Back before the Internet turned video game news into a daily content-generating operation, fans had to get the latest information once a month through the magazines of the day. In the early 1990s I was a subscriber to three of the big publications: Nintendo Power for my Nintendo needs, GamePro for strategy tips, and Electronic Gaming Monthly for glimpses of what was going on overseas. EGM was very much a fan of Sega's 1991 Genesis release Sonic the Hedgehog, so much so that it felt as if every little Sonic tidbit that leaked out of Japan was worth at least one page of information. All sorts of Sonic projects that never saw the light of day were mentioned in the magazine, but one that did make it out the door was Sonic CD for the Sega CD add-on. The March 1993 issue of EGM showcased a first look at the game (known as CD Sonic at the time) with early screenshots and preliminary buzz about what to expect. The Sonic the Hedgeblog Twitter account recently dug up that article and, let me tell you, it brought back a blast of memories.
EGM #44, March 1993 - 25% preview of ‘Sonic CD’, or ‘CD Sonic’ as it was known at the time. pic.twitter.com/BIoOLRwOMR— Sonic The Hedgeblog (@Sonic_Hedgeblog) April 1, 2020
Seeing this coverage at the age of twelve made me feel for the first time that I might be missing out on something by owning only Nintendo consoles. While I've never owned the Sega CD version of Sonic CD, I spent years trying to play the game on other platforms to mixed results. I bought the Windows PC version of the game in 1996, but it was finicky and often crashed. Emulating the Sega CD version on my PC all came down to the capability of the emulator and the horsepower of my computer. The Nintendo GameCube version included in Sonic Gems Collection played decently enough, but it wasn't until the 2011 reworking of the game for iOS and the Sony PlayStation 3 that I finally felt like I could dig into the game the way it was meant to be played... and that wasn't even the original version of the game that the developers meant for us to play! The online Sonic fan community has long since parsed through articles like these to discover the original source of the screenshots from early demo versions of the game. It's like getting closure on the rest of the story all these years later.