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Game Profile
Sonic Team
GENRE: Platformer
September 09, 1999
Sonic Colors

Sonic Colors

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

More in this Series
Sonic Adventure
Sonic Adventure 2
 Written by Akash Suri  on June 20, 2001

Special: Ryan: I don't think hedgehogs live to be 10 yrs. old.
Akash: *thinks long and hard*?SHUT UP!!!!!!

The Sonic the Hedgehog legacy began way back in 1990. Sega's recently released Genesis console wasn't selling as well as Sega had hoped. And to make matters worse, Nintendo was well on their way to releasing the more powerful Super Nintendo system. So, realizing something needed to be done, and soon, if they wanted to compete, Sega initiated a plan to develop the ultimate game character. Yuji Naka (programmer), Hirokazu Yasuhara (level designer), and Haoto Oshima (character designer) were all assigned in creating Sega's mascot and savior. The ending product was a blue-haired Hedgehog with an attitude, Sonic. Not only did they create Sega's greatest videogame character, they created one of the best gaming characters of all time, as Sonic made a huge impact on the 16-bit revolution and Sega's future.

Sonic's Game Timeline

-Sonic the Hedgehog- Sega Genesis, 1991

The game that started it all, and in a sense the game that saved Sega in the 16-bit wars. Sonic the Hedgehog took a page right out of Mario's platforming style gameplay book, but molded it fit the characteristics of Sonic himself. Which means goodbye to the slow paced, exploration type gameplay found in Mario, and hello to fast paced (and I mean fast), action packed gameplay. Sonic didn't pack as much depth and length as it's closest competition at the time, Super Mario Land, but nevertheless it sold big time, and was exactly what Sega needed at the time, a great mascot who stars in a equally fantastic game. And the sales proved it, in the first two weeks of Sonic the Hedgehog's release it was surpassing Nintendo's Super Mario World as the number one selling game. Sega also broke the record for the best percentage of the console-to-game ratio, at 43%. You could definitely call Sonic the Hedgehog a success.

-Sonic the Hedgehog 2- Sega Genesis, 1992

Hot of the heels of the success of the first Sonic, Sega was ready to bring Sonic back for a second go around. Not much changed since Sonic's first outing though, gameplay was basically the same besides the addition of the spin dash move, which let you sit on one spot and charge a super fast rolling attack. Also, Sonic now had a sidekick to call his own, Sonic's own Luigi, if you will. Miles ?Tails? Prower was his name, a fox that was born with two tails that he could spin to produce some mega-speed, and they also gave Tails the added luxury of flight. The game also looked a little better and moved along much faster than the original; and this is where Sega's ?Blast Processing? came into play, Sega advertising ploy that described how Sonic moved so darn fast, and Nintendo's system couldn't do it (sure it couldn't).

Sonic 2 also added the first 2-player mode to be seen in a Sonic game. You and a friend could race against each other with Sonic and Tails via a split screen. While the new features don't seem too extreme, adding this to some clever advertising on Sega's part and you get some phenomenal sales records. Sonic 2 sold an amazing 400,000 units in it's first 5 days of availability, that's 50% more than the first week sales of any 16-bit title at that time. But, the fact that it was the first videogame to receive a worldwide release date (Nov. 23) probably had something to do with those record-breaking sales.

-SegaSonic- Arcade, 1993

-Sonic CD- Sega CD, 1993

Sonic's third romp into the console world was a bit of an odd one, at least when compared to the two previous titles. Released on Sega's new Sega CD system, the game contained a time traveling theme; you had to travel back and forth from the past and future to spoil the evil Dr. Robotnik's plans. Sonic CD also introduced the character Amy, Sonic's woman (who's da man?), and an all-new move, the Peel Out, which let you do a standing Spin Dash. The move didn't seem too successful though, as it was never used again. Sonic CD was also the biggest Sonic game ever, spanning a massive 60 levels! Even though the game was a bit of a change from the predecessors, it is still considered one of Sonic's best games even today.

