"Why the hell am I in a car?"The Sonic Drift duology is a series of Spin-Off drift-racing games released for the Sega Game Gear, starring true blue and company.The first entry, released in 1994, was a very basic kart racer, with four playable stars: Sonic, Tails, Amy (the first time she was ever playable) and Dr. Eggman (also the first time he was ever playable). Rings could be collected to activate each character's special attack (speed boost, jump, ect.). Gameplay wise, it is more or less Sega's answer to Super Mario Kart (with a bit of Pole Position thrown into the mix) — it even has a map on the screen a la the original outing (but inexplicably put on the top of it rather than the bottom). Prior to being ported to Sonic Mega Collection Plus and Sonic Adventure DX, this game never saw the light of day in the U.S. or Europe.However, the following year it did receive a follow-up, the aptly named Sonic Drift 2, which did make it overseas (and curiously retained the numeral in the U.S.). This game expanded upon the original by adding more playable characters, tracks, course variety, and smarter A.I. (perhaps too smart).
—Sonic's thoughts on Drift in Sonic Shorts, Vol. 2
- Astral Finale: The last two tracks of the Blue GP, Milky Way and Death Egg, are set in outer space, with the later having the players racing on the surface of the Death Egg itself.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Speedup monitors are red, Invincibility monitors are blue. The sequel adds a Jump monitor (yellow) and a throwable mine trap (black).
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Along with the Rubber Band AI, the computer racers in the second game have unlimited powerups, and abuse it to high heaven. Sonic and Metal Sonic are pretty much in perpetual boost mode.
- Gimmick Level: Emerald Ocean in Drift 2. The whole track is the sea, so you need to keep your speed over 40% to avoid falling.
- Go-Karting with Eggman
- Green Hill Zone: The original Green Hill Zone, no less, appears as the first track in all three GP's of the first game (only differing in layout).
- Interface Screw: The R Ball in Drift 2 reverses the controls for a couple seconds.
- One course replaces the monitors with balloons that cause an entirely different set of effects, some of which are harmful.
- Lampshade Hanging: The manual and character profiles from the time stated that Sonic dislikes cars.
- Meaningful Background Event: The Death Egg's appearance in the Milky Way track of Drift 2. Guess where the following track takes place?
- Mythology Gag: Tails drives a car based on Caterham Seven in Drift 2. It is something of a canon trait that Tails has a preference for the brand, as he appeared with one in a secret illustration in Sonic CD and owned one in a prior obscure manga.
- Nostalgia Level: The tracks in Drift 1 are all set in levels from Sonic 1. Likewise, many tracks in Drift 2 are from the sequels.
- Recurring Riff: "Sonic - You Can Do Anything" is the invincibility theme in Drift 1. Drift 2 uses the Sonic 3 invincibility theme instead.
- Redundant Parody: The fact that a character like Sonic, whose defining trait is his Super Speed would be driving a car is something of a recurring joke among the fandom, despite the manual making it clear that Sonic does dislike cars, and it's clear he's only using a car to keep the competition balanced for everyone.
- Rubber Band AI: Abused constantly by the sequel, and it isn't subtle either since you can tell from a glance at the map when 2nd place magically accelerates. Winning a race frequently comes down to dumb luck.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: The first game is easy enough, with such simplistic AI, that you can only lose if you mess up a lot. The second game, however, has the A.I. cheat constantly to stay ahead of you.
- Sudden Name Change: The game itself had no alterations in localization, which led a few western fans at the time to wonder why Robotnik and Nack were suddenly called Eggman and Fang. Slightly averted in that the English manual explains that Dr. Robotnik goes under "the Eggman" as his race title.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Knucles.
- Spiritual Successor: Sonic R, Sonic Riders, and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.