The brief collaboration between gaming giants SNK
yielded this game, one Sonic the Hedgehog
's first forays on to a non-Sega
system. It's essentially a blending of the first three Sega Genesis Sonic
games; the levels are derived from Sonic the Hedgehog
and Sonic the Hedgehog 2
while the music and battle with Knuckles
comes from Sonic 3 and Knuckles
As usual you control Sonic and the goal is to run from the beginning to the end of the levels within the ten minute time limit (which can be toggled on or off), grabbing Rings and rolling enemies along the way. As in previous games there are the item boxes to smash open that contain various goodies: 10 rings, speedy shoes, shield, and invincibility.
The main game consists of seven action stages and two final boss rounds. Like Sonic 2, each Zone has two Acts with the boss appearing at the end of the second. Speaking of zones, here's the list of levels that Sonic ventures through:
- Neo South Island
- Secret Plant
- Cosmic Casino
- Aquatic Relix
- Sky Chase
- Gigantic Angel
- Last Utopia
- Chaotic Space (only available if Sonic collects all seven Chaos Emeralds).
As alluded to above, the seven Chaos Emeralds are back and collecting them all allows access to the Chaotic Space level. Six of the emeralds are found in special stages that are played excatly like the halfpipe bonus level in Sonic 2, while the seventh emerald is held by the final boss in the Last Utopia level. Complete the Chaotic Space level to see the Good Ending. Otherwise you get the Try Again ending. Finishing the game either way unlocks access to the sound test.
There's also a multiplayer mode that requires a NeoGeo Pocket Link Cable and a spare friend with his or her own NGPC and copy of Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure. There are two versus games to play: Sonic Rush and Get the Rings. Sonic Rush is a simple race to the end. In Get the Rings, the winner is the first player to nab a randomly chosen quota of Rings. In all versus games player one controls Sonic while player two controls Tails. Incidentally, versus mode is the only time Tails appears in the game.
Completing the package is a puzzle mode in which Sonic must collect 96 puzzle pieces from the main levels. Collecting a puzzle piece send it to the puzzle mode where you can maneuver the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle to complete six different images based on the characters. Solving them all opens up the Special Stage mode where you can practice on the halfpipe bonus round.
Typical to a video game is the options menu where you can set the difficulty to Easy or Normal (there are less obstacles in Easy mode), toggle the timer on or off, choose the number of players you'd like to work with from 3-5, and toggle the auto power-off on or off. Standard stuff, basically.
Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure was released with the Neo Geo Pocket in a bundle set for $99 back in January 2000. It's near impossible to find these days, however, because when SNK closed up shop they took back all the unsold Neo Geo Pocket merchandise and had it destroyed. Your best bet to play this game is either eBay or emulation.