Sega have recently released Sega 3D Classics collection in the PAL territory after being release in NA earlier on in the year. However, there are a few differences in the games on offer when compared to the compilations that are available in the USA and Japan.
As the name implies, it is a compilation of some truly stellar Sega games, and there’s one or two of them that you might not have played before.
The game itself is well packaged, and some of the games are already available on the eShop and has been developed by M2. As you’d expect, the games are in 3D, with the effect in every offering in this compilation really looking great. Sonic the Hedgehog is the game that almost everyone that is picking up this collection will have played before. However, it still plays as well today as it did back on the Mega Drive all those years ago. The 3D on it is remarkable and its really does add a new layer of immersion to even the die hard Sonic veterans that have played the game numerous times over the years.
Thunder Blade is a curious game originally released in the arcades, with it have a mix of top down and third person shooting sections in that it’s much like Truxton and Afterburner rolled into one. This in itself is not a bad thing at all, and whilst it is a tad tricky to begin with, you’ll soon be strafing enemy projectiles and making short work of them at the same time. As an added bonus, if you’re one of the seven people out there that bought a circle pad pro, you can use it on Thunder Blade. Alternatively, if you have a New 3DS, the C stick can be used in this instance to mimic the arcade controls when the game was originally released back in the 1980s. Regardless of the control scheme, you’re in for a fun and frantic experience!
Altered Beast is an usual addition, although it can be fun, if sometimes annoying beat em up. In all honesty, Streets of Rage would have been a better addition to the collection than Altered Beast. Having said that, the music is spot on and the beast transformations look amazing on the 3DS. It just feels too clunky and isn’t on par with the rest of the games in this collection.
Galaxy Force II is another third person arcade shooting flight game, this time set in space. It actually feels like a predecessor to the original Star Fox and it handles extremely well despite it being ported over from the arcade. It’s a frantic shooter, but not to the extent that it ever becomes frustratingly hard to play. Much like Thunder Blade, it does have the After Burner feel to it. One nice addition to it is that instead of a timer to complete the level, its actually an energy meter that depletes instead as time marches on. However, you’ll also lose energy if you take a hit so it does add a bit of pressure to the game. It really is an immersive game, with the ‘one more go factor’.
Power Drift is an arcade racer, akin to OutRun, but a lot more frantic! You’ve got the task of finishing at least 3rd in each race, which is actually a challenge on some tracks and you’ll really need to make the most of your high and low gears in order to win a race. Visually the game is astounding, and we doubt it would have been possible to play this on the Mega Drive back in the day. If you loved OutRun and Super Hang-On then you’ll love Power Drift since it is essential the best of both games merged into one. What’s nice is the nod to other Sega games in that you can unlock the F-14 Tomcat from After Burner, although you’ll need to be really good to get that far…
A curious addition to the game is Maze Walker. This was released on the Sega Master System, and there’s even a nod to this on the overlay that surrounds the screen. This was actually a 3D game that employed the use of the Sega Scope system which was really a set of 3D glasses. There isn’t much to do in Maze Walker, but it’s nice for nostalgias sake that you can once again play this in 3D since the chances are slim that you still have this game hooked up to a CRT TV.
The other Master System entry is Fantasy Zone II, with the arcade release, Fantasy Zone II W from the arcade also making an appearance in this collection. Both are side on scrolling shooters but they aren’t overly challenging or as manic as games such as R-Type. Both are a nice, rewarding and relaxing shoot em ups but we feel that the addition of both of them was a tad unnecessary and perhaps something equally relaxing such as Ecco the Dolphin could have been included instead.
Puyo Puyo 2 was also released in the arcade and is a puzzle game. In it, you need to match up four Puyo of the same colour as you race to clear the contents of the board (like Tetris) whilst your opponent on the other side of the screen does the same. Having never played this before, we were actually pleasantly surprised how addictive and immersive Puyo Puyo 2 is. There is also the fact that as you play, there will be redundant Puyo’s filling the screen which makes your time of clearing them a lot harder.
Sega 3D Classics Collection is a great compilation for anyone that grew up with these games, or is trying them out for the first time. It isn’t a perfect compilation, but the quality of the (majority of) games offered here as well as their presentation on the part of M2 make it worthy of your hard earned cash. It is available now on the Nintendo eShop.