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Sonic the Hedgehog

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Reviewed by Nathan Tsui Sonic the Hedgehog is my fav videogame character! I have been playing videogames since Super Mario Bros. on the original NES. I saw videogames merely as entertainment, something to hold your interest for a while. I never really saw videogames as fun. The first time I met with Sonic was in June of 1991, a couple weeks after Sonic the Hedgehog for Genesis was released. I was six years old. Me and my bro were at the new Best Buy near our house, and there were two displays available to play: a Super Nintendo with a helicopter game, and a Sega Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog. I ignored the Super Nintendo and watched with awe as an older boy played Sonic. When he left, I didn't dare touch the controller, and was content to just watch the demo run. The graphics and speed amazed me, since I was used to Mario's slow (and sometimes tedious) gameplay. I remember asking my brother, "Isn't Sonic cooler than Mario?" He just nodded. Before Sonic I was only a mediocre game player, leaning toward the bad side, as playing Mario tensed me up and made me nervous, since Mario and all other Miyamoto games are incredibly hard; too much for a little kid usually. After I played Sonic, my whole perspective on videogames was flipped upside-down, for the better! I actually began to see videogames as fun, and became infinitely better at them, since Sonic's cool, confident attitude rubbed off onto me. Not to mention I lost my shyness. Hey, who said videogames are bad for you? GRAPHICS: 9 Dude, when you compare these visuals to what was floating around at that time, this is a jaw-dropper. The scaling and rotating had never before been seen, and all the sprites are very detailed and well-animated. I was blown away by the graphics since I was accustomed to Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3 from playing NES at my friend's house. I couldn't believe so many different colors could exist on the screen at once. (Hey, I was 6! Gimme a break!) The moving backgrounds and everything else added up for a very strong impression on my little mind. SOUND: 10 The music and SFX are completely awesome. Sonic Team's catchy and up-beat music is introduced in this game, and is something that is fortunately not lost in any of Sonic's sequels. All of the FX are very clear and crisp and are still used today in Sonic Adventure. :-) CONTROL: 9 Sonic moves and responds very well, and stops on a dime when you need him to. Because he moves so fast, making jumps is not a problem in this game. GAMEPLAY: 10 This game introduced the speed and attitude that have made Sonic a legend. It also introduced several aspects that separate Sonic from Mario. On top of the regular jump attack, Sonic has his spin, where you can blaze through enemies as a ball of spike. The levels are innovative and designed especially for Sonic's speed. The gameplay is traditional classic Sonic, which, in case you don't know, is blast through the level as fast as you can. Snag rings on the way, 'cuz rings are your life supply. Get bonked by a badnik and you lose your rings. Get bonked when you're bankrupt, and you're dead. The bosses are big, inventive, and challenging. One of the things that thrilled me the most about this game was Sonic's speed. Mario is a fat slug, and seeing a game moving at literally 2-3 times faster than it was amazing to me. Sega used this to their advantage and called this technology "Blast-Processing", a term that became very popular in the gaming world at that time. REPLAY VALUE: 8 This game practically invented the Bonus Stage. If you could beat the level with 50 or more rings, you gained access to the Special Stage, which is a big maze that rotates while you're in it. It also has an awesome morphing background. Other than that, it doesn't have much, like most games during the early '90s. OVERALL: 9 This game is a classic! If you haven't played it, I pity you so much. Sonic is still one of the best series out there, and just 'cuz you're a younger or "mature" gamer doesn't mean you have to miss out on an incredibly fun game. I still go back to my Genesis and play Sonic whenever I get sick of the over-hyped and "all-graphics no gameplay" junk that has become very common nowadays. Do yourself a favor: get speedy with the Blue Blur!

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