I'll admit I was a Sonic the Hedgehog fan back in the day; I even liked Sonic more than a certain Italian plumber. I'm not sure how this came about. I had all three of the original SUPER MARIO BROS. games on the NES, but when I played SONIC THE HEDGEHOG for the Sega Genesis, Sega persuaded me into purchasing a Genesis over a Super Nintendo. And if I thought the first SONIC was good, I was completely blown away by the second game.
A few more SONIC games later, I made the jump to the PlayStation. The Saturn just didn't appeal to me, so it was "so long" to Sonic for a while....until the Dreamcast's SONIC ADVENTURE. Now, all of a sudden, all these side-scrolling memories are flooding back to me with Sega's newest title for the Nintendo GameCube, SONIC MEGA COLLECTION.
SONIC MEGA COLLECTION contains all of the SONIC games for the Sega Genesis. All of the classics are here, as are some games you'd probably rather not see, but they're here all the same. Contained in this collection are SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3, SONIC & KNUCKLES, SONIC 3D BLAST, SONIC SPINBALL and DR. ROBOTNIK'S MEAN BEAN MACHINE.
And I know, most of you out there are saying "where is SONIC CD?" And to that I'm asking the same question. SONIC CD is arguably one of the best SONIC games ever made and in its place we have SONIC SPINBALL and DR. ROBOTNIK'S MEAN BEAN MACHINE. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me (especially since the intro and ending of the game are included in the bonus section).
The games were ported over very well, and some of them were improved over the originals. One example that I can tell is the two-player split screen mode on SONIC 2. The mode has been definitely improved from the Genesis version. One thing I don't understand is why SONIC SPINBALL wasn't touched. The game is a direct port, and none of the slowdown issues that bogged down the Genesis version were even looked at apparently. Go figure.
I've also found the control on some of the games to be quite irritating at times. I don't recall having many problems with using a spin-dash on the original versions (and, just in case, I did go find my Genesis and hook it up to check). But in this version, I find myself having trouble using the spin-dash, and instead just jumping straight into the air. I'm not sure if it's the GameCube controller or if it is just the game, but it can get very irritating at times.
Included with the game is a bonus section. The section has videos from SONIC CD, a video of SONIC ADVANCE 2 and SONIC ADVENTURE 2: BATTLE, and even a History of Sonic (which is quite cool). There are also viewable covers of every SONIC comic to date, and even unlockable mini-games (Genesis classic RISTAR included).
In the end, SONIC MEGA COLLECTION is a nostalgia-freak's perfect match. The game boasts most of the best SONIC games released, and even has a few extras for people who loved to say "Hey, I remember that!" SONIC fans rejoice.