So many compilations, so little time - so little interest.

SEGA Classics Collection is another in a long line of compilation games that offer less-than-the-best versions of said company's old arcade and home-system stock. The games offered in SEGA Classics Collection were never considered classics by me and once you play a few you'll know why. There's not a Sonic in the bunch. All of the 10 games are remastered from their Japanese counterparts and the results are insulting. These games were budget games to begin with and all the remastering in the world won't make them classics. The resulting package is nothing more than a bunch of cheap, bad looking, low-res, bland games. I'm sure that there's at least one or two that will tickle you fancy but if I don't find myself attracted to at least 60 percent of the games in a compilation I call the whole thing a bust.

The games include Outrun, Golden Axe, Space Harrier, Columns, Alien Syndrome, Monaco GP, Virtua Racing Flat Out, Fantasy Zone, Tant R and Bonanza Bros. Outrun, Virtua Racing Flat Out and Monaco GT are racing games. Golden Axe is a hack and slash Gauntlet rip off. Space Harrier and Alien Syndrome are space shooters. Columns is a puzzle game in the Tetris tradition and the Bonanza Bros. is a collection of mini games not unlike Mario Party. These games are all derived from other existing classics and show no to little originality.

If you remember any of these games from the arcade you'll notice that many of them have been "updated" to include a 3D look to them. Most of the charm associated with these games was due to the 2D graphics. Now we have big, ugly sterile environments that were never intended for the majority of these games. In some cases it changes the gameplay for the worst.

Most of the emulations are inaccurate, with poor controls and bugs in the mechanics. The hack and slash of Golden Axe is loose and slowdown is prevalent in the racing games. Even the music has been on some of these though I can't even imagine why. SEGA should have just left these game the same way they appeared in Japan so many years ago. At least there would be some historical value attached to it.

Although I can get by on Columns and even Bonanza Bros. it's just not enough to warrant a purchase. Even at twenty bucks, which turns out to be two bucks a game, there are games that I wouldn't ever consider putting eight quarters into if they were in an airport arcade and I had a ten-hour layover. I would just opt for a nap instead.

Preview by Vaughn

This upcoming compilation from Sega appears to consist of 3D upgraded takes on the games featured, which originally appeared in Japan under the Sega Ages moniker.

Consisting of 10 games (listed below) and budget priced at $19.99 you just might have a reason to bust out a couple of 10 spots for this one when it's released in March. Consider for a moment that the Sega Ages series in Japan sold each title for around that price and you might break your neck getting a pre-order in - but that only applies to those who truly believe all of these games in this compilation can be considered "classic". I'd argue that point a little.

Outrun, GoldenAxe, Space Harrier and Columns have been remade more than Michael Jackson and have appeared on many different systems over the last decade and a half. Check around your house as you're bound to have a copy of one of these titles just lying around in plain view. Advice? Check under your collection of Hustler Magazine from the early 90's. See? I told you.

Certainly there are some classics missing from this collection, which may appear at a later date. I was surprised that Sega's Zaxxon never made the cut. Now that's truly a classic, especially for us old farts who were blown away by the pseudo 3D isometric view back in the early 80's. Another Sega classic from days gone by is Congo Bongo, but there I go again, dating myself.

While you won't find any Sonic games included as this collection appears to be arcade only, you might remember that Sega recently released the Sonic Mega Collection (GC) and Sonic Mega Collection Plus (PS2, X) for those of you looking to relive the golden days of the world's fastest hedgehog.

Definitely worth checking out for the nostalgia factor alone and since they've been upgraded graphically, these old warhorses have never looked better.

The Sega Classics Collection includes:

  • Outrun
    As you blaze across the checkpoint in your supped up racer, the road branches - which route will you take?
  • Golden Axe
    Travel to the Dark Ages and wield magic spells as a warrior, maiden or dwarf.
  • Space Harrier
    Teleport to deep space in seconds to battle futuristic monsters and robots with lock-on lasers.
  • Columns
    Arrange falling jewels in piles of three or more horizontally, vertically, or diagonally and remove them while making chains that earn you the big points.
  • Alien Syndrome
    Blast invading aliens and rescue the captives held hostage in the spaceship before the clock winds down.
  • Fantasy Zone
    Climb aboard your Opa-Opa (ship) and get rich quick as defeated enemies drop coins.
  • Monaco GP
    You'll leave plenty of tread ripping through these crazy courses. In certain modes, if you cross first, the car is yours.
  • Virtua Racing Flat Out
    Grab the wheel and take a trip back into Sega history in this remake of the arcade classic.
  • Tant R & Bonanza Bros
    Play alone or grab three friends to play through 40 mini-games! Clear them all and you'll gain access to the special Bonus Game.
Click For Media
System: PS2
Dev: SEGA / 3D Ages
Released: March 2005
Players: 1 - 4
Review by Cole