Sonic CD was probably one of the few games worth buying a Sega CD for back in its heyday. For a long while, that system was the only way to play Sonic CD. Luckily, we’re living in an age of reboots and HD rereleases, and Sega has decided to give us the chance to play Sonic CD on modern consoles. Sonic fans will surely rejoice, as we finally have an accurate recreation of the original game, unlike the past PC and Gamecube versions which were a bit shoddy and missing features.
If you’ve played Sonic 1-3, you’ll feel right at home playing Sonic CD. The game feels more related to the first entry in the series, as it has a ton of obstacles and traps that prevent you from speeding through the stages until you’ve fully mastered them. What makes Sonic CD stand out from its counterparts is its Time Travel feature. You’ll see signposts scattered through the levels, and you can warp to four different versions of each level- past, present, good future, and bad future. When you see the signs, run through them and keep up a high speed for a few seconds and you’ll time warp, just like in Back to the Future. You can just run as quickly as possible through the stages if you like, but for completionists, there’s the option to travel to the past, destroy Dr. Robotnik/ Eggman’s machinery, and save the future from becoming an apocalyptic wasteland.
The visuals have received a bit of a touching up, and the game uses Christian Whitehead’s proprietary Retro Engine. You have the obligatory visual filters such as crisp, smooth, and retro, and they all look great in widescreen. Any gameplay choppiness has been eliminated, but that should be expected playing such an old game on a PlayStation 3. You also can choose between the Japanese and US soundtracks, as well as small details like choosing between the Sonic CD spin dash where you hold a button down, or the classic version where you rapidly press a button. There’s even a very welcome brand new feature included- the ability to play as Sonic’s old pal Tails. This definitely gives a new dimension to the classic Sonic CD stages, as his flight ability opens up many new gameplay opportunities.
Short and sweet, if you’re a longtime Sonic fanatic and have great memories of playing this game, there’s no reason not to pick it up, especially at it’s low price point of 400 MS Points or $5 on PlayStation Network. This is without question the best version of a videogame classic, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to check it out yet, now’s your chance.