Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Fed up of beautiful jungles in Uncharted 2, Fang's beautiful, erm, hair, in Final Fantasy, Kratos' ripping muscles in God of War, Rapture's leaking tunnels in Bioshock 2 and the incredible atmosphere in Heavy Rain? Probably not, but still, there are plenty that still yearn for the time when things were simpler, when you could count the number of sprites or pixels on screen and the main hero could do little more than jump, punch and shout yeah! It was an easy-to-understand era, and one that still provides a welcome break from the high-octane thrills of modern gaming. Providing you're truly prepared for the fact that every game in the collection will look devastatingly bad, there's a huge amount to enjoy in this selection.

Sega Megadrive Ultimate Collection

Though not the first of its kind, this Ultimate Collection from Sega lives up to its name, providing the most complete selection of classic Megadrive and arcade games on a single disc. The essential classics, largely from Sonic, are there, with Sonic 1, 2 and 3 ready to be played. These are accompanied by the less-successful Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic 3D, and a whole host of other games including the Golden Axe series, Shinobi 3, Streets of Rage, VectorMan, Flicky, Fatal Labyrinth, Phantasy Star (I-IV), Ecco the Dolphin and many more. Sadly, that also includes the dreadful, dreadful Altered Beast, Alien Attack and other dire failures, but in a collection so large, it doesn't matter, since there's more than enough content to keep all audiences entertained (except of course the HD-only generation).

It's not all about graphics. Really, otherwise there'd be no point in this collection. Each game is lovingly recreated, complete with every graphical flourish of the 1980s, and with not a single spot of HD polish. The intent though, isn't just to make things look the same, but to let each game play exactly the same way. The target audience includes mainly gamers who enjoyed 1980s and 90s gaming at the time, and want to re-live retro glory. If any element was upgraded, it just wouldn't be the same experience. Loading up the classic Sonic the Hedgehog, players want to see those same three rings right at the beginning, the same platforms, unchanged from the hundreds of plays through that level twenty years ago, the same enemies, still constructed exactly as they were before, performing exactly the same patters they did decades ago. In that respect, this collection is an incredible success.

Sega Megadrive Ultimate Collection

It's not worth recommending to those who don't have an interest in retro gaming, but for those that do, there's nothing more complete available for PS3. The sense of warm familiarity will be immensely comforting to many, and roaring through classic Sonic and Streets of Rage levels will be a definite blast. With extras to unlock, including interviews with many of the producers, directors and designers of classic Sega games, artwork and additional arcade classics, true enthusiasts will be grateful for the wealth of content. Is it an Uncharted beater? Obviously not. Does it present one of the best, most complete retro experiences around? Without a doubt. Give Sonic and co. another chance before his possible HD return in Sonic 4.

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Review summary


The classics are still great, others not so much


Obviously not stunning, but lovingly recreated


Much like the visuals: authentic for the era


Literally tonnes of content to try out


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