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on March 3, 2010
Though Sonic's original Genesis adventures have been packaged together numerous times in the past, this is the first time that these classic platformers have all been in the same place on a handheld system. With Sonic the Hedgehog 4 launching later this year, no doubt many Sonic fans will be wanting to revisit the original games, and Sonic Classic Collection provides a fantastic way to do so on the go.

Included in the collection are Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles. In addition, the two lock-on versions of Sonic 2 and 3 are included, so one can play as Knuckles in those games as well, which is a welcome inclusion. Sadly, the multiplayer player modes have been stripped out of all the games. Admittedly, multiplayer was never a major focus in the original Sonic games, but not even being able to have someone jump in as Tails in Sonic 2 is a bit disappointing.

Another frequently asked question is whether or not the original level select codes work. The answer, sadly, is no. It would seem that, while the codes can in fact still be activated, there is no way to access the level select menus themselves after doing so. This might be a deal breaker for certain fans, but it's an omission that many likely won't care about.

As for the classic games themselves, things are fairly solid. It must be said that the ports are not perfect. Framerate issues are present. It has to be said because they are there. However, they are very slight and after playing for a minute or two, they become nearly unnoticeable. Sonic 1 seems to chug the most for some reason. Overall, the games run fast and smooth, which is a vast improvement over the disaster that was Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis.

[UPDATE] Having recently had an opportunity to play this game on a DS lite and a 3DS, I have observed that the framerate issues vary depending on the system. This review was originally written based on the experience of playing the game on a DSi, where framerate issues are present but not prominent. On a DS lite, however, the framerate dips were more frequent and significantly more noticeable. By comparison, when played on a 3DS, the game runs nearly flawlessly, with only slight lag appearing, mostly in places where it occurred on the original Genesis. So if you're thinking about picking this one up off the bargain rack or whatever, take into account which console you'll be playing it on, as it will effect your playing experience.

In order to make the games fit on the screen, SEGA had to mess with the graphics. They use two solutions in game. First, the view has been cropped in a little, allowing it to scroll side to side slightly to frame a good view. Second, similar to the Classic NES series on the GBA, every few lines of pixels have been removed, causing all the graphics to appear slightly shorter. It's subtle, and a few distortions are visible, but when running at full speed, the compromises are nearly unnoticeable.

The sounds and music made the jump to DS just fine. Music sounds nearly spot on to the original Genesis titles, with only slight subtle differences appearing in a couple of songs. Sound effects are quiet faithful as well, but like the music, tiny oddities sometimes occur. Occasionally a sound effect will loop in an odd way that doesn't quite match the original. Overall, the games still sound like themselves, and only the pickiest of fans will notice the changes.

Beyond the actual games, Sonic Classic Collection is a bit sparse on extra features. It features a small photo gallery where artwork of Sonic characters can be viewed. This is somewhat interesting, but really is only worth looking at once. Beyond that, it's just the classic games and that's all. All the games have now been fitted with individual save functions, which is very handy. Oddly, all the menu buttons are mapped to the touch screen alone, so pausing and saving must done there, and the start button does nothing. This is not a big issue, but it takes a little getting used to, since the start button is nearly universally used for pausing.

Overall, Sonic's original adventures are lengthy and diverse, and having them all on one cart means getting some serious bang for your buck. Are they absolutely perfect representations? No. However, the problems are so slight that many likely won't even notice or care. If you're a classic Sonic fan looking for a portable fix, or if you've never had a chance to play these games and see why Sonic is so famous today, Sonic Classic Collection could not be more highly recommended.
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on March 6, 2010
Sonic Classic Collection has Sonic The Hedgehog 1-3, Sonic and Knuckles, the lock-on versions of Sonic 2 and 3 featuring Knuckles, and a small gallery of illustrations. All four games look and play really well, and are for the most part really good ports of the Genesis games.

