Well, here’s the sequel to the popular Japanese Sonic Drift, released on Game Gear a year or two before this game. The difference is, it actually came out in the West! It seems the old Sonic Drift story is back – the Chaos Emeralds are under threat by Dr Eggman and his cronies, and the only way to grab the Emeralds before the lardmeister does is to take off in the Sonic Drift races and win them at the end of each Championship Race.
This time there’s no longer just the measly four characters battling for the Emeralds. Three more characters have entered the fray, making this slightly more challenging. You can do it though, right?
Platform: Game Gear | Developer: SEGA Japan
EU Release: Mar 1995 | US Release: Nov 1995 | JP Release: 17 Mar 1995
Sonic Drift is back, and this time, it’s hit the US and UK too. Hooray! You thought the first racing game was good? This improves on most of the bad points and makes this game twice as good as the original. There are more characters to choose from now, from the star Sonic, to the evil Eggman or even Metal Sonic. The levels are built around Sonic 2 levels, unlike the first which was based around Sonic 1.
There are more obstacles in this game than the original – while Sonic Drift 1 just featured normal tracks, Sonic Drift 2 throws you in with all sorts of obstacles, from punching bags on the road in Casino Night to a half pipe in the Dust Hill-style level. Not all the levels loop into laps either, unlike the first game. Some tracks are just a straight run to the finish instead of three laps around a course. Of course, each of the tracks are longer too…
The different items you can grab on track are still here, and now if you run over a black box, you can halt an opponent in their tracks by placing a trap anywhere on the level. Like the first Sonic Drift, points are given to characters getting into certain positions at the end of the race, with the points added up after six tracks.
The fact that the first instalment did not arrive in Western shores hasn’t really fazed me one bit, because this sequel of the already-cool Game Gear racing game is even better. Original, non-looping tracks are present, which adds some spice to the gameplay. There are more Chaos Emerald Championship races to enter, and many more players to choose from. Sega have looked at the original Sonic Drift and improved on it. Very nice. Worth having.