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August 16, 2005

Sonic Gems Collection

Ah, blessed obscurity. Most would be content to forget about the Sega CD experiment, but the system did produce at least one good game, Sonic CD. Coupled with a few other less than well known Sonic titles and the Game Gear ports, completionists will be happy fellows.


Not available at this time.


First, Sonic CD. Graphically similar to its Genesis brethren, it takes the same fundamental play mechanics and adds time travel to the mix. Once Sonic runs past a time marker, if he runs fast enough, it transports him to the past or the future. The level design is some of the best in the entire series, but if you didn’t know what was going on, you’d be a little confused. Also, it breaks up the pace when you time travel, which is a detriment. On the plus side, Sonic CD has some very unique perspective shifts that show where the Sonic Adventure series would go.

Next, Sonic the Fighters. An obscure arcade game that might or might not have made it to your neck of the woods, Sonic the Fighters borrows the a smidge from the early Virtua Fighter for a 3D polygon based fighter, perhaps Sonic’s first truly 3D experience. While not especially deep, it makes for good casual 2-player fare. You can attack, block, and dash with a managerie of Sonic mascots, including some that never made appearances past this title. Both titles are pixel perfect representations of their prior incarnations, no tweaking was involved in the update.

While the other games in the collection weren’t playable, that’s not the extent of the collection. Sonic R is a fan-favorite racing game from the Saturn, sort of like an on-foot kart racer. And of course, the Game Gear titles must be mentioned as they were some of the best of the entire Game Gear library.

word on the street

The one exclusion from Sonic Mega Collection that fans felt was a travesty is finally reissued, so there is much rejoicing. Fans hotly anticipate this collection, hoping for some high quality retro gaming at a budget price point. Other Nintendo fans are hoping to fill in the gaps of their Sonic heritage, since they scoffed at the Sega CD and Game Gear during their heyday.

Speculation is rampant that like Mega Collection before it Gems Collection will include some hidden bonus unlockables. Rumors have been flying, and everything from Knuckles Chaotix to the entire Streets of Rage series has been mentioned by sources.

press release notes

Long-time Sonic fans, collectors, treasure hunters and newcomers to the series rejoice! The gem of all gems from the Sonic The Hedgehog family of products is coming this summer exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube. Until now, these titles have only been available in the arcade, on Sega CD, Sega Saturn and PC. Sonic Gems Collection includes:

  • Sonic CD
    Critically acclaimed Sonic CD makes its return debut only on GameCube! The fastest blue hedgehog travels through time to face off against the evil Metal Sonic. With cool moves and a smokin' hot soundtrack, you're in for an adventure of a lifetime!
  • Sonic the Fighters
    Join Sonic and your favorite cast of Sonic characters in this action-filled 3D arcade fighting game. Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Espio, Fang, Bean and Bark battle it out with Dr. Robotnik and the evil Metal Sonic in head-to-head or team battles. Get ready to rumble....Sonic style!
  • Sonic R
    In one of the craziest, comical races ever, Sonic and his friends push speed to the extreme! Speed demons, special hidden track smokers and blistering circuits make this a race that will have you coming back for more!
  • Game Gear Games
    Six of the most popular Sonic Game Gear games of all time are also included:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    • Sonic Spinball
    • Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble™
    • Sonic Drift 2
    • Tails' Skypatrol
    • Tails Adventures


While Sega seems to be giving what the fans want, the final price point will determine how much gamers will appreciate this kickback to older times. Look for our review around the time of release and find out if Sonic CD aged well.

Staff Avatar Matt McDaniel
Staff Profile | Email
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"

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