Sonic Gems CollectionTHE GOOD: 9 classic Sonic games included plus 2 unlockable games. Lots of unlockable art & related images.
THE BAD: Poor graphics. Very sluggish controls. Mostly short, poor-quality Game Gear titles included. Very low replay value.
SUMMARY: A followup to the previously released Sonic Mega Collection Plus, this title revives more classic Sonic titles from the 1990s. This collection revolves around 3 rare Sonic games-Sonic The Fighters (arcades), Sonic CD (ultra-rare for Sega CD, later for PC), and the racing game Sonic R (Saturn, PC). Also included are a variety of Game Gear titles.
The graphics are exactly the same as they originally were, which generally is poor to fair at best. Because the games are all 8-10 years old, they generally are of 16-32 bit quality and don't look as good as today's games. They also were not updated or re-done for this version and as a result suffer from very bad pixelation & frame rate/slowdown issues. Sounds are generic Sonic music & FX, again nicely ported but nothing to get excited about. Sonic fans will be happy to hear all the old sounds came over with the games, like the chimes when you pick up or lose rings. Sonic R features a decent original soundtrack that you'll either love or hate depending on your tastes in music. Controls vary by game but range from sluggish to downright horrible. The controls were originally designed with the old Genesis control pads in mind, so the conversion to the Analog sticks & D-Pad was not a very smooth one. Sonic CD's controls are repsonsive enough to not be an issue, but the Game Gear controls are poor overall, and R's are very sluggish even for a racing game. Gameplay is realtively simple in all the games and stays close to the usual Sonic plotlines, which involve collecting rings & diamond-like Chaos Emeralds, then defeating these wacky robots created by Dr. Robotnik (also called Eggman, his Japanese name, in some of the games), although some of the games instead star Tails, Sonic's buddy/partner, but R & Drift (Game Gear) deviates completely by putting everyone into racing instead. Most of the games are for 1 player only but some can be played on 2 player split screen. One disppointing feature about R is since it's on GCN, it lacks the online play that was available in the PC version of the game. Also, this collection is mostly about Game Gear-6 of the initial 9 titles were originally for the handheld. There are 2 unlockable titles in the game, but they appear to only be PC versions of CD & R, which are virtually the same as their console counterparts. The only extras in the game are the original game manuals and unlockable production/concept art.
While it looks like a decent effort on paper, this game amounts to little more than a collector's item for only the most devoted Sonic fans. The actual gameplay in each doesn't amount to much and almost every game can be finished in a couple hours or so, if even that. Unless you must have every possible Sonic title out there, this one is a short weekend rental at best, but clearly is not worthy of being called a collectoin of gems.