I hate how half of my entries have been about Sonic games recently, but it seems that's just what's on my mind. I'm really not a Ginormous Sonic fan, but whatever.
Anyways, this game DOES NOT DISAPPOINT. Sega has made numerous attempts in giving Sega/Sonic fans some really good bang for their buck, in releasing collections over the past 6 or so years. Here's a little history from my perspective:
2003: Sonic Mega Collection comes out for the Nintendo Gamecube. While it was a decnt attempt in releasing their first collection, it was missing something: Substance. The game was based on 90's Sonic games, but fell short in offering all of the titles they could have on that tiny GC disc.
2004: Sonic Mega Collection Plus is released for the PS2 and XBOX. Not only did this collection add 6 extra games, but also two better controllers. Playing with a GC controller was just complete torture the year before. [seriously, what was Nintendo thinking when creating that controller? Who in the heck was responsible in quality control that said "yeah, that'll do"? The 64 controller would have worked fine for the cube if they ditched the C buttons and adde an analog stick]. Anyways, the content was on point, but the quality of the ports absolutely sucked, especially on HD displays. Unfortunately, back in 2004 no one was worried about how the ports would look on future displays. You couldn't beat it with a launch pricepoint of $29.99 though. It quickly became a greatest hits title thefollowing year.
2005: Sonic Gems Collection was Nintendo's way of compensating for the lack of content in the 2003 release of mega collection. in this $30 package, you got 3 rare, but fairly good titles in the Sonic Franchise. Sonic CD was the main event here, as it has been revered as one of the best title's Sonic Team has ever produced.
2006: Sega Genesis Collection - Here we go, now Sega was getting serious. 28 titles, upgraded ports, and not limited to just the Sonic Franchise. Oh yeah, you even had the ability to play in progressive scan, which made it a huge plus for those using an HD display. You even had the option to pick it up for PSP if you wanted it for on the go. The prices were even better, with the PS2 at $20,and the PSP at $30. As for content, it was jampacked to the brim with some of Sega's most memorable titles, including the golden axe/vectorman/phantasy Star series. But wait......something was missing when I popped that game in my PSP.....no Streets of Rage? No Altred Beast? Only Sonic 1 & 2? What were they thinking? Why would they put such asanine tiles like Super Thunder Blade, Decap Attack, Sword of Vermillion, and Ecco Jr over such ****cs as Streets of Rage 1 and 2? But whatever, for the price you paid, the collection was still pretty solid.
2009: Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection delivers, and it delivers all too well. Perfection, and tenatively my game of the year for 2009 as of now. As many of you know, this game was release yesterday for the PS3 & 360, and absolutely rocks. Sega actually took their time in forming this magnificant collection, wasn't rushed out (unlike Sonic Unleashed), and achieves AAA status. Why you may ask? Lets break it down without a review: 1 - It provides the perfect blend between Sonic games and other great Genesis classics 2 - All of the missing titles from the 2006 collection are here 3 - Re-rendered graphics for HD displays up to 720p------wait, my tv is saying 1080p?!?! The PS3 version plays in 720p or 1080p! Extremely crisp graphics, with the option to turn on game smoothing for better clarity (not just PS3 smoothing) 4 - great unlockables, not just trash interviews. Nine full-length unlockable games! 5 - Substance: over 40 titles in one package, most of which are good? that's a new record. 6 - The most important one of all. This game offers something a PS3 should be able to do at anytime for retro-active BC systems - it allows you to change the display to your own personal preference. No longer are you limited to just 4:3 or 16:9. Now you can manually find that perfect balance in between the two displays, and once you do, the system automatically remembers that display when you go to play the specific Genesis game again!
So there you have it. If you have any interest in the ol 16bit days, go out and buy this masterpiece immediately!