SONIC CHAMPIONSHIP / Sega / Arcade
Yu Suzuki and AM2 take on a Sonic fighting game? Well, the idea makes a lot more sense when you consider that they basically "re-purposed" the Virtua Fighter Kids engine for this one.
AM2 generally delivers at least a solid and technically impressive game, and this one is no exception. The gameplay is decent, on par with the 1996 standard for 3D fighters, adequately smooth and responsive. The game also looks nice, more colorful than the usual fare from the mid-90s with a slightly higher polygon count than usual and a much richer use of color in keeping with Sonic tradition.
Single-player mode doesn't last for too long though - the game is shockingly easy for an arcade game, and some characters are outright broken. Characters have only two attack buttons and very samey movesets, sharing a lot of attack types. The "main" characters - Sonic, Tails and Knuckles - are mostly identical and also have a rather cheap and overpowered spin dash and air spin. And Bean, who doesn't even really belong here since he's from Dynamite Dux, hucks bombs all over the place like a real asshole, and can basically keep a character on the ground forever once he gets them down (though amusingly, his own bombs can blow him up as well.)
It's really not bad, but it's certainly not great, and isn't good for much beyond a curiosity play or two unless you have someone on hand to consistently play against. If Sega had done an expanded port of this on the consoles with maybe some more game modes, unlockable characters and unique endings, they might easily have had a Good Face fighting game on their hands. As is, however, it's an attractive and appealing but very limited 3D fighter.
* Gameplay Video