SAGE 2018: Sonic Chaos

I have a confession. Aside from the first few seconds of the last time it appeared in a mega-collection type game, I have never played Sonic Chaos. So if during this article I say something a little daft which was in the original game, that’s why.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on Sonic Chaos, the 16bit fan remake.

The fan remake of Sonic Chaos is one of the greatest experiences I’ve had, go download the demo now and enjoy the best 2D Sonic gameplay ever if we pretend Mania & Sonic 3 never came out!

There you go end of the article! Bye!

Oh wait… That Dreadknux guy wants me to write more… Ok…

Sonic Chaos is a 16bit remake of the 8bit counterpart which came out on the Game Gear and Master System way back in 1993. It’s a game which has not aged very well at all and even back in the day it was quite a difficult game to play if you were also enjoying the Mega Drive games

What we have here, is a very faithful re-creation of the game in a brand new game engine (Crimson Engine), built completely from the ground up (and borrowing some ideas from Mania), as if it were made for a 16bit console system.

And it looks and plays beautifully.

From the moment you see the remastered title screen, you know that something special awaits you.

You do not have to wait long to find out. Starting the game, the sprites for all the enemies being re-made for a higher fidelity experience, the colour pallets used for the stages whilst faithful to the original have also been slightly adjusted to make Chaos a beautiful game to simply stop and admire.

Not only that, but everything within the level has been upgraded and re-designed to give a level with a sense of rich depth.

To illustrate this, here is what the boss fight in Turquoise Hill looks like in the original game.

Now for the fan remake.

In fact we could just continue this entire article with comparison shots, but the entire experience is like that, everything has been upgraded and remastered to fit the 16bit era experience.

But lets talk about the most important part, the gameplay.

It’s on par with Mania, it’s on par with the original Mega Drive era games, it’s absolutely spot on, there is nothing wrong with it. Physics work as you would expect them to, jumping, running and flying feels as it should.

There are some new things added to the game, Mania’s drop dash has made it in, and other in-game gimmicks are hiding away, like these swings which allow you to fly up to the top of trees and then vault off.

I have not felt this excited for a Sonic game since I first tried Mania back at Summer of Sonic. It’s absolutely wonderful. I almost want Sega to give this team funding to finish the game and officially release it. It’s wonderful.

Try it and see.

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  1. Regarding other SAGE 2018 articles.

    Yes I want to cover them… but… My machine is a bit of a potato these days. So some of the higher demanding titles I’m not in a position to cover them.

    Such as Sonic 06 and Sonic Islands, which I really want to write about because Islands is an incredible experience.

    Hopefully other writers will be able to cover these more demanding titles.

  2. Imagine the possibilities if this inspired a mania 2?? (coukd be the 2nd in a “phantom ruby” saga / trilogy)

    How many other 8 bit levels could we see?? Bridge? Jungle? Underground? Sky high? Mecha green hill, crystal / electric egg??

    This looks superb. Sega should commission an 8 bit update package like they did for spiro…make it like mania with expanded levels and extra unlockables…include the 8 bit sonic 1 special stage…wow!

  3. Bit of news on Sega Ages on Switch, the releases meant for this month, including Sonic 1, have been delayed to next month for stability purposes.

  4. I was a bit disappointed by the Crisis City demo, it seems my PC is not up for it because every time I go fast the whole screen becomes wayyy too blurry, it took me like 20 tries before I could reach the later platforming session that was impossible to do so I just gave up.

    Really sucks because if my PC was just a bit more powerful to run it like it should it would most likely also be able to run the damn game in xenia so then it becomes pointless (to me at least) to have a native port. Still impressive though.

  5. I really like the look of the physics engine and from what I’ve seen in the video there are some interesting gimmicks and level design going on. The 8 bit entries to Sonic were some of the most well designed in the series in terms of creativity with the boss design and some really underrated music tracks (the final showdown music with Robotnik in Sonic Chaos still gives me shivers to this day).

    My only real worry is that this demo doesn’t feel like Sonic Chaos to me, which is a particularly beloved entry because it was the first computer game I ever got to own back when I was 3 years old.

    Sure, you couldn’t just update the original game as is because it’s clearly got very limited physics and level design as a limitation from being 8 bit. But changing the bosses, iconic level layouts and the colour palette takes away a lot of the nostalgic charm for me.

    If it doesn’t have the tough as nails pogo stick Robotnik robot with machine guns as a stage 2 boss, or the spherical BBQ robot which launches seagull missiles at you at the end of Aqua Planet, is it even Sonic Chaos anymore?

  6. Honestly, I was thinking just about the same thing. The levels on this demo were WAAAY too long for the first zone. And the Act 2 boss was cool but it definitely should be in a later level. Also, I didn’t see any sign of the Rocket Shoes or Sonic’s Strike Dash/ Super Peel-Out.
    On its own merits this game would be outstanding! But as a remake of Chaos, the team is going to have to go back to the drawing board.

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