2/20/11

Giving Sonic CD a second chance

Seems like I've been in a Sonic the Hedgehog kick when it comes to gaming. After finally finishing Sonic 3 and Knuckles and Shadow the Hedgehog a few weeks ago, I've suddenly got the urge to turn into a spinning ball.

Needing a fresh challenge, I decided to give Sonic CD another try (yes, I still have a Sega CD hooked up to the Genesis 1, and I don't hate it). I can't tell you how many posts I've seen online where people proclaim that it's the greatest Sonic title out there. Yet when I tried it out for the first time a few years ago, I didn't like it at all.

What's wrong with it? The time travel aspect is frustrating. In a perfect world, you'd pass by the posts that send you into the past or future, gain enough speed and warp to your destination. I don't mind the 3-5 second load time that time travel entails, but the problem is, you can never gain enough speed: the level simply doesn't have enough free running space. I always get caught up by some obstacle and lose the chance to warp.

For a feature that is such an integral part of the experience, I found it much too difficult to pull off at ease. And talk about horrible level design: the game feels like an amateur hacker used a level edit program to put the stages together.

However, I thought the game deserved a second chance. So I played through it again, deciding to focus less on my ability to warp to the past and more on just playing through it like a normal Sonic game.

And I gotta say, giving it that second chance ended up paying off. I wasn't blown away by it: Sonic 2 is still my favorite of the series, but I did enjoy it more than Sonic Spinball at the end of the day. I would definitely love to see an updated version of this game: Sonic 4 really brought the series back to it's 16-bit roots a few months ago, so why not revisit the time-travel aspect of the game?

Sometimes second changes pay off.

1 comments:

Aron May 11, 2011 at 2:47 PM  

Dude, you are so right. I just started playing this games after many claims heralding it as possibly the best Sonic game in existence, but I end up getting the same issues with this game as I had with Sonic 3 - the level design is just not built for speed! Before you get a good running start going, you're impeded by some random wall or enemy who wants to waste your rings. So, so frustrating.

But seeing how the level and the music change after you get the desired time warp are all part of the fun! The stupid mechanics just made it mad hard for the player to pull off most of the time. Hrrg, what a quandary.

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