Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Sonic CD

Review: Sonic CD

2:00 PM on 12.15.2011 // Dale North

I'm dating myself here, but playing Sonic CD again really took me back. It took me back to a time when I had saved up money from my part-time job (and borrowed a bit more) to buy that really ugly Ver. 2 "sidecar" Sega CD attachment for my Sega Genesis. It was a lot of money, but I was so happy. Seeing that full-motion video in Sewer Shark was a thrill, but what I really wanted was upgraded experiences that were even more spectacular than blast-processed 16-bit goodness that I had fallen in love with. What I really wanted was to see the evolution of Sonic.

Sonic CD didn't turn out to be quite the evolution I dreamed of (that nightmare would come later). It turned out to be a lot like the Sega Genesis Sonic titles. But the cool perspective tricks, time travel gimmick and the slick CD audio soundtrack were enough for me. And I must have watched the fully animated introduction movie 50 times. Somehow this became my favorite Sonic game. It still is.

Now Sonic CD is a digital release on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Times have changed.

Sonic CD (PlayStation Network, Xbox 360)
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Released: December 14, 2011
MSRP: $4.99 / 400 Microsoft Points

The power of CD storage didn't bring anything new to the Sonic franchise. Sonic CD was still a 16-bit title, and it ended up looking a lot like the previous Sega Genesis releases. The 'new' came with the game's time-travel mechanic. In the game, if Sonic runs past a marker and hits top speed (how very Back to the Future!) he can jump to either the future or the past to explore an alternate version of the stage, which could be slightly better or worse than the present-day version. Rather than just running through stages to get the most rings and the best time, players could visit the past to fix the future. This made for a Sonic with a bit more depth than its predecessors. 

In my mind, Sonic CD was notable for another reason. I don't know if Sega thought that adopters of their CD technology had a higher tolerance for cheap deaths or what, but there's plenty in Sonic CD. This game is packed with more hidden traps, endless loops and pop-out enemies than any other of the 16-bit titles. Sonic has always been a series that wants you to learn its levels to balance speed with survival. This one makes no apologies. I appreciate the stiff challenge, even if it did have me screaming at my television all last night.

This port is pixel perfect, so it's just as good as I remember. The control is tight and I have no issues to speak of. There's no HD upgrades, updates or control tweaks, and I'm happy about that. There was nothing wrong with Sonic CD in its original form, and I'm glad that Sega didn't mess with it. 

There are a few upgrades and other neat features for this digital version, though. There are subtle visual filters (smooth, sharp, and classic) in the options, but they don't seem to do much. Series fans will appreciate that the Spin Dash is a selectable option in the menus now. Beating the game once unlocks the option to play as Tails; Sonic's flying buddy makes coin collection and obstacle dodging much easier. Finally, Achievements/Trophies have been added. The Achievement name for making your first time jump would make Doc Brown happy.

The soundtracks are another new option, letting you switch between the Japanese and English releases. I'd recommend trying both. The English soundtracks features the work of Spencer Nielsen, with its crowning piece being the fantastic opening vocal song, "Sonic Boom," shown above. The Japanese soundtrack is a better collection of songs overall, with some fine examples of 1990's urban music as interpreted by Japan in the mix. Again, both soundtracks are a delight.

I'd like to think of this release as a sort of gift to the Sonic fan from Sega. Here's an older game that many may have missed. Sega wants fans to remember it because it was a high-quality release from them. They also would like those that missed it to experience one of the best games in the franchise. To miss Sonic CD would be to miss some of the franchise's best (and strangest) level designs. They were really creative with this one. You would also miss the race with Metal Sonic by not playing this game, and that would be a shame.

If this is all that's changed, then why all the excitement? I'll tell you why: Sonic CD is a great game. I paid $300 for an attachment and $50 for the game back in the early '90s to see Sonic at his best. Now all you need is $5 and a few minutes for a file download. Sega could have easily charged twice as much for this much-loved classic.



Sonic CD - Reviewed by Dale North
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DaleNorth Tips
I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Sonic CD

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 1

Thankful it's Over: Bioshock Infinite

Is Toei using Kamen Rider Ghost to address suicide in Japan?

Let's talk about Xenoblade Chronicles

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Well, that's a wrap for the Bloodborne DLC. I liked it. More thoughts and maybe spoilers in the comment section.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
a rainy afternoon, and too sleepy for games. Time to go to the animal shelter and try not to fall asleep, surrounded by kittens.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Following from yesterday's Community Question, how would you feel if reviewers began assigning two scores to a game? One specifically for the technical aspects/performance of the game, and the other for their own personal enjoyment?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I went back to Persona 4 Golden this weekend, asked Chie to be my girlfriend but then accidentally maxed out my social link with Yumi, changed my relationship status to "It's Complicated" on Personabook. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Why am I hyped? Just cause :D
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
You know what Fallout 4 mod I want to see? One to fix the interior lightning. It's like the silliest thing to get fixated over, but I can't seem to ignore how white and bright some of those inside lights are.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Just wrote my first C-blog. It's me talking about the games I have played this month; I'm quite excited
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I wish the Squid Girl outfit was still a dress for boys. I want to live through my Inkling boy and be a cute girly-man, dammit. [img][/img]
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Goshdarnit...just stood in front of the camera to record an intro for the advent calender thingy and actually got stage fright >.>
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well, it seemed like for two seconds people were finally going to give Star Fox a fair shake, but nope! GameXplain's YouTube audience seem pretty insistent that it's just a Star Fox 64 clone down to the graphics. Sometimes I just don't understand peopl
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -