Sonic Mega Collection Plus

Format: PS2

5 060004 764266
Age Restrictions: 12+
04 February 2005

Celebrate Sonic's roots with this glorious snapshot of retro arcade action. A must have collection, bursting at the seams with 20 classic titles and bonus unlockable Sega fun...

There seems to have been a bit of a Sonic revival lately. Last year there were a number of new games (including Sonic Battle, Sonic Advance 3 and Sonic Heroes), but none of them captured the real excitement that fans of the original Sega Megadrive games remembered - sadly the little blue hedgehog seemed too out of date to be reinvented. Or is our mind playing tricks on us? Are we just remembering the games fondly when in actual fact they don't hold a torch to today's fast and furious releases? Well now you have the chance to find out for yourselves.

On loading up the first Sonic game, a buzz of excitement shot through me as I heard the old familiar "Sega" chorus. It sounded a little less cool than I remembered it. But, when I started playing I realised that the first Sonic game is still as addictive as it was when it was first launched.

The second and third Sonic games are also still pretty cool after all these years (the music on the second one is also fantastic). This collection also includes a game which I'd never seen before. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is similar in style to Dr. Mario. Pairs of beans are dropped from the top of the screen and your job is to remove them by stacking four of the same coloured beans together.

There are some terrible games here though which you probably won't play more than once. These include all of the Sega Game Gear games - they are just too dull - and the very poor 3D Flickies Island, which looks awful. But, you can't mark a collection down when it is as complete as this. And the first game, Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine alone are worth the asking price.

On balance I can't recommend this release enough. Proof, if ever there was, that old games are really as good as you remember them. This has got to be about the best £30 you could ever spend. Go buy and show your kids the games you grew up on.

Pete Boomer

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