a Bargin Price!

                    Ahhh the 90s, Ninja turtles, Power rangers, Girl power and the smurfs releasing music. Truly it was a great time to be a kid, and what made it even better was the gaming. No worry of glitched 3d headshots in a zero gravity environment, no struggling to contol an aeroplane using a controller with 14 buttons, and most importantly if someone mouthed off during a multiplayer battle you could lean over and smack them round the back of the head.

                    So sega has cashed in on this nostalgia with the Sega Megadrive Ultimate Collection (hereafter referred to as SMUC) for both the 360 and PS3. 40 games to help you remember the golden 16/32 bit gaming era... So does it work? Well yes and no...

                    The games are as follows:

                    Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
                    Alien Storm
                    Altered Beast
                    Beyond Oasis
                    Bonanza Bros.
                    Columns
                    Comix Zone
                    Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head
                    Dr. Robotnik's MBM
                    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 some you will know: Sonic, Streets of Rage.

                    Some you will of heard of but not played: Vectorman, Ristar.

                    And some you will be stumped on: Fatal Labyrinth, Gain Ground.

                    A good mix however and one which includes the main players from the megadrives golden days. It would take far too long to do an individual review of each of the 40 games, but needless to say, all of the sonic based games, all of the streets of the rage games, golden axe games, comix zone and ristar are my favourites and are all perfect ports of the genesis originals with the same sound and gameplay that entranced me all those years ago.

                    The problems with the game mainly centre around the choice of games, as mentioned there is a good selection but why the phantasy star games have been slapped in when there are games such as gunstar heros, splatterhouse, Toejam&Earl and earthworm jim which could be added is a bit annoying. The abscence of sonic and knuckles and sonic 3 is another major downpoint for me, although both these games exist singuarly you cannot add them together to play the joint version which just seems like laziness on Sega's behalf. Lastly there is the new 'smoothing' mode, Now given how beautiful the latest version of super street fighter HD remix looks on xbox live arcade I was quite exited by the prospect of "Hi-definition Upgrade: All titles included in the collection have been converted to vivid hi-def (720p) visuals to truly enhance that classic 2D experience!" what I got was a smoothing effect on the 32 bit pixels which looks like somone has smeared my hd-tv in vaseline.

                    As far as replayability goes these games are great fun, they are each given a save state option so you can stop playing and come back, something that was a nightmare on the original megadrive (I remember staying up till 3am because I wanted to finish sonic 2 and wasnt going to go through all those levels again!) however it does make a lot of the games much easier as you can save every step and reload if you make a wrong move. There are plenty of unlockable extras such as arcade versions of games like shinobi to unlock as well as artwork for all the games and interviews with developers although I wasn't amazed by these, actual quote "The main feature of sonic is his hedgehogness" they may be interesting to others in the same way directors commentarys on films are.

                    The achievements get a special mention here for being insanely easy, now in fairness I was raised on the megadrive so I had a lot of practice, but managing to get 1000/1000 on it in one day is a bit too easy. Some of the achievements show hardly any thought "Get 100 rings as tails on the first level of sonic 3" and some just seem odd: "Ecco - Talk to another dolphin" I have heard of people having some problems with a few of them but overall it is considered an easy set to finish.

                    As mentioned before the controls and music are a direct port from the megadrive versions so if you didnt like it then, you wont like it now, personally I love it so I enjoyed hearing it again, the same goes for the controls although you can customise them if you find the controls awkward in any of the games.

                    Overall I really enjoyed this trip down memory lane, and for only £25 (And i'm sure you can find it cheaper now) you really can't argue!

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                      16.05.2009 17:24
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                      Over 25 get this game

                      I saw this in the shops and said to the girlfriend, I've got to have it. It was like remembering all those many christmas's long ago, back at 13 opening up my Mega Drive and the future ones with all the games released. All those classic games I loved to play, Alien Storm, Ecco the Dolphin, Golden Axe, Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2, Streets of rage 1 & 2 and many more that as a kid i'd have loved but didn't get.

                      Opening it up last night with a friend, we hit through the 2 player games, wanting to relive our youths and get many simple achievements.

