Knuckles' Chaotix is a 1995 side-scrolling platform video game developed and published by Sega for the 32X. A spin-off to the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the game features Knuckles the Echidna and a collective of characters known as the Chaotix. The story follows the team in their efforts to prevent series antagonist Dr. Robotnik and his henchman Metal Sonic from obtaining the six Chaos Rings. The gameplay is similar to previous series installments; however, Knuckles' Chaotix introduces a partner system in which the player's character is tethered to another via a ring force bond with "rubber band" physics. The gameplay is based on using this mechanic to maneuver the characters through a series of levels.
Dr. Robotnik steals the power emerald that generates electricity, and it's up to Knuckles the Echidna and the Chaotix (as suggested in the title) to stop him before his plans are realized!
Why It Rocks
- Colorful graphics that look impressive for 1995.
- Introduced the Chaotix (Vector, Espio and Charmy), who would later go on to appear in other games in the franchise. It also introduced two helper robots, Heavy and Bomb, who would fall into obscurity.
- A new character called Mighty The Armadillo is playable.
- A unique concept of having the characters tethered with a ring force bond, allowing for some more speed and fun physics to mess around with.
- Amazing soundtrack.
- The special stages show what the 32X can do, and they are pretty fun.
- Some of the boss fights have unique concepts. Door Into Summer is considered the best and got a remix for Sonic Generations.
- Each boss fight opens with a cutscene, and each of these introduction cutscenes are nice to look at.
- Sonic and Tails make a cameo during the good ending.
- Each character has their own abilities, and some character combos actually enhance the game.
- Special moves can be performed with the ring bond.
- Interesting power-ups, such as a power-up that makes the player smaller or larger.
- This game uses some 3D (such as in the Special Stages and the Final Battle), which is pretty incredible for the 32X.
- Stupid mechanics: This game relies on you using rings with some invisible rubber band, but the rubber band in question feels absolutely non-existent in the entire game.
- The controls at times can be unresponsive, making the game almost unplayable.
- The instruction booklet in the North American version comes off as bland and uninteresting compared to its Japanese counterpart.
- Not to mention the colors on the instruction booklet are in black and white for some reason.
- The Chaos rings are nothing more than a poor man's version of the Chaos Emeralds that you would normally find in a regular Sonic game.
- Speaking of the mechanics in this game, the mechanics are also confusing to go by.
- For starters, you also have to control the computer player next to you in order to jump through hard-to-reach platforms with the use of the magical ring, as it implies in the entire game.
- Somewhat bad level design.
- The bad ending is very harsh, while the good ending is underwhelming.
- The rubber band physics is hard to get used to. They can also slow the gameplay down at times.
- Simple bosses.
- Heavy and Bomb are annoying because Heavy is slow and Bomb explodes when hit, and could damage the player.
- The levels have a shallow amount of enemies and secrets, and they can drag on for too long.
- The game never saw an official re-release of any kind, and the physical version of the game is rare and expensive.