Sonic Gems Collection PlayStation 2
Published by SEGA
Developed by Sonic Team
Release Date: Out Now
Sonic Gems Collection, an introduction.
It was a tragic day when SEGA announced they would no longer produce home consoles. Of course the positive side of this depressing news was that SEGA would develop titles for other consoles and their mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, would appear on non-SEGA machines. Many of the classic Sonic titles have already appeared on the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube by way of the Sonic Mega Collection and here we have another dose of games from yesteryear with the Sonic Gems Collection.
What's the game about?
The Sonic Gems Collection includes Sonic the Fighters, Sonic CD, Sonic R, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic Spinball, Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, Sonic Drift Racing, Tails' Sky Patrol, Tails Adventures and two unlockable Vectorman games. These were previously available on other formats such as the Mega CD, Game Gear, Arcade, Saturn and PC. The game also includes pictures and music tracks which can be unlocked and examined in the museum mode. Hints can also be unlocked and viewed in the extras mode.
What's good about the game?
The Sonic Gems Collection, like the Sonic Mega Collection, offers Sonic fans an easy way of collecting a nice amount of older Sonic titles that are no longer easy to purchase. The star attraction is Sonic CD and it's easily the best game in the collection. Sonic CD sees you controlling Sonic through 50+ levels in the past, present and future. It's one of the best Sonic titles to date and in fact many will feel the game is worth the asking price all by itself. Sonic enthusiasts will really appreciate being able to play Sonic Fighters (although it's nothing special to be honest) as it was only previously available in the arcades and even then it was in short supply. Sonic R is a racing game and is one of the better games here. Thankfully the developers have made it possible to save the included Game Gear games which make them a lot more playable.
What's not so good about the game?
The bulk of the games that are here aren't really that great. Games such as Sonic Drift Racing, Tails Adventures and Sonic Fighters are mostly forgettable experiences that you'll only dabble with once or twice. The Game Gear games in particular are tedious and only Sonic enthusiasts will give them any attention. The unlockable features aren't of any great value to be honest but the logos and music tracks (whilst of no use to deaf gamers) will be appreciated by enthusiasts.
How does it look?
As we're dealing with a compendium of games from many years ago it's difficult to assess just how good the overall product looks. Suffice to say the games look as good as can be expected and we have no problems with how they've been ported to the PlayStation 2. In fact the 3D titles such as Sonic CD and Sonic R seem to have had something of a facelift and they actually looked a little better than I was expecting them to.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Deaf gamers will have no problems at all with Sonic Gems Collection. There's some digitized speech here and there but it's nothing of importance and nothing that will stop your enjoyment of the included games. All the controls and instructions are shown in text in the manuals that have also been included on the disk. You can zoom in on these manuals which is a nice touch as it makes them easy to read.
Sonic fans have had it good over the last few years or so. Not only has there been the great Sonic Mega Collection and the GBA games, we now also have another collection of historic Sonic titles in the Sonic Gems Collection. Whilst certainly worth the asking price, Sonic Gems Collection isn't full of quality games. The standout title is Sonic CD but for the most part few other titles in this collection will hold your attention. Still at the asking price of £19.99 it's difficult to be too hard on this compilation especially as Sonic enthusiasts would have paid that just for Sonic CD by itself.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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On the whole the Sonic Gems Collection is a good purchase for Sonic fans. The quality of Sonic CD is virtually the sole reason for this though and most of the other included games simply wouldn't have been worth purchasing if Sonic CD hadn't been amongst the collection.