When you consider how many titles Konami is packing into its Anniversary Collection packages – and that their retail price is almost half what Square Enix is demanding for the three games included here – it's impossible to not question the value of Collection of Mana.
There’s no denying that it is rough in parts and really could have done with a full remaster rather than a straight re-release, but Dragon’s Dogma nonetheless remains a fantastically gripping role-playing experience that manages to straddle the divide between exhilarating real-time action and stat-based adventuring.
It seems almost customary to include the phrase 'Not for everyone' in any review of a niche genre game, and while that certainly applies to Devil Engine, it has at least been designed in a way that encourages even the weakest players to keep trying and learn from their mistakes. The drip-feed of content is an effective incentive to pick yourself up and have just one more go, and although it is at times brutally difficult – even when compared to other tricky 2D shooters – it has the depth and variety to maintain your interest, and when you're at a competent level it's a heck of a lot of fun. The lack of online leaderboards goes against it, but if you're a fan of this style of game – and you're crying out for a title in the Thunder Force vein – then Devil Engine is well worth a look.
SEGA's had more than one stab at creating a comprehensive collection of its best Mega Drive titles and, as a result, SEGA Mega Drive Classics does lose some of its impact due to sheer familiarity; for example, we already have an immaculately-ported version of Sonic on the Switch eShop right now. Even so, it's hard to argue with the 50-odd games that ship with this new compendium, and only a fool would contest the fact that it showcases some of the best games of the 16-bit era. The modern-day enhancements are welcome too, and while this isn't the first time many of these games have gone portable (SEGA Mega Drive Collection on the Sony PSP did that over a decade ago, and let's not forget the amazing SEGA 3D Classics range on 3DS, which overlaps with some entries in this selection), it's a real boon to be able to play the likes of Phantasy Star IV or Story of Thor on the bus. When you take into account how much quality there is on offer here, SEGA Mega Drive Classics becomes an easy recommendation.
The visuals are detailed and eye-catching, while the vertical scrolling still looks impressive by modern standards. It's a shame that more new content couldn't have been added, but if you're looking for the ultimate way to relive this classic blaster, then this is your best option – even better than the original cartridge, thanks to the inclusion of that surprisingly addictive online ranking mode.
Familiarity does breed contempt, but Sonic's first game remains a classic despite the number of times we've played it. Sure, the sequel may be the better outing and both Sonic Mania and Sonic CD are arguably superior releases, but there's a pureness to this title that makes it worth a look, even in 2018. The only complaint that can be raised against the Switch version is that, like a great many of the upcoming Sega Ages Mega Drive titles, it could end up being surplus to requirements when the Sega Mega Drive Classics collection arrives; a slightly lower price might have made this easier to wholeheartedly recommend, but we know this very minor complaint will fall on deaf ears if you're a diehard Sega fan.