The Sega Mega Drive Collection (known in the U.S. as the Sega Genesis Collection) is a video game compilation for the PlayStation 2 and PSP, compiled and emulated by Digital Eclipse. It includes 28 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis games from a variety of genres and ranging from 1989–96, as well as 5 unlockable classic Sega arcade games. Later a game compilation was released called Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, which has almost all the same games featured in this collection, plus several more.
List of games:
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle Released in 1989
Altered Beast (Genesis/Mega Drive and Arcade versions (Arcade version only on PS2), Released in 1989
Bonanza Bros. Released in 1990
Columns Released in 1990
Comix Zone Released in 1995
Decap Attack Released in 1991
Ecco the Dolphin Released in 1993
Ecco: The Tides of Time Released in 1994
Ecco Jr. Released in 1995
Flicky Released in 1991
Gain Ground Released in 1991
Golden Axe (Genesis/Mega Drive version) Released in 1989
Golden Axe II Released in 1991
Golden Axe III Released in 1993
Kid Chameleon Released in 1992
Phantasy Star II Released in 1989
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Released in 1991
Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium Released in 1994
Ristar Released in 1995
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (unavailable in the PAL version) Released in 1990
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Released in 1993
Sonic The Hedgehog Released in 1991
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Released in 1992
Super Thunder Blade Released in 1988
Sword of Vermilion Released in 1990
Vectorman Released in 1995
Vectorman 2 Released in 1996
Virtua Fighter 2 (Genesis/Mega Drive version) Released in 1996
This collection also features more than 35 minutes of unlockable interviews from SEGA of Japan, a "museum" with facts about the games, strategy tips for each game and a set of unlockable arcade games. The PS2's unlockable arcade titles are: Altered Beast Arcade, Future Spy, Tac/Scan, Zaxxon, and Zektor. The PSP's unlockables are: Astro Blaster, Congo Bongo, Eliminator, Space Fury, and Super Zaxxon.
The European version does not include Shadow Dancer. However, it does fix previous speed problems concerning Sonic the Hedgehog which plagued the game's original PAL Mega Drive incarnation and most home console emulations of the game.
This is the first time Golden Axe III has been released in Europe and Australia and the second in North America, as it was briefly available in the U.S. on Sega's Sega Channel.
This collection marks the first appearance of the two Vectorman games on the PS2 in North America, since Sonic Gems Collection has remained unreleased Stateside on the console, with the exception of the GameCube version.
According to ToeJam & Earl Productions, they were going to include ToeJam and Earl and its sequel, ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron as well, but Sega wasn't very fond of the series, so they included Sonic the Hedgehog and its first sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as well as Flicky, Ristar, and Comix Zone instead, to make up for the emulation issues of the PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Mega Collection Plus. The reason is listed on the bottom of this section.
It is of note that the Streets of Rage trilogy is also absent from this collection in the wake of its removal from Western versions of Sonic Gems Collection.
Although mentioned in passing, the collection does not include the first Genesis Shinobi game, The Revenge of Shinobi, possibly due to copyright issues surrounding the inclusion of Spider-Man as a boss character at the end of Stage 6.
The absence of the Streets of Rage-series as well as The Revenge of Shinobi might also have to do with all those games featuring soundtracks by Yuzo Koshiro. It is especially notable because unlike Streets of Rage where he contributed the soundtracks for all three games, The Revenge of Shinobi was the only game in the Genesis-incarnations of the Shinobi-series he composed the music for, and it is the only game of that series missing from the collection. This makes licensing-issues concerning his work seem like a possible reason for leaving these games (which are among the most popular on the Sega Genesis) out.
Similarly, this collection is the first release of some Mega Drive titles, especially Phantasy Star IV, on a non-Sega console, as it has only been seen twice before – on its native Mega Drive, and in the Phantasy Star Collection on the Sega Saturn (available only in Japan).
While for the most part emulation of the games themselves have no defects, some people have noticed that sound emulation in some games is not exactly the same as their Genesis incarnations. This compilation was developed by Digital Eclipse, whose more recent compilations have become known for emulation problems. Regularly noted examples are the "Spindash" sound in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 fading out in a peculiar way, sound effects in Sonic the Hedgehog and "Columns" sounding slightly off, the special stage victory theme in the Sonic games missing, as well as no change in tempo when obtaining Power Sneakers in either game, wrong/missing death screams in Golden Axe and the sequel, a bizarre sounding Star Handle noise in Ristar and the "Victory Theme" in Phantasy Star IV not stopping the battle music. It should also be noted that Golden Axe 3 suffers badly from poor sound emulation compared to all the other games, and a few games had minor graphical modifications, such as in Sonic the Hedgehog when the screen sometimes flashes when Sonic is underwater and in Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium when the screen sometimes flashes when a character was poisoned. Some of the sound effects in Altered Beast Arcade are off too, including the effect when grabbing a spirit ball power-up, hitting most enemies, and some of the beast secondary attacks (such as the Weredragon laser barrier).
Most of these errors have been fixed in a new enhanced version Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which allowing high definition playing through scaling-up and filters.
Source: Wikipedia, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Mega_Drive_Collection," available under the CC-BY-SA License.