[ inspired by this: [link]
Anyone who has played this game knows about how easy to pick up and play and have fun this game is. Every single one who's played it knows about Metal Sonic and how much of an insane A.I. he has. No one has ever beaten him without seeing the dreaded continue screen. This is the arcade game that is Sonic the Fighters/Sonic Championship.
This game, is one of those games that you love to play, but hate to beat. It's supposed to follow the standard videogame logic that the game gets harder as you play it. It follows that guideline loosely, weaving in and out of the fine-line that is rational difficulty increase.
Here, let me break down the games "levels" for you:~Knuckles the Echidna~
To be honest, I think that it was a rather anticlimactic move on the game designers part to have Knuckles as the first fighter. It just feels like an inconsistency in developer choice to have the player as Sonic (for example) to face off against the biggest rival of the time, Knuckles, so early in the game (And to have him as a complete and total pushover too)."HEY KNUCKLES, I'M GONNA PUNCH YOU NOW."
"THAT'S COOL, BRO. I DON'T MIND."
Meanwhile in versus mode, they get THEIR OWN THEME SONG
when chosen to fight each other. Why counteract such epicness with such a lame (tutorial level difficulty) fight? I think this game marked the start of Knuckles' decline as a valued character.~Amy Rose (Rosy the Rascal)~
Amy is always on the defensive. Like always. All you have to do is break all of her barriers and she's utterly useless in the fight. She's not a total waste as she does perform aerial recoveries and (to denounce any pacifism) she'll give you a smack every now and then. She's another one of those punchbag characters, but this one will swing back if you're TOO careless.
But hey, at least it's fun to "weapon grab" her.~Bark the Polerbear~
No, not "POLARBEAR". It's "POLERBEAR". Just ask all of the Classic Fans, they'll agree. Bark, being the 3rd match of the game, is the first guy to actually try hitting back. HOLY CRAP, NO WAY. He's got some pretty Herculean punches, but he's far too easy to land a hit on. Mainly because he doesn't understand the concept of guarding. And if you're playing as Bean or Nack, you don't even need to get close to him, just spam your projectile attacks and you'll be fine.~Espio the Chameleon~
Espio is one of the few serious fighters in the game. He'll start off the match with a fast, and quite strong chop-slap combo. He always does. ALWAYS. In fact, Espio is one of those characters that owns you day-in and day-out until you memorize his attack methods through trial and error. Then he's easy to beat. Really easy. This is only fight where you'll actually use a strategy, that is as follows:-punch his face
-back up when he tries to punch back
-punch his face again
-repeat until victory~Tails the Fox~
Tails is an unassuming character. While everyone else has a "I'M GONNA ENJOY PUNCHING YOUR FACE IN" face and music that gets you in the fighting mood, he has a Teddy Bear face and calm-ish music too. He even has a about-to-cry face when you hit him. That should make you feel bad, right? NO. THIS LITTLE PUNK CHEATS. Tails is the cpu opponent who overrides collision detection, contact between one object and another(i.e.: your fist; his face) to perform the cheapest, and strongest grab in the game. Albeit the rest of his attack pattern is more strategic than cheap, he'll resort to constantly using this technique if you've got him on the ropes.~Nack the Weasel (Fang the Sniper)~
You fight Nack in the only correctly named level in the game, Casino Night. He fights mostly from a distance, and his main attack gimmick defeats the purpose of the fighting game genre. He uses a popgun. Who gives a character GUN in a FIST-FIGHTING game? And a TOY gun no less. I can understand that it's for comical appeal, but it easily makes Nack a cheap character. Anyway, the A.I. is programmed to fully unload on you until you get in his face (by using the gamebreaking spindash move), then he turns into Amy. Yep, he goes on the defensive as if he has no close-quarters combat moves. After you break his barriers, he becomes Knuckles, attacking only when you give your say-so.~Bean the Dynamite~
Like Nack, he'll spam his projectile moves like no tomorrow. Unlike Nack, he knows how to fight up close, but he's far mor of a threat hen distant. Bean is sort of an unpredictable, uncontainable character, and his programming reflects that. As soon as the match starts, he'll either throw a bomb at you, kick a bomb at you, or take a step back first and then he throw a bomb at you. All you really have to do is get in his face and punch first. And then punch again and again and again and...~Sonic the Hedgehog~
Being the last "fighter", but not the last match, Sonic is expected to be super hard. But he's not, he's actually the best programmed character in the game. He fights with skill (not cheat-tactics), he has openings (not "punch me" moments), his attacks aren't too varied (not predictable), and his victories don't make you want to punch in the game screen, but actually make you want try again (not Metal Sonic). I recall feeling like I lost only due to my own fault, and not faulty programming.
So after a grandiose battle with Sonic, you manage to power Tails' rocket, the "Lunar Fox", with the seven chaos emeralds. And a counterfeit pink one that you stole from Amy. You know, because it looked shiny. The game also shows the Master Emerald, which you seemed to have had in the first place, possibly explaining why Knuckles was the first person to show up for a discussion. Of pain. You take the Lunar Fox to the Death Egg 2, which Eggman was apparently able to sneak into space. It hardly looks like the egg-shaped original, but more like Eggman's Interstellar Amusement Park
from Sonic Colors
. There you fight Metal Sonic.~Metal Sonic~
Metal Sonic is a combined beast of Bean's unpredictability, Tails' cheapness, Bark's unreasonable strength, and Espio's trial-and-error strategy. He will break you. Whatever confidence that you had in quick victory similar to what the others gave you, he will smash it to pieces. You'll probably only win by accident, as he attacks with hardly any opening. His strongest moves have instantaneous execution and leave absolutely no time inbetween each other. The only strategy is prayer. Don't mistake this battle as hard, it's frustrating and nothing more.~Dr. Robotonic~
No I did not misspell his name. It's actually Robotonic
. Just ask the fanboys again. They know it to be true. The fight with Metal Sonic probably has you on edge and ready to absolutely mutilate Robotonic
, which you are able to do since you JUST NOW find it to be a good idea to use the Chaos Emeralds. Which just screw you over and scatter. Not without giving you Hypermode though, do you can just whale on Robotonic
before the place blows up in 15 seconds. Oh yeah, the place blows up. Like in Metroid. How about that?
And then you've beaten Arcade Mode! What's that? You didn't beat it fast enough? Score and style has no purpose? Looks like you'll just have to deal with 8th place on the high score board!
Now, while I really detest Arcade mode, I do believe that the real fun is in Versus mode, which is probably the only real reason that you'll want to pick this game back up again. It's fun, no one can cheat, and it's all a matter of skill and wit as you battle. You know, basically what Arcade mode should've been. Despite some inbalance between characters. All of the REAL
fun is in this mode, which possibly saved the whole game from being a giant, massive pile of disappointment.
Well, since I've all of a sudden reviewed the game, I might as well score it. I'd give it a 67/100.
The score has that height mainly because of versus mode. But Arcade mode has taken its toll on the tally. But hey, you shouldn't take my word for it, you should play for yourself on Sonic
Gems Collection. Bring a friend, though. Versus mode is what brings the good memories.