The games do have a few small flaws:
-A few of the sound effects seemed to have suffered in quality, and in a couple places they overlap and sound rather strange.
-There are a few frame rate issues, particularly in the Metropolis Zone of Sonic 2. However, the Genesis games had some slow down too, so it could be from that rather than from the port.
-There are also a few graphical glitches, most of them minor, such as a small section of pixels briefly changing colors when the screen scrolls up or down really fast. The worst thing I've seen so far is in the special stages of Sonic 3/Sonic and Knuckles, where the tiles on the floor will sometimes scroll in a jerky fashion
- To pause, you have to tap a button on the touch screen. Start doesn't seem to do anything. This isn't so much a flaw, but it is a bit annoying when you want to pause and forget that start doesn't work anymore.

Overall, I don't think these flaws really hurt any of the games, and I'd recommend this collection to anyone who wants to play Sonic on the go!
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on March 2, 2010
It's finally nice to see these games released on a handheld that replicates the original SEGA Genesis perfectly. This collection includes the games Sonic 1, 2, 3, Sonic & Knuckles with their respective lock-on games as well. The original music is retained.

They did make a few changes which did tick me off:

1. The original multiplayer feature in Sonic 2, 3 and in the lock-on have been disabled.
2. In order to pause the game, you must select pause on the touch screen (can't use debug or cheats).
3. You cannot custom configure the buttons.

Aside from these problems, this is a great port for a portable system (much better than that Sonic The Hedgehog Genesis for Gameboy Advance, which was horrible!). If you wanna take classic Sonic on the go, this game won't let you down.
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After the failed attempt to bring The Sega Genesis Sonic classic in 2006 on Game Boy Advance with Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis, Sega finally got it right with Sonic classics collection for the DS.
Unlike Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis, The graphics stay unmodified and stay true to the original game. However there are 2 modifications, which aren't that big of a deal.

A. In the originals, When you got the Running Sneaker prize box, The music would play at a faster speed. Now, it's also at a higher pitch.
B. No 2 player options in Sonic 2 or sonic 3
AT least with this release, the game play and graphics stay true to their original Format

1. Sonic 2 and 3 with Knuckles come pre-unlocked, where as in Sonic Mega Collection Plus, you have to unlock them.
2. Save feature. Save, Exit out and start back up again
3. Unmodified game play and graphics

1. Sonic 3 without Knuckles - Here's my issue. Sonic Spinball should have taken it's place. On Sonic 3 without Knuckles, You can play as Sonic, Tails or Sonic With Tails. With Knuckles, these 3 options are still there. Knuckles is an additional 4th option. So Putting The standard Sonic 3 was a waste of space when Sonic Spinball could have easily taken place

2. Genesis Sonic titles only. Unlike Sonic Mega Collection Plus, That has Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and Sega Master System titles, which were eventually re-issued as Sega Game gear titles. Considering a Disc probably holds more than a DS cartridge, this is an understandable con, but a con nonetheless.
3. No 2 player options in Sonic 2 or sonic 3. They could have made it possible via DS download play
4. Only the touch screen pauses the game - Kinda hard to get used to not pushing Start to pause.
5. Save feature requires you to start the entire stage over. Sonic Mega Collection Plus allows you start back up at the specific spot you saved at

With that being said, 4 Classic Sonic games on The DS, What more can you ask for?
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on August 31, 2013

This game is a port of the big 4 of Sonic games for the Genesis, brought to the Nintendo DS. You actually *do* get 4 full games, but there is also the bonus Sonic 2 & Knuckles as well as Sonic 3 & Knuckles. There's also a little picture gallery, which is doesn't really impress me all that much, but is nice to look at, I suppose.
If you liked Sonic games, especially the original Sonic (Genesis) games or the Sonic Advance series (Game Boy Advance), this game is worth a shot.
Can I play these games on a Genesis or on a different compilation? Absolutely. I prefer this version because I like taking this game with me anywhere. It's a good alternative to a magazine in places like a waiting room, and the save feature is very helpful. (Anyone that remembers older games without a save feature know what I'm talking about.)

