Review by KingBroccoli

Reviewed: 07/02/00 | Updated: 09/10/01

I love this little hedgehog!

Sonic CD was the hedghogs first journey into the land of everyones PC, it offers the same style of platforming that everyone fell in love with, whilst also adding a large host of improvements in all areas. Once again that naughty person Dr. Robotnik is threatening to take over the world, but this time the plan involves time-travel rather than those tiresome Chaos Emeralds. Sonic has to find a way to stop obotnik from changing the past therefore saving the future, what lies ahead are many levels of fast paced fun and good times to be had by all....

The gameplay is the clasic Sonic style that pretty much everyone loves, it's even been given a few new features that make the game even better to have a go at. There's a huge amount of depth in each level because of the implementation of the time-travel into the game, there are signs found in certain spots in each level which will say ''Forward'' or ''Back. If you get up enough speed for a prolonged period of time then you will be transported to the same level in a different area of time, this period being decided by which sign you touched last. The primitive areas will usually be filled with lush vegetation and animals that appear native to these areas whilst the futuristic areas are more bleask and are filled with robots and the like. Because of this feature it means that in each level there are actually three different scenarios which makes for a lot of replays in each level.
The design of the levels is fantastic, they're built for speed in most cases and that's exactly how Sonic likes it! There's some fine loop-the-loops and various other constructions that appear to be built for a stuntsman, some of the speeds that Sonic reaches are just downright scary as you sit in your seat gripping onto it just hoping and praying that Sonic doesn't crash into anything. The overall length of the levels is a lot longer than is the norm for the Sonic series and it can take quite a bit of navigation to find your way right to the end of the game. There's actually quite a bit of variety in these levels as whilst there are quite a few designed for major speed and a lot of thrills, there's also a few that require more precision jumping and will test your accuracy to it's absolute fullest.
The bosses that you will encounter at the end of each set of levels provide a good challenge to the player and will test his skills to their fullest. It takes some hard-core dodging and weaving to survive their onslaughts and disposing of them will take a lot more effort than the previous games starring this hedgehog. The other enemies, whilst they do have a bit of variety in them do not really provide much of a problem and can be disposed of pretty easily.
In this game pickups are a less frequent occurence and should have been used a bit more, there's the usual things such as shields, fast shoes and extra lives but hey don't feature enough to make an impact on the game. The rings once again are used as your life meter and are a more common sight, the collection of 100 rings will once again give you an extra life and can be the incentive for quite a bit of frenzied collecting during the game.
Overall, the gameplay has a surprising amount of depth and manages to maintain a solid challenge all the way through. There are some interesting features that make the game much more fun to play and add immensely to the fun of the game. The level design is some of the best and provides a refreshing change from many other games of this type, this time-travel option is only hampered by some annoying loading times between transition and this is only downside that I found during the lengthy play that I had.

The graphics rather than being the bright colourful offering that really shone through in the Genesis games, have a bit more variety in this case. Apparently the future is looking a bit bleak so in quite a few cases there is a much more drab, gloomy outlook than one has come to expect from Sonic. Everything looks quite luscious, with a great amount of detail throughout the whole game. There's always a lot of movement going on in his surroundings meaning that very rarely is there a dull moment in relation to the graphics on-screen, despite this everything is very smooth and slowdown is only evident in a few minor cases. Throughout the course of the game Sonic will travel through lush scenarios complete with palm trees and various other luxuries and can jump straight to a broken down land full of rusting metal and many environmental dangers without missing a beat. The transition form one location to another is smooth and evry well done.
Sonic himself has the usual attitude that makes him one of the coolest mascots to grace the screens of gamers around the world, he's got a fine host of facial expressions usually signifying his general calmness as he negotiates the many perils of this gameworld. He's got a large number of great animations and these are performed with a great artistry and look fantastic, all of this makes Sonic one of the best looking game characters going around, he's just a pleasure to control. The enemies that he goes up against have a certain meanness to them without appearing overly lethal, the bosses that he will have to face look quite overwhelming and have some great detail to them.
There's some fine graphical effects to be found throughout Sonic CD, you'll be treated to a heck of a light show many times during the game and they always look superb. There's some rather large and flashy explosions to greet your eyes not to mention a whole lot of flaming effects, there's a whole lot of eye candy in this game and it adds a lot to the general beauty of the whole game.
Overall, this game is a beauty to see in action. There's some tremendous detail in here and one will never get sick of the spectacle that is performed on-screen in front of them. There are very few flaws in the overall package, it's al very classy and obviously a lot of work has gone into them. A top job here, it really adds to the enjoyability of the game.

