Sonic Pocket Adventure
The last Sonic game I had played was on the Game Gear, but I loved it
and eagerly awaited its appearance on the Neo Geo Pocket. This is the
first big name game for the Neo Geo Pocket, a conversion of Sega's high
speed blue hedgehog, who last appeared on the Dreamcast in Sonic Adventure.
Sonic Pocket Adventure is basically a conversion of Sonic 2 on the Mega
Drive, possibly the best 2D Sonic game ever.
It has the same objectives as all the other Sonic games, run along,
collect rings, and jump on the assorted enemies. It is also possible
to start a superspin, which gives you a great speed boost. As usual,
the ultimate objective is to beat the evil Dr Robotnik. Experienced
Sonic players probably won't take long to complete the game, but there
is still more to do.
Like all of the other Sonic games, this includes special stages. They
involve running and jumping along a half pipe to collect rings, if you
get enough rings you earn a Chaos Emerald. I have heard if you get all
seven there is a bonus level, though I am nowhere near that yet.
SPA also has Photo pieces to collect, which are spread all over the
game. If you collect a set of pieces and fit them together, you are
shown a nice picture of one of the characters. Each of the 6 pictures
is made up of 16 pieces, which makes plenty to collect. Some of them
are very well hidden, so it will take a long time to get all of them.
The graphics in SPA are simply amazing. They are nearly as good as
the Mega Drive's, with very little blur, even when running at high speed.
The animation is good to, Sonic runs smoothly and even taps his foot
while standing still.
The sound is also good, with classic Sonic music, and quality sound
effects. It even has the digitised "Se-ga" when you turn it
on. The music is various songs from previous Sonic games, though all
jumbled up. Overall the sound is decent through the NGPC's built in
speaker, or fairly good through headphones or speakers
As well as the standard "complete the levels to get on to the
next" game, this includes many extra features. There is a trial
room, where you complete the level in the shortest time possible to
earn medals. these can be shared with a friend via a link cable, so
you can compare best times.
As usual with most other Neo Geo Pocket games, Sonic includes a two-player
mode. There is a race mode, where you both try to finish the level as
quickly as possible, as well as a mode where you try to collect a set
number of rings before the other player. These can be played on any
levels both players have completed, which should give a bit of variety.
The level design is fairl varied - though the levels are based on previous
games, they're not identical. The first two zones are fairly standard,
but it gets more interesting. The third zone is pinball like with plenty
to bounce off, and the fourth has large underwater areas; the fifth
is my personal favourite, you are on top of a plane and have to jump
to avoid enemies. After this it gets harder, with an air base level
then Dr Robotniks base. This is followed by a final battle against Robotnik,
then there is supposed to be an extra hidden level, though I've not
earned it yet.
The game is saved when you finish a level, and any levels you have
played on are available to choose from a menu. This is useful if you
don't have time to play the whole game at once, though it does make
the game a lot easier by effectively giving you unlimited continues.
Any secrets you earn are also saved, which is very useful.
Basically, a near perfect port from the Mega Drive, with more features
as well. One of the best pocket games ever, though it may be a bit easy
for Sonic veterans.