Sonic the Hedgehog

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future
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Re: 473 - Sonic the Hedgehog

Post by The_reviewist »

There's little to say about this game, that hasn't been said, other than, the Megadrive was my first console, and the first game I had on it, and it's always had a special place in my heart.

I knew it inside out, I played it till I had SEGA thumb, and used to stand up while playing tricky parts and raising up on my toes while straining to make Sonic leap to difficult areas. Leading to the amazing moment when a grandparent walked into the room and after watching me play for a few minutes tapped me on the shoulder and said:

"you do realise you're not a blue hedgehog, you're a boy, playing a game? Good... I don't want this machine giving you delusions of grandeur."

Bless you, great aunt Thelma. Wisest of us all.

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Re: 473 - Sonic the Hedgehog

Post by psychohype »

After so many years of hemming and hawing over whether or not the traditional Sonic games were actually good, I'm here to say that Sonic the Hedgehog on the Genesis/Mega Drive is indeed one of the all-time greats. Even today, it's so simple to pick up and play. There's very little confusion, and the ring collection system was a brilliant idea. While, yes, it can be annoying to get hit by some unforeseen hazard and lose your rings, the fact that you can immediately reclaim a small portion of them — coupled with the fact that you only need one to protect you from dying — means you've always got a fighting chance to press onward.

I think people sometimes overlook that there were SO many side-scrolling platformers developed in the late-80s and early 90s, but few of them ever offered much of anything that made them distinct or stand the test of time. Just like pop songs, video games need some kind of a memorable hook to gain any traction. Sonic's high-flying speed and loop de loops — as seen in the introductory Green Hills Zone — certainly made a lasting impression. And while it's true that the game's subsequent levels didn't always retain that blistering sense of momentum, the core platforming mechanics were still pretty solid, even in more standard or straight-forward levels like Marble or Labyrinth Zone.

What I really like about Sonic's original outing is the simplistic sense of adventure. In order to save his animal friends, Sonic must go on a journey from the lush heart of nature (Green Hills Zone) into the claustrophobic, industrial nightmare that is Scrap Brain Zone (one of my favorite level sets from the 16-bit games). If I had to levy at least one minor criticism: We could have done with more reliable air bubble generators in the underwater portions of the game.

All in all, this is a game I will happily revisit on just about any occasion, whether on my iPhone or on the original hardware. The last thing I'll say is that the Sonic 1 soundtrack is also among the greatest of all time. Masato Nakamura truly knocked it out of the park.

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Re: 473 - Sonic the Hedgehog

Post by HaloFandango »

Playing this on my friend's Mega Drive back in the day was such a fun experience. I had recently gotten a Playstation and had transferred into the 3D realm, however the *bling* sound of Sonic collecting rings and his insane speed was too much to resist. Sonic's cool 90's attitude was exactly what a kid like me was looking for.
I hadn't grown up with Nintendo games, so Sonic was (and still is) one of my favourite characters.

Sonic was so influential to me, that as a kid in my local park, I used to run around the childrens' racetrack pretending I was Sonic, although my running speed left a little to be desired.

A great game, with a cool character, memorable levels and one of the fastest platformers to have been released at the time. Long live Sonic!

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Re: 473 - Sonic the Hedgehog

Post by Mr Ixolite »

Sonic The Hedgehog may be the first video game I ever experienced. It was owned by my second cousin, whos' family mine shared a house with for a time. I would drop down to visit, and stare in awe at the dazzling visuals of Green Hill zone. Sonic was my window into gaming before I was a gamer.
However, I never ended up owning a SEGA console, and wouldn’t experience the original trilogy until adulthood. This turned out to be a rather frustrating experience, as most of the design sensibilities that no doubt made the game eye-catching in its day were aggravating to me.

Colorful 2D platformers are my gaming bread and butter, and the number one most important thing for me in 2D platformers is feeling that I am in control. But just isn't the case in Sonic. As fun as it may look, when Sonic is sent careening across the screen by boosters and bounce pads and I see the level whiz by below me only to eventually land on some platform I had no idea would be there, it feels chaotic. Even worse is when you’re going at top speed and an enemy or hazard will appear from out of nowhere . A careful approach can of course alleviate this somewhat, but ultimately Sonic is a game begging you to play it fast from the start, and sometimes you will be directly launched into the face of danger anyway.
Many will say that such things can be sussed out with practice or utilization of the games different paths, that the goal is to master the levels and eventually sail through them but I don't really feel Sonic encourages. Theres' no way to replay levels short of starting the game over, game overs take you back to the start, and the sprawling levels often feature points-of-no-return meaning you can't really explore them fully even if you wanted to. Even the old NES mega mans were more accommodating in terms of letting you keep at it until you “Got good”.

