|The Sonic the Hedgehog games have always been a mixed bunch. The dizzying highs, the shameful lows and everything inbetween. Sonic may not have had as much success as Mario in breaking into new genres and mediums but that doesn't mean the worryingly blue 'hog hasn't tried. Gamingcorner takes a look at which games have been a success and which ones should never have left the Sonic Teams office.
2D: Sonic and Knuckles (Mega Drive)
Not only was it a good game in itself, it also allowed you to use Knuckles in the first 2 Sonic games on the Mega Drive. This essentially meant that you got 3 completely new games for the price of one. Plus the novelty of slotting a cartridge into another one was a novelty in itself.
3D: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast/Game Cube)
Sonic has always seemed to struggle when it comes to making the transition into 3D. The strange thing is that one of the first attempts actually got it right whereas most 3D Sonic games since have been dodgy at best. The 1998 game features multiple playable characters that are unlocked when they are met in the story. All characters stories run parallel with the other characters and reveal what happens when the characters are seperated. The game also adds RPG elements in its adventure fields by having items (some hidden) that unlock new abilities for each character.
Merchandise: Sonic Adventure Gamebooks
The Sonic Adventure Gamebooks (no connection to the DC game) were released between 1993 and 1996 and were an interactive book. The player started at the beginning of the book and is given options at the end of the paragraph. For each choice there is a page number and the results of the choice are shown on the relevent page.
Cartoon: Sonic SATAM
This cartoon got the nickname "SATAM" since it was originally shown on Satrday morning TV. The story was quite dark compared to other Sonic stories. Robotnik had established an empire and Sonic and chums were the last "freedom fighters". The characters ranged from an annoying cowardly French coyote to a Redneck half-robotic rabbit. Most episodes feature Sonic running around in Robotniks robo-city generally kicking arse and looking for his captured uncle. The awesome cartoon is made all the better by literally having the sun shine out of Sonics arse at the end of the intro.
Character: Super Sonic
Everyone knew that some serious arse kicking was about to go down when Sonic went all shiny and yellow. Normally Super Sonic makes an appearance when all other characters stories have been completed and its time for the ultimate boss battle. Although in earlier games Super Sonic was available when Sonic collected all the Chaos Emaralds and gathered 50 rings. Players could then switch to him (which drained rings) to play through the normal Sonic levels.
2D: Sonic (Game Gear)
It's quite hard to pick a worst 2D Sonic game since they are all generally good. The Game Gear version is let down by flickery graphics and questionable gameplay elements. The main one being that Sonic is protected from pretty much everything if he rolls up into a ball. This doesn't work for real hedgehogs and it shouldn't work for falling spikes on the game.
3D: Sonic Labyrinth (Game Gear)
Another Game Gear blunder was Sonic Labyrinth. Featuring slow gameplay and sluggish controls Sonic Labyrinth recieved poor reception upon its release in 1995. Dr Robotnik has stolen Sonics famous red sneakers and replaced them with the "slow-down boots". This raises 2 questions: firstly if Robotnik has manged to sneak into Sonics house, why doesn't he just stab him or something? Secondly, why doesn't Sonic just take the shoes off? These shoes prevent Sonic from running fast and jumping leaving only the spin dash to harm enemies. This makes for excrutiatingly dull gameplay.
Merchandise: Sonic Ketchup
Back in 1991 when Sonic was huge, Daddies Ketchup got the licence to make a Sonic the Hedgehog ketchup. Featuring a horribly deformed Sonic on the label, people unforunate enough to use this stuff were forced to squeeze red paste from a funny looking blue hedghogs head. Not the most apatizing image in the world.
Cartoon: The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
About as funny as a knife wound and badly drawn to boot. The story revolved around Robotnik and his lackys Scratch and Grounder trying to capture the elusive blue hedgehog and his twin tailed friend. Naturally "comical" hijinx ensues. Sonic and Tails also seemed to have an unhealthy obsession with chilli "dawgs" and the phrase "lets speed keed". Awful.
Character: Big the Cat
Some sort of giant retarded purple cat thing with no real part to play in anything. Big first popped up in Sonic Adventure. His story centres around him trying to find his frog friend who seems to have done a runner since he has swallowed a chaos emerald. Not only was his story a little boring, his levels were as well. All his levels involved fishing. No running fast in an adrenaline fuelled race to the end of the level, just fishing. No one goes to a racetrack to watch people walk around it. Likewise no one buys a Sonic game to kick back and enjoy a peaceful spot of fishing. And dull fishing at that. There's only so many times you can watch the "special" purple git lose a frog and catch him again. His end boss was a bit clever though but it was too little, too late.
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Labels: Best and Worst, Features, Sonic