Sonic was, and to this very day, still is, a one-trick pony. It's a fast, ring-collecting platformer that features a cool, or annoying, mascot - depending on your perspective. What Sonic managed to do was capture a unique niche in the market, and it did it very well. But that was then and this is now. Not unlike Danny Bonaduce, Sonic may still make appearances from time to time but there's no denying his career is dead.

Sonic Gems Collection is an anthology of Sonic games. I would like to call it a "best of" but with a half-dozen Game Gear titles in the offering, this collection is anything but great. Only a true Sonic fan is likely to appreciate this collection, but considering that if he or she is a true fan, they are likely to have all of these games in their collection anyway. The only benefit to owning this collection is that you can play all of the games on one system. That may sound tempting but let me tell you that the Game Gear games look about as bad on TV as Danny Bonaduce's face. If you don't know who Danny Bonaduce is, all you have to know is that you don't get into a car with him if you're a transvestite. Not that I know from personal experience…

Sonic did the racing, collecting and platforming genre proud. Some of the games in this collection show just how bad things can get when you try to introduce a new genre to a tired premise. The fighting game, Sonic the Fighters, features Tails, Knuckles, Sonic and Amy in a limited fighting game that just plain sucks. The combat system is too simplified to provide a challenge to any Sonic or fighting fan. Aside from the standard kick, punch and block there is a Hyper Mode that lets you issue a special attack. It's inclusion in this collection, like the Game Gear games is a novelty. One that wears off faster than The Entire Gilligan's Island Collection Box Set.

Here's what you get: Sonic the Fighters; Sonic CD; Sonic R; Sonic Spinball; Sonic The Hedgehog 2; Sonic The Hedgehog Triple Trouble; Sonic Drift Racing 2; Tails' Skypatrol and Tails Adventures - plus two unlockable games, Vectorman One and Two.

The games have been ported as good as can be expected. They don't look all that great and although the sound effects and music is the same the games sound so much more empty than I remember them.

Sonic CD and the Vectorman series are darn good games and certainly worth a rental if you haven't played them before. Keep in mind that the gameplay is strictly old-school and while it may have been unique for its time, it hasn't aged well.

Preview by Vaughn

Are you like me? Do you own a copy of Sonic CD but NOT a Sega CD system? Yeah, sucks to be me. I have never played this classic. I've never even seen it in action. Sad but true, but thanks to Sega and obviously some whizz kid emulation genius who managed to get the Sega CD to perform on another system other than the one intended. Goody for you...and me!

But Sonic CD isn't the only game worth talking about. Long-time Sonic fans, collectors, treasure hunters and newcomers to the series rejoice! The gem of all gems from the Sonic The Hedgehog family of products is coming this summer. Until now, the titles in this compilation have only been available in the arcade, on SEGA CD and on the SEGA Saturn. Sonic Gems Collection includes the ever-popular Sonic CD, the cult arcade hit Sonic The Fighters (Sonic Championship), and SEGA Saturn's very own Sonic R. Six of the most popular Sonic The Hedgehog Game Gear games will also be featured, as well as some other surprises, too!

We aren't sure what the other surprises they're alluding too, but I'm going to assume they'll be placing $1 million dollar checks in each game sold! Yeah! Henshin a GoGo Sonic Baby....whatever.

I can't wait to finally play it. Now maybe I can sell that Sonic CD game I've never cracked....

Click For Media
System: GameCube
Dev: Sega
Pub: Sega
Release: Aug 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review By Cole