Early Indications Show It’s Pretty Good
Even long time Sonic fans may not remember playing what came before Sonic R and that Super Sonic Racing feeling. Sonic did race in cars at one point, via the Sonic Drift franchise for the portable Sega Game Gear.
The original, released in 1994, never saw a release outside of Japan until it was included as an unlockable extra in Sonic Adventure DX for the Gamecube nearly a decade later. But the second title, Sonic Drift 2, did see a release in all major territories the next year. Unlike earlier portable Sonic titles that saw a dual release on both Game Gear and the Sega Master System, Drift was held exclusively to the Game Gear, and never saw a SMS port.
At least, until today.
Italian Sonic researcher Shibunoa, a tech member of Sonic Retro, released the first build of a SMS port of Sonic Drift 2 yesterday. Though still far from finished, it’s already receiving praise from peers.
A quick description from Shubunoa follows, in his words:
This is a quick conversion of Sonic Drift 2 from the Game Gear to the Master System.
The palette uploading routine has been totally rewritten, and the title screen now checks if 1 (Start) is pressed, instead of Game Gear’s Start.
Sonic Drift 2’s races already spanned all the screen, but on the Game Gear, they were not shown completely. On the Master System, they are, which can lead to the occasional glitch.