Sonic CD confirmed for XBLA

Casualty of 16-bit wars lives again

Sega's Sonic CD never received the audience it deserved: a technologically supercharged (by 1993 standards) upgrade of the classic 2D Sonic formula, the game was intended as proof of the awesome power of the Sega CD add-on but ended up sitting unplayed in closets, sandwiched between unworthy cellmates such as Night Trap and Sewer Shark. Now, Microsoft's Major Nelson (Larry Hryb) has confirmed that one of the least rereleased Sonic title will get a new start on Xbox Live Arcade – and will be on show at PAX Prime this weekend.

This isn't the first rerelease for Sonic CD: the GameCube version of Sonic Gems Collection boasted a port of the buggy PC version, as did European and Japanese versions of the PS2 edition of that collection. However, besides this stalwart refusal to offer the title to US consumers in a format that might move more than a few copies, the title's never been canonized in the same way as the “classic” trilogy (the title was first released between Sonics 2 and 3). Some Sonic historians see CD as an alternate reality Sonic 2, as the original team split up after Sonic the Hedgehog, with some working in a new US office on Sonic 2, while the Japan-based group worked on Sonic CD, each creating a follow-up to the original separately.

Here's hoping the XBLA version irons out the buggy PC artifacts of earlier ports (and that Hryb isn't just messing with us), so that this title can be rediscovered by fans eager to collect all the forgotten gems of the series' classic era. We’ll be at PAX this weekend, so if Sonic’s there, keep a lookout for our first impressions from the show floor.

Aug 24, 2011

Source: Major Nelson

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