Sonic has been around for a long time and most of his classic games are present in this great compilation. With a ton of extra games and content in a well presented package, it is definitely worth tracking down a copy of this retro Sonic collection.
Games included in Sonic Mega Collection Plus
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3
- Sonic & Knuckles
- Blue Sphere (unlockable)
- Knuckles in Sonic 2 (unlockable)
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles (unlockable)
- Sonic 3D Blast
- Sonic Spinball
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- Flicky (unlockable)
- Ristar (unlockable)
- The Ooze (unlockable)
- Comix Zone (unlockable)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Game Gear)
- Sonic Labyrinth (Game Gear)
- Sonic Drift (Game Gear)
- Sonic Chaos (Game Gear)
- Sonic Blast (Game Gear)
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (Game Gear)
When you first boot up Sonic Mega Collection Plus, you're treated to the classic "Sega!" intro and a cheerful song with a colourful slideshow of Sonic characters followed by a series of gameplay clips if you wait long enough. This is enough to put a smile on any Sonic fan's face. After starting, you're greeted with a visually appealing menu where you can select from games, manuals, extras, and options. All of the menus are animated and look fantastic. There are even brief videos which act as transitions when moving between certain menus. The amount of effort put into the interface makes the game feel very cohesive and polished and leaves a great first impression.
Sonic Mega Collection Plus is a compilation of mainly Sega Genesis games. The games people will be most excited to play are the original Sonic the Hedgehog through Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Sonic games don't get more classic than these four. For the uninitiated, they are 2D platformers that feature simple gameplay with lightning fast speed. Sonic loves his rings and collects as many as he can. However, if he gets hurt then all of the rings that he worked tirelessly to collect will burst out of his pockets. When this happens, he can try to salvage a few before they disappear. I'm sure most gamers are familiar with the formula.
On the original Sega Genesis, Sonic & Knuckles featured a slot on the top of the cartridge where gamers can insert Sonics 1 to 3 so they can play some bonus games. These games are also featured as unlockables in this collection. First, Blue Sphere (bonus game for Sonic the Hedgehog) is a compilation of special stages in the same vein as Sonic 3's and Sonic & Knuckles'. There are millions of stages and you would have to be crazy to beat them all. Next, Knuckles in Sonic 2 (bonus game for Sonic the Hedgehog 2) is generally the same game as Sonic 2 except you get to play as Knuckles. Finally, Sonic 3 & Knuckles (bonus game for Sonic the Hedgehog 3) is one of the best Sonic games ever made. It combines Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles into one lengthy adventure where you can play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, or Sonic and Tails. Many gamers consider Sonic 3 & Knuckles to be the quintessential classic Sonic game and it's truly deserving of this acclaim.
A few Sonic spin-offs are included which are Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Spinball, and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. Sonic 3D Blast is an isometric platform adventure game that's more laid back than the main series. Players will explore simulated 3D environments while they collect rings and overcome obstacles. It's kind of awkward to play but it does have its charm. Sonic Spinball is a pretty solid pinball game in which Sonic is the ball. I feel bad for whacking him around, though. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a puzzle game in the Puyo Pop series and is therefore awesome. Puyo Pop is known for rewarding players who think ahead and perform massive chains and Mean Bean Machine is no exception. It's also great fun with friends.
Four unlockable non-Sonic Genesis games are also included. Flicky is a fun arcade-style game where you control a bird who must lead chicks away from some pesky cats and set them free via each stage's exit. It looks generic but can be a pretty good time for arcade game fans. Ristar is a 2D platformer developed by Sonic Team. It's probably the biggest surprise on this disc as it features fantastic graphics and very unique and solid gameplay. The Ooze is a strange game with limited appeal. Players control a puddle of ooze who maneuvers around awful looking stages while spitting and stretching to attack enemies. Most gamers will probably give this one a pass. Finally, Comix Zone is a great 2D beat 'em up where players control an artist who gets trapped in one of his own comics. It's a great game that many gamers will get a kick (and punch) out of.
Sonic Mega Collection Plus also features six Sonic Game Gear games which are bite-sized and not as fun as the Genesis titles. Sonic the Hedgehog is a stripped down version of the original and is best enjoyed for nostalgia reasons. Sonic Labyrinth is a combination of Sonic 3D Blast's isometric style and Sonic Spinball's pinball mechanics where Sonic must reach the goal of each stage within a time limit. He can only walk around and use his spin dash which makes for some interesting and unique gameplay. Sonic Drift is a simple racing game that hasn't aged well. Sonic Chaos is very similar to the other Game Gear 2D platformer except players can play as Tails. Sonic Blast is another 2D platformer where players can play as Knuckles. It has some pretty cool 8-bit graphics but the gameplay is too slow and the characters are too big for the screen. Finally, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a portable (and therefore not as good) version of the Genesis game. Why would anyone play it when the Genesis version is on the disc? Anyway, the Game Gear games may not be the best, but it's nice that they are included as nostalgic fans may have some fond memories of them.
There are a ton of extras included in Sonic Mega Collection Plus, most of which are image galleries. Players can view scans of each of the games' manuals, over 100 comic book covers, and loads of different illustrations. There are also a couple of movies from Sonic Heroes (a game that came out around the same time as this collection). Each one features storyboard, in production, and finished versions of the movie. Every game on the disc has a hints section which includes awesome nuggets of information such as passwords and codes for stage select and debug mode. You can also view the credits which are just as well done as the game's interface. All of the added extras would be easily appreciated by all Sonic fans and are nice inclusions to this already packed disc.
Even though Sonic Mega Collection Plus is a great compilation, there are a couple of disappointments. In order to unlock games, you must play certain games anywhere from 20 to 50 times each. This can be accomplished by entering and exiting each one over and over again. Unlockables should not be this tedious. Why not have all of the games unlocked right away? I already bought the compilation and there's no point in forcing me to do such a repetitive task. Also, to unlock each game's hints you must play the game for three hours (or at least just leave it on). Thankfully, with today's technology, obtaining a save file from the internet to unlock everything is quite easy. Players have no options to adjust the display for the games and none of them fill the height of the screen. This is annoying as each game has black bars on the top and bottom and there is no way to remedy this issue.
Sonic Mega Collection Plus compiles many Sonic games and features some great bonus games and extras. Both gamers who are new to Sonic and Sonic fans alike will have a great time exploring all of the content included in this well produced package.
- + Great collection of Sonic games with a handful of other bonus games
- + Nicely presented with beautiful menus
- + Tons of extras to check out
- - Unlocking the games is incredibly tedious
- - Games don't take up the full screen and always have black bars above and below