Characters. Characters are what make movies, television shows, sports and video games relevant and interesting. Much of the talk and literature on the best movies of all time centres on both the plot and the characters in the plot. The same applies to video games; while there have been many excellent things such as game play and graphics in all Mario, Zelda and other major character video games, the characters are what help to draw the players in. This is true for another iconic video game character that exploded on the scene in 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic the Hedgehog was Sega’s main rival to Nintendo’s Mario, and helped propel the Sega Genesis system into the market lead among 16-bit video game systems for a period of time in the 1990s. The main premise of the Sonic games is that Sonic needs to save the planet from Dr. Robotnik, who provides a variety of evil attempts at planetary takeover throughout the game series.
There were four primary games for the Sega Genesis that launched the Sonic series to the forefront of gamers’ minds; the original, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. The Sonic games were similar in nature to their main rivals in that there were multiple levels, varying enemies and the notion of saving something as an overall goal (as could be said for many games of the time).
What differentiated Sonic from its predecessors was the dizzying speed you could play the game at. Anyone who has played Sonic will tell you that there are points in the game, particularly when Sonic is running downhill or is spinning around a loop, that the game speed picks up so dramatically it can be tough to follow what is happening. The speed of the game is a benefit to gamers as it increases the excitement level of the game as you are playing it.
The strategy of the Sonic games is fairly simple, as there is not much complicated to the game. The first and foremost strategy to follow is acquiring as many rings as possible; having fifty rings at the end of the game allows you to go to “the special zone”, which is an entirely separate part of the game. The special zone has gotten more advanced as the games have, going from the simple special zone in Sonic 1 to “Hyper Sonic” status in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
Over the years, the Sonic games have graduated through the various gaming consoles of the modern era, similar to many other popular Sega games. Sega stopped making gaming consoles after the Dreamcast failed to compete with Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, focusing their energy on games, including “Sonic Unleashed”, which can be played on the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360.