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Sonic and the Game Gear


Wing

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Personally ever since I first got into Sonic The Hedgehog I have been into the 8 bit games from the start, though on the Master System, not the Game Gear. I only just discovered the Game Gear titles several years ago on the Mega Collection Plus PS2 game. In my opinion they are super fun games but have never really heard many people discuss them. I'd really love to see what other people liked about the Sonic Game Gear games too and what their opinions on the best ones were.

As for me I've always liked Sonic 1 the most but Sonic 2 is becoming my favorite with Sonic Chaos close after. Every aspect of it is amazing and would love people to try this one most personally, its on par with the genesis Sonic 2 on Genesis I'd say.. well, 8-bit games wise. There isnt really a single Sonic Game Gear game I've disliked I don't think also so.. there's that. To add to my love for the Game Gear, I found one in my local game store with Sonic 2 and Fantasy Zone with it for about $30 which I took with me to get signed at Summer of Sonic

I'd love to hear from you all about Sonic's Game Gear titles in the future :D

Edit - Thought I'd add the picture of my Game Gear when meeting Crush 40, was a great eventbfb.png

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Sonic 1 and 2 are both games I'm fond of, and I even prefer the 8bit version of Sonic 2 over the Genesis one. The Master System version of the latter is better, though. The infamous Under Ground Zone boss isn't anywhere near as difficult in the MS version, and the larger screen means it's easier to see where you're going and fewer blind leaps of faith. Anyone who wrote off Sonic 2 8bit as being too difficult should give it a shot.

Never really liked the Sonic & Tails games (Chaos/Triple Trouble) as much, though. Compared to 1 and 2, their physics feel janky as hell and for the most part the music's not as good.

I'm also a huge fan of Tails Adventure. Shameless plug

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27 minutes ago, Sean said:

Sonic 1 and 2 are both games I'm fond of, and I even prefer the 8bit version of Sonic 2 over the Genesis one. The Master System version of the latter is better, though. The infamous Under Ground Zone boss isn't anywhere near as difficult in the MS version, and the larger screen means it's easier to see where you're going and fewer blind leaps of faith. Anyone who wrote off Sonic 2 8bit as being too difficult should give it a shot.

Never really liked the Sonic & Tails games (Chaos/Triple Trouble) as much, though. Compared to 1 and 2, their physics feel janky as hell and for the most part the music's not as good.

I'm also a huge fan of Tails Adventure. Shameless plug

Sonic 2's first boss took me at least 2 hours to perfect I think but its great :D Chaos I own too in real life and Triple Trouble.. well, I'm new to that so the special stages so far are very hard, wonder if it'll be harder than Sonic 2 overall.

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I grew up with the Megadrive games and some of the 8-bits games. Sonic 1 is a favourite of mine, as it was my first Sonic game (quickly followed by the MD version). Sonic 2 is fantastic too, but I've never finished it with all emeralds without cheating :P

Chaos is nice but too easy, Triple Trouble is better. Sonic Blast is...eeeeeh, Labyrinth doesn't interest me much. I like Tails Adventure, I'd love to see a new Tails game like this.

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Sonic 2 on Master System was my first ever Sonic game and remains a firm favourite.  I adore nearly everything about it, the way it unconventionally puts the typical tropical stage halfway through the game, the interesting transportation gimmicks in each zone, the stellar soundtrack, the aesthetics, the introduction of water skimming (seriously why did that never make it out of the 8-bit games!?).  Yeah.  The Game Gear version is okay too, but Master System is the best way to play.  Only play the Game Gear one once familiar with the Master System, there the Game Gear almost serves as a bit of a "hard mode".

The only thing I disliked was how awkward to collect/find the Chaos Emeralds were in Sky High and Gimmick Mt respectively.  I also never had the manual as a kid so I spent a long time looking for an Emerald that wasn't there in Scrambled Egg lol.  Despite my frustration in being unable to access it for my entire childhood, kudos to it for being the only 8-bit game that gave a SIGNIFICANT reward for collecting all the emeralds in the form of a seventh zone.  It's weird they went backwards from that in the subsequent games.

Sonic 1 8-bit is great fun too though lacks the depth of the other games due to the lack of roll-jumping or proper physics play.  Again, another great soundtrack and a fun platformer as is even if the team hadn't quite figured out what "Sonic platforming" really was from the one game they had to reference at this point.

Sonic Chaos I have mixed feelings on.  I'm not keen on how to get the emeralds you are whisked away from the level upon collecting 100 rings, and are sent to the next one after, meaning at least 5 of the 12 proper levels in each playthrough won't be played "properly" - but the funny thing is, maybe they end up being the ONLY levels played properly, because the levels are weirdly easy and short when you're not exploring them for 100 rings nor have any real threat to getting hit etc.

