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Game Debate #24: Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)


Reed Rothchild
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64 members have voted

  1. 1. See below for explanation of ratings

    • 10/10 - One of your very favorite games of all time.
    • 9/10 - Killer fucking game. Everyone should play it.
    • 8/10 - Great game. Maybe one of the best released that year.
    • 7/10 - Very good game, but not quite great.
    • 6/10 - Pretty good. You might enjoy occasionally playing it.
    • 5/10 - It's okay, but maybe not something you'll go out of your way to play.
    • 4/10 - Meh. There's plenty of better alternatives to this.
    • 3/10 - Not very good.
      0
    • 2/10 - Not your cup of tea at all. Some people might like this, but you are not one of them.
    • 1/10 - Horrible in every way.
      0
    • 0/10 - The Desert Bus of painful experiences. You'd rather shove an icepick in your genitals than play this.
      0
    • Never played it, but I'm interested.
      0
    • Never played it, never will.


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Member · Posted

Solid 5, and I love Sonic. I'm a Nintendo fan through and through, but as a kid I loved Sonic way better than Mario.

So, why is this a 5 rather than a 9/10? Because Sonic didn't become Sonic until the addition of the spin-dash in Sonic 2. Without it, the game is just ok but to me, it was a simple game mechanic design choice that greatly improved the entire game play experience for the rest of the 2D series.

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Personally, this is a 9. One of my favourite platformers of all time. From the poll, I’ve given it an 8 as it’s not a game anyone can get into. 

I don’t think this game has aged as well as Mario World, but I feel its overall impact to the gaming industry back in the early 90s was just as heavy. Sonic was a technical marvel with tremendous graphics and fast but smooth scrolling. As a pure gaming experience, it was unmatched for its time if you want an enjoyable platformer at breakneck speed.

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Member · Posted

Addendum to my comment. My first experience with Sonic was Sonic 2. I then tried Sonic 1 shortly after, and it just felt bland.

Sure, it was still fun but I couldn't get into it half as much as Sonic 2. All because of the dash. 

I'd give Sonic 2 an 8 and probably Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles a 9.5.

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The 9.  An iconic game and nicely representative of Sega firing shots across Nintendo’s bow that kicked off an era of gaming that a lot of us cherish.
  I still remember my first experience was xmas of must’ve been 91?  I’d been asking for one of the new systems and for whatever reason it was between Genesis and Turbo Grafx-16.  The Genesis was saved until the end as a secret present.  
    It must’ve taken my dad a half hour + and a lot of swearing to hook the damn thing up.  At least it seemed so.  It was hooked up in the back room of my childhood home that still had the cheap wood paneling, thick shaggy brown carpet, and thin faux bamboo blinds that must’ve been there since at least the early 80s.  The tv was a smaller one up on one of those tall stands with ferns and stuff.  My spinster aunt was milling around on Christmas Day.  I always liked her.  Haven’t seen her in years.

    Finally the system sprang to life.  The vibrant colors and lively music were intoxicating.  The attitudinal blue hedgehog shattered my expectations of a video game character.   Level one passed in wonder at the sights, the sounds, and the smells.  But oh boy was I ever in for my forever moment.  Level 1-2 with its bubbling lava, pumping pistons and pseudo Greek architecture was so unlike anything I’d ever experienced.  That moment in time working my way below ground is forever seared upon my psyche.  This was a new era. 
Yadda yadda yadda.  Water level.  So cool, so nerve wracking.  Wait, what is this?  I drowned?  What the hell?  I don’t drown in Mario.  Aww god damn it.  

 

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7/10.

Good game but not super special at this point. Still probably better than any post-genesis 2d Sonic I’ve played, though that doesn’t include Mania yet.

labyrinth zone isn’t that bad when you’re not ~10. I would readily agree that essentially bringing it back for a 4th level at the end of the game was a poor choice though.

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The original hasn't aged terribly well in terms of game play, although the graphics and music are still wonderful. Back in the 90's I would have given Sonic a solid "7" but I wasn't looking at it too critically back then and never even made it all that far. Today, it's a "6" at best. The game is difficult more because of its haphazard design, rather than genuine challenge, and its gimmick (Gotta go fast!) doesn't really offer much to the player in this one.

Edited by Webhead123
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Member · Posted

Wow... I proclaimed to be a Sonic fan and I'm the lowest voter. Honestly, I'm surprised it's rating so high.  So, any "Mario kids" in here? You know, you guys who were dyed in the wool Mario fanbois, and always argued how Nintendo was infinity better?

How do you objectively see this game as an adult gamer?

