Some classics, some not so much.
When I was a kid in the 90’s, the console wars were in full effect. Ads targeting one another were shown constantly, and in those days you were either a Nintendo kid or a Sega Kid…or a NeoGeo kid, but those kids were weird. I was a Nintendo kid through and through, and honestly never owned a Sega console. I played plenty of them in my day, but never actually owned one. So, when seeing these classic Sega games re-releasing in a full on pack, I feel I can finally give them a shot, even if it has been 20 years since they first released. While I have no nostalgia for many of these titles, I can at least see which ones stand the test of time.
Sega 3D Classics Collection comes with nine games in all- Altered Beast, Sonic the Hedgehog, Power Drift, Maze Walker, Galaxy Force 2, Fantasy Zone 2, Fantasy Zone 2 W, Thunder Blade, and Puyo Puyo 2. I’ll be the first to admit, I know of three of these games. The rest I had never heard of before, but was willing to give them a shot.
Price I’d Pay: $20
Why don’t I start off with the three games I have actually heard of? Altered Beast I remember playing some in the arcades, but don’t actually remember anything from it other than the “Wise from your gwave!” sound clip. I have to say, I’m not a big fan of this game looking at it now. It’s a slow moving beat ‘em up that is sluggish to control and very monotonous after about ten minutes.
Sonic the Hedgehog I have played multiple times before in other collections and other systems, and this one still holds up really well. It’s a fun, fast platformer that has some puzzle elements thrown in.
Puyo Puyo 2, which is actually a game I had heard of before but never actually played, is the absolute stand out of this entire package. It’s a fun puzzle game in the same vein as Dr. Mario. It is easily the one I spent the most time with and possibly the only one I will come back to when it’s all said and done.
Power Drift reminds me a lot of OutRun, with its fast racing style and the constant maneuvering that has to be performed. The tracks are pretty varied as well, and there’s a decent amount of them to see. It also really pops in the 3D department. It’s fun for a few races every now and then.
Fantasy Zone 2 and Fantasy Zone 2 W are side scrolling shooters that have a very cute art style and feature a semi mission-based structure. While many of those games feel arcadey in the sense that you play them once and feel satisfied for a while, Fantasy Zone 2 games feel like I can keep playing them with some kind of simplistic progression involved. The difference I can see in the two games is that one feels like an enhanced version of the other, with an endless mode thrown in.
Galaxy Force 2 plays a lot like Panzer Dragoon in space. It’s a decent little romp for a while and looks pretty good in 3D, but after a few plays with it, I had pretty much had my fill.
Thunder Blade is an old school vertical scrolling shoot ‘em up that changes perspective in each level; sometimes looking down at the ground, and sometimes with the helicopter flying forward. Once again, the 3D effects look great, but it is another one of those games where I played in about three times and was done.
Finally, Maze Walker is a top-down game where players traverse mazes while trying to avoid and fight off enemies. The big thing here is that they character can jump and the 3D effect is like he’s jumping up out of the screen. It’s rather simplistic but fun for a few rounds.
While this is a collection of older games that have been re-released, that doesn’t mean M2 hasn’t done some work to them. The menu system is great for closing games and starting up a new one, the 3D effects are pretty nice in many cases, and numerous options for changing controls, screen size, and different versions add even more to this rather than it feeling like a ROM being played.
At the end of the day, players get a decent collection of Sega games that have had a bit of work done to them. While the “heavy hitters” like Streets of Rage and Golden Axe are absent from this collection, there’s some gems here. There are a few stand outs, and while a majority of them are “play twice and be done” there are some that really stand the test of time, and I can honestly say I will be keeping this collection on my 3DS just so I can jump into Puyo Puyo 2 for a few games. For the Sega fans looking for some games to take on the go that even look pretty decent in 3D, this collection has something for everyone, although the price point may be a bit too steep when some games are short lived.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.