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Review Knuckles Chaotix Review

Chaotix Featuring Knuckles the Echidna (1995)(Sega)(JP-US)(en)001.png

This is an old review to fill up the empty space where I don't have anything to post. Please note that the writing may be more janky for that reason.

Chaotix (or Knuckles' Chaotix in the west) is a very unique Sonic game, but yet, I have a reason to not like it. Why, you might wonder, knowing that I enjoy sonic myself. There are two reasons, and I'll get to those when it comes time for me to explain the gameplay.

Graphically, this game looks AMAZING. It is beautiful for a 32X game, especially since most of them were either not very good games that were ported over from 16bit, games that just had no effort put into them, or Doom. Some games looked nice, like After Burner Complete or Space Harrier, but mostly games just didn't look that good. I mean, I've played darxide, and that's the worst game on the 32X, but maybe I'll get into that another day. Anyways, this game is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, and if you were to look at it, you'd agree. The framerate is very smooth, and the sprites are very nice. Thespecial stages, I wouldn't say are that good, but it is primitive 3D, but it still doesn't look very good nonetheless. There are a lot of clipping issues with the special stages, as loading and unloadig all of this is a lot on the MD, but still, there's a lot of it, and the perspective is also pretty bad. The perspective reminds me of Sonic CD, while there it was useful, but here, while it is the best perspective, it still sucks. Otherwise, this game looks BEAUTIFUL.

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The nice touch of every stage opening like a comic book is, well, a nice touch.

With the sound, this has to be one of my favorite chip tune soundtracks, or probably game soundtracks ever. The music in this game is just so great for it being a cartridge game, and it just sounds so good. I enjoy all of the music in the game that is longer than 10 seconds, (so, actually music) I've listened to the remixes and whatnot, and I still prefer the originals over any remix out there. The music is just so enjoyable to listen to at any time to relax. The sound effects are fine as well, not much to mention, but with the music, this is all just so good. It all sounds good and does the job right for the mood it is trying to convey. Overall, the music is just really good.

Here, this one. It's good.

With the control, it does NOT control well. This game uses a special "combi ring" chain system where two characters are bonded together with two rings and some elasticity, it makes for an honestly interesting experience, but it isn't perfect. I give the game mad props for trying something new, but it just doesn't work. The game just doesn't work well with it. It is something that could be interesting for a tech demo, (which it ws used in sonic crackers) but not a fully fledged game. I like playing these stages alone, but the level design is the other thing about this game that kills it. I'll get into that in a bit, though. The control isn't very good, but it can be enjoyable at times. Just don't play 2 player, as you will have chaos, and it will drive the both of you crazy.

To address the elephant in the room which is this game's gameplay. This is a memorable experience, is not one that is a *good* memorable. Probably because this game (especially if you're not patient) will have you tearng your hair out because of one of 5 things.

A. You are having trouble with the level design and keep going in circles because the level design in this game is ATTROACIOUS,
B. You went and faced a boss with only a few rings,
C. You got Heavy or Bomb in the character selector mini game,
D. The special stages are just way too hard, or
E. You played 2 player instead of 1 player and computer.

The gameplay sucks because of two things, mostly (aside from the special stages). The level design and the ring chain. The level design is terrible. Don't believe me? See for yourself here: http://info.sonicretro.org/Chaotix_level_maps . They're built around exploration, which is something I liked in Sonic CD, but there, at least the levels were put together better. Not too much, as the last 3 stages are bad (in CD) unless you've memorized the stage maps, or just played it as many times as I have, and believe me, that's quite a few times. While in CD they were shambled together consciously, here it feels like someone drew some map concepts in their sleep, someone took it and thought it was brilliant, and used that throughout the whole game. Just because they look pretty doesn't mean they're good, guys.

This all takes place in somewhere called "Newtrogic High Zone" (which I will mention is never mentioned ever again), and there are 5 different "attractions". They are: Amazing Arena, a place that needs to be woken up every time you enter for it to be finishable, Botanic Base, a greenhouse level which is very colorful, and has a lot of shades of green in it, Speed Slider, probably the worst level in the game, since you're going here there and everywhere, Marina Madness, what *could* have been a water level, but they probably figured that would have been too hard with the combi ring, which I can't blame them on, and finally, Techno Tower, which is alevel that keeps going up and up and up forever until you reach the goal sign. Isolated Island is the first stage that you play with Knuckles and Espio, and is mildly interesting.

There's also 5 acts for each level as well, so that makes this the longest 2D Sonic game overall with 25 acts, not to mention the two final bosses, which can be counted into one, but they're pretty easy, which is kind of sad, especially since the final boss (which is taken from the comics, or maybe it was used for the comics at a later time and is known as Metal Sonic Kai The levels all look nice (especially with the 32X's color), but the level design just sucks. The platforming in this game just is really poor period.

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The special stages also are terrible, but not impossible. You play on a giant polygon that has a bunch of blue spheres while your time is measured by rings. You need to collect the right number of blue spheres or otherwise, the level loops. I hope you brought a whole bunch of rings in, otherwise, you've got some retries to do, especially since one hit takes away 10 rings. Trying to avoid pitfalls and these spiky spheres (also 2D sprites) that sometimes are stationary, sometimes are on swinging chains, and sometimes are just all over the place. These special stages just suck, not to mention they're for the chaos rings, which never come into play any other time in the series, and they're just collectables for the good enging, which looks nice too, but the bad ending looks cool as well, as Metal Sonic Kai destroys a city, and the wavy effects of the fire looks really cool along with the bad ending music, but the good ending looks really cool as well, along with the medley of songs from the game, like how Sonic 3 and Knuckles did. The combi ring is just a concept that wasn't executed right, and I explained it in the previous section.

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Granted, this is the special stages after you have all 6 Chaos Rings (wireframes), but let's play "Spot The Blue Sphere" anyways.

The regular level bosses are unique, but unique doesn't always equal fun, especially since they feel like they overstay their welcome, the CPU likes to constantly get hit by them, and their weak spot is really easy to hit. Some are hard, but it's a fake hard, like the Speed Slider boss. Think of the Quartz Quadrant Boss from Sonic CD, because it's constantly sucking you to the right of the screen, and it's weak spot is right in the moddle of the screen going in a circle around Eggman (or Robotnik, whichever you prefer.), and you can hit it twice every time it comes around. The hardest part is not getting hit by these sort of half domes with spikes on the botom. They're just not fun as far as bosses go. Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention, you have an infinite amount of lives, and every time you "lose" a level, you aren't sent back to the last checkpoint (this game doesn't have any) you aren't even sent back to the beginning, you're sent back to the stage select screen. Yep, this game does that and it's very annoying.

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The fabled "Wechnia", which is just a corrupted and mostly nonfunctional Tails.

Overall, Chaotix isn't that enjoyable of an experience. I've played it multiple times, but never completed (in one sitting), and maybe one day I will, but that's to be determined in the future. This game also has the waiting animation thing where if you wait for a minute, Metal Sonic comes out and attacks you, and if you start moving when he first comes on screen, he'll keep following you until you move. Almost forgot to mention that. The two things I like about this game are the colors and especially the soundtrack. Otherwise, I don't really recommend this game.

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