Are you a game publisher? Got a nice, big backlog of old IP that’s been gathering dust? Want to make some easy money? Boy, do I have a deal for you: just release a compilation! You can scrape together whatever’s been sitting in the vaults and put it up for $30. People will buy it! You’ll get rich! We’ve seen this happen a few times over the course of the past year, with games like Rare Replay and Mega Man Legacy Collection hitting the shelves, so now it’s time for Sega to toss their hat in the ring with Sega 3D Classics Collection. Is it a fan’s dream or a quick cash grab?
Sega 3D Classics Collection is, well, a collection of classic Sega games with some 3D thrown in for good measure from famed porting masters M2. Word on the street is they’ve actually “rebuilt” the games to make maximum use of 3D — but I’ll have to take their word for it. I must state right from the start here that I’m completely and utterly incapable of seeing 3D, so clearly I was the correct choice to write this one up. “How are the 3D effects in these repackaged games?” you ask. “They look blurry and kind of make my eyes hurt.” I reply to the abyss…
Let’s talk about the actual games instead of going too far into the 3D rabbit hole. Well-known standby games like Altered Beast (RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE!!) and Sonic the Hedgehog are present and accounted for, of course, and they’re joined by slightly less obvious choices like Power Drift and Thunder Blade. A few of these are officially new to western audiences, namely Power Drift, Fantasy Zone 2, Maze Walker and Puyo Puyo 2, though if you’re interested in retro games there’s a solid chance you’ve played these before one way or the other. For my money, Sonic’s the winner here; Sega used to be damn good at making games and Sonic the Hedgehog is the prime example of that.
Everything on the cart runs surprisingly accurately, avoiding disasters like we’ve seen in many of the emulated versions of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, and naturally they’ve got 3D elements to stun and astound you. Multiplayer-capable games remain multiplayer-capable, which came as a bit of a pleasant surprise.They also come with a bevy of resolution options as well as plenty of fanservice for fans of these older titles. You can check out game art and even fiddle with the various Sega sound systems; classic gaming nuts are sure to be familiar with Sega’s sound-related quirks, so this is a nice touch.
We’ve seen good and bad collections over the course of the past year. The examples we discussed earlier are great representatives of the good and bad ends of the spectrum. Rare Replay offered an impressively sizable collection of games both new and old, popular and obscure for a reasonable price, along with a ton of bonuses for fans. Mega Man Legacy Collection, on the other hand, was basically an emulator with some ROMs for $30, offering fans of the barest of bones while they salivate for Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero, Battle Network, something, anything.
Where does Sega 3D Classics Collection stand? Mercifully, it’s a bit closer to Rare Replay in terms of quality. These are games packed with love for fans, rather than a crass attempt to make a quick buck. The presence of bizarre choices like Maze Runner makes it clear that Sega is trying to get retro fans’ attention rather than just cashing in on nostalgia, and it’s always nice to support that sort of effort. If you’ve got fond memories of these games and are actually capable of checking out the 3D effects, give Sega 3D Classics Collection a shot.