Happy 20th Birthday to Sonic
Before Doctor Ivo Robtnikwent by his alter ego name of ‘Eggman’ he tried to crush me with a giant ball on a chain. Before Tails I worked alone. Before I could spin dash I had to roll down hills and hope for the best. Before Knuckles came forth and became the anti-hero in gaming I was number one. My name is Sonic the Hedgehog and today is my Twentieth birthday.
Now those who have read my site before will know how Sonic and I have a love hate relationship. I loved the first three games, and can see the love for Sonic and Knuckles as well, Adventure was a good step forward but since then it really lost where it was going. In fact I wrote about Why Sonic lost his appeal and as a whole I still agree with that. Since then though I have played Sonic Colours and I must say it’s a truly great game which is very much in line with what a Sonic game should be. However this isn’t the time nor the place to discuss this, I could talk about how much of an impact Sonic has had on the gaming world, but I’m not going to do that. In fact lets look at the very beginning where it all started
The game sold 19 million (15 million were as a pack with the console another 4 million were sold separately). I doubt everyone who bought it just played the game themselves and never showed a friend, so lets just double the figures to big this up. It means 38million (by my estimates, probably more) people have seen that famous “Sega” opening to Sonic the Hedgehog and with that they were sucked into one of the best games ever made.
What made the game so good? Mario had exploration and a nice slow pace but Sonic had a fast pace but also a good level of exploration. It had a certain charm about it, it had the bright colours that we’d seen in a Mario though things were a bit different levels became Acts, worlds became Zones and they gave us a huge variety of things. Whether this was the lushness of the Green Hill Zone, avoiding fire in the Marble Zone, bouncing crazy in Spring Yard Zone, THAT countdown in Labyrinth Zone, the brilliant music of Star Light Zone or the mix of everything in Scrap Brain Zone Sonic the Hedgehog has something for everyone.
What else did we get? Well if you killed a Badnick a little animal popped out (my favourite was the penguin), we got TV monitors with power ups, we got lamppost half way markers, we got bonus stages where you could collect Emeralds do I really need to go on?
This game is Twenty years old today and it hasn’t aged at all, it’s still as fun to play today as it was then, if you haven’t played it pick it up from Virtual Console, XBLA or PSN. Don’t let the later games in the series spoil your enjoyment of this almost perfect game and frankly I couldn’t say how good it is.
What say you? What memories do you have of Sonic? Let me know here in the comments or on twitter @NintendoLee