LoCo's Gaming Update
Sonic The Hedgehog: As good as ever
Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 17:11
Hello everyone. I hope all of you had a happy New Year. Today I'll be reviewing the downloadable version of a highly-regarded classic.
Review: Sonic CD
Release Date: Out Now
Christian Whitehead & Blit
PS3 (Reviewed)/Xbox 360/PC
Digital Downloadable Title
ESRB rating: E
Price: 400 MS Points ($4.99)
Note: Screenshot is from the iPhone version of the game, the Heads-Up Display (HUD) and other elements may differ from the console version.
I first played Sonic CD when it was released on the PC with Sonic 3 & Knuckles as a double pack. Unfortunately, that version is incompatible with Windows XP and above (the newest PC verison on Steam is). Thankfully, we now have a great downloadable port for this classic.
The story for Sonic CD involves Dr. Robotnik (or Eggman) chaining Little Planet to their world in order to take the Time Stones and control time itself, and it's up to Sonic to stop Robotnik's plan.
Gameplay wise, Sonic CD plays like most other 2D Sonic games of the past. Collect rings for health, spin dash or jump on enemies to destroy them, etc. There are a couple of things that make this one different from the rest, such as the super peel out (hold the up button and press jump) which allows Sonic to move faster than using his spin dash but leaves him vulnerable to enemy attacks. In the original version of this game, the reving animation for Sonic's spin dash attack also looks different from other Sonic titles (this version allows you to choose which of the two spin dash animations you prefer.)
Last but not least, this was the first and only Sonic title to introduce a time travelling mechanic. After touching a "Past" or "Future" sign post and keeping up a certain speed for a few seconds Sonic will be able to travel in the past or future of that zone, which changes the level design somewhat, (if in the future) enemies are weakened due to wear and tear, and (if in the past) allow Sonic to make a good future for that zone by destroying the robot teleporter (making all of the enemies disappear.)
If Sonic makes a good future for the first two zones in a level, the 3rd zone will take place in the "good" future; otherwise that same zone will take place in the "bad" future.
Most of the levels differentiate from each other while remaining fun for the most part. The same can't be said about the first two zones of Wacky Workbench.
On Wacky Workbench, the charged ground floor makes some platforms bounce, and makes Sonic bounce very high into other areas, which makes getting to the ending of the first two zones somewhat of an annoying hassle.
The Special stages for Sonic CD are presented as on-rails pseudo 3D level where you have to destroy all of the UFO saucers before the time runs out. The stages are not bad, but trying the UFOs while Sonic is constantly moving can prove to be a bit difficult due to the UFOs being rendered as sprites and not being able to stop Sonic.
Audio fares very well due to its US and JP soundtracks. Many of US tracks are a bit on the cheesy side, but very catchy, such as the ones for Tidal Tempest, Quartz Quadrant, and even the main theme "Sonic Boom". The same can be said about the JP tracks, even though a few of them sound downright weird, such as the JP Boss Theme. You can switch between said soundtracks in the main menu.
This version of Sonic CD packs quite a bit of replay value for a $5 title. A lot of that replay value comes from the Sega CD version of this game such as, Time Attack, and unlockables like the D.A. Garden (where you can listen to the background music) and stage select. After completing this version of Sonic CD once, you'll be able to play as Tails with all of the same abilities as Sonic and have temporary flight (but you won't be able to use the super peel out.)
Considering how Sonic CD is hailed by fans as one of the best Sonic titles ever made, Sega could have charged twice as much as the asking price and I still would have bought this port without a second though. This is one of the best $5 downloadable purchases you could make. Highly recommended for any Sonic fan or fans of platformers in general.
+ Massive bang for your 
+ Cheesy but Awesome US
& JP Soundtracks.
+ Time Travel Mechanic
adds a new depth the
− Zones 1 & 2 of Wacky
Workbench is a bit of a
hassle to navigate.
− Special Stages still a little
difficult to control.