Retrospective: Sonic’s Weird Sega Game Gear Games

The plot here is simply “Robotnik is evil, stop him.” Which, to be fair, is par for the course for a Sonic game, but usually there’s some sort of fluff around that.

This game also is also incredibly short. Even late game levels can be beaten in under a minute, and the entire adventure lasts less than half an hour on average.

It doesn’t help either that the six Chaos Emeralds are incredibly easy to obtain as well. Though they have to be obtained through special stages here like in the Genesis games, you reach said stages by merely collecting fifty rings. And, there are a plethora of ring boxes spread throughout each stage, making this adventure incredibly easy.

The entire experience reminds me a bit of New Super Mario Bros. 2. Both are entries in beloved franchises for portable systems. Both are rather easy platformers. Both revolve around collecting their respective series’ collectable currency – these being coins and rings respectively. And somehow, both end up feeling hollow and like they lack identity.

Sonic Chaos is certainly much easier to play through than 8-bit Sonic 2. It’s also a bit more polished presentation-wise. However, for all its issues, 8-bit Sonic 2 is just much more interesting.

Sonic Triple Trouble

Sonic Triple Trouble (1994)

Sonic Triple Trouble is a direct sequel to Sonic Chaos. This is apparent because, in Japan, these games are respectively known as Sonic and Tails and Sonic and Tails 2. But, as blah as Sonic Chaos was, Sonic Triple Trouble truly shines. This one is easily the best of all the Game Gear games.

This is also the only game so far to have been Game Gear exclusive. No PAL-exclusive Master System port here! As a result, Sonic Triple Trouble feels like it was built from the ground up with the Game Gear in mind, and that’s not to mention the shocking amount of polish on display here, either.

Tails is once again playable here, though his signature flying ability is a bit snappier. Sonic himself now has the ability to curl into a ball while n the air, making the game lend itself better to speedrunning. And the stages are all, quite frankly, incredibly memorable.

From the trains of Sunset Park to the Donkey Kong Country-esque barrels of Meta Junglira, the zones here leave a lasting impression, thanks in part to a combination of rich graphical design, catchy music, and tight stage design. The game also feels like one big cohesive adventure, with some zones featuring animated transitions between them.

There’s also the source of the Triple Trouble name: The three villains who appear throughout the game. In this title, the evil Dr. Robotnik has enlisted the help of both Knuckles the Echidna – a character who first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 on Genesis who would later become an ally – and a new character named Fang the Sniper.

About Jamie Christensen 12 Articles
Jamie Christensen is a writer, content creator, and social media marketing nerd currently residing in Victoria, British Columbia. He’s written about people, technology, and the environment, along with creating the online documentary series “The Art of Failure”. Feel free to check him out on Twitter and on YouTube!