This one has another great soundtrack on par with Sonic 2's in both quality AND style, which is weird considering it doesn't share Sonic CD's musicians like Sonic 2 did.  They really captured their style perfectly (or the credits were wrong).  On the downside it all falls apart when you get that true ending for getting all the emeralds.  Totally boring and weird without even an awesome song to accompany it like Sonic 2's ending.

Sonic Triple Trouble is okay.  They made more of an effort to emulate the sprawling stages of the 16-bit games here, even if they were still a fraction the size of those in the end.  The main issue is how the game constantly struggles to run at a consistent frame-rate due to how it pushed the system.  Other than that I also really don't care for the soundtrack on this one.  Even the ever-popular Sunset Park Act 3 song isn't all that amazing, it just has a kind of pretty intro.

Sonic Blast looks and plays almost like a pirated game and I still struggle to understand why it happened, let alone why SEGA gave it a virtual console re-release on 3DS yet haven't given Sonic Chaos the same honour to complete the portable quadrilogy of the main 8-bit Sonic platformers that weren't shit.

 

 

If we're stretching into spin-offs, pretty much all of them were boring cack for me apart from Sonic Drift and Sonic Drift 2 which I got a couple hours entertainment out of in Gems Collection (yeah sorry I couldn't get into the much praised Tails' Adventure).

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I actually did play through the Game Gear games. 1, 2, Chaos, Triple Trouble, Blast, Labyrinth, Skypatrol and Tails Adventure at that.

For the most part, they're unremarkable to me. I mean; 1 was enjoyable; pretty easy and pretty good for casual play. 2 on the Game Gear was pretty tough, the Antlion obviously gave me the hardest time but all the other bosses I recall didn't gave me too much trouble. Also I'm with Jez, that water skipping mechanic is fucking amazing! That would've made Labyrinth so much faster and fun to go through! Chaos was not memorable to me, it was fine but it didn't made an impression on me. Triple Trouble was fine and the only I can remember from that game was Nack, Knux and Metal along with that sweet Sunset Park Train theme! Blast was very meh, I don't see hwy it's the most hated since it was just fine but then again, Blue Marine Zone is the worst Sonic water level so yeah....

Skypatrol was also pretty ok, neat idea but it never fleshed out its mechanics so it would be cool to see what could've been with Skypatrol's ideas. Labyrinth is very meh, not very interesting nor is it awful; it's just very mediocre. Helps it was short though.

Tails Adventure is pretty much the only Game Gear title I really enjoyed. I liked exploring the levels and finding new items and upgrades and seeing Tails defeat a bird army on his own is adorably badass.

Tails Adventure was a great time man!

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While I started off with Sonic 1 and 2 on the Mega Drive, I did have a Game Gear when I was younger playing Sonic Triple Trouble (as Sonic & Tails 2) on a Chinese multicart and not much Sonic 2. The rest I've played on emulation including Sonic Gems Collection.

Sonic 1 is a no frills platformer that I enjoyed with catchy music. I haven't played it has much as the Master System version so I can't remember if the dodgy collision detection is still there. The first boss is really easy though. Sonic 2 gah... I find the first boss really hard to do, I've rarely beaten him and if I do it is pause button abuse. A lot of it was down to that it was a quicky Master System to Game Gear port with no consideration of screen size. The Master System version however I hold it up in high regards because in all honesty I found it a good game. It has improvements over the first game including loops.

I have barely played Sonic Chaos and I couldn't get in to it. Triple Trouble is my favourite and one of as well as perhaps my favourite Sonic game from characters, moves, level design and music. Only thing really letting it down is slowdown due to pushing the limits of the console. Have talked more about these 4 here.

Tails Adventure while I haven't played much due to its different style of gameplay as in more slow paced action adventure with a bit of puzzles compared to the platformers I can see its potential. It is one of the nicest looking games on the console due to the sprites, backgrounds and color choices. It even puts some Mega Drive games to shame! Music is quite good and catchy too even though it is in a slightly different style.

