(GG / Game Gear)

Game Review

Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Need for speed

While SEGA's Sonic the Hedgehog series pulled in monstrous sales on the Mega Drive/Genesis, many gamers aren't aware that Sonic also enjoyed a number of releases on the Master System and Game Gear. Sonic Triple Trouble is the follow-up to Sonic Chaos and while the game still suffered from the hardware limitations of the Game Gear's 8-bit processor, it was definitely a step in the right direction and probably the closest thing gamers could get to the overall style of play of the 16-bit titles on a handheld. Now SEGA wants to give the game a second chance with its release on the 3DS eShop, but with its slower pace and extremely tame difficulty, it's not likely to appeal to everyone.

To mix things up, there are a host of platform helpers that range from springs that will catapult Sonic high into the air, to platform sections that Sonic can break through in order to reach hidden areas. As the action's a little slower than in 16-bit, there's a bit more emphasis on exploration than you'd associate with the more speedy Sonic titles on the Mega Drive.

The level designs are solid enough, but the aforementioned lack of zip does tend to bog the experience down at times. The inclusion of Tails and his hovering ability offers up some variety, but the extremely easy difficulty offers little challenge to seasoned Sonic fans and brings the adventure to a close far too quickly. SEGA made a good attempt at capturing the home console Sonic experience, but perhaps it would have been better trying something a bit different and more befitting the hardware capabilities.

The developers at Aspect were obviously more comfortable with the visual capabilities of the Game Gear this time around and the details in the surroundings and enemies are quite a bit more detailed. There's a bit of slowdown at certain intervals when the action becomes intense, but it's certainly not anything overly annoying. The musical score has that Sonic catchiness to it and there are some very solid tunes to enjoy throughout your adventure; even the classic Sonic sound effects ring out as true as they do on their console counterparts.


It's easy to pick on Triple Trouble for its shortcomings when compared to the console Sonic titles, but even as a Game Gear release, the game still has its share of faults. The adventure itself is quite enjoyable and there are some solid level designs, but the lack of challenge and sluggish pacing end up bringing the overall experience down a few notches. Fans of Sonic will likely get their money's worth with the eShop release, but you'll enjoy the game far more if you can keep your expectations at a realistic level.

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User Comments (48)



Bobhobob said:

Aww... I thought this might be worth a purchase. Well, it's time to beg my parents for money so I can get Mutant Muds



Ecto-1 said:

I've been playing this for the last few days, and I have to say I am really enjoying it. It isn't quite as good or as challenging as the first two Genesis games (my personal favorites in the series), but it is quite fun. It kind of reminds me of the New Super Mario games; the DS one wasn't nearly as hard as the Wii one, yet it was still a fun game that I came back to numerous times. Personally, I would give it an 8.

One thing I am shocked that none of the Game Gear reviews have mentioned are the special features that these releases include. They have tons of options: customizable button mapping, three screen modes (Normal, Full, and Dot by Dot, which is basically native resolution with the system border like GameBoy VC), color options for the system border in Dot by Dot mode, blurring, and I am sure that there is something else that I am forgetting. Also you can change any of these options without having to restart the game, unlike the GameBoy games where if you were playing in regular screen mode and decided you wanted to go to native resolution, you would have to restart the game holding Start and Select. These games also save your custom settings when you exit them. The wealth of options available here almost put Nintendo's own VC releases to shame; hopefully, Nintendo will included similar options in future VC releases as well as update the existing ones.



SuperTrainStationH said:

I have to say, as a kid who owned Game Gear as a my first system when Sonic Triple Trouble came out, this games main flaw, its relative ease, was a GODSEND for me at age 6.

Sonic 1 for Game Gear I rarely saw past the third zone.


Keep in mind, this was BEFORE the internet and you could just look stuff up, and if your friend didn't have the game, you were totally on your own, plus I was six at the time.

In Triple Trouble I could actually even make it so the second to last world if I played carefully and was extra lucky. For a young kid the stages are reasonably challenging, and now as an adult playing this game for the first time since the 90's, I'm going for the Chaos Emeralds.

Having owned and loved both this and Super Mario Land 1 as a kid, I'd say over all, this probably has more going for it in 2012 that Mario Land does.



WarioPower said:

I disagree with this review. While not on par with the genesis games, this is still a gem. I do admit that the controls are kind of sluggish (not sure how to explain it) and it does get slow at parts (tidal plant). However, this is still a game worth 8/10 in my honest opinion.



Ristar42 said:

I'd rather play the first Sonic on Game Gear than any of the later titles. Its relative simplicity allowed the game to move at a decent speed and smaller sprites accommodated a better overall view of the stages. Weird SEGA has chosen not to start at the beginning.



