The blast processing power of the Genesis Sonic games…in the palm of my hand.
Sega's upcoming Sonic Classic Collection for the DS will include Sonic the Hedgehog 1-3 along with Sonic & Knuckles. These games have appeared on numerous compilations, yet they've never appeared together on a portable. I recently had the chance to play an early build of the title.
Upon booting up Sonic the Hedgehog 2, I was pleased to see that the game looked exactly as I remembered. The Sega Genesis title was running on the DS's top screen while the options to pause, save, and load the game were on the bottom screen. The original Sonic sequel didn't look squished or contorted, and the colors sparkled on the bright DS screen.
As I made my way through Emerald Hill Zone (Sonic the Hedgehog 2's first stage), I did encounter some slowdown when Sonic was moving at high speeds. Going through multiple loops and a corkscrew caused the game to noticeably chug. However, it definitely was still playable and nothing close to the mess that was the Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis port on the GBA. There was also some minor slowdown in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. I did not have a chance to try the other Sonics.
While I was only able to listen to the music through the DS's speaker, I am happy to say that it sounded pretty accurate. Sonic composer Masato Nakamura's music sounded faithful to the Genesis versions, and only a couple of sound effects sounded slightly off.
The game's save anywhere feature did not appear to allow a player to resume their game from exactly where they hit save. When I attempted to load a save made during an Eggman (Dr. Robotnik) battle, I found myself back at the start of the act.
If Sega can get the games in this compilation running at full speed, Sonic Classic Collection could be an extremely worthy purchase.