Review by reddragonflame

"The original sonic game..."

Sonic the hedgehog. He was a blue, spikey hedgehog that could travel faster than the speed of sound. The game, one of the earlier released on the Mega Drive, obviously starred Sonic (hence the name). As I am unsure of anything else to write in the introduction, I will just get into the review.

Graphics- 10
I really liked these graphics. Everything seems to move. The running of Sonic is fluid and smooth, the bad guys shooting and biting is smooth, if sometimes blockey, and the backgrounds move and change as you run through the levels. The bonus levels at the end of the stages are incredible looking, with fish and birds in the backgrounds added to the strange colours of the bonus levels are amazing, and mystifying. The levels themselves are crafted perfectly, without any left over bits and peices, and are loaded with extra sprites like trees, flowers, and totem poles. Just by going to the Spring Yard zone you can be amused for hours just by walking through the level. The animals you have to rescue hop away, and if you are bored, you can follow them to see where they go. To be short, they are cartoony, and I like cartoony graphics.

Sounds- 9
The sounds are very good. The music for each level is very fitting, and creates and instant atmosphere. The two best examples for these are Starlight Zone, and Scrap Brain Zone. The latter has very powerful and metallic sounding music, which is perfect for the mechanical appearance of the level. The first has very soothing music, which is nice because while going through the level the music blends in perfectly and creates a nice calm feeling. The sound effects are quality, with little ''boof'' noises, and a sound when you hit Robotnik that can only be described as ''drgchnchnchn''. I guess you have to hear it to understand, but it does.

Controls- 10
Easy. Left is left, right is right, up looks up, down crouches down, down while running is a little spin, and A, B, or C is jump.

Gameplay- 10
The gameplay is great! Aside from the huge amount of bad guys, and the very hard bosses, there are also massive levels to explore. Even the first few levels, although small, have oodles of secrets to find. There are rings to collect, which open up the bonus levels and grant extra lives. Also, there are walls to burrow through to find more boxes. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention them. The pick ups in the game are contained inside tiny little television sets, usually called boxes. When you hop on them, you get a pickup of some kind. You can get either ten rings, speed sneakers, invincibility, shield, or an extra life. In the bonus rounds, you can also gain continues, which effectively means another three lives.

The levels are brilliant, and laid out in a really clever way. The first level is short and simple, so the player can adapt to the controls and the acceleration of the blue garden animal. The next levels are a tad bit more tricky, and from there they get progressively harder. I have completed the games so many times I have lost count, and I can still die on some of the later levels. The names of the levels, or Zones, are: Green Hill Zone, the training zone, Marble Zone, the lava zone, Spring Yard Zone, the ker-ay-zee zone, Labrynth Zone, a water nightmare, Starlight Zone, the nice chill out level, and Scrap brain Zone, easily the coolest level in the game. Something for everyone... And in each Zone there are three ''acts''. This means, including the final zone and the bonus levels, there are about 25 levels to play in. Wow.

Replayivity- 7
Although the levels are huge, once you have completed the game a few times, the only reason most people would come back to play this game is to try and beat the time it takes to comlpete it. Also, once you have a couple of cheats for it, then it is cool to play through the levels in DEBUG mode, where you can create bad guys and find even more secrets in the level. The ending is, IMO, very good, but not many people seem to think so... But what do they know? It isn't there review, reddragonflame makes the grades... The ending movie is great, with a fantastic mix of all the songs in the game.

Overall- 9
This game has got everything anybody could want in a game. The only thing it could have to improve it would be a way to save the high scores, or maybe a few more levels.

Buy or rent- Buy
I doubt you can rent this from anywhere, but buy it anyway. Nowadays you will have to search the charity shops or market stalls to find a copy, but really, it is worth it. For twenty quid you can get a Mega Drive, controller, wires, and a few games including this one, or for thirty-five quid you can get Sonic Advance, a dull version of this game. You pick.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/02/04

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