"From the Past into a Great Future"
Sonic CD is one of the most well-known but least played titles in the long running series. Originally released on the SEGA CD, SEGA's ill-fated add-on for the Genesis / Mega Drive, it isn't too hard to have NOT played it. With SEGA releasing a remake on virtually every digital platform on the market, there is no excuse to not try one of the stranger titles in the series.
Sonic CD plays pretty much like Sonic 2, but it has two pretty major differences. In addition to being able to spin dash when holding down and jumping, pressing up and jumping allows sonic to "Peel out". Peeling out lets sonic move even faster than he would if he were spin-dashing, but it makes him vulnerable to touching enemies at the same time. Another unique feature is the ability to warp to past and future versions of the acts, achieved by touching a post that says Past or Future and running really fast. There are four versions of most levels in the game: Past, Present, Good Future, and Bad Future. Sonic's goal in the game is to defeat his robot nemesis Metal Sonic, while saving his friend Amy and free Little Planet from Dr.Robotnik's control.
The different versions of the levels available to play are where much of the replay in Sonic CD comes from and drastically change how it plays. If you're trying to just complete the game, it will go by pretty fast, as it's pretty easy to reach the goal in the different levels, and all of the bosses are very simple. However, simply completing the game will get players the bad ending, so the real goal is to warp to the past versions of each level, destroy a badnik machine and projector, and then complete the levels. If you do this in every act of a zone, when it's time to face the boss, you'll be in a good future. Doing this in every level gets players the best ending and forces them to explore each level, making Sonic CD play differently from all other 16-bit Sonic titles. The 10 minute time limit imposed on Sonic to complete each level soon becomes the real enemy here. Alternatively, completing all of the bonus stages in-game to collect time stones will make every stage a good future automatically; but this is more difficult than it sounds.
The controls in Sonic CD are pretty solid regardless of platform. The mobile versions use a touch screen joypad along with one button on-screen, which takes some getting used to, but once you're past the learning curve, the game is just as playable as it is on the consoles.
Sonic CD is also the best thought out port of a Sonic title on downloadable platforms, sporting a brand new menu, achievements, playable Tails upon completion of the game, and choice of soundtrack (The U.S. version's soundtrack was different from other versions). These new features come at a cost: the ability to save anywhere, seen in other 16-bit Sonic ports, is now gone. Luckily, the game auto-saves when completing a zone. In addition, Sonic CD also has a Time Attack mode that unlocks other features.
Sonic CD's revival on digital platforms gives many the chance to try one of the most elusive titles in the series history. Longtime series fans will enjoy it, and the change of pace in the gameplay will appeal to those who might not be a fan of other titles in the series. The new features even give those whom have played it another reason to go through the game.
GameDynamo's Score for Sonic CD (PS3)
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