Category Archives: Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Dark Age

Declaring anything the “best thing ever” or the “worst thing ever” is a dangerous game, for a variety of reasons.

Tastes change over time. Preferences vary between individuals. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned since starting MoeGamer — well, quite a bit before that, to be honest — it’s that something getting critically panned doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth checking out.

It was with this in mind that I was greatly looking forward to investigating the much-maligned 2006 reboot of Sonic the Hedgehog for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — a game that Wikipedia claims (without citation) to be “among the worst games not only in the Sonic series but also in the video game medium.” That sounds like a challenge to me.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: The Age of Adventure

Sonic’s earliest forays into 3D are, today, popularly regarded as where things started going “wrong” for the blue blur.

But this is one of those viewpoints that has become so ingrained in popular gaming culture that many people simply take it for granted without actually checking the games out for themselves to determine whether those claims have any veracity to them.

That, as you know, is not what we’re all about here on MoeGamer, so let us make that jump into the third dimension and see exactly what’s up.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: The Lost Game

After the success of the Sonic games on the Mega Drive, what was next?

Sega had a difficult time ahead of it, since there was a certain amount of confusion over what the real successor to the 16-bit console would be. On the one hand, there was the American-developed, cartridge-based 32X, which would act as an add-on for the Mega Drive rather than a standalone unit. And on the other, there was the CD-based Saturn system, developed by Sega of Japan.

Clearly, in order to be a success, at least one of these new systems needed a Sonic game. But that turned out to be a rather more difficult undertaking than anyone anticipated. Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: The Lost Game

Sonic the Hedgehog: Spinning Off

So we’ve already talked about Sonic’s main 16-bit games on the Mega Drive, as well as his 8-bit adventures on the Game Gear and Master System.

But we have a few more games to explore from this early era before we start exploring the blue blur’s oft-maligned jump into 3D space, and those are the numerous spin-offs that appeared to complement the “mainline” platformer experiences.

Turns out there’s quite a few of them. And they’re pretty much all really cool! Let’s take a closer look.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Little Brothers

It’s fair to say that, for many people, Sonic’s “golden age” was the 16-bit era that encompassed his first four(ish) games.

What doesn’t tend to get talked about quite so much is the fact that, around the same time, there were some fantastic 8-bit releases in the series on Sega’s Master System console and ill-fated Game Gear handheld.

So, well, let’s talk about that, shall we?

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Finding His Feet

So let’s start from the beginning.

The year was 1990. Nintendo was enjoying a protracted period of dominance in the video game market thanks to a combination of high quality games and a highly recognisable mascot in the form of Super Mario. With the release of Super Mario Bros. 3, the company had become seemingly unstoppable. But that didn’t stop Sega from wanting to try.

Sega needed a new mascot. The company’s earlier creation Alex Kidd just wasn’t cutting it any more, since, as a human character, he was perceived as, at best, too similar to Super Mario; at worst, something of a pale imitation. Sega’s CEO at the time, Hayao Nakayama, wanted a character as iconic as Disney’s Mickey Mouse. Oh, what to do?

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Introduction

“Sonic hasn’t been good for a long time.” “Sonic has never been good.” How many times have we seen articles about Sega’s incredibly popular mascot start this way?

The fact is, despite enduring a consistently more mixed (at times outright cynical and negative) critical reception than longstanding rival Mario from Nintendo, Sonic the Hedgehog still has legions of dedicated fans, and has done since he first appeared on our screens in 1991.

This month, we’re going to be taking a look at a wide variety of Sonic the Hedgehog games from across time, ranging from his first 2D platformer forays up until his more recent 3D adventures… and, of course, his extremely well-received return to 2D in the form of Sonic Mania, the physical Plus release of which was the catalyst for this whole set of features.

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