Jump to content
Awoo.
SSMB Doesn't Chuckle! 'KNUCKLEHEAD' Theme Returns!

My attempt to play all Sonic games


Cube
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have currently set myself a challenge: play as many Sonic games as possible. I have researched to find as many games as I can, and will be going through them one at a time. I will be attempting to complete them (the extent of completion will depends on each game, but at least credits for most), but a few I'll still count as "played" if I've played a significant amount of it. 

My list includes different versions of the same game if significantly different, like Mega Drive and Master Systems versions of Sonic 1, 360 and Wii versions of Sonic Unleashed. Sonic Racing Transformed on 3DS is a straight port, so that is an example of one that won't count. I will be doing a few notable ports, mainly of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. No emulated ports, just proper ports, good and bad. 

I have created a list of games (around 140) and have randomised their order. I then went through this list and reordered any direct series of games. For example, if Sonic 2 was #12, Sonic 3&K was #56 and Sonic 1 was #96, they would be reordered so Sonic  1 was #12, Sonic 2 was #56 and Sonic 3&K was #96.

I'm already around 22 games through this, so I will post three every few days to encourage discussion of those games. If nobody is interested then I'll stop posting in this topic (I'm writing this up on my blog, so I would still continue, but I'd prefer to post my thoughts directly here instead of spamming my blog). I'm hoping that people will be interested, especially with the more obscure games.

1. Sonic The Hedgehog (8-bit)

  • Original Platform: Master System
  • Version Played: Game Gear
  • Where to get: Second Hand, Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic Mega Collection Plus, 3DS Virtual Console

Sonic-8-Bit-Green-Hill-Zone.png

The first time I’ve played this version of Sonic the Hedgehog, and it really isn’t that bad. It plays faster than I was expecting for a simplified port. The smaller view isn’t ideal, and rings don’t seem as important as long as you have one. The special stages are cool but don’t serve much point, while emeralds are hidden in the levels.

This isn’t just a port of the original 16-bit version, though, it has different level design and some completely different stages (although with fairly dull names like Bridge and Jungle). They’re not as complex in terms of loops, although Scrap Brain Zone is a bit of a maze. Music is very cheery and is done well on the 8-bit platform, although Scrap Brain Zone just sounds a bit off.

I thought it was an entertaining game, even if it's nothing special. It's an interesting look at an alternate take of the original Sonic, and I think it's worth playing at least once. I don't think it's a game you'll want to return to, but it's decent enough for a look.

2. Sonic Labyrinth

  • Original Platform: Game Gear
  • Where to get: Second Hand, Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic Mega Collection Plus, 3DS Virtual Console

Sonic-Labyrinth-screenshot.jpg

An isometric maze/platform game made for the Game Gear and it’s quite poor. The object of the game is to find three keys hidden in the level and then make your way though the exit. With it being isometric, is means that the entire game is spent going diagonally, which D-pads weren’t designed to do constantly. Your one move is a spin dash, where you charge up for a more powerful one.

After three acts, you fight a boss which involves avoiding attacks and then spin dashing into. It’s a fairly short game, but some levels are confusing and involve doors that connect to each other differently (so come out of one and go back and you’ll be somewhere else).

3. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)

  • Original Platform: Wii
  • Where to get: Second hand

full.jpg

These Olympic Games will be some of the ones that I play a reasonable amount of to get a feel rather than “complete”, as completing requires a lot of repeat stuff. I played all starting events, some missions and a few circuits to get a good idea of how this plays.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympics feels like Sega made this without playing Wii Sports at all. Wii Sports felt amazing because of how intuitive and simple the controls were, yet they still felt deep. In this, they just feel like they’re in the way. Table Tennis is a great example: we all know how simple Wii Sports Tennis is. Mario & Sonic table tennis requires different button presses for different strokes, but also feels really delayed and unresponsive.

Other events are just too strict, now allowing for the unresponsive controls. Instead of just making you perform poorly or allowing more leeway, you’ll encounter lots of “faults” from starting a race (which resets the pre-match charging so you have to go through it each time) to trying to time a long jump or a triple jump (which I managed to get to work once).

This also feels like Sonic and Mario are just in a generic Olympic game. You can unlock a couple of “dream” events but the whole style just isn’t a celebration of either franchise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Solister

I like this! Loved how summed up your review is, yet doesn't feel you left any opinion out.

I'm just unsure about your order, because it feels really messed up. Like, I feel playing in release order, especially as a bunch, would be easier to see the series evolving, and so tell if they learn from errors of the past or not.

Regardless, the "Where to get" section is fascinating and really useful. I'd also suggest, if you could, add a rank/grade systems. I know it's hard and some people even can't to rank their taste, but it would be interesting to see which ones you enjoyed more or less.

Still, don't feel surprised if soon or later, I take this text structure and start doing posts by myself.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck with your challenge!

21 minutes ago, Cube said:

The first time I’ve played this version of Sonic the Hedgehog, and it really isn’t that bad. It plays faster than I was expecting for a simplified port. The smaller view isn’t ideal, and rings don’t seem as important as long as you have one. The special stages are cool but don’t serve much point, while emeralds are hidden in the levels.

This isn’t just a port of the original 16-bit version, though, it has different level design and some completely different stages (although with fairly dull names like Bridge and Jungle). They’re not as complex in terms of loops, although Scrap Brain Zone is a bit of a maze. Music is very cheery and is done well on the 8-bit platform, although Scrap Brain Zone just sounds a bit off.

This game is one of my all time favorites in the franchise and as a game in general. It was my first Sonic game, but I'm pretty sure nostalgia is not the only reason for why I like this game so much... there's plenty of childhood games that I played years after and I realized they were just bad, this one is actually good instead (it's not perfect, there are a couple of level design flaws, but all Sonic games have those, even the beloved Sonic 3 has the barrel of doom).

The special stages in this game are more like bonus stages, they are only useful to get extra lives and continues.

I agree about the names, but it's not like Marbe is any more creative 🤣. Anyway, both Bridge and Jungle are very fun zones with nice musics; the waterfall level can be frustrating if you are not much into precision platforming, but that one is good as well, I even prefer the more unforgiving version of the Master System version because it's more challenging.

I think that the music in this version of the game is a little masterpiece, and I even prefer this version over the Genesis one... especially Labyrinth, it just sounds great and fits the environment very well, especially since the zone looks darker/spookier in this game compared to the more dull original version. Personally I have no issue with Scrap Brain's music, aside of maybe that it loops too early for a level in which you might spend half an hour into if you get lost, and can get repetitive after a while (same for Sky Base, except that the level is much shorter, but the loop also is).

Lastly, this game is a "remake" of the original Sonic 1, so it does feature the same story as the original game, but just like it happend with Sonic Colors DS which added an extra part of the story at the end, this game does the same, and includes a new part where, after defeating Eggman in Scrap Brain, he tries to escape in the sky and you chase him to defeat him again one last time.

21 minutes ago, Cube said:

I thought it was an entertaining game, even if it's nothing special. It's an interesting look at an alternate take of the original Sonic, and I think it's worth playing at least once. I don't think it's a game you'll want to return to, but it's decent enough for a look.

In my case, I'm close to reaching 3 digits with the amount of times I replayed this little gem. It can be finished in about one hour and half, and it's very fun... there's a side challenge that consists in collecting the life monitor in every level (if you succeed, an extra life monitor will appear just before the final boss room), and even if you know the locations already, it's still a lot of fun trying to get them, along with the emeralds, and the special stages. It has great replay value, so I understand that in the world there are thousands of good games and not everybody is fond of this game specifically like I am, but if you are a fan of traditional platformer, this game offers a lot of entertaining from replaying it.

Don't underestimate this game, it's truly a small masterpiece, and a timeless classic.

