Been playing all the classic games via Sonic Origins on the Switch and… yeah Sonic CD is a very odd entry. I think there are aspects that make me prefer it over Sonic 1 but there are quite a lot of issues. Starting with the positives though, I do like some of the ideas it brings to the table and I think most of them were pulled off relatively well. It has some of the better special stages in the classic games and I think providing more than one method for 100% completion is welcoming. Sonic CD also looks absolutely spectacular, with tons of animation present as well as color popping constantly, and the environments are great. I really love the time travel mechanic, again it’s not required to 100% complete the game unless you’re going after the robot generators… we’ll get to those… and it’s really fun to use since it allows you to visit fresh takes on levels you’re already in as well as see the impact you could possibly have. And the EU/JP soundtrack SLAPS. Every song is a banger and the CD does them so much wonders. And because of the different time periods, each zone gets four music pieces, my favorites being Tidal Tempest, Quartz Quadrant, Stardust Speedway and Metallic Madness.
That being said, Sonic CD can get tedious really fast. While Palmtree Panic, Tidal Tempest, Quartz Quadrant and Stardust Speedway are all really fun and enjoyable levels, I can barely tolerate Collision Chaos, I absolutely hate Wacky Workbench, and Metallic Madness is by far the worst level in the mainline classic games. If we’re going with classic in general then Scrambled Egg zone from 8 bit Sonic 2 is miles worse but that’s all I can really say. Also despite the special stages mostly being good, they can get absolutely excruciating very quickly. Water, spikes and bumpers start impeding your progress more in the later stages and it’s very easy to not hit your targets or for them to completely fake you out. Also, hope you’re playing the anniversary mode in Sonic Origins because if you get a game over while hunting the generators, you have to start the whole stage all over and hunt for the generators again. Which uh… y’know considering Metallic Madness is honestly better to hunt for the time stones. Lastly, the bosses suck, and unfortunately it applies to all of them.
If you’re gonna play Sonic CD, PLEASE play the Anniversary mode in Origins, it’s easily the definitive version of Sonic CD and the removal of the game overs and the ability to retry special stages using coins is a godsend. And overall, 100% completion in this mode is actually kinda fun, whereas pretty much every other version of Sonic CD is fun… if you’re doing a vanilla playthrough.
My favorite Sonic the Hedgehog game hands down, CD excels in everything you'd want out of a classic platformer. It's a shame how underrated this gem is, because I can't help but adore everything about it. Insane level variety, a cool gimmick, speedy platforming, jamming soundtrack, and a much more bold story. What more could you ask for?
Sonic CD tends to be a game I have difficulty getting a solid opinion on. I love the charm and aesthetic, the music, the new characters, and those opening cutscenes courtesy of Toei are super cool.
My issues with the game start to come in when we get to some of the level design and the overall game design surrounding the robot generators. While I appreciate that this game has more of a focus on exploration, some of the robot generator placements are just plain absurd. And the thing is, you don't even need to go after said robot generators to get the good ending. Special Stages are back and they are implemented the same way as they were in Sonic 1. So you have 2 different ways of achieving the good ending: destroying all the robot generators in the past or finishing all the Special Stages and getting all the Time Stones.
I suppose I should also mention the fact that this game's unique mechanic, time travel, is very cool in concept, but in execution it kind of falls flat. A lot of the level design in Sonic CD is sort of all over the place and it makes it difficult to successfully pull off a time travel.
Despite all this, I found myself enjoying the game, for the most part. This game oozes charm and aesthetic and I suppose that's a big reason why I didn't pull my hair out as much as I should have in levels like Wacky Workbench and Stardust Speedway.
DON'T PLAY THIS VERSION OF THE GAME. It has a lamer Spin Dash, longer load times, no save files, no widescreen, poor quality FMVs, and less QOL changes. Heck, I'm not sure if you need to redestroy the generators if you die in this version. All I know is, the 2011 Christian Whitehead port of Sonic CD is miles better, and exemplifies the strong points of this game the Sega CD couldn't display as effectively.
My actual review for Sonic CD can be found in this link: https://backloggd.com/u/ShinGenX/review/405804/
This review contains spoilers
Starts off fun but turns into a little bit of a convoluted mess near the end. My least favorite level has to be the boss level of stage 6. You're trapped between Metal Sonic and Doctor Eggman. Can't get to close to Metal Sonic or he'll electrocute you or if you get ahead of him he'll use supermode. Can't get close to Eggman because he's firing an instant kill laser. It was very frustrating. Still had fun, though.
It is wild how much my nostalgia for this game - and the Sonic series as a whole - marred my view of this game. I've been going through this recently, and honestly this game isn't very good. It's constantly at odds with itself. The marketing of Sonic is that you're supposed to go fast - blast processing and all that - but when you do this you ram into some random thing you could not have possibly seen every 5 seconds. I had the most fun playing as Tails and moving through each stage like a paranoid tank. This partly solved the issue but you're still completely subject to the stage. There could probably be another fulfillment out of this game by say, looking at the full map and making a route to go on as Sonic, but given how zoomed in the camera is this was clearly not what the designers had in mind when making this game.
