Sonic the Hedgehog review - Sega Master System

Read Original Review PDF for Sonic the Hedgehog

Eggman alert! Is a deal that shocked environmentalists everywhere, vile Dr Eggman has bought up a load of land just so he can capture its small furry inhabitants, brainwash them and put them inside his rocket-powered Cyberfauna suits. With his army of armoured animals, Eggman plans to terrorise the people of the world until they relent and promise to pay him lots of money.

Sonic, being a speedy blighter, is the hedgehog that hot away. Now, of course, he's resolved to free his forest buddies by doing over Eggman and he has to leg it through six hazardous zones, each made up of three scrolling areas.

The landscape is packed with platform-type puzzles and terrifying terrain! Not only that - Eggman has dispatched his robot-like forces to destroy sonic before he can catch up with him! Luckily, Sonic is a powerhouse of athletic ability, and he can protect himself by curling into a ball and somersaulting into any enemies, skewering them on his spines!

To protect himself still further, Sonic has to collect the power rings which are scattered throughout the landscape. If he bumps into an enemy the rings will protect him, but the collision makes him drop all those he was carrying. If Sonic stays out of trouble, every ring he gets to the end of the level earns him 100 points, and if he has over 50, he is instantly warped to the weirdo bonus game!

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" There's no denying it, Sonic certainly gives your brain an optical treat - the backgrounds and sprites are truly exceptional. The speed of the game is another blinding aspect as Sonic zooms along at a lick that almost puts the Megadrive version to shame! The Megadrive version of Sonic suffered for two reasons. Firstly, it was rather easy to complete, and secondly, the gameplay was a tad simplistic. Unfortunately, the Master System programmers haven't tightened up either of these aspects. The easiness could be put down to the fact that there's little in the way of enemy sprites to accost the cute hedgehog on his travels. But still, it's very difficult not to notice Sonic's addictive qualities and polished action, so check this out when it hits the streets. "

" They said it couldn't be done, but Sonic's arrived on the Master System and he looks just as good as he did in Megadrive form! With the benefit of a few tweaks, the Sega programmers have produced a Sonic game that looks superb, has the smoothest, fastest scrolling ever seen on this machine and is packed full of new features, including new screen layouts, brilliant bonus screens and more hidden items and bonuses that you can shake a spine at. My only gripe is that the game's too easy. It's also a fault of the Megadrive version, but it would have been nice to have a bit more challenge! Still, there's plenty to do in the game, and you constantly go back to it to see whether you missed anything and whether you can improve your score! Ask Santa to bring you a copy... "


Overall Score90%

Tris Wicks - 05 Nov 2008, 05:42 GMT

In some parts of the game Sonic is faster than his megadrive counterpart. Blast processing my bum.

Tony - 29 Jan 2009, 06:19 GMT

I loved this game a lot, it was the second game I ever completed, the first being Granny's Garden on the old Spectrum when I was 5, and it was the first console game I ever completed. It wasa gem then and it's still a gem now.

Godpikachu - 09 Feb 2009, 18:28 GMT

While this game isnt as pretty to look at or as long as its MD counterpart, it more than makes up for it with a steeper difficulty curve, and, unlike some games, the difficulty is actually refreshing, as opposed to annoying like in some games.

If i recall rightly this game was the first game i got REALLY excited over playing, as i remember my friends brother had the MD version, and he raved on about how badass it was, so understandably as an 11 year old boy it was a real treat to find that i too could get this game on my MS.
At first, i was a little disappointed at the visuals and the fact that there were less levels than the MD version, but over time the game grew on me like a nasty rash and i just couldnt put it down, spending many a weekend locked away in my bedroom playing this game until i finally completed it.

Then when i later got an MD and the MD version, things began to get interesting....

Dan - 11 Mar 2009, 09:14 GMT

The MD version was crap and I hated it, but this was actually alright, defo way better than the MD version fer sure.

James - 20 May 2009, 11:23 GMT

I remember how amazed I was when I first played this little gem on the Master System. Looking back and playing this again, I'm even more amazed by what was achieved by those clever chappies at Sega now that I know just how limited the little machine was.

Easily the most impressive part of the game, is the Labyrinth section. It makes use of all of the technical tricks possible to have raising and falling water level, while keeping the graphics looks extremely pretty (for the Master System) and the same tricks are used later, for the Tesla like emitters before entering Robotnik's airship.

A great effort from Sega, that breathed some life into a console that was past it's prime long before the Megadrive was ever launched.

Tens - 17 Apr 2013, 15:42 GMT

I never got into the Mega Drive version of this one, But this version I remember well, The difficulty setting is just right and progresses nicely, Music, Graphics and gameplay are all excellent.
If you haven't yet played this one and like Sonic games give it a go.
10/10 I give this one.

Mean Machines Issue 15 - Christmas 1991
Platform Game Sega Master System
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