Review by ShadowGuardian9

"Sonic returns, in all his 16-bit glory."

During Nintendo and Sega's console versus match, SNES versus Genesis, Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog to combat Nintendo's famous mascot, Mario. Fast forward to 2006, where Sega no longer makes consoles, but instead has contributed some Genesis titles to Nintendo's Wii Virtual Console. Sonic returns in his original glory, purchasable on the Wii.

Sonic the Hedgehog focuses around speedy, blue, cool hero Sonic. The mad scientist Robotnik captured the animals of the planet and transformed them into robots. It's up to Sonic to stop Robotnik and free his friends. Sonic the Hedgehog's most defining feature is his high speed. His ability to accelerate made him stand out from the crowded world of other platformer heroes back in the day. His cool attitude made him famous, and the game shows off Sonic's acrobatic skills in their original glory.

Sonic the Hedgehog was also a pretty difficult game, and still is. Sonic's defense against enemies are the Golden Rings. As long as Sonic has one ring, he can defend against enemy attacks. No ring, no defense, and Sonic loses a life. However, the single ring is defense enough (although drowning and bottomless pits still are one-hit kills). More rings can be collected for more points at the finish, where 100 rings or 50000 points gets Sonic an extra life. The worlds were full of beautiful and unique worlds, despite there being only six. The bosses that Robotnik himself piloted were a ton of fun to battle, and looked unique as well. The game was challenging to say the least, but isn't impossible by any means.

Surprisingly, Sonic the Hedgehog is a Genesis title that is functional with just the Wii Remote. Sonic's jump/attack button was either A, B, or C on the Genesis, so the buttons of the Wii Remote do the job. The game is also functional with the Classic Controller or Gamecube controller. The flexibility in the controls isn't limiting, and being that the original Sonic was incredibly accessible back in the day, Sonic the Hedgehog for the Virtual Console is easy to learn and fun to play.

The game is basically the same as the Genesis title released years ago. Six zones, three acts in each zone. At 800 Wii Points, it can be a pretty steep price to pay for this one game, especially with the Mega Collection among other compilations going for as low as $20 and they include more than just the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. The Wii Virtual Console version of Sonic the Hedgehog is, in my opinion, not the best choice for picking up this game, but the game still plays great and is a blast.

Pros
+ Rock-solid port of an amazing game
+ Flexible in how you control

Cons
- Probably better ways to pick up this title
- May feel too old-fashioned

Sonic the Hedgehog's grand legacy can be traced back to this groundbreaking title, and the Wii Console does a good job in returning this title to the public. The worlds are still beautiful, the controls are still good, the game is still amazing. It's not limiting in how you control and the game, though short, still holds up extremely well. It's not the best game on the Virtual Console right now, nor is it the one with the most value. At 800 Wii Points ($8) you would probably be better off buying a collection. But if you can put up with the game being a bit retro, and don't mind spending a bit of cash, Sonic the Hedgehog will not disappoint at all.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/29/06


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