The sound in this game is also of a pretty good standard, it really seems to fill up the whole room and is generally a pleasure to listen to. The background music has been chosen well to fit the scene that Sonic is currently involved in, the more gloomy areas are accompanied by a soundtrack that is surprisingly haunting and it builds a lot of tension, whilst if Sonic is in one of the many paradises that comprise a level then the tune will be of a faster tempo and a lot more cheerful than the other tracks. It's a fantastic soundtrack, it will not get repetitive unless you play this game for every waking hour of your life, these tunes add a LOT to the character and general atmosphere of the game and definitely won't hurt the eardrums of the listener. A fantastic job has been done here.
Sound effects have been put to great use in Sonic CD, they sound fantastic and are very rarely found to be out of place. The collection mainly consists of bright, chirpy sounds, these can be aggravating for some people but the majority shouldn't be irritated by the selection at all. They're soundings are not too sparse at all and they accompany the soundtrack very well. A wider range and a bit more variety wouldn't have hurt the game but it's generally an okay effort.
Overall, the sound does a fantastic job of complementing the graphics. Combined, they're a dynamic duo and it makes a fantastic overall presentation of the game. There are problems in this certain area but they're forgivable and forgettable and noone will really spend too much time worrying about them, it's a great job in both areas and they make the game a pleasure to play.

The lifespan is enormous, mainly because of the replay value that each level offers. Because of all the different scenarios on offer one will have to attack the levels numerous times before fully exploring each different world. The ability to save your progress at the beginning of each level means that the players will return to the game more often and extends the lifespan just that little bit more. It's not a small task getting to the end of the game and it's guaranteed that you'll spend a lengthy amount of time exploring the game to it's fullest, a great effort has been done here to keep the player coming back for more.

The fun factor is quite large, Sonic CD has got some refreshing new ideas that are always fun to have a crack at. The fast paced action should ensure the majority of players have a good time and will keep you on the edge of your seat. The classic style of gameplay has been used wonderfully and it's a very user friendly game that keeps the player with a good amount of fun from the start all the way to the end. There are few complaints in this section, it's just generally a hoot to have a go at.

There is a fantastic challenge range in Sonic CD, the learning curve excercised by the levels is superb and really eases the player into the game. The bosses can tend to get quite a bit tricky from time to time but all it takes is a bit of perserverance and you should find yourself successful. The lighthearted outlook that is shown for the majority of the game can be quite misleading as it's a bit more difficult than the colourful graphics may first suggest. With a bit of practice anybody should be able to tackle this game with a good amount of success and most players should find themselves challenged by it.

Whilst this game differs a bit from the other Sonic games that are out there, it retains the fun and fast paced action that typifies the series and makes it stand out from the rest. The new features that Sonic CD excercises are fantastic and make this game a delight to play, there are very few problems or flaws in the overall scheme of things and it's a game that will just have you coming back for more time and time again. If you're a fan of Sonic or this style of gaming then you must put this title up high as a possibilty as it's a very polished game and one that you won't tire of in a big hurry.
- The audio/video combination is excellent and should appeal to many people
- Fast paced gameplay and some fantastic levels wil get you hooked
- An enormous fun factor ensures good times during it's length lifespan

- Some people may be put off by some of the features here (although i'm yet to meet any of these people, they're most likely in the majority)
GRAPHICS - 10/10
SOUND - 9/10
GAMEPLAY - 10/10
LIFESPAN - 10/10
FUN FACTOR - 10/10
OVERALL - 10/10

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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