Oh Sonic, you’ve been so unlucky, what with Sonic Boom ruining your franchise, Sega firing 300 employees and the only Sonic game being released this year is a mobile game. Half of me wants him to die, half of me wants him to be in a good game but Sega keeps killing him.
Now with that out of the way, let’s take a look at some odd games from the franchise, I’ve already reviewed Sonic Spinball and Sonic 3D. He’s been in racing games, party game? Oh! How about a fighting game…wait WHAT?
Sonic the Fighters, developed and published by Sega and was first released in Japan in May 1996, it’s an arcade fighting game that somehow didn’t get a Sega Saturn release or any other console release and was eventually released nine years later as part of a compilation called Sonic Gems Collection, which is what I’m using to play this game.
Actually, Sonic the Fighters (ソニック・ザ・ファイターズ Sonikku za Faitāzu?) is known as Sonic Championship on arcade versions in North America and Europe. Make up your mind Sega.
So Dr. Robotnik wants to take over the world…again with his new Death Egg and so Sonic and friends team up to defeat Robotnik by beating each other senseless until there is only one who can smash the face of Robotnik; of all the Sonic stories this is one that scrathes my head, it’s like the same story of MadWorld or No More Heroes but Sonic the Fighters did it first. Well the reason being that Tails has made a rocket to go to the base but there is only one seat so like Highlander there can be only one I guess.
You can play as a number of characters like Sonic, Tails and Knuckles (obviously) along with Amy Rose, Espio the Chameleon, Fang the Sniper (ironically, he’s Australian), Bean the Dynamite and Bark the Polar Bear.
The gameplay is mostly a simplified version of Fighting Vipers, you get punching and kicking and a few special moves defending on the character, but when I’m playing it, it’s near enough a button masher, little thought and just go blazing the punch button and you’re most likely to win, though when fighting Metal Sonic he knows your moves so be careful.
The graphics are kind of blocky even for its time but oh boy does it use cartoon physics well, if someone one punches hard or gets smacked into a wall, their heads get squashed, or if they’re launched into the air, their legs stretch up, these little pieces in the game make it wacky, so it never takes itself seriously, just as any game should. The music is actually catchy, the music feels like Sonic so props to the composers.
Overall, it’s…I can’t, I have a soft spot for this game, I really like this game, yes it’s odd, it might be dated and too simplified, but I enjoyed it very much even with its issues. I can finally understand the Sonic fans, even with the bad games there’s something to enjoy from them.
The game was re-released in HD with Honey the Cat who was cut from the original game but is now included in the game and it makes me want to get it.
UPDATE as of 5th June 2016: I downloaded a copy of Sonic the Fighters, and I love it…and somehow managed to get all the trophies in under 30 minutes.
You can get it on the Arcade, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.
OK, I’m starting to like Sonic again, so what’s my next Sonic game to review, I’m so excited…
Sonic: Hey Tails! Remember when we had to defeat Robotnik by beating each other to a pulp?
Tails: Yeah, that was really weird, you know we could have just worked together.
Sonic: You could have installed more seats in that rocket of yours.
Tails: …So how are you doing today?
Shadow: You held a fighting tournament where you beat each other up? Damn, I was born too early.