Sega 3D Classics Collection

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Sega 3D Classics Collection Game Poster Image
Fun collection of classic arcade games; no quarters needed!

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Problems solved through violence, as opposed to peaceful protest, diplomacy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Many of these games have heroes risking their lives to save other people, even whole galaxies.

Ease of Play

While these game feature simple controls, they tend to be rather difficult to operate, even at lowest difficulty setting.

Violence

You shoot aliens, enemy tanks, which explode, as well as punch, kick monsters. That said, there's no blood, gore; even car crashes are more cartoony than realistic.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In Power Drift, billboards advertise fake beers.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sega 3D Classics Collection has nine old-school arcade games: Sonic the Hedgehog is an acrobatic side-scroller, Power Drift is a racing game, Puyo Puyo 2 is a puzzle game along the lines of Tetris, Altered Beast has you punching and kicking monsters, Thunder Blade is a helicopter shooting game, Maze Walker has you wandering around a maze, Galaxy Force II is a 3-D space shooter, and Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa and its remake, Fantasy Zone II W, are side-scrolling shooters in the vein of Defender. While the shooters have you shooting tanks and spaceships that explode, Altered Beast has you slicing and dicing monsters, and Power Drift has advertisements for fake beers, these games are largely benign.

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What's it about?

As a collection of old-arcade games, SEGA 3D CLASSICS COLLECTION doesn't have a story of its own, but many of these games have simple ones. In Altered Beast, for instance, a Roman centurion is brought back from the dead by Zeus so the soldier can rescue's Zeus' daughter Athena. Meanwhile, Thunder Blade has you piloting an attack helicopter into battle, while Galaxy Force II has you trying to save the galaxy from an oppressive government.

Is it any good?

A collection of classic Sega games, this compilation has nine iconic titles from the '80s and '90s that were originally made for arcades and Sega's mid-'80s console the Sega Master System. Not surprisingly, it's a mixed bag, in more ways than one. While a bunch of these games are side-scrolling shooters, this collection also includes the Tetris-esque puzzle game Puyo Puyo 2, the Pole Position-y racing game Power Drift, and the side-scrolling beat-'em-up Altered Beast. And let's not forget how Sonic the Hedgehog has you endlessly running through an obstacle course. But while all the games are spot-on recreations of the originals, not all have aged so well. Puyo Puyo 2 is only fun if you like your puzzler games to be time-driven and cutesy, Power Drift seems quaint next to such more evolved but similar races as Mario Kart 7, and Maze Walker is rather dull.

On the flip side, Thunder Blade is still a fun shooter, especially in how it switches from an aerial perspective to more of a 3-D one; Galaxy Force II will challenge your ability to fly and shoot lasers at the same time; while the two Fantasy Zone II games are engaging if you've ever wondered what Defender would be like if its art director previously made Super Mario Bros. Of course, being such old games, some will find them to be too retro, too simple, or visually dated, while younger games might find them rather difficult. Also, the 3DS' 3-D effect works better in the games that aren't inherently 2-D. But if appreciate old games, there's undoubtedly a bunch of fun to be found in this compilation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Does it make a difference when the violence is depicted in such simple ways? What about when you're fighting monsters and aliens as opposed to people?

  • Talk about old-school video games. At a time when we have detailed graphics and complicated controls, did you find these simple, low-fi games refreshing to play?

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