Gooooooooooooooooood morning Retro-Hogs! How are we all doing this cloudy day? Personally, I am loving this cooler weather, it’s fantastic, starting to feel an awful lot like….well you know the rest. So if you are feeling blue, I can assure you, you don’t feel or look as blue as today’s review hero!
Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Master System!
Well, it’s about goddamn time, I hear you shout in unison! Well I know, but having Sonic at the beginning of the Review’s life cycle would have been a little lame, ya know? Mario had his trilogy reviewed way back when anyways. So…is there a plot I hear you ask? Well of course there is my dear friends…and here it is!
Sonic must prevent the evil scientist Doctor Ivo Robotnik (“Doctor Eggman” in the Japanese release) from taking over South Island, by collecting the seven Chaos Emeralds and freeing the animals Dr. Robotnik has trapped inside robots
And there you go, easy and simple. Have to say I do prefer the name of Robotnik over Eggman though. Anyway, on with the show…
So you take control of our little blue field forraging friend in a sideways scrolling environment. You can run left and right, jump, spin and duck. Along the way you will find power ups that can help you along the way, these include speed up shoes, bonus gold rings and invincibility. Along the way you collect golden rings similar to Mario’s gold coins, but alongside granting bonus lives they act as a safety blanket in a way.
Lets say Sonic is booming his way around the level and gets struck by an enemy or a spike, usually you would lose a life and start from the last check point right?…well these rings act as a safety barrier and if you get hit you lose your rings ( which if you are quick you can re-acquire some of them ) and carry on your way…get hit again with zero rings however and it’s a life lost. I kinda like that system to be honest, gives you a second wind to recover and carry on.
I am quite impressed with the game in all aspects, Sega did a great job in making it almost as bold as it’s big brother, the Megadrive’s version of the game. The graphics are not quite as good but hell, you’d expect that from an 8 bit machine trying to copy a 16 bit game. The game is smooth, responsive and has a nice learning curve to it. Starts out pretty easily but will push into a more tricky game as you progress.
Creatures you encounter along the way can be defeated using jump on the head technique ( careful of spiky bad guys ), or sonic can rev up and spin into them at high speed and knock them out. This causes the creatures trapped inside to become free once more. Quite sweet to see little bunnies and birds running/flying to freedom! You will even encounter boss fights at the end of acts which see Dr Robotnik trying his best to thwart your efforts to recover the emeralds and defeat him, imaginative fights but quick to pick up the tactics for victory!
Graphics:- A Solid effort from Sega here, it had a lot to live up to as it’s big brother was steaming at full speed, but this effort has little problem in keeping up. Nice bold colour scheme, a good pace which really gives the illusion of speed and each enemy sprite and main character have been re-created to the letter. Great job!
Sound:- Again there’s not much difference between the 2 versions yet again, with the main sonic theme blaring away as you play and all the in-game sound effects are present and correct as well.
Overall:- It’s a Sega classic, so if you have not played this game before then you really should do. It’s the game that every Sega owner should have somewhere in their games library. And it’s so readily available these days too, download it onto your Wii console, grab it on a Gameboy advance, pick it up in the bargain bins or car boot sales….just….get it!