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'''''Sonic Jam''''' (ソニック ジャム) is a 1997 [[Sega Saturn]] game. Primarily it is a compilation containing the four [[Sega Mega Drive]] ''Sonic'' platform games - ''[[Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)|Sonic the Hedgehog]]'', ''[[Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)|Sonic the Hedgehog 2]]'', ''[[Sonic the Hedgehog 3]]'', and ''[[Sonic & Knuckles]]'', however it also contains bonus content in the form of [[Sonic World (level)|Sonic World]] and a number of different gameplay options.
 
'''''Sonic Jam''''' (ソニック ジャム) is a 1997 [[Sega Saturn]] game. Primarily it is a compilation containing the four [[Sega Mega Drive]] ''Sonic'' platform games - ''[[Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)|Sonic the Hedgehog]]'', ''[[Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)|Sonic the Hedgehog 2]]'', ''[[Sonic the Hedgehog 3]]'', and ''[[Sonic & Knuckles]]'', however it also contains bonus content in the form of [[Sonic World (level)|Sonic World]] and a number of different gameplay options.
  
 +
==Gameplay==
 
Unlike later compilations, ''Sonic Jam'' does not emulate Mega Drive hardware - the games have been re-written for the Saturn, though behave almost identically to their original counterparts. It is especially benficial to PAL users, as the games have been optimised for 50Hz refresh rates (the original PAL versions perform 17.5% slower than their NTSC counterparts and contain borders, as little optimisation work was done between the two versions).
 
Unlike later compilations, ''Sonic Jam'' does not emulate Mega Drive hardware - the games have been re-written for the Saturn, though behave almost identically to their original counterparts. It is especially benficial to PAL users, as the games have been optimised for 50Hz refresh rates (the original PAL versions perform 17.5% slower than their NTSC counterparts and contain borders, as little optimisation work was done between the two versions).
  
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Customized versions of the games, with redesigned levels and varying levels of difficulty are included. When played in "Original" mode, the games are identical to their original Mega Drive releases. "Normal" difficulty adds extra rings and alters other aspects of the design to remove some of the challenge (these versions of the levels are used when playing Sonic Jam's Time Attack feature). "Easy" difficulty removes certain stages entirely, making each level only 1 act long as well as adjusting the level design. Special stages are also easier in this mode. Sonic 1's Easy mode inspired a [[Sonic 1 Easy mode|ROM Hack]] by [[LOst]].
 
Customized versions of the games, with redesigned levels and varying levels of difficulty are included. When played in "Original" mode, the games are identical to their original Mega Drive releases. "Normal" difficulty adds extra rings and alters other aspects of the design to remove some of the challenge (these versions of the levels are used when playing Sonic Jam's Time Attack feature). "Easy" difficulty removes certain stages entirely, making each level only 1 act long as well as adjusting the level design. Special stages are also easier in this mode. Sonic 1's Easy mode inspired a [[Sonic 1 Easy mode|ROM Hack]] by [[LOst]].
  
==[[Sonic World (level)|Sonic World]]==
+
===[[Sonic World (level)|Sonic World]]===
 
Another addition to ''Sonic Jam'' is "Sonic World", which is accessed at the title screen menu. A 3D adventure world with many buildings containing art, history, music, movies and character profiles is contained within, plus the mission mode where you must complete certain missions in the quickest time. At the time of ''Sonic Jam''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s release this game was a selling point as gamers were eager to see Sonic in 3D for the first time.
 
Another addition to ''Sonic Jam'' is "Sonic World", which is accessed at the title screen menu. A 3D adventure world with many buildings containing art, history, music, movies and character profiles is contained within, plus the mission mode where you must complete certain missions in the quickest time. At the time of ''Sonic Jam''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s release this game was a selling point as gamers were eager to see Sonic in 3D for the first time.
  
 
Sonic World is said to have been the basis for ''[[Sonic Adventure]]''.
 
Sonic World is said to have been the basis for ''[[Sonic Adventure]]''.
  
==Differences from Mega Drive and Sonic Jam Versions==
+
==Differences from Mega Drive games==
 
[[Image:Sonic Jam easy.png|thumb|right|200px|''Sonic the Hedgehog'' on easy mode]]
 
[[Image:Sonic Jam easy.png|thumb|right|200px|''Sonic the Hedgehog'' on easy mode]]
There are a number of changes between the Sonic Jam and Mega Drive versions of the included ''Sonic'' games, including enhanced sound and various bugfixes. ''Sonic the Hedgehog'' for example, adds an option to toggle the [[Spin Dash]] ability (which is absent from the Mega Drive release). The version of ''Sonic 1'' used is based on the later revision of the game (not released in the west), and so sees extra scrolling with the clouds in [[Green Hill Zone]] and extra water effects in [[Labyrinth Zone]]. Also while Sonic halts to a stop while running, he leaves behind skid marks in ''Sonic 1'', just like in later games.
+
The 2D Sonic games in ''Sonic Jam'' are ports of their Mega Drive counterparts, optimised for Saturn hardware, but largely unchanged in other areas. The most significant additions in ''Sonic Jam'' are the inclusion of "easy" and "normal" modes (in addition to an "original" mode which plays identically to the Mega Drive), both of which change the placement of obstacles and fix numerous bugs present in the original versions.
  
