Review by BlackWarriorX
"A Great Start To A Great Series"
Sonic The Hedgehog is a platform game developed by Sega's Sonic Team, and released on the Genesis in 1991. It is the first of many Sonic titles, and features a fast blue hedgehog known as Sonic. The game was a great success, and millions made the trek to their local game store to pick up a copy. But does the game that started it all really live up to it's high expectations? Did Sega really beat Nintendo's classic Super Mario Brothers?
The plot isn't exactly the greatest story of all time, but it's originality is what makes up for it's lack of complexity. You are Sonic The Hedgehog, a blue creature that has the special ability to run very fast. An evil scientist, Dr. Robotnik, has captured all the land's innocent creatures, and it is up to you to defeat him and free all of nature's wildlife. Although it's a simple plot, it's the first of it's kind, and certainly captured the hearts of many gamers galore.
The game has basic controls; You can move about, jump, and spin on the ground if you hold down when running. Sonic was designed to be fast, and the levels fit perfectly with this theme of speed. Loop-de-loops, ramps, and many more features give Sonic the time of his life speeding down the grassy hills and starry nights. Not all levels are designed for speed, though. Marble Zone, for example, gets rid of the fast-paced action and instead gives the player a series of basic puzzles to build up his puzzle solving skill. I, for one, never liked this idea in Sonic as it just doesn't feel right as a puzzle game,mainly because they are slow and require deep thought, while the game was based on the idea of being fast and frantic. It doesn't help that Sonic feels a bit clumsy when performing slow actions. Another issue is present in this game: the random spike and spring traps. You feel cheated when you're running at top speed and a spring jumps you back into a pit of lava. You have no time to react, so it isn't fair to the player.
The game has extremely good graphics, especially for a 1991 game. It's easy to tell objects and enemies apart, and the background is filled with beautiful sunsets, stars, and all the little features. When you look at a screenshot of this game, it makes you want to play it, thus tempting you to get it.
By far the best feature of this game is it's music. Every level has a catchy tune ayer nd the music fits right in to the theme of the level. For example, Green Hill is bright and cheery, and has a nice, cheery theme to go with it. You will have a lot of this game's music stuck in your head for hours on end.
SOUND FX: 8/10
The game feels complete with positive sounds for positive actions and negative sound for negative actions. The bop when you jump and the losing rings sound can get quite annoying at times, but it has to be there as the game wouldn't feel right without it. Voice acting could have been a possibility, although its just fine without it. Good job, Sega.
Despite it's flaws, the game is, simply put, addicting. When you lose, you feel like there's still much to be discovered thanks to the game's many secrets and Sega really made an effort to keep the player interested in this game. Multiplayer could have made it better, but still this classic gem keeps you coming back for more no matter how many times you fall prey to it's traps.
Sonic The Hedgehog is a near perfect game but it's slow, boring puzzles and player unfairness keeps it from being the greatest platformer of all time. However, it's fun factor, element of speed and catchy tunes make this game a definite classic and remember, this was the start of a whole new era of gaming. It has to be respected.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/20/12
Game Release: Sonic the Hedgehog (EU, 06/23/91)
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