Submitted by: Damian Cross
The original Sonic The Hedgehog game made Sega into what it is today. That fact alone should say something about how popular and successful the game and the sequels have become. It is similar to what the Zelda series did for Nintendo. This game again proves that you do not need to have complex gameplay and intra game interactions to have a successful game. What you need is something simple, fun and addictive. When you think about it, most of today’s complex games lack replay value. Once a gamer has finished the game, once the story has been told and everything has been solved, there are very few games that will appeal to the gamer for a replay.
Yet, Sonic is so popular that fans have ported the games in to online flash version that are almost like the original versions. The very first Sonic game, the game that started it all, is still around and it is played by thousands, if not millions, of gamers in its various versions (legacy console emulators, flash version, etc.). Keeping mind that the graphics, animation and the sound are all from the original 16bit console, it is obvious that those are not the areas where the games appeals to gamers. It is absolutely no match for modern games and it is like comparing a cherry to a watermelon.
The attraction actually lies in the simple but challenging gameplay. The innovative in game elements and level designs, coupled with the time bound playing is what makes it so very challenging. It is one of those games, which are easy to learn but very difficult to master. But the game play is so very fun and addictive, that anyone who plays becomes addicted to it. Originally, the innovative features are the points where it really caught on. While trying to compete with the Mario game, the Sonic game saw a lot of new elements being introduced in to the platformer genre. The first and foremost feature would be the rings that Sonic has to collect throughout the game.
While it is similar to the coins in Mario and a certain number does give an additional life, the rings do more than just that. These rings, in addition to the signature speed of Sonic, the high-speed devices, the springboard mechanisms, etc are what really separated Sonic The Hedgehog from other games. These elements were never seen before the inception of the first Sonic game. Also, at that time, developers took full advantage of the new 16-bit console and its superior Yamaha sound chip. They made the game much more colorful and gave a great deal of attention to creating original sound effects for Sonic.
These elements are no longer important, but the original game design still holds court and the huge, international Sonic fan base is testimony to that. The subsequent Sonic games have met with equal amounts of enthusiasm and they continue to entertain generation after generation of gamers all over the world, starting from Japan and travelling all the way to the US.
About the Author: Find
Sonic the Hedgehog
activities, scene creators, hints, and flash
at Blueblurzone.com. The best place to
online fun activities, and more.