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VINE VOICEon February 14, 2009
Right to the point: There is nothing not to like about this collection. I've played it for the last few days and have loved every moment.

This disc brings together a huge collection of almost all of Sega's best games from the Genesis era. All the expected titles are here -- the Sonic the Hedgehog games, the Golden Axe series, Space Harrier, Shinobi and much more -- plus some awesome stuff you might not expect. (Presumably we'll see games like Afterburner and the lock-on version of Sonic 3 + S&Knuckles in a second installment.)

Two of the biggest reasons to be wowed by this set are:

Phantasy Star series -- With the four games included here (1-4), you get some of the best RPGs of the era and dozens upon dozens of hours of gameplay. The ahead-of-its-time Phantasy Star, the stunning Phantasy Star II (which influenced the direction of Final Fantasy in a big way), the amazing epic Phantasy Star IV. Just these four games alone are worth the $30. Heck, DOUBLE that. No fan of JRPG's should go without playing these.

Shining series -- Two predecessors of the popular Final Fantasy Tactics series (Shining paved the way for this sort of game) as well as a first-person dungeon crawler, these are fan favorites for a reason. They're great. Ahead of their time and they hold up great.

And SO many more. Shinobi. The difficult roguelike Fatal Labyrinth. Fun platformer Alex Kidd. Tetris clone Columns. Even coin-op classic Zaxxon! A HUGE collection!

All games allow you to save at any time, in any game, anywhere. This is a GREAT feature. Plus it saves high scores, has full 16:9 support for widescreen TVs, and you can toggle on graphics smoothing to make the games look even better than they did upon release. It's a dynamite feature. (The "museum" and interview extras are a nice bonus, too.)

All in all this is one of the best retro gaming bargains of the year. Got my copy a few days ago and already have loads of hours under my belt. The inclusion of not one but TWO fan favorite RPG series gives this disc an enormous amount of play value.

If you have any interest at all in retro gaming, ESPECIALLY if you were a fan of the Genesis era or if you missed out on the Genesis because you had a SNES, you owe it to yourself to grab this collection.
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on February 12, 2013
Great value for all of these sega classics. Only other thing i can mention is I thought it was fun to go for the acheivements. Here's a list if you're wondering:

* Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
* Alien Storm
* Alien Syndrome (Arcade Version)
* Altered Beast 1
* Beyond Oasis
* Bonanza Bros. 1
* Columns
* Comix Zone
* Congo Bongo (Arcade Version)
* Decap Attack
* Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
* Dynamite Headdy
* E-SWAT: City Under Siege
* Ecco the Dolphin
* Ecco: The Tides of Time
* Fantasy Zone (Arcade Version)
* Fatal Labyrinth
* Flicky
* Gain Ground
* Golden Axe 1
* Golden Axe II
* Golden Axe III
* Golden Axe Warrior (Sega Master System Version)
* Kid Chameleon
* Phantasy Star (Sega Master System version)
* Phantasy Star II
* Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
* Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
* Ristar 1
* Shining in the Darkness
* Shining Force
* Shining Force II: Ancient Sealing
* Shinobi (Arcade version)
* Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
* Sonic 3D Blast
* Sonic & Knuckles
* Sonic Spinball
* Sonic the Hedgehog 1
* Sonic the Hedgehog 2
* Sonic the Hedgehog 3
* Space Harrier (Arcade Version)
* Streets of Rage 1
* Streets of Rage 2
* Streets of Rage 3
* Super Thunder Blade
* Vectorman 1
* Vectorman 2
* Zaxxon (Arcade Version)

Of the above, these are the games that must be unlocked

Golden Axe Warrior (SEGA Master System)
Phantasy Star (SEGA Master System)
Alien Syndrome (Arcade)
Altered Beast (Arcade)
Congo Bongo (Arcade)
Fantasy Zone (Arcade)
Shinobi (Arcade)
Space Harrier (Arcade)
Zaxxon (Arcade)
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on March 25, 2009
Late last year, Sonic Team over at Sega released "Sonic Unleashed" which did have its problems, mind you, but didn't really do anything stellar the entire way through. Reviewers pointed out that Sonic's previous games were miles ahead better and I find nostalgia can help make a game's success. After all, that one game that critics hated at the time might've been one of your favorites but looking at it now you go "wow did that game have issues". Therein lies the major issue/fun with the Ultimate Genesis Collection: does the bulk of these games stand the test of time? Some definately do while others will probably get barely a few minutes before you decide it's awful but there's a lot of work to be done here if you get this.

