Sonic CD Review

By , on December 15, 2011

Sonic CD Classic
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Released: 15 Dec, 2011
  • Size: 253.4 MB
  • Price: FREE!
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5 out of 5


  • Flawless presentation; rock solid framerates and crisp graphics.
  • Both US and Japanese soundtracks included.
  • Plenty of extras; unlockable features (Tails), time attack mode, and universal executable.


  • 'Reboot' required when exiting game to main menu; unnecessary waste of time.
  • Virtual controls still can't compete to physical ones.


If you're a fan of Sonic games and you haven't finished Sonic CD you owe it to yourself to check out this title - scratch that... if you're a fan of platformers, this remastered version is something you need to own.

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Lucky were those who owned a games console in the 90s - luckier still were those who had access to multiple consoles. However, at least growing up, it was rare indeed to find someone with a decked out Genesis complete with CD drive. As such Sonic CD was only ever enjoyed in bursts at retail stores and despite ports to other platforms, it was never quite a complete experience. Enter one Christian Whitehead, a proof of concept on the iPhone and after two years we now have access to the penultimate version of this game.

Except there's still one tiny problem - the touch screen.

Rebuilt almost entirely from the ground up, Sonic CD for iOS is a complete marvel, with levels blitzing their way past at lightning speeds featuring no slowdown in the process despite the frantic and complex 2D visuals. It's a visual feast made all the more amazing thanks to the game's time-traveling premise.

After deciding to visit a strange land that appears only once a year, Sonic comes across Dr. Eggman's (Robotnik) plan to steal all of the time crystals it contains. And so the usual premise of collecting gems and defeating Eggman is once again justified, however there's a new twist - upon collecting 'Past' or 'Future' tokens, Sonic can shift through time (should he build up speed and hold it for long enough) reaching past, present and future incarnations of the zone. In order to gain the 'good' ending, Sonic needs to travel to the past to destroy a hidden robot manufacturing machine in every zone - collecting all 7 time zones by opening portals at the end of a level with 50 rings does much the same thing automatically.

The reason this is so amazing is in how it affects the game's level directly, with future versions of the area becoming more robotic, dangerous and trap filled if left untouched, or reaching a 'utopian' alternative with relatively few enemies or traps if you clear Eggman's machines. The visuals and background soundtrack change to reflect shifts in the era, making for a dense aesthetic feast.

And yes, for those wondering both the US and the Japanese soundtracks have been included and can be switched via the options.

The only weak link in the chain is the controls. Despite the responsive virtual pad and very generously sized jump button, it's all too easy to have Sonic jive away uselessly while you attempt to spin - familiarity makes things easier, but it can't replace the certainty of physical controls and is a flaw in Sonic CD's otherwise perfect recreation.

If you're a Sonic fan who has been craving a serious platforming title, you'd do well to dive in to this spectacular feast; however if you're one of those who demands utter perfection from their controls, you may want to wait for the Live Arcade or Playstation Network release.


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