Sega brings Sonic CD, one of the best, if not the best classic Sonic game, to both the PS3 and Xbox 360 game consoles. Sonic CD places a higher emphasis on exploration this time around, rather than the traditional run to the right as fast as you can to the goal that is prominent in both Sonic 2 and Sonic 3.
Opening up with an animated sequence, Doctor Robotnik has taken control of the Little Planet which appears once a month outside of Never Lake. Something is not right though: the entire planet has been completely covered in metal. What makes this planet so special is its unique time properties, which is why Doctor Robotnik has made it his new home. Sonic CD is also our first introduction to Metal Sonic. Working for Dr. Robotnik, he kidnaps Amy Rose, which gives Sonic another reason to stop him. To truly stop Robtnik however, Sonic must collect all of the Time Stones.
These stones are collected in each of the Bonus Stages which will appear if you collect 50 or more rings during the second act in each zone. During these stages the game changes to a 3-dimensional world where you must destroy UFOs in a set amount of time. Touching any of the hazards will take time off the clock.
Due to the time properties of the planet, Sonic can travel through time — either to the past or the future. After touching the respectful signpost, all Sonic must do is travel at a high rate of speed for a short distance. In some zones, the time traveling is easier to activate than others.
While in the past, you have to find and destroy hidden robot generators to prevent the robot-controlled and apocalyptic future from happening. If you destroy the generators in both act 1 and act 2, the final act will be played in a bright and cheerful future. The third act consists of a boss battle against Dr. Robotnik — I know, who would have guessed — and besides 1 really frustrating fight, the rest of these are truly enjoyable.
The zones are varied from the Tropical Palmtree Panic, to the underwater Tidal Tempest to the Pinball-like world of Collision Chaos. As for the Wacky Workbench, this place straight up sucks. The floor consistently launches Sonic into the air, making it near impossible to time travel in this zone. Unlike the ports of Sonic 1 & 2, the save anywhere feature has been replaced with an auto-save at the end of each level.
After beating the game, and getting either the good or bad ending, Tails becomes unlocked as a playable character. Playing through as Tails the zones feel much for accessible and easier. Tails is able to fly anywhere he wants — so nothing seems to be out of reach. Time attack mode with leaderboards is also included — so you can brag to your friends just how fast you are — or think you are. Sonic CD is probably the only memorable game from the Sega CD and thankfully you don’t have to own one to play this gem. For only, $4.99 Sonic CD is a great pickup for Sonic fans and those looking to play a classic 2d platformer.
Note: The Sonic CD review was written based on the PS3 version of the game provided by the publisher.