This is where I start to show my age. I actually remember Sonic when he first appeared on the Mega Drive years and years ago. I also remember that it came bundled with my Mega Drive and was the final reason I needed to sell my Nintendo Entertainment System and buy a Mega Drive. I was first in the queue on Sonic "Twosday" for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and was disappointed at Sonic 3 and pleasantly surprised with Sonic and Knuckles. Yes I am a Sonic fan. The spikey blue one has a special place in my gaming heart and when I heard about him coming to my favourite handheld I whooped with joy.
Sonic Pocket Adventure is a kind of re-mix of Sonic 2. By that I mean that the levels are all based on those found in Sonic 2, but rather than being a simple conversion, Sonic Pocket Adventure is a brand new adventure. And it's a corker!!
As always, Doctor Robotnik has stolen 6 Chaos Emeralds and plans to use them for an evil yet mysterious purpose. He is also turning Sonic's woodland chums into Badniks. As always it's up to Sonic to rescue his pals, return the chaos emeralds and send Dr Robotnic back to where he came from. All in a days work for a blue hedgehog in red sneakers ;)
Like the Mega Drive games before, SPA is a platformer with tons of speed. You must collect rings and bust Badniks on the way to the end of the level, once you reach the end, if you have 50 rings you may enter a bonus level and play for a Chaos Emerald. These bonus levels change the rules of play by Sonic running into the screen down a series of tunnels, you must collect a set number of rings before a checkpoint or fail, avoid bombs otherwise you drop valuable rings and won't get the emerald. So it's pretty much the same as the Sonic of old, and in my opinion, all the better for it.
Sonic is a real looker of a game. The visuals are crisp, lush and colourful. Sonic is beautifully animated and retains all of his actions from his Mega Drive outings. The levels themselves are gorgeous. From the grassy hills of the first zone to the future industrial look of the later levels, all are packed with a ton of detail and are fantastic to look at. Not that you'll do much of that, you'll be dashing past at such a rate I'd be surprised if you actually saw any of them for more than a second or two.
Sonic is an aural feast too. The tunes are contagious and you'll be humming them long after you turn the power off. All your favourite music from the Mega Drive is present from when you get the Power Sneakers to when you get the invincibility, its all absolutely top notch.
As a game Sonic Pocket Adventure is outstanding. It manages to retain all the speed, punch and polish of its bigger brothers. Again I am knocked back by the power of the Neo Geo Pocket and yet again this is another reason to shove your NGPC under the nose of the nearest Game Boy owner and laugh at their astounded faces. But not only does Sonic look and sound great, it plays really well too. There are multiple paths through all the levels and even then you can opt to race through them as fast as possible or take your time and collect all the rings. Getting the Chaos Emeralds is challenging and finding the hidden puzzle pieces is a nightmare (an incredibly fun nightmare). The game has a lot of replay value thanks to the time trial medals and of course the absolutely top notch 2-player game where you can race a friend. Once more SNK have supplied a lot of replay value in a tiny cartridge. Sonic is a great game, it manages to retain all the personality and gameplay that have made Sonic the legend that he is. This is a great game and a more than worthy addition to your collection. If you manage to find a copy. BUY!