Some of the audio in the game is different from the original Mega Drive versions, with most music tracks having a slight delay before playing (likely due to CD loading times). The version of ''Sonic 2'' in this compilation uses the invincibility tune from the original ''Sonic the Hedgehog'', presumably by accident as the ''Sonic 2'' track in on the CD and used in the two player versus mode. ''Sonic 2''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s versus mode lags less often than in the Mega Drive version of the game.
+
"Easy" effectively halves the amount of levels in each game (by skipping what were presumably considered the "difficult" acts of a zone), reduces the hit count of most bosses to just three hits, and adjusts the placement of objects so as to help less experienced players. The acts chosen for easy mode vary depending on the game - the original ''Sonic the Hedgehog'' and ''Sonic the Hedgehog 2'' usually have the player run through the first acts, while ''Sonic 3'' opts for second acts, save for cases where it makes less sense (such as [[Angel Island Zone]], where starting from act 2 would omit the introduction).
  
However ''Sonic 3'' and ''Sonic & Knuckles'' by far contain the most changes, though many are simply bugfixes. The sound effect for explosions (from monitors and enemies) is completely different, as are things such as collecting a blue sphere, or breaking a wall.
+
"Normal" acts as essentially a bug-fixed version of the original game, though some layout changes were made to address concerns with the original releases. As an example, more platforms were added in ''Sonic 2''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s [[Chemical Plant Zone]] to reduce the chances of the player drowning in the level's second act - it means on the whole, "normal" is easier than "original", but harder than "easy".
 +
 
 +
Also included as part of the package are time trials and a chaos emerald mode, where the user plays through each special stage in succession. It is also possible to disable the time over screens.
 +
 
 +
Some of the audio in ''Sonic Jam'' is different from the original Mega Drive versions, with most music tracks having a slight delay before playing (likely due to CD loading times). This is particularly noticeable when collecting [[Power Sneakers]], as rather than speed up the music already playing, a different, faster version of the tune is swapped in (and subsequently swapped out), with the track restarting each time (it can also cause results screen music to start playing for a second time if an extra life is obtained).
 +
 
 +
Many sound effects have been sampled at a lower quality (or seemingly replaced, as is the case with many explosions), while others are missing, such as the sound for transforming into Super Sonic. While players can still charge spin dashes, the pitch of spin noise no longer rises when doing so.
 +
 
 +
The ability for music to fade in and out is also removed in ''Sonic Jam'', however as there is no longer a need to share audio channels, sound effects cannot interfere with music playback.
 +
 
 +
===''Sonic the Hedgehog''===
 +
The original ''Sonic the Hedgehog'' sees the most obvious changes in its transition to the Saturn, being built on the later revision of the game (not released in the west), complete with extra scrolling with the clouds in [[Green Hill Zone]] and extra water effects in [[Labyrinth Zone]]. An option to toggle the [[Spin Dash]] ability (which is absent from the Mega Drive release) was added, and like later games, clouds of dust are created when Sonic skids to a halt.
 +
 
 +
The notorious "spike bug" is fixed in ''Sonic Jam'', however some sound effects are missing, most notably the noise of the waterfalls in Green Hill Zone.
 +
 
 +
===''Sonic the Hedgehog 2''===
 +
''Sonic Jam''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s port of ''Sonic 2'' uses the invincibility tune from the original ''Sonic the Hedgehog'', presumably by accident as the ''Sonic 2'' track in on the CD and used in the two player versus mode. Thanks to the increased processor overhead, the versus mode also lags less often than in the Mega Drive version of the game.
 +
 
 +
In the original ''Sonic 2'', the "SEGA" jingle plays at a slightly higher pitch than its siblings. This is fixed in the ''Sonic Jam'' release.
 +
 
 +
[[Wing Fortress Zone]] has the distinction of being the only zone completely skipped in any of ''Sonic Jam''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s easy mode games. No attempt was made to finish this seemingly incomplete stage - there are still no sound effects for the boss battle for example, though extra platforms were added normal mode to reduce the chances of falling off.
 +
 
