It seems like every other week Sega will profit from wheeling out their crusty classics out of the home to whore them out like the ancient husks of games that they are. Indeed, it always proves a fun little game to see how schizophrenic Sega are being this month, releasing one new innovative title (Overkill this month, Mad World next) for each shamelessly rehashed one. Despite my cantankerous ramblings, this latest release is actually a rather good refinement of something Sega have been doing for the past few years.
Consisting of over 40 titles from everyone’s favourite Sega console of 1992 in the stupendous visual glory of 720p HD graphics, watching your friends throw a controller through a window in abject frustration at the sheer bloody cheek of Sonic 2 has never been so good. Oh, but I jest – the game really does actually have a rather terrific range of games on offer; Altered Beast, Vectorman and Columns may have been walking the retro streets for a while now, but Sega have actually made some rather interesting – and muchly appreciated choices – in some of their selections.
Dynamite Headdy, for one, is an oft-forgotten classic slice of surrealist platforming genius courtesy of the professional mentalists at Treasure (those who frantically constructed in fits of madness cult classics such as Sin and Punishment and Ikaruga) whose presence is very much welcome, even if it does frustrate slightly that Sega chose not to include the similarly-bril Gunstar Heroes, which also came from the same developer.
You’ve also got a nice portion of the good old-fashioned Sonic games (1, 2, 3, and Knuckles) as well as the surprisingly addictive Puyo Puyo rejig Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, the adoringly crap Sonic Spinball and the horrifically misjudged Sonic 3D Blast. Graduates of the 1990s will also start writhing with desire to learn that all three Streets of Rage games are present and correct, as is the surreal masterpiece that is Decap Attack.
Very similar collections have already been released on the PS2 and PSP already, however this emerges as the best of the lot. With no obvious technical errors made to ruin the enjoyment of these classic titles (as was observed with Sega’s GBA half-hearted emulation of the original Sonic the Hedgehog), this is the perfect opportunity to embrace those long-suppressed memories and curse that damnable Hedgehog all over again.