As such, while they are noting spectacular, I kind of appreciated the more traditionally structured and slow paced platforming sections of Sonic 1 compared to its successors.To me the game was most playable when approached with care, but it was still poking me in the back the entire time to get going. Into some spikes.

Ultimately, my biggest source of affection for Sonic are fond childhood memories of the second cartoon series, and of exploring the digital wonderland of SEGA world during vacations in London.

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Re: 473 - Sonic the Hedgehog

Post by Taz »

I got a Sega Master System when I was five years old and my siblings and I all hammered Sonic 1, 2 and Sonic Chaos. At that age I obviously didn't realise this but those Sonic games weren't developed by Sonic Team which might explain how variable they are in terms of quality. The MS version of Sonic 2 holds a special place in my heart - it is far too hard and extremely unfair, so much so that my Mum took it back to the shop thinking that it must have been a faulty cartridge and we got a replacement that was obviously exactly the same. It's the only one of the three I never finished (I never even saw the last level). The chaos emeralds are hidden in the levels instead of in special stages and in Sky High, the second zone, the emerald is floating in the sky - the only way to get it is to bounce on clouds, but some clouds will allow you to stand on them and some won't, and they look identical. You have to try each cloud through trial and error and if you get it wrong you fall all the way to the bottom of the level, it's just preposterous. And if you somehow get to the end of the game but without collecting the chaos emeralds not only does the game not even let you in to the final zone; you also get a haunting final cutscene where it's implied that Tails is dead. Sonic 2 on the master system is dumb and unfair and traumatic and I love it a lot.

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Re: 473 - Sonic the Hedgehog

Post by ratsoalbion »

Just FYI we won't be looking st Sonic 2 in this podcast, just the first game.

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Re: 473 - Sonic the Hedgehog

Post by duskvstweak »

I played those first few levels back in the day, as a kid, always on my friend's/cousin's/uncle's Sega, and I loved what I saw. Sonic was so cool, so fast and, since I didn't own the game or a Genesis, it was always a special treat for me to play the game.
Fast forward (ha!) to last year when I finally sat down to the play the game from start to finish and... I did not love it as much as I remembered. It feels like they knew Sonic was supposed to be something different than the standard platformer and then filled the game with standard platforming that didn't work with Sonic's mechanics. For a game that's all about "Gotta Go Fast!", this first title seems determined to slow you down.

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Re: 473 - Sonic the Hedgehog

Post by Buskalilly »

I think Sonic the Hedgehog, on the Master System, was the first game I ever played. My grandmother had a Master System and used to play a good amount of Sonic, and I would ocassionally have a go and die repeatedly.

Many years later, after several Game Boys and my dad's PS1, I had a gamecube and my Nintendo Magazine subscriptions and was firmly a Mario fan. Despite some nostalgia for Sonic as a character and Sonic the Comic, I allowed my Mario fandom to convince me Sonic had never been good.

Several times I've tried to go back to Sonic the Hedgehog, on Wii virtual console and again on Switch. The first zone: tremendous. The speed, the music, the visuals, the speed. Then there are the rest of the zones, where Sonic has to slow down and try to do actual platforming (or memorise the level like a long game of Simon). Boring, frustrating, guff.

I made the right choice. Mario forever.

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Re: Sonic the Hedgehog

Post by raisinbman »

My big takeaway from this one is apparently there's a yuzo koshiro sonic soundtrack I need to listen to? But on the subject, as much as sonic games have faltered, they've been pretty solid musically. I probably don't need to go into too much detail w/ the sound of play special out there, but even consider the fact that Michael Jackson became interested in the series.

Sonic Adventure 2(can't remember 1 as well, but its there) still has one of the widest reaching genre soundtracks which is really cool.

EDIT: Sonic Mania free

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