How do you beat an unstoppable video game giant? A company so powerful, most people don’t even know it has competition? A company whose line up of games is known, and loved, the world over? A company whose name alone is synonymous with “video games”? How on Earth do you beat Nintendo?
If you’re Sega in the early 1990s, you hope and pray that a blue hedgehog has enough attitude, enough stamina, and enough speed to make everybody forget about a couple of Italian plumbers.
And believe it or not, Sonic the Hedgehog was a hit. This sneaker-wearing hedgehog spawned a mountain of sequels, knock offs, and merchandise. But most importantly, Sega was able to ride on Sonic’s coattails all the way to success, and Nintendo was about to learn the real meaning of the word “competition”.
Since the days of the Genesis and Super NES, the video game industry has grown by leaps and bounds. With so many new gamers picking up a controller for the first time, there’s a real tendency to forget, or never learn about the games that got us to where we are today.
Perhaps this is the reason Sega has decided to put almost all of the 16-bit Sonic games into one easy to hold GameCube disc. While this isn’t the first Sonic collection, the Sega Saturn game Sonic Jam rushes to mind, this is easily the most complete, even if it’s missing a game or two.
Sonic Mega Collection features seven instantly playable Sonic adventures right from the get-go. Unfortunately, not every Sonic game is created equal, so I thought I would break from my usual writing style, and give you a few brief comments about each of the seven Sonic games.Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
A lot has been written about Sonic the Hedgehog over the years, but only one thing was important at its launch: SPEED. From the moment you first started controlling Sonic, you knew he was fast. He was also extremely easy to control, since only one button needed to be used.
These days Sonic the Hedgehog looks a bit rudimentary. The level designs, while clever, aren’t all that well put together. Many levels required very little searching, instead focusing attention on making sure you are going as fast as you can. This is, of course, what was unique about Sonic, and what made him an international superstar.
While the game was far from perfect, it showed gamers what to expect when they played a Sonic adventure. If you were going to take control of this hedgehog, that meant you needed to collect rings (which would scatter about if you got hit), find your way out of each level, and best of all, kick the living daylights out of Dr. Robotnik, no matter what form he takes.
This formula is pretty basic, not straying far from other games of the genre. The only difference, really, is that Sonic the Hedgehog was irresponsibly fast.
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