Sonic Mega Collection was amazing, that's all that needs to be said. It included a lot of amazing classic
Sonic titles that made it one game worth adding to your Gamecube collection. Sonic Mega Collection Plus was just
that little bit better, with a few more games added to bulk out the package. So how does the third compilation, Sonic
Gems Collection, hold up? Well, compared to the two Sonic Mega Collection games, not very well. Don't get me
wrong, it's not a bad compilation at all, but some of the games added weren't very good.
The three main games which
were highlighted most are Sonic the Fighters, Sonic CD and Sonic R. Sonic the Fighters
was originally released on arcade systems and had never hit consoles until Gems, thus meaning that it's the only
way you can play this game on a console. It's a fighting game, obviously, where you play as one of eight Sonic characters
in a tournament. The game's decent, it plays like Virtua Fighter, but is not as challenging, so those that
like Virtua Fighter might enjoy Fighters.
Sonic R is a mediocre racer at best.
It has a unique soundtrack which may or may not appeal, turning the characters feels like a chore no matter which character
you choose to play as, and with only five levels and an incredibly easy difficulty, this game can be finished in no time.
It's not anything amazing.
Sonic CD is the one game in this compilation that makes it worth getting, even
with the short load times shoved in between each level. It stays true to a typical Sonic platformer and is immensely fun to
play, featuring Sonic travelling through time to stop Robotnik from taking over, facing off against Metal Sonic, rescuing
Amy Rose and saving the world as usual. Even though the soundtrack is the American one, I don't mind. Admittedly I would have
preferred the original soundtrack, but the American one is in no way bad.
There are also some Game Gear games crammed
in to bulk the collection out. That may sound exciting but unfortunately, only one or two of them are really any good. Sonic
the Hedgehog 2 for the Game Gear wasn't a terrible game by any means, but very difficult, often crossing the line between
challenging and frustrating. Sonic Triple Trouble is a fun platformer which, while not as fun as some of the Mega
Drive originals, is still a great blast with Sonic.
Then we have the bad games; Sonic Drift 2 isn't that much
of an improvement over the original Drift which was found on Mega Collection and gets boring fast. Tails
Sky Patrol is a frustrating experience that I wish I could forget. Tails Adventures wasn't that bad, but it
was nothing good either. Sonic Spinball for Game Gear was terrible. However, despite the goodness or badness of the
Game Gear titles, none of them were ported very well.
There's also the inclusion of two unlockable titles; Vectorman
and Vectorman 2. Both games are very good and worth playing, though it's fair to note that the Japanese version of
Sonic Gems Collection included the Streets of Rage trilogy and it is a bitter disappointment that we did
not get those games too. The Vectorman games are good, but I would much rather have seen the Streets of Rage
games, as they were mostly great games.
There are also music and pictures to unlock, often including remixes to already
existing tracks and pictures from Sonic's retro days. Like with Mega Collection, you can also look at the original
manuals for this game and unlock hints. The music's good, especially at the title screen which is upbeat and catchy.
that though, if you want one Sonic compilation for your Gamecube, stick with Sonic Mega Collection as that
includes much better games. If you really want to try out some of these slightly more obscure games, it's not a bad compilation
to have in your collection but approach with caution.