Well it’s cheap and you do get an awful lot of games for your money – despite some real stinkers there are a good few hours of gaming gold hidden away.
Now don’t tell Kris (as I regularly mock his love for the original Sonic) but I do enjoy the occasional dabble on the Mega Drive version of Sonic. Sonic 2 and 3 are also included in the pack and both still hold up well, in fact I would argue they are better than any of the new fangled Sonics that have followed.
The music is bright and chirpy, and turning on the ‘smoothing’ option irons out a lot of the graphical blockiness.
Next up is Altered Beast, a game I remember fondly from the past and one that still holds up quite well, even though it is ridiculously hard on the later levels. Any title that turns you in to a fire breathing, ninja kicking furball of bear-shaped death is a win in my books.
Another gem that I overlooked on its first release is Sonic Spinball, a pinball game that uses Sonic as the ball – a ball who can walk around the pinball table. I’ve probably spent more time of this game than any other in the collection and it’s just begging for a cheap as chips PSN/XBLA reboot.
Puzzle fans will enjoy many hours playing Columns and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, and those who like their RPGs all twee and pixelated will lap up Phantasy Star I, II, III and IV alongside Fatal Labyrinth and the Story Of Thor.
Time has not been kind to a number of titles, specifically Golden Axe and its many clones. Run from left to right and punch things – that’s it for the three Golden Axes, Alien Storm and the Streets Of Rage trilogy. Yes, I know, shoot me, but it’s true: there is very little gameplay in these games.[drop]Load times for all the titles are almost instantaneous and you can save the game at almost any point, a huge bonus when some of the games are so hard that Ken Levine called them “tough bastards” when creating the 1999 mode for Bioshock Infinite.
Alongside the games there are a number of videos featuring the original creators of the games and a couple of creaky Sega Master System titles. Although the Mega Drive games are obviously the star of the show, it’s nice to have these small bonuses thrown in as well.
The Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection has sold over 3 million units worldwide and has a very respectable score of 82% on Metacritic. You can now pay less than £12 for the disc, making it an average of about thirty pence per title.
That is an utter bargain, and well worth the money.