On a side note, I like some of the changes made in the Game Gear version, but I overall prefer the Master System version (yeah they are not exactly the same game).

  • Thumbs Up 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cosmos Rogue

Going through and playing every game in the series is is quite a task. I don't have many thoughts on the games you played this time (I'll cosign that M&S@tO is a mediocre Wii Sports), but I'm sure I'll join in the discussions when you play some of the other games. Good luck with this series!

  • Thumbs Up 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, charmsb said:

By the Sonic the Hedgehog 1 port, do you mean the GBA port? If so, god speed.

Yup, that's one of the ones on the list.

22 hours ago, Solister said:

I'm just unsure about your order, because it feels really messed up. Like, I feel playing in release order, especially as a bunch, would be easier to see the series evolving, and so tell if they learn from errors of the past or not.

I wanted to make things a bit more varied, I've played most of the main games as they came out so I've seen the series "evolve" over time.

Next up included some mobile titles. And not just modern ones, but old java games.

4. Sonic at the Olympic Games (Java)

  • Original Platform: Mobile
  • Where to get: Not available, unless you happen to buy an old phone with it installed.

spacer.png

A very simple mobile minigame collection, designed for pre-touchscreen phones. For it’s limitations, it’s not a bad little game. There are 5 events: Discus, 1500 Metres, Triple Jump, 500m Hurdles and Javelin. Discus, Javelin and Triple Jump work in a similar way where you build up energy and then once you throw/jump, you can use the energy to increase your height, dodging enemies and collecting rings. The running challenges have you tapping a button at the right times to maintain your speed – a bit like a free runner game, but on a simple course – although the running one has multiple paths and loops.

It’s nothing special, but manages to capture the spirit of Sonic over the main Wii game. I could see it as a decent minigame in a handheld Sonic game.

5. Sonic Jump (Android)

  • Original Platform: Android/iOS
  • Version Played: Android
  • Where to get: Re-released as “Sonic Jump Pro” on Google Play, “Sonic Jump” on iOS store

 

spacer.png

I was pleasantly surprised by this, it’s a nice mobile game – and a remake of a much older Java mobile game. Sonic automatically jumps up, and you have to reach the goal high up in the sky using tilt controls, which are actually very responsive. The levels are properly designed (although a random endless mode is also available), and utilise different kinds of platforms.

Some platforms will collapse after one jump, others won’t bounce you up (although you gain your double jump back – activated by tapping the screen – so it’s not instant death), some move, some spin, some fade out in a pattern. The game doesn’t tell you what these are the first time you encounter them, but they’re self explanatory.

Sonic Jump is a very solid mobile Sonic games, with some lovely backgrounds that remind me of Rayman Origins.

Sonic Jump has an item store, where you can spend rings (or real money). But these are essentially just cheats, and the game can be completed without any at all.

6. Sonic Riders

  • Original Platform: GameCube
  • Where to get: Second hand

spacer.png

Sonic Riders on the surface looks like it’s a slightly different Kart racer. It has a mascot, item boxes and crazy looking tracks: something that could be simple but a ton of fun. Sonic Riders is not like this at all, instead it’s a fairly unique racer with some complex mechanics.

The game will just throw you into it, so if you haven’t read the manual you will not understand what it happening in the slightest, with gusts of winds flying at you from other characters, stopping because your hoverboard (Extreme Gear as the game calls it) has run out of air. Upon reading up, and it’s more confusing than it really needs to be.

Air is fuel, you collect it by preforming stunts, getting it from item boxes or going through pit stops (which will hold your character in place until charged up). You can use this to boost, but use too much and you’ll have to run instead. Following air waves left by players in front of you make you go faster, and allows you to perform stunts for more air and speed. However, you can miss shortcuts because of this.

Shortcuts are also dependant in type of character: Speed characters use rails, Fly characters can fly though rings (with very difficult controls so you’ll probably just fall instead) and power characters can smash through walls…although other character can do so with a slight drop in speed. From what I experienced, Speed racers simply have better shortcut access.

Some shortcuts can be accessed by making higher or longer jumps of ramps which I only got to work a couple of times. Item boxes seem less what they are in Mario Kart and will mostly be air or rings (which upgrade your characters for the race, making you faster). There are a couple of weapons, but they seemed to be very rare.

There’s a story mode with a fairly dull story (and involves characters giving Robotnik chaos emeralds for a tournament he’s hosting…no surprise he has something up his sleeve) and some new characters who are descendants of an ancient group of thieves called Babylonians. Voice acting is especially bad, even for Sonic.

Sonic Riders is really just a confusing mess. The main thing I liked about it was the starting grid. You can walk backwards for more of a run up, then run forward to get your speed as high up. There’s an electric fence across the starting line that will stun you if you run into it before the countdown timer finishes. It’s way more fun than tapping a button at the right moment.

 

 

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cosmos Rogue

It's been a very long time since I've played Sonic Riders, but... the game is bad. The game feel, just basic actions such as turning or drifting, always felt bad to me. I remember sections of some tracks requiring you spin the control stick as fast as possible; it's a terrible "mechanic" completely divorced from anything else you do during races. The running starting grid was the one cool mechanic I liked. Hopefully a good game steals is inspired by it someday.

As for the narrative... all I really remember about the plot is Amy getting herself kidnapped by jumping onto Eggman's eggmobile after the desert race. The new characters, the Babylon Rogues, are probably the three dullest characters added to the series during the mid-2000s. The only real positive I have to say about them is that Sega keeping their appearances limited to their own subseries was a more respectful way to use them than what happened with the rest of the characters from that era - both for the newcomers and the franchise as a whole.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

charmsb

I would love to play Sonic Riders for myself. I haven't found any alternative methods to play it, so I was hoping to play through Wii backwards compatibility. Is a gamecube controller recommended?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cosmos Rogue

If you're playing the original Sonic Riders on a Wii, the GameCube controller is going to be your only option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few more, including one of my main complaints with how Sega treat Sonic: whenever they do one of their great nostalgia-based games, they don't follow up on it by making a new games (with all new stages) out of the gameplay they created.
 

7. Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal

  • Original Platform: 3DS
  • Where to get: 3DS eShop

large.jpg

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal was the 3DS companion game for the infamous Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on Wii U. From a technical standpoint, Shattered Crystal is a marvel compared to the Wii U game, as I didn’t encounter any problems.

In Shattered Crystal, you can switch between Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Sticks – a crazy, paranoid badger with a boomerang – at any point by tapping the screen or the d-pad. All the characters feel the same in terms of how they run, jump, use their grappling hook and attack but they all have a unique ability: Sonic can dash through blocks (and gain extra height), Tails can glide and use gusts of wind, Knuckles can dig through tunnels and Sticks can throw her boomerang, mainly to activate switches.

When you have a decent platforming section, Shattered Crystal is really good fun, stringing together jumps, homing attacks and grapples is very satisfying. Sometimes having to switch characters can slow this down, but when the game lets you go fast, it’s a very solid game.

But Shattered Crystal isn’t about going fast. It’s about exploring overly large maze-like levels. To progress the game, you will need to collect Sonic badges. Completing each level will get you one, but this isn’t enough to progress, so you will need to find 6 blueprints and 4 crystal shards in each level. You need to find all of each in a level to get the Sonic badge (so collecting 5 blueprints in multiple levels is useless).

As you explore these maze-like levels you will encounter slingshots that send you to another part of the level, some of which will mean that you are now blocked, so if a collectible was there, you’ll have to do the level another time to progress. Other parts of the game can block progress backwards, too. On top of this, the first 5 or so levels you first play without all characters, so collecting them all is impossible first time round.

All this just makes the game slow, dull and frustrating. It’s a shame, because the core gameplay is solid. There are a couple of different types of levels: there are a couple of race levels which are amazing levels: it’s all about getting from A to B as fast as possible, there are multiple routes but generally the higher ones are quicker. The other kind are “worm tunnels”, where you run into the screen and move left/right to change path to dodge obstacles and collect rings. These levels are also really good.

