The day that SEGA went third party was a sad day for many gamers. One of the big two companies who forged the path to where Microsoft and Sony clash today had given up the fight and decided that, rather than spend money building consoles, they would make a lot of money developing for them. With some of the biggest franchises exclusive to SEGA consoles, the question was asked where were they going. Well it didn't really matter. All that mattered was SEGA did not lose its heritage and this is where Mega Drive Collection steps in - a compilation of some fantastic games developed by SEGA for its mega popular console which makes you wonder just how this once huge first party ended up being a third party developer.
The thing about this collection is that it offers something for everybody with one notable exception. Unfortunately SEGA has not included any sports games which is a surprise because the Mega Drive did have its fair share of quality sports games. However what is left gives RPG, Action, Platform and Puzzle fans some of the best 90s gaming that you can have on the PS2. This game is also available on the PSP and even supports wireless multiplayer through ad-hoc mode.
SEGA has also chosen well for this collection and has allowed the developers to put some of its massive franchises on the one disc rather than spread them across a few. The first two Sonic games are included, Phantasy Star, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Ecco the Dolphin and Alex Kidd just to name a few. These are the games that defined the Mega Drive console and the ability to play them all for a low price is really something gamers should crawl all over.
The emulation of the games hasn't been improved at all either. While some may turn their nose up at the lackluster graphics and sound present in the series, many will appreciate that the games are exactly as they are on the MD system. Unfortunately with some games you may discover you have remembered them with rose tinted glasses and that they really were not all that great. One thing we really noticed is that the games don't feel as lengthy as they did back then, but then games have come along way. The game's feel so much like the Mega Drive that sometimes we forgot we were actually using a Dual Shock controller which the developers have used well.
As you play through the games you will also unlock some excellent and not so excellent bonus content. A lot of the content is promoting SEGA's upcoming games such as Virtua Fighter 5 and Sonic Next Generation but a lot of it is also interviews about the original games with the original developers. You will also find the original box arts, information and tips on each game and can also unlock some truly classic arcade games from days before the Mega Drive and possibly even the Master System existed.
It's really hard to say whether you will like this compilation or not. It gives the Playstation generation a chance to see where the games of today came from, but it also gives those who are old enough to remember the Mega Drive system a chance to play some old classics. This is not a game you will play for hours and hours on end, but we can almost guarantee when friends are about you will pull this out for a game every once and a while.