Sega Genesis Classics should have been an easy thing to release. All it needed was to repackage its 16-bit success stories, put them on a single disc and release them into the world. By all accounts, it was an easy task, but Sega screwed things up so badly that you would be forgiven for thinking the company hates money. Or, at least, its dedicated fans.
The core of the game is absolutely fine, as it re-releases a multitude of fan favourites from past decades, from Golden Axe to Phantasy Star II and the Streets of Rage series. While you have the odd surprise (with Sword of Vermillion being the big one) it’s a good overall collection which should keep you engaged for hours at a time. More importantly, it even opened up support for ROM hacks on Steam and full workshop integration.
On the surface, it’s all fine and dandy, until you start to notice oddities surrounding the games. The biggest one among these is how poorly optimised many of the games are. The more active titles suffer from subtle but constant stuttering, and characters can end up randomly teleporting from place to place with no prompts. This is so abrupt that the game effectively jump-cuts enemies onto the screen, and controller inputs can lag by seconds at a time in many cases. Often your character will react to your action moments after you have given the order to do anything.
Even without that, there are already better versions of each game already on the market. Each of them lacks the fine-tuning to make them function effectively on most machines or the custom options found on the Sega 3D Classics Collection. Even the attempt to include multiplayer not only lacks local play, but online options suffer from an astonishingly poor netcode and a matchmaking system which offers you no feedback on other players. The system of selecting games is put down to a random dice-roll of ones you have specifically not selected as uninterested, and if one player rejects the choice made, you are forced to start the whole matchmaking process over again. Simply put - Nothing has been done to fully warrant this new and fully priced re-release, and the few new additions make the experience significantly worse.
Sega Genesis Classics is easily one of the worst re-releases we have seen since the Silent Hill HD Collection. There is no excuse for work this shoddy, and you can easily find a free emulator of these games outperforming this collection. There is absolutely no reason for you to ever buy this game in its current state.
SEGA GENESIS CLASSICS / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: SEGA / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW