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|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
Sonic Drift (ソニックドリフト Sonikku Dorifuto?) is a kart racing video game released in Japan only for the Sega Game Gear on March 18, 1994. It features Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, Amy Rose, and Doctor Eggman.
Players race around a series of tracks in either single races or a Grand Prix consisting of six courses, collecting rings and using power-ups to obtain First Place. Each playable character has different positive and negative attributes, and can utilize a Special Ability at the cost of two rings.
Sonic, who drives a red and white sports car known as the Cyclone, has great speed and handling but poor control, and has a speed boost as his Special Ability. Tails, who drives a 1960s-era Formula 1 car called the MTP-01 Wheelwind, is well-balanced in terms of his speed, acceleration and handling, but does not stand out in any particular area- he can utilize a powerful jump as his Special Ability, which allows him to avoid obstacles and particularly tough corners. Eggman (as he is referred to in this game), who pilots a modified version of his standard Eggmobile known as the Egg Typhoon, has poor acceleration, but has very high top speed and cornering abilities, and can toss Bombs onto the track that can cause his rivals to spin out. Finally, Amy Rose, who drives a yellow and blue vintage convertible called the Breeze, has great acceleration at the cost of low top speed, and has the ability to attack by throwing small heart-shaped objects that slow down her opponents and alter their controls for a short time.
Sonic Drift establishes a few characteristics for Amy Rose, who had her first appearance as a playable character in this game. The car she races in returns with her in future racing games Sonic R and Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing. The instruction manual also features a picture of Amy holding an umbrella that she would later have use of in gameplay in Sonic the Fighters. The courses are based on the six Zones from the original Sonic the Hedgehog game- Green Hill, Marble, Spring Yard, Labyrinth, Star Light, and Scrap Brain.
The invincible theme of Sonic Drift is based on "Sonic - You Can Do Anything" from the original release of Sonic CD.
Reception for Sonic Drift have been mixed. On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the game a 19 out of 40. GameSpot described the game as "basically unplayable because of poor handling and a really short horizon". Many critics label the games as Super Mario Kart clones although Sega's "Drift" series of kart racers predates Super Mario Kart by a few years starting with Power Drift in 1988.
The games have been re-released on two different compilations. Sonic Mega Collection Plus for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 (Sonic Drift), and Sonic Gems Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2 (Sonic Drift 2). They were also both included as an unlockable extra in the director's cut port of Sonic Adventure.
- NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ソニックドリフト2. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.327. Pg.41. 24 March 1995.