I’m a sucker for classics, as many of you that know me can attest. I have no problem walking into an arcade and blowing quarter after quarter on old-school favorites and coming away with a sheer sense of satisfaction. And that’s a good reason why I can appreciate Sega giving a full-on retail release to a number of its remastered 3D classics for the Nintendo 3DS, which were previously only available via download.
Sega 3D Classics Collection takes a number of these favorites – along with some new titles, so it doesn’t seem like a “greatest hits” thing – and puts them into a package wrapped with goodness, thanks to M2’s fine treatment of each title. That said, I can’t help but feel it’s slightly incomplete, due to the fact that not every game is here.
The package does include an array of titles, including Fantasy Zone II W, Galaxy Force II, Power Drift, Puyo Puyo Tsu (released here as Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine), Thunder Blade, Altered Beast, Sonic the Hedgehog, Maze Hunter 3D and Fantasy Zone II: The tears of Opa-Opa. Some of them are obviously favorites in the format, especially Power Drift, which moves at such a frenzied pace, you might wonder if you can even handle the 3D – but devoted players obviously know they can.
A lot of these games are great to relive again, like Sonic the Hedgehog, Thunder Blade (which is dizzying in the format), Galaxy Force II (an underappreciated delight) and Altered Beast. Even Puyo Puyo Tsu feels like a wonderful addition to the package, complete with its memorable soundtrack and other neat little effects.
That’s not to say that every game is a winner, though. The Fantasy Zone games didn’t do much for me, nor did Maze Hunter 3D, which felt gimmicky enough back on the Sega Master System. Sega could’ve easily taken the time to make this more of a well-rounded package, including the Streets of Rage games, Shinobi III, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Gunstar Heroes. Instead, we’ll likely see those in a secondary collection sometime next year – and that just smacks of “cash in”.
But even with what’s missing – or what’s lacking after being added to the package – M2 makes Sega 3D Classics Collection worthwhile thanks to its various options. You can tweak everything from screen display to choosing the region to making control selections so that it feels just right to you. Some are gimmickier than others (I really don’t need motion controls, but some might), but it’s great to have a well-rounded package here. What’s more, there’s some other options to explore and find, as well as a hidden game that I wouldn’t dare spoil here.
No, Sega 3D Classics Collection isn’t a fully loaded package like it could’ve been, but there’s enough nostalgia here to get fans interested – and keep them interested – for some time to come. Having Sonic around is never a bad thing (even without 2), and Galaxy Force, Power Drift and Thunder Blade prove to be entertainingly dizzying efforts. Let’s just hope that Sega doesn’t string along the package into too many future packages, and instead gets around to delivering the goods that their fans no doubt deserve.