Every Sonic Game Ever: Part 2


Read Part 1 first, lest you bring chaos to order.

 

TAILS SKYPATROL

 

TailsSkypatrol

 

Tails’ first solo outing is not the kid-friendly adventure you might expect. Tails must fly – and never stop flying – through four incredibly difficult worlds after the evil witch, Witchcart. He has a ring that functions as both a weapon and a way to latch onto numerous knickknacks across each level. If Tails lands on the ground or touches anything without the ring’s permission, he will die. If you’re not one with the controls, you might as well give up on your Skypatrol duties.

MUST MISS!

 

TAILS ADVENTURE

 

TailsAdventure

 

Tails Adventure ditches Sega’s stupid ring obsession for a neat action platformer with puzzles and RPG elements. I say “neat.” I’ve never actually played Tails Adventure, but it seems like a refreshing change of pace from the traditional Sonic formula. Plus, the story takes place before Sonic and Tails ever met. Sounds like a sleeper hit to me.

I’VE HEARD GOOD THINGS/MUST PLAY! (MAYBE, WHY NOT)

 

SONIC SPINBALL (8-BIT)

 

Spinball8bit

 

Portable Sonic Spinball sounds like it’d be a gay ol’ time, but not on the Game Gear. Trying to keep track of Sonic as he bounces all over the place at five frames-per-second is the very essence of Sonic hell.

MUST MISS!

 

SONIC LABYRINTH

 

SonicLabyrinth

 

Gamers and critics alike cried foul at this slowed-down version of Sonic upon release. Robbed of his speed and his jump, Sonic can only spin dash and collect keys across Robotnik’s labyrinth of robotic horrors. With the isometric viewpoint, slow movement, and emphasis on collecting things, it’s fair to say Sonic Labyrinth was the portable precursor to Sonic 3D Blast. Both games were regarded by many as the worst Sonic titles of their day. How I wish that sentiment was still true.

TOTALLY A SONIC GAME THAT EXISTS!

 

SONIC THE FIGHTERS

 

SonicFighters

 

Allow me to date myself for a second: I once played an actual Sonic the Fighters arcade machine in a newly opened Gameworks back in ’96. Because the game was new and because Gameworks thought new arcade machines should be set to ludicrous prices, I paid a dollar for one round. The 3D graphics, large heads, and ringed arenas threw me for a loop. I couldn’t tell if the game was more strategy-based like Virtua Fighter, or more aggressive like Tekken. Espio the Chameleon (my preferred fighter) was hard to control. I shimmied and shaked around the arena more than I actually attacked. I died in the first match and decided that was enough. Later I bought the Sonic Gems Collection on Gamecube and was grateful to discover that my eleven-year-old self wasn’t the main problem. Sonic the Fighters is just plain awful.

MUST MISS! / THEY ACTUALLY MADE THIS?!

 

SONIC 3D BLAST

 

3DBlast

 

Sonic’s first major misstep isn’t as bad as you remember, and not nearly as good as it should have been. Rather than focus on speed, Sonic 3D Blast has Sonic collecting Flicky birds by killing all the enemies in each stage. Once he’s delivered all the birds to a ring, the end of the stage opens up and it’s on to the next collect-a-thon. If the Flicky collecting had been better integrated into the traditional speedy Sonic formula, perhaps 3D Blast would be more highly regarded. As it stands, searching for enemies and collecting Flickies gets old about halfway through the game. The Saturn port – with its different special stages and slightly sharper graphics – is the best version of the game.

TOTALLY A SONIC GAME THAT EXISTS!

 

SONIC BLAST

 

SonicBlast

 

Sonic Blast‘s rendered character models are hilarious. Knuckles and Sonic take up half the screen and look absolutely ridiculous. The game itself is not a port of 3D Blast, but rather, a spartan, mediocre 2D side-scroller that has more in common with other Sonic games. Worth playing once just to see Knuckles and Sonic try in vain to walk through a loop-de-loop, only to saunter backwards because their huge bodies don’t have momentum

TOTALLY A SONIC GAME THAT EXISTS! / MUST PLAY!

 

SONIC JAM

 

SonicJam

 

I really wanted Sonic Jam to have an official exclamation point in its title a la Barkley’s Shut up and Jam! Alas. In 1997, Sega – tired and desperate to fill their dying Saturn with some sort of Sonic content – couldn’t even muster some enthusiasm for their first excellent Sonic compilation. Not only did Sonic Jam include every Sonic game to date (save for Sonic Spinball and the just-released Sonic 3D Blast), including the Lock-On games like Blue Sphere and Sonic 2 & Knuckles, it also included “Sonic World,” a 3D hub world where you could control Sonic and look at art, character profiles, and history. For the few crazies who owned a Saturn but never owned a Genesis, Sonic Jam was the perfect collection.

MUST PLAY!

 

SONIC R

 

SonicR

 

Sonic R is the first (of many) “so bad, it’s good” Sonic games on this list. Rather than remake Sonic Drift 2 into an amazing 3D kart racer, Traveller’s Tales opted for a predominantly on-foot approach for Sonic and co. (only Amy and Robotnik use vehicles). While Sonic is primarily known for running fast, with Sonic R‘s poor controls and awkward handling, you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s never run a day in his life. When Sonic (or whoever you end up controlling) gets going, flying off the track and getting hung up off course is bound to happen. Running fast and making tight turns without slowing to a dead crawl is nearly impossible. The cheesy technopop, complete with vocals, complements the game’s general WTF-ery. What should be a standard Sonic racing game is actually a pretty damn weird experience.

