Let me tell you a little story. A long time ago, the Sega Genesis came
out, a new-wave 16 bit system with a future. Sega needed a mascot to go with
the system's hardcore attitude, so they create a teen-age, sassy hedgehog
called Sonic. It became one of the first of many successful games for the
Genesis and gave way to many sequels and spin-offs. Perhaps what made it
so popular was the element of speed...play a super-fast blue hedgehog
as he bounces through levels, runs through loops, and all sorts of stuff
that Mario never, EVER did.
So, what's the game about.
Alright, it appears a huge, egg-shaped doctor named Ivo Robotnik, wants to do
what 99.9% of bad guys want to do, take over the world. He captures lots of
tiny little wimp animals and converts them into a massive army of robots. It's
up to the blazing blue hedgehog to defeat the robots and stop Dr. Robotnik.
Sonic must progress through 6 zones in all, each one (except the last one)
consisting of 3 acts, or sections. At the end of each 3rd act, Robotnik comes
in some little contraption. Bash him 8 times and he flies away and you rescue
a bunch of animals, not yet converted into machines.
Along the way, you may also try and get the 6 Chaos Emeralds, mystic gems
that if collected, are suppose to spice up the ending a bit, but it barely
does this. To reach them, you must be holding 50 rings by the end of any 2nd
or 3rd act and jump into the huge ring at the end. You then enter a 360-degree
rotating maze to find them.
Let's get down to the details! The graphics are
fairly detailed, with some nicely moving sprites. Sonic has a variety of poses
and even looks at you bored when you don't move him! His head's a bit big and
his feet are huge, though, so he might not win any beauty contests. The little
animals are so little and once you free them, they jump away, even into pits
or boiling lava (STUPID ALERT!). Why does Sonic befriend animals that are
1/4th his size?! Maybe he should seek conseling for a self-esteem problem
here. Anyway, the backgrounds are cool in some zones like Star Light zone
(nice scrolling), but other zones have plain, boring backgrounds that show
little appeal. Dr. Robotnik keeps returning, with that same pod he flies in,
only with a different enhancement. That gets old after 4 or 5 zones. The
rotating mazes are cool, with a background changing from birds to fish. Each
zone has a distinct look of it's own, something to keep up the fun factor, for
each zone has different traps and dangers. Overall, nice looks!
I personally like the music in Sonic The Hedgehog, which is why I give
it such a high score. The sound would earn a 5, it lacks any excitement. It's
all bing and boing and I can't stand the horrible, scratchy voice the says
"SEGA!", when you turn it on. That jumping noise will just make you scream,
since you hear it only 10,000 times per game! I don't have any real good
sounds to list, but the music can be cool. I like the Green Hill and Labyrinth
Zone tunes and the little song when you beat the level is nice too. Some
music, like the rotating maze one, is less than desirable. The control is
quite easy to understand. It's the first game I've seen where all 3 buttons
make you jump. That's it, you move and jump. No machine guns or mastering some
tricky button combinations, you just jump. Boing!
The difficulty isn't much at all. It's easy, for the first time I ever
touched a Genesis or this game, I made it through half the game! I wasn't any
older than 10 and I wasn't a pro. Anyone who's played a game before can just
pick this one up and begin, though some people may wet their pants after Sonic
moves fast and they lose control. I haven't, but every time I get my little
cousin to play, he gets all hyper and scared, because he moves pretty fast.
This is what Sonic's all about, the SPEED! There is quite a bit in this game
which is cool and impressive, since a system isn't usually expected to move
that fast. Robotnik is easy, just dodge and bash him, after 8 times, he's
history....until next zone. It will get a little more challenging, especially
in the Labyrinth Zone, where you need to find air bubbles underwater, or you
drown! Nice realistic concept, unlike Mario, who can master swim and hold his
breath for eternity!
Overall, the game is quite entertaining and a blast to play. You'll be
trying for the Emeralds and after that is done and the game is beat about 100
times, the appeal is lost and you might become bored with it. The point is
it's a cool game with a new concept for a hero and villain (almost). No danzel
in distress here, just a fat doctor, lots of machines and the typical hero
animal who saves the day. Instead of having a massive body of muscle, Sonic
relies on speed to get him through and pull him out of messes. Give the game a
whirl, Sega did work hard at it, but they might want to fix the SEGA voice,
it's horrible! Anyway, while people argue over who's better, Mario or Sonic,
be a smart person and just quit the crap and play the game. Who cares whose
better, what matters is the fun involved. Until part 2, 3....and on!