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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (41649)
Written on  :  Dec 12, 2012
Platform  :  SEGA Master System
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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The same Sonic... with less speed

The Good

One of the first games ever to be released on the Sega Genesis, Sonic the Hedgehog showed what the console was really capable of. It impressed gamers the world over with its speedy gameplay, great graphics, and excellent sound. Sega knew that there were some people who still owned a Master System at the time but couldn't afford to upgrade, so a version was made specifically for them.

So, how does the Master System version of Sonic compare to the one released for its bigger brother? Well, it's quite good. Although the core gameplay remains intact, some tweaks had to be made. The zones remain the same, but there is one new zone between Green Hill and Labyrinth. Loop-de-loops were removed. The bonus levels with the 3D rotating maze have been replaced with a pinball-themed level where where you bounce around, collecting as many rings as possible before the time runs out. The graphics in the SMS version are just as great as its bigger brother. The world map that displays your progress through the game is quite beautiful and shows what the console can do with just 32 colors, and the pinball-themed bonus levels are quite colorful and well designed. There are also smooth animations of Sonic doing his iconic spin dash.

Sound-wise, the sound effects are on par with the Genesis game. The jump sound is exactly the same in the two versions, for example. The music blends well with the setting of each zone, and the background music for the new zone (The Bridge) is based on one of Janet Jackson's songs. I like the music while you are fighting Robotnik since it has a gangster feel to it.

The Bad


The Bottom Line

Sonic the Hedgehog for the Master System is similar to its bigger brother, but some changes were made due to the less-powerful Z-80 processor, including the removal of loop-de-loops and rotating mazes, making it a straight jump-n-run platformer. Despite these changes, SMS owners will still recognize the game as Sonic. The graphics and sound are very good, and there is even some replayability due to the different endings you will get depending on whether you get all seven chaos emeralds. People who already own a Genesis and wish to give the SMS version a try can get the Power Base Converter to play it on.