While this game is based on the TV show, I don’t think it involves any of the writers from it. Sonic Boom’s jokes are surprisingly funny, while Shattered Crystal is just painful to read.

 

8. Sonic & SEGA AllStars Racing (DS)

  • Original Platform: DS
  • Where to get: Second hand

E1I_hJHXEAQnMiS.jpg

A handheld port of the first Sonic & SEGA racing game, and a really good one at that. The track designs have been altered to fit the DS more, ensuring it runs smoothly, but it still has the full array of tracks and characters. Even though there’s no analogue stick, the handling feels extremely solid, particularly drifting, perhaps even feeling tighter than Mario Kart DS.

It’s much harder to defend yourself from items, so you’ll be hit a lot. The best defensive weapon is a Mega Horn, which sends out a shockwave of sounds that hits opponents and destroys incoming weapons (wait, that sounds familiar…).

The DS version of the game features a completely different mission mode to the home console versions. Instead of getting rankings, you gain stars for how well you perform, and stars unlock more missions. These can be races, elimination races, shooting or avoiding obstacles, drifting or driving through rings (some of which I found difficult due to colour choices). It won’t take too long to complete them all, but getting 10 stars on all of them is definitely a big challenge.

9. Sonic Mania

  • Original platform: PC, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Version played: PS4
  • Where to get: Widely available digitally and physically.

E1N6kH2WUAMklH5-1024x576.jpg

After creating ports of Sonic CD, Sonic 1 and 2 on Android, Christian Whitehead got a chance to work on a new Sonic game. While it looks very similar to the Mega Drive Sonic games, Sonic Mania doesn’t limit itself to what the Mega Drive can do, and lots of small improvements can be noticed such as extra frames of animation on rings and background objects. In a way, Sonic Mania feels like this could have been what Sonic on the Sega Saturn could have been if they didn’t feel the need to go the 3D route.

My biggest issue with Sonic Mania is that it tries to rely on nostalgia when it doesn’t need to. Sonic Mania has 12 main levels, but 8 of them are remixed versions of levels from 1, 2, CD, 3 & Knuckles – including the often revisited Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant Zone. New levels include Studiopolis, Press Garden, Mirage Saloon and Titanic Monarch. All of these levels are brilliant, capturing the feel of classic Sonic levels while including their own twists on the formula. They all have a great style and brilliant music. I just wish the whole game could have been new levels.

Not that the remixed levels are bad. All of the Zones are two acts. The first act of each remxied level is exactly that: it feels like the original level, but different. Green Hill Zone Act 1 is pretty much the first two acts from the original combined, while other levels have similar but different parts.

The second act of each returning zone, however, is essentially brand new, with new level gimmicks to focus on, some of them even look very different. These are all brilliant levels. Essentially, my main complaint with Sonic Mania is that I wish there was more: two separate games (one focusing on remix levels, one on new levels) would have been amazing to have.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Super Sonic Speed

Good luck. I'm actually attempting to do something similar.

Started off great until I ran into some that started getting on my nerves. So be prepared. I noticed you haven't reached them yet.

That said after getting frustrated on a few I gave them a break and went to sonic unleashed on the wii only to start getting annoyed at the werehog level. I really hate the werehog level by the way.=/

So hopefully your run is more successful than mine though I am still going.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/2/2021 at 1:00 PM, Super Sonic Speed said:

Started off great until I ran into some that started getting on my nerves. So be prepared. I noticed you haven't reached them yet.

 

That's why I'm not forcing myself to complete each and every one, but playing a reasonable amount instead if completion is ridiculous. Most I will be completing. I'm a bit further ahead than my write-ups, and a few have been dreadful (although luckily the bad ones so far have also been short).

10. Flicky

  • Original platform: Arcade
  • Where to buy: Steam

E1S2LuDXEAgi68J.png

Technically not a Sonic game, as Flicky was released before Sonic even existed. Nevertheless, Flicky does have ties to Sonic, as he appears in multiple Sonic games as some of the animals trapped inside the Badniks that Sonic has to save, and Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island is a semi-sequel to the Flicky arcade – it was even included in the Sonic Mega Collection.

In Flicky, you play as a small bird who has to rescue chicks. Once you run into them, they’ll follow you, but disperse if a cat touches them (if the cats touch you, you die). You have to gather them all up and take them to a door. These can be done one at a time, but you’ll score far more points if you cash them all in at once.

It’s a simple game, but surprisingly good fun. The jumping can be difficult in the tighter maze-like levels, especially as Flicky bounces off walls, but it’s all very charming – it reminds me of a game I used to play called QWAK.

11. Sonic Rivals

  • Original Platform: PSP
  • Where to get: Vita Store

E1TYfybWQAIidAF-1024x576.jpg

Sonic Rivals takes the gameplay of Sonic into something closer to the original Mega Drive ones, just with 3D graphics. The levels are played in 2D (just with some parts closer or further away from the camera), and there’s no boosting like the Sonic Rush games. It’s an A-to-B platformer where sticking to the top route is generally faster. The main gimmick of the levels in Sonic Rivals is that there are obstacles where you can jump off either upwards or forwards. There’s usually a button icon (kind of like a Quick Time Event) recommending one, buy you can perform either move (sometimes it can even be better doing the opposite of the recommendation.

There are six zones, with unique styles and looks, and I quite liked the layouts of all of them (although there are a few bottomless pits). If Sonic Rivals was just what I have described so far, it would actually be a great Sonic game.

But it isn’t.

When you start the first level, Sonic will be with Knuckles, joking about who will reach Eggman first (because of a plot where Eggman can capture people in cards using a camera, making it seem like the story was accidentally taken from an AR card game). Take a few steps forward and Knuckles will attack you – Sonic Rivals is a competitive racing game, even with power ups.

Power ups activate in two different ways: if you’re ahead, it will drop behind you as a trap, if you’re behind, it automatically hits your opponent (a few work slightly differently). Almost every time you use items, your opponent won’t be visible, so you don’t get to see the effects. So power ups feel more like they’re just there to attack you. Side effects include: slowing you down, freezing you, swapping controls around, pausing you in place. These are not fun at all and are incredibly frustrating to be on the receiving end of.

The AI racer doesn’t help, either. Sonic Rivals relies on ridiculous rubber banding – but only in one direction. If you get far ahead, your opponent will still catch up and rush past you, sometimes they just teleport to be in front of you. If you fall behind, there’s no chance of catching up. The cheating AI just makes the power ups even more frustrating, and if one hits you in the middle of a large uphill section, you may as well just restart the level.

The last zone of the game excludes the “rival” element and, even though it has a strict timer, this part of the game is really good – showing that the major problem was the racing mechanics.

Sonic Rivals has the potential being a solid Sonic 2D Platformer, with similarities to the classic Mega Drive games, but it just feels like you’re playing one where the game will randomly make you lose control, and decide that you have to replay a level again because it feels like it.

12. Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing (Java)

  • Original Platform Java Mobile
  • Where to get: Not available, unless you happen to buy an old phone with it installed.

Untitled-3.jpg

The graphics look quite nice for old mobile graphics, and the midi music renditions are all pretty good. One big flaw, however, is that some obstacles (such as green goo) aren’t very noticeable, so you’ll hit them a lot. For the main mode – racing through all four cups – this isn’t really a huge issue as AI racers are all very slow. As you only need some slight assistance with turns, you can experience everything it has to offer while half asleep.

The mission mode, however, is a different story. Creating a precise racing line is quite difficult due the controls, and hitting the barely visible obstacles can destroy your progress. There are four types of missions, such as one where you collect 10 rings in one lap (hitting the green goo takes your count to zero), and you simply complete them once on each track.

