Review by Vyse_skies

"The platform of a great character and series."

So who is Sonic? I'll tell you. Sonic is a super cool, speedy hedgehog who rocked the 16 bit world way back in 1991. Sonic took the stale platforming formula and added speed to it and made the genre brand new again. So now Sonic gave gamers a new slice of platforming pie and came out winning that important title race against all those other horrid little 16 bit platforming critters. Anyone remember Bubsy? (Shivers at the thought) Sonic The Hedgehog was a big moneymaker for Sega and rightly and was the platform for a great future.

Sonic's gameplay is simple. The aim of each level is to get to the end as quick as possible while collecting as many rings as possible along the way. Touch an enemy and you'll lose all your rings. Touch an enemy with zero rings and you'll lose a life. There are 6 levels in Sonic 1, each of which have 3 acts, and the third act has a boss at the end of which you need to defeat if you wish to continue to the next level. Along each stage you'll encounter a series of easy to defeat enemies, pit holes, trap holes etc, that will try to stop you in your conquest for victory over Eggman. You will need to use the limited supply of moves at your disposal. You do have additional support though from little item TVs. In these such TVs you are given help. Some TVs contain rings, shields (last for one attack) invincibility (for a short time) and my favorite, the Speed Boots. Speed boots up Sonic's speed ten fold and you'll be whizzing through levels in no time at all.

Collect 50 rings in an act (excluding the third) and you'll see at the end a large gold ring. Enter such ring and you'll enter a special stage. Special stages are weird mazes, filled with colored blocks that protect a Chaos Emerald. The maze continually rotates, only changing direction when you hit an R (as in reverse) button allowing the stage to rotate in the opposite direction. There are also buttons called goal, now this isn't the type of goal you want, touch these and the stage is over. The object like all Sonic games is to collect the Chaos Emerald. You can though if you collect a certain amount of ring claim a continue or extra lives.

The visuals and audio are superb for their time. Each stage has unique palette coloring, and interesting sprites. All levels look nice and different and all stand out and are memorable. As far as the themes go I'd have to say that the Green Hill theme is probably one of the most recognizable video game themes of all time. It's a quirky tune that really set off the title, as does the rest of the soundtrack. What's also nice is the sound effects. The ching of a collected ring and the scattering sound of losing them when his; the drowning of Sonic when he's run out of air, the splashing of entering and exiting water; the whoosh of his spin; the popping sound of killed enemies. Everything here is very well-done and has these effects are used even today in even the most recent of Sonic games.

As far as replay goes. Does Sonic ever really grow old? You could play it 20 year from now and still have a good time. Sonic is a timeless classic that can be enjoyed any time of the year anywhere.

Now Sega's Sonic Team created an ace game in Sonic The Hedgehog. Sure people compare him to Mario but in all honestly there is no comparison except for the fact that they are both platformers. With Mario you get slow gameplay, with Sonic it gave you the gift of speed. Both have their own ups and downs. But for now I'll have to let Sonic take the gold medal as speed in his case actually allows platforming games to be moderately fun while they last, even for older gamers.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/05/09

Game Release: Sonic the Hedgehog (EU, 06/23/91)


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