Review by Link165
One of the best 16bit era games, and one of my favorites.
During the "Golden Age of Gaming" Nintendo and Sega dominated the video game industry. One of the Genesis's greatest games involved a little blue hedgehog called Sonic. This game, Sonic the Hedgehog, was what started the series that has spun sequels, spinoffs and cartoons, but has gone pretty much downhill the past few years since the series made the transition to 3D. But just maybe, it will be revitalized for the next generation of gaming with the PSWii60. Sonic has come a long way since this game.
Sonic the Hedgehog takes place in a 2d side scrolling perspective, like almost every game from that era. Basically, what you do is guide Sonic from point A to point B. Throughout each level, Sonic will encounter many bad guys and spikes that will hurt him. If Sonic is touched by an enemy, he dies. To avoid this, you have to gather rings that can be found all over. Now if Sonic is touched, he only loses his rings(and he can regain some of them). Sonic can also defeat his enemies by jumping on them or rolling into them.
In addition, there are power-ups that can be found on every level inside some thind that looks like a computer monitor. Sonic can find a shield which acts like having an extra set of rings, invincibility, and super shoes that make him run even faster(and the games music will speed up accordingly). If Sonic has at least 50 rings at the end of the act, he can jump into a large ring at the near the exit spinner which will take him to a special stage, where he can get one of many Chaos Emeralds in the game. The special stage is nothing like you'd expect though. Sonic is constantly in his rolled up form and you're essentially bouncing off the walls to avoid going into an exit goal. In order to really beat the game, you need to get all of them(you can still beat the final boss without all of them).
There are 6 zones in the game with three acts for each one, which totals 18 acts in the game. At the end of each third act, you must face Dr. Robotnik, the main enemy in the game. Each time he'll come up with a new way to defeat Sonic, and you must exploit his weaknesses to defeat him each time....by jumping and hitting him.
The acts themselves often present a few different paths for you to choose from throughout the game, but all of them lead to the end spinner.
Other then that, that's all there is to the gameplay in Sonic the Hedgehog. Simple, but very enjoyable.
Also a strong point. The environments are all very colorful and diverse(except the final act is zone 4 with different colors). There are many different enemies in the game, although some are recycled and re-appear in later levels. The obvious thing about Sonic's graphics is how you get a sense of speed while you are playing. Sonic can run very fast, and the surprising thing is that the game's framerate never slows down while you are playing. Sonic himself doesn't look bad either. If you don't move him at all for a few seconds he'll start doing other things, such as whistling, looking around, etc. The only gripe I have with the graphics is the backgrounds, they don't ever change(within the same zone)
More of a mixed bag, but still good overall. First, the bad. You'll be doing a lot of jumping in Sonic the Hedgehog, and whenever you jump, a small, high pitched noise plays similar to Chris Berman's dodging sound(WOOOOOP!). The result is hearing that noise several hundred times throughout the course of the game and you'll be wanting to mute your TV. However, then you'd be missing out on the great music that is found in MOST(not ALL, most) of the zones in the game. The music is the same for the three acts in a zone. Some, like Scrap Brain and Labyrinth are good, but others, like Spring Yard, aren't as good.
In Sonic the Hedgehog, you can start the game at Green Hill act one and end in the final stage, and your score rolls over from act to act. You can always replay to get a higher score. Also, if you never get all of the Chaos Emeralds in the game, try getting them all on a new play through. In addition to that, as said above, the levels are often non linear and more often then not there is a different path that you can take to get through the level. And some work better then others in terms of difficulty and boosting your score with the possible available rings and power ups. Replay is simple, but it works.
AMOUNT OF VIOLENCE
Sonic the Hedgehog's violence is basically a Mario game with a little more mean in it. Like Mario, Sonic will be jumping on enemies to kill them, but he's jumping on robots, not live animals. And Dr. Robotnik is not a robot but Sonic will be defeating him many times throughout the game(so he can go drag his sorry butt back to his lab to come up with another way to try and kill Sonic). Other then this there really isn't too much to the violence, your cartoons on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney Channel are more violent then this.
Sonic the Hedgehog was not the first game I ever played(those honors belong to NHLPA Hockey 93) but it was the first I ever saw. When I was old enough I got a Genesis and slowly learned to love this game. Back then, I couldn't get past the second zone and now I can beat the game at a fast pace. This game ranks up there on one of my favorites ever. It's just a shame that Sonic's 3D games are very disappointing to play(Sonic Heroes, what a disgrace to the Sonic name). Well hopefully the next gen Sonic games will be better.
With the sense of speed you get while playing Sonic the Hedgehog, and the good graphics and sound for a nice plus, Sonic the Hedgehog is a game that should be owned by anyone that still owns a Genesis or Gamecube.
-good sense of speed in the gameplay.
-may be hard to find(it's on Sonic Mega Collection for the gamecube though)
-some music is annoying
-the jump sound
Final Score: 10/10
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Sonic the Hedgehog (US, 06/23/91)
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