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The Sega Genesis Collection


Jul 10, 2006
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For those who can't wait for the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console or for Xbox Live Arcade to increase its library, Sega has just announced what's potentially the greatest retro collection yet: Sega Genesis Collection for the PS2 and PSP. With over 30 Sega Genesis titles in one pack, the collection is not only a terrific snapshot of what gaming was 15 years ago, but an opportunity for a whole new generation of gamers to experience the titles that once defined Sega as one of gaming's most revered publishers. There are the games that birthed franchises that live on today -- Sonic the Hedgehog, Shinobi, Phantasy Star, and Golden Axe (which will see a sequel on PS3 and 360) -- but also the greats that have for one reason or another long been forgotten -- Vectorman, Sword of Vermillion, comics Zone, or Alex Kidd. There's also a lot of great history to many games found in the collection. One of the titles, Ristar, was once planned to be the next Sonic the Hedgehog-style success story for Sega (in fact, the idea for the character Ristar actually predated Sonic -- he evolved from the character designs of what Sonic was originally to be: a rabbit). Unfortunately, the game never achieved such success, but it's interesting to now play the game that was once supposed to be the next Sonic. "We aimed Ristar to be the next big character for Sega," Yuji Uekawa, character creator told us for this story. "We hoped the focus on action -- grabbing things with his extendable arms -- would make it much different from Sonic." Sega's doing its part to give these games context with numerous unlockable interviews with the original developers and a museum with trivia on the disc.
According to Sega, the games will be reproduced with "the utmost accuracy to the originals as possible" by developer Backbone Entertainment. And as a special cool bonus, the PSP version will allow -- for the first time ever -- wireless multiplayer for several of the games.
Could a title like Alex Kidd, which was essentially a cuter version of Mario, see a sequel today? Probably not. "Violent games are getting more popular lately," Rieko Kodama, who helped design the original Alex Kidd games, told us. "A rocket launcher-carrying Alex Kidd just wouldn't be Alex Kidd anymore." Akira Nishino, the director of Ristar and now a studio head at Sega working on next-gen titles, agreed with that sentiment. "As a game creator, I'd love to do another Ristar. But maybe it's best to leave him be. A new game wouldn't feel the same without us using the Genesis' specs." But perhaps that's the point of a collection like this -- perhaps sequels aren't necessary for games that already stand the test of time. "People still enjoy these traditional action games, especially now that we're able to bring them to the newer consoles," said Nishino. "These games can be appreciated by everyone as they were."
Here now is a list of all the games in the collection and why you should be excited to play them when it hits this fall:


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