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Sonic the Hedgehog: Pocket Adventure
  NGPCPlatformerUC  
  opened by paleface at 05:02:34 02/22/04  
  last modified by paleface at 12:27:18 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=NGPC; cat=Platformer; reg=NA]
           
A pretty good port of one of the early Sonic games, I gather (first one?). I never really liked Sonic and I don't like him tiny, either--the whole momentum-based movement is a real drag, if you ask me (I spend more time going real slow than real fast, ugh), and unless I'm lost in the huge maze-like levels (frequent) I'm torn between going real fast or stopping to pick up all the little rings and boxes and things lying around. Ugh. What's my motivation? And Sonic himself is a punk. I only have this because it was a pack-in with my original system.
 
So yeah. Playing this just now I noticed some slowdown in one of the later boss battles, which for all I know could have been in the original. Certainly by and large the game scrolls by at an impressive speed here. It doesn't really move me, however (ha... sorry).
 
  paleface 03:55:32 12/31/23
           
"Based on" (Wikipedia) Sonic 2--but this looks and feels better to me; those 16-bit console Sonics, at least in collections on PS2 (see entry 1520) feel slow and sluggish to me both in terms of graphics and controls, whereas this feels sharp and the screen updates smoothly, without flickering things or nothin'.
 
  paleface 03:56:35 12/31/23
           
Ah this was developed by SNK, not Sega. ^ _^
 
  paleface 03:56:58 12/31/23
           
(Or more specifically, not by Sonic Team, I should say!)
 
  paleface 00:00:17 02/20/24
           

 
In Mednafen!
 
My Sonic playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZO3OPzPjIzMQt4FKIZafIKq1LZwrOXBR
 
Went and read the manual and ah, those yellow diamonds/squares you find while playing must be unlocks for puzzle pieces in the puzzle "Room." Someone at SNK in this era must have liked tile puzzles, they went nuts with 'em in the bonus game in KOF 2000. ... I like them too. ^_ ^
 
The NGP/C saves to flash RAM that's dumped as part of the ROM--and I must have played through the whole game before, that's how there were so many puzzle pieces in the Puzzle room--I'd collected them back in the day--and I found that if I go to CONTINUE, I can pick stages right up to the final stage--which is good because fooling around after recording, I OF COURSE accidentally overwrote the quicksave I made at the end of this session with one sitting on the main menu. ; D
 
So, thank goodness for the NGP/C's really slick save structure! ^ _^
 
...It is kind of spooky that I have absolutely no recollection of playing through the game before though. = oo But if I'd read my 2004 notes carefully I'd have noticed I referred to "one of the later boss battles." ; D
 
Wait how the heck did I get by the Sonic 2-style Metal Sonic memorization battle without save states to abuse?? : P Man yeah I guess I just suck at that now. Or hm maybe more like there ARE infinite continues, at least from some stage start point shortly before that? I mean I did seem to get a +Continue item in this session, so... Heck I don't know. : P
 
Anyway it's supposedly Sonic 2-inspired stages and Sonic 3-but-8-bit music. They took some of my least-favorite Sonic 2 bits, like that Metal Sonic thing, and the pinball and underwater and biplane riding and airship settings. ; P And there's a verrry nebulous hitbox fight vs Knuckles that made me go look up a FAQ just to figure out where and when I was supposed to hit him without being hit (flashes of final Sonic 2 boss fight that I bailed on...).
 
On the plus side, the graphics--particularly the speed of them--and the sounds are good, particularly considering it's on a tiny little NGPC; the minigames are not horrible, bucking the Sonic 2, CD, and 3 trend, and it may be the best Sonic physics I've played so far. This was end-phase original SNK. Some of the team members--well, at least https://www.mobygames.com/game/18299/sonic-the-hedgehog-pocket-adventure/credits/neo-geo-pocket-color/?autoplatform=true the lead planner, Yukihiro Higashi, went on to join SF, FF, AoF, & KOF co-creator Takashi Nishiyama when he left SNK the next year, 2000, to start a company that would soon be renamed Dimps ("Digital Multi-Platforms") https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimps ; Higashi would be on the Dimps teams who would make the three Sonic Advance games on GBA, and the Sonic 4 games--not to mention various Sonic games on DS and 3DS.
 
It's pretty short--I've got three stages to go, the stage select tells me.
 
  paleface 21:38:20 02/22/24
           

 
There is a zone named GIGANTIC ANGEL ZONE. Unfortunately it's sort of Sonic 2's Metropolis Zone back again with its speary blocks and popping dart spray goons and squishy nuts. But I only got nut-squished--by a different revolving thing--once, and darted maybe once?
 
I liked the (toboggan-course-style) bonus stage earlier--rare for me in Sonic games--but now they went and added hurty spike balls that I was somehow way better at catching than the actual rings, and it was a lot less fun. ; P
 
Resorted to save-scumming at the second-to-last boss because I was having a little trouble with his three slightly differently timed overlapping cycles, which mushed his hurt boxes and hit boxes and vulnerable times together--a cardinal sin in most any platforming games but seemingly par for the course in post-Sonic-1 Sonic games! = PPP
 
Basically this game has a lot of the stuff I hated in Sonic 2 but makes it less bad. That doesn't make it a game I LIKE, particularly...but it isn't too bad. Quite short!
    
 
references:
· SEGA Genesis Classics (PS4)
· Sonic Advance (GBA)
· Sonic Adventure 2: Trial (PS3)
· Sonic Gems Collection (GC)
· Sonic Generations (PC)
· Sonic Heroes (PS2)
· Sonic Mania (PC)
· Sonic Mega Collection (GC)
· Sonic Mega Collection Plus (PS2)
· Sonic Origins (PC)

 
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