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I'll go with the popular choice of a 7. Still a very good game in my opinion, but the series didn't become a classic until the second one. I would say most people, if they had never played sonic before, could just skip this one and go right to Sonic 2 or 3.

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I'm all about exploration and/or interesting gameplay mechanics, and the "gotta go fast" mantra just doesn't jive with me.  This game feels like it was made for speedrunning before speedrunning even existed.  As for the rest of us? ...Meh.

I put 2/10, but not because I think it's a terrible game; I'm going by the description of each rating, and 2/10 fits how I feel perfectly: "Not your cup of tea at all. Some people might like this, but you are not one of them."

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Member · Posted
22 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

I'm all about exploration and/or interesting gameplay mechanics, and the "gotta go fast" mantra just doesn't jive with me.  This game feels like it was made for speedrunning before speedrunning even existed.  As for the rest of us? ...Meh.

I'm not saying you're wrong exactly, but I think that's a big misconception of people who've possibly tried Sonic maybe once or twice at a friends house.  Sure... Sonics gimmick is that he's fast.  However, once you get past the first stage or two of any Sonic game, you soon realize that speed can be your enemy.  You have to learn the levels, take your time and think.

HOWEVER, for the people that really, really love Sonic games, the speed aspect is what give the game replay value.  Many levels do have a line or two where you can blaze through it.  However, you're not going to learn those lines until you've played through the game many, many times.  Green Hills Zone and the like are places that allow you to experience what Sonic is like at peak performance from the moment you plug in the game.  However, don't get use to it.  There are so many gotchas and traps, you're not going to be running fast through all of them until you've logged many, many hours of game play.  Before you get to that point, game play is like many other platform games, but only for brief moments will you catch the speed you crave for, until you've earned it by building up really solid muscle memory through your favorite levels.

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Yeah, I like it! It's pretty popular to hate on Sonic these days, but I still love them!

Sonic 2 is the best one, IMO, and the first obviously has significant drawbacks compared to what followed. But, it did lay the groundwork for the style and gameplay, and there's so much good in here, the level designs, the enemies and especially the bosses, I have ALWAYS vastly preferred the boss battles in Sonic games to Mario, the variety is a big plus to me. Also, the spinning Emerald stages are just trippy as hell, I've always loved those too!

I will say, however, Sonic 1 is kinda front-heavy in terms of the good stuff. The first two zones, Green Hill and Marble are the best for sure, Spring zone is okay and I'm fine with the Labyrinth as well, after that it kinda feels like you've seen the best of what the game has to offer.

I gave it an 8, which is probably too high, but what the heck! 

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3 minutes ago, Jeevan said:

I played it at the kiosks as a kid, voted that I have no interest in it........so anyway, i voted the never played it never will......I honestly didn't like it as a kid at the kiosk and don't know that I would like it now......

I still think you should give the games after the first one a shot, especially Sonic Mania, but considering the fact that you didn't give the Switch a chance until you were basically forced to, I see no reason to believe you'll ever give Sonic another chance 😅

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This was a game that I enjoyed watching someone else play for a short stint rather than play it myself, and to be perfectly honest, I like Sonic way more in other media than the games in general; the Sonic cartoon w/Jaleel White and the Archie comics series immediately come to mind. I bought in on the comic from issue 1 and stayed in it for almost 100 issues.

The game felt shallow to me back then, so I'm not thinking about this when weighed against future Sonic games. The only Sonic games I have any affinity for are 3/Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic CD. I never played a Sonic title after Sonic Adventure, so maybe there's some gold there I've yet to tap, but all in all, I have to go with a 4 because I think other platformers did it with more depth back in the day and I find myself feeling quite indifferent to the first game. I actually sold my copy a few weeks ago since I decided I'd never bother playing it again.

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28 minutes ago, Renmauzo said:

The only Sonic games I have any affinity for are 3/Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic CD. I never played a Sonic title after Sonic Adventure, so maybe there's some gold there I've yet to tap

You should absolutely play Sonic Mania, I would say it is almost objectively the best sonic game ever made.

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Member · Posted
12 minutes ago, ZeldaFreak said:

You should absolutely play Sonic Mania, I would say it is almost objectively the best sonic game ever made.

I consider Sonic & Knuckles/Sonic 3 one game and it's the best. However, force me to break them up and I think you are correct. Plus the opening title screen of Mania. Man, soooo many nostalgia points on it while feeling modern.

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4 minutes ago, RH said:

I consider Sonic & Knuckles/Sonic 3 one game and it's the best. However, force me to break them up and I think you are correct. Plus the opening title screen of Mania. Man, soooo many nostalgia points on it while feeling modern.

Oh yeah, S3&K is up there for sure, I personally think Mania just barely trumps it though.

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