What’s so special about Sonic Jam you ask? After all, we had over 10 ports of old school Sonic games on every platform imaginable. The difference my friends is that Sonic Jam was one of the first of what you now call Remasters.
Released on June 20, 1997, in Japan with two months gap between the western version, this gem was sadly underappreciated and went completely under the radar to this day. SEGA desperately needed a Sonic game on their new system and while that Sonic game wasn’t exactly what many have hoped for, we got a true remastered version of the first three games.
You will notice right off the bat that the graphics are crystal clear with added effects in some areas. The resolution was also bumped upbringing the SEGA Mega Drive classic into a new era. Everything looked amazing and clear.
Once you start playing, you feel like an old school Sonic that we all love is reimagined for the 32-bit era. You just have to experience it to feel it. It’s like playing your favourite console game on PC with 60 FPS. Amazing feeling. Everything about this port looks cool.
Sadly from here on out, SEGA used the original mega drive (Genesis) version or even worse, used an emulator when porting the games. Yes the IOS version looks cool and whatnot but it’s nothing when compared with Sonic Jam’s version.
Having the game on a compact disk, SEGA made sure to remaster the music making it CD quality. Every sound sounds amazing thanks to the quality update. Enemies and stage music alike got updated and fixed where needed eliminating any unnecessary noise. Yes, the music starts a little late on some stages due to the CD loading but that’s hardly noticeable.
We finally made it to the best section of this post! For starters, the Sonic Dash was added to Sonic 1 and extra animations him leaving a trail behind when running. The clouds move as you scroll by as well.
For Sonic 2, 3 and Sonic and Knuckles many fixes were added making the gameplay smoother than ever. A new Easy and Hard modes were thrown in as well as an Original mode where you get to play the games on their classic difficulties.
And we have the 3D Sonic world. In this mode, you run around doing mini-missions, unlock art, videos and Music. All three original digital manuals are present in both Japanese and English. You can also uncover secrets as you explore this small but cool world.
In short, this was the perfectly remastered port. I just wished they would have ported this to the PC so we could easily enjoy this gem without getting a Saturn (for the average gamers).
The USA version is a little expensive on eBay so I suggest getting the Japanese version as its box is cooler but that’s just me and I own both. The bottom line, get this game if you want to experience the best version of the classic Sonics.
And playing with the Saturn controller is the Icing on the cake. 10/10.