Sonic Gems Collection

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Sonic Gems Collection
Sonic Gems Collection Coverart GCN.png
Developer(s) Sonic Team
Publisher(s) Sega
Series Sonic the Hedgehog
Platform(s) GameCube, PlayStation 2
ReleaseGameCube
  • JP: August 11, 2005
  • NA: August 16, 2005
  • EU: September 30, 2005
PlayStation 2
  • JP: August 11, 2005
  • EU: September 30, 2005
Genre(s) Compilation
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Sonic Gems Collection is a 2005 compilation of Sega video games, primarily those in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The emulated games span multiple genres and consoles—from the Sega Genesis to the Sega Saturn—and retain the features and errors of their initial releases with minimal edits. Player progress is rewarded with demos of other Sonic games, videos, and promotional artwork spanning the history of the Sonic franchise. While its 2002 predecessor, Sonic Mega Collection , comprised the more popular Sonic games, Gems Collection focuses on more obscure games, such as Sonic CD and Sonic the Fighters . Other non-Sonic games are included, but some, such as the Streets of Rage trilogy, are omitted in the North American localization.

In marketing, product bundling is offering several products or services for sale as one combined product or service package. It is a common feature in many imperfectly competitive product and service markets. Industries engaged in the practice include telecommunications services, financial services, health care, information and consumer electronics. A software bundle might include a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program into a single office suite. The cable television industry often bundles many TV and movie channels into a single tier or package. The fast food industry combines separate food items into a "meal deal" or "value meal".

Sega Japanese video game developer and publisher and subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings

Sega Games Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher headquartered in Tokyo. Its international branches, Sega of America and Sega Europe, are respectively headquartered in Irvine, California and London. Sega's arcade division, once part of Sega Corporation, has existed as Sega Interactive Co., Ltd. since 2015. Both companies are subsidiaries of Sega Holdings Co., Ltd., which is in turn a part of Sega Sammy Holdings.

<i>Sonic the Hedgehog</i> Video game series

Sonic the Hedgehog is a media franchise owned by Sega, centering on a series of high-speed platform games. Sonic, the protagonist, is an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog with supersonic speed. Typically, Sonic must stop antagonist Doctor Eggman's plans for world domination, often helped by his friends, such as Tails, Amy, and Knuckles.

Contents

Developer Sonic Team conceived the compilation to introduce younger players to older Sonic games. One game they wished to include, SegaSonic the Hedgehog , was excluded due to emulation difficulties. Sega released Gems Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2 in August 2005. Reviews were mixed or average; critics were divided over whether the package would satisfy players. They preferred Sonic CD and Vectorman , but found Sonic the Fighters and Sonic R mediocre, and disliked the Game Gear games. Some were disappointed by the absence of the Streets of Rage games in the American version and other Sonic games like Knuckles' Chaotix and Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure .

Sega CS Research and Development No. 2, commonly abbreviated as Sega CS2 R&D and better known as Sonic Team, is a video game development division of the Japanese company Sega. Sonic Team is best known for the long-running Sonic the Hedgehog series and games such as Nights into Dreams and Phantasy Star Online.

<i>SegaSonic the Hedgehog</i> 1993 video game

SegaSonic the Hedgehog is a 1993 arcade game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series by Sega. Controlling Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel, the player must escape an island as quickly as possible after they are kidnapped by series antagonist Doctor Eggman. The game is presented from an isometric perspective and players use a trackball to move the characters while dodging obstacles and collecting rings. The game was developed by Sega's arcade division, Sega AM3; it is one of four Sonic games to bear the SegaSonic name and was inspired by the 1984 game Marble Madness.

GameCube home video game console released by Nintendo in 2001

The Nintendo GameCube is a home video game console released by Nintendo in Japan and North America in 2001 and Europe and Australia in 2002. The sixth-generation console is the successor to the Nintendo 64. It competed with Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and Sega's Dreamcast.

