Review by FRIEDSTRUCK
"The Game That Proved To All That Nintendo Was Only Second Best"
Ok, so as big of a Sega guy I am, I am quite embarrassed to tell people that my first Sonic game was 2, and I played it in 2000 for the first time, and I did not play this game until 2006... terrible, I know. My trip last year to the UK saw me end up (among other places) at a Cash Converters (which are not around anymore here in Canada sadly...) in Newcastle. Knowing that outside of Canada, shops such as these are much more likely to have video games, I dropped in, and quickly browsed at their limited selection of Sega games (if I remember, they had one or two Saturn games, no Dreamcast, three Genesis, and that was it), and it caught my eye: Sonic the Hedgehog. I had only played it once before, and really, for how big a Sonic fan that I am, why had I not bought this game years earlier? For two pounds, I snatched it up, brought it home, and immediately made it to the Scrap Brain Zone. I had such a great time, and this was 17 years after it came out! Game play will tell you more.
Game play: 9/10
Still not quite perfect, as you cannot super spin dash, and some things are missing, otherwise, Sonic the Hedgehog's game play is fantastic, one of the main reasons why this game was successful as it was. Do you get a sense of speed? Oh yeah, Sonic is one of the fastest moving games of its time, and that too was a big selling point of the game. All bonuses are intact, all different items and power-ups are intact, and the second best emerald stage of the Sonic games is found in this game (the rotating level where you must break through diamonds to get to the Chaos Emeralds). Some levels are fast, "run through as fast as you can," levels, some levels are based on ring collecting and plat-forming, and some levels are there to be a pain in the butt. This simple, but varied style of levels is a major reason why this game is so great. Personally, I feel that every Sonic game is characterized by its first level, and this Sonic game has a fantastic one: Green Hill Zone. The moment you start running, taking out the bad-nik, picking up the ring power-up, you are thrust into the classic world of Sonic. Nothing but greatness here, and the same can be said about the story.
Dr. Ivo Robotnik has taken over the South Island, and has turned all of the animals living there into robots and machines. In doing so, he attempts to capture the seven Chaos Emeralds, and in turn, tries to take over the world. Sonic will not stand for this, and he rushes to the aid of his friends, and his journey begins to stop Robotnik. This is te third time I have written this synopsis today, and hopefully, each is a bit different! Graphics will be up next.
Not quite up to par with the sequels, though not far off either. Another big reason why Sonic the Hedgehog sold so well, was because the backgrounds looked absolutely gorgeous, Sonic had wicked style, and a bad-ass look. Green Hill, Spring Garden, and Labyrinth Zones all look fantastic, and very detailed. Sonic was given the look that made him famous, complete with white gloves, and red and white sneakers. The enemies look great, though they would look considerably better in the sequels. Finally, Robotnik looks great, as he too was given the look that would make him famous. Good stuff here, same with the soundtrack.
Just a shade below perfection are the sounds in this game. The music is brilliant, though 2 levels, it falls flat on its face (**cough labyrinth cough**). The music was composed by Masato Nakamura, who is a Japanese music professional, hence the quality of this game's soundtrack. The sound effects that you would hear in the next four Sonic games were all present, and they are some of the best sound effects ever used in a plat-former. Is Sonic a replay-able game though?
Replay ability: 7/10
Just a smidgen better than its Master System cousin, Sonic the Hedgehog is merely above average in the replay department. It has a few more zones, seven in total, and with the third act in each zone being a full level like the first two acts, then a Robotnik encounter, this game will take you a bit longer to play through. The Chaos Emeralds are still fairly easy to get in this game, and they too will not make the game last too much longer. Its a Sonic game though, you will want to play it through and through!
Buy or rent?
Without question, this is a, "buy first, ask questions later," game. Even if you could still rent it, buy it instead.
Sonic got his start in 1991, and he is still going just as strong in 2009 (though since 2001, the games have been big question marks), and it is in thanks to a large part, because of this game. Naka and the rest on Sonic team were on to big things when they were making this game, and thankfully, the world saw this, pushing Mario and Nintendo aside for a short time (even though they would reclaim the plat-forming throne a few years later...). Sonic changed the video game world as we know it, and it was for the better!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/03/09
Game Release: Sonic the Hedgehog (EU, 06/23/91)
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