Sonic The Hedgehog Retrospective
So welcome to the first part in my Sonic Retrospective. This will be looking at the main entry console games of the franchise, with special inclusion of other games outside of this when they introduce special character into the series that go on to feature in the series in later games.
Sonic the hedgehog was the first game released in the franchise on the Genesis (Mega Drive depending on your location) in 1991; introducing Sonic the Hedgehog to the world as a mascot for SEGA to rival Mario. This began a string of adverts aimed at showing the superiority of the Genesis console and Sonic’s game play over that of the Super Nintendo and Super Mario World… The older of the reader’s might remember the slogan “SEGA do what Nintendon’t”
However I’m here to talk about the games, while the video will be more informative and neutral the accompanying text will be more of a review and my personal feelings towards the games. I’ll also be playing the original games, not ports for these videos as well to base my opinions off of. So I won’t beat around the bush any more.
In my opinion the original Sonic the Hedgehog hasn’t aged that well, it will of course be forever known as a classic in it’s own right as what brought Sonic to the world but the game feels like a bit of a blank slate at times. The way you have to play each level differs so much that it feels like Sonic Team threw everything at us so see what stuck and build upon for future entries in the series; and why not? The whole creation of Sonic was to further the companies image so they needed the series to be the best it could be as it would reflect of the whole company given Sonic was their digital representative.
The Green Hill zone feels the most like what we’ve come to recognise as the true Sonic experience which explains is well loved place in history, Marble was plat forming and precision focused and not overly fun due to it being in start contrast to the Green Hill. Labyrinth introduced water as an element and was fun enough that there’s been a water based level in every sonic game since showing it’s popularity. Starlight stands the best/worst example of a level in the game and is guilty of the same things the early Xbox 360/PS3 games were guilty of in that they have the full speed and frantic nature of the sonic games but are full with cheap deaths and no warnings that you need to stop and be precise.
So what I’m essentially trying to say is that once your through the first level of Sonic the game takes a steep turn in difficulty, again possibly leading to the popularity of the Green Hill due to the constant replaying of that level from the sustained deaths later on in the game forcing a restart. The games mechanics also were very UN refined, which would improve quickly but the most frustrating easily had to be the ease of death on spikes; with no grace tie to get to safety falling on spikes would make you loose rings but if the knock back from the hit also landed on them you were down a life right away and this could happen from as early as Act 2 of Green Hill.
While it overall might not be the best game it’s certainly eared it’s place in people’s memories and continues to do so and it’s difficulty is really only apparent now when at it’s time a lot of games where just as hard but not nearly as fun. So I can only say that if your interested in see were everything began you give if a shot, it’s pretty much on every platform now digitally now anyway.