Games

Sonic Gems Collection is a compilation of obscure video games published by Sega for various consoles, such as the Sega CD, Sega Saturn, and Game Gear. It primarily focuses on Sonic the Hedgehog games, such as Sonic CD (1993) [1] and Sonic the Fighters (1996). It also includes six of the twelve Sonic games released for the Game Gear. These games encompass various genres, such as platforming, fighting, pinball, and puzzle. [2] [3] Additionally, players can unlock several Sega Genesis games unrelated to Sonic, including the two Vectorman games (1995 and 1996). [1] [4] [2] Four games in the international version, Bonanza Bros. (1990) and the Streets of Rage trilogy (1991—1994), are not included in the North American version. [3] [4] Each game is mostly identical to its initial release, but some were changed; for example, Sonic R runs at a higher frame rate. [3]

A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.

Sega CD Add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console

The Sega CD, released as the Mega-CD in most regions outside North America and Brazil, is a CD-ROM accessory for the Sega Genesis video game console designed and produced by Sega as part of the fourth generation of video game consoles. It was released on December 12, 1991 in Japan, October 15, 1992 in North America, and April 2, 1993 in Europe. The Sega CD lets the user play CD-based games and adds hardware functionality such as a faster central processing unit and graphic enhancements. It can also play audio CDs and CD+G discs.

Sega Saturn Video game console

The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit fifth-generation home video game console developed by Sega and released on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America, and July 8, 1995 in Europe. The successor to the successful Sega Genesis, the Saturn has a dual-CPU architecture and eight processors. Its games are in CD-ROM format, and its game library contains several arcade ports as well as original games.

The compilation features an extensive museum section in which players can view content—such as promotional artwork, videos, screenshots, and music—unlocked after obtaining achievements. [2] [3] Time-limited demos of the original Genesis Sonic games and the other six Game Gear games [lower-alpha 1] can also be unlocked. In each demo the player begins in the respective game's final level and can play until the time limit is met. [5]

In video gaming parlance, an achievement, also sometimes known as a trophy, badge, award, stamp, medal, challenge or in game achievement, is a meta-goal defined outside a game's parameters. Unlike the in-game systems of quests, tasks, and/or levels that usually define the goals of a video game and have a direct effect on further gameplay, the management of achievements usually takes place outside the confines of the game environment and architecture. Meeting the fulfillment conditions, and receiving recognition of fulfillment by the game, is referred to as unlocking the achievement.

A game demo is a (usually) freely distributed piece of an upcoming or recently released video game. Demos are typically released by the game's publisher to help consumers get a feel of the game before deciding whether to buy the full version and/or keep it.

Games included in Sonic Gems Collection
Sonic games
TitleGenreOriginal platformOriginal releaseDeveloper
Sonic CD Platform Sega CD 1993 Sega
Sonic the Fighters Fighting Arcade 1996 Sega AM2
Sonic R Racing Saturn 1997 Traveller's Tales, Sonic Team
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Platform Game Gear 1992 Aspect
Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble PlatformGame Gear1994Aspect
Sonic Spinball Pinball Game Gear1993 Sega Technical Institute
Sonic Drift 2 RacingGame Gear1995Sega
Tails' Skypatrol Puzzle Game Gear1995 SIMS
Tails Adventure PlatformGame Gear1995Aspect
Unlockable games
TitleGenreOriginal platformOriginal releaseDeveloper
Vectorman Platform, run-and-gun Genesis 1995 BlueSky Software
Vectorman 2 Platform, run-and-gunGenesis1996BlueSky Software
Bonanza Bros. [lower-roman 1] Shooter Genesis1990Sega
Streets of Rage [lower-roman 1] Beat 'em up Genesis1991Sega
Streets of Rage 2 [lower-roman 1] Beat 'em upGenesis1992Sega
Streets of Rage 3 [lower-roman 1] Beat 'em upGenesis1994Sega
  1. 1 2 3 4 Only available in the Japanese and European releases. [3] [6]

Development

Sonic Gems Collection was developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the GameCube and PlayStation 2. [7] According to Sonic Team director Yojiro Ogawa, the compilation (and its 2002 predecessor Sonic Mega Collection ) was conceived to introduce young players to older games in the Sonic franchise. While Sonic Mega Collection focused on the original Genesis games to showcase what made the franchise a success, Sonic Gems Collection focused on games Sega considered rare and obscure. [8] Although Sonic Team was responsible for Sonic Gems Collection's creation, they had limited involvement in the development of the games included on the compilation; for example, Sega AM2 made Sonic the Fighters, and Sonic R was primarily developed by Traveller's Tales. [3] Most of the games included are emulated, [3] but Sonic the Fighters is a port. [5]

PlayStation 2 No history

The PlayStation 2 is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000, in North America on October 26, 2000, and in Europe and Australia in November 2000, and is the successor to the PlayStation, as well as the second video game console in the PlayStation brand. As a sixth-generation console, the PS2 competed with Sega's Dreamcast, Nintendo's GameCube, and Microsoft's Xbox.