There are four cups, with three tracks per cup, resulting in 8 different tracks overall. This isn’t a maths error, some tracks are repeated in multiple cups.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cosmos Rogue

Sonic Mania

Probably the best game in the series, so let me gripe about it a bit. Mania is excellent at putting the player in the all important flow state. Unfortunately, the game put it's giant special stage rings in the levels instead of at the end of them. This means that if you want to get the Chaos Emeralds you have to effectively come to a complete stop while playing a level, exiting the flow state. And then the game doubles down on this unforced error by making the bonus stages also accessible only during the levels, this time from the signposts. Between this and the sometimes too clever by half bosses, you don't always spend much time running around and doing platforming stuff and going through loop de loops, not if you want to see all of the content Mania has to offer. Obviously you can't stick both the bonus and special stages at the end of each act, but I think Sonic 1 had it right the first time when you could only access the bonus levels after playing an entire level. If I may be so bold, I'd say Mania only really comes alive in time attack mode, where the gameplay is far more focused.

Anyway, 9.5/10 best game in the series Sega does what Nintendon't.

Flicky

Cool little game. Glad it was included in Mega Collection back in the day. The game has an important place in video game history as a game with actually good jump physics before Super Mario Bros came out. It's a fools hope, but I hope it, and other Sonic adjacent games, are included in the upcoming Origins collection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

King Conne

Great idea... and I hope, by playing all the games, you'll be able to answer some questions I have about some Java games!!...
Actually, there were good surprises on Java (Sonic Café collection) like SONIC JUMP, SHADOW SHOOT and a few others...

So, could you make "longplay videos" of the following games while playing them, please?!...
(Because I love watching them to discover "forgotten" games but not all the Java games I'm interested in have longplays on Youtube...)


- SONIC JUMP, the original one from 2005, not the beautiful remake from 2008 sometimes called SONIC JUMP 2 you can see here :
 

 

- TAILS NO FLYING GET (based on a mini-game in SONIC BATTLE) to see if there is a Story Mode :


https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Tails_No_Flying_Get

 

- SONIC TIMING OF THE TRAIN (I'm eager to discover its storyline and the way it plays) :

https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Sonic_Timing_of_the_Train

 

- SONIC HOPPING 2 (here is a longplay of the first game which is a very fun game but it seems there is a second episode or at least a remake with a Story Mode dealing with Sonic infiltrating one of Eggman's bases) :
 

 

- other Java games if there is a Story Mode inside...

 

Good luck in your project and have fun!!...

(I post a longplay of SHADOW SHOOT for those who don't know the game, it shows that the Sonic Café collection had original concepts with intros and endings from time to time...)
 


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, King Conne said:

Great idea... and I hope, by playing all the games, you'll be able to answer some questions I have about some Java games!!...
Actually, there were good surprises on Java (Sonic Café collection) like SONIC JUMP, SHADOW SHOOT and a few others...

So, could you make "longplay videos" of the following games while playing them, please?!...
(Because I love watching them to discover "forgotten" games but not all the Java games I'm interested in have longplays on Youtube...)
 

I'll see if my phone is up to it. I did record a few clips of Sonic the Hedgehog Part 1 java version. However, the Sonic Cafe games are mostly unobtainable. There's a few out there, but a lot are just lost. There is this Japanese YouTube channel that has playthroughs of some of them, mostly the card games and things like Billiard and Darts, no Timing of the Train or Tails No Flying Get. Sonic Dash Quiz looks quite interesting.

Speaking of that, my first failed game:

Failed 1: Sonic Kart 3DX

  • Original platform: Java
  • Reason: Unable to find a version to play

The above video shows someone from Japan playing this mobile game. It appears to be a 3D kart racer, but with no items or even other racers. Players would be able to compete each other online, or post their times to leaderboards.

This is one of the mobile games that was part of he Sonic Cafe service – a bunch of mobile games (with network connectivity), available only in Japan. Due to the limited Japanese-only release, many of these games were not backed up by fans.

---

And back to played games:

13. Sonic Adventure

  • Original Platform: Dreamcast
  • Version Played: Xbox 360 on Xbox Series S
  • Where to get: Steam, Xbox Store

E5Yl2XnXwAIQEwW-1024x576.jpg

I’ve dabbled a bit in this before, but never completed it. There’s some lovingly cheesy dialogue and a ridiculous plot – both of which are great for Sonic. The main levels are mostly a lot of fun, there’s a good sense of speed and when it flows well, it’s still a great spectacle.

There are some slower platform sections – which can be good in Sonic games – but unfortunately these fall victim to the wonky controls and camera a bit more than.the faster sections, and it can be sometimes difficult to be precise with jumps (there should be a more prominent shadow underneath Sonic). Overall, the main Sonic levels are an enjoyable experience.

Everything else in Sonic’s adventure is just poor padding. You have a city to walk around to get to the stages, but it’s not really utilised, with no side missions to do with the characters, it’s just more of a fancy level select. The Casino level was mainly just repeatedly playing pinball until you have enough rings (although it does seem like you get access to a much better level if you fail the pinball), and the flying stages are rather dull.

Other characters have their own adventures. Tails is mainly flying through altered versions of Sonic’s levels, trying to be better than him but others have more unique levels. Knuckles is a treasure hunt where you have to locate parts of the master chaos emerald. Amy’s story is surprisingly pretty good, with completely new levels (only three, unfortunately) with some slower, more precise platforming that works better than those sections in Sonic’s levels. Big the Cat makes an appearance with a dreadful finishing story, while Gamma has some fairly simple shooting levels.

The music is outstanding, with some great tunes and rocking songs.

14. Sonic Generations (3DS)

  • Original Platform: 3DS
  • Where to get: 3DS eShop

R_1.jpg

While I’ve played the home console version of Sonic Generations a lot, I never played the 3DS counterpart, and it seems I was missing out, as the 3DS version isn’t a downgraded port, it’s a completely different game.

Apart from Green Hill Zone, the 7 level choices in the 3DS version are different to the home version, you have as Casino Night and Mushroom Hill Zone for the other classic stages, Emerald Coast and Radical Highway for the Sonic Adventure games. For the modern games, there’s no Sonic 06 or Sonic Unleashed, instead you have Water Palace from Sonic Rush before Tropical Resort from Sonic Colours. Sonic Heroes also gets some involvement, as the Special Stages are based on the ones from Heroes.

The modern Sonic gameplay is heavily based on Sonic Rush in this version. It’s still a 2D platformer, but with 3D graphics. While playing as modern Sonic, the camera is more dynamic and will provide fancier angles, while the levels will twist in front of itself a lot more. It feels spot on to Sonic Rush and they’re all great Sonic levels. The spectroscopic 3D also looks fantastic, although I did end up turning it off as it doesn’t work well when you’re nodding the head to the game’s music.

Classic Sonic starts off feeling like the original Mega Drive games, and the first three classic levels are fairly faithful recreations of the originals, rather than mixing them up. Unfortunately, the game adds a homing attack to the classic Sonic levels. This blurs the line between the two gameplay styles even more, so you’ll find yourself sometimes trying to boost as classic Sonic. You can ignore the homing attack and still beat the stages, but you skip the better routes. Adding the homing attack is the biggest flaw of Sonic Generations.

But overall, it’s a great Sonic game, and a great counterpart to the main version. It’s not a cheaply made downgraded port, but a second Generations game.

15. Sonic Advance

  • Original Platform: Game Boy Advance
  • Versions played: GBA and Android
  • Where to get: Second Hand, Wii U eShop (Japan Only)

E6vMaVjXsAEKW93-1024x485.jpg

Despite loving Sonic and having a Game Boy Advance, for some reason I never played Sonic Advance, but it seems I was missing out.

