Sonic the Hedgehog for Sega Genesis – Best Video Games Ever
A Gaming Legend
The original Sonic the Hedgehog for Sega Genesis was one of the very best video games ever made. There’s a solid reason why Sega adopted Sonic as their mascot. You know, as opposed to the Turbografx 16 – the developers of which adopted a caveman called Bonk as their main man. Seriously? A caveman? Yeah… and how come they couldn’t at least spell the words right on the console? Turbografx? Hella leet, guys. So your next gen console is represented by a backwards ass caveman who hits his head on things because he don't know no better? Cool story!
Back to Sega and Sonic. When Sonic the Hedgehog came out, it didn’t make too much of a splash with us Nintendo players. If memory serves, people didn’t start to notice until Sonic 2 came out the next year. That’s when Sega began to get super aggressive with their advertising, and they even went around the country demoing Sonic 2 and the Sega Genesis in local malls and shopping centers. Sonic 2 was a superior game, and it was more player friendly than the first. The graphics were a hair more refined, too. In fact, the first Sonic game seems rushed. I think they were rushing to beat the SNES console release, which came out a few months after they put Sonic 1 in stores in 1991.
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I’m sure the design team at Sega headquarters got together when they heard about the Super Nintendo and frantically tried to figure out what they could do to compete. The SNES looks better on paper in almost every design aspect, because it was invented after the Genesis. The only thing Sega had was a faster processor – around twice as fast, if memory serves. Sega exploited this by coming out with the beloved first Sonic the Hedgehog game in 1991.
Their idea was simple. Create a game with stunning visual graphics and a fast mascot running through them. The well-crafted graphics would make the Sega Genesis seem visually stunning, when in fact the console's full capabilities were far behind the SNES’s visual ability. The speed of the hedgehog, of course, was obvious. It was all they had to showcase. Remember their slogan, blast processing? They couldn’t slam 16-Bit in Nintendo’s face anymore, since the SNES was also 16-bit. Blast processing! In your face, Nintendo!
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Ugh, and does anyone recall the horrible sound chip in the Genesis? It sounded like boiled ass a lot of the time. Sure, it suited a few games. A few games. Sonic was... one of them! It had memorable music, but like everything else in the game - it was carefully crafted to make the Genesis look better. I'm sure they spent an inordinate amount of time developing the first two Sonic games.
A Genius Concept
It was a stroke of genius to have Sonic saving a bunch of helpless wild animals, too. That really struck a nerve with many gamers. It was a simple plot that you could really respect. What was Mario’s motivation? Getting laid from Princess Peach?
The idea was great, and it did work. It was enough that when Sega finally started saying, “Sega does what Nintendon’t,” most kids started taking notice. I owned both systems when I was younger.
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Great Memories... But Marble Zone And Other Designs Like It Were Crap
Sonic was a fun, relatively easy platformer. The first was a bit harder than the second, but not by a whole lot. They kind of dropped the ball with the first one in a number of places, most notably level 2. The whole idea was to have him running around at light speed, not navigating through sidescrolling jumps and obstacles. I think Sega knew they dropped the ball with Marble Zone in Sonic 1, because Sonic 2 lets Sonic run at light speed through a lot of the game. Sonic 2 doesn’t slow down a lot until level 5 – the Mystic Cave Zone.
The first and second Sonic games are pretty similar. It may surprise you to know that Sega released Sonic games on their 8-bit consoles, too. They were inferior versions of both games, and I think they were somewhat different. I wouldn’t really say that they are worth playing unless you truly love Sonic.
And hey – a lot of people love Sonic the Hedgehog. I used to watch his cartoons every morning before school. Ah, those were the days!
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