Sonic the Hedgehog CD
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Sonic the Hedgehog CD|
European instruction manual cover
|Distributor(s)||SoftKey (PC retail)|
North American version:
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Release date(s)||Sega CD
Sonic the Hedgehog CD (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグCD Sonikku za Hejjihoggu Shī Dī?), or Sonic CD (ソニックCD Sonikku Shī Dī?), is a platform video game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega originally for the Sega CD in 1993. It is the first game in the Sonic series to make use of the CD-ROM format, featuring high quality audio and full motion video. Development began in Japan around the same time as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the United States. The games originally had many similarities, but became vastly different projects over time.
The story of Sonic CD follows Sonic the Hedgehog as he uses time travel to save Amy Rose and Little Planet from Doctor Eggman and Metal Sonic. The game features the debut appearances of Amy Rose and Metal Sonic, both of whom have gone on to become recurring characters in the Sonic series. Time travel is a key aspect to both the story and gameplay, with nearly every stage containing four different variations (one for each time period) featuring alternate stage layouts, music, and graphics.
Sonic CD received critical acclaim, being considered both one of the best platform and Sega/Mega-CD games of all-time. It was ported to Microsoft Windows 9x as part of the Sega PC brand in 1996, and to both the PlayStation 2 and GameCube as part of the Sonic Gems Collection in 2005. An enhanced port of the game was also released for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, Ouya, and Apple TV.
Sonic the Hedgehog CD is a platform game in which the player character is the titular Sonic the Hedgehog. The goal of the game is to collect seven Time Stones and defeat Sonic's nemesis Doctor Robotnik. Along the way, Sonic can collect rings, which can protect him if he is hit by an enemy or obstacle, as well as items such as shields, invincibility and speed shoes. Sonic's gameplay remains similar to that of Sonic the Hedgehog but with the addition of the Spin Dash and the Super Peel Out, which lets him zoom into a quick speed from a standing point, respectively in a rolling or running position. The Super Peel Out is faster than the Spin Dash, but leaves Sonic more vulnerable. Each of the game's seven themed rounds is divided into three "zones": two main levels and a boss level.
The main gameplay mechanic that sets Sonic CD apart from other Sonic games is a time travel system that enables players to move between different time periods within each level. By hitting posts labeled "past" or "future" and then keeping a consistently high speed for several seconds, Sonic can move between past, present and future level variants. The time travel posts are only present in the first two zones of each stage; boss zones always take place in the future.
The game contains four different variants of each zone ("past", "present", "good future" and "bad future"), each of which features different graphics, music, and layouts of platforms, enemies and obstacles. By default, traveling to the future will take Sonic to a "bad future" version of the current level, an industrialized dystopia with scenery themed around neglect and decay, in which enemy robots exhibit signs of degradation. Therefore, players are encouraged to convert each zone's timeline to a "good future": a utopic technogaian scenario in which technology and nature are symbiotically fused into a sustainable, colourful environment, and in which there are no enemy robots. In each non-boss zone, a good future can be attained by travelling to the past and destroying a hidden "robot transporter". If a good future is achieved in both of a stage's non-boss zones, that level's boss fight will also take place in the good future.
Similar to Sonic the Hedgehog, if a player has more than 50 rings by the end of the act, a giant ring appears that can take Sonic to a Special Stage if he jumps into it. On a three-dimensional plane, the player has a short amount of time to destroy several purple UFOs[a] floating around the level. Time is quickly reduced if the player runs through water, though a blue UFO which appears when time is running out can grant extra time if destroyed. If the player is able to destroy all the purple UFOs before the time runs out, a Time Stone is earned. A good ending can be achieved by collecting all seven Time Stones, or by achieving a "good future" in every act. The player will also automatically achieve a "good future" in any level if all the Time Stones have been collected.
Sonic CD contains a "backup save", using the internal Mega-CD memory or a backup RAM cartridge. The game saves after the end of each level (after which, a new level begins) and records the best times of the player in the Time Attack mode. In the 2011 version, the game is saved at the end of each zone. The game also features an instant game over scenario: if the game is not paused and is left alone for three minutes, Sonic will leap off the screen.
In the 2011 version, players are also able to control Miles "Tails" Prower after clearing the game once. He has his moveset from Sonic the Hedgehog 3: as with Sonic, Tails can use the Spin Attack and Spin Dash, and has the added ability to fly and swim, but is unable to use the Super Peel Out and cannot be used to earn achievements. Players also have the option to utilize the Spin Dash physics from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, allowing the player to charge and more quickly use the Spin Dash.
Sonic arrives at Never Lake where the fabled Little Planet (also known as Miracle Planet) is said to appear on the last month of every year. Sonic arrives to find the planet tethered to a mountain by a chain and completely mechanized. Sonic realizes this is the work of his nemesis, Doctor Robotnik, who had set foot in this island to transform it into a giant fortress. Upon discovering Sonic's presence on the island, he dispatches Metal Sonic to kidnap a young female hedgehog called Amy Rose, who followed Sonic to the mystical planet. Sonic must collect the Time Stones: seven jewels capable of altering the passage of time itself.
Sonic traverses through the past, present, and future of Little Planet as he gathers all seven Time Stones. In Stardust Speedway, Sonic encounters Metal Sonic again, who clash as they both try to escape while Robotnik destroys Stardust Speedway. Metal Sonic fails to escape and is severely damaged, and Sonic battles Robotnik afterward in Metallic Madness. Following the Doctor's defeat, Sonic and Amy escape off Little Planet. In the game's "good" ending, Little Planet is returned to normal and leaves Never Lake. In the game's "bad" ending (which is seen if the player doesn't collect the Time Stones or get a Good Future in each zone), however, Little Planet leaves Never Lake, but is left under Robotnik's rule.
Following the release of Sonic the Hedgehog, lead programmer Yuji Naka had grown dissatisfied with the rigid corporate policies at Sega and moved to the United States to work with the Sega Technical Institute, along with several members of Sonic Team, to develop Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Meanwhile, in Japan, a separate development team headed by Sonic creator Naoto Ohshima handled development on Sonic CD. This game and Sonic 2 were initially intended to be one and the same, but during development, Sonic CD evolved into a vastly different type of game. The game is the first in the series to feature animated cutscenes, which were produced by Toei Animation, with co-operation from Studio Junio.
There are two different soundtracks for the game, one which was used for the Japanese, European, and Australian releases of the game, and another used for the North American version. The original Japanese soundtrack was composed by Naofumi Hataya and Masafumi Ogata, who had previously worked together on the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The theme songs were entitled "Sonic - You Can Do Anything", composed by Ogata and originally written for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and "Cosmic Eternity - Believe in Yourself", composed by Hataya. The boss music for the Japanese version was also noted for sampling the song "Work That Sucker To Death" by American artists Xavier, Bootsy Collins, and George Clinton. The North American version was delayed a few months to have a new soundtrack written and produced by Spencer Nilsen, David Young, and Mark Crew. All the music, save for the "Past" tunes which were in sequenced PCM audio rather than Mixed Mode CD-DA, were replaced, and the theme tunes were replaced with "Sonic Boom", composed by Nilsen and performed by Pastiche, which consisted of Sandy Cressman, Jenny Meltzer, and Becky West.
The 2011 re-release of Sonic CD features the original soundtrack. Although the inclusion of the North American soundtrack was initially uncertain due to licensing issues it was later revealed that the North American soundtrack was to be included, with the option to switch between the two soundtracks. However, both "Sonic - You Can Do Anything" and "Cosmic Eternity - Believe in Yourself" were replaced by instrumental versions, as the rights to the lyrics belonged to Casey Rankin, who died in 2009. A 20th Anniversary soundtrack CD was released in Japan on November 23, 2011, featuring remastered versions of the original soundtrack, along with the inclusion of "Sonic Boom", and exclusive arrangements by Cash Cash and Crush 40.
Alternate versions and ports
Sonic CD was ported to PC CD-ROM in 1996, marking Sonic's debut on the PC under the Sega PC brand. This version was released in Japan on August 9, 1996, in North America on August 26, 1996, and in Europe on October 3, 1996. This version contains the complete FMV animated intro and ending sequence, and all versions of the game, including the Japanese version, uses the North American soundtrack. Due to a bug in this version, special stages ran at roughly double the speed of the original Sega CD release. This port is currently only compatible with older versions of Windows, although some unofficial patches allow the game to be played on later versions.