                      The menu system of the game is simpleto use, showing you all the standardly available games you can play, and allowing you to give them a star (red circle) rating so you'll know if you want to play it again or not.

                      We started with the classic streets of rage, 2 player, just as I rememebered, the game knows all these games were built for 4:3 TV's and we all have luxorious wide screen TV's now, so there it is the game is put into a large square box that fills the height of the screen while the edges have a pictured backdrop, keeping the game quality there.

                      We, just like back in the days of the megadrive, got through to the level just before the big bad boss before we died and run out of credits. We picked the game straight back up even though neither of us had played it for 15 years. The controls took a little getting used to as my friend kept calling in for special attack when he meant to jump.

                      We went through Streets of Rage 2 the contols the same as the first, and just like being sat back at a megadrive. All games kept just as they were. Golden Axe Columsn, Sonic.
                      All of these games just as good as they used to be.

                      The new games we had not seen or had chance to play like streets of rage 3, shwed how graphics had progressed trough the years. It was like being 13 again.

                      While some games are naturally single player,those for 2 players are still able to have 2 players to enjoy this with a friend. Both players for most games get the achievements, however in Golden Axe 2 and some specific achievemnts we had to play it twice with my fiend being the primary player for him to get the achievements.

                      As you achieve different tasks (adding extra goals to the games) you unlock some videos of the developers (not really my interest) but also some extra versions of the games from the Arcade versions and Master System.

                      While some of these games already have been ported to XBLA Marketplace, this is a way to get the exact original and a number of them for only £20 instead of 800MPs each.

                      If your after top level graphics, don;t get this game, ebcause they are the graphics of the 90's and do show you how aged the games are when your dealing with 256 colour cluncky pixelated bitmapped graphics, but if you want to be able to relive some old fun games wihtout getting your megadrive out of the loft and inserting the cartridges, taking them out blowing on them, puttig them back in then this is a great game, with all those games on you either didn't get chance to get before you upgraded console, or were too expensive and your parents never bought them you, but you knew you always wanted them.

                      Overall this game is great, added achievements, 2 players, bringing back good ole memories from child hood, and some classic fun games, defaintely one to get.

                      If your under 20 and don;t recognise any of the titles don't bother as you'll be disappointed, the excellence of this collection of game is purely based upon emotional memories from theMega Drive in the 90s

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                        17.04.2009 23:20
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                        Good budget title for old fans, albeit less than perfectly realised

                        For Americans, that'll be "Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection".

                        The idea of a collection of this scale seems simple enough - collect a good number of old games which were designed to fit on a 16-bit cartridge, and stuff them onto a single DVD. Being a 'budget-title' (i.e costing about £25, or about $30 I suppose in the U.S), and housing a hefty 40+ games, this looks like a pretty sound purchase for anybody who can remember when Sega were in the console business in a good way (not to say the Saturn and Dreamcast didn't have good games but... they didn't have what it took, to put it politely).

                        However this isn't the perfect representation of the old days of yore you'd hope it is. When you get into the nitty-gritty of this collection, there are two main issues with the collection.
                        1. Selection.
                        2. Emulation.

                        The first issue isn't so huge a problem, but it is one that baffles me somewhat. I can accept why almost any game on the disc is there, even ones like the first Golden Axe (which I despise having played it for a bit) or Shining in the Darkness (which is a very strange old game). What I can't understand is why Altered Beast, a pretty poor game in all respects, is included twice.
                        Normally I wouldn't have a problem with this in some respects - it's up to the developers obviously what does and doesn't go on the disc. But when there have been excuses made such as "time restraints" and "difficulty of getting the arcade titles on the disc", you start to wonder why they wasted their time with that title in particular. Especially when obvious alternatives are available, the most startling of which are the "lock-on" titles, particularly when Sonic 3 & Knuckles was originally planned to be one game anyway.
                        The other thing that surprises me are the interviews, as, whilst a nice idea, just give the impression that most of the people working at Sega are incredibly misinformed, or have just forgotten how to make good games.

