I must admit that I got a little nostalgic when I loaded the Sonic and Knuckles Collection onto my hard drive. After all, I had not played these games since I moved away from home, leaving my brother and his Sega Genesis behind.
Video games have made amazing progress since the late 1980s and early 1990s when 16-bit systems ruled the market. Still, many great games came out during that period, and I fully understand why Sega decided to export these games to the Windows PC.
While these games are replicas of their Genesis counterparts, they obtain a few flaws when they jump to PC. So, while I was happy to be playing these games without driving to my brother's house, I was saddened to see that they were not the perfect games I remembered.
Graphically, the Sonic and Knuckles Collection is an exact match to the old 16-bit Genesis games it compiles -- sometimes. It is really only in windowed mode that the graphics are as sharp as they were on a television screen. Unfortunately, the default window is very small, which makes it hard to play.
If you bump the game up to full screen mode, the graphics suffer. They are grainy and simply do not look like the old games. So, you are left with a choice: play in a small window with good graphics or play full screen with grainy graphics. Either way, it is a disappointment.
The Sonic and Knuckles Collection's sound is a perfect export from the Genesis games. From Sonic's spin to Tails' helicopter tail, the sound is executed flawlessly.
I was amazed to see how enjoyable the Sonic and Knuckles Collection was. I thought I might be above playing old Genesis games, but the Sonic games always had an enjoyable simplicity that made them fun. Still, the challenge was gone, as I had played these games to death back when they were new.
Controls are amazingly simple. All you need is a game pad or joystick and one button. The button does everything. Even if you are forced to go with the keyboard controls, you can play and have fun.
Overall, the Sonic and Knuckles Collection is good for a bit of nostalgia, but it is not going to replace newer games on your Windows system.
Graphics: The graphics are sharp in a small window but grainy in full screen mode. Either choice is disappointing.
Sound: The sound is a perfect port from the original games.
Enjoyment: The game is simple and fun to play. Still, it offers little challenge, even in the bonus rounds.
Replay Value: Replay value is limited, although the game saving feature boosts it somewhat.
People who downloaded Sonic & Knuckles Collection have also downloaded:
Sonic CD, Sonic Mega Collection Plus, Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island (a.k.a. Sonic 3D Blast), Sonic Heroes, Sonic Adventure DX (Director's Cut), Super Mario Pac, Sonic R, Sonic Robo Blast 2
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