Compilation Corner: Sega 3D Classics Collection

I had to wait seven months for a physical release in Europe, this ain’t 1991 anymore, it’s 2016 and worldwide releases should always be commonplace and regional releases in terms of different dates should be a myth at this point, but I think I know why Sega did this and I’ll explain later. But F*** YEAH, the game is here, I have a physical copy of it. And here’s the part where I b**** and moan because I’m British.

I went to GAME the day it was released…they didn’t have it, I didn’t know where to go and the next day, I went on YouTube and saw the trailer for the compilation on the Sega Europe YouTube channel and ONLY THEN did someone tell Sega Europe IN THE COMMENTS that he couldn’t find the game physically in the UK, to which Sega Europe replied and I have the quote here:

“The SEGA 3D Classics Collection is available exclusively from Argos Stores or online.”

ARE YOU F****** KIDDING ME? Only Argos? As in the last place I expected to see the f****** thing? But you know, it doesn’t matter, I got it at Argos nevertheless and I’m going to review it. I thought Yooka-Laylee would be the first newly-released game to review, but this comes early I guess.

Sega 3D Classics Collection, developed by M2 and published by Sega and was…well, here’s its history. The series started off with Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives, released in Japan in 2015. There were two volumes released as a compilation in Japan. The west eventually got a series of Sega 3D Classics on the 3DS Nintendo eShop, I managed to get a few like Thunder Blade, Out Run and Gunstar Heroes.

There was a US physical release eventually, released in April 2016 with its own unique selection of games…and then Europe and me were disappointed because we didn’t see any release here. So, what did we do? We “politely” asked Sega of Europe to release the compilation here, and as a physical release…no, I’m serious, people of Europe actually politely asked Sega for this, as well as other Sega games that didn’t get a European release. And Sega said, “OK” and so, many months later, it’s eventually released on the 4th November 2016. And then Sega of Japan announced Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3: Final Stage…with no announcement of a western release, but since the game has Sonic 2 on it, it’s more likely it will, and then Europe has to wait 10 years for it.

The game contains ten games which comprise of:

  • Altered Beast
  • Galaxy Force II
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Thunder Blade
  • Fantasy Zone
  • Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa (Sega Master System & Arcade)
  • Maze Hunter 3-D
  • Power Drift
  • Puyo Puyo 2

And yes, I’ll do a summary of…the majority of them, and since I’ve already reviewed some of these games, I’ll just link my reviews to some of them but I’ll give you a summary of all of them anyway. And for the games I haven’t fully reviewed yet may get a full review in the future, I’m just informing you how the games work and if they’re good or not.

Altered Beast (Sega Mega Drive) (Already Reviewed)

I had a go at this game again, my feelings towards it in my review remains the same, it’s still a dated game but it’s a classic in its own right…it doesn’t mean I have to forcefully enjoy itself. Extras include a random transformation mode…which you can input a code on the Sega Mega Drive version so it’s nothing special. The 3D is rather ho-hum, it’s there if you want it but it won’t really enhance the game, in fact when you transform and see it in 3D, you can see the image box of the beast behind the flames, I think M2 just missed it or they couldn’t do anything about it, I just find it distracting is all. If you’re looking to just get a standalone download of this game…please don’t.

Galaxy Force II (Arcade)

This is a 3D Rail Shooter where you shoot everybody with lasers and missiles in six levels with my final level being my favourite because of the vortex wormhole and it reminds me of Doctor Who before it turned to s***. The 3D graphics look similar to Thunder Blade (which I’ll talk about in a bit), but its sci-fi level design looks pretty nice with a very colourful and unique design; had it been made today, everything would be dark, brown and forgettable. The 3D, in terms of a 3DS feature as well as the original graphics for this game look amazing, a fantastic use of 3D to immerse you in its space-blasting chaos.

But I’ve sort of realised that these Sega Super Scaler games have the same problem as most modern games, they put graphics first, gameplay “eh”! NOT TO SAY THESE GAMES ARE BAD, but this sort of reminds me of Space Harrier…and After Burner. I’ll explain it all when I look deep into it, but for now, it’s worth playing on a Sunday Afternoon. Oh, by the way! Michael Jackson and Diana Ross both had Arcade machines of the game, so you know it’s worth the purchase for some.

Thunder Blade (Arcade) (Already Reviewed)

This is a 3D Rail Shooter where you shoot everybody with bullets and missiles in four levels…oh, I thought this was a toned-down version of Galaxy Force II…wait what? If you played Thunder Blade, you near enough played Galaxy Force II…maybe. As I said in my review, it’s not worth buying standalone due to not being worth £4 for something very short. And now I’m screwing for getting a downloadable version before I even knew this was going to be part of the collection.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) (Already ReviewedTwice)

OK, remember when I said why this may have gotten a late release in the west. I’ve sort of realised that every single Sega compilation, especially in the west, HAS to have a Sonic game in it. I mean Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives had Ecco the Dolphin, Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Brothers, Out Run, Out Run 3-D, Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, Space Harrier, Space Harrier 3-D and Streets of Rage. Notice something about these list of games? There isn’t a Sonic game, and in the minds of Sega, if there isn’t a Sonic game in it, it won’t sell, despite Sega porting classic Sonic games into EVERYTHING.

