Friday, January 8, 2010

Game Gear "Game of the Month" - Sonic Drift 2

A new year and a new feature at the Nomad Junkyard!

With the release of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing fast approaching, I thought I'd highlight an early entry into the Sonic racing collection of games. Sonic Drift 2, obviously the sequel to Sonic Drift, released on the Game Gear in 1995. I'm sorry to say that both Sonic Drift titles came out a few years after Nintendo's Mario Kart series, so Sega fans cannot rub this in a plumber fan's face saying "Sonic did it first!". Despite this, Sega AM2 did in fact create a kart racer called Power Drift that predates Mario by five years. So if you want to win a Sega/Nintendo kart argument, just bring up Yu Suzuki. Ahem, moving on...

Despite being a "Mario did it, so why can't Sonic?" title, Sonic Drift is a great portable kart racer. Personally I prefer the sequel as it features a larger roster than the first game, adding fan favorites Fang and Metal Sonic as well as Knuckles. Sure the graphics were simplistic, but that's where much of the game's charm comes from. What really stood out was the music. Sonic Drift 2 featured both happy and haunting tunes. The music for Rainy Savannah has a fast tempo and sense of urgency that makes what would be a usual trip around the track much more of an intense experience:

I could go on and on but really, you should play it for yourself. You can find both games on the Game Gear (obviously) as well as in a variety of compilations. Sonic Drift can be found in Sonic Mega Collection Plus for the PS2 and XBOX. Sonic Drift 2 is included in Sonic Gems Collection for the Gamecube and both games are unlockable in the Gamecube's Sonic Adventure DX. Of course the best way to play is on a Game Gear in a dark room with headphones.

Played the game? Share your experience in the comments below! :)

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