As mentioned Sonic Blast is a disappointment since not only was it Aspect's last Sonic game but also the platformer after Triple Trouble and the game after Tails Adventure so you would think that it would end at a high note. Going more into detail on why I find it disappointing. The graphics while trying the pre-rendered look that worked on Donkey Kong Country didn't work here, they looked ugly for Sonic, Knuckles, the badniks and the stages themselves. Considering Triple Trouble and even more so Tails Adventure looked great on the console. Due to the different graphic style and the different engine, it causes all sorts of problems. The proportions between Sonic and the enemies/objects are a bit off in size making Sonic seem like a giant compared to them, it is glitchier and poorer physics. I've just tried a quick play and Sonic got stuck on the loop, couldn't get past through unless I backtrack and let it do the scripted animation to complete the loop. One jump kills loops and even walking kills them in Act 2. Even jumping onto platforms that a bit higher is hard work. A few years back, I've played the E3 demo of the game that got leaked and there wasn't as much difference in feel just with more bugs including the ability to leave the level even though it was the first few levels only. Even then, the game can't have been done in a few months surely? (E3 demo was in June, the game finished by September nearly 3 months after) If Triple Trouble is their 3&K, Sonic Blast is their Sonic 4 since Sonic 4 feels like a bootleg of 1 & 2 while Blast feels like a bootleg even though it is an official Sonic game.

The music by Koijiro Mikusa is sadly mostly forgettable and usually he is a decent composer. Green Hill Zone sounds like it is depressed like it is trying to be better but feels like it is going through the motions. Weirdly the only songs that I can recall is that and the actually catchy Character Select, the rest I listen to them and forget them quickly enough unlike a lot of Sonic music that sticks into my head.

Sonic Drift 1 and 2 are okay racers on the system based off the Super Monaco GP engine with better graphics. Only parts that I found fiddly were the controls to activate your power up.

I actually forgotten about Sonic Labyrinth last time. As a Sonic game it is a bad Sonic game? Yes however on its own terms, it is actually a decent puzzle game. Graphics aren't too bad and music is quite nice. Level design is varied and can get quite challenging. The main problems are that the slow movement doesn't fit Sonic and the spindash is hard to control. It does feel like its suppose to be its own game and Sonic got shoved in there for extra sales.

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5 hours ago, King Koopone said:

Sonic 2 gah... I find the first boss really hard to do, I've rarely beaten him and if I do it is pause button abuse. A lot of it was down to that it was a quicky Master System to Game Gear port with no consideration of screen size.

Funnily enough I don't think that's the case.  Green Hill Zone and Crystal Egg Zone have geometry modifications to their boss arenas to make sure they fit onto the Game Gear screen despite the locked-in nature of the camera during boss battles.  Some things were "fixed" (for better or worse - such as the missing Good Ending music, clarity on the underwater nature of Aqua Lake 2, and the pointless speed shoes from the same stage) and naturally the boss music was rescored too.  Beyond that, Underground Zone's boss has the balls bounce at wildly different heights and has Eggman swoop in before the final rock has hit the boss rather than after (which is what causes the difficulty spike - on Master System all the rocks fall at the same, easy to dodge height, if this was the case on Game Gear the screen size wouldn't affect much).  Aqua Lake Zone's boss is also more aggressive on Game Gear, you can't stand still between attacks to avoid him bouncing you around as he constantly moves towards you.

So in other words the Game Gear version not only DID make some concessions for screen size - it actually went out of it's way to actively make the game harder too.

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I've had some great times with the Game Gear Sonic games (yes, GG, I like the extra challenge!). My favourite games in order are Triple Trouble, Sonic 2, Tails Adventure and Sonic 1:

-Triple Trouble is extremely ambitious for an 8-bit game: it has Knuckles cutscenes, lots of varied gimmick, including personal series favourites like the Sea Fox, interesting special stages with battles against Nack, and what I believe is the first ever Metal Sonic battle! -Sonic CD wasn't a battle-. The only thing it's missing to be perfect is a playable Knux and a proper good ending.

-Sonic 2 is also really ambitious, especially in comparison with Sonic 1, since it's all-original and totally different from the MD game. It introduced interesting gimmicks such as the hang glider and the bubbles, has great music and levels such as Aqua Lake and Scrambled Egg are personal favourites! Last but not least, the battle against Silver Sonic and a proper reward for collecting all Chaos Emeralds, unlike in all other 8-bit games.

-Tails adventure is a beautiful and really expansive game that portrayed Tails as a total badass! Combining Metroidvania with traditional, albeit slower Sonic platforming was a great idea, and I'd be willing to try another Sonic game of this style if SEGA was up to it.

-Sonic 1 had a better level roster and music than the MD game, IMO. Too bad the controls made some part a bit harder than necessary and, being the first game, it was still too basic (the same problem I have with the MD game).

As for the other games: Sonic Chaos is amongst my least favourites due to how extremely simple it is, even more than Sonic 1, there's nothing interesting or stand-out in that game. I actually prefer Sonic Blast over it, because playable Knux, 2.5D look and secret final battle. Tails Skypatrol and Sonic Labyrinth had me stuck for a while, but I enjoyed them when I learned to get past those points.

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