3 Grandad, what did you used to play?Bretters | 25/06/2009 | See all Bretters's reviews (20)Top 100 Games Reviewer Top 100 Gadgets Reviewer £1600. That's the minimum it would have cost you to own that list of games during the Mega Drive's heyday, when penny sweets were actually a penny and mobile phones were roughly the same size and shape as Outer Mongolia. Not, of course, that you would have wanted to have owned every one of these titles, as no matter how rose-tinted our glasses, some of them are awful.I remember playing Super Thunder Blade in the arcade, complete with flight stick and hydraulic chair, rushing low through the buildings, grinning like a madman as explosions rang in my ears. Great memories, and they shall remain as such, but playing the game again at home some 20 years on is entirely pointless.Those psuedo-3D graphics now look like a juddering succession of primary school paintings and the game itself is nothing more than left-a-bit, right-a-bit, while holding down the fire button. At least it is for the three seconds before you're blown out of the sky by another unavoidable hail of fire.Games like Super Thunder Blade hark back to a time when longevity meant ramping up difficulty to insanely - and unfairly - hard, and this is evident in a few of the titles on offer here. The difference now is that gamers brought up on a diet of Grand Theft Auto are unlikely to want to suffer more than a couple of frustrating attempts.But it would be churlish to dismiss the 16-bit era for its place in what was a fledgling games industry, and between sips of cocoa, Uncle Mega Drive still coughs up the occasional gem.Sonic the Hedgehog never had the depth to rival Mario, but it still delivers immediate satisfaction, as do most of the sequels. Ecco the Dolphin remains a curiously soothing and original adventure, while Comix Zone and Shinobi 3 are excellent examples of their kind and worthy of your continued attention.The glut of non-Sonic platformers are unlikely to interest beyond novelty value and whether Phantasy Star still stands up in a post-Final Fantasy VII world is open for debate, but for the modestly bearded, Shining Force could prove a surprisingly valid distraction.If there is one stand-out game here, however, it has to be Streets of Rage 2. This superb sequel was never bettered in the now forgotten scrolling beat-'em-up genre, featuring four very different characters, each with their own wide array of moves that could be combined in a sublime two-player mode. This is one old game that laughs at your polygons and is rude to high-definition's mother.So is your £1582 saving with this disc in 2009 worth it? Just about.As a definitive collection it's missing some heavyweights from companies such as Konami, EA and Capcom (the latter two have their own retro collections out), and that's not to mention Treasure's fantastic Gunstar Heroes. The highly subjective list could go on, of course.I would direct PSP owners to the Mega Drive collection already available on that system, as most of the games on offer here lend themselves well to quick-fire handheld bursts. The smaller screen is certainly more kind to the graphics - Sonic looks crisp. It's just unfortunate Streets of Rage doesn't feature.Anyone born in the mid-90s onwards is just not going to get this, and even some of us of a certain vintage are equally likely to be left cold by the comparitvely weak graphics and simplistic gameplay. But there are around 10 titles here that have transcended time and still stand up to reasonable scrutiny today, and it might be that you find yourself occupied with one or two lesser-known games.The X-Box and the PS3 may rule the streets now, but it was the Mega Drive that... erm.. laid the pavement...Or something.