I decided to write a review of Sonic after seeing the other review posted here. I usually find that the original Sonic the Hedgehog is either seen as a perfect masterpiece by Sonic fanbois, or hated and seen as garbage by everyone else.
As the other review said, Sonic the Hedgehog is a good game, but a game that is obviously the first in it’s series. It doesn’t know what makes it a great game and often works against what is making Sonic fun by giving him stages that cause him to stop and wait or require him to move slowly.
The best two examples are Marble Garden and Labyrinth Zone. The first one makes Sonic have to wait for floating platforms to slowly transport him across large bodies of lava. When I was a kid I would turn the game off when I reached this stage and just play through Green Hills over and over.
The next stage is the Labyrinth Zone. This stage makes Sonic run at only a small percentage of his normal speed. Taking away anything that made Sonic fun. This wouldn’t be too bad if it was only a small part of the stage, but all three parts spend a large amount of their time with Sonic navigating this underwater maze.
On top of the slow movement and floaty jumps, Sonic has to constantly wait for air pockets to breathe underwater. This is often in the form of large air bubbles that you wait around for before collecting and continuing. What makes things even worse is a fourth underwater act comes back just before the final boss!
On a positive side, the game’s graphics are still colorful and look great today. The stylistic palm trees and animal-based enemies give the game it’s own unique character. The music is also iconic, but not the best that the Genesis series will have to offer.
+ Great graphics and use of color
+ Good control of Sonic when not in the water
+ Great start to the series in 1991
– The game can sometimes work against Sonic and isn’t fun
– Not much to bring you back once you’ve completed the game
– Sonic 2 (and Sonic 3+K) are superior games in every way, there is no need to play the original other than to see where the series started.