And onto the next! Sonic CD was always the black sheep of the 16-bit Sonic games, what with changing the gameplay and returning to a graphics style more like Sonic 1 even though it came out after Sonic 2 (in the UK at least). Levels don’t feel as well organised as the other games, with scenery overlapping and areas messy with seemingly random item positioning – partly due to being able to travel into the past and future and so some item placements make sense in one time period but not in others, and partly due to The Power Of The Mega CD allowing much more in the way of graphic storage.
That’s not to say it’s bad, it just was a step sideways. Sonic Origins gets round this a bit by putting it chronologically between Sonics 1 and 2, which makes sense. Unfortunately, it introduces something that close to ruins it for me – the US version soundtrack.
For the most part, the music on the US release of Sonic CD was different to the UK (and Japanese) release. The most well known example being the terrible “Sonic Boom” theme tune in the opening video, which is infinitely superior “You Can Do Anything” (generally known as “Toot Toot Sonic Warrior”) in the UK, but I hadn’t realised that almost all of the music is different. And worse. Much, much worse. The end of game boss music – one of the best on the soundtrack – is especially missed.
Luckily, the gameplay has been left alone. It just feels weird having the wrong music!
As with the original Sonic the Hedgehog on Sonic Origins, you get coins instead of lives, and can “spend” these on retrying failed Special Stages. And thank $deity you can, because the Sonic CD special stages (where you run around a Mario Kart-like track chasing UFOs) are hard. Yes, I made use of those coins and I don’t even feel guilty. Time stones get! Good ending (which apparently isn’t the canonical ending?!) get! Sonic 2 next!