Sonic CD

 

"Over 70 levels.  3D special stage.  Hard action, stunning graphics and mean music make this Sonic's toughest challenge ever!"

 
Game Information
Developer Sega Enterprises
Publisher Sega Enterprises
Copyright Date 1993
Players 1
Age Rating(s) None Given
Save Type RAM
Cart Version No
 

 
 
Part Numbers
Game 4407
Front Cover 670-4103-50
Back Cover 670-4105-50
Manual 672-1498-50
Spine Card 670-4104-50
CD 1 670-4102-50
Bar Code 4 974365 644079
 

 
 

     
     
 
 
 
 
 
The spine card image for Sonic CD was kindly supplied by Damian Maidment (mine is sealed)
 
Held by many as the best Sonic game ever, and no doubt responsible for shifting the majority of Mega-CD units (along with Night Trap) Sonic CD is an excellent pure platform blast that kicks off with a short animated cartoon accompanied by a delightfully cheesy rap song.  If you've played the original Sonic game then most of the levels will be familiar as the zones here seem to be re-named versions of the original 6 (starting in a grassy area, moving on through a pinball zone to a slightly frustrating underwater level etc).  This isn't a criticism though, for whilst the themes aren't original the level designs certainly are.  Scattered through the zones are signposts labelled "Past" and "Future".  Hit one of these and if you can keep Sonic running at full speed for a short time a warp takes effect, carrying you to either a past rendition of the area or one of two futures (where Dr Robotnik has either been victorious or defeated).  Whilst it can be tricky to pull these off and there's no way to determine which future of the two you'll get, it does mean that there's up to 4 variations of each level where the signposts are found adding some extra longevity to the game.  Carrying 50 rings over the finish line generates a huge warp ring that will take you to the 3D bonus stage.  This is the only aspect of the game that is slightly disappointing, as it involves running around an area avoiding hazards and destroying UFOs to win the chaos emeralds.  Thankfully you can save your game and restart at your leisure, and combining this with unlimited continues means anyone can reach the end by investing enough time.  A Time Attack mode allows you to set fastest times for each zone in the game, but each level can only be accessed once it has been cleared in the main game, giving some incentive to finish the story mode.

Graphically Sonic CD is exactly what you'd expect - bright, colourful and fast.  The sprites are perhaps slightly larger and better defined than in the cartridge games, but there's only occasional tricks that remind you you're playing on the Mega-CD.  The sound, on the other hand, is full CD audio and suits the game well, and the load times are almost entirely seamless.  The difficulty level seems to have been wound up a notch or two,  and though the game only rarely resorts to unfair tricks such as springs that send you hurtling into spikes it does mean that for the majority of the time you're not playing at the speeds that the Sonic games are famous for.  Demand for Sonic CD keeps eBay prices up around the 20 mark despite the number of copies available, but once you've played it you'll understand why.

 
Though it has been missing from all the "Sonic Compilation" type re-releases for the current gen consoles (except the Sonic Gems Collection)., Sonic CD was released for the PC as part of the "Sega PC" range.