-Sonic Chaos- Game Gear, 1993
-Sonic Spinball- Genesis/Game Gear, 1993

-Sonic the Hedgehog 3- Genesis, 1994

After a short delay with Sonic Spinball and Sonic CD, Sonic Team finally brought us a true sequel to Sonic 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Trying to make Sonic 3 seem like its not just another rehash of the past few games, Sonic Team came at Sonic 3 with a different approach graphically. The characters themselves had more of an edgy look and the levels where full of color and more animation. Sonic Team also implemented more gameplay features with the use of different shields. Besides the same old ?protect you from one hit? shield, there were many others including a fire shield (which let you launch a fire attack), a bubble shield (which let you breath underwater), and an electromagnetic shield (which grabbed rings that you walked close to). Sonic 3 also introduced us to one of Sonic's most popular characters, the foe turned friend Knuckles, The Echidna. Sonic 3 was also the biggest Sonic released on the Genesis, which in turn warranted the first use of a battery pack to save your progress in a Sonic Genesis title.

-Sonic & Knuckles- Genesis, 1994

Released just months after Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles marked the second Sonic title released in the same year (too much Sonic you think? Naa). S&A looked and played identically to Sonic 3, except now Knuckles was a playable character. Knuckles and Sonic's adventure in the game weren't too different, but when you factor in Knuckles wall climbing ability it made for a pretty dissimilar experience. Another feature in the game that Sega advertised pretty heavily was the ?lock on technology?. Which allowed you attach Sonic 2 or 3 to the top of the S&K cartridge so you can you play as Knuckles in the past games, now while this might not have been the most revolutionary thing in the world, it was pretty cool cause there was many different things to explore while using Knuckles's wall climbing abilities. Even though S&K wasn't that big a step from Sonic 3, it was the last true Sonic game we'd see for 5 years.

-Sonic Triple Trouble- Game Gear, 1994
-Sonic Drift 2- Game Gear, 1995
-Sonic Labyrinth- Game Gear, 1995
-Sonic the Fighters- Arcade, 1996
-Sonic 3D Blast- Saturn/Genesis, 1996

-Sonic Jam- Saturn, 1997

Sadly, Sega's 32-bit console, the Sega Saturn, never had a true blue (get it?) Sonic game to call its own. Instead, we got titles like Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R which where what you could call below par. But there was one great Sonic title on the Saturn worth owning, Sonic Jam, which was a complication disk of all the greatest Sonic games from the Genesis era, which included Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and S&K. Included in this amazing complication was a special ?Sonic Museum? option, in it you controlled a 3-D version off Sonic in a?well, a museum. The museum offered many different sketches of Sonic and his pals for your viewing pleasure, Japanese commercials of various Sonic games, and also a Sonic timeline. I still gotta pick this one up, if I can find it.

-Sonic R- Saturn, 1997
-Sonic Jam-, 1998

-Sonic Adventure- Dreamcast, 1999

With Sega's launch into the 128-bit era of gaming with the Dreamcast came a sort of revival of Sonic the Hedgehog. With the power of the DC, Sonic Team now had Sonic in full-blown 3-D moving at blazing speeds (just like the good ?ole days). Sonic Adventure was one of the biggest Sonic games ever too; there were six different characters to complete the game with (all different adventures), a Chao breeding game, and even a fairly decent story line. And instead of the constant action stages that Sonic games have been known for, Sonic Team included a somewhat disappointing adventure field where you had to figure out what to do next, thankfully in didn't take away from the whole experience. For a while there I had the feeling Sega had forgotten their beloved mascot, but when Sonic Adventure launched with the Dreamcast on 9-9-99, I knew things were going to be alright in Sonic land.

-Sonic Pocket Adventure- Neo-Geo Pocket Color, 1999
-Sonic Shuffle- Dreamcast, 2000

-Sonic Adventure 2- Dreamcast, 2001

This all leads us to Sonic Team's latest and greatest Sonic masterpiece, Sonic Adventure 2. From the looks of things thus far, SA2 is set to easily beat out the competition for the best Sonic game ever. The game is set to pack six different adventures, just as in Sonic Adventure, with some of the greatest Sonic characters ever conceived (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Dr. Robotnik, Rouge, and Shadow). And back is the all action stage Sonic game we have been waiting for (good bye ?Adventure Field?), and a lot of action there will be, Sonic Team promises over 30 levels. The first SA was noted for it's amazing visuals, and SA2 is looking to improve on that 10-fold. The game runs at a solid 60 fps with details that will just make your jaw drop (if you've played the demo you know what I mean). Also returning to the Sonic series after its 9-year absence is the 2-player mode, many different multiplayer modes will we available, including a Kart Racing mode, ala Mario Kart. Just be sure to go out and pick up this title upon release, I can't think of any better way to celebrate Sonic's 10th birthday.

-Sonic Advance- Game Boy Advance, 2001

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