Sega Genesis Classics review for PS4, Xbox One

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One
Publisher: Sega
Developer: D3T Limited
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1-2
Online: No

Did you pop cartridges into your video game console when you were a kid? Do you remember a time when video game consoles didn’t connect to the internet? Do you remember when Sega did what Nintendon?t? If you answered yes to these questions, this review is probably for you. Ever since Sega left the console market we have seen collections of their games for every console imaginable. Saturn hasn?t been featured thus far, Dreamcast wasn?t given much respect besides Sonic and Crazy Taxi (waiting on the long standing rumors of emulated Dreamcast games), but the Genesis has seen plenty of love. Each Sony console since the PS2 has seen a Genesis collection, so by now you would expect the PS4 to have the best, most complete collection? sadly that isn?t the case.

Let?s start with the menus and user interface; upon starting up the Sega Genesis Classics you’re left in a virtual living room that is straight out of the 90?s. Unfortunately, the visuals used to replicate an old living room looks like it was created on an indie budget, and the problems don?t stop there. The games are presented on a shelf, you navigate around the shelf to pick a title, once selected you see the cartridge for the title go into the Genesis and away you go. Problem with this is that the box art/spine art and cartridge art are not the actual art used for each game. I have no problem with them not being able to use the original artwork for whatever reason (as strange as that might be), but if you can?t use the artwork, then don?t use this style of presentation to select and play games. I know this sounds very nit-picky but think about it like this; imagine you just picked up a SNES Classic and you’re navigating through the menu to find Super Mario World and instead of the classic SNES box or cartridge you’re given some generic Mario art. Nintendo would never let that fly? and neither should Sega. The big draw to this release is nostalgia and they are playing that up with the themed living room, but not enough attention to detail is given on the main event of the room; the actual games.

Now all the games play exactly how you would expect, you can even play the games in mirror mode. Reversing the way you play classic games can really mess with you and provides a pretty cool new experience. There?s something just odd about running to the left with Sonic, but it?s an interesting add on. You also have the ability to rewind like most compilations of classic games now a days. My next problem is the game line up. Let me go back a generation for a minute, to Sonic?s Ultimate Collection, which is my favorite Sega Genesis collection. I could play all of the Sonic games, Ecco the Dolphin, Vectorman, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Comix Zone, Ristar and more. The Sega Genesis Classics arrives on the PS4 with some of those games?. that?s right, only some of those games. How is it over nine years from the Ultimate Collection and we?re a generation greater yet we don?t have at least all of the games included from the PS3? This is my greatest problem with the collection, no Ecco the Dolphin and missing Sonic the Hedgehog titles. They did add the ToeJam and Earl titles, which I love, but how do you not include all of the titles for your mascot?

Overall the Sega Genesis Classics is a fine set of games from the 16 bit era. Maybe I?m giving it a bit of tough love as I?m someone that grew up with a Genesis and was a bit of a Sega fanboy, but I just can?t move passed not being able to play Sonic 3 or Sonic and Knuckles, especially when a collection from the PS3 had both of those titles. The Genesis Classics was provided to us on the PS4 and is also available for the Xbox One, but not the Nintendo Switch. The Switch will be seeing a different set of Genesis titles released for it during this summer and they will be sold individually. That practice, paired with not including all of the Sega Genesis hits, leads me to believe these are just cash grabs and not definitive collections the fans deserve, and I wouldn?t be surprised if we see another compilation in the not too distant future.

Grade: C