Sonic Advance is a lot like the classic Mega Drive Sonic games, although Sonic himself is more like his modern design. It takes the original level design philosophy of Sonic – multiple routes, higher is quicker – and creates some expansive levels to be explored (and you’ll need to explore them to find the chaos emerald, as the special stages are well hidden).

For most of the game, the stages have many secondary routes, and at some point I was even wondering if there were even any bottomless pits as every time I fell, I landed on another path (or even just a hole with a spring to get back up). This makes exploration much more fun. Later levels do have bottomless pits, so it doesn’t last forever, but for the most part the levels in Sonic Advance are great.

Then there’s Egg Rocket Zone. The core idea for the level is great – you’re on a giant rocket, and have to reach the next section before separation happens and the previous part of the level is jettisoned. Unfortunately, the level is a confusing maze which seems to only have one “correct” path through it. There’s lots of routes, including some that look like the “faster, more difficult” routes, but these will cruelly send you back to previous parts of the level. It’s needlessly annoying.

On top of the original Game Boy Advance version, it was also ported to N-Gage (which is difficult to try and play), and also for Android, but only in Japan (and no longer available). The Android port is a great port, with a wider screen for better viewing distance. Although a few bits of music (which were from the Mega Drive games) have been replaced. It's a shame they don't re-release this version (and make it available worldwide), or even update it slightly. Sonic Advance definitely should be more available to buy.

  • Thumbs Up 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cosmos Rogue

Sonic Adventure

Sonic Adventure has some good intentions with its narratives. The six playable characters each bring with them meaningful, and meaningfully different, perspectives on the plot. The story about how acts of violence can have cascading effects even generations down the line, intertwined with a parable that lusting for power is bad, was actually fitting for what the Sonic series ethos was in the 90s. Dr. Eggman and the ancient Echidnas help tie it all together with their desire to use Chaos/the Emeralds to dominate the world being nice parallels for each other. Unfortunately directionless acting, awful character animation, and a lousy script almost completely ruin everything. But hey, good intentions are still better than nearly everything we've gotten since.

Unfortunately, the gameplay isn't much better. Sonic and Amy are mostly fun, but Sonic Team had little idea on how to bring Tails and Knuckles' signature movement abilities work in 3D, and absolutely zero idea on how to make a fishing game. Gamma also suffers from levels that clearly weren't built for him, and trivially easy shooting mechanics.

Sonic Advance

As Cube already covered, Sonic Advance hits all of the notes a 2D Sonic game is expected to hit. For a long time, it was the closest thing to Sonic 4 we had and it's still a better Sonic 4 than the actual Sonic 4 we eventually got. But I digress. Sonic Advance is as competent as it is conservative, but it does bring one welcome addition to the (2D) games: Amy Rose. Amy has long been pushed as one of the main characters of the Sonic franchise, but Sonic Advance 1 (and maybe Advance 3) is really the only game she's been treated as such. Unlike in Adventure Amy has just as many stages as the other characters, her gameplay is fundamentally the same as everyone else, but her distinct moveset still allows her to stand apart as a unique part of the game. It's the best the Sonic series has ever treated Amy.

Lastly, the entire Advance trilogy also benefits from outstanding sprite work. It's the best the modern characters have ever looked, and I don't think it's  close.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16. Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine

  • Original Platform: Mega Drive
  •  Where to get: Steam, Sonic Mega Collection, Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection, 3DS Virtual Console

E61imQFXIAIJpwZ.jpg

In Japan, this is not a Sonic related game at all. When Puyo-Puyo got a release in North America and Europe, Sega decided to overhaul the design to base it on Dr Robotnik, featuring a bunch of robots from the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon.

Puyo-Puyo/Mean Bean Machine is a colour-matching game. Two “beans” will fall down at once and you can rotate them. Match four of the same colour and they’ll vanish. At the same time, an AI opponent is competing against you. If you chain multiple combos, you’ll send a bunch of beans that don’t match and can only be removed by triggering a group of another colour next to it. First one to reach the top of the screen loses.

I could only make it to stage 3, partly due to colourblind issues (although I am bad at this style of game anyway). The beans are slightly different shapes, but it’s difficult to identify the shapes quick enough for the reaction speeds needed to compete against the AI.

 

17. Sonic the Fighters

  • Original platform: Arcade
  • Version Played: Xbox 360
  • Availability: Xbox Store, will be playable in Lost Judgement

E61rJ2KWYAIblkb-1024x576.jpg

Similar to colour-matching puzzle games, fighting games is another genre that I can’t get my head around properly, with combos that you need to remember and pull off. So I can’t say how Sonic the Fighters compares to other fighting games, but I will say that with the “automatic” mode for people like me, who are awful at the game, I enjoyed the rather brief game.

There’s something very charming about the low poly models for this game, there’s a really nice polygonal style to them. The stages themselves also look really nice, especially the ice stage which takes place on a giant mirror – it’s rather beautiful.

The characters include the main four heroes (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy), with characters from Knuckles Chaotix, Triple Trouble and some new additions to the franchise, with Metal Sonic and Robotnik as bosses. It’s a really odd mix. Each character’s moves do feel quite different, even with just the more basic moves.

 

18. Big Big’s Fishing Adventure 3

Original platform: Flash
Where to get: http://bigthec.at/

bigbigsfishingadventure3-1024x576.jpg

Technically an April Fool’s fan game, this was made for charity and was Tweeted by the official Sonic Twitter account, so I’m counting it.

Big Big’s Fishing Adventure 3 is about Big the Cat trying to make a video game. He’s spent most of his time sleeping. The day before the deadline, Froggy goes missing (of course), so Big heads off to find him. Most of the game is a visual novel, with text referencing lots of Sonic games. Every now and then you’ll get a choice, which will determine which minigame you play.

Based on your choice, you’ll get to play a simple maze or a flappy bird clone. This follows more visual novel segments, where the wrong choice will get you a game over (although it lets you undo the choice). Pick the correct one and you’ll get to play a simple 2D fishing minigame to catch Froggy.

 

--

A sneak peak for one of the games in the next batch: I had to put the game down because I was laughing so hard because of how bad the music was.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cosmos Rogue

Cosign as somebody who has no idea how to judge the merits of either puzzle or fighting games. Sonic the Fighters does have a visual charm to it if nothing else. The world needs more low-poly Sonic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19. Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis (GBA)

  • Original Platform: Mega Drive
  • Version Played: Game Boy Advance
  • Where to get: No.

E7AliN9XIAEE4Op.jpg

As part of this collection, I’m playing a bunch of ports of Sonic the Hedgehog. I’m focusing on just the first game, and more significant ports and not emulation (as found in lots of collections, the Steam version, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, etc). First up on my random ordered list is the Game Boy Advance version. As this was made after three Sonic Advance games, and was sold for £20 for just the one game, you would think it’s something special.

And in a way, it is. It’s a spectacular failure filled with many issues. Frankly, this port was not sold in a playable state, just thrown out to cash in on an anniversary. The first issue you’ll find is the music. The GBA doesn’t quite have the same sound chip as the Mega Drive and it seems that instead of modifying the music to fit what the GBA can do, they instead just had it attempt to play what it could from the Mega Drive. What you have are very tinny version with zero bass. I had to put the game down in Spring Yard Zone because I just couldn’t stop laughing at the music. It starts off not too terrible, but after around 20 seconds it attempts to keep up with the original and just spits out an incoherent mess.

The music is the least of this port’s issues, though. There is a lot of slowdown, and it affects how the game plays massively, as your jumps are slower and shorter. Then after each bit of slowdown usually follows some super fast movement where you launch uncontrollably to the side, flying over platforms with no hope of stopping. Not helping matters is the cropped screen, so some obstacles can’t be seen, especially where jumping up is concerned. The final boss doesn’t fit into the screen, so you have little time to react to it. It’s a complete mess.