<i>Sonic Mega Collection</i> 2002 video game

Sonic Mega Collection is a video game compilation developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega in 2002 for the GameCube. The compilation contains twelve to fourteen games originally released on the Sega Genesis. Ten of the included games are installments of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, while the remaining two to four games are only related to the series through its publisher, Sega.

Sega AM2 Japanese video game developer

Sega AM Research & Development No. 2, better known as Sega-AM2 Co., Ltd., is the oldest video game development team within the Japanese multinational video game developer Sega. They are Sega's second development division for arcade software. Several games produced by Sega-AM2 have influenced and innovated the video gaming industry from a technical and developmental perspective.

At the beginning of Gems Collection's development, Sonic Team made a list of the most wanted games for the compilation. The team considered the games they felt were high quality in graphics, gameplay, and overall nature. [8] Sonic CD and Vectorman were considered for inclusion in Mega Collection, but were deferred to Gems Collection. Producer Yuji Naka said storage constraints prevented Sonic CD from inclusion in Mega Collection. [8] [9] AM3's SegaSonic the Hedgehog (1993) was omitted due to problems emulating its trackball controls. [10] AM2 assisted in porting Sonic the Fighters, marking its first release on a home console. The Windows versions of Sonic CD and Sonic R were used in Sonic Gems Collection. [3] [11] Both games received visual upgrades: Sonic CD's opening sequence is presented in fullscreen and Sonic R has higher resolution textures. [12] :40

Yuji Naka Japanese video game designer and programmer

Yuji Naka is a Japanese video game programmer, designer, and producer best known as the former head of Sonic Team, where he was the lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog series of games on the Sega Genesis. In 2006, he founded Prope, an independent game company. In January 2018, he joined Square Enix.

Trackball pointing device

A trackball is a pointing device consisting of a ball held by a socket containing sensors to detect a rotation of the ball about two axes—like an upside-down mouse with an exposed protruding ball. Users roll the ball to position the on-screen pointer, using their thumb, fingers, or commonly the palm of the hand while using the fingertips to press the mouse buttons.

Pan and scan

Pan and scan is a method of adjusting widescreen film images so that they can be shown in fullscreen proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen, often cropping off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects.

During development, Sonic Team hoped that each region's version of Sonic Gems Collection would be identical in content. However, the Streets of Rage games and Bonanza Bros. had to be omitted from the North American localization, due to fears of a "Teen" rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). [4] [13] The team also wished to include both the Japanese and North American Sonic CD soundtracks, but storage and licensing problems resulted in Japan only receiving its respective soundtrack and all other regions using the North American version. [8] [13] Sonic Gems Collection was announced in May 2005, [14] and was playable at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). [15] It was released on August 11, 2005 in Japan, August 16, 2005 in North America, and September 30, 2005 in Europe. [1] [7] [16] The PlayStation 2 version was not released in North America. [17] Those who ordered the game through Sega's online store Sega Direct received an exclusive Sonic-themed yo-yo. [18]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic 64/100 (32 reviews) [19]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.com C+ [17]
EGM 6.2/10 [20]
Eurogamer 7/10 [21]
GameSpot 6.3/10 [3]
GameSpy Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [2]
IGN 7.5/10 [1]
Nintendo Power 8.5/10 [12]

According to Metacritic, a video game review aggregator, Sonic Gems Collection received "mixed or average" reviews. [19] By November 22, 2005, the compilation sold 200,000 copies outside Japan. [22] In 2006, the GameCube version was branded a Player's Choice game, [23] indicating it sold a million units. [24]

