Sonic the Hedgehog
270px-Sonic1 box usa
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Johnny's Score or Thoughts 9 out of 10
LP'ed? Yes
Series Sonic the Hedgehog
Released 1991
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single player
Ratings from other reviews 8 out of 10 (IGN)

9 out of 10 (Eurogamer)

Platform(s) Sega Genesis
Input methods Genesis controller

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) is a side-scroller that started off Sega's aggressive campaign against Nintendo in the 16-bit console wars. The game was universally praised for it's solid gameplay, graphics, and music. It would go on to have many sequels and it started the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.


Released in 1991 as a bundle for the Sega Genesis, Sonic the Hedgehog was meant as a replacement for Sega's late Alex Kidd. Sonic was completely meant to rival Nintendo's flagship character, Mario. This legendary battle drags on even today. The game received universal praise, and it is the best selling Genesis game of all time. It would later receive a sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog CD.

Sonic the Hedgehog plays very similarly to other platformers, in which the titular character must get to the end of the stage in the allotted time, while collecting items along the way. Essential to the gameplay are the golden rings the player collects along his/her way in each level, a feature which would become one of the defining characteristics of the series. These items are regularly placed around the level map and serve multiple functions. First, the player collects rings to protect Sonic. As long as they have at least one ring, the player will not lose a life when injured. Instead, when hit, up to 20 of the rings the player has collected will fly outward and scatter around the immediate area for some seconds, some of which can then be retrieved before they disappear. If the player runs into an enemy without a single ring, they will lose a life. If the player collects 100 rings they will gain anextra life, and will gain an additional life for every 100 rings after that, provided the rings are not lost. An example of gameplay in the first zone: Green Hill Zone.If the player has at least 50 rings at the end of an act, a giant golden ring will float above the finishing sign which can be jumped through to enter one of the Special Stages (this excludes the final act of a stage, when Sonic will enter a boss fight). At the end of each act, the total number of rings the player has is multiplied by 100 and added to the player's score. During the score-tallying, the player can also jump through the air to find hidden emblems which can range from 100 to 10,000 points.

Also scattered throughout each level are monitors (or TV's as some call them) which, when broken by the character, reward the player with one of a variety of bonuses. These include a shield which will protect Sonic from a single hit, a 10-ring bonus, an extra life, temporary invincibility (accompanied with a temporary change in music), and "Power Sneakers", which give the player a temporary speed boost (and increase the tempo of the music for the duration). The item monitors have become another long-lasting feature in the series, though they have been changed to bubble-like containers that can float in later games.

Despite the various types of protection available, neither the shield, rings, nor invincibility will prevent the player losing a life if Sonic is crushed (by a trap or between a wall and a moving platform), drowned, runs out of time (each act has a ten-minute time limit), or falls into a bottomless pit.

Progression through the game is made easier for the player by lamp posts that act as checkpoints. When Sonic passes a lamp post, the spherical top spins around and its color changes from blue to red, and the next time a life is lost, gameplay will restart at that point rather than at the beginning of the act. In the Japanese version, if a checkpoint is activated and a life is lost as a result of running out of time, the time at the checkpoint will reset to 0:00.

Hazards the player experiences include a wide variety of "Badniks" - these appear as animals trapped inside mechanical bodies which are released the moment the player hits them. Each badnik takes one hit to destroy, but they vary greatly from Zone to Zone; some will walk in a set path, others will try blasting the player, and some cannot be avoided at all. The player must also avoid rows of sharp spikes, cliffs, and elaborate death traps. There is also the threat of drowning (in Labyrinth Zone and the third act of Scrap Brain Zone which contains water), as the player can only survive approximately 30 seconds underwater (locating air bubbles can extend this).


SGB Review - Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

SGB Review - Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)


In Johnny's Month of Sonic 2, Johnny and Ryan temporarily team up to review the classic Sonic games. This is the only classic Sonic game Elliot does not participate in. As the start of his Month of Sonic 2, Johnny gave it a positive score of 9.0/10. It should be noted that Johnny and Ryan mistakenly stated that this was the second best selling genesis game, confusing it with Sonic 2, while charts and demographs show that the original was the #1 seller. Though they may have excluded bundled copies.

Month of Sonic 2Edit

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