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Sonic's Humble Beginnings - Sonic the Hedgehog Review
The Sonic the Hedgehog series has seen its fair share of ups and downs the past couple of console generations. Regardless of that, however, there’s one thing fans of the Blue Blur can agree on: the Sega Genesis featured some of the best Sonic games ever created, and the first installment in the series was easily one of the most innovative platformers of its time. That’s why it’s good to know that longtime Sonic fans can download the game through the Wii’s Virtual Console service.
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Sonic the Hedgehog Storyline
By now you’re probably familiar with the story of Sonic the Hedgehog. Dr. Robotnik is bent on increasing his army of Badniks by turning defenseless animals into sinister robots. Enter: Sonic the Hedgehog. It is the Blue Blur’s mission to foil Robotnik’s plans and rescue all of the animals. It’s a story for the ages. Well, not so much, but it has become synonymous with the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
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Sonic the Hedgehog Gameplay
The Sonic the Hedgehog series gained prominence in the 16-bit generation for its high speed and emphasis on loops and springs. To this day, that blueprint holds up exceedingly well, making Sonic the Hedgehog on the Virtual Console a nostalgic game that has aged quite well. Granted it isn’t as polished or refined as later entries in the series, but the first Sonic the Hedgehog is still as fun and challenging today as it was back in 1991.
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Sonic the Hedgehog is compatible with the Wii Remote, Classic Controller, and GameCube controller. All three options work well with the game, though the Classic Controller and GameCube controller options are probably better suited for a Sega Genesis game. In any case, Sonic controls just as well as ever, and the Virtual Console offers a number of control options to suit your needs.
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Graphics and Sound
Sonic the Hedgehog on the Genesis featured some really colorful levels with a nice level of detail on both foregrounds and backgrounds. Not surprisingly, the game’s visual style still holds up, and it retains a great level of retro charm. Character and enemy sprites all look as good as they did back in 1991, and now they have that added kick of nostalgia to make them even more endearing.
Similarly, Sonic the Hedgehog’s soundtrack is just as awesome as it was back when the game first launched. It’s very easy to get the memorable themes from levels such as Green Hill Zone and Star Light Zone stuck in your head; don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming some of the game’s songs after you’ve finished a play session.
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Sonic the Hedgehog features six main zones each with three acts plus a final stage, for a total of 19 complete levels. There are also Special Stages where you can collect the game’s six Chaos Emeralds if you so desire. What adds legs to the game’s lasting value is its level of challenge. You run super fast in certain areas, while others require careful timing, solid platforming skill, and memorization of traps and enemies. This doesn’t make the game incredibly long-lasting, however, and veteran gamers can easily beat the entire thing in one sitting.
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Sonic the Hedgehog Overall Score
The first game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series is by no means the best title in the franchise. It is, however, one of the most memorable due to the fact that it introduced so many great elements to the side-scrolling platform genre and paved the way for some really impressive sequels. Having said that, if you’re in the need for a retro fix and you like your platformers, you can’t go wrong with Sonic the Hedgehog on the Virtual Console.