Who can really hold their hand up to still owning a Sega Mega-CD? Furthermore, who can even remember their parents actually buying them a Mega-CD?! That’s right, not many of us since Sega’s disc based add-on device was not only expensive, but plagued with more shovelware than a Nintendo Wii could ever hope for! Thankfully, amongst all of the generic titles and sports games on the drivel-based machine there was Sonic CD. A long lost gem in video gaming history.
Not just another churned out title from the blue blur, Sonic CD is easily one of the best games in the hedgehogs 20 years of saving the world. Each stage is blessed with a selection of wonderful psychedelic tracks and each boss fight is as challenging as the next – making it a world away from the migraine-prone 3D Sonic games of today.
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Like all of the early 90’s Sonic games, the stages do the storytelling for you. Robotnik (not Eggman) once again attempts to turn the world into a mechanical nightmare and it is up to our speedy hero to collect the time stones and save the day! Unfortunately, Robotnik has created a metal Sonic to finally put an end to the blue hedgehog once and for all. Sonic CD doesn’t see everyone’s favourite fox joining you on your adventure, but it is the first time the ever so love-struck Amy Rose makes an appearance.
Sonic CD’s gameplay is much more formidable than its predecessors. Instead of simply dashing your way through linear level designs, each zone feels a lot more accident-prone and innovative. Enemies are placed in unexpected areas, ample amounts of traps pave the way and the very fact that you can time travel between four different realities opens up a whole new opportunity!
Stepping into the future allows you to play through a level consumed by evil and pollution whilst jumping into the past grants you the opportunity to change this dark and gloomy timeline. As well as level designs moulding each time you travel through time, so too does the stage music and enemy population. The ability to shift through time definitely gives Sonic CD an edge that most platform games of its time did not have! It compels you to explore the new surroundings and grow acquainted with the enormous soundtrack that the game boasts.
Easy special stages are also a thing of the past since Sonic CD challenges you to defeat a horde of floating enemies in a 3D environment. Such a break of gameplay felt unusual in the early 90’s and believe me, these stages aren’t as easy as they sound.
Overall, it’s safe to say that Sonic CD manages to live up to its hype. Expansive level designs combined with colourful 2D graphics and entertaining short animations definitely makes it worth the 400MSP it’s currently selling for on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Of course, like all Sonic games, there are particular stages that you wish didn’t exist (I’m looking at you Wacky Workbench), but the chance to face off against metal Sonic, explore different time zones and listen to an almost impeccable soundtrack allows this game to stand out from the rest.
This journey back in video gaming time was brought to you by LibertyGames.co.uk a leading retro arcade machine supplier and the people to speak to about bringing your arcade dreams back to life.