                        ...Granted, most people following the company's history probably know that already, but in either case it doesn't help to remind us.

                        The other issue is a bit more concerning, however. Sega have to be pretty good at porting these old games by now, you would expect, since there has been a re-released form of the Sonic series on pretty much every single console since the Megadrive/Genesis (excluding the competing consoles before they went software only, obviously). Add to this the fact that the developer of the collection is Backbone Entertainment, who, along with a confusing selection of names in various places, seem to have been doing a lot of porting as of late themselves.

                        But the emulation of these titles is far from perfect here. Considering the apparent 'ease' of developing on the 360, and it's similarity to a standard gaming PC (this is based on incredible ignorance of development and hearsay, you'll understand), you would have thought it'd be easy enough for them to make a simple Genesis emulator. Heck, they could have gone on to Google, downloaded GENS, and just made that work on the 360.
                        But unfortunately they haven't.
                        There's something terrifying about seeing an Xbox 360's frame rate drop when playing Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Whether the Genesis or Megadrive would have done so in the same situation I can't remember, but a 360 simply shouldn't when it can produce games that look like Gears of War 2 or Resident Evil 5 without really breaking a sweat. It is, thankfully, only an irregular occurrence, mainly when there are a lot of moving objects on screen at once (this zone, Aquatic Ruin Zone, happened to regularly have bubbles, leaves, robots, Sonic, Tails, rings, all spinning or flying at once).

                        However these issues are somewhat beside the point. Okay, the borders that fill the empty space around the screen look hideous in some cases, and it hurts to see the guys at Sega talking about the new Sonic The Hedgehog from 2006 as if it was a good game (incidentally, when was that interview done? He talks like it only just came out), and the selection is a little awkward in places, but it is still overall a pretty solid set of titles. You can quick save and quick load easily, jumping from one game to another is pretty snappy and quick, and the chance to list games in order of release date, alphabetically, or preference through a rating system, is a nice touch (though... alphabetically does me just fine).

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                          14.04.2009 10:59
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                          An excellent collection of awesome mega drive games.

                          Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection-Is this the ultimate collection?

                          Collections can be a hit-or-miss thing. When done right, it can be an awesome collection of old school games which floods you with nostalgia and makes you feel something special in your heart as you relive those games which you played in your childhood. However, collections can also be screwed up pretty badly-noteworthy games could be missing, the emulation quality could be crap and there are plenty of other reasons why generally, developers leave old games in the past. Not Sega though, as Sega Mega drive Ultimate collection is their second collection of old school games in two years. Three if you count that good awful Sega Classics game, but it's better left in the dust. However, Sega Megadrive collection on the PS2 was a success as it had all the best mega drive games and was a huge nostalgia trip. Is SMDUC any better or is it just a high-definition port?

                          SMDUC contains over 40 games spanning years from 1989 to the late nineties. There are plenty of different kinds of games for your tastes out there. Obviously the dominant genre back in those days was the side scrolling games, like Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets of Rage, and there are plenty of those kinds of games here. If you're more into the action genre, there are quite a few good titles to satisfy you. Whether it's the side scrolling beat em' up of Streets of Rage 1,2 and 3, Vector man 1+2 and Golden Axe 1-3. If you're more into RPGs then try Phantasy Star 1-4 or Beyond Oasis (or The Story of Thor) and if you just want to go really fast in a sonic game, you can play Sonic 1-3 plus Sonic and Knuckles. Even puzzle enthusiasts can get their kicks on Columns and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. There are just too many games to count, and the fact that the game only costs around £25 is an absolute bargain. Obviously there are some duds (I'm looking at you Fatal Labyrinth) but there are so many good games that its mind bending.

                          The good thing that this game is wrapped in a slick menu system as well as helpful features. Once you've loaded up the game, you can access every Sega Mega Drive game immediately, though there are some unlockable arcade games too. If you want to jump straight to your favourite games, then using a rating of one to five which you can give, you can rate a game then jump to your favourites by pressing the bumpers to change to that section. It cuts down on the hassle of finding your preferred games in alphabetical order. You can also save at any time, making some of the games more accessible like MBM which makes the final fight with Robotnik a little less daunting. There's also lots of extras to check out too, like interviews with the developers, hidden games to unlock and more, which add a good amount of incentive to unlock the achievements. It's just such a stylish yet simple package that you can't help but resist.