One of the most important and influential game series that kickstarted the Sega Genesis was Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega's answer to Nintendo's Mario and included is a truckload of Sonic games: 1, 2, 3, Sonic and Knuckles, 3D Blast, Pinball and to a degree, Dr. Beatnik's Mean Bean Machine, a puzzle game akin to Dr. Wario, Yoshi's Cookie and Super Puzzle Fighter II. The first 4 are great and well worth the purchase while 3D Blast controls awkwardly, Pinball is decent but not stellar and Mean Bean Machine is good though later stages work a bit too damn fast for my tastes.

Another group featured is the side scroller platformer which run the gamut from Ristar to Kid Chameleon (woo!) to Decap Attack to E-Swat (big eh) to 2 Vectorman games. Beat-em-ups like Streets of Rage and Golden Axe are included and for RPG fans: all 4 Phantasy Stars. It's safe to say that nearly every kind of game is available on here from long drawn-out games to quicker arcade-y stuff but be warned: some of these games are...kind of hard. Not in that underpowered "everyone's better than you" way like a Ninja Gaiden but rather many times in the games you won't even get continues so if you die, boom, Game Over and you're sent back to the title screen which is really disheartening and I'm surprised I don't remember getting more furious when I was younger.

Now of course any collection from greatest hits to game collections is bound to have some stuff missing or curious additions. Fatal Labyrinth, the Ecco games are familiar but playing through them, they're surprisingly boring and Super Thunder Blade is too easy to die in. But then, most likely because of dual releases on the Super Nintendo we're missing some other favorites: Battletoads, Toe Jam and Earl, the awesome WWF games, Maximum Carnage, any of the Road Rashes and to be honest, I quite liked the Aero the Acro-Bat games. Most of these games you probably wouldn't give the time of day too while other ones like Ristar and Comix Zone actually surprised me.

Naturally like all Xbox 360 games, there's achievements and these aren't just simply beat game, beat game kind but rather objective based so for example one of Golden Axe's achievements is to use magic a certain amount of times. Easy right? Every time you get a magic ability, use it and eventually, there we go. And thanks to the ability to save games anywhere you want but pressing the Back button, some achievements like the ones for Mean Bean Machine, Columns or Sonic Pinball can be done just by saving states after a certain time and loading save if you die. There's a couple like "Yatta!" that can potentially drive you crazy since it's more luck than anything while others are just simply "Turn to easy, max lives, play".

Another disappointing factor is that the games don't have online play, whether co-op for Golden Axe or Streets of Rage or leaderboards. Imagine competing against somebody to see who can get the highest score in Columns or taking on enemies with other buddies but sadly none of it are implemented and it's strictly offline co-op. But there's quite a few unlockables from videos of the games' developers to additional games (while unlocking Shinobi is cool, Congo Bongo flat out sucks) but it's the games that are important and for completionists, having so much games to beat will surely keep you busy.

The Ultimate Genesis Collection is tough to judge as a game because for every Sonic the Hedgehog or surprising gem like Ristar there's godawfulness from Fatal Labyrinth to Flicky to Bonanza Bros. However getting all Sonics, Phantasy Stars, Streets of Rage, and Golden Axes on one disc is reason enough to get it.
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on June 17, 2014
My son played as a child and loved the games. He is 36 now, happened to see the games in a collection
so I surprised him with the games. He is a kid again; it was a great buy a fair price and the seller shipped quick.
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on February 19, 2016
Ah, it's great to have the classics available again. Sure, you're still using an Xbox controller instead of a SEGA controller, but it's still an enjoyable blast from the past. If you're a retro gamer, you have to buy this for your collection!
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on July 23, 2015
As a long-time Sonic The Hedgehog fanatic for over 20 years, it is a real treat to have ALL of the Sega Genesis-Era Sonic games now available for the Xbox 360 platform (And Playstation for the PS fans).

I remember very well playing the original Sonic The Hedgehog when it was brand new so, so many, incarnations ago, especially when the Sega Genesis era reached it's glorious zenith during the early to mid 1990s before bowing out around 1997 or 1998. I played every Sonic The Hedgehog game including both Sonic The Hedgehog, 2, 3, & even Knuckles. And also I loved playing even Sonic Spinball, despite it's rather awkward controls and spent hundreds of hours playing them.

The music from these games is unforgettable. I'll never forget that I literally took 'self-made' dance lessons to the music of "Spring Yard Zone" on the original game, "Hilltop Zone" on the second game, and the special stage music for Sonic The Hedgehog 3.

Yet while those games are classics for the ages, this collection has a whole stash of many other games, a lot of them came out long before our blue-mascot became a rival to Mario from the Nintendo console. Notable was the original Sega Genesis staple, Alex Kidd, who made his first appearance in 1989. Though the game itself didn't do much for me, but it was still a treat to actually play a game that was the staple image for Sega long before Sonic was even a thought or idea in some game developer's drawing board.