And to make matters worse, the physics just feel off, particularly jumping on slopes. You’ll either barely move or fly off to the side, and this includes downwards slopes. There’s other minor things as well, such as the wrong death animation used (Sonic always “drowns” in this version), a way to exploit Robotnik fights by jumping on top of him and just bouncing on his head, all the sounds are extremely weak (especially explosions).

If you want someone to hate the original Sonic, get them to play this version.

20. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii)

  • Original Platform: Wii
  • Where to get: Second hand.

E7KFsRRWUAwW1gq.jpg

A big improvement over the first Mario & Sonic title. This gives you all of the main events straight away, with the Dream Events being the main unlockables (but aren’t difficult to unlock). The events themselves also felt a lot more fun, with rules and controls that are simpler to understand and far fewer events where a single mistimed (or unregistered) Wii Remote shake can knock you out of the competition, or create a false start.

Skiing and Snowboarding are some of the main events, both with a trick version (jump for skiing and halfpipe for snowboarding) and a race. The controls are very similar (tilt to turn, pull back to slow down) except that skiing uses both the Wii Remote and nunchuck and the Snowboarding uses just the Wii Remote – although thankfully it doesn’t force you to unplug the nunchuck. Bobsled and Skeleton have you going down a long pipe, tilting the Wii Remote to stay within the optimal racing line.

Speed Skating I couldn’t properly get the hang of, the on-screen prompts are hard to see but luckily it’s not too difficult to get used to the rhythm needed to move the remote from left to right. It’s a good way to make it feel different to the other sports. Figure Skating is a “simon says” type thing which mostly works fine, except for a tilting action which I always failed at.

Ice Hockey is great fun. It’s a simple version of ice hockey, but as it uses buttons and analogue sticks, it feels very responsive. My only issue is that you can’t select to play one match, you have to take part in a mini-tournament with two matches. Curling is by far the worst event. The swing required for how powerful your hit will be is very unreliable, and it takes ages. I ended up just doing a full power shot each time, as without sweeping it’s actually a perfect short. To make matters worse, it’s also a mini tournament.

The Dream Stages are better than the main events, with races like Snowboarding and Skiing taking place on fancy tracks with loops, jumps, springs and items. They’re incredibly good fun, with other Dream Events following similar things. Dream Figure Skating is like a “Sonic on Ice” (or “Mario on Ice”) performance. The dream events feature some new ones.

Dream Gliding was not what I was expecting. It’s like the multiplayer from Lylat Wars/Star fox 64, a dogfighting game where you score points for hitting enemy units, or even more points for hitting opponents. I was expecting something like Monkey Target from Super Monkey Ball. This, however, does get a similar game in the form of Dream Ski Jumping.

The main campaign is called “Festival” where you play through various events and training exercises to try and earn the most points (although I don’t know how they work, as even though I lost a lot of events, only one opponent had a single gold medal). You don’t have to win to progress, they just add to your final score. Every now and then you’ll encounter a boss, who you do have to beat, although my main struggle was one race with Bullet Bill. Although I did have to retry a race against King Boo, but only because the game cheated and claimed he won, even though I crossed the line first (and even the replay showed this).

Overall, this is a much better party game than the original Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, and the festival is even fun for a single player.

21. Tails and the Music Maker

  • Original platform: Sega Pico
  • Where to get: Second hand.

E7PkCjNXEAUTU-T-1024x497.jpg

The first thing to talk about with this is the console it appears on: the Sega Pico. This is an “edutainment” device released in 1993. The internals were the same as a Mega Drive, but it featured a drawing pad and a pen, and the cartridges were books. The console can recognise which page you are on, and you can even press parts of the book to activate things in the game. Due to the cost of the device, this one I played via emulation.

Tails and the Music Maker isn’t so much a game you play from start to finish, but a collection of minigames and activities. The first page features a simple platformer game, across three short levels of a Green Hill Zone that turns more blue for each level. At the top of the screen are instructions for Tails to stop, tip-toe, jump or run. Tails will have to go slow to dodge coconuts and jump to make it over gaps (although if you fall, a spring will launch you back out. Also on this page is a simple game of musical chairs, played against frogs on lily pads.

Page 2 features a pinball game, where hitting instrument icons will cause the sound. Hitting the bell at the top seems to end the game. There’s also a minigame where you have to draw circles around notes. Page 3 features an extremely slow Arkanoid clone where you bounce tails around to break blocks of music.

Page 4 features a matching game. Click on an instrument and it will play the sound of another, click on the right one and they’ll vanish. This one doesn’t work well at all as the sounds don’t sound anything like each instrument, so instead you have to learn the tune played by each instrument. You can also play along (a few notes at a time) to a few nursery rhymes.

The final page features a simple drawing studio. You can click on colours on the book and draw whatever you choose, and add Sonic and Tails from the book as well. You can also visit a music studio and listen to the sounds of each instrument (the same as the ones from the previous game that don’t sound like the instrument) or to the nursery rhymes.

As an “edutainment” title, Tails and the Music Maker seems to be completely lacking on the “educational” side of things. The Pico seems like it’s aimed at slightly older children, whereas the functions of this game – at least the music-related ones – seem similar to most light up electronic keyboard toys that you can get for kids around the age of 1-2, and provide a more tactile feedback. And those ones usually have additional functions to teach colours, numbers and shapes.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cosmos Rogue

It really is amazing that Sega gave us both Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Sonic the Hedgehog (GBA) on the same day. I don't know why Sega and Sonic Team can't just... do better than they do with this series.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three (3)DS games ended up being close together.

22. Sonic Rush

  • Original Platform: DS
  • Where to get: Second hand

E7U3EWaXIAkYoPT.jpg

The birth of the “boost” gameplay in Sonic games. The big addition to Sonic Rush was the boost and trick system. You gain boost power by destroying enemies and performing tricks after jumping from springs. This makes Sonic Rush an incredibly fast, which feels amazing when it goes smoothly, but unfortunately has its own share of problems.

As this is a DS game, it uses both screens, with Sonic moving between them as though it’s one giant screen. This allows for more vertical movement, which does look great, but also has the side effect on how short the screen is from left to right, which is a major problem when combined with the boost as you have no idea what is coming up until it is too late. And Sonic Rush loves to abuse this flaw with traps, enemies, obstacles and pits. There’s one moment in particular where there’s a long, fast section followed by a “crusher” and a wall. Unless you already know it’s there, you will be crushed and will die.

Get a game over in Sonic Rush and you’ll have to start the act from the beginning, so these unfair traps will lead to a lot of repeating levels, unless you choose to repeat the first few levels to grind lives – it’s an added unnecessary frustration. Thankfully, this doesn’t apply to the boss battles, so you can restart there if you run out of lives.

The bosses in Rush are some of the worst in the franchise. There’s a lot of waiting around for the boss to do something, where they will conduct attacks – some of which takes ages to happen. Some attacks will leave the boss vulnerable for one hit, others will not. And you need 8 hits (although this is reduced to 6 if you select easy mode, which I highly recommend as this is the only change that happens when you select easy). The boss fights take ages due to this, and some attacks can be instant deaths, so you have to start from the beginning. Sonic Rush also introduces a slight change to the rings system of Sonic which becomes very clear with the bosses: the more you get hit, the further your rings will fly, making it harder to collect them.The Casino Night boss is the only fun boss, as it has a spring on it where you can do a carefully timed jump to hit the boss as an optional extra way to cause damage.

While this write-up has been fairly negative, Sonic Rush is still incredibly good fun, combining tricks and boosting works well when it goes smoothly, and I really like the little second jump Sonic can do to reach better routes. The music is also wonderful. I can’t tell what is being sang in some of them, but it’s all incredibly catchy and it will be stuck in your head for days after playing it.

