- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Aspect
- Master System (Europe/Brazil only): October 1993
- Game Gear: November 1993
- Wii (DLC): February 2009
- Genre: Action
- Master System: Rare (US$10-30)
- Wii: N/A (US $5)
Forget that thing they put on Game Gear and named Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Its sequel, Sonic Chaos, is closer to the Genesis Sonic 2 than the real thing. As such, it's no suprise that Chaos was one of my favorite Sonic games growing up. It's the first entry in the Game Gear series to feature Tails the fox as a playable character, and interestingly, the first instance in the entire franchise where you could manually make him fly, a feature absent from his appearance in the 16-bit Sonic 2. There are more things that invoke that other game for me, but we'll get to that when we get to it.
A short cutscene that runs before the title screen portrays Sonic and Tails running after Dr. Robotnik, who has the red Chaos Emerald in the clutches of his jet-craft. As per the enclosed instruction book, the theft of this Emerald has shifted the other five (yeah, the GG series uses six total emeralds rather than the traditional seven) to a parallel dimension, and made their home of South Island start to sink into the ocean. I applaud the decision to give Robotnik a more specific method of taking over the world - of course - but it's not exactly alluded to in the game. Besides, anyone who's familiar with early Metal Gear knows better than to trust stories from the manual. However, the method of getting the Chaos Emeralds does tie into the story if you think about it.
|Sonic can use Rocket Shoes|
and enter Special Stages...
(Game Gear version.)
|...But Tails can fly. (Master System version.)|
For the first time, Sonic Chaos marks a conscious effort to evoke the speed and spirit of the Genesis trilogy, and I have to say they succeeded. Aspect's experience from their first attempt at a Sonic game have paid off. While Sonic Chaos is on the easy side, and many of the levels are short enough to finish in under a minute, it runs and plays smoothly. There is virtually no additional learning curve for those of you who have migrated from the Genesis trilogy, but that's not to say Chaos plagiarizes Sonic 2 or anything. It's a worthy experience not only for series newcomers, but any other Sonic fan who owns a Game Gear - and yet there's one other Sonic game for said system which is even better... stay tuned!
Control: 5 Chaos Emeralds out of 5
Design: 4 Chaos Emeralds out of 5
Graphics: 4 Chaos Emeralds out of 5
Audio: 5 Chaos Emeralds out of 5
The Call: 80% (B)