SEGA Classics Collection PlayStation 2
Published by SEGA
Developed by D3/SEGA
Release Date: 3rd February 2006
SEGA Classics Collection, an introduction.
2005 saw the release of a lot of classic collections from the likes of Taito, Capcom and Tecmo etc. Whilst certain trends in gaming are annoying, I for one am pleased to see all of these great games developers reissue their classic titles to allow gamers to play the games that made them what they are. Releasing the games in a collection that can be played on a modern console, and at an affordable price, makes a lot of sense and as most of these collections only carry a price tag of £19.99 they're really appealing products too. Now it's SEGA's turn to serve up a slice of their illustrious history and give gamers the chance to relive (or experience for the first time) some of the games that made them the much loved company they are today.
What's the game about?
SEGA Classics Collection is comprised of eight remakes of SEGA's best loved titles. There's no Sonic here of course because he's had his own special collection (well there's been more than one actually) but there's a lot more to SEGA than the Sonic Games and this collection shows that. The games in the collections are 'enhanced' versions of Golden Axe, Out Run, Virtua Racing, Columns, Monaco GP, Space Harrier, Fantasy Zone and Tant R & Bonanza Brothers. These games were originally on the Arcades, SEGA Master System and SEGA Mega Drive home consoles. Some of course have been on other formats. Out Run for example appeared on the Sinclair Spectrum 48K and many other systems in the 1980s.
What's good about the game?
If you look at the list of games that are included, you have to admit it's pretty special. SEGA have a catalogue that few development houses can even hope to come close to and titles such as Out Run, Virtua Racing, Space Harrier etc. will be firm favourites with those gamers who've been gaming for the last 20+ years. Although there's only 8 titles here there's quite a bit of variation too, ranging from the checkpoint racing Out Run to the mini-game madness of Tant R. Even though there are 3 racing games here (Out Run, Virtua Racing and Monaco GP), they are different in nature and offer very different challenges.
What's not so good about the game?
With a compilation of this nature you expect the games to be in their original form, untouched with every idiosyncrasy from the original versions retained. However in some cases the games have been given a graphical makeover and in other cases have had the features altered. This doesn’t completely spoil the collection but it does devalue it as a slice of gaming history. Such collections should contain the games in their original state and not in a modified form. In the US the compilation features 10 games for $20 (which currently equates to around £11.30), so not only do we in Europe have to pay a fair bit more for the compilation, we also have two fewer games which naturally is disappointing.
How does it look?
Graphically the game is disappointing. Had these simply been the original games in their original form we would have had no complaints. However, if the developers were going to alter the graphics they should have at least looked like PlayStation 2 games and not had the visual quality that's on a par with most PlayStation games. Some games look better than others of course. The graphically simplicity of Virtua Racing means its 'improved' look isn't as obvious as in the case of some of the other games such as Golden Axe. Some games such as Out Run and Columns really do look peculiar with their graphical facelifts though. Of course had the original games been offered alongside these modified versions there would have been no real ground for complaint.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Deaf gamers won't have any problems with the games in the SEGA Classics Collection. There isn't any reliance on sound for these games and as a result there's no cause for concern. All of the information in the game is displayed in text. For the most part the text is fine, remains on screen long enough to read and is easy to read. Sometimes the text disappears too quickly though and in the case of Tant R, it can be tricky to read because of the font that has been used. These are only minor niggles though and don't cause any real problems.
Having purchased the original Star Wars trilogy in a 4 DVD boxed set last year I was furious to find that Lucas had messed around with them. Extra bits had been added, special effects had been polished and small details chopped and changed to make the films tie-in with the 3 prequel movies. I'm sure Lucas was happy with the result of his meddling but I was quite disgusted because I wanted the 3 original films in their original state. I guess this is pretty much how most gamers will feel about some of the modifications that have taken place with the games in the SEGA Classics Collection. Virtually everyone is going to want the games in their original form and not a modified version and at the very least the original, untouched, versions should have been included. Even though graphical modifications have been made they aren't up to PlayStation 2 standards so even if you were hoping for a graphical overhaul of your old favourites you'll still be disappointed with the results.
Overall Game Rating: 5.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Had these simply been the original games in an unmodified form the compilation would have been one that surely would have been a must have purchase. The games have been modified and graphically 'enhanced' and as a result it holds no value as an historic collection. At the very least the original versions should have accompanied the altered versions.