Sonic the Hedgehog
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?
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
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. :-)
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.
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
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.
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!