 +
===''Sonic the Hedgehog 3''/''Sonic & Knuckles''===
 +
Being effectively two halves of the same game, ''Sonic 3'' and ''Sonic & Knuckles'' share many changes, though aside from different sounds for collecting blue spheres, most of the improvements involve fixing bugs and exploits which are far more common than in the two earlier ''Sonic'' titles.
 +
 
 +
Issues known to have given the developers grief, such as Knuckles' green socks in ''Sonic 3'', are not addressed in ''Sonic Jam'', and are sometimes complemented with new palette errors.
 +
 
 +
In infamous spinning barrel in [[Carnival Night Zone]] (which forces the player to learn it can be controlled with {{up}} and {{down}}) is completely removed from the non-original versions of ''Sonic 3''.
 +
 
 +
Despite ''[[Sonic & Knuckles Collection]]'' (released around the same time period) skirting around what are thought to be music tracks produced by [[Michael Jackson]], ''Sonic Jam'' makes no significant changes to ''Sonic 3''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s audio, save for changes mentioned above which effect all the Mega Drive games.
  
 
==Production Credits==
 
==Production Credits==

Revision as of 13:58, 9 November 2017

This article is for the Sega Saturn version of "Sonic Jam". For the Game.com version of the same title, see Sonic Jam (Game.com).
n/a






Sonic Jam title.png
Sonic Jam
Publisher: Sega
Developer:
Publisher(s) of original games: Sega
Developer(s) of original games:
Sonic Team, Sega Technical Institute
Game total: 4 (7 including lock-on)
System(s): Sega Saturn
Original system(s): Sega Mega Drive
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Saturn
JP
1997-06-20 ¥4,800 GS-9147
Sega Saturn
US
1997-08-22  ? 81079
Sega Saturn
EU
1997-08 £34.99 [1] MK81079-50
Sega Saturn
JP (Satakore)
1998-07-23 ¥2,800 GS-9200

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Sonic Jam (ソニック ジャム) is a 1997 Sega Saturn game. Primarily it is a compilation containing the four Sega Mega Drive Sonic platform games - Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles, however it also contains bonus content in the form of Sonic World and a number of different gameplay options.

Gameplay

Unlike later compilations, Sonic Jam does not emulate Mega Drive hardware - the games have been re-written for the Saturn, though behave almost identically to their original counterparts. It is especially benficial to PAL users, as the games have been optimised for 50Hz refresh rates (the original PAL versions perform 17.5% slower than their NTSC counterparts and contain borders, as little optimisation work was done between the two versions).

Each of the games benefit from the Lock-On technology introduced in the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge. This means Blue Sphere, Knuckles in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles are also playable. The English and Japanese instruction manuals for each of the games are also included in a digitised form. The game also sports time attack modes, and an option to play each special stage in order for each game.

Customized versions of the games, with redesigned levels and varying levels of difficulty are included. When played in "Original" mode, the games are identical to their original Mega Drive releases. "Normal" difficulty adds extra rings and alters other aspects of the design to remove some of the challenge (these versions of the levels are used when playing Sonic Jam's Time Attack feature). "Easy" difficulty removes certain stages entirely, making each level only 1 act long as well as adjusting the level design. Special stages are also easier in this mode. Sonic 1's Easy mode inspired a ROM Hack by LOst.

Sonic World

Another addition to Sonic Jam is "Sonic World", which is accessed at the title screen menu. A 3D adventure world with many buildings containing art, history, music, movies and character profiles is contained within, plus the mission mode where you must complete certain missions in the quickest time. At the time of Sonic Jam's release this game was a selling point as gamers were eager to see Sonic in 3D for the first time.

Sonic World is said to have been the basis for Sonic Adventure.

Differences from Mega Drive games

Sonic the Hedgehog on easy mode

The 2D Sonic games in Sonic Jam are ports of their Mega Drive counterparts, optimised for Saturn hardware, but largely unchanged in other areas. The most significant additions in Sonic Jam are the inclusion of "easy" and "normal" modes (in addition to an "original" mode which plays identically to the Mega Drive), both of which change the placement of obstacles and fix numerous bugs present in the original versions.

"Easy" effectively halves the amount of levels in each game (by skipping what were presumably considered the "difficult" acts of a zone), reduces the hit count of most bosses to just three hits, and adjusts the placement of objects so as to help less experienced players. The acts chosen for easy mode vary depending on the game - the original Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 usually have the player run through the first acts, while Sonic 3 opts for second acts, save for cases where it makes less sense (such as Angel Island Zone, where starting from act 2 would omit the introduction).

"Normal" acts as essentially a bug-fixed version of the original game, though some layout changes were made to address concerns with the original releases. As an example, more platforms were added in Sonic 2's Chemical Plant Zone to reduce the chances of the player drowning in the level's second act - it means on the whole, "normal" is easier than "original", but harder than "easy".

