_hojo:[easilyimpressed]Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Sonic Games

March 22, 2009

hojo.artcore_a little more than a month ago, i beat the first Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Genesis for the first time. shortly afterward, i bought Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for the X-Box 360. this marked the first time i owned Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles in any form, and would also give me my first opportunity to play said games since beating them on a rental from Video Park, back when Hollywood Video was still Video Park and rented out Genesis games. it had been a while, obviously. but i was really looking forward to playing these games again. being much older now, how would i enjoy those 2 games, especially after playing Sonic 1 and being rather disappointed.

_and that’s a good place to start: Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis. my childhood memories of this game consist of 2 stages. 1st memory is playing Green Hill Zone on the Genesis interactive set-up at Sam’s Club, and wishing so hard that my dad would buy me a Genesis and a copy of Sonic the Hedgehog. 2nd memory is getting up to Marble Zone and dying and then leaving the game with a frown on my face. fuck Marble Zone. and even now, after playing the game today, i still have the same general opinion of the game, only with a lower enjoymentZone-to-fuckyouZone ratio. there’s just a TON of standing around in the game. standing and waiting for blocks to move out of your way. standing and waiting for the block you’re standing on to slowly move across a gap. standing and waiting for an air bubble. standing and waiting for spiked balls to rotate out of the way. it really make me wonder how Sonic got a reputation for being a fast, non-stop platformer when Sonic 1 is really rather slow. you might get the impression that i didn’t enjoy Sonic 1 very much…and you’d be right. but i wouldn’t say that Sonic the Hedgehog is a bad game, just not my cup of tea. i don’t really care much for the original Super Mario Bros. either. i guess i just have a hard time going back to originals when i have access to the mind-blowingly superior sequels. same with Mega Man. but i’ll continue…

_ah, Sonic the Hedgehog 2. this game, i DID own as a child. and i’m glad i did. i didn’t play through the whole game since i beat Sonic 1, but i got about halfway through, and it was as enjoyable as ever. the switch to 2 acts instead of 3 is fantastic. where Sonic 1 gave you 3 acts of 4 shitty Zones, Sonic 2 gave you 2 acts of, IMO, all good Zones. but if you hated them, you only had to grind your way through 2 of them before moving onto greener pastures. but it’s far less likely that you’ll hate the Zones in Sonic 2 than Sonic 1 anyways. even the water Zone is bearable. the worst Zone here is probably Casino Night. it plays kind of like an improved version of the Sonic 1 Chaos Emerald bonus stages, as a lot of it is controlling Sonic in the air. the choice of 2 Acts over 3 also allows for about the same amount of total Acts, but more diverse stages, which is a good thing, as the Genesis Sonic games had great looking stages. the addition of Tails…uhhh…whatever. it makes the game piss easy if you actually play with 2 people as he doesn’t lose rings and doesn’t die unless he lands on spikes or into a pit or something. you can just have someone controlling him abuse the bosses without any thought to their own physical well-being. anyways, i like Sonic 2. still my favorite Sonic game.

_Sonic the Hedgehog 3…what to do with Sonic 3…the problem is that i found the most impressive part of Sonic 3 to also be the biggest con, that being the MASSIVE stage design. the level design in Sonic 3 is mind blowing. every stage is fucking massive. they’re these giant, sprawling stages, with branching paths every 20 seconds, and about infinity different ways to tackle each Act. and the way they add in closing doors or sending you up through the floor to keep you from accidentally going backwards at times is genius. but even with those, i couldn’t help but feel lost oftentimes while playing the game. the stages were so damned big, you’re bound to get to an area and say to yourself “i swear i’ve been here before.” you probably haven’t, but you’ll have been running around the stage so long, you would assume that you should have finished by now, and going in circles seems like the only rational explanation. and even still, on 4 different stages, i actually died from the 10 minute time limit. the stages were so big, i couldn’t even finish them in the allotted time. it’s still impressive that they crammed so much into each stage, but seeing as how some of the more roundabout ways will often only barely get you to the end of a stage in the time limit, if even that, i can’t help but think that they should’ve toned it down a tad. but at the same time, as i’ve mentioned, the massive stage design is the standout part of the game, so i’d probably say it’s better with them in. basically, my opinion of this game is just a vicious, never-ending cycle, but in general, i liked Sonic 3.

_and i liked Sonic 3 even more after finishing Sonic and Knuckles. that’s because Sonic and Knuckles felt exactly like that…Sonic 3 with the size of the stages toned down (with the exception of the Pyramid stage). and it ended up feeling…brief. the graphics were re-used from Sonic 3, the stage design was like Sonic 3, only cut in half. and the bosses were either retardedly easy or annoyingly and frustratingly random. S&K is basically Sonic 3-lite, and i’d imagine that was the intention of the game, as the fact that you could link up the old Sonic games onto the cartridge and play as Knuckles in the old games was just as big a deal as the fact that there was a new Sonic game at the time of release. but by all by itself on a collection, it doesn’t match up to Sonic 2 or Sonic 3.

_so…how do i feel about Sonic’s Genesis generation? it’s good. there’s 1 excellent game (2), one very good game (3), one decent effort (S&K), and one…i don’t really care for (1). overall, that’s a pretty solid series.

_also, the fact that a bunch of people are doing Sonic marathons right now is a total coincidense. seriously.



  1. Funny that you mention you feel S3&K as Sonic 3 lite. Keep in mind, that Sonic 3 wasn’t finished when they released it, and Sonic & Knuckles was pretty much the expansion to add all of the content Sonic 3 was meant to also have at launch, but didn’t. That’d be why it pretty much uses all the same sprites.

    Personally, I liked S&K’s stages more than S3’s. I liked the level themes a lot more, and felt the game got pretty epic after Lava Reef or so. (Whereas Sonic 3 never really got me too excited or into it) Also, did you beat Sonic & Knuckles with all emeralds on sonic? If not, you missed out on an incredibly badass/awesome final stage.

  2. I heard somewhere that the collection doesn’t let you combine S3 and S&K meaning no S3&K…meaning no Doomsday Zone.

    Missing out. 😦

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