PlayStation 2

This review was originally published in Family Friendly Gaming.

Sega Genesis Collection is the most recent title in the retro gaming compilation trend. The short story on this game collection is that it contains a large number of games (30 in all), many of which are truly worthy of the “classics” label they carry. And the collection comes at a welcome retail price to add to its appeal.

Please note as you continue to read the review that the games of the collection have not been played in to completion due to the hundreds of hours that such completion would take. With that in mind, please realize that there may be some details missed or some troublesome content that I did not come across. Nevertheless, the editor and I were familiar with many of the games before this collection, and feel that the review is most likely to be a fair one. Moreover, the grading key reflects the best parts of the best games and the worst parts of the worst games.

Here\'s a list of the games included: Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle Altered Beast Bonanza Bros. Columns Comix Zone Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head Ecco the Dolphin Ecco II: The Tides of Time Ecco Jr. Kid Chameleon Flicky Gain Ground Golden Axe I Golden Axe II Golden Axe III Phantasy Star III Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millenium Ristar Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Super Thunder Blade Sword of Vermilion Vectorman Vectorman 2 Virtua Fighter 2
As previously mentioned, there are thirty games in this collection, and many of them can remind us all what it is that makes gaming so good. Games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Phantasy Star are just as fun to play today as they were ten or more years ago. All of the games seem to be replicated flawlessly, which (almost ironically) includes some of the games original flaws. Most of the games are engaging and offer a challenge with the kind of replay appeal that few modern games can reach. When taking into consideration the hardware limitations these games originally had, they are frequently impressive and artistic. The music and sound effects, while not usually among the greatest of gaming history, are still quite good. Some forgotten classics, like Ristar, show a considerable level of originality and interesting gameplay mechanics that didn’t seem to catch on, and this compilation allows gamers to go back and enjoy these forgotten games.

Unfortunately, not all of the games are great. Some games, like the Genesis version of Virtua Fighter 2 and Decap Attack, simply do not hold up their end of the bargain as classics. The nostalgia value for other games can outweigh the actual entertainment value of others. Not all of the games are a sight to behold (even given their original technical limitations), nor do all of the games come close to resembling masterpieces.

On the flip side, there are many games that are fairly free of inappropriate material. Major exceptions include Decap Attack, which features a zombie and lots of undead (this is probably the least entertaining game in the collection, and holds little motivation to play it anyway); the Phantasy Star games reference evil entities (only one, short demonic reference); Bonanza Bros., which is a burglary game that requires knocking out guards and police; Comix Zone, which contains mutant/zombies and some mild profanity; Altered Beast and the Golden Axe games have mythological content and some fantasy magic; the Shinobi games revolve around ninja on ninja platforming violence; Virtua Fighter 2 features extensive melee competition; the Vectorman games involve shooting strange creatures (much like Mega Man). The majority of the games involve a bit of violence, but most of the violence is pretty tame with the mentioned exceptions. There are a couple of suggestive comments and poorly dressed characters in the Phantasy Star games.

On the whole, the question of whether or not this game is for you or your family cannot be answered objectively. There are many games that are truly classics and worth playing, and these games are not usually the ones with the worst content. The technical quality of these games hold up fairly well over time, and the price makes a purchase that much more tempting. The vast amount of content in this collection is nothing to make light of. However, the collection is not without its moral shortcomings, and the decision of whether or not these games are for your family is for you to decide.

Breakdown of inappropriate content.
Violence - 6.5/10
Killing non-human, fictional beings (Ex. Robots or Aliens) (-3.5 pts)

The level of violence in these games varies greatly. Most of the time, the violence is fairly cartoonish and directed towards non-humans. Virtua Fighter 2 is familiar, bloodless fighting game. Comix Zone has you beating up (as well as knifing) strange creatures. Vectorman has you shooting bizarre beings as well.
Language - 8/10
Minor Swear Words are used once or twice (-2 pts)
Though no explicit language comes to mind, Comix Zone has instances of "bleeped" language.
Sexual Content - 8.5/10
Characters clothing is sexy or accentuates their sexuality (Ex. tight clothing or low cleavage) (-1.5 pts)
Some of the characters in the Phantasy Star Games, such as Nei, could benefit from more clothing. Another Phantasy Star Character shares the measurements of the protagonist\\'s figure.
Occult/Supernatural - 3.5/10

Game takes place in an environment with minor occult references. (-3 pts)
Borderline magic (hard to tell if occult) is used by player. (-3.5 pts)
None of the content in the games seems to be outrightly derivative of the occult, but the Phantasy Star Games make reference to demons, and many games give the player some form of supernatural powers. Rarely do these powers come across as anything more than fantasy powers that exist to benefit gameplay.
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

Game requires rejecting authority figures or laws. (-2 pts)
Bonanza Bros. revolves around breaking into buildings and stealing goods, stunning guards, police, and whatnot in the process.

Total Scores Gameplay: 16/20 Graphics: 8/10 Sound: 8/10 Stability: 4/5 Controls/Interface: 5/5 Violence - 6.5/10 Language - 8/10 Sexual Content - 8.5/10 Occult/Supernatural - 3.5/10 Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10 Total - 75.5/100 Bonus Scores This game shows the consequences of evil and/or messing with the occult. (+3 pts) Final Score - 78.5/100

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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