Sonic the hedgehog

  • Publisher: Sega
  • Developer: Sonic team
  • Genre: 2D platformer
  • Release date: June 23rd 1991
  • Console: Sega megadrive/genesis (also avalable for virtual console)

Back in the late 80's early 90's sega was losing the battle between nintendo, nintendo was running away with the compition between them and sega mostly thanks to the efforts of mario. Sega knew they needed to do something before it was too late for them, with mario becoming nintendo's mascot, sega decided they needed to do the same thing. But it couldn't just be any old mascot this mascot had to be special someone who could rival the compition to mario which was not by any means an easy task. Sega at first decided to go with Alex kidd who although had a decent run, still wasn't enough to go toe to toe with mario sega needed to do better. They needed someone who really represented sega and all it stood for in terms of gaming, eventually that someone came along and that someone was Sonic the hedgehog!! Sonic appealed more to older gamers and the "cooler" side of gaming sonic proved very popular and suddenly sega were back in it and ready to take the crown from nintendo, the console war had begun!!


The evil Dr. Robotnik is turning all the animals on south Island into robots or badniks as there known in the game, and is after the six precious choas emeralds which he will use to rule not just south Island but the world! Things don't look good most of south Island's inhabitants are cute little animals and don't stand a chance against robotnik........but there is one animal who can and will stand up to the evil Dr. someone who is as fast as the speed of sound and has an attitude against evil he is the blue blur Sonic the hedgehog! Sonic must race against against robotnik for the choas emeralds and help the innocent animals along the way, if theres one hedgehog you don't want to race against it's sonic!


Like most 2D platformers gameplay is pretty simple, the objective is to get from the start of the level (or act as its none in sonic the hedgehog) to the end level, whilst destroying badniks (bad robots) and avoiding traps and obstacles along the way. Except with most platformers the gameplay is relatively slow, in sonic the hedgehog however gameplay is alot faster due to sonics ablity to run at the speed of sound! There are loop the loops, springs, halfpipes and other things which keep sonic moving (sometimes it moves him so fast the camera has a job keeping up!)  Sonic only has a few abilitys he can run (very fast) jump and do his signature move the super sonic spin which is executed by pressing down on the direction pad whilst sonic is running. The super sonic spin is where sonic curls up into a ball and can destroy enemies in his path, it's quite powerful because it can even destroy some walls and cliffs!

There are six zones altogether in the game and every zone has three acts to complete. At the end of every third act of every zone you will face off against Dr. robotnik in one of his contraptions. If sonic manages to collect fifty or more rings when he completes the act, there will be a gia
nt gold ring spinning. If sonic manages to jump into that giant ring he will be transported to the special stage. The special stage contains loads of rings and sonic is constantly spinning (and so is the stage itself) sonic's objective here is to navigate his way through the maze to find one of the choas emeralds. If sonic obtains enough rings while in the special stage he will get a continue, which means when sonic loses all his lives, he will be able to continue from the start of the act he died from and get another three lives! The only way out of the special stage is either by touching a chaos emerald (which is the good way because sonic will leave the stage with the emerald) or by touching the "goal" signs dotted round the special stage (which is the bad way because if sonic touches the goal signs he is going home with diddly squat!)

The key to sonic's survival and whole adventure is rings. If sonic has just a single ring he can't die (with the exception of falling down a pit or drowning or being crushed) if sonic collects one hundred rings he earns an extra life, also if sonic has fifty or more rings at the end of an act he has a chance to go to the special stage (except if its the third act for some reason the giant ring doesn't appear on the third act even with fifty rings or more)

Sonic can also come across power-ups which helps the hedgehog on his adventure, the power-ups are stored in boxes or monitors when sonic breaks the boxes he obtains whatever power-up is displayed on the box, the different types of power-ups are: Rings (gives sonic a random number of rings to add to his collection) sheild (the sheild protects sonic he can take a single hit without losing his rings, even if sonic does
n't have any rings but has the shield it will still protect him from a single hit) super sneakers (the super sneakers make sonic run faster for a limted period) 1up (gives sonic an extra life) and last but not least invincibilty (sonic becomes invincible for a limted amount of time and destroys any badniks in the way, it also plays his theme music just to say "your awesome" for about 30 seconds!

How it played then

Sonic was different to other platformers it wasn't just a slow 2D simular platforming game that resembled super mario bros. It was a fast paced action platformer which could go head to head with mario, you were either a mario fan or a sonic fan back in the early 90's which side were you on? (tell us in the forum!) Anyway sonic was a brilliant game it helped sega stay in the video game business. Sonic also had great graphics its lush colours stood out to gamers which made the playing experience much more enjoyable (especially the special stage the way the background looked and how it kept rotating was a very hard thing for sega to achive) Sonic played very well back in the day and was an addictive game to play with the different zones and  the "coolness" of sonic appealed more to the older gamers. Sega didn't just create a mascot but a gaming icon.

How it plays now

Sonic the hedgehog still plays very well today, it is very much a pick up and play platformer which has graphics that are still regarded as pretty good. Sonic is a popular character he has "coolness" making mario looking like a tired old plumber, this made people take a shine to him because he was a different platforming hero to everyone else he had style. Most people agree that the 2D sonic games were alot better than the 3D ones produced today, sonic was better in 2D it showed his speed alot better and he didn't speak in it he just let his actions and his attitude speak for his personality which in my opinion was better. Thats why most people prefer the old 2D megadrive sonic games and this game started the hedgehogs career and it really does stand the test of time.

Overall score

Overall sonic the hedgehog is a fantastic game to play now and then, he is one of the famous gaming icons and is so famous that most people still buy the not so good 3D sonic games now because he set such an example in his old 2D games, hoping that one day sega will decide to make sonic games how they used to, sonic the hedgehog will always and forever will be regarded as a gaming classic (oh and just so you know I was a sonic fan through and through!)