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Knuckles' Chaotix (Sega 32X) artwork

Knuckles' Chaotix (Sega 32X) review

"Like Sonic CD, A Sonic Game With A Little Twist... And It Works!"

After a while of just having my 32X sit on my Genesis to look pretty (and allow my imports to pass through without having the tabs get caught!), I finally decided to pick up Chaotix and beat it to make a point of completing all of the Sonic games. What ensued was a week full of great highs with a brand new play style that both challenged me and introduced me to a new part of the Sonic universe that I had merely read about or had seen in other games as cameos; the Chaotix! A small brand that Sega should really use more, they all made their début in this game to little fanfare (Mighty the Armadillo and Knuckles made prior appearances in Sega Sonic the Hedgehog {Arcade} and Sonic 3 {Genesis} respectively), however they have made somewhat of an impact as some characters are still used to this day in other Sonic and fan service titles.

Chaotix isn't perfect, but its damn close! Originally used in a beta known as Sonic Crackers (released as a ROM in the mid 2000s), Chaotix uses a "buddy rubber-band," system for its gameplay whereby two characters are connected by a band of rings with a much larger ring on each side which they hold in their hand. To operate this system successfully takes a little bit of practice, however the tutorial that you must complete before the actual game begins helps tremendously with learning the game mechanics, and you can run through it as many times as you require in order to hone your skills. After the tutorial, you select which character you would like to accompany Knuckles (you are not required to choose Knuckles after the first level) and choose the level you will play via a roulette-esque machine. After that, a new adventure begins that is a ton of fun and is basically a classic Sonic experience that tried and tested Sonic players will love.

The rubber-band system works very well and even though it may go wild at times, rarely will that wildness throw you off course, or detract from the experience of the game. You can choose from seven different characters all with their own special abilities; Knuckles (can glide and crawl up walls), Charmy Bee (can fly), Espio the Chameleon (turns into a tornado instead of spin-dashing and can walk upright on walls), Vector the Crocodile (Can dash in the air and climb walls) and my favourite of them all (after Knuckles), Mighty the Armadillo (fastest runner, and can run up walls with ease). The other two character are Heavy the Robot and Bomb the Bomb, who are two escapees from the camp of Robotnik. They are not playable, however they can be selected as partners when the time comes. Great stuff here, and the story is a typical Sonic story.

On Carnival Island lies a massive super emerald that is the power source for the entire island. Dr. Robotnik learns of this, and rushes to the island to steal the emerald in order to have a power source for all of his machines. In doing so, he traps Charmy, Vector and Mighty who all attempt to stop him. When Knuckles heads to the island, Robotnik is about to trap Espio as well, when Knuckles frees him. He frees the rest of the members of the Chaotix, one by one with the eventual goal of stopping Robotnik, and restoring the emerald back to its normal self. The English story differs from the Japanese story, however the same basic elements of setting, the goal (though Robotnik is after the Chaos Rings in the Japanese version), and Robotnik wanting it are found in the Japanese story. Good stuff, if not a little too typical.

One thing must be said about the 32X; the games that looked good, looked really good, with Chaotix being no exception. The graphics style are a bit more secondary-color based than the other Sonic titles, and to be quite honest they work wonders, as the game is superbly detailed and rich/vibrant with colors and textures. The characters themselves are nicely detailed and have quite a bit of charm to them. Chaotix is a great game graphics-wise, and it is also great in the sound department.

Opting to use the Sonic CD jumping sounds and the like, the sound effects in the game, while not bad are not as stellar and classic-sounding as the other Sonic titles, which is a tad detracting to those who are looking for a more purist experience (then again, with the game play style being rather different, the sounds should have little bearing!). The music on the other hand is superb, though not quite at the level of the other games either. Still, I have not run into a Sonic title with a bad soundtrack, and chances are I never will!

You can beat Chaotix in just over an hour (took me an hour, six minutes), with all Chaos Rings found as well. Once the game is beaten, there will be a small urge to play the game again, I am sure and it will be worth it!

Chaotix is a superb game that is more than worth the Sonic license, and anybody who is a Sonic fan would love this game just as much as I do. The Chaotix deserve to make another large appearance in a Sonic title, as they are all great characters that fit in perfectly with the universe. It's a damn shame that the 32X was never able to be the giant that Sega had hoped it would be, however with titles such as Knuckles Chaotix, Sega's initial hope was somewhat realized.


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Community review by truck_101 (August 05, 2015)

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Channard posted August 14, 2015:

So much yes! This game may seem a little nervous for the first time, but if you do master these rubberish controls, Chaotix will become a very fun & even crazy in instant!
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EmP posted August 14, 2015:

I am not looking forward to a lot during my ill advised trip back through the 32X library... but I am kinda looking forward to giving this one a whirl.

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