IGN Review of Sonic Classic Collection
By now you should know the games: the classic Sonic trilogy (and the "lock-on" spin-off) have been produced on any system that can emulate the original Genesis/Mega Drive hardware. Chalk up another system: the Nintendo DS. SEGA's 16-bit platformers have made the move to the Nintendo handheld completely intact, or, as intact as the portable can handle. The lesser resolution is obvious but not a game killer, but the larger issue is the lack of elegance in the presentation: it's the games, a couple of pieces of art, and that's about it. If that's all you want, it's a decent package for a good value.
The compilation is four games: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and Sonic & Knuckles, with the additional "lock-on" element of playing Knuckles in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3. That's pretty much all you're getting, though: there's no "whiz bang" production here, just a static "select game" menu with only the basics of legacy material like character art.
At the very least the producers of this compilation – The Creative Assembly all the way there in Australia – managed to show that the Nintendo DS can actually emulate the SEGA Genesis, with some subtle flaws. The Nintendo DS screen doesn't have enough resolution to accurately represent the Genesis visuals, so the ol' "take out scanlines and squash the image" trick was applied to the final product. It also does a good job showing off that the Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis games are still pretty fun even 20 years later.
But the two player was stripped out of Sonic 2, and the "save your game anywhere" feature doesn't actually save the game at the moment it was selected – it just kicks you back to the start of the level that you were playing.
And the fact that you can get these games in a variety of different ways – from Virtual Console to Xbox Live to plug-and-play TV editions and even licensed stand-alone Genesis portables – the impact of getting these titles on a DS cart is lessened. Plus, why not include the whole Genesis Sonic shebang like Sonic Spinball and Sonic 3D Blast if these are just emulations.
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