While undertaking the daunting task of what my very first blog should be about, I asked myself, “What’s been taking up most of my time recently?” The answer was simply Sonic CD. Late last year, SEGA released an enhanced version of their flagship mascot’s critically acclaimed game that was originally released back in 1993 for the SEGA CD console system; the remake can now be played through Xbox Live Arcade, the PlayStation Network, as well as iOS and Android platforms. The remake also made it’s way to Windows PC earlier this year, which was my gateway to enjoying the experience.
The basic gameplay mechanics are as simple as they were before, right D-Pad to move forward, left D-Pad to move backwards, and a shape, number, or letter labeled button to jump depending on what type of gamepad is being used; keyboard keys can be assigned as desired. Sonic has two special moves being the Spin Dash and the Super Peel Out, which the latter will leave Sonic vulnerable to attacks. One of the differences I’ve noticed between the remake and the original is that when utilizing these special moves, in the original, it took a moment to do as the camera would slightly pan to the direction the player was about to dash or peel out to, however, in the remake, these moves can be performed instantly. I’ve also noticed while playing the game on Android tablets, the speed of the gameplay was greatly decreased, however, the speed remained relatively the same as with other platforms on my Droid X mobile device. Still though, I wouldn’t recommend playing this game on a tablet or phone unless you’ve become very skilled with touch panel controls; the game is most enjoyable with a gamepad or keyboard. Another difference, which is the most notable among fans, is the inclusion of both the American and Japanese soundtracks; everyone has their opinion on which is better, but I’m for Team Japanese. The BGMs are now played in a continuous loop unlike the original in which pauses were noticeable. From the opening animation to the closing credits, everything is displayed gorgeously in a 16:9 widescreen format and players are treated to play as Sonic’s companion, Miles “Tails” Prower, after a complete playthrough.
Like all the other Sonic the Hedgehog games of yesteryear, the player plays as Sonic and you speed through three acts of seven levels destroying robotized baddies, dodging geographic perils, besting Dr. Robotnik in boss battles, and collecting those precious seven chaos emeralds, which are now referred to as the Time Stones. There is also another rival this time around in the form of Metal Sonic, Dr. Robotnik’s ultimate creation who happens to kidnap Sonic’s lady friend, Amy Rose. One of the gameplay elements that distinguished Sonic CD from the earlier games of the series is the inclusion of time travel. Throughout the seven levels, Sonic will pass by posts either stating “PAST” or “FUTURE.” After running past these posts and then maintaining a constant running speed for a few moments, Sonic will then time travel to either the past or the future of that same level. The true goal of the game is to travel to the past in the first two acts of each level and destroy the hidden robot generators, which will reward the player with a “good future” version of the level during the third act. If the player fails to accomplish this task, it will constitute a “bad future” playthrough of the third act. Destroying all the robot generators or collecting all seven Time Stones in special stages, the player is rewarded with the perfect ending of the game.
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