Also included as part of the package are time trials and a chaos emerald mode, where the user plays through each special stage in succession. It is also possible to disable the time over screens.

Some of the audio in Sonic Jam is different from the original Mega Drive versions, with most music tracks having a slight delay before playing (likely due to CD loading times). This is particularly noticeable when collecting Power Sneakers, as rather than speed up the music already playing, a different, faster version of the tune is swapped in (and subsequently swapped out), with the track restarting each time (it can also cause results screen music to start playing for a second time if an extra life is obtained).

Many sound effects have been sampled at a lower quality (or seemingly replaced, as is the case with many explosions), while others are missing, such as the sound for transforming into Super Sonic. While players can still charge spin dashes, the pitch of spin noise no longer rises when doing so.

The ability for music to fade in and out is also removed in Sonic Jam, however as there is no longer a need to share audio channels, sound effects cannot interfere with music playback.

Sonic the Hedgehog

The original Sonic the Hedgehog sees the most obvious changes in its transition to the Saturn, being built on the later revision of the game (not released in the west), complete with extra scrolling with the clouds in Green Hill Zone and extra water effects in Labyrinth Zone. An option to toggle the Spin Dash ability (which is absent from the Mega Drive release) was added, and like later games, clouds of dust are created when Sonic skids to a halt.

The notorious "spike bug" is fixed in Sonic Jam, however some sound effects are missing, most notably the noise of the waterfalls in Green Hill Zone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic Jam's port of Sonic 2 uses the invincibility tune from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, presumably by accident as the Sonic 2 track in on the CD and used in the two player versus mode. Thanks to the increased processor overhead, the versus mode also lags less often than in the Mega Drive version of the game.

In the original Sonic 2, the "SEGA" jingle plays at a slightly higher pitch than its siblings. This is fixed in the Sonic Jam release.

Wing Fortress Zone has the distinction of being the only zone completely skipped in any of Sonic Jam's easy mode games. No attempt was made to finish this seemingly incomplete stage - there are still no sound effects for the boss battle for example, though extra platforms were added normal mode to reduce the chances of falling off.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3/Sonic & Knuckles

Being effectively two halves of the same game, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles share many changes, though aside from different sounds for collecting blue spheres, most of the improvements involve fixing bugs and exploits which are far more common than in the two earlier Sonic titles.

Issues known to have given the developers grief, such as Knuckles' green socks in Sonic 3, are not addressed in Sonic Jam, and are sometimes complemented with new palette errors.

In infamous spinning barrel in Carnival Night Zone (which forces the player to learn it can be controlled with Up and Down) is completely removed from the non-original versions of Sonic 3.

Despite Sonic & Knuckles Collection (released around the same time period) skirting around what are thought to be music tracks produced by Michael Jackson, Sonic Jam makes no significant changes to Sonic 3's audio, save for changes mentioned above which effect all the Mega Drive games.

Production Credits

Sonic Theme Song '93
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 CF

Manuals

Promotional material

Physical Scans




Sega Saturn
90 Sonic Retro Average
Based on 6 reviews
Publication Score Source
Computer and Video Games 80 №190, p66/67/68
GamePro 90 №110, p153
gamesmaster 88 №58, p36/37
sega16 100 March 25, 2008
ugameplayers 90 №103
videogamecritic 91 2000/6/27
Saturn, US
Sonic Jam Saturn US Cover Back.jpgNospine.pngSonic Jam Saturn US Cover Front.jpg
Cover
Sjam us cd.jpg
Disc
Sonic Jam Sega Saturn US Manual.pdf
Manual
Saturn, EU
Sjam-box-eu.jpg
Cover
Sonic Jam (E) disc.png
Disc
SonicJam Sat EU manual.pdf
Manual
Saturn, JP
Sjam sat back cover.jpgSjam-box-jap.jpg
Cover
Sjam jp cd.jpg
Disc
SonicJam Sat JP manual.pdf
Manual
SonicJam PromotionalPoster.jpg
Poster
Saturn, JP (Satakore)
SonicJam Saturn JP Box Back Satakore.jpgNospine-small.pngSonicJam Saturn JP Box Front Satakore.jpg
Cover

Technical information

Save data

The game makes use of the Saturn's internal battery back-up as well as the Sega Saturn Back-Up Ram Cart to save data for all of the games as well as progress through the challenges in Sonic World.

Sonic Jam Save Data
Name Comment File Size
SONICJAM_## SAVE_DATA 23

References

  1. File:CVG UK 190.pdf, page 66


Sonic Jam






Sonic Jam title.png

Main page
Cheat codes


Magazine articles


Development
Secrets

Sonic games for the following systems
Sega Saturn
 1996  Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island     1997  Sonic Jam | Sonic R    
 Unreleased  Sonic X-treme | Sonic Saturn