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‘Sega Genesis Classics’ Review: No School Like The Old School

Sega Genesis Classics
Developer(s): Sega
Publisher(s): Sega
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Release date(s): May 29th 2018 (WW)

A cacophony of Sega nostalgia in the form of Sega Genesis Classics (or Sega Mega Drive Classic Collection if you’re a PAL person) has graced video gaming-kind. With countless individuals burning their childhood retinas via a scan line flaunting cathode ray tube (the visual display of a dated television, in layman’s terms), re-experiencing the 16-bit glory that once upon a time defined their video gaming lives is absolute, throwback fun. Naturally however, said fun is relative to one’s own history with Sega’s back catalogue of old school gems.

With over 50 titles on offer here, there’s certainly an abundance of 16-bit-ness to satiate one’s appetite for nostalgia. With a wealth of neat features, including quick saving and loading, rewinding and fast-forwarding gameplay (although this is basically cheating), and pixel display options, customizing one’s session of Sega indulgence is a breeze. The menu interface, whilst elaborately impressive in its replication of a 90’s bedroom, slightly sacrifices usability. An alternative streamlined menu interface would’ve been a welcome feature.

Have you ever BEANten this game? (I’ll show myself out.)
You can’t beat some good ol’ ninja-ness.

 

Understandably, each and every player will favor different offerings from Sega Genesis Classics’ treasure trove of zingers. Personally, I sink my spare hours into the Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog inspired Puyo Puyo reskin Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Shinobi III: Return Of The Ninja Master (mega soundtrack, killer boss encounters, fancy ninja stuff), and ToeJam & Earl (the single greatest dungeon crawling cooperative video game ever!). Of course, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 gets taken for a spin on occasion, as does Alien Storm, Dynamite Headdy, Golden Axe, Ristar, Streets Of Rage, alongside a few others that fall into my personal amalgamation of childhood favourites. When all is said and done however, SEGA Genesis Classics is worth the price of admission for ToeJam & Earl alone, it’s a crazy good time if couch co-op is your cup of tea.

Aliens, lemonade, cute girls in a hot tub; What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, Sega Genesis Classics falls a smidgen short of being the definitive collection it so visibly intends to be. With no Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (by far the most notable absence), alongside a missing Ecco The Dolphin and its sequel, their non-inclusion is questionable considering they’ve graced multiple prior iterations of this collection. Ecco’s escapades boast a significant cult following, and Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles is to Sega’s gem collection what Super Mario Bros. 3 is to Nintendo’s.

Minor gripes aside, Sega Genesis Classics is what it is: A bundle of old Sega games that can be enjoyed on your sleek ‘n’ shiny current console of preference. It’s not the definitive collection it aspires to be, and the menu interface flaunts a fair bit of clunkiness, but if nostalgia’s your itch, this could very well be the scratch you need. Sega Genesis Classics serves up a heavy dosage of ‘trip down memory lane’ joy, regardless of its shortcomings.

Pros:

  • Plenty of retro titles to delve into.
  • Expansive visual customization features.
  • ToeJam & Earl (it’s fan-bloody-tastic!).

Cons:

  • It’s not quite a complete collection.
  • The menu interface can at times elicit tedium.

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2 comments

Taylor Smith June 6, 2018 at 9:07 am

I’ve been on a bit of a retro binge lately and wanted to pick this up, but I can’t believe any of the Ecco games nor Sonic 3 made it in. All the Shining games are in there though. Think this might be a “wait for a sale” kind of bundle.

Reply
Harry Morris June 6, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Agreed! It’s good, but more justifiable in a sale.

Reply

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