Sonic? In 3D? On the Genesis? Too bad it sucks...
It's been a while since I did a review, and considering last time (Which was November, by the way) I reviewed some of Sonic's best games, I decided it was time to review the worst. Without further ado, let's jump into "Sonic Rage Month"...oh boy. Before I begin this review, let me just preface this by saying I am a HUMONGOUS Sonic fan, in fact, Sonic is my favorite series of all time, but even I'll admit that he does have his faulty games, this one for example. Also allow me to say that, no, I am not a classic fan only, in fact, I really enjoyed the Adventure games, and a lot of other 3D Sonic games. That being said, this is not one of them. It was Sonic's first step into 3D (Well, technically) and it was...well, here's the review.
Let's get what's probably the least important aspect out of the way, the graphics. To be honest, this game's graphics aren't terrible, but they're not great either. The game claims to be in a 3D perspective, but it’s really just an isometric point of view. For those of you who don’t know what isometric means, you can look at a few other examples, Q*Bert and Marble Madness, but it’s pretty much just 2D when looked at from a view looking diagonally down. It’s tough to explain, but just look at the game, you’ll know what I mean. Anyway, the sprites for Sonic, the Flickies and some of the enemies look ok, but the sprites for Tails and Knuckles look especially bad, to me anyway. The levels do look pretty good, but these compliments won’t save the nightmare.
I must say, the music in this game is simply amazing! It’s probably, no scratch that, it IS the best part of this game. I really like Green Grove’s music as well as just about every other zone’s music. Some of this game’s music was remixed for Sonic Adventure, which makes the tracks so much better. Green Grove was used in Windy Valley, Panic Puppet was used in Twinkle Park, and there may have been others, but I’m not sure. Oh, I almost forgot, the boss them for Sonic 4: Episode 1 was an unused boss theme from this game, but enough about this game’s great music. Let’s move on, shall we?
This game isn’t exactly one you’re going to want to come back to that often unless you want to show people how bad it is. One of the things that might keep people coming back, other than that, is the music. Then again, you can just look it up on YouTube, can’t you? Another would have to be the level design itself; there are multiple pathways and areas to explore. You might find a shield or other power-up, a Tails or Knuckles special stage, or just a neat little bonus. But even all of this can’t convince me to go back to this game often.
This time, the game’s story is actually explained at the beginning of the game. Eggman has gone to the Flicky Island and kidnapped all of the Flickies, turning them into robots. (Sound familiar?) Sonic was on his way to visit the Flickies and when he found out what Eggman had done, he decided to start freeing the Flickies himself. As you probably noticed, this plot is pretty much the same thing used in the
classic games as well, give and take a few minor alterations. I’m still not quite sure how Tails and Knuckles got there though. Anyway, it’s pretty basic; it’s just there to give you a motivation.
As I said earlier, the level design is very much catered to exploration, so be sure to go everywhere you can. Some areas contain power-ups or other items. The newest addition to the power-ups however, is the Homing Shield. If you see this thing, grab it and hold on to it for dear life, it will make your experiences with this game a lot easier. So basically, this was the first Sonic game to feature a homing attack.
There are 7 Zones in the game. (8 counting the Final Boss, which can only be accessed by collecting all the Chaos Emeralds) There’s Green Grove, Rusty Ruin, Spring Stadium, Diamond Dust, Volcano Valley, Gene Gadget, and Panic Puppet. (Alliteration for the win) Each Zone has 2 Acts and a boss fight, just like the other classic games. You can also find either Tails or Knuckles as well, however all they do is allow you into Special Stages if you pay them 50 or more rings. (Note: You can pay them over time as well) The Special Stages are probably the easiest out of any Sonic game I’ve ever played. You run across a bridge, collect rings and avoid spikes.
Difficulty & Gameplay/Controls
Since the controls are the main source of difficulty, I’m combining both sections for this review. Since this is a 3D environment, you can make Sonic jog in all eight directions. (Because you’ll never actually run) You can jump using either the A or C buttons. This time, the spin dash is used by pressing the B button. However, controlling Sonic in this game can be a bit of a pain, considering how slippery it is. It’s way too clunky, oh and while I’m at it, you’re controlling Sonic in 3D with a D-Pad. This alone makes the controls just a little more difficult.
(To me, that is) I feel like I have to traverse the world very carefully and slowly because of this game’s control. Another source for difficulty is the isometric point of view. You can look at a jump and swear you made it, but instead, you completely miss the platform. Trust me, this gets really frustrating in later levels.
Overall, I think you should steer clear of this one if you’re not a Sonic fan, believe me, it won’t help. If you’re curious, I won’t stop you, but I think this is probably one of the worst Sonic games ever made, but not quite the worst. I’ve heard that the Saturn version looks better and I may try and check it out for myself if I ever get the chance. The rest of this month will be filled with more Sonic games that I never want to see again. I will be reviewing a few more games this month ending with what I believe to be the worst Sonic game ever created. Until next time, peace!