Review by leeko_link
"Sega Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog 4-in-1"
The Sega Saturn had being known to be one of the worst Sega console to play a true Sonic the Hedgehog game. Why? Simple, because it doesn't really had one, Sonic R is a lousy awkward spin-off and Sonic 3D Blast is just a 16-Bit port with minor visual paint splatter all over. So what's the worst that comes out after, Sega didn't really had enough potential to complete the true actual Saturn Sonic title called "Sonic X-Treme" at the time so instead of just making a new one that could defined what the Sega Saturn could do, it instead brought four Sonic games instead. Now there's a good and bad news about those games, the good news is that those four are great Sonic games and now could be bought for the price of one, the bad news though is that they are just ports from the Sega Genesis versions. If you want to know how Sega did this it's simple, they took a disc, then make a Mega Drive 4-1 compilation similar to those Mega Games cartridge they did in the European Mega Drive collections but instead of Genesis games, they are all Genesis Sonic games. Then they copy all the roms of the Genesis games into the Saturn disc while also adding a prototype unfinished Sonic X-Treme overworld to make as if the whole disc is an actual game. So here it has become Sonic Jam, a Sega Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog 4-in-1 compilation.
The overworld graphics of this game are splendid, it shows how the Saturn could handle 3D polygonal graphics. It's too bad that not very much are seen outside the Green Hill Zone atmosphere. It would've being nice to add some more overworld levels but since this is a compilation and not an actual console must-buy title, featuring lazy optimal graphics are okay. Also besides the overworld, the entire Genesis Sonic games are presented the same as they did in the Sega Genesis versions. There are no graphics improvements or changes at all and due to this game been disc based, framerate problem could pop up sometime but that's not really a major problem. If you already played the Genesis Sonic games and wanted to see something new here, you aren't gonna see any besides the overworld.
Every popular tunes from every Sonic game on the Sega Genesis is here. There's not much of an improvement when porting these scores from Genesis to Saturn since they are only 16-Bit quality anyways. Some minor problems though is that some musical tunes played incorrectly in a few Sonic titles for example the invincible tunes play in Sonic 2 are from the first game and not the actual Sonic 2 invincible theme which was also in this same disc. Other than the tunes found in the classic Genesis Sonic games, the main overworld music and sounds are god-awful, I know this overworld wasn't meant to be a game but really why did Sega had to totally turn the beat on us. Wouldn't it kill them just to put a remix Green Hill theme song as the overworld theme instead of that lousy bleeping tune that nobody knows about.
Since the Sega Saturn game pad is an improvement from that of the Sega Genesis original six buttons controller, you'll had a blast playing this game. All you really will be doing is run from one stage to another in each game and in turbo speed as well. The loading are perfectly non-bothersome but some framerate problems does occur quite a few times. Still if you know the drill of the Genesis Sonic titles, you'll be at home here. One great aspect of the gameplay in this compilation is the addiction of the spin-dash which you could do in Sonic 1 which originally can't be done in the Genesis original. Another great aspect is that you can lock-on the Sonic and Knuckles game to Sonic 1, 2, and 3 to play Blue Spheres, Knuckles in Sonic 2, and the complete version of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 as Knuckles or any of the two original characters.
Just for getting this compilation, you get an overworld filled with a theater to watch some short trailers and movies about Sonic, a gallery area for you to check artworks drawn but the Sonic artist and many other Sonic fans, an internal instruction manual to view, a music jukebox for listening to your favorite Sonic tunes from each games and four Genesis Sonic classics: Sonic 1, 2, 3 and Sonic & Knuckles plus the optional lock-on extras. If you love Sonic but never owned the Genesis, this compilation will be worth your time.
Is it Worth Buying?
Considering you only had a Saturn and never got a Genesis or had never experience any of the Genesis Sonic titles this compilation could be worth your money. Though if you already got the Genesis Sonic games or any of the more better Sonic compilations on any of the new generation consoles such as the GameCube, PS2, and X-Box, you might want to skip this as it is only just another Sonic compilation and the games available here are the same ones on the Genesis with no visual addiction, no super surprises or anything. Unless you only had a Saturn and nothing else, this game might be the compilation for you otherwise go with the other compilations since they offered better value than this.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 01/12/09, Updated 08/03/12
Game Release: Sonic Jam (US, 07/31/97)
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