Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mike's Mondays with Mike McGee Tuesday Edition: More Like Sonic PeeD!

      I know I say this a lot, but this week was extremely busy. If you’re a follower of our YouTube bejangle then you’ll notice that uploads have been somewhat sparse. Well, I handle all that stuff and I’ve been busy…no, really. My work’s been hectic trying to get this shipment out on time so I’ve been working more than I usually do…a lot more. I’ve logged over 60 hours since Wednesday, so I don’t wanna hear any of your sass! Needless to say, I haven’t really had time to play games this week. I know I say that a lot, but this time it’s actually true (yes, I know I say that a lot too). I’m just now getting home from work after working 14 hours and I literally don’t know what I’m gonna talk about. It’s times like these that I tend to fall back on Sonic, ‘cause he’s pretty quick and easy(-going) like me. So for the sake of shut the hell up, I played Sonic CD this week, because the lazy comments I can muster in my over-tired state are about all this game really deserves.
You'd like me to press start, wouldn't you?!
      Sonic CD was a Sonic game released on the Sega CD, a system that sold pretty poorly or moderately for all I know. The system wasn't that good, but one gem that people can’t shut up about is Sonic CD. Now, I’m not gonna break new ground here by saying that I love me some Sonic the Hedgehog; he’s a pretty cool guy. He fights Eggman and doesn’t afraid of anything. And, being a Sonic fan, naturally I have my opinions on the best Sonic games and love to debate pros and cons of the different games. Sonic 3 & Knuckles vs. Sonic 2 is the most common debate that I’ve seen/been a part of. It’s usually a short one too because Sonic 3 & Knuckles is clearly the better game and I may go into the “why?” specifics some other time. But there’s always that group of people who want to throw Sonic CD into the mix and, for a long time, their presence and insistence convinced me that, at least, Sonic CD belong in the argument even though it wasn't going to win. I hadn’t played it (because Sega CD sucks) so I didn’t know anything more than people liked it enough to say it was better than Sonic 3 & Knuckles. That all changed when Sonic CD got released on XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade). My eyes were finally opened and I was changed that day…I’d like to say for the better.
      After just now, no-foolin’, playing this game, I’ve finally reached that coveted state of being known as “an authority.” Of course, there are different levels of authority, but to those of you who haven’t played this game, I’m the authority; respect it! As an authority, I’m allowed to say that I have no idea why this game gets so much praise. Maybe it’s because I’m not wearing nostalgia ray-bans or I wasn't so enthralled as a child by what I’d never have that I believed the game was super cool because some kid said so. I will give the game credit where it’s due, though. The game did well enough for me to have some things to talk about. I like the original concept of the game. Time travel is pretty hot right now; I’d sell! SELL (I bought Wall Street Joke stock…it’s down 37 points since the beginning of this sentence). It’s certainly a nice change of pace to see the Chaos Emeralds not be the go-to solution to every prob– whelp, I fell asleep…and every true Shlockhead knows that this awesome occurrence warrants the first of the multiannual Tuesday Editions of MMwMM! *Hooray*
Ah, crap! Out of gas...TAILS! Get the Chaos Emeralds!
      Now what was I saying? Oh right, Chaos Emeralds. There aren’t any in the game…technically. You collect “Time Stones” or some sh*t, which are stupid “other planet” versions of Chaos Emeralds. Another thing that Sonic CD did really well is having multiple ways of getting the best ending. To achieve this you had to “make a good future” by the 3rd act in every zone. I didn’t do this on my playthrough because I couldn’t care less about this game's varied endings. In fact, I take it as an insult that they expect me to play the game again. But, in case you’re curious, the easiest way to do this is to get the 7 Time Stones, which automatically makes a good future for the rest of the game. I’m pretty sure the other way is to travel to different points in time and destroy specific objects; there’s a badnik generator in the past and a hologram of Metal Sonic curb stompin’ a bunny in the future. You do these things and by the 3rd Act or “Act with da Boss” the landscape’ll be all nice and flourishing and if you don’t the landscape is desolate and mechanical. It's a pretty sweet touch. Too bad the rest of the game didn't mirror this type of creative thinking. Also, this game introduced Metal Sonic and he’s a pretty cool antagonist…but not cool enough to excuse the rest of this game.
Yeah, sure...
      That’s basically the gist of the good in this game. The bad comes from the most important part of any game: gameplay. Contrary to popular believe, Sonic games aren’t all about speed. A lot of it is speed, but if it was all speed every level would be a straight line. At its core, Sonic is a platforming game that challenges the player’s reaction skills and timing in order to complete levels as quickly as possible. You can take different paths to reach the same goal, some being faster than others, but it’s up to you to decide. You control the way you experience the game. Sonic CD seems to go out of its way to keep you from playing the game. Need to build up speed to travel through time? Don’t worry about strategically building up your momentum, just walk into this spring and “bloing!” there you go. Are you trying to enjoy that fantastic CD-quality music, but all this game playing gets in the way? Just hop into our specially built tube and spring contraption, put that controller down, and listen all your worries away while we whisk you to the end of the Act. Added bonus too, if you wanted to get those things that you need to truly beat the game, you just gotta do a little backtracking, but that’s ok because no other Sonic game requires this to be done. “What about the bosses, Mike? There’s no way they can take control away from you at those points,” your naïve mind might be asking/saying. Well, you’d be right, but the bosses are so insultingly easy that I wish they would so I didn’t have to waste my time. I honestly think the first boss can’t even kill you…buse gam evah!!
Oh man...bumpers. Quite the genius, Eggman
      I’m conclusions, I feel cheated out of my money after playing Sonic CD. Considering that I’m saying this about a Sonic game…you should take that to heart. The only time you should play this over any other Sonic is if the only other Sonic games are Sonic 3D Blast or like Sonic 2.5: Sonic Literally Just Sits There, but that second one could go either way really. Well that’s it for this, the first ever Mike’s Mondays with Mike McGee Tuesday Edition. This ain’t late and neither am I! See Ya!

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