SEGA has a bit of a problem on its hands with two competing products. On one hand, the company just released SEGA Genesis Classics, a bundle of 53 games (51 on the Nintendo Switch… SEGA) that are emulated at an acceptable standard. The selling point is that this bundle only costs $29.99 for over 50 games, nothing but value!
On the other hand, SEGA is also releasing a line of SEGA Ages games which are priced at $7.99 each. The price may seem high considering the value of each game in the SEGA Genesis Classics is less than a dollar each, but these individual releases sell themselves on tremendous emulation thanks to the wizards at M2, geniuses of emulating classic Japanese arcade and console games.
So, how does SEGA go about convincing people that these individual games are worth it? Well, one only need look at the games, a majority of which are not in the bundle, and just how much better the emulation truly is. Pixels move better, the screen shines a lot brighter, the images upscale much better, and most importantly, the adjustments and various options available on SEGA Ages lets picky players mess more with the settings.
Heck, in SEGA Genesis Classics, you can't even remap buttons. What the heck, SEGA?
However, the quality of emulation isn't the only reason you shouldn't blow off SEGA Ages. True, you're getting less game for your buck, but you're also getting games you can't really find anywhere else, especially on a handheld console. The latest release of the original Phantasy Star was just released earlier in December for the first time in North America since 2002, when it got a sub-standard port on the Game Boy Advance.
In reality, the game hasn't had a quality release that allows it to be enjoyed to the fullest since its original in 1988, thirty years ago!
The game might seem archaic by today's standards, but as a landmark title that provides a unique sci-fi world, a strong female lead, and 20 hours of hardcore RPG gameplay, you're definitely getting your money's worth.
Likewise, SEGA's next release we see a bit more frequently than the original Phantasy Star, but it is still all the more welcome on the Nintendo Switch. Out Run is a classic of SEGA's library that turns up big every time the company gives it another go, no complaints here. It was fun on the Nintendo 3DS, when it made a jump into true 3D, and it will be just as much fun here.
SEGA wisely avoids the SEGA Genesis port nowadays when fine-tuning this classic, and instead, turns to the original arcade game, which feels just as fresh and exciting as it did over thirty years ago when it first released in 1986. No lie, this is one of those eternal games that never ages, no matter how many times you play it.
Just for $7.99, this also is a steal, and it releases on Jan. 10.
Remember, you are getting quality ports of classic games that are still popular decades after they were first released. Some other companies have tried to pander off much weaker "classic arcade games" with worse emulation at a similar price, but those ultimately do a disservice to the quality and legacy of the games SEGA has chosen, once again, for re-release.
(For the record, HAMSTER is definitely not included in this bunch since its excellent SNK emulation nears the quality of M2's)
Looking down the list of SEGA Ages to come, we have the equally immortal Space Harrier, a superior version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the unusually amazing SEGA Master System platformer Alex Kidd in Miracle World, the arcade version of Gain Ground, and enough Puyo Puyo to choke a hedgehog with. This is an impressive line-up backed by the best emulation software in the business, and you're getting the extra value for the price you pay with these individual releases. Don't dismiss them outright.
And SEGA, let's see some Wonder Boy games. I'm still not happy Wonder Boy and Monster World was pulled from the SEGA Genesis Classics Switch version.