Sonic CD and Marathon 2: Durandal have made their way to the iPhone and the iPad, more than 15 years after their original release.
Sonic CD was originally released in 1993 as a game for the Sega CD, Sega's CD-ROM add-on for the Genesis console. Unfortunately, the Sega CD was a complete flop, and, according to our sister-site TouchArcade, never got the attention it deserved.
I'd still say Sonic CD is the best Sonic game ever released. It was a particularly great Sega CD game, as it played to the strengths of the Genesis with familiar Sonic-style gameplay enhanced through a few tasteful full motion video scenes and some fantastic CD audio.
TouchArcade has the full story of how Sonic CD came to the iPhone, and it's fascinating. The short version is that in 2009, a fan of the game created an unauthorized, ground up rewrite for iOS. That version suddenly disappeared without a trace, presumably under the order of Sega's legal team.
But today, that port has come to iOS with the approval of Sega, and to rave reviews.
Here we have the best installment of one of the greatest gaming franchises, which received both flawless review scores and game of the year awards when it was originally released ported with complete perfection to iOS. This is a game you flat out need to buy if you even vaguely consider yourself an iOS gamer. Not only because it's such an impeccable port of an important piece of gaming history, but because we need to vote with our wallets to tell Sega (and anyone else who might be watching) that this is the quality we demand out of retro games brought to the App Store.
Sonic CD is available as a universal iPad and iPhone app, for $1.99 on the App Store [Direct Link].
Marathon 2: Durandal was originally released in 1995 for the Mac and Windows 95 -- and was even ported to the Apple Pippen -- as a sequel to Bungie's first Marathon game. Marathon 1 was released on iPad earlier this year by the same developer.
As with Marathon 1, the game is a free download offering 28 levels divided into 9 chapters. The interface has been modified to accommodate touch screen interaction of the iPad. It also includes Joypad support, allowing players to play the game on the iPad, whilst controlling it with the iPhone.
Marathon 2 is a free download for the iPhone and iPad from the App Store [Direct Link]
Top Rated Comments
"So I spent the last few months, building the ultimate versions of Marathon, Marathon Durandal and Marathon Infinity for the Mac and PC. We did a big release on Dec 1st.
I wanted Daniel to use all the stuff we put into the release, but he never got back to me. Looks like he just ripped out the XLBA stuff anyway and put it in. I hope he pulled from our release, as we were able to get some stuff that was better quality than what I put in the XBLA version."
"I made Marathon Durandal for XBLA for MS Game Studios and Bungie. Freeverse created all the HD art assets and such. The deal means Bungie owns these materials.
I then sat down with Bungie not too long ago, about how to make the best 1.0 version of Marathon for the modern Mac and PC. Part of this deal was to get the rights to release the XBLA content for free.
Then this guy Daniel comes along and ports the Open Source Aleph One game engine (that runs marathon) to the iPad. Then to offset his dev costs (a legit reason) he included IAP, which was selling some cheats and a fan made HD texture pack (I assume he is splitting the profits, I don't know).
That I was fine with. A guy named Tim made the HD art, so it makes sense that he can sell it.
But with Marathon 2, he's selling basically my artwork (that belongs to Bungie). I assume Bungie knows and approved this, it's just kind of brings me down, when I released all of this content for free on the web (in a much better version of Marathon with extra bugs fixed).
I take my Marathon very serious. When someone messes around with it I do take it very personally."
Yes Sonic CD! I love this game, every since playing the Sega CD version almost 20 years ago. For $1.99 it was a no-brainer. It plays pretty well on the iPhone too, I'd like iControl Pad support but that's a dream... either way I look forward to the Playstation 3 port next week. :)
Marathon is very cool as well, I remember my old Macintosh 7100 struggling to run that game decently. haha
iOS (http://appshopper.com/games/sonic-the-hedgehog-4-episode-i) was one of the first platforms for Sonic 4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_4) when it launched last year.