THEY ACTUALLY MADE THIS?! / MUST PLAY!

 

SONIC’S SCHOOLHOUSE

 

SonicSchoolhouse

 

In which Sega tried to make a few extra bucks by peddling crappy edutainment using their famous mascot. A couple points of interest: Sonic’s Schoolhouse marks the first time Sonic’s voice was heard in a game. Also, Sonic’s sprite was taken from the cancelled Sonic X-Treme for Saturn.

MUST MISS!

 

SONIC ADVENTURE

 

SonicAdventure

 

With a convoluted story, six playable characters, and janky camera angles, Sonic Adventure brought a firm end to the hedgehog’s simple, two-dimensional “run left-to-right” ethos. Many fans would have been content with a “let’s go fast and gather the Chaos Emeralds from Robuttnik” style, but Sega’s ambitiousness means you’ll be racing with Tails, clobbering enemies with Amy’s sledgehammer, fishing with Big the Cat, and raising virtual pets named Chaos. Awkward camera angles, ugly 3D models, and bipolar gameplay doesn’t stop Sonic Adventure from being a serviceable title. No way would I have invested 42 hours in the Gamecube DX version if the game wasn’t somewhat engaging.

TOTALLY A SONIC GAME THAT EXISTS!

 

SONIC SHUFFLE

 

SonicShuffle

 

Even if you’re one of a handful of people that still likes the frantic board game antics of Mario Party, chances are Sonic Shuffle will still just piss you off. Both titles were made by Hudson Soft and share similar styles of play, but true to modern Sonic form, Sonic Shuffle is a mess. The computer is cheap and most of the minigames just aren’t very enjoyable to play. Save your extra Dreamcast controllers for when you’re really gonna need ’em.

MUST MISS!

 

SONIC ADVENTURE 2

 

SonicAdventure2

 

True story: Sonic Adventure 2: Battle for Gamecube might be my secret favorite Sonic game ever. I love alternating between the good and bad teams. I love the Sonic/Shadow grinding portions (sponsored by Soap shoes!), I love blowing ish up with Tails and Robotnik in those oversized mechs, and I… don’t love looking for Chaos shards as Knuckles and Rogue. Two out of three ain’t bad, anyway. Trying to beat my times in each stage to get higher rankings was a blast too. The story is ludicrous, but the cheese metal soundtrack is forever. Probably not a good idea to try Sonic Adventure 2 for the first time now, but in 2002, it was, as we used to say, “my jam.”

MUST PLAY!

 

SONIC ADVANCE

 

SonicAdvance

 

I remember playing Sonic Advance for the original Game Boy Advance and thinking, dang, this sure is a fast Sonic game that’s hard to see on a screen with no backlight. Unfortunately, I have yet to play Sonic Advance on a backlit GBA SP. Given that, upon release, this was the first 2D Sonic platformer in a literal age, I bet it’s pretty good.

I’VE HEARD GOOD THINGS

 

SONIC ADVANCE 2

 

SonicAdvance2

 

Sega heard the cries of their fans for even more unnecessary characters, and lo, those cries were answered with a orange bunny named Cream and her pet Chao, Cheese.  Ok, the character designs are cute and I’m sure Sonic Advance 2 is as fun as the first one (presumably), but do Sonic games need such an intricate universe filled with meaningless additions?

I’VE HEARD GOOD THINGS

 

SONIC PINBALL PARTY

 

SonicPinballParty

 

Given my undying love for Sonic Spinball, it’s reasonable to assume that I own ten copies of Sonic Pinball Party. But nope, Pinball Party passed me by, presumably because it wasn’t titled Sonic Spinball 2. The game gives players three actual tables to play – one based on NiGHTS, one based on the Sonic series as a whole, and the other based on Samba de Amigo. So… more like a Sega Pinball Party, yes? At any rate, I’m sure it’s fun, but nothing will beat Spinball for my Sonic thwacking needs.

I’VE HEARD GOOD THINGS

 

SONIC BATTLE

 

SonicBattle

 

A buddy of mine bought Sonic Battle right when it came out, for reasons that have since escaped me. We tried to power through the awkward tournament style fights, but the repetitive button-mashing left us bored. Not sure if he ever played through the story mode and leveled up the robot, Emerl (this was the goal of Sonic Battle – to power up a brand new character with all the Sonic franchise characters moves). We never talked about Sonic Battle after that one play session, which probably says more than a small writeup ever could.

MUST MISS!

 

PART 3 AWAITS!

Images courtesy of MobyGames and SonicRetro.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Every Sonic Game Ever: Part 2

  1. Pingback: Every Sonic Game Ever: Part 3 | Sega Does

  2. The Sonic advance games are very good games, very solid.
    Finally a ”history of Sonic games’ list that INCLUDES them!
    Those games seem to be almost completely forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Every Sonic Game Ever: Part 1 | Sega Does

Leave Your Mark!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s