Lunapplebloom said:

I remember this from Sonic Gems Collection. It was a bit sluggish, but I think I'll give it another shot. Thanks for the review Corbs.



StarBoy91 said:

That's all right, I prefered Sonic Chaos to Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble anyway, but this game is not bad, and a 6 is a good score; good review, Corbie



Philip_J_Reed said:

One thing I am shocked that none of the Game Gear reviews have mentioned are the special features that these releases include. They have tons of options: customizable button mapping, three screen modes [...]

Those aren't game specific, though, and really not suited to reviews of those individual games. That would be like us reviewing the console's home menu every time we reviewed a Wii or 3DS game!



gojiguy said:

If I bought this, it'd be like the 3rd time I own it... Once in SADX... once in Gems collection...

I like the GG games of Sonic, tho...



Whopper744 said:

Played it on the Gamecube on at least one of the collections...wouldn't mind actually taking the time out to play through it now on the 3DS though! Never actually got all the emeralds...not real sure if I ever took the time out to beat it at all. Is there only 5 emeralds in this game?? Anything special if you get them all?
The only thing stopping me from this is Kid Icarus is coming out this weekend and I would put too much focus into it, to play this old game for a while I'd think....wish we we get Myths and Mosters, but whatever.



Geonjaha said:

@12 Yes, but the presentation of the game affects other scores. The retro review of metroid gave it a 6/10, while yours gave it a 8/10 using some advantages of the system to justify it.



bezerker99 said:

If you put your faith and hope it numbers from a Review - then according to NL, Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Master System is better than Triple Trouble. That's so baffling to me cuz the SMS version doesn't even have the patented Sonic the Hedgehog "loops" (the first level from it is all flat and very boring). At least this (8-bit) Gamegear Sonic and has loops. I'm not exactly sure why the (8-bit) Sega Master System version doesn't.

Anyways, I played Triple Trouble and it's great - deserves more than a lousy 6 (in my opinion). And with the extra added awesomeness of the Gamegear VC's controls and sleek design - you can't go wrong with this portable Sonic.



Philip_J_Reed said:

Yes, but the presentation of the game affects other scores. The retro review of metros gave it a 6/10, while your gave it a 8/10 using some advantages of the system to justify it.

Nice assumption, but no. The difference in score is down to a difference in reviewer. If anything "justified" my 8/10 review of Metroid, it was my enjoyment of the game itself...not advantages of the system!



Luffymcduck said:

The funny thing is that I didn´t even know that such thing as Game Gear existed before 2005. I first heard about it when reading reviews of Sonic Gems Collection. I finished this game once on Gems Collection and it wasn´t anything special. Does Game Gear have any memorable games anyways, something like Link´s Awakening or Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow on Game Boy? I´d like to know if I´ve missed any gems.



Tasuki said:

I never got a chance to play this game before but I have to say I am enjoying it alot. Now if only I can get past the fourth level.

Great review Corbs.



Raylax said:

@chicken_brutus: I believe that additional VC features have been given a few sentences of cover in the past. Not for every title of course, but the front runner for each service usually cover it. Sonic & Knuckles' review added a little about the lock-on capabilities remaining in-tact, "accessed through a menu at any time in-game"; and I seem to recall Metroid's review (for 3DS VC) mentioning that Restore Point functionality is something of a modern blessing. So it'd be nice for VC Game Gear's additional functions to be covered somewhere too.

Back on the game, I still intend to pick this up. It's the only 'main' 8-bit Sonic game I haven't played; namely because I owned a Master System and not a GG. I loved the Master System titles, so I'm sure I'll get some fun out of this, too.



Flowerlark said:

If the difficulty is tame, this may actually be the game for me. I love old-school games but tend to... well, suck at them. Badly. I didn't start playing games until I was in my late teens, so having pretty much missed the entire old-school era and not having played them as a little kid, I find almost all old-school games to be well beyond my abilities. However, with the VC restore points I've scraped past a handful of them and really enjoyed them (Especially Link's Awakening and Gargoyle's Quest)! So I think I'll give this game a try and see if those restore points will allow me to scrape past this as well.



shinobi88 said:

ARE THERE ANY GEMS ON THE GAME GEAR?? Young Padawan, you have much to learn.