                          Having every game in the world would be useless unless you emulate the games well, but thankfully the game has managed to re-create the best and worst of Sega's first-party games with almost complete perfection. The graphics look crisper on Xbox 360, and some of the games that looked impressive for their time still look great today. The sound quality is pitch perfect, with all the retro music and sounds of older games, like the awesome Sonic music, come intact. There's also plenty of High Definition and television options to adjust the screen, as you can choose which TV format to have and adjust the screen positioning to fit on your TV. Also, the controls with the Xbox 360 have been adjusted to the Mega Drive games very well, as it rarely uses anything but the face buttons, meaning it's very simple and if you're stuck on what buttons to press, you can check it in the menu you can press select with.

                          This isn't perfect though. Like I said, there are some disappointing games on display here like the Fatal Labyrinth and some games haven't held up very well. Ecco the Dolphin suffers from a lack of clear objectives like most games today, making it a bit inaccessible and Golden Axe doesn't fare well when played with only one person. There are also a couple of other disappointing things, like the lack of Xbox Live co-op or multiplayer, though you can plug in a second controller and play co-op on games like Golden Axe or Streets of Rage, which honestly kicks ass. The online multiplayer could have made SMDUC incredible, but it's not a major missing feature. Obviously, there are games which were left in the dust, and it may turn some people off that only games from Sega themselves are included, but this doesn't exactly break the game.

                          I had a personal collection of games which I loved. There was the obvious, like Sonic 3 and Streets of Rage, but there were a couple of games which stood out to me. Bonanza Brothers was really cool in my opinion because it didn't feel like a game from the time it was released. The game let you stand next to walls and hide from police while you tried to steal items from the location and escape. It was intense, funny at times (like when the protagonist swats a buzzing fly on his head) and awesome in co-op, which made it stand out for me. And Kid Chameleon, with its cool outfits which changed the gameplay, Shinobi III with its awesome ninjaness and fast paced action, and Robotnik's MBM with its tight challenging puzzle gameplay all was my personally favourite games. The awesome thing about this collection is how some games are actually better than games released today. There weren't any glitches back then and no games were short cuts or quickly made games, which is phenomenal.

                          There is also an achievement list with 34 achievements. These range from completing tasks in levels like collecting 100 rings in Sonic 3 as Tails or Unlocking Roo as a playable character in Streets of Rage 3 as well as unlocking everything in the game. The problem is the list is just too easy-once you've got the achievement on one game; you'll move onto the next until eventually you unlock all the achievements and wonder what to do next. Of course, there's the obvious thing called playing the game for fun, but some people who just play games for achievements will get bored of this game quite quickly and you'll be able to earn 1000 Gamerscore in around 5-7 hours, which is quite lame. It doesn't really add to the games value, instead it in some cases will actually detract from the value. It's a shame, considering this game is fantastic.

                          Is Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection good, bad or ugly?

                          Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection is an absolute bargain. For £25, you get over 40 Mega drive games including the classic Sonic games from Sonic 3 to Sonic Spinball, to the Golden Axe and Streets of Rage trilogies, to classic RPGs like Shining Force and Phantasy Star. The emulation is pitch perfect, and the presentation of the menus and the other features like the rating system to jump to your favourite games, being able to save anytime and the history files and exclusive viewable box arts-there's so much to satisfy an old school game and bring out the nostalgia in anyone, yet if you're new to gaming, the easy achievements and adjustable difficulties will appeal to you too. In the end, for half the price of normal games you get fourty times the amount of games and ten times more fun, so get your wallet out and jump into this classics collection.

                          Controls: 10
                          Gameplay: 9
                          Graphics: 7
                          Sound: 7
                          Value: 10
                          Overall: 8.6

                          Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection was released on February 20th, 2009 for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It is rated PG for mild violence and can be bought for around £25.

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