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Sonic Triple Trouble – Sega Game Gear

Sonic Triple Trouble – Sega Game Gear

sonictripletrouble coverPlatform: Sega Game Gear

Developer: Aspect

Publisher: Sega

Release Date (NA): November, 1994

Genre: Platformer

Nerd Rating: 7.25 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

The inclusion of the word “Triple” in the title of a video game would definitely give the connotation of a 3rd title in a trilogy, but not only is Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble (often simplified to just Sonic Triple Trouble) the 4th platforming game on the Game Gear, it’s actually a direct sequel to Sonic Chaos. In Japan, Sonic Chaos is known as Sonic & Tails, and Sonic Triple Trouble is known as Sonic & Tails 2. Furthermore, Sonic Triple Trouble is also the very first Sonic platformer to be released exclusively for the Game Gear in North America! The “Triple” term comes from the inclusion of three new elements in the game: The handheld introduction of Knuckles, Tails diving in the water as “Sea-Fox,” and Sonic riding his Jet Skateboard! The three-headed monster.

Sonic-Triple-Trouble ad

Somehow Dr. Robotnik has managed to snatch up the Chaos Emeralds to use in his new destructive weapon. While testing this new ultimate weapon, one of his assistants makes a mistake causing a massive explosion that sends five of the Chaos Emeralds scattered across the planet Mobius. Sonic and Tails set off to find the Emeralds, only to be encountered by Knuckles (the guardian of the Chaos Emeralds) who has been tricked into thinking Sonic and Tails are out to steal them. To further complicate matters, Nack, a sly little treasure hunting weasel, is after the Chaos Emeralds too. He doesn’t know the true power of the Emeralds, but he thinks he will score a handsome price on the market. Can Sonic and Tails get past Knuckles and Nack to acquire the Chaos Emeralds all while defeating Dr. Robotnik and stopping his ultimate weapon?

Sonic triple trouble 1

Some of what made Sonic Chaos a unique game sort of detracts from the excitement of Sonic Triple Trouble as the ability to play with Tails in Sonic Chaos is no longer a new thing. But make no mistake, even though this game is a direct sequel to Sonic Chaos, sharing many common factors, it is a much longer game developed with considerable ambition and determination. These levels are substantially more intricate and larger than previous 8-bit Sonic platformers, and can even stand up against some open-minded comparisons against previous 16-bit Sonic platformers. The special stages appeared to have been developed with extra care as the mix of 3D flight stages and punishing mazes positively push the limits of the Game Gear.

sonic triple trouble tails

Sonic Triple Trouble consists of six acts with three zones each. Pretty standard fare for a Sonic game. But what’s really cool about this game is the fact that you can choose to play through with Sonic OR with Tails! Sonic has the ability of the Strike Dash while Tails can actually fly! That’s not even the best part about Triple Trouble, however. The thing that makes Triple Trouble such a damn good game, and possibly the best Sonic game on the Game Gear, is the fact that it feels like you are actually playing one of the original Genesis games. Sure, the sound and music had to be altered, and the graphics, speed, and colors aren’t as crisp as Sonic’s bigger blast-processed brothers in Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but Triple Trouble just feels right. Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 on the Game Gear are merely ports from the Sega Master System. Triple Trouble was built from the ground up for Game Gear purposes only!

Sonic The Hedgehog - Triple Trouble 2

As you progress through Sonic Triple Trouble, you’ll likely start wondering at what point the game is going to get difficult. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t get all that tough. The toughest parts are the bosses, but that’s typically because of some gimmick they used. Actually, some of the boss battles are very intricately thought-out, which took me by surprise! For example, The Great Turquoise Zone boss requires you to bounce on top of Badniks to be propelled into the air and then roll into a ball at the precise moment to hit the boss. The Sunset Park Zone boss starts off with you in a forced side scrolling level while you dodge bombs and jump gaps! Another challenge of the game is that some acts have very few rings in them, meaning that if you get hit once and don’t recover a ring, you might end up having to tiptoe your way through an entire stage!

sonic triple trouble boss

One thing in particular that sets Triple Trouble apart from its handheld predecessors is the way in which Sonic and Tails must acquire Chaos Emeralds. After-all, that’s the only REAL way to beat a Sonic game, right?? You have to find the randomly placed item monitor that has a Chaos Emerald on the screen, bust it open, and boom. Special Stage! With 50 rings of course. So, Sonic and/or Tails have to either go through a platformer-maze OR fly through a 3D flight stage collecting rings, depending which Emerald you are going for. Then, you must fight and beat Nack the Weasel in order to get the Chaos Emerald. Talk about tough! The mazes are the toughest, and the 5th Special Stage for getting the final Chaos Emerald is beyond infuriating if you are playing as Sonic since he can easily get stuck in the bottom of these pits!

sonic triple trouble jet skateboard

What really does it for me in Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble is the fact that for the first time ever, I feel like I’m playing a Genesis Sonic game on my Game Gear! Sure, the tiny little screen with its tiny little speaker aren’t quite Genesis-esque, but the overall feel of the game definitely SCREAMS 16-bit Sonic! The music is exceptional and masterfully composed in all of its blip, bloop, bleep chiptune glory! What brings Sonic Triple Trouble down a few notches is that it’s just too easy sometimes and there aren’t enough enemies throughout any stage, much like in Sonic Pocket Adventure.

sonic triple trouble nack the weasel

Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble is worth your time and effort, even if you’re not a huge Sonic fan. If your Game Gear has finally burned its last pixel (cough The Cubist cough), just know that you can find Triple Trouble on the Sonic Gems Collection for GameCube! And it has been re-released for the 3DS as well. So there’s no excuses. With the uniqueness in its boss battles and special stages paired with that special original Sonic trilogy feel, Sonic Triple Trouble is a strong contender for best Game Gear game ever made. Don’t believe me? Try your hand as Tails first… Then go back with Sonic and see if you’ve really got what it takes to stop Dr. Robotnik!

P.S. = Is it just me, or did anybody else notice the H. Kojima in the ending credits? Hmm…

Nerd Rating: 7.25 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry


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Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.


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