Sunday, 21 March 2010

Review: Sonic Classic Collection (DS)

If you’re anything like us here at IQGamer, you’ll be eager to get your hands on Sonic 4 later this summer. In the mean time, SEGA have treated us to a little reminder of how good Sonic games used to be. This time, on the Nintendo DS.

Developed by the Australian branch of SEGA’s Creative Assembly, Sonic Classic Collection is a compilation of Sonic’s main Mega Drive titles and includes the ability to play through Sonic 2 and 3 with Knuckles, just like the old “lock on” feature that came courtesy of Sonic & Knuckles. It would have been nice if SEGA had included Sonic Spinball and Sonic 3D, but you can’t have everything. We won’t even mention Knuckles’ Chaotix…

Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles have been nicely represented on Nintendo’s handheld system, but don’t expect much else other than the games themselves. There’s some artwork to look through and a credit sequence to watch, but that’s about all. This really is a barebones collection, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if all you want to do is play through these old classics for the umpteenth time.

For the most past, the games have been nicely emulated for the DS, and the slightly squashed resolution isn’t really an issue. However, there is some nasty slow down at points and particularly when the action heats up. Should Sonic loose his ring collection when a few enemies are on screen, the action slows down to a nasty pace. The same annoying slow down is evident during a few boss fights too. It’s not too a big deal, but better emulation can be found elsewhere and we weren’t expecting this in a retail version of the games.

A handy save and load function has been implemented for all the games, with the exception of Sonic 3 that retains it’s own save function. It’s not a case of saving your game and loading it from where you left off though, rather at the beginning of the act you last played. Its better than nothing, but other emulators do enable you to play on from anywhere, which would have been ideal.

There really isn't anything new we can say about these classic titles, suffice to say that all the games play exactly as you’ll remember them, and nothing has been added or taken away for this collection. What was great back in the nineties retains all of its charm on the DS and the games are as playable as ever. They work really well on Nintendo’s handheld system and the save function, however limited, works well enough for on-the-go gaming.

Sonic Classic Collection is a nostalgic indulgence that’s worth picking up if you’re a fan of the series. It may not be much else besides a compilation of four games, but there’s not much else that can be done with these titles that hasn’t been done time and time again. Emulation issues aside, this is a reminder of what made Sonic great and makes us hopeful for the upcoming sequel this summer.


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