OK Sonic completists, if you were a little bit disturbed that some of the best and most overlooked early Sonic titles were mercilessly left off the so-called Sonic Mega Collection then finally you have to look not much further, they are (mostly) all here. Sonic Gems Collection is the second compilation which digs up Sonic titles from Sega's past and makes them playable on your still newly fangled PS2 and Gamecube. With buying Sonic Mega Collection Plus when it was finally released on the PS2 I was particularly disappointed that there was no Sonic CD or Sonic R but luckily they make it this time. If you're buying on Nintendo Gamecube then you have the disadvantage that the by now increasingly overlooked adventures on the Sega Master System are not all here either, Sonic 2 makes an appearance but Sonic's other 8 bit adventures Sonic & Sonic Chaos are rather unforgivingly absent, the Master System arguably offered almost as much good gameplay as the Genesis ones. The big standout gem from this collection as you probably already know is Sonic CD, the game was released in the space between the release of the now iconic first Sonic on the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive in Europe) and Sonic 2, Sonic CD is a true Sonic and Sega classic. Sonic CD has that early 90's retro feel which reminds us of a time when all that was required of Sonic was to make it through an appealingly futuristically themed level in an endurance of survival, there wasn't any need for cute cartoon acting, endless FMV screens, and having to navigate rather dull but nice enough looking playable towns before you can get to some action. The more recent Sonic games are guilty of all that, but Sonic CD truly has it all, it has the FMVs, the acting, the storyline and most importantly the playability without ever boring us. The level designs are absolutely inspired, it's a whirlwind journey through a gothic, dark, futuristically themed alterworld that will have you subtly enthralled. The soundtrack is also super cool without trying too hard, the electro, techno themes just fit. And if the levels weren't enough for you, there was the imaginative concept of giving each level a past, present and future counterpart which you can buzz in and out of, 2D sonic doesn't get much more awesome than that. So there you have it really the inclusion of Sonic CD is enough to my mind of a reason to buy this game, the only downside being that well it doesn't have absolutely everything there was back then, but still.