By RoboRobb 1 Comments
Sonic CD. Considered by many as the greatest Sonic game to date, so when I sat down with recently released Xbox Live port, I hoped to gain an understanding of all the hysteria that has surrounded this game since its 1993 release.
Sonic CDs development is shrouded in secrecy. One of the first Sonic games to be almost entirely made by a US team, its contrast to the rest of the Sonic franchise is glaring. Its absence from compilation disks was supposedly because creator Yuji Naka despised this portion of the series.
Booting up Sonic CD, it’s clear it doesn’t follow the conventional approach to the long-running franchise. Take the colour palette for example… a seizure-inspired, coma inducing splash of inverted colours.
It soon becomes apparent Sonic CD is the creepy meth addicted cousin of Sonic 1&2. A self indulgent, rebellious upstart with the sole desire to party.
That’s not to say it’s a bad game, though.
NEVER STOP RUNNING.
The plot, which may be the most unimportant thing ever (it might as well be just “run right, quick!”) involves Sonic time travelling to save the present, beating Robotnik and saving newly introduced heroine, Amy. The time travel aspect is the most interesting feature of Sonic CD. Each level has past, present and future variations, changing the looks of each level drastically.
Similar to all other Sonic games, there’s a great sense of speed in every level. Whilst breaking most conventions to the series, Sonic CD is guilty of two of the franchise’s principal flaws: the continuous impression you’re not contributing much to the action in-game, plus when you lose any momentum it being the single worst thing to ever happen to you. It’s dismaying.
First hit is free!
Metal Sonic is first introduced in Sonic CD. He is, without doubt, the badass of the Sonic universe. His first direct contact with Sonic is in a late-game level, in which you must beat him in a race to the finish. Its beyond difficult- try torturous. The level is designed to make you hate video games.
Playing Sonic CD to completion, it occurred to me there might be more to the story of this Sega reject. It felt like there was more to it than just rescuing Amy, or defeating Robotnik. Sonic is running away from rehab, a crack addict who’s journey takes place in a high-induced apparition.
Winners don’t use drugs (besides Sonic)
He’s running away from his mistakes. He looks towards the future, hoping to changed the outcome by modifying the past. Metal Sonic is actually his subconscious; the fear that coming off of these contrabands will make him uncool in front of fellow delinquents Tails and Big the Cat.
Peer pressure is hell.
I feel almost sorry for Sonic CD. Whilst the rest of the franchise gives the impression of being tired and formulaic, the hallucinogenic world of Sonic CD is the most interesting and creative turn for the series. This is not only because you can sometimes run to the left, but it helps.