Things to be Aware of
If I'm not mistaken, the games are emulated, and as a result are mostly faithful to their original forms, but do have some minor graphical glitches, mostly color-wise and frame-rate problems. Both of these issues are fairly unnoticeable to me, and do sort of remind me of the frame-rate problems when the Genesis would slow down a little. (: The only graphical glitch that bothers me is that because of the difference between the Genesis' resolution and the DS' resolution, things that are supposed to be round are ever so slightly off. It's the most noticeable when Sonic has a shield on, but again, it's a minor problem.
One nostalgia flaw I found in this game is that when I get the speed shoes, as another reviewer pointed out, the music doesn't play faster, but plays at a higher pitch. A bit of a bummer.
The VS mode is also missing, which I honestly don't miss all that much, but would have been nice to have for completeness.
One thing I do miss, which is most likely not an issue with others: NO BLUE SPHERE GAME! For those that don't know, it's the game that you got when you combined Sonic & Knuckles with Sonic 1. It's basically the special stages in S&K/S3. It would have been nice to have that game in a portable with save states. Oh well.
Another annoying point: to pause, you have to use the touch screen, not the Start button. Argh! Because of this, no cheats / debug mode.

Having Trouble with this Game?
I read many of the reviews on this game that gave terrible scores because they believed the game didn't work. Fortunately, that is most likely NOT the case. (Which you should be glad to know, since this is a good game!)
Let me preface with this (to get to how to get the darn game to work, you can skip to the next paragraph): older games generally were not very explanatory in-game mostly due to space constraints. Instead, games usually came with a very full instruction manual. Controls, backstory, enemy/item lists. The works! It was very worthwhile to read the manual, as trying to play the games without it, well... it generally wouldn't end well. Now, games usually come with a beginning-of-the-game tutorial. Quite handy! Because of this, manuals have also become quite skimpy, unsatisfying and not worth a read. Now, since this game is a compilation of old games for a new system, we have no in-game pointers as well as a minimal, unhelpful manual. Not a good combo, if you ask me.
When you start the game, you should get a language selection (English, Spanish, and French). After selecting your language, select "Games." Pick which game you want to play. The game will load up, and you will see the SEGA logo. After that, the beginning screen will show up. At this screen, press "Start." You should be now playing the game. If that's not the case, keep pressing Start until you get back to the title screen and get into the game.

What Do the "Save" and "Load" buttons do?
These add the saving functionality to these older games that were not originally designed with a save function. Nifty, huh? (Note: Sonic 3 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles don't have these options, since they have save functionality built-in.)
To save your game, just press save. To resume your save, when you load up the game, press "Load." You'll be back in the beginning of the last Act (level) you were in.
NB: For your saves in S3/S3&K, you start at the beginning of the last Zone (group of levels) you were in.
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on February 1, 2013
Most of you gamers probably know these Sonic titles by heart when you take notice of this Nintendo DS "greatest hits" collection. It's a slightly different feel on another platform, yet the added bonus is that you can use your stylus to do a "quicksave". (On Sonic 3, you still have the autosave feature so you really don't need the stylus to access that particular game.)

Sonic 1 is what started the whole Sega Genesis craze. I love each of the 6 zones that you can blaze through (yes, pun intended). My favorite soundtracks are the Green Hill Zone, Spring Hill Zone, and Star Light Zone. This game isn't particularly hard to beat; you just need to be able to collect at least 50 rings before clearing a level so that you can try your hand at getting all of the 6 Chaos Emeralds (or else you won't get the best ending).

Sonic 2 was a step up. Tails was introduced, and he hopped and bopped along with Sonic (although, you can also choose to go through the game WITHOUT him). The Chaos Emeralds were much easier to gain, although there were 7 this time around. The soundtrack was even better (with the ingratiating exception of the Mystic Cave Zone -- aaargh!!). My favorite zones on here are Emerald Hill Zone, Aqua Hill Zone, Oil Ocean Zone, and Metropolis Zone. This is also one of the few Sonic titles where Dr. Robotnik is VERY HARD to beat. Once you reach the Death Egg Zone, you have to defeat Metal Sonic, then Robotnik's final giant robot creation. And, you have to do all of that WITHOUT ANY RINGS!! It took me several tries to pull it off, but the best ending is worth it!!

