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Mario vs. Sonic: The 16-bit Era
Since the days of the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, gamers have debated about the Mario vs. Sonic the Hedgehog mascot rivalry. Loyal Mario fans argue that the Italian plumber is the king of the platformer, while followers of Sonic the Hedgehog genuinely believe that the Blue Blur is the superior character. Let’s take a look at the two over the years, beginning with the 16-bit era.
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Super Mario World - Super Nintendo
Super Mario World is lauded as one of the greatest 2D platforming efforts by Nintendo, and it is still played, downloaded, and revered by gamers everywhere to this very day. The game featured colorful graphics, new music, and countless levels that were all challenging and fun. Super Mario World on the SNES took the formula popularized by Super Mario Bros. 3 and expanded on it enough to create a fresh, brand-new, rewarding Mario experience.
It was what Mario fans had come to expect from the series, but with a lot more content, noticeable gameplay upgrades, and that same time-tested gameplay that not only made Mario an addictive series, but also an accessible one. Super Mario World was indeed the next evolution for the Mario franchise.
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Sonic the Hedgehog - Sega Genesis
With the Genesis already in place, Sega needed to create an IP that was not only exclusive to their console, but that had enough depth to really draw gamers in. In addition to that, they needed to create a game that derived from the formula set forth by preexisting platformers but that could compete with that blueprint. Enter: Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic the Hedgehog didn’t feature an overworld map like the Mario games did, and there weren’t even as many stages as there were in those games. Despite the lack of the aforementioned elements, however, Sonic the Hedgehog managed to make up for this lack of features by allowing gamers to play a super fast-paced game that reached dizzying speeds, something that had never been seen before.
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Sonic the Hedgehog vs. Mario in the 16-bit Era
Anyone who played Sonic the Hedgehog back when it first launched for the Sega Genesis will attest to the revolutionary feel that that game exuded. Sonic was able to reach speeds never before seen in a platformer in just a matter of seconds. He ran through loops, bounced off of springs, and explored unique, colorful levels with amazing music.
Sega was taking on a powerhouse in Mario, but they took on the task and dished out one of the most memorable gaming experiences of all time. Sonic the Hedgehog—and the sequels that followed—were a mix of high-speed running, fun platforming, awesome level design, and great music. Sega started what many fans have called a war between Mario and Sonic, and this lead to countless sequels, great fan reaction, and many good (and bad) games. The 16-bit era was only the beginning.