Sonic CD was released as part of the Sonic Gems Collection compilation released for Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2005. This version is ported from the PC version with improved frame rate, but introduces emulation bugs such as level art displaying incorrectly. The PS2 version also made rotating the planet in "Play Music" inoperable due to incorrect button mappings. While the Japanese version uses the same soundtrack as the JP/EU Mega-CD version, the European version of the game uses the North American soundtrack. This version also included higher quality versions of the animated intro and ending sequences than those featured on the Mega-CD version, although the ending movie lags at points.
On August 25, 2011, Sonic CD was released on Xbox Live Arcade and the European PlayStation Network on December 14, 2011, followed by the iOS App Store and Android Market on December 15, 2011 and the North American PlayStation Network on December 20, 2011. The PC version was released on January 19, 2012. A Windows Phone version was released in November 2012. Prior to the game's release, Android gaming tablets purchased from GameStop from November 2011 contained the full game. The port was developed from scratch using the "Retro Engine" created by independent developer Christian "Taxman" Whitehead, who originally produced a proof-of-concept video of the game running on the iPhone in 2009. The engine allowed for widescreen graphics and spin dash physics from Sonic 2. Players are also able to unlock Tails as a playable character. The port features both the original Japanese/European soundtrack and the American soundtrack, as well as achievement and trophy support and iOS features. It game was released on the Ouya console on August 1, 2013. Sonic CD was also released on Apple TV on March 31, 2016.
The original Mega-CD version of Sonic CD received acclaim, with a consensus that it was one of the best games for the platform. The game was praised for its innovative time-travel based gameplay, presentation and music. It became the platform's best-seller. The Android version later sold more than 100,000 paid downloads.
Mega placed Sonic CD at #3 in their list of the Top 10 Mega-CD Games of All Time. The game was awarded Best Sega CD Game of 1993 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. In May 2009, GamePro listed Sonic CD as one of the Top 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to 2009, ranking the game in 12th place. GamesRadar listed Sonic CD as the 68th best game of all time.
The 2011 re-release also received positive reviews, with the iOS version in particular garnering high acclaim from reviewers. The iOS version garnered a score of 93 out of 100 on Metacritic, becoming the highest rated Sonic game on the website as well as being the website's second-highest rated iOS game of 2011 (losing only to World of Goo); while the XBLA and PSN versions of the game received a score of 82 out of 100 and an 80 out of 100, respectively. IGN praised the 2011 rerelease, scoring 8.5 for the XBLA version and 9.0 for the iOS version. GamesRadar gave the game 9/10, mentioning that the iPhone version conversion in particular is "incredible". Sonic CD hit the number one spot on PSN Top Sellers for December 2011. In March 2013, the game was nominated for and won the Windows Phone Game of the Year category of the Pocket Gamer Awards.
The story of Sonic CD was adapted in issues 26 to 28 of Egmont Fleetway's Sonic the Comic magazine in the UK, where Metal Sonic was renamed Metallix. The game's story was also adapted in issue #25 of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series.
Two characters introduced in the game, Amy Rose and Metal Sonic, are featured in many later games in the Sonic series. Metal Sonic later appears as the main villain in 2003's Sonic Heroes, as well as making appearances in various spin-offs in the series. Metal Sonic reappears as the main villain in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, whose story links to that of Sonic CD's. Amy Rose has also gone on to become a character in many subsequent games as well.
For Sonic's 20th Anniversary, Sega released Sonic Generations, a game that remade aspects of various past games from the franchise. It features a remake of the Sonic CD boss battle against Metal Sonic, set in the bad future of Stardust Speedway. In the Nintendo 3DS version, the battle takes place in a Sonic the Hedgehog 2 themed "Casino Night" level which contains a faithful design of Stardust Speedway.
- In the 2011 version, some of the purple UFOs are blue, although they function the same.
