Our favorite (and only) video game echidna is locked, loaded, and ready to take the place of Sonic as the 32x's mascot. In retrospect it seems almost poetic that this defunct character represents everything bad about the defunct system.
Hot off the tales of Sonic and Knuckles, Knuckles Chaotix promised to be everything we expected from Sonic and much, much more. However, like so many other 32x games, Knuckles first outing is nothing more than a Sonic rip off sans the fun, originality, and creative game play. In fact, Knuckles Chaotix is so horribly disjointed that I refuse to even put it in the same category as Sonic the Hedgehog.
The trouble starts when Sega answers a question that shouldn't have been asked. 'How can we make the Sonic engine more confined while keeping the speed slow?' Sure there's a wide cast of characters, including a crocodile (Vector), an armadillo (Mighty), a bee (Charmy), and a chameleon (Espio), but in the game you are tethered to each other. That's right, it's like escaping from prison, except your chains are made of elastic or something like that.
Regardless of what binds you, it's a rather annoying addition I hope is NEVER repeated. To make matters worse, the levels are dull, and plain. Unlike the Sonic levels we know and love, these Knuckles levels lack secrets, character, and bright colors. In fact, the stages in this game are bleak, boring, and dull as NYDP Blue. There's just no reason for this game to be so depressing, no reason at all.
The game is fairly short, too, and once you've played through it once, you'll likely NEVER return. There really isn't a lot of draw for repeat playing, and most gamers likely won't even want to trench that far.
As a Game Gear game this would be mediocre, but the flag ship 32x game? I can't believe Sega would drop this on us. I don't care how much you love Sonic the Hedgehog, it takes a lot to enjoy Knuckles Chaotix. This is one of the worst platformers I've ever seen, and frankly, if this is what Sega hoped would sell the system, I understand why it failed. Avoid this game at ALL cost!!