Sega Genesis Collection Coming To PS2 and PSP

Dennis Faas's picture

It has been almost seventeen years since the Sega Genesis launched in North America. The system featured some of the greatest gaming experiences ever, and even made Sega a household name.

Now the boys behind Sonic the Hedgehog are planning to introduce almost 30 of its classics to a brand new audience.

The Sega Genesis Collection is scheduled to be released for the PS2 and PSP this fall.

"SEGA has always been, and will continue to be, an innovator of gaming technologies," said Scott A. Steinberg, SEGA of America's Vice President of Marketing. "The Genesis was the first 16-bit gaming system released in 1989, setting a new standard for gaming hardware technology for years to come. SEGA Genesis Collection will take gamers back to experience the golden age of gaming during the 1990s." (Source:

Here's what's on tap:

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle: Before Sonic became the face of Sega, there was Alex Kidd. After starring in several games on the earlier Sega Master System, Alex made his first -- and last -- Genesis appearance in this extremely difficult but very engaging platformer. Sonic may have super-speed, but Alex Kidd has super-cool rock/papers/scissors mini-games!
  • Altered Beast: "Rise from your grave!" Looking back now, the famous line from Altered Beast aptly describes Sega's own ascension from near-death thanks to the success of the Genesis. If you bought the system when it first came out in late 1989, this was the game bundled inside. (It would later be replaced by Sonic and others.) This basic beat-em-up allows you to transform from an ordinary man into a werewolf, dragon, tiger, or grizzly bear.
  • Bonanza Bros.: One of Sega's more obscure titles, this is a simple cops 'n' robbers chase contest. Steal, run, and make sure the police and other foes after your pilfered loot don't nab you.
  • Columns: Sega's response to Tetris features colorful jewels instead of plain blocks. Arrange three jewels of the same color to break the chain. It sounds easy enough, but things start moving very quickly in this addictive puzzle game.
  • Comix Zone: The stages are designed to look exactly like comic book panels. That unique backdrop makes this action-packed game one of the most original -- and criminally overlooked -- titles in the Genesis library. If you missed it the first time (and most people did), you'll finally be able to play it in this collection.
  • Decap Attack: A humorous horror-themed platformer with a Frankenstein-like character who can "decapitate" his head (hence the title) and throw it at enemies.
  • Ecco The Dolphin: Unique in 1992 and still original now, Ecco was a radical departure for Sega. Unlike Sonic, the company's other animal character, Ecco features no cartoonish characteristics or exaggerated attributes. The primary goal of the game is to guide a dolphin through unsafe waters.
  • Ecco: The Tides of Time: Features more of the same, which isn't necessarily a bad thing considering how groundbreaking the original was. This one adds a bit of a futuristic tint to the proceedings.
  • Ecco Jr.: Ecco for kids.
  • Eternal Champions: Sega's own entry into the huge fighting game craze of the early '90s, which included Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and later Nintendo's Killer Instinct.
  • Flicky: In this strange action-puzzler, you're a blue bird who must save a flock of yellow baby chicks from impending doom. The simplistic graphics didn't win any awards even back then and the one-hit deaths can prove to be frustrating. Flicky is an interesting experiment from Sega that you'll either love or hate.
  • Gain Ground: Three characters, action, strategy, crossbows, bazookas, and lasers -- 'nuff said.
  • Golden Axe: The use of "golden" in the title is more than appropriate, because this hack 'n' slash game is still highly regarded as one of Sega's all-time classics. Tip: play as the dwarf.
  • Golden Axe II: Aside from some spruced-up graphics, this sticks pretty closely to the formula of the first. And the dwarf is still the one to be!
  • Golden Axe III: Didn't even know there was a third installment in this legendary series? That's because it never came out in North America. Now we can all play it for ourselves. Additions include two new characters and branching paths.
  • Phantasy Star II: The Genesis sequel to the original Master System incarnation remains one of Sega's most remembered and revered role-playing games (RPG). Its futuristic setting and multiple characters captured the imaginations of gamers worldwide.
  • Phantasy Star III: This controversial sequel starts out with a medieval setting and features multiple endings, but its changes to the battle system and art style divide fans of the series.
  • Phantasy Star IV: If you wanted this game back in the day, you had to be prepared to fork over almost 100 bucks. For that reason alone, this compilation is bound to be an incredible value. The fourth Phantasy Star is considered by some gamers to be the best in the series -- though there are fans of Part II who might debate that vociferously.
  • Ristar: Believe it or not, the Ristar character was actually pegged by Sega as the next big thing, but even though he never reached Sonic levels, this lesser-known platformer shines in its own right.
  • Shadow Dancer: Secret of Shinobi: The previous Shinobi outing on Genesis, Revenge of Shinobi, is curiously missing from this set. Here, you once again play a ninja -- but this time a guard dog sidekick barks along for the ride. Toss shooting stars at helpless enemies and then send your furry little buddy to rip them to shreds.
  • Shinobi III: This Shinobi aims to please with flashier graphics, faster action, and new ninja techniques. The dog is in the pound this time around, but you can ride a horse in one area.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic speed? Not quite, but this hedgehog is still incredibly fast. 15 years later, Sega is still releasing Sonic games for various systems -- a testament to the quality and enduring legacy of the original. This is the one that started it all.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2: A sidekick, Tails, has been added to the mix for some speedy two-player action.
  • Super Thunder Blade: Fly a massive helicopter and blast an endless swarm of baddies in this faithful translation of the arcade classic.
  • Sword of Vermillion: This Sega RPG market isn't as well-known as the Phantasy Star games, but it's different enough that it provides a nice alternative.
  • Vectorman: Released in the twilight of the Genesis's lifespan, this shoot-a-thon -- set in the year 2049 and featuring a unique main character -- is a showcase of what the system was capable of.
  • Vectorman 2: Genesis was practically on its deathbed by the time Vectorman 2 came out, so most people missed out on this bigger, badder sequel.
  • Virtua Fighter 2: Unless Sega breaks the rules a bit by including the arcade or Saturn version, what you're going to get is the severely downgraded Genesis port that's a shell of its big brothers. Still, it makes for an interesting novelty, if nothing else.

The PS2 version will feature three exclusive unlockable games: the arcade classic Zaxxon, and a couple of virtually unknown titles, Tac/Scan and Zektor.

However, don't fret, PSP fans: the portable powerhouse will include wireless multiplayer for several of the games -- a first for any of the titles in this collection. (Source:

Other bonus unlockables include interviews with the original developers, a "museum" with facts about the games featured in the collection, and a hint area to help players get past rough patches.

Quality has been hit or miss in various retro compilations over the years, including some of Sega's own efforts -- but the games in the Genesis collection "have been reproduced with the utmost accuracy," promised the company in a press release. (Source:

While the Genesis Collection is filled with tons of games, Sega left enough out -- including Revenge of Shinobi, the Streets of Rage series, and the other Sonic games -- that a second volume in the future is certainly viable.

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