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Sega Mega Drive Collection Review

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Potent reminder that Sega created some of the most imaginative titles in gaming history

★★★★

While Nintendo devotees have always been smug in the knowledge they have the best games, the cool kids of the 16-bit era invariably chose the sleek, sexy Mega Drive over the family-friendly Super NES, preferring the suave Sonic to the dumpy Super Mario. And in this superb package of vintage Sega adventures, a new audience can sample the dynamic thrills of Mega Drive gaming.

While most retro packages are padded out with cheesy titles that were never any good in the first place, the Mega Drive Collection brings together some of the console’s best loved and most ambitious titles; from the legendary Sonic The Hedgehog and its superior sequels to three episodes from Sega’s Phantasy Star – via other MD classics such as Golden Axe, Ecco The Dolphin, Comix Zone and Shadow Dancer – this compilation is a blast from beginning to end, with Streets Of Rage being the only notable absentee in a list that helped define a generation of gamers.

In an age when most successful games are sequels, it’s refreshing to step back to a time when developers were free to experiment and offer players a wealth of unique experiences. And while the developer’s fortunes will never be the same again after losing the console war to Sony once the Dreamcast bit the dust, this collection is a potent reminder that Sega created some of the most imaginative titles in gaming history, and deserves to be cherished for its contribution to popular culture.

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