Is Sonic CD Overrated?
One thing I’ve noticed is that the majority of Sonic fans around the net consider Sonic CD to be their favorite out of all the classics. Personally, my favorite is Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Don’t get me wrong, Sonic CD was a great game, but in a list of my favorites of the main Sonic games of the early 90’s, it would be fall in into 3rd place.
Here’s my list.
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Sonic CD
- Sonic the Hedgehog
So, recently I decided to dig out Sonic CD and give it a play-through; just to see what everyone loves about it. And honestly, I found a whole lot to love about the game. But I also found a few things that I didn’t care for, which is the reason I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite of them all.
Animation & Music
For one, it is quite a bit different from its Genesis counterparts. What I always did love about it was the intro cartoon. The ending cartoon was even better. Another thing was the music. It was the first Sonic game on a CD format, so the music had to be good. I don’t think it’s as catchy as the music from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but overall, it does have a great sound. I do think it loops to much though. They really could have made the songs longer in my opinion. But then again, considering that the music changes depending on if you’re in the past, present, or future, you won’t be hearing one song for too long before you end up going into another time. So, that right there really isn’t a big deal at all.
The main thing that does make Sonic CD stand out over the others of its time is the whole element of time travel. It added some strategy and even a little more difficulty to the game. If you want to get the most out of Sonic CD, you have to time travel. Going back to the past and tracking down and destroying the badnik generatorss for a good future and the holograms of Metal Sonic all within the 10 minute time limit adds so much more to the gameplay.
One of the things that I really love about Sonic CD are the special stages. Appearance-wise, they kind of remind me of Super Mario Kart. And they are also pretty challenging until you get the hang of them. The Sonic sprite just looks amazing when he’s running. In the 3D stages of the Genesis games, Sonic looked like he was running at a fairly slow pace. But in Sonic CD, he actually looks FAST!
The music really outweighs the rest of the sound in the game. The sound effect of Sonic’s jump sounds almost 8-bit to me. It’s very similar to the jump sound in the Game Gear games. Sometimes the sound effects are no where to be found. There are times when you jump or get hit and it doesn’t make a sound at all. I’m guessing that has something to do with the music taking priority. I never noticed this problem with the Genesis Sonics though.
So, What Makes Sonic CD So Great?
What is it that makes Sonic CD the favorite among so many fans? I’m sure it’s not just because of the cinematics. And I doubt it’s the music either. So it must be the time travel, right? No. I think that the main reason so many people love Sonic CD so much is because most people didn’t own a Sega CD. So that means that they probably didn’t really get to play the game until it was ported on PC or on Sonic Gems Collection.
The PC Version
The PC version was released in 1996. During that time, we were in kind of a rut for new Sonic games. Sonic 3 & Knuckles was released 2 years prior, and all we really had to keep us going was Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R. And those games aren’t even comparable to the main series. So when gamers who never owned a Sega CD got their hands on Sonic CD for the PC, they finally got a strait up classic-style Sonic game. And since they were starved for so long, it just seemed that much better.
Sonic Gems Collection
And then there’s the gamers who first experienced Sonic CD on Sonic Gems Collection in 2005. The most recent Sonic games before that were the Sonic Advance and Adventure games. They are alright games, but they weren’t nearly as good as the classics. So when the gamers who never played Sonic CD finally got their hands on it, it seemed like something sent from Heaven.
So, let’s say your favorite food is chili dogs. Imagine being locked in a room for years; and the only thing you had to eat was a large supply of rotten eggs. Then one day, someone comes in and brings you a hamburger. It’s not a chili dog, but at least you like it. That hamburger is going to taste so much better than any other ever has before.
What I’m trying to say is, Sonic CD isn’t a bad game at all. It’s one of the better Sonic games you can find. But is it really worthy of being called the “best?” Everyone has different opinions. And there’s also people out there that would say that Sonic 3 & Knuckles is no where near being the best. And they would be right. Just as the people who say Sonic CD isn’t the best are also right. The best Sonic game is the one that YOU personally love the most. No one else can tell you otherwise. If Sonic CD is your favorite Sonic game. That’s great. But honestly, I think Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles are better. But that’s just me.