Friday Feb 06, 2009
In yesterday’s post about the Achievements and Trophies available in Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, I waxed somewhat philosophical on the nature of “achievements” for classic games. It should be mentioned, however, that in Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, pursuing these achievements has a very practical purpose—doing so will unlock a slew of cool content.
Bonus content includes some terrific interviews with members of Sonic Team, which if you’re a gaming history buff (or just a Sega buff) are a delight to watch. There’s an interview with Phantasy Star Universe producer Takao Miyoshi that you get to watch just for starting up Phantasy Star IV. Grabbing a Chaos Emerald in Sonic the Hedgehog gives you the achievement/trophy “Complete Chaos”, and also unlocks the interview with game developer Shun Nakamura, who has some interesting insights into Sonic the Hedgehog design philosophy.
The real meat of the unlockables, though, are the bonus games. Already revealed on a number of sites, these games include:
Golden Axe Warrior (SEGA Master System)
What’s nice is that the list of unlockable games is accessible from the start menu, and includes the method to open each, so if you’re dead set on playing Alien Syndrome (the arcade version!), you can get right to work on getting to stage 3 of Alien Storm without losing a life.
I really like this list—the original Phantasy Star could go toe-to-toe with any classic RPG, and stands up well even today. The openness of the world, the character design, and the setting all resonate quite nicely. You earn the original Phantasy Star in a clever way—by beating Robotnik in Green Hill Zone in Sonic 2—but with two players. That means a second controller has to be plugged in, and someone needs to have Tails bouncing around doing his Tails thing during the boss-fight (in Sonic 2, Tails’ thing is collecting stray rings for Sonic, and not messing up on the bonus stages). It’s a nice connection between two incredible legacy Sonic Team products.
Shinobi on the Master System was one of my favorite games growing up, and seeing the Arcade version, which even today has some gorgeous graphics, is a blast. Also, be warned: The arcade version of Shinobi is much harder than the Master System version—mostly, because you don’t have a health bar to play around with—you will need to master the art of Ninjitsu and avoid getting hit at all.
The unlockable content is just a wealth of Arcade history—Space Harrier and Fantasy Zone are some of the most psychedelic games ever made, and Altered Beast is a truly savage beat-em-up. It also lets you transform from a nearly naked Greek soldier resurrected from the grave into a muscle-bound lycanthrope, so, you know, it has that going for it.
Stay tuned, over the next few days I’m going to take a look at some of the original Genesis versions of the games offered in this collection—including Shining Force! Also, Clumsyorchid won our thumb-wrestling tournament and so he gets to blog about Streets of Rage. I should have challenged him to a SoR2 tournament, is what I should have done.
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