Format reviewed: Game Gear
Submitted by: Alex Holmes
When a friend of mine back when we were 11 rang me to say his parents had bought him a Game Gear, I was dying to have a go on Segas much hyped handheld, and this was the game that came bundled with his machine.
And the next day round at his house after just one go, I was hooked. Everything about this game was, and still is, flawless. Every single enemy, ring and power up is perfectly placed, every hazard is in just the right spot and the level design is just unbelievable from start to finish.
Add to that the bold, colourful and brilliantly animated sprites coupled with the instantly memorable soundtrack and this little game oozes quality. Especially when you consider this is a handheld game.
I dont think I need to comment on the gameplay itself. Everyone knows how this game works. I mean, who HASENT played this game and been instantly sucked in? Even as a youngster, being a firm fan of Sonics rival, Mario, I was gobsmacked by this game.
Plus this game always brings back fond memories of the summer holidays, when we would sit on the sofa, Saved By The Bell in the background and WWF action figures all over the floor, playing this and Super Mario Land on my Game Boy, swapping over after every level to complete both games. Usually just before his brother would come down and administer “nuggies” before sending us to the shop for ice pops!
I still play this game to this very day, both through emulation and on my battered old Game Gear and it never has, and probably never will get old. Classic.
Format reviewed: Sega Master System
Submitted by: John Delaney
I call them "Red Drum Moments," so-named due to a similar obstacle in Sonic 3 (and anyone who's played that game should know exactly what I mean). It's the type of obstacle that stops you dead in your tracks, and with no obvious way past it, threatens to ruin your enjoyment of the entire game. The 8-bit version of Sonic 1 has such a moment.
It's in the Sky Base Zone, a tricky level filled with platforms and death-drops. A network of electrodes blankets the entire level, occasionally shooting lethal streams of electricity between it's nodes. There are also a lot of floating-platform bits, including one near the end that goes right through a field of these nodes. As a kid, this drove me to tears. Sonic is out on this tiny platform with no manoeuvrability, heading towards these electric fields that you couldn't see from the ledge, and you’re praying that some miracle will let you pass. There was no way to time it right; it was pure chance. This one trap would suck up all my lives, then all my continues, then boot me back to the Green Hill Zone out of pure spite.
Revisiting the game years later on Sonic Mega Collection Plus, I passed this trap first time. Maybe I'd become more adept at predicting patterns, maybe I'd become better at controlling Sonic's jump to avoid being hit. I don't know. I do know that this wasn't the first time I'd passed it; I’d completed it, with all emeralds even, way back on the humble Master System. The game was worth the perseverance.
The neatest thing about Sonic on the Master System was the way it was a completely different adventure from the Megadrive Version. It was like a mini-sequel with all-new levels. Yet despite the lack of power behind it, it lost none of the playability. This was the only Sonic game that Ancient worked on. The other Master System games were handled by someone else, and by God does it show. Unlike the Megadrive games, Sonic’s first 8-bit outing was never bettered in it’s generation.