Sonic Pocket Adventure
Review by Insecta
If I hadn't heard of this game, I never would have got a Neo Geo Pocket Color. It truly is a system selling game. A step up from the Sonic games on the Game Gear, and on level with the best Gameboy has to offer this is my second favorite handheld platformer, only being beaten my Mario DX.
The game play is superb (if a bit easy), with speed, smooth controls and style carefully woven together. Sonic runs perfectly, taking time to start just like a real person (hedgehog?) would! He jumps with gravity taking a realistic effect (unlike a certain plumber) and traction plays and important part of the game, as Sonic can take ages to stop. All of this adds into the genuine Sonic speed rush, converted well from the Genesis games. The game is really Sonic 2 on the Genesis, with more options and Hilltop, Mystic Caves, Oil Ocean and Death Egg taken out. They also gave the levels horrible names (Gigantic Angel and Neo South Island being the worst) and changed the level layout and bosses a bit. They even kept those sub 3D bonus levels, and they look better then they did on the Genesis! Quite incredibly the creator of Sonic was involved in the making of this game.
The worst points about the game play is way you can get crushed way to easily, the small amount of enemies and the fact that the bonus levels are SO much harder than the rest of the game. Possibly the worst problem, is the fact you can't play as Tails! Why, oh why, did they leave poor tails out? Oh yeah did I forget? When you get hit, you send out one ring for every ten you had! This is so dang annoying.
As for the extra options I mention, these consist of a time trial for every level and puzzle pieces which you find hidden in levels, which once you collect you get a surprise, which isn't quite as good as the Lost Levels in Mario DX, but a surprise none the less. There's even a Gameboy style 'press all the buttons to reset' option. You can also link up to a rare friend who also has a Neo Geo Pocket and the Game, to (predictably) race them.
The game play is great, the bad points I mentioned aren't that bad at all. And no, the 3D stick does not make the game worse, but doesn't help either. There is plenty to keep you coming back, especially since your progress is saved!
The graphics don't come anywhere near the excellence of the Genesis games, but they are better then anything else on the Neo Geo and the Gameboy Color.
All the graphics from the original have been cut down in size, to fit on the screen but still look excellent. One thing that I can't understand, is why there are no scrolling backgrounds in the game? This features in Metal Slug and SNK vs. Capcom, but where is it here? This would have added so much to the graphic appeal. The menus and options screen are very good looking, with colourful backgrounds and pictures of Sonic everywhere.
Overall the graphics are very impressive.
The best term to describe the sound in the game is 'messed up'. Not that the sound is all garbled or something, but the way its put together.
First off, the music is excellent, but for some peculiar reason the used the Music from Sonic 3, in what is basically Sonic 2. This is a bit confusing at first, especially when you hear the Angel Island Music in Secret Plant (really Chemical Plant)!
At least the music is good. Then there's the sound effects The digitised voice saying 'Sega' at the beginning is impressive, but they did that on the Game Gear. The in game sound effects could have been improved, especially that hideous popping noise when you die! The sound effects were better in the game gear sonic games.
Play Control/Game Design
The 3D stick contols the game like a dream, even though it could have been done with a D-Pad. Sonic jumps at the press of either button, leaving how well you play to yourself! It feels like your playing your old Genesis at times, the control is so accurate. I can't really say much more for such a simply controlled game, so I'll leave it at that! Perfect control.
Amount of selectable characters (Tails)
Add scrolling backgrounds.
Proper ring losing.
A story would be nice.
Get if you like: Sonic, Platformers, showing off to people.
This is such a good game, I think even non platforming fans should love it! Where I live most people prefer Sonic to Mario, and its the same game that sold the Genesis, so loads of people should enjoy! Get this game unless you really hate platformers or Sonic, it doesn't dissapoint at all. You can really feel the effort put into the game when you play it.
Play Control/Game Design: *****
Personal Opinion: *****
Final Score: 89%