Review by Uvula Walrus

Reviewed: 03/02/03 | Updated: 03/29/03

One of the finest Sega CD games, brought to the PC.

Once upon a time, Dr. Robotnik decided that his plan of transforming animals into his Legions of Doom made too much sense. So Dr. Robotnik devised a plan so lame, so off-the-wall that I’m beginning to think Sega was trying to think of something TOO original.
Do you know what that plan is? He was going to tie two planets together, so that one will drag the other out of the solar system. And do you know what Sonic has to do to stop him? Instead of using his spiny back to cut the chain (Yes, a chain) that’s holding the two planet’s together, Sonic decides that he must travel back in time to stop Robotnik from ever fastening them together. Even though that sounds similar to an episode of The Fairly Odd Parents, Sonic CD does so many great things for its genre, unlike The Fairly Odd Parents.

The first thing you’ll notice about Sonic CD is its graphics. I don’t like to praise things but GOOD GOD THIS GAME LOOKS AWESOME. The 2D action is so perfect, so vibrant… you will more than often be hypnotized by the flashing colors and blinding speed. Even though the last level does look suspiciously like Scrap Brain Zone from Sonic 1 (Sega Genesis), the levels all look insanely original. Stardust Speedway, for example, features Sonic running on a highway four hundred feet in the sky over a flashing city. But go back in time, and you’ll see Sonic over an ancient city complete with a shimmering lake and rising stars. And while that IS politically incorrect you must realize that Sonic CD takes place on a different planet.

The graphics look great no doubt, but what about the music? Fortunately, Sonic CD’s audio does not disappoint. Each level/ act/ zone/ effect has it’s own theme composed by the musical genius Spencer Nilsen (Ecco 1 and 2). The music takes a different approach on things though. Unlike it’s Japanese counterpart, Sonic CD’s US audio doesn’t take the “happy” melodies, instead, it’s been loaded with synthesized instruments, warped vocals, electric guitars and shimmering bells. All the music fits the visual package perfectly, except for a few songs, and the lag during song change. Which reminds me, Sonic CD’s audio is recorded, and not played using your PCs MIDI output. So the game works in most standard audio CD players.

If you take away the graphics and sounds, what do you get? Game play. And thankfully, Sonic CD controls just as well as you might expect. Unlike the Genesis games though, there are some problems.
Sonic has a lag now before he does a “standing still jump”. Also, when you want to do a spin-dash, Sonic has to be fully revved up before he can make his dash. On a side note, however, Sonic earned himself a new, useless move: The STANDING-dash. What is it you ask? It’s basically a spin-dash, without the spin. So if you ram any enemies with this move, don’t expect to chop them like usual. Instead, Sonic will be smacked and lose all his rings like normal.

Once again, Sega bothered to include a mini game. The mini game this time around has you jumping to kill aliens. It’s pointless, frustrating, and the physics are messed up, and even though it makes a good alternative between levels, on my Mini-Game-O-Meter, it gets a 4/10.

Sonic CD for the Sega CD is one of the best games I have ever played. The PC version, even with its problems, still makes a great game. I’d recommend getting this one the next time you see it. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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