The Sonic Classic Collection offers something which was sorely lacking in the Mega Drive Ultimate Collection, namely the backwards compatibility of Sonic & Knuckles with Sonic 2 and Sonic 3
Despite what those of us who can remember the release of each of the original four main titles in the series like to think, we’re starting to get a little old at this stage – meaning that there’s an entirely new generation of gamers out there who have yet to experience the untainted wonder of Sonic in his pre-3D days. This is clearly something Sega are mindful of, as the barrage of re-releases and re-re-releases continues unabated. This time around it’s the turn of Nintendo’s DS to get in on the action.
Unlike last year’s Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection, which featured no less than 49 titles (some of which were undoubtedly classics, others which... weren’t), the Sonic Classics Collection features only Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Although to use the word “only” with regard to what’s on offer here may perhaps suggest that we think it’s a miserly offering, so just to clear things up – we don’t.
For starters, the Sonic Classic Collection offers something which was sorely lacking in the Mega Drive Ultimate Collection, namely the backwards compatibility of Sonic & Knuckles with Sonic 2 and Sonic 3. For those of you too young to remember, and are currently thinking “why not Sonic 1?”, well it’s because of something as simple as it is mind-numbingly boring... when Sonic Team were creating the original game, they used a slightly different colour pallet which meant that the game would have been unable to display Knuckles in the correct colour. Wow, it’s even more boring when it’s written down.
So, as well as the backwards compatibility being present, do we know about anything else in Sonic Classics Collection that makes it any different to the others? Well, apart from a new feature allowing you to save your progress at any time (which is probably a little unnecessary since the games aren’t all that long, but with it being for a system most people would use during daily commutes we can see the logic) there’s not really anything.
Of course that’s not to say that this won’t be a worthy addition to your DS collection. What you’ll get here are four of the all time classic 2D platformers, custom ported to the DS – so no annoying frame rate or full screen display issues like you might find by running emulator based versions. The gameplay will remain completely untouched, so you’ll be able to relive your younger days (or simply get to enjoy the games first time around) knowing that everything feels exactly like it was supposed to.
With a concrete release date as yet unconfirmed beyond a rough estimate of March, it’s worth keeping your ear to the ground because this is one collection you’ll want to add to your... erm... collection.
Now roll on Project Needlemouse...