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Sonic Drift 2 (ソニックドリフト2 Sonikku Dorifuto Ni?), known as Sonic Drift Racing in Europe, is a kart racing game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series for the Sega Game Gear, developed and released by Sega. The game is the sequel to Sonic Drift that, unlike its predecessor, was released internationally in 1995. Featuring more race courses and additional items, the game also added more playable characters.

Gameplay

The title screen of Sonic Drift 2.

Sonic Drift 2 is a racing game with nearly identical gameplay elements compared to Sonic Drift. In gameplay, the player races along a courses against three other characters for a top position in the race. Like in the previous entry, the game's single player mode has three Chaos GP circuits with different difficulty settings (purple, white and blue) to win, with each circuit featuring six race tracks for the player to complete. Clearing all three circuits grants access to the Final Cup. The game also has same the features and difficulty options from the previous title, while also allowing the player to turn race track obstacles on or off.

The game's controls are closely similar to those in Sonic Drift with only small changes. Monitor power-ups are not triggered automatically upon contact, but are instead saved at the top corner of the screen and it can be used in any time. The player can only carry one power-up at time. Alternatively, the player can use a playable character's Special Ability after getting two Rings. Certain Monitor items or Special Abilities can as well hamper opponents' progress. The game is more challenging than the Sonic Drift, as the courses include more tricks and obstacles and a more advanced A.I. that has an easier time competing against the player. The player also has to worry about moving outside the roads' borders, which may hold pits or off-road tracks that slows down the racers.

Like in Sonic Drift, the player starts out in the fourth place at the beginning of a Chaos GP circuit. As the player completes a race course, they and each other racer are awarded with points based on their finishing positions, allowing the participants to improve their place:

  • 1st Place: 3 points
  • 2nd Place: 2 points
  • 3rd Place: 1 point
  • 4th Place: 0 points

Sonic and Tails in Emerald Hill.

In gameplay, Chaos Emeralds are awarded for winning races. If Sonic, Tails, Amy, or Knuckles collect all six in the Blue GP, they will face Dr. Robotnik in a "Final GP" race around the Death Egg. If Robotnik, Metal Sonic, or Fang collect all six in the Blue GP, they will then face Sonic in the "Final GP" race. When the player wins the Final GP in first place, they will have cleared the game.

Controls

Button formation Action
Controlpadds.png left/right Steer
Game Gear II Button.png Accelerate
Game Gear I Button.png Brake
Controlpadds.png up Use Power-up item / Special Ability
START Pause
START + Game Gear I Button.png + Game Gear II Button.png Pause + exit Free Run mode

Objects

Items

Sonic Drift 2 has more items and power-ups than Sonic Drift, most of which are housed in multicolored Monitors.

Image Name Description
Sonic-Drift-Ring.gif
Ring The traditional Ring that can be collected over the course of a race. If a racer has two Rings (three in Metal Sonic's case), the racer can perform their own unique Special Ability.
High-Speed.png
Dash A red Monitor that grants a small burst of speed.
Drift 2 YellowMonitor.png
Jump A yellow Monitor that bounces the racer into the air, similar to the Spring.
Drift 2 BlackMonitor.png
Mine A gray Monitor that contains a mine. The player can drop the mine on the race course, which causing the a racer that hits it to screech to a complete stop.
Invincibility-Muteki.png
Invincible A blue Monitor which makes the racer invulnerable to obstacles and Special Abilities for a few seconds.
Spring-Sonic-Drift-2.png
Spring Red Springs that will bounce the racer into mid-air. Several race courses have Gorges, that the racers have to cross by using Springs. While flying via a Spring, power-ups or Special Abilities cannot be utilized.
Flash Star.png
Flash When a racer drives into a Flash Star, the entire screen momentarily whites out. In the Versus multiplayer mode, this will happen to both players, regardless of user.
Drift 2 Reverse.png
Reverse Passing though a Reverse ball reverses a racer's movements momentarily, meaning pressing Controlpadds.png left turns the racer to the right and vice versa.

