Review by Setnaro X
"A Treasure of Gems Only the Hard-Core Sonic Fans Demand!"
If there is one character that is well known all around in the video game history, it'd have to be the Blue Hedgehog we know and love, Sonic! Throughout his history, Sonic has landed himself in other form of game areas, including the Arcades. And not much fans did get a chance to try it out. So this Compilation comes in. Sonic Gems Collection brings 3 of Sonic's rarest games he's ever had. As well as 6 Game gear games. Many argue the Japanese version is better because it has the 3 Street of Rage titles. And it's so funny that these people are, IMO, spoiled, because those are the HIDDEN games, and they knew about it several MONTHS before its release. This is a Sonic Compilation people! Not a Sega collection! But that's just me.
I'll break each game down (Except the GG games, as most probably played SA:DX by now) so you can get a better understanding:
Sonic CD: 10/10
First of all, this game is very detailed in the stage dept. You can travel through time (Back or forward) in each stage, and its scenery is quite amazing, from the huge trees of the past, to an oily industrial future. And the Soundtrack is great (Yes, the American one) really cool and pushing the boundary for the CD (When it was released on the Sega CD that is). We meet up with Amy and Metal Sonic here for the first time too. The gameplay is fast-paced, but besides just getting from pont A to point B, you have to actually search in the past for these specific machines and destroy them. Doing all this ensures you'll save the future, and get a good ending in this process. Did I mention the Anime Intro/endings? Very cool animation, and thank goodness the size was increased from the postage-sized one from Sega CD.
Sonic R: 7/10
While this isn't Sonic's best game (Heck, it was listed as a bad mascot game next to Megaman Soccer on a Game Magazine), it does have its moments. Basically, instead of karts, as Mario is known for, Sonic and his pal trot on foot. But handling the characters is easier said than done, but you'll get used to it. Each character boasts special ways of getting around the tracks (Sonic's double jump, Tails' Flight etc.). As you race, you have tasks to be completed (Find the Sonic coins, Get the Emeralds). In doing so, you can unlock special goodies. It also has some side stuff, like tag, and balloon race, but it's not that much fun. Overall, it can kill some Sonic time in your break.
Sonic the Fighters: 10/10
Sonic takes the fighting arena with his buddies. This game was released in the arcades and never saw a console (Until now that is!) No matter what people say, this game is actually quite fun. Sure it's not a Heavy-detailed game like Soul Calibur 2, but c'mon, this is more a cartoon fighter for kids, so it's easier to play. It's just Grab a control and Go! kind of game. All characters have the same basic moves with special ones for each as well, as the fighting is fast paced (30 secs. For each match). It has a move list when you pause the game too. And even though it's a short game, it's quite difficult as you go on through your matches.
Besides playing these games, there is a museum in your selection. And boy, it's heavier equipped than in Sonic Mega Collection. Based on your process on the 3 games on the disc, you'll unlock pictures after pictures of whatever Sonic game you just played. And don't fret if your lost, as there are hints on the locked pics telling you what to do to see them. And besides pictures, you also get to hear remixes of a lot of Sonic universal game Soundtrack. From Sonic CD to Sonic Heroes. Some are good, and some you may want to ignore, but it's still cool to hear.
I personally enjoyed reliving and trying out new games on this compilation. I also enjoy the menu animations on this game. It feels more in-depth and more serious than what was done on SMC. For those who never played SA:DX on the Gamecube, the GG games are ok, and this time, we can actually save our process, which is cool for those long games like Tails' Adventure. For those who are worried to try this game out, I'd suggest renting it. But if you plan on searching for those pictures, I'd suggest buying it too. Definitely worth a purchase for the hard-core Sonic fans! We can live without the SoR titles, as well Knuckles Chaotix, at least, until Sega decides to go with another compilation.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/19/05
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