Game On: "Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection" & "Ready 2 Rumble Revolution"
Home video gaming has existed long enough for even the children who grew up with Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo to develop some gray hair and start raising children of their own.
As nostalgia sets in, it brings the bittersweet urge to relive our old memories of fun times spent before the TV, controller in hand. It also gives companies like Atari and Sega a chance to cash in with items like Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, a bargain-hunter's compilation of classic games, and Atari's latest version of an old favorite, Ready 2 Rumble.
"Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection"
Near the end of the reigns of both the original Xbox and the PlayStation 2, Sega released a collection of Sonic the Hedgehog games from the blue mascot's glory days.
This latest compilation for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 includes almost all the classic Sonic titles, as well as versions of Genesis-era bestsellers like Shinobi, Streets of Rage and Golden Axe. Ecco the Dolphin, Vectorman and the RPG classic Phantasy Star are included in this bundle, so it's likely to please just about anyone with fond memories of when Sonic was king.
Other favorites are noticeably absent, though. Missing are ToeJam & Earl and Gunstar Heroes, titles that Sega's already released on the Wii but are still missed by many. Regardless, at $30, this collection is well worth the price.
"Ready 2 Rumble Revolution"
Only Nintendo's classic Punch-Out!! series rivals Ready 2 Rumble as the best arcade-like boxing game of its time for a generation of players. Introduced as one of the prime Sega Dreamcast titles, Ready 2 Rumble featured 3-D boxing and colorful, comic characters.
The retro gaming trend has generally been a big success for Nintendo's Wii, but Revolution brings this vintage series to the virtual console with pretty poor results. It suffers from arriving at a time when Wii Sports is showing how to properly do boxing controls. While Revolution adds a number of game modes and create-a-boxer options, the game ultimately fails because its control scheme is flawed and non-responsive at the most inappropriate times.
The comedic visual style and many unlockable characters are not nearly enough to make up for a broken game. It's better to wait for Nintendo's Punch-Out!! update, coming later this fall.