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They Said WHAT
GamePro and the Sega Genesis Collection
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 14, 2009   |   Episode 21 (Show Archive)  


Don't be fooled by the terrible cover art, the Sega Genesis Collection is easily the best compilation disc you can buy!
Talk about an evolution, it's amazing how a show that started as a way of complaining about EGM's poor rumors took on a life of its own. Lately we've completely ignored about Quartermann and all of his crazy antics, instead focusing our attention on Destructoid podcasts, Next Generation magazine and even NBC's show, Chuck. Here we are on our 21st episode and we're going to experiment a bit. We're not going to give you any rumors or podcast audio, instead we're going to pick apart the facts of a review.

Two years ago GamePro magazine decided to run a 300 word review of the Sega Genesis Collection, a compilation disc for the Sony PlayStation 2. This particular collection is one of the greatest game compilations of all time, packaging together Sonic, Phantasy Star, Shinobi and some of the best 16-bit games ever made. At $20 you would be insane not to pick this game up, which is why I am so appalled by the game's low score. But it's not the three and a half stars that piss me off; it's the rampant misinformation that seems to be coursing through the veins of this review. How is it that a three hundred word review can have this many facts wrong? How is it that I can spend more than 1,300 words complaining about their Sega Genesis Collection review? Find out now when you read the read the newest episode of They Said WHAT?!?

Quote #1 - Sega Needs More Contra!
"If Sega really wanted this compilation to matter, it should have included hits like Road Rash, Contra and Streets of Rage. Now that would be something to get excited about."

Just a word of warning, don't ever go searching Google Images for pictures of the game Road Rash. No really, you are just going to need to trust me on this one!
Reality: I know I shouldn't expect much from GamePro, after all this is the magazine that didn't know that Metal Gear started on the MSX (see: GamePro Meets the MSX for the First Time) and said that the worst Mario game was a game they gave 4 and a half stars to (see: GamePro's Lowest Moment - Mario Mix. I shouldn't expect the paid writers at GamePro to know the history of our industry or why Sonic CD was better in Japan than in America. But I do expect them to know who makes what classic games, especially when finding out is as easy as a Google search.

I agree with GamePro that Sega missed an opportunity to include the three Streets of Rage games; it just isn't the same without the wanton violence that comes with these three brawlers. But Contra? Road Rash? Yes, this is the

If you think Sega was behind the Contra series then obviously you're a perfect fit at GamePro!
Sega Genesis Collection, but the operative word in that name is "Sega." This is their collection, which explains why all of the games were published by none other than Sega. So expecting Contra (which was published by Konami) or Road Rash (published by Electronic Arts) seems ludicrous. That would be like a music critic complaining that The Beatles' Greatest Hits album doesn't have enough Rolling Stones songs. Why stop at Contra? I suspect that the Sega Genesis collection would also be better if they included Super Mario Bros. 3, Wii Sports and God of War.

Here's why this matters: This author (who cowardly hides behind the name Ahoy_And_Avast) got paid to suggest that what this Sega compilation needs is a Konami and EA game. He got paid. There are thousands of qualified video game journalists slaving away at video game websites and blogs for no money, yet this guy is able to make one of the most ludicrous comments ever printed in a video game magazine and still get paid for it. Does GamePro only hire people that refuse to do any sort of fact checking? And if that's the case, then hire me now and I promise to never, ever fact check another thing. I'll keep your readers abreast of the newest happenings on the Microsoft PlayStation 3 and the upcoming Square Enix RPG, Final Fantasy XXI.

Quote #2 - GamePro Hates Ristar!
"Who in their right mind would want to revisit Super Thunder Blade? What about Ristar, Flicky and Bonanza Brothers?"

I'll give you that Ristar is a silly looking hero, but his game is one of the best games on the compilation!
Reality: Okay, he's right about Super Thunder Blade. There's nothing super about it or Flicky. Heck, even Bonanza Brothers is a terrible game. However, what's wrong with Ristar? Not only does it share the same developer and creative team as the Sonic the Hedgehog series (which this review mentions as one of the high points), but it's also a universally praised Genesis game. The history of Ristar is actually rather interesting, it involves Sonic Team coming up with a character that was, at one time, a prototype for what would become Sonic the Hedgehog. After the success of Sonic, the team went back to Ristar and made another classic 2D action game that was one of the highest rated games on the Genesis.

So, who in their right mind would want to play Ristar? Well, how about people that like really good 2D platform games? Or people who like lovable characters that exist in a highly imaginative world? Or maybe people who missed this gem the first time around and want to see what all of the fuss is about? See, it seems like there are a lot of people in their "right mind" that would want to revisit Ristar. Just because this guy decided not to play it and doesn't remember it, that doesn't mean that Ristar is worth forgetting. This review, on the other hand, is worth forgetting.

Rumor #3 - Ecco the B-Grade Dolphin!
"Aside from the aforementioned Sonic and Phantasy Star, you get gems such as Golden Axe, Altered Beast, Comix

I guarantee that this mash-up would have made for a much more interesting Altered Beast game!
Zone, Columns and the fantastic Shinobi III. There are also some decent B-grade titles that deserve mention, such as Vector Man and Ecco the Dolphin."
Reality: I don't even know where to start with this quote. Perhaps it's better to start by questioning this critic's sanity. Yes, the Phantasy Star games are a lot of fun, but Altered Beast? At this point this primitive 16-bit action game is reviled for its terrible gameplay, sloppy level designs and complete lack of originality. What's more, Golden Axe and Columns are also questionable, especially when you see them dogging on Ristar. Most of the games mentioned weren't even liked by GamePro at the time of their release, so it seems odd that they would include those in the list of the A-grade games. But that's just opinion and I can certainly accept that this critic's opinion differs slightly from mine.

What I can't overlook is the second half of this review, which states that "Vector Man" (by the way, that's Vectorman, one word) and Ecco the Dolphin are B-grade titles that deserve to be mentioned. Yes, they deserve to be mentioned, but not because they are B-grade games. If you're judging

There's an Ecco comic book? I think we have the next episode of Comic Book Mods here!
it based on sales, then I suppose you could say that Vectorman isn't a top tier Sega game, it came out just a little too late in the console's life cycle and didn't have the marketing push it needed. But Ecco the Dolphin? Are you serious? This is one of Sega's top selling games, a title that spawned three different games on the Genesis, two Sega CD games, two Game Gear games, a Sega Master System port and a PlayStation 2 upgrade from a few years ago. It may not be one of Sega's biggest franchises anymore, but there was a time when it was considered a hot commodity.

Or maybe by "B-grade" he means that it's not as good as the A-grade games he mentioned, like Altered Beast and Golden Axe. If that's the case then why did GamePro constantly give the Ecco games glowing reviews? Every time Sega released a new Ecco game, GamePro would spend a whole page gushing about it. Yet here we are 15 years later and it's a B-grade title? I can't wait to see what top selling/top ranking current generation games get delisted a decade from now.


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