Review by SamusTheHedge
"Only 3 of the games are Gems"
I am a huge Sonic fan, but I have never played Sonic CD or Sonic The Fighters. So when I heard that those 2 games would be available on Sonic Gems Collection, I bought it on my Gamecube, but was it worth it?
In order to do this, I am going to have to talk about the games individually, so let's start with the big one on the disk
Sonic CD: I had never played this game before now, and had heard that Sonic CD was the best Sonic game ever. After playing it, I will say it is one of the best Sonic games, but not the best. Dr Eggman has heard of the Little Planet's power to move through time and used that power to take over the past so that he controls the future. Sonic goes to a lake and discovers the planet chained up to a mountain, and guesses that Eggman is up to his tricks again. Now Sonic has to save the past from Eggman while fighting Eggman's newest creation: Metal Sonic. To make matters worse, Eggman has kidnapped the newcomer Amy Rose. This game is one of the best 2D platformers I have ever played. All of Sonic's speed is there, and the new Dash maneuver adds a lot more speed then normal. I was mixed about the Special Stages and time travel, but this is still a lot of fun.
Sonic The Fighters: As a fan of fighting games, I had always wanted to play Sonic The Fighters. In the end, it did not disappoint. After the destruction of The Death Egg in Sonic 3 and Knuckles, Eggman decided to build a new more powerful one called the Death Egg 2. Unfortunately for Eggman, Sonic and Tails find out about it and prepare to head to space in the Lunar Fox. There are two problems though: the Lunar Fox is only a single seatter, and it requires the power of 8 (yes, in this game, there are 8) Chaos Emeralds. The Emeralds have been divided by 8 people, and they all want a shot to save the world, so they hold a fighting tournament. The fighting in the game is really well done (they used the engine for Virtua Fighter), and the fighting is very much like a cartoon. This game is near perfect (I also plan to do a more in depth review of this game, so if you want more detail, look out for that.)
Sonic R: Well, it is an on foot racer, which is a good thing, but it is poorly done. Sonic and Tails were on an adventure when they see a sign for the World Grand Prix. Sonic at first decides that he doesn't want to enter a race, but when he sees that Eggman is on the list of competitors, he and Tails decide to compete too. Also entering are Knuckles and Amy. I won't say too much about this game, mainly because I will be doing a full review soon. But I will say that this game is ugly and unbalanced.
Game Gear titles (except Tails Adventure): The collection has some Game Gear Sonic games too, but they could have been left out. All of the titles are available on Sonic Adventure DX, but they are the ones that are harder to unlock (Minus Sonic Blast and Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine). Sonic 2 is nowhere near as good as the Genesis version. Sonic Spinball is just plain awful. Sonic Triple Trouble is ok, but I don't like it as much as Sonic 1, 2, and 3 and Knuckles on the Genesis. Sonic Drift 2 is like Super Mario Kart, so it is very good (one of the only worthwhile Game Gear games). Don't get me even started on Tails Skypatrol (second worst Sonic game ever, only beat by Sonic Labyrinth, which [thank goodness] is not on this disk). Some of them are good, but most are bad and none are great except for
Tails Adventure: The only Game Gear game worth the trouble. I will use the Japanese storyline: There exists a small island not found on any map called Cocoa Island. It is on this island that Tails lived on before he met Sonic. He was relaxing on the island when it was attacked by the Battle Kukku Army, who wanted the Chaos Emerald hidden on the island, and now Tails must stop them. This game plays a lot like Metroid, in the fact that you search for items and backtrack in order to save Cocoa Island. This game feels like it could have been on the NES instead of the Game Gear. There is one feature the disk gives for this (and all Game Gear games, as well as the Vectormans) game: a save feature. Sure, it costs a lot of memory, but it is better then having to write down a password every time. This is one of the best games on the disk.
Vectorman and Vectorman 2: Some people I have talked to really love these games, but I am not one of those. I didn't play these long enough to know the story, but I did play it long enough to wonder why everything is a circle? I think the graphics suck, and the gameplay sucks just as bad. This is just my opionin, so try it out first. I am giving this a low score not only because I didn't like them, but they have absolutly NOTHING to do with Sonic. Flicky and Ristar on Mega at least had something to do with Sonic (Flicky are the birds that pop out of the machines while Ristar is the origonal concept for Sonic). One last thing to note, you have to unlock the Vectorman games, but I wont tell you how (your on a site that will tell you, look it up yourself).
5/10 (but try it first, you might like it. I didn't)
So now we are done with the games, so what did I think of the set? This is what I thought: Take out eather the Game Gear games or the Vectormans and put in Knuckles Chaotix. That was one that was missing. As you can see, it only has 3 great games, and the rest range from tollerable to pathitic.
Extras: So what about what is left on the disk? Well you got the English manuals for all of the games except for the Vectormans (except for Tails Skypatrol, that only came out in Japan). You also got hints you can unlock for each game, but you can only view the Game Gear and Vectormans hints ingame. The 3 main games can't view them while you are playing them. And last, but not least, you got the museum. In the museum, you can view pictures and movies from past Sonic games while lissing to remixes of ingame music. The unlock requirements range from playing a certain game 10 time to selecting pictures in a certain order. There are also demos to unlock, but if I wanted to play the Sonic 1 game, I would put in Mega Collection. The extras are ok, but they wont be what keeps you in.
Overall: The disk has some problems. First off, only 3 of the games are great. Second, the games that are not great are terrible. And third, the extra features will only entertain for an hour (expecially when they ask you to play Skypatrol for 20 hours). If I had to pick between Gems and Mega, I would choose Mega.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 08/21/08
Game Release: Sonic Gems Collection (US, 08/16/05)
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