If I can give it anything, the soundtrack (like in most Sonic games) is great, and there are some pretty good boss battles as well.
The past, future and present mechanics were really cool, but they’re an ass to activate.
The level design makes no sense sometimes, and some bosses are really annoying (particularly eggman in collision chaos act 2).
One of the first sonic games I played though so it probably gets bumped up because of that
Even before I played this game, I always thought it was kind of ugly. Way too much clutter on screen, a lot of things placed in ways that look like little billy got a hold of debug mode and went wild.
When it comes to the whole gimmick of the game, the time travel, it feels underutilised. The only thing you can really do with it is go to the past, find a machine, destroy it and then the future version becomes a "good future". The problem with this is that it involves multiple steps:
1. Find a past time post
2. Get enough momentum to time travel
3. Look all over the stage and find the machine
4. Find a future time post to get back to the present
5. Get enough momentum to time travel
6. Find ANOTHER future time post to get back to the future
7. Congrats, after probably going back and forth in the level multiple times, you can enjoy your enemy-free future. For about all of the 2 minutes it takes to even complete a stage (and that's if you were at the very start).
It's just so much effort when the literal only non-aesthetic difference is being able to play the level with no enemies, despite it being harder to get to that point than just running through a level normally.
You COULD just be doing it to 100% the game, but you can get the good ending just by collecting all the time stones from bonus stages, which is way faster (and once you have all 7, you can go to the good future of any level straight away).
Also all the stages seemed metal/robot themed to varying degrees, which combined with having 4 aesthetic versions of each stage, left most stages with little identity, just bleeding into the next metal-themed stage.
Bosses are definitely interesting. You don't even directly fight most of them. But also half of them don't even feel like bosses so much as they feel like platform sections with Robotnik watching you.
Having said all this, it's still pretty fun to play. It's just that its whole entire gimmick feels pointless, and levels need more variety.
This is, by far and away, one of the strangest Sonic games out there. It's certainly the strangest Classic Sonic game, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The levels are sprawling and labyrinthine but also surprisingly easy to blaze through if you don't bother with exploring. Sonic CD has two different OSTs depending on what region you played the game in, but both OSTs slap so fucking hard that it just makes the game's overall soundtrack quality that much stronger. The Special Stages are actually really cool and provide a unique challenge this time around, but the process of collecting the Chaos Emeralds is a confusing and often mind-numbing experience that's just begging the use of a guide to figure things out. And while the game's style and presentation value is out of this world (the anime OP still holds up to this day, as do the saturated, poppy, neon-drenched colors and wacky architecture), the levels are also fucking cluttered with random shit that serves no purpose other than to just... exist. The boss battles are also pretty bad, but it's also got the best Classic Sonic boss battle ever in the form of a race between you and Metal Sonic.
Preposterously ambitious for a game that was going to be the flagship title for what was, essentially, an obscure peripheral for the SEGA Genesis. Sonic CD is full of highs and lows, from the level design (fun to glide through but meaningless to explore through) to the presentation (crazy-good colors and appealing backgrounds rendered meaningless by cluttered, noisy level design) to even things as specific as the brand-new power (the Super Peel-Out is cool-looking but ultimately not that useful) to the time gimmick (they made Past and Future versions for EVERY stage, but there's practically fuck-all to do in these versions of the levels).
Sonic CD is fucking crazy. I love it. But objectively, it's a 3/5 - good more often than not, but weighed down by too much random bullshit.
Impressioni a caldissimo da profano (ho giocato solo il primo quando ero microscopico). Gioco divertentissimo, pregno di espedienti di gameplay originali, level design ricco di verticalità, fasi veloci e altre con una maggiore richiesta di lucidità e coordinazione. Boss fight stupende, ottima colonna sonora e visivamente una gioia per gli occhi. Forse i veterani vorranno prendermi a sprangate ma la cosa che mi ha dato fastidio è l'eccessiva dispersione e senso di caos che si ha tra i livelli.
Overall I found this to be a decent Sonic game. Not one that I think I will revisit though. The game has a heavy emphasis on exploration and whilst there is a way to get the good ending without doing that it very much feels like you are going against how the game is meant to be played. If you like exploration in your 2D Sonic games then by all means give this one a go.
one of the weirder classic sonic games, the level design are kinda wack, to get the true ending you have to do a ton of exploring and while i don't mind it, i think going to the past and then exploring is kinda tedious, going to past/future is cool on it's own tho and even changes ost. the ost in this game is really good, both Japanese and USA ver sound great, i prefer Japanese ost but usa one does go hard. overal, weird game but fun
whips so much fucking ass. i've been way too hard on this game in the past and revisiting it was such a damn blast. idk what my damage was tbh. aside from the spindash and peel-out being too slow to start and the metal sonic fight sucking ass it's bangers only