Gimmicks and obstacles

Characters

Image Character Vehicle Special Ability Stats
Acceleration Speed Handling
Sonic-Drift-2-Cyclone-Art.png Sonic the Hedgehog Cyclone Sonic uses the Dash, a sudden burst of speed that blows him past the other drivers. Its effect is short lived.[7] High High Low
Tails 68.png Miles "Tails" Prower MTP-02 Wheelwind S7 Tails uses the Jump to propel him over obstacles and opponents' cars. The Jump can be used even in a turn.[7] Medium Medium Medium
Amy 43.png Amy Rose Breeze Amy distracts her rivals with the Heart Attack, which makes them lose their sense of direction. While they're confused, she blazes on ahead.[8] High Low Medium
Robotnik 54.png Dr. Eggman Egg Typhoon The evil Doctor tosses Mines that, when hit by other drivers, detonate and destroy their cars. Do they affect the Eggman's Egg Typhoon? Only one way to find out...[8] Low Decent Very high
Knuckles 55.png Knuckles the Echidna Tempest Knuckles can Punch opponents (if one is near him) or Jump over them. The Jump is also good for avoiding obstacles such as Mines.[8] Medium Medium Medium
Knack 3.png Fang the Sniper Marvelous Queen Fang's a slick one. He chucks Oil Balls onto the track that, when hit, cause other cars to spin out of control.[8] High High Low
Metal Sonic 15.png Metal Sonic Blue Devil If you think Sonic's Dash is hot stuff, wait 'til you see Metal Sonic's Super Dash! It's so hot it costs three rings for him to use it.[9] Very high Very high Very low

Courses

Each Chaos GP circuit in Sonic Drift 2 has six race courses, each with its own obstacles and items related to their theme. Like power-ups and Special Abilities, many obstacles can affect course of the race by knocking racers off the race track or slow them down.

Several of the courses in Sonic Drift 2 are named after Zones from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, like Emerald Hill Zone and Casino Night Zone. In addition, Ice Cap is a reference to IceCap Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 3, which was released a year earlier. Iron Ruin serves as a heads up to the Scrap Brain Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, which was released four years earlier.

Chaos GP Course no.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Purple Emerald Hill 1.png HT1.png DV1.png CN SD2.png DR1.png IR.png
Emerald Hill 1 Hill Top 1 Dark Valley 1 Casino Night Desert Road 1 Iron Ruin
White DR2.png RS.png IC.png HT2.png MC.png Emerald Hill 2.png
Desert Road 2 Rainy Savanna Ice Cap Hill Top 2 Mystic Cave Emerald Hill 2
Blue DV2.png QC.png BP.png EO.png MW.png DE.png
Dark Valley 2 Quake Cave Balloon Panic Emerald Ocean Milky Way Death Egg

Other modes

Free Run

The main menu.

Free Run is the basic Time Attack mode of Sonic Drift 2, it allows the player to replay any of the race courses with goal of getting the fastest record possible. On the menu screen, the player can choose the race course and playable character and then start the race with the "Run" option. The separate "Results" option shows the player's three best circuit times and the single best lap time.

Versus

Versus mode is the multiplayer mode of Sonic Drift 2, it can include up to two players. To play, two Game Gear handheld units must be connected using two Sonic Drift 2 cartridges and one Gear-to-Gear Cable (called "VS Cable" in Japan). The Versus mode's gameplay is similar to that in the Chaos GP, and includes the same features and race courses.

Option

The Option menu lets the player set the game's difficulty to either "Normal" or "Hard,"[9] with Hard mode increasing the opponents' acceleration. It also includes the Enemy option, which lets the player turn on or off the obstacles on the race course.[9]

Reception

 Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 91%[3]
Famitsu 19/40[10]
GamePro 3-/6[11]
Mean Machines Sega 92%[2]
Sega Power 81%[12]
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) 7.0/10[13]
Sonic the Comic 67%[14]

Sonic Drift 2 received mixed to negative reviews from critics, much like the original Sonic Drift.

On its release, Famicom Tsūshin gave the game a score of 19 out of 40.[10] For its inclusion in Sonic Gems Collection, Tom Bramwell of GameSpy criticized the game for looking awful due the resolution on the Game Gear emulation.[15] Ryan Davis of GameSpot also called the game "unplayable because of poor handling and a really short horizon."[16]

Re-releases

Sonic Drift 2, along with other Game Gear titles, would later be featured as unlockable games in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut for the GameCube and PC, where it becomes available after collecting all 130 Emblems and completing 90 Missions. Along with other Game Gear games, it was also made available in Sonic Gems Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2. The game has also been ported to Coleco Sonic, Playpal Plug and Play for Coleco, and Tectoy Master System 3 for Tectoy. Sonic Drift 2 was also one of games that were available in TBS GameTap service until its closure in October 2010.

