I just can't believe that this series of games doesn't yet have it's own thread, because it holds great significance in my life and provided me with much shock, awe, excitement, disappointment, and on rare occasions, fits of rage. For me, it all started on Christmas 1997. My brothers had been pestering my mom and dad to buy a Sony PlayStation, now my parents were skeptical about me actually playing a console since technically I was still a real youngin' but that Christmas was one that changed my life forever, and for the better of me now that I think about it. Instead of the PlayStation, we got the cheaper alternative, the Sega Genesis. Now luckily for me, my brothers didn't really seem to care for it, and got the money to buy the PlayStation a few months later, but me, I am forever thankful my parents decided to get me the Genesis before the PlayStation. Otherwise I would have missed out on some of the greatest gaming experiences of my life. The console we got came with a 6-in-1 cart which contained, Streets of Rage, Super Monaco GP, Columns, The Revenge of Shinobi, SEGA Soccer and Sonic the Hedgehog, but my parents had also separately purchased Sonic 2, 3 & Knuckles and 3D Blast. And I didn't even get anywhere close to really accomplishing anything in the game, I just had too much of a blast just going left and right, jumping around, killing bitches left and right and that was that. And now that I'm much older, I can now properly think enough to do a review of the first, that's right, the first video game that I ever played, Sonic The Hedgehog 1. Background Now I think we all know the story of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega were looking for a game and a mascot to rival Super Mario and Nintendo. Thus Sonic was born, sorry Mighty you just didn't make the cut. And from what I know, it took Sega a hell of a long time to come up with what they wanted Sonic to be. They originally had a rabbit, a warrior that looked like a viking, a clown with a warrior head, a Bart Simpson looking character, a porcupine, a wolf wearing an American flag T shirt, and a bulldog. And when they settled on a hedgehog, the idea was that he was going to be in a rock band, have a human girlfriend which her name was gonna be Madonna, and fight off monsters and a certain egg-shaped man dressed as a bumblebee, and thankfully that was scrapped. The plot of the first game is simple, Dr. Robotnik is trying to steal the six Chaos Emeralds to harness their powers and is also enslaving the animal occupants of South Island inside robots and metal capsules. Sonic must stop Robotnik, retrieve the chaos emeralds and free all his trapped friends. Review I have played this game uncountable times and have more copies for more platforms as I care to remember so I’m going to do a rather detail review here going zone by zone Green Hill Zone Where it all began, Sonic the Hedgehog was the first game I played off the 6-in-1 cart so I like to say this is the first game I ever played and owned. This being the first level of a video game I can ever remember playing, this and the derping about on the over world of Super Mario 64 at a friend’s house. It holds so many memories. First things first, the music, the Green Hill Zone music may be the catchiest tune I’ve ever heard, to this day I will just randomly start whistling it and have friends, family, classmates go, “Hey, that’s Sonic!”. The gameplay is excellent, pure speed based platforming goodness, a quintessential Sonic level. Very little difficulty in the three acts but it got me hooked into the game and by the time I could properly play enough to get to that point, four and a half year old me did have a wow moment the first time Robotnik appeared with that “massive” ball and chain. The feeling of achievement when I got past him for the first time is slightly dampened when I can breeze through all three acts now in under two minutes. One play through of this zone and a Sonic fanboy was made for life. Marble Zone And now here is something completely different. A zone that turned a lot of people off the game. The platforming is much more methodical and the difficult is notched up a considerable bit. I always loved this level though. The setting looked amazing to me, any Bowsers Castle’s comparisons to the side. This whole zone just screamed evil to me. I loved the exploration side of this zone and the feeling when you discovered a 1 up through a secret hole in the wall, really made you believe you were an expert gamer. Once again, the music. For a game as colorful and child friendly as Sonic the Hedgehog the music of Marble Zone always gave me the impression of impending doom and fit the setting so perfectly. Boss fight is not much harder the Green Hill Zone as Robotnik drops fire balls from his egg pod while giving you plenty of time to attack him and jump to the opposite platform. Spring Yard Zone Look at all the pretty colors, oh the pretty music and what the hell is that a killer blue robotic chicken? Love this zone. We’re back to the high speed platforming of Green Hill Zone but with a natural difficultly spike. Still not what I would call a difficult zone, any time I’ve died here it usually due to my own carelessness, although there can be a few cheap crusher deaths. The huge amount of bounce pads can be a little tedious too but all and all it’s a great level. There is a risk a of falling into a bottomless pit with this boss as he uses a giant spike to take away the floor from underneath you. Stay at the far left of the screen and wait for him to be stuck in the ground before you attack 1 or 2 times, rinse and repeat and you’re done. This zone is also a good chance to grab two of the six Chaos Emeralds. Labyrinth Zone Fuck, fuck and fuck this zone. I am not a fan of water levels in games generally but they have no place in Sonic games imo. This was apparently supposed to be the second zone of the game and thank God they changed that. Labyrinth Zone is remembered for the spectacular difficulty spike and our introduction to this… Fucking terrifying! If you are an inexperienced Sonic player you will drown and probably be killed by the Badniks or be impaled by the many spikes. The boss fight is not really a boss fight more just chasing Robotnik to the goal. A vertical scrolling challenging where water is rising with our friendly spikes and fire spitting gargoyle heads trying to make your life that bit more stressful. The hardest water level in the whole series and the hardest boss of the whole game in my opinion. Star Light Zone To me this seemed like either an apology or a reward for the previous zone. It’s a great zone but I’ve not really got that much to say about it. It’s basically Green Hill Zone in space, speed and loopdeloops aplenty. For the boss, Robotnik is dropping bombs on seesaws that really have no right to be there, use the seesaws to jump on Robotnik or to fire the bombs back to his egg pod. Chilled out zone before we got to the hell that is… Scrap Brain Zone Everything hates you and wants to kill you in Robotnik’s base. See that cuddly purple teddy bear pig thing, aww he wants you dead son. Fire coming out the floor, bottomless pits, lava, electrodes everywhere, plenty of places to die in this zone and if you’ve not collected the Chaos Emeralds by this point you’re too late. The real kicker is in Zone three where it starts and fuck me it’s Labyrinth Zone again, thankfully there is a trick at the start of this level that if you successfully perform it you can cut this entire act down to about 90 seconds, if not welcome to Labyrinth Zone Act 4. You reach the end of the level and find a massive amount of red springs that send us to… Final Zone The final fight with Robotnik who has looked himself inside a series of pistons for some reason. avoid being crushed by the pistons and the occasional roof laser thing and this boss is fairly simple. Robotnik will attempt to escape but one last hit to his egg pod sends him to his death never to be seen again and the world is saved. Fun boss to end the game. I just love this game, easily in my top 5 games of all time and one that I go back to all the time. If for some reason you have never played this game just do it, it’s on pretty much every system and emulate the thing if you need to. This game started my love affair with video games and going through it all it’s easy to see why. So that's why right now, I pour out all the appreciation I have for Sega for creating Sonic The Hedgehog in this very thread, as an appreciation thread for Sonic is very well deserved.