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30 Years of Sonic CD!

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by HEDGESMFG, Sep 23, 2023.

  1. Marrr


    I got a Mega CD for my birthday back in 1993 and actually had the game a few weeks before I got the console as it was quite hard to get hold of (not too many places in the UK sold Sega CD games).

    I remember listening to the soundtrack in my CD player before I played the game and I was mesmerised with it, imaging what track went with what levels. It was like nothing I had ever heard. I still feel that way today.

    when I played the game I was in some ways a bit disappointed- it seemed to have more slowdown and glitches than Sonic 2 and I suppose given the marketing of the Sega CD I expected it to be better.

    I enjoyed the game itself, loved the time travel mechanic, and in Origins is a pretty top notch experience now. Must have played it through with each of the characters a couple of times now!
  2. Chimes


    NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO Member
    I first played the game way back in the ancient year of 2009 by emulation when I was only 5 years old, using Kega and a Isohunt ISO that I very slowly downloaded across a entire day, while my dad played Diablo. Jesus, Isohunt. Any one of you guys even remember that?

    I remember getting Kega to work was a nightmare. I had to scour random shady websites just to find "the sega bios". My English wasn't great either, so it was a damn miracle I actually got it working and didn't fry the computer with viruses.

    Having played Ultimate Flash Sonic and the XBLA games to death by that point, Sonic CD was definitely a weird experience. I never really explored the levels but I had fun going through the special stages, and I often visited a cheat website just to play the special stages over and over again.

    The XBLA port which came two years later was a surprise to kid me, and I vividly remember eating those god awful Great Value cheese chip cans while I waited for the demo to download. Seeing CD blown up on my massive Trinitron was a VERY bizarre experience, especially since I had a tiny ass PC monitor at the time. But seeing the 60fps special stages convinced me that Xbox CD was a pretty good choice (Frogger was kind of mid on Xbox...) so I asked dad to get a points card so I could get CD. (Wow, they really did take that from the Wii in hindsight, huh.)

    Nowadays the larger bulk of Sonic CD has aged as well as those Dizzy adventure games, but I do say the American soundtrack is still pretty good. I was shocked to find out as a teen people actually hated the American soundtrack.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2023
  3. I remember getting really excited with the MEGA magazine exclusive review and that's when I started to worry and then got the Pal copy on its release. It remains for me the best 2D Sonic Platform game, but then also one of the most disappointing Mega CD and SOJ games at the same time. I loved the music, the stage design and the time travel aspect was inspired, but I was led to believe this was going to be a showcase for the Mega CD, but it wasn't it. What really should have been a showcase for the ASIC chip never really used the chip at all and its best use was on the title screen and the D.A Garden :(. The bonus sections were crap, super slow, not impressive and didn't even use the ASIC chip to scale the UFO's, hardly any use of the PCM chip was made too, when the game should have been alive with top quality PCM sound effects and even the FMV was poor, tiny small window and jerky.

    I really wanted SEGA to make a quick remake for the western launch of the Saturn. Get rid of the slowdown, have far better bonus stages and then top quality full-screen Cinepak FMV would been enough for the launch of the Saturn IMO
  4. Antheraea


    Bug Hunter Member
    I first played CD on the OG Sega CD back when I was a small child, but the USAF at the time was fucking terrible with shipping things when they'd restation us at various bases, so the humidity (? I was seven cut me some slack) or whatever ruined the hardware we had. I only was able to really sink my teeth into it a couple years later with the PC port. With the keyboard - arrow keys to move, space to jump. Gamepad support back then was even more fraught than it is now and I didn't have the tech knowledge to get it working.

    I still think CD probably has the most coherent "Sonic" vibe of all the games. Music (JP/EU), the surreal environments, the insane colors, the huge levels. I think S3&K is extremely superior to it mechanically but if anyone were to ask me "what is the aesthetic of Sonic", CD would be the one I point to in a heartbeat. It just took the ideas introduced in Sonic 1 and went nuts with it. Think of Sonic 1's palm trees, how the leaves were sprited to look like early 3D polygons for instance.
  5. BenoitRen


    Tech Member
    It was 1997 or 1998 when I first got Sonic CD, and it was the PC version. I remember thinking it was a Sonic game they made for the PC (just like I thought Sonic Triple Trouble was a version of Sonic 3 for Game Gear...). There was just one problem: I didn't have a Windows 95 PC.

    We asked around who had a Windows 95 PC so I could play it. An acquaintance of my mom's that lives in the same street had one as her husband worked in IT. I started playing it and was wowed by the colourful graphics and the CD quality music. But it didn't last long. The husband got home, and apparently he wasn't consulted because he freaked out how I could have introduced a computer virus. I remember him deleting Windows registry entries and putting the game's files in the recycle bin. Needless to say, I was very sad.

    But not all was lost. Our class at school also had a Windows 95 PC. I asked my teacher if I could play my game on it. We made a deal: if I had been good during the week, I could play on Friday at noon during the break. I remember almost finishing the game months later but Robotnik got a shot in while Sonic was out of rings.

    Near the end of the school year I got my own Windows 95 PC, and I often played Sonic CD on it. Until the buttons of the gamepad I used for all my gaming was worn out.