Reviewers considered Sonic CD the compilation's strongest feature, [1] [21] so much that Nintendo Power 's Steve T. and Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) said it was worth buying for Sonic CD alone. [12] :85 [20] Juan Castro ( IGN ) found that Sonic CD "still holds its own against modern platformers", praising its unique, time-travel oriented gameplay, level design, visuals, and sound. Castro called it one of the best games in the Sonic series and was no less fun than its original release. [1] Ryan Davis ( GameSpot ) found Sonic CD superior to the other games in the compilation, [3] and Tom Bramwell ( Eurogamer ) declared "rejoice for Sonic CD... Just don't rejoice for anything else, because it's mostly rubbish". [21] Many reviewers were also pleased by the inclusion of the Vectorman games. Castro called it "the pinnacle of 16-bit gaming", praising its melding of boss fights, action, and platforming and saying it aged well. [1] Bramwell and Phil Theobald ( GameSpy ) agreed. [21] [2]

Critics generally felt Sonic R and Sonic the Fighters were mediocre. [1] [2] [3] Castro, Theobald, and Davis compared Sonic the Fighters unfavorably to the Virtua Fighter games, [1] [2] with Davis calling it dated and simplistic. [3] Jeuxvideo.com 's Superpanda argued Sonic R was on par with Sonic CD in terms of quality. [25] Castro was less positive: he found its ideas clever and considered it an interesting departure from normal racing games, but thought the ideas were poorly implemented and the controls were awkward. However, he still thought the game was enjoyable and that its soundtrack was unique. [1] Theobald voiced a similar opinion, considering it "a concept that works better in theory than in practice". [2] Conversely, Davis said Sonic R's "laughably bad soundtrack" was its "only redeeming quality". [3] Bramwell considered it too odd and short to be worth the player's time. [21]

The six Game Gear Sonic games were criticized for their uneven quality and poor emulation. [2] [3] [21] Theobald liked that the games were available from the start, but was puzzled why the other six games were left out. He also considered the selection random ("why Sonic 2, but no Sonic?"). [2] Castro was intrigued that they were all on one disc, but thought their screen displays were bad and said "you'd probably be better off dusting your old [Game Gear] and finding those old games" rather than playing them on Sonic Gems Collection. [1] Of the Game Gear games, Davis preferred Sonic 2, Sonic Triple Trouble, and Tails Skypatrol, but disliked the rest. He heavily criticized their emulation quality, noting their frequent frame rate drops. [3] Bramwell joked they were present on the disc for "educational" purposes. He lambasted their resolutions and encouraged readers to ignore them entirely. [21]

Some reviewers found the compilation incomplete. [2] [3] [17] Davis and Theobald both criticized the exclusion of the Streets of Rage games in the North American version. Davis stated he preferred them over Vectorman and Theobald said Sega should have just let the compilation get a Teen rating from the ESRB. [2] [3] Theobald was also disappointed that the compilation lacked SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Knuckles' Chaotix , and the other Game Gear games. [2] Jeremy Parish ( 1UP.com ) said even combining Sonic Mega Collection and Sonic Gems Collection would provide players an incomplete Sonic collection, lambasting the exclusion of Knuckles' Chaotix and Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure and feeling the Master System Sonic games should have been included, not the Game Gear ones. [17] Superpanda said he would have preferred Knuckles' Chaotix over the Game Gear games and also considered its exclusion of the Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast a disappointment. [25]

Reviewers were generally divided over whether Sonic Gems Collection would leave players satisfied. [1] [3] [21] EGM summed it up as a "woefully uneven mix", but one Sonic fans should check out if they wanted Sonic CD. [20] Castro said the compilation was "decent" and worth its price tag, but was not as solid as Sonic Mega Collection. [1] Theobald found it weak and that only Sonic CD and Vectorman would appeal to casual gamers. [2] Bramwell was sarcastic: "if this sort of thing matters to you, if you still can't bear to unplug your Dreamcast, and you do own Virtua Fighter 4 and all the others and think they're brilliant, this is for you". [21] When Famitsu named the best games of 2005, it ranked Sonic Gems Collection among the bottom of the PlayStation 2 and GameCube releases. [26]

Notes

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<i>Sonic the Hedgehog</i> (8-bit video game) 8-bit 1991 platform video game

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<i>Knuckles Chaotix</i> 1995 video game

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