i played through the next entry in the sonic series, sonic the hedgehog CD orig. released for the sega CD (although i played it via the sonic gems collection on gamecube; apparently a PC version was also released way back when and nowadays you can also get a downloadable version that runs on more-modern versions of windows).
anyway, although i’d enjoyed sonic 2 a few years ago, this iteration was just too same-y compared to the previous two games. the locales are all pretty much the same as are the general aesthetics (although defeated enemies turn into flowers instead of cute litttle critters), and although the past/present/bad future/good future mechanic was interesting the game doesn’t really provide much incentive to try to get the best ending. the bonus stage was too hard, and aside from the soundtrack, which was noticeably better than most games, there wasn’t much that was memorable about the game. the main exceptions would be the traditional animation of the intro and epilogue, and the introduction of sonic series staple, amy rose (called “princess sally” in the original US release), and baddie metal sonic (although it was preceded by mecha sonic in sonic 2). the game also has a race sequence with sonic vs. metal sonic, although that was memorable more because of how frustrating it was than being a cool experience.
apparently the game was created in parallel to sonic 2, which perhaps explains their similarities. i’m hoping that sonic 3 (which was originally released just two-and-a-half months after sonic CD) will be a step forward, but at least i’m making some progress on getting caught up on the series.
tuneful sonic CD links:
– easter egg of what happens if sonic is left idle for three minutes
– entry at sonic.wikia.com, which includes sprites of the enemies and a run-down of all the bosses
– entry at wikipedia
– entry at howlongtobeat.com
i finally got myself motivated to play through the much-lauded sonic the hedgehog 2 for the first time. i’d enjoyed playing through the first game, and for this iteration i found myself reacting in similar ways to the core game mechanics: losing all your rings every time you get hit is still annoying; trying to get all the chaos emeralds is quite tedious; and the feeling of speed seems to be constantly stymied by backtracking to explore alternate paths and slower sections of regular platforming. the most annoying thing by far though is the final level which is incredibly cheap due to the fact you have to fight two bosses without getting hit once.
with those criticisms out of the way there was a lot i did enjoy. although many of the locales from the original reappear here there are quite a few new elements and some new and memorable game mechanics such as the seesaws in the hilltop zone. the pinball stages were as fun as ever, and it was great that sonic acquired a sidekick, miles “tails” prower (even though he doesn’t add anything to the gameplay), and a new “spin dash” ability. the 3-D bonus stages are impressive, although they require too much memorization, and the levels in general are large, even though i wasn’t that motivated to explore them fully. as with the first game, the music and visuals are uniformly great.
although i don’t think i’m going to become a sonic super fan anytime soon, i’m getting to be a fan of the sonic series. so far i’ve played through an enjoyable duo of solid platformers, and i won’t be surprised if i end up playing through sonic 3 before too long.
rev up for some sonic 2 links:
– entry at wikipedia
– review at vc.nintendolife.com
– great page of info on the game at fansite the green hill zone. includes a lot of screenshots and sprites of the enemies.
– maps at soniccenter.org
– PDF of the manual at replacementdocs.com
– screenshots of the endings at vgmuseum.com
– and just in case you need it, here’s the info on the the level select code
another gaming first (this year has just been full of ’em) was beating my first sega genesis game, sonic the hedgehog which i played via the sonic mega collection on the gamecube. as you can guess this was also my first sonic game. like super mario world (which in NA came out just two months later) i’d tried out sonic 1 in the toy stores but o/w had never actually played through it. i have to say that i’d never actually even been that interested in sonic, but i got more interested due to a friend of mine in college who was a sega fanboy and obsessed w/ him, so much so that he dressed up as him for halloween. it’s gotta be a pretty rare sight to see a black guy w/ hair dyed blue and wearing red and white shoes running around, bumping into walls and dropping change. and of course my interest took a big leap when it was announced that sonic would be joining super smash bros. brawl, and so being the completist that i am i figured to begin my closer acquaintance w/ sonic i should start at the very beginning.
my mostly unbiased opinion is that overall sonic 1 isn’t a great game. one of the things that i never understood about why people liked sonic so much is that people always talk about how fast the games are, but in fact there actually aren’t that many opportunities to let loose and really zoom through a stage, especially since a lot of the time if you zoom past something you end up having to backtrack anyway. and without the speeding ball of hedgehog gimmick the game pretty much becomes just another platformer. and even after playing through the game i’m still not into the “get hit once and lose all your rings” setup, which isn’t much of a step above ghosts ‘n goblins’ get hit twice and die MO.
there are several “moments of brilliance” in the original, though, such as the bonus stages and some pinball-esque parts w/ sonic bouncing off of bumpers, and particularly the star light zone which does a better job than most of the rest of the game of making sonic’s speediness work w/ the level design. but in general aside from some great character design and graphics and music there wasn’t a whole lot to keep me interested. being a little disappointed i read up a bit on sonic 2, which generally seems to be regarded as the best in the series and seems to do a fair amount to remedy most of the problems i felt were in the original. i actually spent some time taking a “spin” through sonic 2, and already i can tell that i’m going to like that game a lot more. so w/ that said, hopefully the sonic fanboys won’t hate me too much until i post my assessment of sonic 2 and either see the light or give up on sonic completely.
some sonic links:
– walkthrough at IGN that includes the info on how to get continues
– cheats at IGN
– recent reviews on IGN of the XBLA release and the wii VC release, the latter of which also has a good review at vc-reviews.com
– endings at vgmuseum.com and video of the good ending at youtube
– list of the xbox 360 achievements for the game
– entry at strategywiki.org including a guide to the badniks
– entry at wikipedia