Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Release Date: February 10, 2009
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
I'd love to say that playing Sonic's Ultimate Genesis
Collection has been a pleasant experience down memory
lane. I can say that about Sonic Spinball and
Streets of Rage II, with one being the definition of
a beat-em-up/brawler and the other being vastly underrated
and probably the best Pinball video game ever made. But no.
Not all is well in my world when I put this game on.
"But isn't this just a bunch of old Sega games in one
awesome collection?" Yes. Yes it is. But have you "reminded"
yourself of why you HATE Comix Zone lately? Are you
just as confused as me as to why people thought Altered
Beast was a good game? And WTF is even going on in
Alien Storm? I could go through each game and give a
review of each one, but I really, really don't want to spend
any more time with Congo Bongo.
I'm not going to be all doom and gloom on this game. No, far
from it. The entire package of the game is really awesome.
You already know before you start playing (at least I really
hope that you do) that you're in for some "classic" graphics.
Except for the few Master System and Arcade games, everything
you'll see is in its native 16-bit glory meant for your 4:3 TV.
That is, until you pause the game and check out some of the
options they've built in.
The two visual options you can mess with are the Aspect Ratio
and the Smoothing. If you want the game to show up in 16:9 mode,
you can, but I prefer not to. I'd rather just turn Smoothing on,
which is essentially a blur filter. But that blur it puts around
the edges will give each game a more modern look. The best part
is that the visual changes you make to one game will not carry
over to another. You may think that's a negative, but the truth
is that the Smoothing doesn't always make the game look better.
Some games actually lost a lot of details in the background.
The sound is just what you'd expect: 16-bit goodness. However,
when you're playing it through a semi-decent audio system (I.E.
not your TV speakers), I think you end up hearing more than you
There are a few other great enhancements they've made to the
games. The best thing they've done is allow you to save game
states, much like an emulator. This really comes in handy when
you're trying to get all of those trophies and achievements.
That's another thing I'd like to comment on.
This game is by far the best example of what a developer
should do when deciding what adds another 10 points to
your gamerscore or another bronze trophy to your shelf on Home
(oh...wait). Nearly all of the 40 games in this collection have
at least one trophy/achievement associated with it. The best
part is that they are not impossible to get, but they at least
make you play each game for a decent amount of time.
The only major dissapointment with this game is that there is
no online play with this one. I mean, not everything needs to
be online, but come on. Streets of Rage almost begs to be
played online. It kind of leaves you scratching your head as to
why it says "Playstation Network"/"Live" at the top of each box.
The best guess is that Sega might be nice enough to add some DLC
titles (GET ON THE PHONE WITH EA AND TELL THEM TO RELEASE NHL '94).
Besides the trip down memory lane (a road that seems bumpier than
you remembered), the best part about this game is the $29.99 price
tag. I hate to think what some people on the bowling machine's
virtual console paid to get some of these games. Heck, buying the
Sonic games alone would put you over the cost of this game. I'm
giving Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection a 9 out of 10
even though it reminded me how much frustration came with Comix
Zone, but I had to ding it a point for no online play.