Sonic Rush is more flawed than I originally remember, but there’s still a fun Sonic experience here. I think a modern port would do wonders for it, expanding the screen sideways (but keeping the vertical view as high) would make obstacles far less annoying, and possibly some improvements to the bosses.

23. Sonic Lost World (3DS)

  • Original Platform: 3DS
  • Where to get: 3DS eShop
     

E7fdOfeXEAUKUwf.jpg

With lovely graphics, full video cutscenes and voice acting, Sonic Lost World is definitely a visual treat for a 3DS game. I originally reviewed this when it originally came out so I was curious how my feelings for the game had changed.

Playing it again, and I think the controls are an issue as they don’t feel intuitive at all. Running up walls, especially design sideways, feels clunky, and I found myself jumping instead of boosting a few times. The somersault energy attack move also feels like a pointless addition, even if it’s required for some enemies it just doesn’t add to the game, it’s just an additional thing to remember. I do enjoy games with lots of controls to remember (such as Banjo-Kazooie), but they need to be intuitive.

Another change is the homing attack, with a change that sounds nice on paper: you can now target three enemies at once and bounce between them. Unfortunately, you can end up targeting an enemy you don’t want – such as one you passed – and Sonic will fly backwards to hit it. Tapping jump between each enemy worked fine as it was.

The levels in Sonic Lost World 3DS are a mixed bag. A lot aren’t memorable, partly because they all look like floating islands, all in the style of Green Hill Zone. The most memorable levels either have interesting mechanics or are just a nightmare to play. These levels also seem to go on forever. There’s one level set inside a giant juicer and you have to wheel apples into it, which I really enjoyed, but then there’s one where you have to push snowballs which is possibly one of the worst Sonic level’s I’ve played. Some annoying jumps, ice physics and a giant snowman head which chases you the entire level, destroying the snowballs you push around if it touches them.

Wisps return from Sonic Colours (although the story doesn’t acknowledge them at all) and while I loved them in that game, they just don’t work in Lost World 3DS and feel more like a chore to use, the asteroid is slow, floaty and often has bad camera angles while the Quake would work, but uses motion controls that can’t be turned off.

Motion controls also hamper the special stages and a boss fight, as they use 1:1 motion controls, so you have to turn around fully to play them. If you happen to be playing on public transport, you’ll just have to stop playing. The controls actually work well, but they needed to be optional for a handheld system.

Sonic Lost World 3DS isn’t an awful game, it’s just somewhat forgettable. It tries to do some new things and I think with some refinements it could have done well.

24. Sonic Rush Adventure

Original Platform: DS
Where to get: Second hand

E7kgiyJXsAI0SFv.jpg

It seems that Dimps listened to all the criticism of Sonic Rush and addressed it for Sonic Rush Adventure. The stages in this are extremely enjoyable and feel like they have the right balance of fun and difficulty. They all seem to take into account the viewport of the screen, with methods to slow Sonic down naturally when needed without it being forced.

They all look fantastic, too, with some great themes (Haunted Ship and Pirate’s Hideout are my favourites) and set pieces, with some amazing music to nod your head to as you play. The levels also use rings or arrows for some parts to direct you, instead of you instantly dying due to not expecting something, and traps that give you time to react. I think the levels in Sonic Rush Adventure may be some of the most fun in the franchise, although there are still a few unexpected pits and parts where you are moving forward without much to do for a couple of moments.

Bosses are also much improved, giving you a lot more opportunities to hit them. They have a health bar and need to be hit far more than in Sonic Rush, but don’t drag on for anywhere near as long. There’s also a good variety as each boss feels quite different to each other.

If that was all there was to say about Sonic Rush Adventure, it would be an outstanding game. Unfortunately, there was one Sonic Rush complaint which should have been ignored: its short length. In order to make Sonic Rush Adventure longer, there’s a lot of padding – I’m sure you spend more time doing the padding than playing the actual game.

A lot of this is navigating between islands using various kinds of boats. You have to draw your route on a map (like The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass) and then play a minigame until you get to your destination. Sometimes you’ll need to do this a couple of times before you get to the next stage. To access the Pirate’s Hideout stage, you have to find three hidden islands (thankfully these have short but sweet Sonic stages on them) to find clues. You can stumble across these early, but Sonic will just ignore the clue and you’ll have to replay it later.

To build each type of ship, you’ll also need materials. These are earned by replaying stages until you have enough, meaning you’ll redo the first few levels multiple times before you progress.

A Sonic Rush Collection that combines Sonic Rush and the actual levels from Sonic Rush Adventure would be wonderful to have.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These three are a bit more uncommon. And for Sonic X I had to take a photo as there aren't many screenshots.

25. Sonic the Hedgehog Part 1 (Java)

  • Original Platform: Java mobile phones
  • Where to get: Not available, unless you happen to buy an old phone with it installed.

E7k2kRTWYAUIw05.png

A port of Sonic the Hedgehog to old mobile phones sounds scary, especially when you consider how bad the Game Boy Advance version of Sonic the Hedgehog was. This port has a lot of issues, but completely different ones to the GBA port.

For starters, the game actually runs smoothly, there’s no slowdown at all. The physics also feel correct, and jumps will happen exactly how you would expect. It’s quite impressive to see how well it runs for a game made for pre-smart phones. Some things do seem to be running too quickly. I’m not sure if this is due to a decrease in frames of animation (for things like rings), but it also seems that Sonic’s period of invulnerability after getting hit is also far shorter, so landing on spikes is almost certain death.

The music sounds a lot more authentic to the Mega Drive version, just of a much lower sound quality. It is also made of smaller segments, so at the end of the unfinished “loop” there will be a slight pause in the music as it starts up again. There are also no sound effects at all, so it’s just the jarring music for you to hear.

The HUD has been altered, looking closer in style to Sonic Advance. As the phones it was designed for have a portrait view, you have the full aspect ratio and the hud elements are above and below the game “screen”. The keypad controls are the biggest issue, as a keypad layout isn’t suited for games, and the jump button is effectively the “up arrow”, situated between the left and right buttons.

One random change to this version is not allowing you to hit Robotnik early in the first boss. Instead of not allowing you to damage him like some versions, it will just count as Sonic being hit and you’ll lose all your rings for trying. The mobile port also only included the first three levels (the remainder were released separately) and there are no special stages, you are instead awarded Chaos Emeralds for having 50 rings at the end of a stage.

I wouldn’t recommend playing this version at all, but for a java version of Sonic, it’s a little bit better than expected.

26. Sonic X-Treme

Original Platform: Saturn/PC (Unreleased)
Versions Played: Two prototype builds for PC and Saturn, fan-made demo level
Where to get: N/A

sonic-x-treme.jpg

A cancelled Sonic game originally made to be Sonic’s big leap into 3D for the Sega Saturn. Two different versions of these were being designed by different teams, with both of them working themselves to the point of illness to try and get it done. Ultimately, the game was cancelled.

Since then, some prototypes have been found, and a fan has made a level in Unreal Engine, which gives us a taste of what Sonic X-Treme could have been. The simplest build is the “boss engine” one, it’s a simple 3D landscape with 50 rings to collect, and Sonic can jump and spindash. Movement is quite smooth although, due to the camera, you’re always running at a diagonal. The geometry is just some simple hills. It’s a fairly simple “Sonic in 3D”.

The other build is much more interesting as it looked like an extremely unique game, as Sonic can shift gravity by rolling up walls. The prototype features some demo levels, and it’s actually quite good fun to mess around with. It does seem extremely difficult to create levels around it, especially ones that can be followed by a player, as being able to go up walls and change the orientation of the level creates a lot of options.

The demo also features some short “tube” levels, something that did happen in later Sonic games, here shifting the gravity works a lot better as you can see where you need to go clearly. There are also different ground types which make Sonic slow down or go extremely fast and bouncy.