Sonic 3 grew by leaps and bounds, graphically and musically. The level layout was much meatier, and gaining the Chaos Emeralds was even easier (you have to collect a certain amount of Blue Spheres in 3-D mode). But, the hard part is actually locating the giant rings hidden throughout each level (Hint: you can find 4 of them in Angel Island Zone alone). Sonic 3 was also the introduction of Sonic's short time rival, Knuckles. My favorite zones here are Angel Island Zone, Hydrocity Zone, and Ice Cap Zone (great music on that one!!!). Dr. Robotnik is much easier to beat at the end of this game, although his final robotic creation is quite ugly (but the boss battle music more than makes up for that).

On Sonic & Knuckles, you could play as either character. However, if you want the FULL experience, then you need to use Sonic. You can't go through the Sky Sanctuary Zone or the Death Egg Zone without him!! Getting the Chaos Emeralds is trickier this time around, and you still have to find the giant rings hidden throughout each zone (the Blue Sphere game still applies here). On the Sandopolis Zone, you can find 3 giant rings, but the locations are very well hidden. My favorite zones here are the Flying Battery Zone (you can't go wrong with the music!), Lava Reef Zone, and of course the Death Egg Zone (best music ever!). Dr. Robotnik is much harder on this game to beat. You can work through the entire level and still have rings left over, but if you lose a life, then you will have a real struggle trying to defeat him. If you've collected all of the Chaos Emeralds, you will also have one final battle with Robotnik as "Super" Sonic! And it IS a doozy.

So if you've already played the Sonic series on other platforms, then you might want to save your $20. There are some slight technical/cosmetic glitches on this particular DS version (hence the 4 star rating instead of the 5 that it truly deserves). But for anyone who HASN'T experienced Sonic at blazing speed, then you won't have a problem with Sonic Classic Collection. However, it may also be helpful to all of you to try THESE Sonic series as well:

Sonic Mega Collection (Gamecube)
Sonic Mega Collection Plus (Playstation 2)
Sonic Adventure DX -- Director's Cut (Gamecube -- features 12 unlockable Sonic titles from the Sega Game Gear series)
Sonic Gems Collection (Gamecube)
Sonic Genesis Ultimate Collection (Playstation 3/Xbox 360)

Of course, the alternative option is to download the Sonic titles on your Wii if you want to play each one at a time.
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on July 30, 2011
I just wanted to clarify that Level Select codes do work with this Sonic collection. I say this because an earlier reviewer stated it did not but he was incorrect. It is possible that some versions do and some don't but I believe the reviewer just flat out didn't know how to corrctly activate the codes properly (other then that the review I'm referring to was right on about the game). I will say that as a kid (just turned 31) I was definately a Nintendo kid. Anything Nintendo I had including all Nintendo Power Magazines (and still have to this day). The ONE game that always made me want a Genesis though was Sonic games. With that being said I got this for my 4 year old son for $5!!! used (pretty much new - just no plastic wrap) and if I had gotten my hands on this 20 years ago (that makes me feel old) I would have *pooped* myself. Literally! Some reviews complain of "frame rate issues" and "slow downs sometimes when Sonic gets hit and rings fly". So what? Doesn't bother me in the least because thats how it was back in the day. It's in the roots of every real gamer. Yeah I agree that a game from 20 years ago should run perfectly on DS but to me its not a flaw. Some people listen to vinyl records because the "crackles" bring on the nostalgia even more. Same case with this supposed issue people have. This is definately a good example of what bothers some may not bother others. My only negative to say about the DS Sonic Collection is pretty much one of those. It seems to me that the aspect ratio is a hair off almost slighly stretched and I wasn't quite sure if it was just me until I got to Dr. Eggman at the end of Sonic 1 Act 3 Green Hill Zone. This whole part as you fight Eggman stays on one screen on original versions and all ports to Xbox Live and the Sega Collection ports. On the DS version it shifts slightly left to right as you run back and forth telling me the image is stretched. Lazy Sega interns I guess. Don't know but definately not a deal breaker by any means. Its not really noticeable but as I play it I keep wondering if theres a setting or if I'm just looking for flaws. Even as I write this I have yet to find anyone online complain of the same thing so maybe I'm seeing things(pretty confident i'm not though). Anyways, good game and it does it's job.
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on March 19, 2014
So, I'm a pretty big fan of the classic Sonic games. Some of my earliest and fondest gaming memories come from enjoying Sonic 1-3& Knuckles on the Sega Genesis as a kid. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to hear about this collection. In one portable cartridge you get all three original Sonic games and their lock-on counterparts; what's not to love? The infamous Sonic 1 port for the Game Boy Advance had left me a bit wary, however this one seemed to be getting very positive reviews on this site so I went ahead and bought it anyway. Everybody makes mistakes, after all.

