Here’s the final Sonic game released on the Mega Drive, before the blue blur moved on to the Sega Saturn. On a similar note, but on a different whistle, this game marks Sonic’s debut on Sega’s 32-bit powerhouse. A totally new ploy has been devised by Eggman, involving Flickies. These strange birds live in another dimension and can warp anywhere via large rings.
Robotnik decides to capture them, so he can turn them into robots (no surprise). Then he can send these robots anywhere and everywhere in a hunt for the Chaos Emeralds, using the Flickies’ warping power. Conveniently, Sonic decides to visit Flickies’ Island, but is greeted by a bunch of badniks. He destroys them, and a Flicky pops out. Sonic susses that Robotnik must be up to some devious plan. And again, he sets out to stop him.
Platform: Sega Mega Drive, Sega Saturn | Developer: Travellers’ Tales
EU Release: Nov 1996 | US Release: 1 Nov 1996 | JP Release: 14 Oct 1999 (SAT)
Sonic 3D, eh? The last Sonic game on Mega Drive does not disappoint in the very least. Also released for the Sega Saturn as its debut Sonic game, it adds a whole new dimension in the world of Sonic platformers. The objective of this game is to find five of the Flickies in each section of the level and then return them to their own dimension via a giant ring at the end of each section.
Each Flicky is encased in a badnik – you must destroy the robot and collect the Flicky that comes out of it. Be warned if you are carrying a Flicky or two and you get damaged though: the Flickies will wander off, and can be attacked without Sonic getting hurt, which can get annoying at the best of times.
Zones contain two Flicky-hunting Acts, with each Act split into three distinct sections. A third Act pits you against Dr. Robotnik in his trademark Egg-o-Matic (again), with some torturous weapon of some kind. As usual, you must figure out the pattern and attack when Eggman is at his weakest. A new visual feature has been added as well – Robotnik’s Egg-o-Matic gets cracks on it when you hit it! I know, not that exciting, but its just good attention to detail. Get all of the Chaos Emeralds to destroy his Final Weapon…
To collect all of the Chaos Emeralds, you need 50 rings. Then you need to find either Tails or Knuckles somewhere in the level. In the earlier levels, they aren’t hard to find, but later on they’ll be well hidden. Once you have found them, you have to hand over all of your rings (even if you have over 50) and they’ll let you in the Special Stage. In here, you must collect a certain amount of rings, while avoiding bombs, Sonic 2 style. If you have collected the required amount of rings at the end of each stage (usually 150 rings) then you gain a Chaos Emerald. If you want to truly defeat Eggman in the Final fight, you need all seven of these.
Some things you’ll find is that although the Mega Drive and the Sega Saturn versions are basically the same game, the Saturn version has a map to it. Nifty addition, eh? Erm, no I suppose not. Another interesting thing is that the music on the final section of Windy Valley and the first section of Twinkle Park on Sonic Adventure are revamped versions of Green Grove and Panic Puppet music? If you thought those tunes sounded familiar, now you know. For all those that don’t believe me, check out the music from the two games and spot the difference.
Non-Sonic-Team-Sonic-Game-Is-Good Shocker? Hell yes. Traveller’s Tales have done an extraordinary job of making a 3D style version of Sonic, even if it’s not really 3D. You’ll have a lot of fun looking for the Flickies, but it’s quite annoying if they get hit and fly about. But the decent coding in the game means that that eventuality won’t happen often unless you’re a bit of a plank, or drunk (if you collect a shield, your Flickies are immune to attacks etc). The only disappointing thing is a lack of a 2-Player mode, but that would be silly in this type of game, wouldn’t it? Or would it..?