The fan-made demo gives us a look at a potential “level” for this build of Sonic X-Treme could have been like, with the fish eye lens seen in early footage. Navigating this is actually quite easy. It limits rotating the level to just slopes (not hard corners), which means specific paths can be seen. It shows that this gameplay could have worked.

Sonic X-Treme is an interesting part of Sonic’s history, and the development shows that they were trying some unique things with it. It’s hard to say if it could have worked, but perhaps a mixture of tube-like levels and stages where you have to find objects could have worked, even if it’s a bit of departure from the regular “A to B” style of Sonic.

 

27. Sonic X

  • Original Platform: LeapFrog Leapster
  • Where to get: Second hand

IMG_20210731_184709-1-1024x768.jpg

A Sonic game for an educational console called the Leapster, from LeapFrog. This is a simple platforming game with maths puzzles. It takes place across three zones, each with three acts: Station Square, Angel Island and Eggman’s Base. 

Controls are simple: just run and jump. The platforming is very basic and there’s no deaths, and any complicated sections with loops or lots of springs are done automatically. The Math Robot will block your paths and you will have to solve a maths problem to get past him. The game will ask you to find a number, solve a sum, count up or down or complete a sequence (which will be multiples of 2, 5 or 10). Jumping on the wrong number will “hurt” Sonic (no rings will be lost) and the correct number will be highlighted. I accidentally ran into some wrong numbers trying to jump over them.

Every now and then you’ll be whisked into a few minigames, such as Eggman’s Super Sucky Machine, which will ask you to drag a number (or sequence of numbers) into his machine. Other ones have addition and subtraction by tapping on robots to increase or remove them. 

For an educational game aimed at young kids, Sonic X seems like a good game. The maths problems increase as it goes on, and some of the platforming becomes a little bit more involved. The graphics are pretty nice, and the animation is surprisingly smooth.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cosmos Rogue

The Sonic Rush games are still the best boost games ever made, and a major part of that is the trick system. The boost as a move fundamentally shifts the gameplay in a direction that challenges the player's quick twitch reflexes; having to perform tricks when going off of springs or ramps allows the player to spam inputs into the game and maintain that flow state of things constantly, constantly happening even when the player is actually being given a short breather.

The original Rush in particular is also the best pick up and play game the series has ever had, which is why I'm not bothered by the game's brevity; I kept coming back to the game for years when I needed to kill some time. The boost and trick system work to deliver an immediate endorphin rush that make the game enjoyable even if all you have is five minutes to play. Sonic Rush Adventure falls into the classic 3D Sonic trap of trying to stretch a 2 hour game into an 8 hour experience. I remember all of SRA's component parts - the sailing minigames, cutscenes, all of that stuff - being enjoyable enough on their own merits, but they distract from the game's best parts and make the sequel much less memorable to me.

Also: Blaze is the best character added to the series this century, and I really, really, really want another Sonic game composed by Hideki Naganuma someday.

Sonic X-Treme

I, uh, I got nothing. I've watched gameplay of it. I've played that fan made demo. A lot of action games from that era struggled to figure out how to make the third dimension work for them... but Sonic X-Treme's developers just didn't seem to have a clue. None of the ideas present in what (admittedly little!) we've seen of X-Treme seem to work. It's just an incoherent mess to me.

On 8/11/2021 at 6:35 AM, Cube said:

Every now and then you’ll be whisked into a few minigames, such as Eggman’s Super Sucky Machine

I'm sorry, his what?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28. Sonic Generations

  • Original platform: 360/PS3/PC
  • Version played: PC
  • Where to get: Xbox store, PS3 store, Steam

E7qgrzxXsAQQGXX-1024x576.jpg

This is still immensely fun to play, an incredible celebration of the main gameplay from classic and modern Sonic games, even if the game pushes all the characters (except Tails and Dr Robotnik) off to the side.

Classic Sonic feels great in this, with absolutely stunning looking levels that utilise the 3D with some great twists and turns to make the levels look more natural and dynamic. Everything feels right in this game. Modern Sonic is also the best iteration of the boost gameplay in Generations.

The levels are all based on previous games which would usually be a complaint, but as this game is a celebration, it makes perfect sense. Stages are a good mix of different themes (although I would have picked a different stage for Sonic Adventure, perhaps Twinkle Park, to avoid three city ones).

The music is absolutely phenomenal, too, with two amazing remixes for each stage (and a really great Casino Night Zone music for a bonus pinball level). There are also lots of challenges to complete (you must complete at least one from each area to progress), and some rival battles, which are really fun bosses.

Sonic Generations is a great celebration with Sonic. It’s a big shame that Sega didn’t take what made it so good – the gameplay and level design – and create a new Sonic game with unique levels out of it.

 

29. Sonic Blast

  • Original platform: Game Gear
  • Where to get: 3DS eShop, Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic Mega Collection Plus

E7so1NGWUAIS5-n.png

Honestly, this game feels like a bootleg, every part of it is just horrendous. First of all, there are the graphics, which goes for a “Donkey Kong Country” style of making sprites from a 3D model. But this is running on a Game Gear, which is not made for detailed sprites. The animation is also very limited, so Sonic just looks completely wrong on slopes. The backgrounds are just an ungly mess as well, with little consistency to the style.

The levels are also either boring or frustrating. Due to the graphics, Sonic can’t move fast, so Sonic Blast instead focuses on more maze-like levels, making you guess at where you need to go next. This goes beyond frustrating in the Blue Marine level, which features currents and pipes to go through. You just get thrown about a lot, just hoping that the next pipe will let you progress. The length of time Sonic can hold his breath also changes depending on what part of the level you are on.

The final level features lots of teleports, so it’s trial and error to find your way through it. It’s not fun in the slightest. You don’t even have any nice music to make it bearable, the music in Sonic Blast can be described as “background noise” if you want to be polite. Sonic Blast is just an awful game in every aspect.

30. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

  • Original Platform: 360 (with Banjo-Kazooie), PS3, PC
  • Version played: PC
  • Where to get: Steam, Xbox Store, PS3 Store

E7uZokGXMAA76jI-1024x540.jpg

Going through Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing again brought back some fun memories. I didn’t enjoy Mario Kart Wii, so for me this was the kart racing game that picked up the slack. It’s since been improved upon by Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing Transformed, I still found the original a lot of fun to play.

Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing (which I will just call Sonic Racing from now) is quite clearly a Mario Kart clone, with items and powerslides. It does feel different, with more focus on long, sweeping drifts. It’s hard to explain why exactly, but it does feel more like you’re using cars as opposed to karts.

The items in Sonic Racing aren’t as exciting as in Mario Kart, but at the same time are a lot less frustrating. When you get hit, you slow down a little bit, but not to a standstill. You also have a brief invulnerability period, which means you won’t have moments where you are constantly pelted with weapons. Weapons do feel less tactical, as it’s a lot harder to use them defensively. If you’re lagging behind, you might get an All-Star, an extremely powerful move that lets you rain down destruction on your opponents, working differently for each character.

There are 24 tracks in the game, which come in sets of three of the same theme (three Super Monkey Ball tracks, for example). Sonic gets three sets of tracks: Seaside Hill, Casino Park and Final Fortress. It seems strange to me that all nine Sonic tracks are from Sonic Heroes. On top of that, the Casino Park tracks just feels like a casino level, focusing more on the casino part than on Sonic gimmicks.

If you’re playing on your own, there is also a mission mode, with 64 challenges. These can be driving through gates, winning races, collecting rings, bananas or chaos emeralds or even a couple of boss battles. They’re all good fun, and a few are tricky – although strangely the most difficult ones are the Big the Cat levels.

Sonic Racing is a very fun kart racing game. I’m not sure there’s much reason to play it instead of the sequel, but there is still enjoyment to get out of this.

  • Thumbs Up 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.