Sega Classics Collection

Format: PS2

5 060004 765980
Age Restrictions: 12+
03 February 2006

Relive the thrill and excitement of the SEGA classic games that changed the world of video games. Now with enhanced graphics and sound for a superior gameplay experience.
The Sega Classics Collection includes: Outrun, Golden Axe, Space Harrier, Columns, Alien Syndrome, Fantasy Zone, Monaco GP, Virtua Racing, and Tant R & Bonanza Bros...

Previously only available on SEGA Master System SEGA Mega Drive or in the arcades, the Sega Classics Collection features a total of eight (nine if you count Tant R & Bonanza Bros as two games) classic games. I say "classic" but the only games I remember (and I'm 35) are Outrun, Golden Axe and Space Harrier. The rest of the titles (Fantasy Zone, Tant R & Bonanza Bros, Monaco GP, Columns and Virtua Racing) meant nothing to me - although obviously I've seen variations on some of these.

To be quite honest this is one of those collections that sounds like a good idea... but in reality you'll probably play for a lazy afternoon and then never play again.

The best game in this collection has to be Tant R. This is a puzzle game where you have to race against the clock to complete numerous quests. There are 40 in total and include games where you have to count how many people are on a train as it races past you; spot the difference; and sharpen pencil crayons before the time runs out... Okay it may not sound like a lot of fun... but it's so addictive - especially in two player mode.

I was really looking forward to playing Outrun and Space Harrier again. I remember wasting loads of money at the arcades during my summer holidays. Sadly, though, the memories are sweeter than actually revisiting the games. For some completely unknown reason the games have been updated - very slightly. I couldn't fathom why. Were the developers trying to tell us that those old classics wouldn't appeal to us know we are used to playing much better looking games? If so, why bother releasing this compilation?

A while ago I bought one of those Namco joysticks that you plug into a TV set. I bought it because I loved the original arcade game Galaxians. Playing that (as well as Pacman, which was also included) brought back all the feelings I experienced as a young boy. And even the recent Atari system proved that old classics are still very playable.

So, what went wrong with Sega Classics Collection? Why did I not get excited when I heard the music for Outrun? When I was racing across the ground, in Space Harrier, why did I not get all misty eyed? The reason is simple. Sega have taken the classic games we remembered and fiddled with them - for no good reason.

This would have been so much better if the original versions had also been included. To be fair, OutRun is not too different. But at least one game in this collection is made unplayable by it's redesign. Golden Axe is truly awful. It really is next to impossible to play.

At £20, this is almost worth buying for Tant R alone, just don't be expecting the other games to be as entertaining as they were when you first played them.

Nick Smithson

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