Sonic CD (Sega CD) review
"I'm sure that many know of our friend Sonic the Hedgehog's forays into the world of 3D. Aside from the Sonic Adventure games, they haven't been all that good. All have been plagued with a wonky camera, fetch quests, and shooting levels. Though the recent next-gen bomb Sonic the Hedgehog for Xbox 360 and PS3 attempted to remedy these issues, it actually gave the entire gaming world suck pains. The game was that awful. "
I'm sure that many know of our friend Sonic the Hedgehog's forays into the world of 3D. Aside from the Sonic Adventure games, they haven't been all that good. All have been plagued with a wonky camera, fetch quests, and shooting levels. Though the recent next-gen bomb Sonic the Hedgehog for Xbox 360 and PS3 attempted to remedy these issues, it actually gave the entire gaming world suck pains. The game was that awful.
It is with great sadness, then, that I write this review for Sonic CD, which is quite possibly the greatest Sonic game ever made. Why am I sad, you ask? Well, I've no reason to, you know. This game is as fast and fun as any game you can find on the market today, with fresh and commendable innovation for the time. The only reason I'm so sad is because I know Sega will never, ever make a beautiful masterpiece like this again. And that, my friends, is one heckuva reason to be sad.
Well, enough with the sadness. I shall now dry my eyes and continue writing my review.
The plot may seem like any other Sonic game, but it's even more interesting: Dr. Eggman is trying to conquer the Little Planet, a harmless celestial body that appears once a year near the Earth. The diabolical scientist creates a sinister robot, Metal Sonic, to help him with his plans to get the Time Stones, mysterious orbs that allow their user to manipulate time and space. And, to make matters worse, he's kidnapped Amy Rose, a female hedgehog who got in the way of his plans. So, Sonic must save both our earth and the Little Planet, dismantle Metal Sonic like there's no tomorrow, and get the girl. That's a lot for one adventure, but Sonic always puts a lot on his plate.
The game uses some elements of a straightforward Sonic side-scroller, meaning that you must get to the end of the level without dying. The big draw here, however, is an interesting new gameplay mechanic, which is the “Past” and “Future” signs. If you touch them and run as fast as you can, little sparks will flash behind Sonic. Do that for about six seconds, and watch an oh-so-awesome cinema as Sonic warps to the past or future versions of a level.
But wait, there's more! Scattered throughout the levels (which are now complex mazes with multiple routes and no bottomless pits) are little robot-building machines that generate enemies. If you destroy the generators, you will travel to a good future in which there are no enemies, as opposed to a bad future where robots run amok. These generators are only in the past, though, as well as projections of Metal Sonic that, if you destroy them, bring all the animals back to the good future.
Finally, if you have fifty rings at the end of an act, you can touch the giant ring at the end to be transported to a '90s 3D-esque special stage, in which you must destroy all the UFOs before time runs out. Victory will net you a Time Stone, which you'll need for the end of the game. More Time Stones equals a better ending!
Dr. Eggman has some good boss machines up his sleeve this time around. Although most are easy to defeat, they are generally creative and fun to duel. One example is a chase between the blue hedgehog and the fat doctor as they run/hover through a maze of passageways. At the end, the fight moves underwater as Sonic fights to get air bubbles, while eliminating Eggman's bubble shield and dodging lasers. Another fave of mine is the Metal Sonic race, in which you must avoid Eggman's laser and the blue 'bot's attacks while trying to get to Amy first.
Everything else about this game seems to be perfect. The exellently composed music always fits the situation, from the happy melodies of Palmtree Panic to the industrial tunes of Wacky Workbench. The graphics are streamlined in both dimensions, and never even hint at slowdown. There's even a Time Attack mode, just for those interested in clearing levels with times that would make a Ferrari driver proud. Seriously, folks, this game is definitely worth buying the GameCube's Sonic Gems Collection for. Besides, the Gems Collection is the cheapest and easiest way to play it. And hey, it's better than the 360/PS3 one by miles. With stellar gameplay, a brilliant musical score, and wonderfully colored graphics, this one's worth a travel through time for.
Even if you get caught on the eleven o'clock news.
Community review by wayne_steed (August 20, 2007)
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