On 1 July 2013, Sonic Drift 2 was re-released for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in Europe at the price of £3.59 (€3.99). This included the same content as the original game, except it could be played in 3D.[17]

Staff

  • Programmer: A. Morino
  • Artists: K. Tamura, H. Takano, A. Tezuka
  • Sound: Masayuki Nagao (M. Nagao), Saori Kobayashi (S. Kobayashi)
  • Planner: Norihito Kato (N. Katoh)
  • Director: Katsuhiro Hasegawa (K. Hasegawa)
  • Producer: Motoshige Hokoyama (M. Hokoyama)
  • Special thanks to: T. Kosuge, Shinichi Higashi (S. Higashi), R. Fujimura, Yasuhiro Nishimoto (Y. Nishimoto), Tadashi Ihoroi (T. Ihoroi)
  • Presented by: Sega

Trivia

  • Sonic Drift 2 was the first game to feature Metal Sonic and Fang the Sniper as playable characters.
  • This game marks the first time Dr. Robotnik was referred to as "Eggman" outside of Japan.
  • Despite Sonic Drift being only released in Japan, Sonic Drift 2 was still released in North America as a sequel without changing the title. Also, as the game was being sold under the alternate title Sonic Drift Racing on the European market, the title screen still refers the game as Sonic Drift 2.
  • Due to space limitations, Knuckles and Metal Sonic's names are spelt "Knucles" and "M.Sonic."
  • Amy's shirt is colored blue due to palette limitations.
  • All of the vehicles, with the exception of the Blue Devil and Marvelous Queen, have names related to wind or air.
  • Fang is the only character to not appear on the North American box art, due to being cropped out by the Game Gear border, although a part of his vehicle can be seen.
  • An 8-bit rendition of the boss theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles can be heard during the "Final GP" race. The composer Masayuki Nagao also worked on Sonic Drift 2.
  • The Invincible music heard in the game is an 8-bit rendition of the title music from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

References

  1. Game Gear Cartridges (Sega released) (Japanese). Sega. Archived from the original on 6 May 2019. Retrieved on 22 February 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Merrett, Steve; Swan, Gus (April 1995). "Game Gear Review: Sonic Drift 2". Mean Machines Sega (30): 74,75. Archived from the original. Retrieved on 22 February 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Patterson, Mark (April 1995). "Review: Sonic Drift 2". Computer and Video Games (161): 97. Archived from the original. Retrieved on 22 February 2022.
  4. ソニックドリフト2 (Japanese). Sega. Archived from the original on 15 November 2012.
  5. Sonic Drift 2. Nintendo (US). Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved on 10 January 2022.
  6. Sonic Drift 2. Nintendo (UK). Archived from the original on 11 August 2019. Retrieved on 10 January 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonic Drift 2 (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 7.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Sonic Drift 2 (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 8.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Sonic Drift 2 (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 9.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ソニックドリフト2". Weekly Famicom Tsūshin (327): 41. 24 March 1995.
  11. Hellwig, Thomas (July 1995). "Game Gear Test: Sonic Drift" (in German). 'GamePro' (10): 65. Archived from the original. Retrieved on 22 February 2022.
  12. Mortlock, Dean (May 1995). "Reviews: Sonic Drift 2". Sega Power (66): 57. Archived from the original. Retrieved on 22 February 2022.
  13. "Mega Gear Dog Race: ソニックドリフト2" (in Japanese). Sega Saturn Magazine: 130. April 1995. Archived from the original.
  14. Jenny, Fromer (April 1995). "Review Zone". Sonic the Comic. p. 12.
  15. Bramwell, Tom (6 October 2005). Sonic Gems Collection. Gamespy. Retrieved on 17 August 2016.
  16. Davis, Ryan (6 October 2005). Sonic Gems Collection Review. Gamespot. Retrieved on 17 August 2016.
  17. Three More on the 3DS: Game Gear Games Hit the eShop. Sega Blog. Sega (4 July 2013). Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved on 17 August 2016.

External links

Sonic the Hedgehog handheld games
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