Welcome back to the Sonic games on the Sega Game Gear, in Part 1, I talked about Sonic the Hedgehog and its sequel on the handheld, as well as Sonic Chaos, so it’s time to continue this…whatever this is with…
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, known as Dr. Robotnik and His Mean Bean Machine in Europe, developed by Compile and was published by Sega, it was released in 1993 in the US and in 1994 in Europe. The game is a localised version of Puyo Puyo (a series I will take a look at so this will be a quick look as this is another game I’ve reviewed already, though I played the Sega Mega Drive port but the gameplay remains the same on the Sega Game Gear.
This is a puzzle in which you match the coloured beans until you get four or more together with the same colour and will disappear, simple as that. You can move 3-bean columns with the directional pad and A & B to rotate it. You have to match 4 or more beans with the same colours until they disappear (or die), get more than 4 beans in the same colour and you get extra points. There are many beans that do nothing special except for one type, when you create a combo, you can unleash a whole load of black beans and the opponent is unable to erase them off their table unless they can get matching colours to disappear which will enable some of the black beans to disappear, trouble is the opponent can do this too.
But you’ll better be quick with your fingers because over time, the robots will drop their beans faster and you have to rack up beans to their correct colours or the table will fill up to the top and the game is over, however you can continue or get a password from the previous stage you completed or just go online nowadays to retrieve it. You’ll battle many robots but the memorable bots are Scratch and Grounder if you watched The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and the final battle is of course Dr. Robotnik who is the fastest and the most difficult. The meat of the game for me is the two-player mode where you can challenge a friend to spill the beans…sorry.
It’s still a great game, even on the Game Gear, though it seems my old review of the Sega Mega Drive game was a bit harsh as its better than I said it was. NEXT!
Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, or Sonic Spinball (ソニック・スピンボール Sonikku Supinbōru), developed by Sega Technical Institute and was published by Sega. It was released in 1994 for the Game Gear in the US and Europe.
I’ve already reviewed this game for the Sega Mega Drive…but this is even worse. Poor physics, the inability to move whether you’re flying all over the place. Yeah, this is a quick look, it’s not a very good Sonic game, even on the Sega Mega Drive, it was one of those games that was good on paper but didn’t do it as well as it could have. NEXT!
Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble, released in Japan as Sonic & Tails 2 (ソニック＆テイルス２ Sonikku to Teirusu Tsū), developed by Aspect and published by Sega, it was released in 1994 worldwide.
So this is a sequel to Sonic Blast and I got it for the 3DS Virtual Console. So is it any better than Sonic Chaos? Is it the best 8-Bit Sonic? I don’t know since I don’t have a favourite and this doesn’t change anything. It’s not that bad, but it’s short (though this is a handheld game so that’s inevitable), a bit too easy, but to make up for it, they add some cheap obstacles to kill you, though I didn’t exactly suffer any slowdowns, maybe I played the Virtual Console port and it may have fixed things…as in Sega may have took the time to fix things whilst Nintendo will give you the glitches and bugs from the original Virtual Console games whether you like it or not. Overall, this is a pretty decent game but for about £4 on Virtual Console, it may be worth it if you like Sonic, otherwise, it not really worth your time.
Sonic Drift (ソニックドリフト Sonikku Dorifuto), developed and published by Sega and was released in 1994, but it was only released in Japan only.
There are 3 sets of cups, Green, Yellow and Red, each of them having 6 courses based on the levels from Sonic 1 including Green Hill, Marble, Spring Yard, Labyrinth, Star Light, and Scrap Brain. There are 4 characters for you to play, Sonic, Tails, Dr. Robotnik (or Eggman because this is Japan) and Amy Rose in her first playable appearance.
Now for the gameplay…it’s awful though that depends on the character you pick. Sonic has top kek speed but handles very poorly, 9 times out of 10 you will slide off the track when trying to turn and you will always crash into obstacles, he’s unplayable and you will lose all the time with him. Tails is the all-rounder…can still slide off…you know what, ALL the characters control the same, there are some small differences but the gameplay really is backwards for something that was trying to compete with Super Mario Kart, heck, even F1 for the Famicom is a much better game. Also, the horizon is way too short, you will always check the map to see when to turn, otherwise, you’ll drift off the track and that’s 90% of the time anyway.
Sonic Drift, especially for Sega’s first Sonic racing game, is definitely a poor start, it’s like how Mario managed to be transferred to the 3D world flawlessly but Sonic couldn’t, so Mario also managed to transfer into the racing genre and Sonic once again couldn’t, I know they were trying to be different in terms of platforming, but everywhere else, Sonic tried to walk the shadow of Mario but over ambition of the character lead to disaster, even before.
Before we end this, I’ll quickly talk about Sonic Drift 2 (ソニックドリフト２ Sonikku Dorifuto Tsū), or Sonic Drift Racing in Europe, developed and published by Sega and was released in 1995 worldwide. Keep in mind that despite Sega of Europe renaming the game Sonic Drift Racing, the game itself was still called Sonic Drift 2 on the title screen. Now that must have been confusing for us Europeans.
For some reason, most of the issues I had with the first game, haven’t been fixed so you still have a terrible racing game, another set of games to skip.
To be continued next week…