Sega Resurrects Eight Retro Gems And Turns Them Into '3D Classics'

December 19, 2013
Over the past few weeks, Sega has been honoring its longtime fans by re-releasing some of their classic games, and updating them for the 3DS. While this isn't the first time that Sega has repackaged some of their older titles (in fact, they've done it a number of times, on a host of different platforms), but these 3DS releases are special, since they have gotten some extra love from developer M2.

When Nintendo launched their 3D Classics line, they updated a small handful of 8-bit gems including Excitebike, Kid Icarus and Kirby's Adventure, but Sega's releases are much more ambitious, taking on 16-bit and arcade titles. In addition to each of the games being specifically chosen to take advantage of the 3DS' 3D capabilities, each title is packed full of updates, fixes, and even a bit of fan service. At $5.99 each, these games are a steal, whether you're an old school Sega fan, or someone that's always wanted to play Sonic The Hedgehog with the spin dash.

3D Space Harrier
Released On: 11/28/13 | Original Release: 1985
Key Enhancements: Moving Cabinet, Touch Controls, Stage Select
As one of Sega's early arcade games Space Harrier may not have as much name recognition as some of the other titles on this list, but that shouldn't discount the quality of the game, or its 3D update. The gameplay in Space Harrier lends itself perfectly to 3D, since the game is constantly scrolling at you, almost in the same way that racing games play out, except in this title, you're shooting giant monsters the whole time. M2 put a lot of time and effort into recreating the feel of sitting inside a Space Harrier arcade machine, and even updated the 3D release to include touch controls, making it feel akin to the latest Kid Icarus title.

3D Super Hang-On
Released On: 11/28/13 | Original Release: 1987
Key Enhancements: Gyro Controls, Mini Ride-On and Sit Down Versions, Moving Cabinet
For anyone that frequented arcades in the late 1980s Super Hang-On will forever be one of that generation's most memorable cabinets. While it's hard to recreate the full experience of sitting down and "riding" the motorcycle that was a key part of the arcade machine, and M2 have gone to great lengths to bring that experience to the 3DS. Most notably they included gyroscopic controls (that actually work quite well) that mix with an on-screen simulation of the original cabinet that attempts to recreate the original arcade experience.. Super Hang-On helped define the arcade racing games of the late 80s, and this 3D update is a worthy addition to the series.

3D Sonic The Hedgehog
Released On: 12/5/13 | Original Release: 1991
Key Enhancements: Spin Dash, Stage Select, International and Japanese Versions
While it may look and feel like the Sonic game that you know and love, this 3D update actually fundamentally changes the game. One of the reasons that the original Sonic hasn't aged as well as its sequels is that the blue hedgehog's Spin Dash wasn't introduced until Sonic 2, therein ruining any chance of anyone enjoying the original ever again. This update includes Sonic signature move, as well as some additional tweaks, like a stage select, that make it feel like a worthwhile pick up for any Sonic fan.

3D Altered Beast
Released On: 12/5/13 | Original Release: 1988
Key Enhancements: Local Co-op Via Download Play, International and Japanese Versions
Altered Beast was the original Sega Genesis pack-in game - a fact that is usually obscured by its more popular contemporary, Sonic the Hedgehog. This is one of those games that's always looked back on fondly, but usually only by people who enjoyed the original. The gameplay is a little slow and convoluted, and the sound is humorous by today's standards, but Altered Beast does play an important role in Sega's history, which is why this 3D Classic made the cut. Well, there's that, and the fact that the local co-op is actually still kind of fun.

3D Ecco the Dolphin
Released On: 12/12/13 | Original Release: 1992
Key Enhancements: Super Dolphin Mode, International and Japanese versions
Ecco the Dolphin is a Genesis classic that is fondly recognized as one of the most unique games of its time, and to this day, one of a very small number of games that can claim to have a dolphin as its main character. 22 years after its release, and most of the gameplay still holds up - that is to say that it's still pretty challenging. M2 recognized this, and went so far as to include a new "Super Dolphin Mode" which bestows invincibility on Ecco, even allowing him to "breathe" underwater, relieving the player of the copious responsibility of having to get this mammal air every minute or so.

3D Galaxy Force II
Released On: 12/12/13 | Original Release: 1988
Key Enhancements: Circle Pad Pro Support, Touch Controls
Like Space Harrier, Galaxy Force II uses the same type of always-scrolling gameplay that is perfect for a 3D update. M2 went the distance with this release as well, building out a recreation of the full arcade experience, complete with a moving screen, just like it was back in the day. Also like Space Harrier, Galaxy Force includes touch controls, taking advantage of the touch screen to offer a more precise and enjoyable experience while you're flying your spaceship trying to take down the Fourth Empire.

3D Shinobi III
Released On: 12/19/13 | Original Release: 1993
Key Enhancements: Stage Select, Expert Ninja Mode, Guard Button
Sega's flagship ninja series sneakily pops its masked head up as one of the last two 3D Classics to be released. Shinobi III was one of the last games to be released on the Sega Genesis, and it is also one of the best in the franchise. Your ninja, Joe Musashi, must once again take down Neo Zeed, and his adventure takes him around the world. The 3D release comes packed with a stage select, an "Expert Ninja Mode" for anyone that thinks they can handle it, and, for the first time, a guard button. While that last update might not seem like much, it changes the game quite a bit, especially for anyone that's used to playing the original release.

3D Streets of Rage
Released On: 12/19/13 | Original Release: 1991
Key Enhancements: Local Co-op Via Download Play, Single Hit KO Mode
Back in the 16-bit era side-scrolling beat-'em-ups used to rule game consoles, and one of the best was Streets of Rage. From the music to the gameplay, Adam, Axel, and Blaze's quest to clean up the streets was truly epic. The 3D update should please fans of this classic by offering up local co-op play, and an all-new "Single Hit KO" mode that will put even the most dedicated Streets of Rage player to the test.