Review: Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Genesis)

In this review, speed through the Sega Genesis version of Sonic the Hedgehog, an adventure game.

This game was released in 1991 and would prove to be more famous than the Sega Master version.

A lot of what was found in the Sega Master version is also found in the Genesis version, so this review will look at the differences between the two.

One of the major differences are the inclusion of tubes and loops that you can either run or speed through. In the Master version, you have just ramps you can jump off of after gathering momentum from a hill. This certainly adds a nice element of excitement to the game.

Another big difference is the ability to collect gold rings after you get hit. This simply wasn’t present in the Master version as if you got hit in the Master version, you just lose all your rings with no chance of grabbing a few. I thought the ability of re-collecting a few of the lost rings was a great addition.

The checkpoints are slightly different in that they are now a blue ball that you switch to red. I thought this was an improvement over the more cryptic down arrow on a TV screen in the Master version.

Another improvement is overall length. The Master version simply had levels that could be completed in less than 5 minutes (a large portion of them anyway). In this version, it’s not uncommon to spend anywhere between 3-6 minutes on each level. I thought the increase in level length eradicated the issue of it being a slightly too short of a game.

The basic ideas of the different acts and zones are largely the same, however, the levels themselves have only passing similarities in terms of design. So, really, you can recognize the similarities, but it ultimately becomes its own game with references to the other.

In addition, chaos emeralds are earned in special secret levels through a minigame. On the Master version, chaos emeralds are earned through cleverly hidden crevices or hard to reach ledges.

While there are major improvements over the Master version, I will say there is one downside to this game. Everything in the Genesis version is bigger than the Master version. while this does add a nice sense of fast-paced gameplay, it does make it harder to react to obstacles like saw blades, flames, pits, and other traps. I thought this made the game a little more annoying especially since the emphasis of this game focuses on going fast.

Graphically, the overall details are definitely improved. The effects were great. There’s even the occasional bit of foreground even. While I think the camera could have been pulled back a bit, I can’t really think of anything to complain about in this game in this area.

The sound effects were also very nicely down. The music was not amazing, but pretty good as well. So, a very good job on this front.

Overall, this was a great game to play. It’s very easy to see why Sega was so successful at the time with this game demonstrating the systems capabilities. Definitely a worthy competitor to the Super Mario franchise at the time.

Furthest point in game: Beat the game with 2 chaos emeralds.

General gameplay: 23/25
Replay value: 8/10
Graphics: 9/10
Audio: 4/5

Overall rating: 88%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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