As you probably know, I am a huge Sonic fan. I enjoy most of the Megadrive games (except 3D Flickies Island and Spinball), but, what about the Master System games? In this article, I will talk about the first Sonic SMS game; Sonic the Hedgehog!
Let’s start with the graphics; they are really nice. Whether it is Jungle Zone with it’s vibrant levels, or the dark and moody Sky Base, the graphics always look good. It’s even better when you compare it to other 8 bit games.
The music is pretty good. While it is not as memorable as the 16 bit games, it’s not bad. Some of the music tracks are from Sonic 1 Megadrive, but most of the soundtrack is new. I especially like Bridge Zones track.
The levels consist of Green Hill Zone, Bridge Zone, Jungle Zone, Labyrinth Zone, Scrap Brain Zone and Sky Base Zone. There are also Bonus Stages (but these don’t contain chaos emeralds). The levels sound uninspired, and that’s because most of them are.
The one original level is Sky Base. I say that as Bridge Zone and Jungle Zone are recoloured Green Hill Zones. Not too bad, as the levels have boring themes, but still more variety than Super Mario Bros on the NES.
The gameplay is very similar to the 16 bit games. The spin-dash isn’t in this game as this was released before Sonic 2. But you can still run fast, roll and collect rings. The only problem is the controls aren’t as tight as the 16 bit games. So, it’s more slippery.
To get the chaos emeralds, you must find them in the levels. You have to do – ACTUAL EXPLORATION! So, it’s quite interesting, especially as you can explore the levels to find emeralds.
The story is the same as Sonic 1 on the Megadrive. Dr Ivo Robotnik is imprisioning animals. That’s it. Great. Best story ever; 1/10.
So, should you get this game? Is you have a MasterSystem, yes. Otherwise, don’t bother. There is a GameGear version, but that version is worse. So, get the SMS version if you own the system, and only get the GG version if you are a massive Sonic fan.
My video review on Sonic The Hedgehog on the MasterSystem: