Sega 32X Reviews

Knuckles Chaotix

Genre: Platformer Developer: Sonic Team: Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1 Released: 1995

Oh, the 32X. Speculate all you want, but the 32X was not a bad idea. As always, however, SEGA’s timing was poor on its debut, and so it unfortunately stands out in the minds of gamers as just another official flop (probably one of the bigger ones) on the behalf of the creator of the Blue Blur.

Just how gamers think of Street Fighter and Mega Man when they think of Capcom, and how The Legend of Zelda and Mario spring to mind when Nintendo enters the conversation, SEGA is synonymous with Sonic The Hedgehog.

The Blue Blur has officially been one of SEGA’s greatest cash-cows, and oftentimes I wonder if he’s what carried them through the rougher parts of their existence. But alas, this article is not about Sonic, and that is what makes some gamers upset when they dwell upon this game. This article is about one Knuckles the Echidna, guardian of the sacred Master Emerald, and protector of the Floating Island.

Knuckles Chaotix appears to be set in a strangely alternate universe to the normal Sonic continuity. Sonic The Hedgehog doesn’t make much of an appearance in this game except for a few minor cameos at the beginning and end. Some gamers have speculated that the character Mighty the Armadillo was really Sonic The Hedgehog, and that Amy Rose was going to make an appearance, and both are to an extent true. However, at the last minute they reworked Sonic’s classic sprites from Sonic 1 and 2 into Mighty the Armadillo and removed any trace of Amy as a playable character from the game.

Your biggest opponent in this game, as he almost always is, is Dr. Robotnik, or to our Japanese fans and newcomers to Sonic, Dr. Eggman. Dr. Robotnik has built some strange carnival-like fortress called Newtrogic High Zone on a mysterious new island created by the Master Emerald and has imprisoned Knuckles’ group of guardian friends. Knuckles can free one from the machine at any time, but unfortunately for him, he can only free *one*. The other downside to this is that two of Dr. Robotnik’s supposedly “abandoned” robot workers are also in the machine, and neither one is anything to be proud of. Between Heavy, who runs with all the grace of a brick, and Bomb, who blows up at “the first sign of things looking bleak,” your mission is that much more dangerous. The worst part is, you’re tethered to whoever you’re paired with. If you’ve got someone with decent skills like Espio, you’ll do fine. If you’ve got someone, like Heavy, you’re basically dragging a four-hundred-pound anvil behind you.


What fun.

Chaos Emeralds in this game were swapped with a sort of ring, and if my memory serves me like it should, I remember them being called Combi Rings. You must get five of these through the 3D special stages, which are kind of like the ones from Sonic 2. The most interesting (and odd) part of the game is that the levels are chosen in random order. You have to complete five stages with five acts each, and each playthrough is unique, never the same as the one before. (Unless you’ve got the slot-machine skills of a casino guru…)

Knuckles Chaotix was a grand experiment into the different ways Sonic could be taken. It has a bit of Mega Man 7 flair to its spriting and coloring, and a lot of the stage design looks like it was inspired by the legendary Sonic CD. Knuckles Chaotix really took the 32X and made something with it.

All-in-all, the first-gen PSX-style graphics, the AMAZING music (DOOR INTO SUMMER!), the cute character design and the solid gameplay made this title one that you DEFINITELY want to own.

Without any shadow of a doubt, pick it up.

SCORE: 9 out of 10

Want another opinion on this game? Read our Double Take article!



  1. Could of been so much more, but sadly, was rushed to market to meet sales deadlines. This wouldn’t be the last Sonic game to suffer this fate, but at least this one has some salvageable points.

    The music is top notch, up there with the best on the system (Genesis and 32X combined) as well as in the series. As for the game itself, bland would be the best word. 5 acts for each level just drags on, and neither of them have anything to differentiate them.

    I’d give the game 4/10 personally.

  2. My personal favorite of the Sonic series, I played the absolute crap out of this one. Beautiful level design and graphics, excellent music, and a fun twist on the gameplay with the rubber-band physics. There’s a little bit of a learning curve but it’s a whole lot of fun to play as well. The only thing I don’t like about it is that the levels themselves have very little challenge to them, and there isn’t really a lives system.

    But I can’t recommend this game enough.

  3. Sonic game or not, I really dislike this game a lot. Aesthetics are fine, but the gameplay and level design is so horrible all Sonic games on Master System I’ve played are lightyears ahead on the fun factor to me. Beaten once, shelved forever.

  4. They key to enjoying this title is to not go into it expecting a Sonic game. While it looks like a Sonic game it doesn’t play anything like one, the gameplay dynamic is completely different. This doesn’t mean that this game isn’t good though, in facty it’s anything but! Gameplay is quite entertaining as the rubber-band effect can create some pretty cool high speed action, and if you’re creative enough with the game physics you can often get this satisfying feeling of “ripping the system” due to some of the crazy ways in which you can navigate the levels using momentum. The graphics and music are also spot on and the overall gaming experience is quite fun – a must have for any 32X owner.

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