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Game Info:

Sega 3D Classics Collection
Developed By: Sega and M2
Published By: Sega
Released: April 26, 2016
Available For: 3DS
Genre: Arcade (Shooting, Action, Racing, Puzzle)
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up (Alcohol Reference and Fantasy Violence)
Number of Players: 1-2 Local Multiplayer (Puyo Puyo 2 and Altered Beast)
Price: $29.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Sega for sending us a digital code to review.

Sega 3D Classics Collection is an impressive selection of nine Sega games remade by M2 to take advantage of the 3DS. While some of these 3D remakes have been released on the eShop, a few have never been on the 3DS before.

All of the games have an impressive amount of customization options. You can switch between International and Japanese versions, map out buttons to your choosing, and a few games even have new background sounds. I was honestly surprised to see so many options to choose between. A new save feature implemented in the games means you can save progress at any point. This makes harder games like Altered Beast a bit more bearable.

The first game in the collection is Power Drift. This arcade hit looks and plays like a dream on the 3DS. Race tracks look impressive and the auto drifting feels great. There is an option to choose between manual and automatic cars, making this feel even more like the arcade. There are five courses to select from, each with five race tracks. Placing first in all five tracks unlocks a bonus track to race on. These bonus tracks are accompanied by unique vehicles to race in.  My only complaint is that because the tracks can be rather narrow, I found myself bumping into other drivers too often. In other racing games when this happens you usually bump off them or go through them, but in Power Drift you spin out. This is especially infuriating when you get trapped endlessly bouncing between the edge of the track and an opponent. 

Puyo Puyo 2 was never released outside of Japan, making this a brand new experience for many. The in-game text is in English, but the character dialogue boxes are in Japanese. It is a solid puzzle game that has all the familiar elements of the Puyo series. Creating chains still sends back Garbage Puyo - white slimes that fall on your opponent's side - which is the main way of beating the various enemies in the game. There are 32 unique enemies and because it's random who you fight, there's a nice incentive to replay, just to see all of them. Should you have a friend with this collection you can play against them in local multiplayer.

Sega 3D Classics Collection
Highlights:

Strong Points: Fantastic selection of games; Incredible amount of in-game customization; Hours of content to play; The games have never looked so impressive on a handheld before.
Weak Points: Thunder Blades' camera angles; Some sound effects come off a bit flat; Some graphical inconsistencies.
Moral Warnings: As this includes Altered Beast, there are monsters to kill, as well as the fact that Zeus raised you from your grave; Thunder Blade and Galaxy Force 2 have you shooting down other ships and vehicles.

Galaxy Force 2 might well be the best reason to own this collection. Released to arcades in 1988, this rail shooter boasts incredibly detailed sprites and highly difficult gameplay. You control TRX-5 Quasar and you must destroy the Fourth Empire's attack forces. Set across six different planets, players must navigate their way to an enemy base and destroy its control center. There is a high amount of difficulty to this game. Your health is always draining and it only refills slightly after completed stages. Thankfully there are options in the settings to make the game slightly easier. Overall, this is a fantastic game, and this updated version is simply amazing.

Next is Fantasy Zone 2 W. It is a complete overhaul of the Master System version of Fantasy Zone 2, intended to replicate a more arcade-like approach. Included is a story mode (Tears of the Opa-Opa) and a new endless mode (Link Loop Land). The controls feel tight, and the 3D really makes the action pop out. Link Loop Land has you flying Opa-Opa's brother, Upa-Upa, as he endlessly shoots down enemies and bosses. There is even a monetary system that lets you withdraw previously earned cash to make new games slightly easier. All the magic of the original has been injected into this enhanced version.

Thunder Blade is a shooting game that has you controlling a top-secret helicopter in the hopes of wiping out a resurging guerrilla force. As you progress through the 4 stages you will have to control your altitude, which is rather unique for a game like this. The camera will switch from a top down view to being completely behind the helicopter, which makes avoiding enemy projectiles much more difficult than it should be. Thunder Blade takes advantage of the 3DS' gyro sensor allowing you to control the helicopter by simply tilting the 3DS. This is thankfully an extra setting and is not the default. One the of the more interesting features is the ability to turn on a moving HUD, which is meant to simulate how the game played in the arcades in 1987. The moving HUD can make things feel more authentic, but it makes it more challenging to play. This is a difficult game and I struggled with the camera angle choices.

Up next is Sonic the Hedgehog, a very obvious Genesis classic. Not much has been added to this title, but they did add the Spin Dash which was a nice inclusion. One of the best features is being able to toggle a level select option on. What was once a  complex "cheat code" is now a simple option. The game looks and plays as good as ever and not much can be said about this remake, other than it's great.

Sega 3D Classics Collection
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 90%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 90%
Violence - 6.5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 8.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Altered Beast is back and just as difficult as ever. Now with an excellent 3D coat of paint, you can once again rise from your grave and rescue Athena. The new save feature is a welcome addition as there are no continues when you die. I've never been particularly good at this game, but there are options to make the game more approachable. You can lower the difficulty and even choose which round to start off at. Visually, it is one of my favorite looking games in this collection. There's just so many interesting enemy designs to see. Included is a local multiplayer option, allowing two people to play cooperatively granted both players own this collection. 

Now the final two games were never released on the 3DS. The first being Fantasy Zone 2. As previously mentioned, this is the Master System version, so it's not as visually flashy as Fantasy Zone 2 W. What it lacks in visual finesse, it more than makes up with addictive gameplay and responsive controls. The game doesn't have many new features, but you can turn a radar on to show how many enemies remain on the current screen. 

The last game for this collection is the 1988 Master System title, Maze Walker. Initially this game was shipped with special 3-D glasses known as the SegaScope 3D. The concept of the game is simple: escape the maze and defeat the baddies. This is much more of a challenge than I was expecting. There is no health meter, meaning this is a one hit kill type of game. There is an option to lower the difficulty, but the game isn't forgiving enough for new players. As stated this utilized 3-D glasses in the past and it's simply fascinating to see how far 3D has evolved over the years.

At the end of the day, this is a collection of nine games encompassing many different genres. There is something here for everyone to like, and as a complete package it's well worth its price. Having so much control over the games made every play session feel unique, as I could tweak and adjust the game settings to any way I wanted to play. The amount of polish that M2 put into these remakes is nearly overwhelming. These are not just emulated versions of the games. New life was truly breathed into them.

-Kyuremu

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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