What’s blue, spiky, has an attitude and can time travel?
Sonic CD has one of the most memorable openings in any Sonic game to date. As a kid, I used to watch this intro over and over, totally digging the cheesy music. The story behind this is that Sonic was looking for this mystical floating planet that was only supposed to appear on a certain date. When he found it, he saw the planet was chained to a mountain and mechanized. That could mean only one thing: Dr. Eggman. To put things right, Sonic needs to collect the Time Stones and defeat Eggman. Of course, that’s easier said than done and Dr. Eggman has built a special surprise in the form of Metal Sonic.
Gameplay works the way one would expect when dealing with sidscrolling blue hedgehogs. There is a slight twist, though, in the form of Past and Future signs. By passing one, and then maintaining a good clip, Sonic will travel through time. The past, present and future of each area not only looks different, but sounds different as well with the music changing to fit the setting. By destroying the robot generator in the Past, Sonic will create a Good Future. Special Stages, accessed by jumping into a ring at the end of a stage, which appears if you have 50 rings, consist of a psuedo-3D race track with several UFOs that Sonic must jump into. Once all of them are destroyed, Sonic is awarded with a Time Stone. By collecting all 7 of the Time Stones, every future automatically becomes “good”, therefore enabling the good ending.
The controls feel just about the same as they did back when I first played this in ‘93. This means Sonic still turns like a car with cement wheels in special stages. Other than that, controlling Sonic is quick and responsive, making this a game people new to the franchise could easily play. I can’t honestly say how much I prefer the original tracks over the ones that were added to the original US release. While I wish that the vocal versions of “Sonic - You Can Do Anything” and “Cosmic Eternity - Believe in Yourself” were included, they couldn’t due to licensing. Graphically, the game has been touched up, as have the opening and closing animations. If that all was’t enough, there are now even achievements and leaderboards.
Sonic CD may seem out of place in terms of the story in relation to the other Sonic games, especially with the time travel element. However, I truly feel it’s one of the best yet. The game features great graphics, control and an awesome soundtrack. Of course, this isn’t going to appeal to everyone, and most of the diehard fans are sure to have already imported a physical cop for the Sega CD. If you want to play a classic Sonic game that does just about everything right, this is your game.
GO Rating: 4/5