Review: Sega 3D Classics Collection is certainly an admirable aggregation

Sega has quite a back catalog of games, many of which qualify for for the “classics” label. After all, the Sega Master System and Genesis were home to over 1,000 games combined. Which, for some, will be reason enough to pick up Sega 3D Classics Collection. Here! Nine games you likely loved as a child are immediately available upon popping the cartridge into your system. They’re as great as you remembered! But, once you get past the initial nostalgia-shock, you’ll find that these are possibly the best versions of these games, complete with 3D graphics.

Yes, you read that right. For the first time since perhaps The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, where the 3D could actually solve puzzles, you’re going to want to adjust the slider on your Nintendo 3DS. I know, it scared me too, but trust me. In almost every game, heading into the third dimension made a difference.

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To start, Sega 3D Classics Collection gives you 10 games, one of which is locked away at the start. You can immediately begin playing Altered Beast, Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa, Fantasy Zone II W, Galaxy Force II, Maze Hunter, Power Drift, Puyo Puyo 2, Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunder Blade. I recommend going into Power Drift or Puyo Puyo 2 first, since this is the first time either game has been available in the United States. If you have a friend nearby for local multiplayer, then Puyo Puyo 2 or Altered Beast is the way to go. But really, each of these games offers a strong, enjoyable experience, so you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Sega 3D Classics Collection does an excellent job of catering to its audience’s tastes.

What’s especially nice is the diversity. Sega 3D Classics Collection does an excellent job of catering to its audience’s tastes. We have an action platformer with Sonic the Hedgehog. Puzzle fans get Puyo Puyo 2. Power Drift lets people enjoy a good race. With Altered Beast, you can beat up every baddie. The Fantasy Zones, Galaxy Force II, and Thunder Blade let you participate in varying sorts of shoot-outs. There will be at least one game you’ll absolutely love here, and odds are the exposure will help you find additional favorites.

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Especially since they’re all so gorgeous. Yes, the games in Sega 3D Classics Collection were gorgeous in their prime. There’s exemplary sprite-work in many of these titles. But here, the 3D helps you appreciate just how incredible each one really is. These are, quite frankly, works of art. Altered Beast, the Fantasy Zone games, Power Drift, Puyo Puyo 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog are particularly pretty. The 3D really makes each game stand out.

Though, that enhanced visual experience isn’t the only good part about going into these games again. You’re also getting different variations of certain games, to ensure you’re getting the exact experience you remember. Power Drift, as an example, has International and Japanese versions. Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa has Story and Endless game modes. You get to choose what the game will be like for you.

Even better are the bonus features that can be switched on and off in certain games. Did you have trouble with certain parts in Sonic the Hedgehog? There’s a stage select option. Have you got a great winning streak going in Puyo Puyo 2, but you’re afraid the next match will mess it all up? Create a save state. Ready for anything? Altered Beast lets you turn on Random Forms. Maze Walker offers Helper Mode and a FM Sound Unit. You can even enable radar in Fantasy Zone II W. This is all in addition to options that could lower the difficulty or give you an edge. While it’s nice experiencing the games as they were, it’s even better when you can opt into a feature that gives you the chance to finally beat a game that bested you years ago.

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Also, can I say how delightful it is to see Professor Asobin again? He was Sega’s first mascot, first appearing way back in 1983. He pops up on the loading screens, offering insight into the history of certain games, tips to help you as you play and colorful commentary. Normally, loading in a collection of older games would be detrimental, but Asobin’s appearances are a delight and distract from the few seconds it takes to transition from one title to the next.

While it’s nice experiencing the games as they were, it’s even better when you can opt into a feature that gives you the chance to finally beat a game that bested you years ago.

Put simply, with Sega 3D Classics Collection, M2 took good things, made some minor tweaks and adjustments and gave us all an even better finished product. Each of the games in the collection are absolutely enjoyable titles, and the 3D effects and other features make each one even more entertaining. I know I’ve been pressuring people to play Puyo Puyo 2 with me whenever possible and might have forced someone else to see how wonderful Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa looks in 3D. Everyone who grew up in the Genesis generation or appreciates a good, classic game should grab this compilation.

Score: 9/10
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Developer: M2
Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS
Questions? Check out our review guide.
A review copy was provided by the publisher or developer for this review.

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