But even then, why only a random selection of games and not the ones you already released in Japan physically, where’s the Arcade version of Fantasy Zone 1, Ecco the Dolphin, Out Run, Out Run 3-D, Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, Space Harrier, Space Harrier 3-D or Streets of Rage? Why not those games on this compilation, and people LOVE these games but you left them out? I mean, if you’re doing a volume 2 for the west then sure, go for it, but you released the Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection with over 40 games from that 16-bit console (despite leaving a lot more games that deserved it, Super Thunder Blade did not deserve to be on the list), it couldn’t have been that hard for the 3DS, could it?

I’m just saying that whilst I love Sonic, and Sonic 1 is a good game, just please Sega, and I know it sounds weird coming from me…STOP PORTING THESE GAMES, WE HAVE ENOUGH CLASSIC SONIC PORTS, GIVE US MORE FROM YOUR LIBRARY, STOP RELYING ON SONIC FOR THE ONE MILLIONTH TIME…JUST PLEASE!

In terms of gameplay, it’s Sonic 1 with an extra feature, the spin dash, WOW! Listen, if it ain’t the Taxman release, I couldn’t a flying f*** at this point. The 3D isn’t impressive and I don’t think it was needed. If you somehow haven’t played the first Sonic game and you’re interested…go for it, if you don’t have a 3DS, you can find it on other consoles.

Fantasy Zone (Sega Master System) (Arcade Game Already reviewed, Master System is near enough the same game)

Here, we have a shoot ‘em up with cute graphics, a cute ‘em up, if you will… actually, here’s a video to summarise…and at the end, where I scream, feel free to close it ASAP because it’s awfully cringy. The 3D doesn’t feel like it’s there and I never minded it, though there are some moments that I feel do pop-up OK. If only we just got the Arcade version in the package and call it a day. I don’t think it ever got a standalone downloadable release so you’ll only get it here on the 3DS compilation…or just get the Sega Master System cart, no biggie! And for those who wanted the Arcade version, it’s on the Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection as part of the Extras. OH! By the way, if you can’t find it in the collection, go to extras and tap the bottom left corner of the screen and its unlocked…I don’t know why.

Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa (ファンタジーゾーンII オパオパの涙 Fantajī Zōn tsū: Opa-Opa no Namida) (Arcade and Sega Master System)

This is sort of an odd one, since the Sega Master System port was made before the Arcade version…as in the Arcade version was released in 2008. Go figure! I’ll explain when I make a full review of them both. It’s similar to the first title, though the Master System original made some improvements I feel make for a fun game, whilst the Arcade version is mostly the same as Fantasy Zone with much harder bosses. The 3D for the arcade version looks pretty nice, thanks to the vibrant colours and design popping-out like crazy, whilst the Master System…same as the first one I talked about. If you just want a standalone version on the 3DS, it’s worth it.

Maze Hunter 3D (Sega Master System)

You go around, fighting enemies in a maze and you find a way to get to the exit, it’s as redundant and pointless of a game and the only reason why it’s of any relevance is because of the 3D where sprites and backgrounds have their own illusion of depth, like jumping makes the main character look like it’s popping out of the screen. Good thing this isn’t a standalone release or this would be as pointless as Urban Championship. Though to be fair, the 3D in this game, especially in the 3DS port is actually impressive thanks to its different types of visual depth.

Power Drift (Arcade)

Think of Out Run, but it’s now racing instead of driving. The graphics look…OH GOD is this game a mess. The gameplay is way too fast for the level design, especially later tracks; I just try to figure out which way to turn. And to make matters worse, the 3D is just a distraction, I felt a bit queasy after playing this and that usually doesn’t happen to me so watch out. I don’t know if I could recommend it as it may be a bit hectic in a way.

Puyo Puyo 2 (Arcade) (Read this review, for now)

With a logo at the start of the screen showing its support against aids…what the f…If you liked Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, this is a recommendation, and I’m not saying anything else at the moment because I want to talk about the Puyo Puyo series in-depth and talk about most of the games in the series. It’s been a personal project of mine but it will be a while for obvious collecting and regional reasons.

Menu: The menu-wise, it looks nice and simple, with illustrations of each character from different games drawn by Ken Sugimori, a character designer for the Pokémon series. Though a bit about the opening of the compilation feels like a very lazy job, as in you see backgrounds moving and the character illustrations randomly moving around, it looks like a flash animation and it doesn’t show the quality I expect from Sega.

Options: The only options are in the games, so you open a game, it plays, you pause and there will be the settings, and things you can do in settings are plentiful, from choosing which region to play, to the music volume, equalizer changes and much more. Heck, the Sega Master System games give you the option to use FM sound instead of the default music from your original games, I’ve listened to Master System FM music and they’re a beauty, even better than the original music. If only the western Sega Master Systems had FM capabilities.

Amount of games: With only 10 games, depending on what games you’re looking for, I find personally pretty lacking, though considering that these games cost around £4 on the eShop, the amount is decent at best.

Playability on the Console: To me, this is PERFECT for the 3DS, they’re nice to play on and the different options mean you’re going to have a comfortable time playing the games.

Process of Emulation: M2 have done a bang up job emulating these games, but they didn’t laze about as instead of just putting the ROMS on the cart, they literally took the code and edited it…mostly to add 3D to it because it’s on their contract.

Overall, Sega 3D Classics Collection is for those who love retro games, because I don’t find any games worth the price for those who aren’t the player of classic Sega games, though I’m glad that some of the games that were lost a long time ago have been preserved so thanks Sega…though can you leave Sonic out of this next time, if you’re doing a Vol 2 for the west…please do another one for the west. In the UK it’s £24.99 at Argos if you want a physical copy.

You can get it on the Nintendo 3DS.

Rating: 3/5


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