This is the final Sonic game for the Game Gear, and boy did Sonic go out with a bang with this title! Everything has been enhanced and redesigned in order to make it a game similar in fashion to Sonic & Knuckles. The plot of the game is as you would expect from your average Sonic game – the exact details escape me.
But I suppose it’s much like Sonic & Knuckles’ story, as the Master Emerald is involved. And Eggman is causing havoc. Yep. Like S&K then, albeit without the Sonic / Knuckles feud, and albeit also the Floating Island business.
Platform: Game Gear | Developer: Aspect Co.
EU Release: 1996 | US Release: Nov 1996 | JP Release: 13 Dec 1996
Wow. That’s all that describes this game. It’s amazing that Sega actually managed to fit what they did in an 8-bit console. As you may have realised, the graphics have been totally renewed, giving it a 3D perspective. As well as the graphics, there’s a whole lot of other stuff too.
If you’re getting bored of all the robot bosses that Eggman keeps throwing at you in past Sonic games, do not fear, because the big egg makes a humble return as regular boss and frequent target of humiliation. He comes in a number of guises at the end of each zone, the first of which is funnily enough called the Green Hill Zone. Hmmm, that name rings a bell… Get to the end to see his final eggform thingy, as you may already know by now.
Yep, you know what the deal is with the Chaos Emeralds by now, but here’s how to get those pesky gems. In any part of Act 2 of a Zone, there will be a large ring. Walk into it to be taken to a Special Stage, a lot like the Sonic 3D stages. Get 50 rings by the end of the course to gain a Chaos Emerald. You can also find rings in Act 1, but they only get you lives, so don’t get your hopes up.
In this Sonic game, not only can you play as Sonic, but also as Knuckles! Now you can pound it to them as the red headed wonder! Sonic and Knuckles also come with their Special Jump moves at hand, where you press the jump button twice. You can make Sonic double-jump, so he can get to higher places. Knuckles can glide, and he can climb walls also! Just like Sonic & Knuckles used to make them!
You begin to admire Sega’s expertise in making extraordinary games like this. I mean, how on earth did they pull off those kind of graphics? On the gameplay side, will you get a lot of hours in? The answer is yes. You’ll look out for those Special Stage rings littered about the stage, and some of the levels are challenging enough to encourage you to play on.
However, it’s not perfect. The game is a little slow, which is absolute bobbins in a Sonic platformer, and the platforming and gameplay side is a bit fiddly – the 3D graphics make you misjudge certain leaps, unless you’re Knuckles of course. All in all, a good game. Not perfect, but you gotta admire Sega for the effort, eh?