- "[セガハード大百科] メガＣＤ対応ソフトウェア". Sega. Archived from the original on December 16, 2009. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
- "Windows Phone Central | At last, Sonic CD arrives for Xbox on Windows Phone". Wpcentral.com. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- Rikki. "Sonic CD™". SEGA. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Secrets of Sonic Team". Sost.emulationzone.org. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- Mega magazine issue 26, page 74, Maverick Magazines, November 1994
- "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1994.
- McKinley Noble (6 May 2009). "The 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to 2009, Feature Story from". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- Christian Whitehead (December 14, 2011). Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Sega. Level/area: Instructions: "The Time Warp (Cont.)".
- Sonic the Hedgehog CD United States instruction manual, p. 15.
- "SEGA Blog | Sonic CD Spins Onto Tablets at GameStop". Blogs.sega.com. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- Sonic Team (September 13, 1993). Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Sega. Level/area: Opening sequence.
- Sonic Team (September 13, 1993). Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Sega. Level/area: Ending sequence.
- "Sonic CD (1993) SEGA CD credits". MobyGames. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "Anime Lyrics dot Com - You Can Do Anything - Sonic CD - Game". Animelyrics.com. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Sonic CD: Hands-on with the upcoming re-release of the mascot's best, Sonic CD Xbox 360 Previews". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "UPDATE: Sega Staffer Speaks Sonic CD Details; Revised as Sonic 4 'Prequel'". Sonic Retro. 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- GeneHF. "First Look at Sonic CD on XBLA, U.S. Soundtrack Confirmed". Sonic Retro. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Tweaker. "Sonic CD: The Retro Review". Sonic Retro. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "SONIC CD Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition (Japan Version) CD - Japan Game Soundtrack - Japanese Music - Free Shipping". Yesasia. 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Oliver, Tristan (2011-12-13). "Video: Sega Cements Sonic CD Re-Release Dates, Price". TSSZ News. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Sonic CD - PC release". Forums.sega.com. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "SEGA Blog | Sonic CD Spins Onto Tablets at GameStop". Blogs.sega.com. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "Proof Of Concept Of Enhanced Sonic CD On iPhone | WatchPlayRead - "It's What We Do!"". WatchPlayRead. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "Sonic CD coming to XBLA, PSN and more this holiday | WatchPlayRead - "It's What We Do!"". WatchPlayRead. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "SEGA Blog | #SegaPAX – Sonic CD Announced!". Blogs.sega.com. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "Sonic CD". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- "Sonic CD for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
- North, Dale (2011-12-15). "Review: Sonic CD -Destructoid". Destructoid. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
- "1999 Video Game Buyer's Guide". Electronic Gaming Monthly: 141. 1999.
- GameFan, volume 1, issue 12 (November 1993), page 22
- GameFan, volume 2, issue 2 (January 1994), page 18
- Kemps, Heidi (2012-01-03). "Sonic CD Reviews - GameSpot.com". IGN.com. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
- DeVries, Jack (2011-12-16). "Sonic CD Review - Xbox 360 Review at IGN". IGN.com. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
- Rudden, Dave (2011-12-19). "Official Xbox Magazine | Sonic CD review". Official Xbox Magazine. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
- Electronic Games, issue 15 (December 1993), page 140
- Peeples, Jeremy (27 June 2004). "Sonic CD". Sega-16. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
- Chris; Mark (January 1994). "Sonic the Hedgehog CD". Sega Force Mega. 2 (7): 102–4.
- Official Gallup UK Mega-CD sales chart, February 1994, published in Mega issue 17
- "The 100 best games of all time, Xbox 360 Features". GamesRadar. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "25 Best iPhone and iPad Games of 2011". Metacritic. 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "sonic - Reviews, Articles, People, Trailers and more at". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Sonic CD Review - IGN". Uk.wireless.ign.com. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Sonic CD Review". GamesRadar. 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "PSN Top Sellers: Sonic CD Races to the Top in December 2011 – PlayStation Blog". Blog.us.playstation.com. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Pocket Gamer Awards 2013". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
- Charles, Jonathan. "Ken Balough PAX Video Interview". TSSZ News. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- Thomas, Kurt (2011-07-13). "Metal Sonic Charges Into Sonic Generations - News". www.GameInformer.com. Retrieved 2011-11-23.