Sunday, 12 June 2011

Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis/Mega Drive)


That logo's not messing around. Chrome text, a ribbon, stars, wings, and Sonic himself waving at us in the center.

Plus the Sonic theme is excellent.


I think I might have been Pavlovian conditioned to love any game with that speech clip. I love all the sound effects in this game actually.

That's fantastic looking art in my opinion. The angled tree leaves and checkerboard ground immediately make the game stand out as visually different to anything else.

Also this music is one of the greatest game tunes ever.

For whatever reason I thought loops and tunnels were introduced in Sonic 2, but no they were there from the start.

There's actually a decent amount of depth to this level, with different paths I can take. If I'd taken the high road I could have grabbed that pick up in the TV up there, and there's another path leading to a spiky dead end below me.

That very nice looking flying bug robot shot me! Just when I was building up some momentum too. Sonic has a fantastic health system, where as long as you're holding at least 1 ring you can take a hit.

But on the other hand, I need to take 50 rings to the end of the level to get to the bonus stage, and I need to win bonus stages to get the proper ending, so losing all my rings is actually really annoying.

I finished the level, but it's a hollow victory because I didn't get enough rings.

They really love to hide things in the trees in this game. Like this spring for example.

The trouble with springs and paths in the sky, is that if I fall off there's a chance I'll land right in a spike pit and die. Even my bubble couldn't save me.

To be honest I don't remember Sonic the Hedgehog being this annoying to play. I had doubts about some of these games living up to my hazy nostalgic recollections, but I was sure that this one would be one of the good ones.

Still not enough rings! No bonus stage for me. I am once again a total failure.

What the hell kind of obstacle is that? I miss the swing and instead landed on a very inconvenient spinning spike pole.

Why are you trying to make me hate you Sonic? I don't understand!

Huh? That's it? Seriously, I've only got three lives and no continues?

That's really Game Over? Seriously?

Well at least now I have another chance to get to that damn bonus stage. Or at least I would if I could just stop losing all my damn rings. Dammit.

Son of a BITCH! I had the rings this time! I went and collected all the rings and made my way through the level extra carefully so I wouldn't drop them... and then I run right past the bonus level ring.

I didn't realise I had to jump into it.

What the hell kind of a place is this to put a checkpoint?

Okay fine, yeah, putting the restart point before a dangerous part of the level does make perfect sense. I'm just annoyed that I'm back looking at this damn spiky log again.

Oh, I'm also annoyed that I have to cross WITHOUT ANY RINGS.

Yeah yeah, I suppose I could always backtrack, multiple paths etc.

That's cool though. They've actually made the secret wall look slightly different so it's possible to find without just trying to break through random walls.

Hey it's Dr Robotnik. Boss fight!

He took more hits than I expected, but he wasn't a massive challenge. Fortunately.

Of course I could have avoided being hit and losing all my rings if I'd hidden over in one of the bottom corners when his swung his ball, but alas I am an idiot.

Yay the animals are saved, whatever. To be honest I'm finding it hard to care now I missed the bonus stages. It feels like I've already reached Game Over, and the game just hasn't bothered to tell me yet.

Sure there's like ten possible bonus levels left and I only need to win six of them, plus it wasn't like I was going to finish the game anyway, but I still don't feel any happier about it.

Well my theory was correct. Spiky enemies hurt me if I roll into them.

They were only very tiny spikes though... it was worth a shot.

This is a very dangerous place for a hedgehog with momentum to run. With all these hills I'm just asking for trouble.

To be honest I don't even remember this level at all. I'm starting to get the feeling it might have mostly been Sonic the Hedgehog 2 that I used to play.

That's a nice looking glass effect on those pillars though.

It's nice when a game breaks up the monotony a little by adding new elements to gameplay. Pushing blocks has very little to do with running fast, but it's a change.

Bloody wall spikes. They stabbed me, then disappeared so fast that they didn't even show up on the screenshot.

BLOODY WALL SPIKES! I was hit again before my rings had even stopped spilling out. Game Over.

Well that's it then. I'm not playing through all that again.

Okay fine, I'm going to keep going until I get a bonus level.

For fuck's sake, I was so close this time...

I have to remember when the exit is coming up so I know that I have to slow down or jump, or else I'll just overshoot.


Yes, YES! I've finally made it into a bonus stage! And it's really hard to look at or tell what's going on. Does that say GOAL?

Well I can't leave without getting my Chaos Emerald. No no, stop falling... no!

Is Sonic the Hedgehog as good as I remember? No. No it really isn't. It's actually really annoying at times. It can be hard to even get Sonic to walk up a hill or land on a ledge because of his inertia, yet really easy to fly into an enemy bullet and lose most of my rings. Or worse, a bottomless pit or spikes.

Still, it's far from being a terrible game. It's possible I'm being overly harsh on it because my expectations were sky high.



Only five more to go...


  1. Actually, at the end of a level, Sonic doesn't disappear off-screen, he's still there. You can just run left and jump into the ring after you've missed it. It ain't over 'til it's over.

  2. Knowing how people are, someone's going to castrate me for this, but...
    Do one for Sonic 2. Way better than 1.

    1. Sorry, but I doubt I'll be able to write about Sonic 2 this year. I've got my alphabetic gimmick going on and a pile of games beginning with S a mile high to pick from already.

      Someday though, someday Sonic will return.

  3. My attention is always drawn to that horrible stretched and disorded background image of the green hill zone (and title screen). I can't help it!

  4. Just a question, were you playing the European version? It runs at 50hz, so maybe that explains why it feels weird for you, the 50hz version sucks, but it got an amazing version of the Star Light Zone theme. :P

    1. Yeah I was playing the slow-motion PAL version, so that likely didn't help.


Semi-Random Game Box