  • First and foremost are the Shinobi games. They're original games that feature gameplay just as solid as the Genesis titles and epic scores done by the same gent who did the soundtrack for Revenge of Shinobi. Shinobi GG 2 is superior to the first because the already awesome gameplay is perfected and the soundtrack is completely original, as opposed to part 1 which had some tunes from Revenge mixed in.
  • Columns & Super Columns on GG are my second favorite puzzle games behind Tetris & Tetris DX.
  • Sonic Drift 2 is a great lil kart racer and it has an xcellent soundtrack (something you'll find true of most every Sega produced GG game, just check out this mesmerizing track from Sonic Triple Trouble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dot0iGpUL5I).
  • Faithful ports of Streets of Rage 1 & 2 and Gunstar Heroes should make their way onto the VC...hopefully
  • There are little known Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man games for GG that should be fanboy candy to anyone who's into those series.
  • I prefer the GG version of Mickey's Castle of Illusion to the Genesis version, but alas, I don't think we'll see that on the VC anytime in this millenium
  • I'm not into RPGs but I hear the Shining Force GG games are great


RR529 said:

Guess I was right in choosing Shinobi. Oh well, I might get this eventually.



TKOWL said:

The game is worth playing just to hear the Sunset Park Act 3 music.



Ecto-1 said:


That was my line of thought exactly. I never meant that they should take up half of the review or that they should have a drastic impact on the score, but it would be nice to see the added features mentioned, just as extra VC features like restore points have been mentioned in other reviews (Metroid and SMB for instance).



Neram said:

Only gripe I have with the game is the maze-like level design in last few levels of the game. You should never get lost in a Sonic game. Other than that I thought it was great.



SageWaterDragon said:

@Neram Unless it is Sonic Unleashed. Getting mad and frustrated enough in those werehog sections to stop playing would be for the betterment of mankind.



Token_Girl said:

I personally think this is a great game, the only fault I'd give it is it's easy difficulty (though I couldn't get all the emeralds when I was little and first played it); it's still harder than Sonic Chaos though. I first played Sonic 2 on Game Gear, and I don't think it's much slower than that. Overall, It's a fun game and if you like the Master System Sonic games, you'll enjoy giving this a spin. If you don't, consider yourself judged.



Azaris said:

Some reasons why i think 6 is too low(imo 7 seems fair) 1.you can play as tails it might of been common palace when then this game came out but now a days you can't play as tails in sonic games anymore
2.save states(or restore points) alone make any game better
3.customizable controls 4.You can play as tails 5.It's challenging without being overbearing now alot of hard games are overbearingly hard,to me it's a good thing when there not.
6.Did i mention you can play as tails?



shinobi88 said:

Pretty obvious the majority feel this game deserves above a 6. Just a nice clear example of the insanely high bias towards only Nintendo on this site. What would you expect from a site titled "Nintendo Life"??

The moral of the story is all sites have at least a little bias. So it is the opposite of smart to make your total view of a game's quality based on reviews from 1 site. You should find 3 or 4 sites that you really like and combine the scores of each. Or...just let Metacritic do it for you. FYI, Sonic Triple Trouble has a 73% percent rating from users on Gamefaqs and an 83% user rating on Gamespot.

It might sound like I dislike this site. Quite the opposite, it's one of my favorites. The articles are always interesting and fun and the message boards are always lively. Just take all reviews w/ a grain of salt.



theblackdragon said:

@shinobi88: I find your statements and comparison to be out of line. It is not fair to Corbie at all to say he only gave it a 6 because it's not a Nintendo game — if he wrote and scored it this way, this is his honest opinion of the game. Nor is it fair to accuse Tom of glossing over the controls in KI:U in an attempt to preserve Nintendo's reputation for quality — there's a good chance they didn't bother him at all, and so he didn't have the same major problems other reviewers apparently did. Yes, reviews are opinion, but here at Nintendo Life they're the opinion of our reviewers, not Nintendo.

That said, we've always encouraged users to read more than one review before making a decision to purchase or not to purchase a game. Why do you think we link back to Metacritic on every review page?



theblackdragon said:

@shinobi88: At the bottom of every page, underneath the big logo on the right reads:

© 2012 Nintendo Life, part of Nlife Ltd. This site is not affiliated with Nintendo. Hosted by dx.net.

We are neither owned by nor affiliated with Nintendo. We are free to report on and review whatever and however we see fit. We just cover their stuff is all. Same for Push Square and KINECTaku; we're not affiliated with Sony and Microsoft either.

If you have further questions, please feel free to get in touch with the site directors via the Contact Form; I'm sure they'll be more than happy to help clear up any further misconceptions. :3



SparkOfSpirit said:

Eh, I disagree with the review. This, Sonic 1 MS/GG, and Sonic Chaos are fun games with some good variety to them.

It's way better than either Mario Land game, either way.



shinobi88 said:

for the last time, please feel free to talk with the directors if you still have misconceptions to be cleared up. thank you! — TBD

. I haven't heard a single mention of the snowboard parts on this game which I find to be the most memorable and exciting part. They put it on the cover of the box for a reason



TimboBaggins said:

This game deserves far more than a 6/10. Its not fair to compare it with games that are not on the same platform. Thats like comparing Super Mario Land 2 to Super Mario World on the SNES. If I did that, Super Mario Land 2 would easily be a 6/10 due to black and white graphics, empty levels, reduced difficulty, and relatively short play time. But for a gameboy game, its one of the best. For a game gear game, all the main series Sonic entries are the best. This deserves an 8, 7 at the very least.



