Review by irrewonderful
Some flaws ruined a decent concept
On April 28, 1995, a new Sega Game Gear game entitled Tails' Sky Patrol came out in Japan. This was the only area this game was released in, until later collection games, such as Sonic Gems Collection for the Nintendo Gamecube came out.This was the second Sonic game to be this way, the first being Sonic Drift. It was also a spin-off game, focusing on Tails instead of Sonic. Previously, there was a game focusing on Knuckles, called Knuckles Chaotix, for the Sega 32x, but I have never played that game, and will not be reviewing it until I do. Since this game had the same release history as Drift, will it be just as bad as the game? We shall see.
This game involves Tails on his home island, and is believed to take place before he first met Sonic the Hedgehog. He discovers that the island is being invaded by an evil witch named Wendy Witchcart, and her three cohorts, a wolf who is your first opponent, Bearenger the Bear, your second, and a bunny who will be your third. They have their own army of robots that have taken over the island. Tails must now stop them all and save the island. The story is simple, which works fine for a game like this, but I like the fact that you are not fighting Robotnik this time. It makes for a good variance from the old "defeat Robotnik and save the world" scenario. It is good that we are fighting a new villain this time.
The game involves Tails constantly flying as he goes through each level, and you will have to attack enemies and obstacles by throwing a Ring at them. You also must collect health so that Tails's health bar does not drain all the way down. It is basically a rail shooter, with is a fun style of gameplay. I think that the core gameplay is very nicely done. What ruins the gameplay, though is the difficulty, as this game makes it far too easy to die in, and you only have a limited number of lives. It is so easy to hit something and die, as you die if you touch the ground, or a wall or certain other obstacle. This is very frustrating, and you basically have to memorize what to do in each level before you can beat it. This gameplay stinks, as the time you spent playing it is simply prolonged by the fact that you must memorize every level by playing it over and over to beat it. I don't like that. I think it should be difficult due to challenging sections that have you doing something you already know what to do, but you could still die if you know how, not repeating and memorizing the level. You will also have to fight each of the four villains at the end of each level except the first, but the fights aren't that great, as you just throw your ring at them several times before defeating them.
Another complaint I have is how many levels there are. You will start out in the green fields of the Training Area, then you will move on the Rail Canyon Area (a level whose name will appear again in a later game), where you must carefully move around trolley rails. Next, you will enter a dark forest, before taking to the sky fighting battle ships. You will then go into the Dark Castle Area for your final confrontation. The areas look pretty good for the Game Gear, but are too short to be in a game with only 5 levels. The game is much too short, and you could likely beat it in 20 minutes after memorizing each level. So, basically, the developers only made 5 levels, but to make it longer, they made it more difficult. Not a good way to program a game, as I want to play through several levels with increasing challenge, not the same ones over and over. It is very repetitive, tiring, and I just get bored doing it.
The music is pretty decent, offering fairly memorable tunes for each level. As a whole, Tails's first game to himself was not that great. It is too short, and too frustratingly difficult. Another Tails game came out shortly afterwards, though, so Tails still had hope of having a decent game of his own. This game, though, I wouldn't recommend getting it unless you have it on a collection game. I give it a score of 4/10.
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: Tails no Sky Patrol (JP, 04/28/95)
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