    When Sonic Origins was released, I started lurking Sonic Retro. Months later, I read that the version of Sonic CD that's part of Sonic Gems Collection comes with a treasure trove of debug info, and there was a sample decompilation. The prospect of being able to reconstruct the original source code of this game was something I couldn't resist, so after registering I started my decompilation project.
  6. I first heard about Sonic CD thanks to Mark from Classic Game Room (I wonder if anyone remembers that) around 2010 - 2011 maybe? It's been too long, and later saw SomecallmeJohnny's SGB Review about it, it was the first time I heard that the game had two soundtracks, John is also where I heard about the 2011 remake, and I got it on Steam in September 2014. I had a lot of fun with it and recommended the game to my childhood best friend, if I recall he enjoyed it too. I didn't beat the game until August 2015, and if I recall it wasn't even the good ending (as most first playthroughs are), though I did get some good futures in some rounds, they were really pretty to look at, still are.

    I remember having fun with some rounds more than others, I really liked all except Wacky Workbench and Metallic Madness, those two really frustrated 13 to 14-year-old me. Nowadays I enjoy both of them, I really like how Wacky Workbench inverts the Sonic formula where you need to stay on the bottom route in order to traverse the stage in the quickest way possible. For MM I just got better at the round and enjoyed it for what it was. I even managed to get the good ending and all of the time stones in March of this year (Yes, it did take me that long to sit down and play it again after I beat it, I had a lot of fun doing it).

    All in all, Sonic CD is one of my favorite Sonic games, right next to the Mega Driven Genesis trilogy. The level design is enjoyable when you figure things out, getting to learn how to use the terrain to your advantage to get the best path to time travel is amazing, and the two ways to get the good ending is really innovative. The two soundtracks are nice to listen to as well, it's a shame that Spencer Nilson, Mark Crew, and David Young didn't get their past songs implemented into the game, I really would've loved to hear those. I'm really happy that Origins lets new players experience this wonderful game.

    Although I'm pretty saddened by the fact Sonic can't speak anymore in the Origins release, it was one of the coolest things about the game to me. It also saddens me that a lot of people won't be able to experience "I'm outter here" the same way a bunch of people from 1993 to 2021 did.
  7. Taylor


    Before I played Sonic CD, I lurked websites like Sonic HQ or Sonic CulT which heavily praised CD. It had a reputation of being a hidden gem, which doesn't really apply anymore as the game's gotten more mass exposure, and thus criticism. I didn't actually play the game until Gems Collection, with the US OST. Didn't get to taste the JP OST until the Taxman port for PS3.

    Sonic CD's aesthetic and music (both regions) are what mainly stick with me. It's gameplay is very of it's time and I can understand why its reputation soured. You have to replay it a lot to get the most out of its time travel, compared to the other 2D Sonics which showed you most of its levels on a first run (provided you didn't game over). I can imagine this game being a blast in the days where you bought one game and had to stick with it for a month, but things are different now.

    I'll have to try using Knuckles in CD, it sounds like a blast. Just gotta wait for Origins to go on sale, because I don't wanna pay $40 for games I've already played many times :V
  8. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    As a kid I had a Genesis but not a Sega CD, so I didn't get to play Sonic CD at first.

    During the late 90s or early 00s I kept hearing from fans how awesome it was, making me really yearn to play it.

    Around 2000 I started emulating games, which allowed me to experience classic Sonic games that I missed the first time around (Spinball, Mean Bean Machine and the SMS/GG games) for the first time. However, CD remained an out of reach holy grail for me.

    Around '01 I found, which had one the Sonic CD prototypes (without the music tracks). I downloaded it and was overjoyed to finally get to experience CD in some form. Granted, the prototype was glitchy and unfinished, emulation was flawed, and it only had the past tracks. But I was finally playing the legendary Sonic CD! Woot!

    Because of that, the past tracks are the most nostalgic songs in the game for me. Collision Chaos past still reminds me of the goosebumps I felt to be able to play it at last.

    Anyway, around one year I finally got to play the full game (via emulation of course). My memories of that time are a big foggier, but I recall overall feeling it was an interesting game with unique mechanics and quirks, but it didn't hold a candle to S3K.
  9. qwertysonic


    creating the biggest sonic collection
    I grew up with a Genesis but never had a Sega CD. I remember seeing screenshots of Sonic CD on places like SonicHQ and watching the movies in Sonic Mega Collection. I remember people talking about it like it was the best Sonic game and lots of fangames and hacks used concepts or art from CD. So when Gems Collection came out I made sure to get it and play CD. After all the hype, I have to say I was underwhelmed.

    I enjoyed it for sure, but it's easily my least favorite of the 4 16-bit games. As far as Gems Collection goes, I enjoyed Sonic the Fighters and Sonic R far more than CD. I imagine if I had played it in the early 90's like the other Genesis games I would have enjoyed it more, but the level design just isn't for me and I didn't get into it enough to find the robot generators. I also couldn't get into the time travel mechanic. Losing your momentum then not being able to time travel made the game a real slog.

    I did recently pick up origins so I'm excited to play as knuckles and see if that makes the exploration game more fun.
  10. JackBz


    Sonic Jam was my introduction to all the classic Sonic games (except 3k which I played first on PC).

    I remember being 5 years old and seeing the Sonic CD opening and ending FMVS in the Sonic World theatre and them being by far the coolest and most amazing things I'd ever seen in my life. To me at that age I spent a decent chunk of time with sonic jam just to watch those FMVs repeatedly lol.

    Didn't play the actual game until the gems collection release on gamecube. It's probably my 3rd favourite Sonic game behind Adventure and 3K, but I've never really understood a lot of the gripes with the level design personally. It probably has the best presentation and soundtrack in Sonic history.