Simply put, these...are not the games I grew up with. The graphics have taken a huge hit in these ports. The games lag like crazy every few seconds, which is less than ideal for games like these that require quick reflexes and timely button presses. There's nothing more frustrating than getting hit or even dying because the game decides you were going too fast and slows to a crawl. I've noticed a lot of sprites and graphics flickering and going out of sync with the sound effects. Even the sound is glitchy; while playing Sonic 2, the game volume would go up and down automatically for no reason. All of these bugs would perhaps be easy enough to ignore on their own, but they all add up to take the fun out of the experience.

It's a real shame. These games are still classics that hold up well, but Sega has managed to turn them into something completely unplayable. As a result, it's hard to recommend this collection over any other (Ultimate Genesis Collection or Sonic Mega Collection, for example), portable or not.
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There is no doubt about Sonic The Hedgehog, and the joy that Sega has given him all throughout his lifetime. It has honestly been nearly 20 years since we've seen the bluest blur and the speed demon he has made himself show. While his days in the 3-D world haven't been as honestly strong on the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 on his games like Sonic & The Black Knight, Sonic Adventure from the Gamecube and Sega's Dreamcast days, and other titles. Still, when it comes down to his classics from the Sega Genesis days, they always have a great home with the hard core gamer. That has been shown so many times, and it is right here again for the DS whenever you deeply need a little taste of the original blue speed.

Sonic Classic Collection for the Nintendo DS, brings in Sonic from his original Sega Genesis days, now into a full light on the Nintendo DS. The game features the first 4 great Sonic speed titles, Sonic 1, Sonic 2, the dynamic Sonic The Hedgehog 3 (which hard to believe the late Michael Jackson a.k.a King Of Pop, had composed the music for but chose not to want credit for it,) and Sonic & Knuckles. The gameplay also features the excitement of Tails, as he makes his way through the action on Sonic 2 & Sonic 3, as well as Knuckles the Echidna with the hidden gameplay when you play him during Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The graphics are not bad, but try to being back the classic gameplay that was showcased well from Sonic Genesis era, but the gameplay from all of the classic levels of the game from the circus-themed Carnival Night Zone of Sonic 3, to the very first time you've played with Knuckles in the Mushroom Hill Zone. The control is very simple and easy to master through each of the challenging levels of gameplay, even when you go through the clever and quick-witted bonus levels like the 3-D sphere zones from Sonic & Knuckles & Sonic 3. But overall, you definitely get that classic feeling overall of why Sonic has been here to bring in that need for speed against Dr. Robotnik that has been 20 years of madness.

All in all, if you've never even played any of the classic games from Sonic's original era than Sonic Classic Collection would be a great buy for the Nintendo DS. If you don't own the Wii or have anyway of downloading those great games online, it would be a great addition for your DS library. I loved these games years ago when I owned the classic Sega Genesis, and I know as a hard core gamer that Sonic's beginnings are definitely always worth the money.

Graphics: B

Sound: B 1/2+

Control: B+

Fun & Enjoyment: B

Overall: B
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on May 13, 2014
My son loves this collection. It's great that all his favorite games are packed together. I grew up playing sonic, and it's fun to see my kids play too.
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