Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sonic Classic Collection for Nintendo DS

Title: Sonic Classic Collection
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Side Scroller
Rating: E for Everyone
Release Date: May 12, 2009
Publisher: Sega

Shortly after I bought a GameCube, I purchased Sonic Mega Collection, a collection of all of the original Sonic games that appeared on the Sega Genesis. I found it interesting that Nintendo or Sega never released any iteration of this for the Gameboy Advance, much the same way Capcom did with their Mega Man Anniversary Collection. Low and behold, almost 8 years later, Sega finally releases a compilation of Sonic games for the DS called Sonic Classic Collection.

Included are six different games; Sonic, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. On top of these you can play as Knuckles in either Sonic 2 or Sonic 3. This came as a huge, welcomed surprise to me. In the GameCube edition, I was very disappointed when I wasn’t allowed to play either of these games as Knuckles, which was a benefit to Genesis owners who owned all three games. Sonic & Knuckles has an attachment on the top of the cartridge that allowed the gamer to plug additional games into it. If most games were attached, you could play one of the bonus mini-games that appear during normal gameplay, but when Sonic 2 or Sonic 3 were attached, the player could instead play those games as Knuckles.

Graphically speaking, these games are identical to their Genesis counterparts. Given their transformation to the smaller screen, it’s quite impressive how good they look. The sounds are the same as they were back in the day as well, taking each repeat gamer back to the days when soundtracks were limited by the cartridge format. In the same respect, the controls and gameplay are also identical. Although one thing with the controls did bother me. The start button doesn’t pause the game. Instead it has no use in this game. If you want to pause while playing you have to touch the lower right corner of the touch screen. Why they couldn’t have both of these options, for people like me that are used to using the start button to pause, is beyond me.

There are, however, a few bugs that I don’t remember being present before. Every once in a while, when rolling along at high rates of speed, Sonic will glitch off track, get stuck and stop moving. You can usually jump yourself free, but it breaks up the fast-paced speed that these games are most well known for. There are also graphical issues, where Sonic will not appear at the front of the screen, instead he'll be behind things that shouldn’t be in the foreground.

Additionally, there were things that appeared in the original games that probably could have been fixed for the rerelease. One big thing that always bugged me, appears in the third world of Sonic 2, The Aquatic Ruin stage, when playing as Knuckles. There are these pillars will shoot up from the ground, which in the original game stopped Sonic dead in his tracks. The problem arises when playing as Knuckles because he is unable to jump as high as Sonic can, therefore if the gamer doesn’t know they are coming and jump early enough to avoid them before they get to their maximum height, they are unable to jump high enough to get past them. Sonic, on the other hand, can jump high enough to clear them.

Sonic Classic Collection is only available for Nintendo DS. Even though there are little bugs, this is still an excellent buy for any gamer who grew up on the Sonic series. Plus the DS’s portableness makes it easy to speed through a couple levels while you’re in line at the DMV or traveling with people you don’t want to talk to (I.E. commuting to or from work).

The Gaming Savant says: Good buy.

March 13, 2010

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