"The game that made Nintendo cry"

At this time in History, the Mario games were selling like crazy. SEGA knew that they would need a stand-out character to compete with Mario, so they went to the drawing board. Their first idea was of a little rabbit who could pick things up with its ears, but that idea was later used in a game known as Ristar, which hasn't had any continuing games to my knowledge. Finally, they came up with the idea of a blue hedgehog named Sonic. This blue wonder would eventually make SEGA known worldwide--but they didn't know that yet. Sonic 1 is considered as one of the best games of all time. I concur with this, along with plenty others, that Sonic 1 is indeed one of the best games of all time.

Story: 10/10
The story in this game is complex, yet simple. A villain named Dr. Robotnik has found a bunch of small little animals. He discovered the true power of the animals when he turned them into robots. These robots would then take over the world, and Dr. Robotnik would rule that world with strict leadership. He would then have everyone and every thing obey him--this was his plan: world domination. Then one day, our blue wonder (Sonic the Hedgehog) found out that Dr. Robotnik was turning his animal friends into robots. It was Sonic's duty to release the trapped animals. He found out that if he jumped on a robot, the robot would be destroyed and the animal inside of the robot would be freed from its prison. After practicing, Sonic found out that he could not just jump on them, but he could use his super speed and roll into them. With these new techniques, Sonic went after Dr. Robotnik to free his animal friends.

Gameplay: 10/10
This game has very simplistic gameplay, although timing is the real challenge. The controls are simple: The A button to jump, down + A while moving to roll, right/left to move right and left, and up/down to scroll up and down the stage. It's not as easy as it sounds, though, because the levels in this game can become quite a debacle if you don't know what you are doing. The main focus of this game is speed, but in some stages, you need to solve a puzzle in order to continue. It may involve jumping from platform to platform or moving through an underwater maze. Sometimes the gameplay is easy, like in the very first set of levels, whereas at the same time it can be down-right hard, like in the last set of levels. This game doesn't have too many glitches, but you can never be too careful. Normally when Sonic gets hit, he's invincible to damage from enemies and obstacles (excluding things that crush you) for around three seconds, but if you hit a group of spikes and lose your rings, be careful not to hit them again, because, despite that three second invincibility, you can still lose a life. If you have more than 50 rings at the end of a stage, you can warp through a giant ring to try and collect a chaos emerald in a special stage. There are a total of 6 chaos emeralds in this game, and each special stage in unique in both difficulty and fun. If you manage to get 50 rings in a special stage, you can earn yourself a continuation, which is good for three more lives after you've lost your last one; trying to get 50 can be hard, though, since the game doesn't keep a counter up there for you to tell when you're close. These special stages are nice side-quests to the ever-so-fast gameplay that is this game. All-in-all, the gameplay of this game goes smoothly and deserves a perfect score when compared with its era, as do the game's graphics.

Graphics: 10/10
I find it hard to summarize the graphics of this game, but here it goes. The graphics of this game are one-of-a-kind; until its time, graphics were never seen on a gaming system before. This even over-shadowed the Mario games, which, up until that time, had the best graphics ever. The Sonic sprite was really well-done, with extreme detail. When Sonic looks up or down, you can actually see him move his body in the corresponding position. When Sonic is running, you can see his legs turn into a circle of speed. When he turns into a ball, it isn't just a blue ball, but rather a blue hedgehog. The scenery is also awesome, with the moving clouds to the waterfalls and even to the little bubbles that you are required to breathe while underwater to stay alive. The mixture of colors and shapes also go along well with the level itself; if it's an easy level, the colors will be bright and cheery, but if the level is ''drop-dead'' hard, then the graphics will be bland. I must admit, SEGA did quite a job detailing everything. I'm sure that the people at Nintendo were shaking when they saw the graphics of the game, although they probably were shaking just as hard as when they heard the sound.

Sound: 10/10
When compared to other games of its time, it's quite incomparable--it's just that good. The sound in this game, like its graphics, took video gaming to a whole new level. Most everything you did with Sonic had a sound. When rolling, you'd hear a sort of high-pitched grinding sound making you feel the speed. When Sonic jumped, you can hear the jumping as if somebody was jumping in your own bedroom. When you bounce off a red spring and a yellow spring, you can both hear and feel the difference. when you put on speed shoes, you can hear the music speeding up, and when you're going around loops at max speed, you can literally zoom nearly off the screen. When you break an invincibility container, you can feel the power as you rush on by, freeing your animal friends along the way. When you zoom past the finish line, you can hear the end-mark zooming around and around due to your extreme speed. Plus, each level has a new tune to hear so you'll never be bored. The boss itself also has its own tune, as do the special stages. These cheery tunes, although simplistic, are, along with the graphics, the gameplay, and the sound, what put Sonic the Hedgehog on the map, so to speak.

The Bottom Line: What's my recommendation for this game? I highly recommend buying it if you haven't already done so, because I can guarantee you that you won't be disappointed, unless you don't like classic 2-D games that are fun, puzzling, and full of speed all at the same time.


Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/19/04

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