Sonic CD

7.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 6/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Staying Power: 8/10

Near-flawless translation of the original | Tons of extras | Bang for your buck

Graphically unimpressive | Some minor glitches

After 2 decades of its existence, the little blue ball of fury that is Sonic the Hedgehog still remains an enigma to me. My fondest childhood memories of gaming involves playing the original title on what would now be considered a hulking monstrosity, the Game Gear, scrambling to get a turn with the neighborhood kids. However, as the years go on, the Sonic franchise begins to take its light-speed approach to Forget-Me-Ville with some mediocre entries and oddball spin-offs. Fortunately, it seems like the ship has come around for the longtime Sonic fans. Thanks to a strong showing in the last year with entries such as Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, Sega has successfully revitalized its iconic mascot. The hot streak looks to continue, as the1993’s Sonic CD lands on various gaming platforms as a downloadable title.

Players who have played other Sonic games before will be treading familiar grounds with Sonic CD; after all, it is a port in all its HD-enhanced glory. If there’s anyone who has never tried Sonic before, god forbid, understanding its premise couldn’t possibly get any easier: you race across themed levels as a blue hedgehog blessed with sonic foot-speed, navigating through platforms, obstacles, and enemies alike in an attempt to foil the evil schemes of one Dr. Eggman. True to the platforming genre, there will a number of things to occupy you along the way – collect gold rings and power ups, scrounging the terrain for secret areas. But what makes Sonic CD truly unique is in its time traveling mechanic..

Scattered throughout every level in Sonic CD, you’ll run across signposts labeled “Past” or “Future”. As long as you maintain a high speed once past these signs, a time warp sequence will play out in which Sonic will be dropped into variations of your current level. While this essentially triples the amount of fun to be had in every level, the bonus here is that your actions in the past levels will have a profound impact to the future levels. If you can manage to find and destroy the concealed robotic generator deployed by Dr. Eggman, returning to the future will reveal a “good future” in which all the enemies are destroyed, and the levels becomes much easier.

When it comes to most Sonic games, you’re usually encouraged to make one mad dash straight to the finish line, with rarely an opportunity to stop and smell the metaphorical roses. However, with Sonic CD you’re really given that extra nudge to fully explore the level, and its time variants. More often than not, your sprint will be rudely disrupted by an inconvenient placed obstacle, or an enemy will sit directly in the path, ready to relieve you of your preciously hoarded rings. A speedy finish is still possible, but not until you’ve familiarized yourself with every crook and cranny. And that’s what’s so great about Sonic CD – you’ll want to go back and replay it, over and over, just to see how much time you can shave off in the next attempt.

With revisiting the classics being all the rage in the gaming industry and the community, it’s not an uncommon sight to see a beloved old school title taking the walk of shame in the form of a sloppy port, wearing a hefty price tag – not so with Sonic CD. From on onset it was clear that this iteration was carefully crafted with love: the widescreen display that is absent in oh-so-many updated classics, the large number of extra content that makes a triumphant return with additional surprises, there’s enough content here to put retail titles to shame. At $4.99 and available on a wide variety of platforms (Android, iOS, PC, PS3, Xbox 360), this rendition of Sonic CD is worth every penny for any Sonic fan, and certainly deserves a long, hard look by everyone else.


Author: Gxgear View all posts by