Beau_Skunk said:

I agree with TimboBaggins. While this isn't the "best" Sonic game ever made, it seems a bit unfair to give it such a low score, and be so hard on it's faults while the Super Mario Land games got far generous scores then they deserve, (a 10 for SML2? Seriously? It was a good game, but not that "amazing.") and nobody seemed to complain about them at all in their reviews. (Seems kinda biased to me. Mario games always get praised, while Sonic games get hazed.)
I loved the SML games, but even they seem just as flawed, and simplistic as the Game Gear Sonic games. Doesn't mean they still can't be enjoyable though.

I wouldn't say "Triple Trouble" is that easy though, it felt more challenging to me then "Sonic Chaos," (wich I didn't think was so "bad" either) but also not as frustrating as the 8-bit GG-version of Sonic 2. Plus, while the airplane bonus stages are quite easy, the platforming maze ones could prove quite challenging. I must add, the Nack the weasel encounters in the bonus stages are also a fun comical part of the game. (Nack is definitely one classic Sonic character whom needs to come back.)
The music & graphics are also nice for an 8-bit game. Plus "Triple Trouble," has some neat things about it. I loved the train level, the minecart ones, and the "sea fox" ones when playing as Tails. It's also arguably one of the better Game Gear Sonic titles.
(Though, the Metroidvania-ish "Tails Adventure" one is in my opinion the best GameGear Sonic title. If it gets a bad review to, I'm ganna be a bit fed-up with this site honestly.)

Also, the handy "Restore point" feature should definitely make getting all 7 chaos emeralds (and the "good" ending) a whole lot easier, and less frustrating.



thatguywhogames said:

Since I am a major Sonic fan I had to get this game and overall I thought it was decent. Nothing amazing but enjoyable to play.



DinoandAllen said:

The Dino and Allen slightly-biased rating system reviews:

Game name: Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble
System: Sega Game Gear
Release year: 1994

Gameplay 23/25
It's your standard Sonic Gameplay; running fast, Destroying Badniks, Going through zones, it's all there. You can play as Sonic or Tails, each of which have their own moves (Peformed with Up + Jump): Super Peel-Out for Sonic, and flying for Tails. They each also get some power-up exclusive to each. There are 6 zones, each with 3 acts (2 level acts and a 3rd boss act). They are vibrant and colorful, and feature some interesting mechanics. Turquoise Hill has nothing special. Sunset Park's Spindash carts and moving train boss act. Meta Junglaria has shooting box things, bouncy things, and boosters. Robotnik Winter has a Snowboard and some wind that saves your life. Tidal Plant has water, but it also has giant bubbles! Atomic Destroyer has switch traps and tricky puzzles. It also has a fight against Metal Sonic. The chaos emeralds are present. You go through 2 types of special stages. One type has a time limit and a level, and the other type has you fly in the tornado and collect rings.

Graphics 9/10
The graphics look great. The sprites look wonderful and the backgrounds are colorful and so are the levels. Keep in mind this is 8-bit. Super Mario Brothers 1 is 8-bit too. However, with the blur effect, the game looks terrible due to so many animations. You know, the game looks like the genesis sonic games to some extent.
Story 8/10
The story is told through cut-scenes. The intro shows that Robotnik has a chaos emerald and you have to get the rest, so Robotnik doesn't do something bad. Knuckles and Nack appear in this game as well. They try to mess with Sonic. Knuckles downright burns Sonic with fire traps (Knuckles drowns after Tidal Plant zone) and Nack just waves his finger and hops into a machine. Simple, but charming. Just like Sonic 3. Zone-wise too.
Soundtrack 10/20
This is the game's weakness. Only a few songs really stand out. None of them are really bad, but they aren't great. Great songs were a standard for the 16-bit Sonic games and the 8-bit ones as well. I mean, Toot Toot Sonic warrior was a remix of Green Hills Zone from the 8-bit version of Sonic 2! So, the fact that this game's soundtrack isn't all that great is pretty disappointing.
Controls 15/15
The controls work perfectly. All actions work how they'e supposed to and all. Tails' flying has been sped up too, so his flying doesn't suck in this game. The peel-out works well too, as well as the spin-dash and jumping.
Replayability 15/20
You will either replay this game a lot or not at all, depending on if you like this game. I personally loved it, so I've replayed through this game about 20 times.

Final Score:
An 8 out of 10 equals a great game in my eyes.

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