Many of the games that hit the Game Gear back in the day were actually just ports of a Sega Master System game and the Sonic franchise was one of the worst offenders. However, Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble was a game crafted specifically for the Game Gear. It was released shortly after Sonic and Knuckles and actually has a similar story.
Dr. Robotnik actually has the Chaos Emeralds this time around, but they are scattered when an accident takes place during the testing of one of his new weapons. Sonic and Tails try to recover them, but they aren’t the only ones after the emeralds. Dr. Robotnik sets out to find the Chaos Emeralds and convinces Knuckles that Sonic and Tails just want to steal them. Amidst the chaos a new character, Nack the Weasel, shows up and steals the Chaos Emeralds for himself. There you have it, now you’re set up to play Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble thanks to Wikipedia.
I won’t go too far in-depth about gameplay this time around because Triple Trouble is for all intents and purposes, a standard Sonic game; running, jumping and Chaos Emeralds are the name of the game once again. There are six Zones to play through, each with three acts a piece; the first two acts feature standard Sonic the Hedgehog level design and the third features a boss battle. Most stages are well designed and could go toe to toe with some of the Genesis games, but in all honesty, there aren’t a whole lot of new things to experience.
You get to pick between Sonic and Tails which is cool because they are a little different. Sonic has his spin dash and another type of dash that sends him speeding on his feet rather than in a ball. Tails can fly short distances and both characters use what seems to be an early version of the homing attack; when jumping off springs, press the jump button again to spin into a ball to avoid getting hurt by incoming enemies. There are some new items including Rocket Shoes that allow Sonic (Tails uses a similar item) to fly for an extended period of time, and what can be best described as a Pogo Spring that allows Sonic and Tails to bounce around on a spring. There are also some vehicles in this game with Sonic’s snowboard being the most notable, but there is a Submarine in the Tidal Plant level as well. I actually enjoyed all of these additions and think they add some much needed fun to the gameplay, especially Sonic’s snowboard.
As always, Chaos Emeralds play a major role in the game as well and they are accessed through special stages as is the norm. However, there are some nice twists this time around that I love. In each Act there are Chaos Emerald monitors hidden in the level that will give you access to a special stage, but only if you have 50 rings. Hiding them in monitors isn’t exactly an original idea as the original Master System Sonic game did this, but waiting inside these levels is a little surprise. You will encounter a special boss fight with none other than Nack the Weasel, the treasure hunter new to the series. This must be repeated five times to get the five missing Chaos Emeralds.
2.5/5 D-Pads: Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble is a good Sonic game, but it doesn’t change itself enough from other Sonic games; essentially, if you’ve played one Sonic game, you’ve played this one as well. There are some unique things that add a little freshness to the formula and levels are well structured for the most part. At times the graphics do seem a bit too muddy when compared to the best of the Game Gear and the soundtrack is mediocre. I really think that only diehard Sonic the Hedgehog fans would enjoy this game, with others being a bit disappointed.