Other games included are "Comix Zone" and the "Vector Man" series.

Highly recommended for both new gamers and long-time gamers.
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on April 16, 2010
First let's talk about the value of this game. Essentially, it's 49 Sega games (including the unlockable titles) for about 20 dollars! If I was buying these games separately, it would be well over 100s of dollars because these titles tend to go for 5-6 dollars each. And some are not available on the wii, ps3, or xbox live outside of this disc. Good luck finding a genesis and cartridges too. I most likely would have never played most of these titles if it wasn't for this compilation. Example: Alex Kidd, Bonanza Bros. and Dynamite Headdy. I never even heard of these games but I love them so much after I played them.

This game is great for its nostalgia factor too. I feel like a gaming archeologist playing Flicky and the arcade version of Altered Beast. It's like exploring your grandparents attic for the first time. There's so many interesting things inside this disc. Playing Alien Storm for the first time was crazy cause I didn't expect to play a robot that self-destructed. There were moments in Streets of Rage 3 where I couldn't stop laughing at the sheer silliness of the game.

I also love the multiplayer games like Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, etc. There were times when my husband and i were just "accidentally" beating each other up in Streets of Rage and it was so hilariously fun. I loved every minute of it.

Here's my only problem with the game. The manual isn't really complete. You need to go to [...] to download a complete game manual. I understand this because it is 49 games, and I think if they had to re-print all the manuals to each game, it probably cost a heck of a lot more than 20 dollars. The HD graphic improvements are hit or miss for some games, but it's OK cause you can turn that option off. It's kinda sad that you can't lock Sonic and Knuckles with Sonic 3, but I'm fine with that cause this has 49 games!

Finally, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine just makes me angry.
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on February 13, 2009
I was ecstatic to hear the collection of titles for this collection. Since I sold my genesis a few weeks ago to buy this I figured it would be a great trade off and I could now play all my favorites on the XBOX360 without having to fuss with having another console hooked up.

I want to point out a few of the things for people on the fence about this collection. First if you enjoyed these games growing up you will love this collection. They play great, look great, and each game has a museum where there is tidbits of information about the game and box art.

Now to the negatives:

1. Sonic and Knuckles in the collection can not be used in "Lock on" mode. So you can not play Sonic 2 or Sonic 3 with Knuckles. This is disappointing considering the fact that Sonic Jam on the Sega Saturn has this feature.

2. No online leaderboards. I was surprised by this announcement. Other gaming collections feature online leaderboards and it would have gave all the games a greater sense of replay value. I am one of those people who loved and conquered Sonic 3 so many times I would have played it over and over just to make a leaderboard.

3. Achievements are fairly easy. ([...] Where the heck is the achievement for beating Streets of Rage 3 on hard? I can not tell you how many nights I stayed up when I was younger trying to beat it on hard with a friend. This leads me to my next point.

4. No online multiplayer. I will not go into this. Obviously this feature would have been awesome.

Some positive feature include being able to save your game and being able to organize the games by list so that your favorite game will always appear at the top of the list when you start up the collection.

Regarding the video quality. I have a 42 inch 1080p Westinghouse LCD TV and all the games look really bright and colorful when stretched to full screen. By default all games start in a windowed mode and you have to press the "Start" button and select "Video Options". From there you can stretch the game to full screen and enable a "Smoothing" option that makes the colors a little better. You have to do this for every game so it makes a little annoying when starting up each game for the first time.

In the end if you are a die hard Sega fan and want to relive the games of the past you owe it to yourself to pick up the collection. If you are hoping for something new then you might as well skip this collection for now. I doubt Sega will patch in online leaderboards or multiplayer.
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on January 14, 2016
Great collection of games. My son loves Sonic so this was a great introductory game set for him and my wife is a fan of many old school Sega games as well. So it's cool we actually have ONE game in the collection where we can all sit and play together, as my wife is not much of a gamer....but she loves the nostalgia of the old games, so this one was a good choice!
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on July 7, 2011
Pay no attention to the negative reviews for this game. If you'll notice, most of them are from people who don't remember playing the original versions of these games back in the '90s. If you remember going over to your friends house to play the original Sonic or passed up homework to try and beat Streets of Rage, then this game is for you. Seeing the original Sonic in HD on a widescreen TV is so satisfying.

Some have deducted points for the poor collection of games, but if you look at each of the titles, you'll notice that they were all produced by Sega. To include titles from other publishers would have been messy and likely more expensive, so Sega is forgiven for this one.

Best of all, you can save your game at any point and come back to it later. Plus, with the lower price tag, this game is totally worth it.
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