Now if you’re getting the feeling of déjà vu, then you’re not alone, because Sega have released countless iteration of their classic titles across a variety of platforms and the most recent being for the PS4 and Xbox One with the Sega Mega Drive Classics or Sega Genesis Classics, depending on your region.

In total there is a whopping 50 classic titles included in this bundle from Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Wonder Boy, Altered Beast, TomJam & Earl, The Revenge of Shinobi, Phantasy Star, Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Columns, Virtua Fighter 2 and more.  All of the titles are just about perfectly replicated playing on the comfort of your own couch and whether that’s playing on our own, or with a co-op partner locally.  Don’t get me wrong, not all games are perhaps as great as you remember them to be, as we often look through our tinted nostalgia goggles, but titles such as Sonic, Streets of Rage and Golden Axe remain just as timeless as ever in my opinion.

However, not all of the 50 games included will allow you to play online, as not all of them have multiplayer.  In the most part, my experience playing online was rather decent enough, although some games did suffer latency issues for whatever reason, despite me having a very good broadband connection, so some of that quality will depend of the other players that you are paired with.  However, for games as old as these that should put no strain on the modern day console, having lag issues is quite inexcusable, whichever way you look at it.

I did also encounter one issue when playing Streets of Rage.  It just so happened that  I died right at the very end of a level and literally just as I was about to hit that continue button, the next level had loaded and for some reason I had lost my continue, and I could not join back in with the random online player that I had been paired with.  So quite disappointingly, I had to quit the game very early on because of this.  I don’t know if the folks at Sega can fix this, but I’m sure over time, I will not be the only player encountering this problem.

Another issue that I have is with the matchmaking, for some reason rather than looking for a group of lobbies to see what’s available, you have to select online matchmaking for the game to randomly select a title with a random player, then it’s up to you whether you want to jump into that particular game or not.  You can filter out which games you want to play, but perhaps it would be easier to just a select a lobby of your choosing with a game you want to play, rather than a random selection.

There are however some neat little extras in this collection, such as online leaderboards and challenges that will you require you to meet certain stipulations for a certain game.  For example, one challenge for Streets of Rage 3 will require you to defeat the twin bosses at the end of level 2 with just 10% health remaining or less, and one for Sonic the Hedgehog will require you to complete Green Hill Zone Act 2 in Mirror Mode in less than one minute.  Along with the trophies, leaderboards, challenges and multiplayer, not to mention the 50 games included, the Sega Mega Drive Collection gives you a lot of bang for your buck.  Although I would have loved to have seen Wrestle War in this collection and Sonic 3, but there are empty gaps on the in-game shelves where the collection of games lie, so perhaps Sega might have DLC planned for the near future?

Another factor that I really appreciated is how the game is presented once you load it up.  Rather than having a traditional main menu screen for which you select the games you want to play, instead you have a hub-like area in the form of a 90’s inspired child’s bedroom.  Here you’ll have your Sega Mega Drive on a unit below your aerial TV, with Sega posters on the wall, a shelf with all 50 games to choose from and more.  Your bedroom hub is also in real-time, so the time of day will be replicated within this hub, day or night.  It’s something little of course, but quite cool none the less.  Although, it’s a shame that the games don’t come with a selection of filters to replicate an old TV or even smooth out the pixels, like many versions of these re-releases have done before.

To conclude this review, considering you can pick this collection of retro classics for anything over just £20, it represents a good value for money.  Ok the online multiplayer should be smoother, but hopefully Sega might be able to improve that in the near future, as well as the matchmaking process.  While some of these games perhaps haven’t aged as well as others, something has to be said that even after all these years, as a testament to the quality these classics, I can sit down with my seven year old son and both of us will be having heaps of fun playing games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets of Rage.  It’s just a shame that the Sega Mega Drive Collection isn’t available for Nintendo Switch, but hopefully that will change over time.  However, before that happens, Sega needs to fix some of the baffling online issues that are present in this collection.



Author

Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake