What's happened to Sonic?
Sonic and his friends are among the most recognisable icons in video games. Since his birth 14 years ago, Sonic The Hedgehog has spanned several generations of video game systems, appearing in over 30 games that have sold more than 38 million units of software. Consistently a top-selling franchise, Sonic The Hedgehog continues to be a popular icon worldwide in 2005 and one of the most recognised and celebrated video game characters of all time.
What’s happened to Sonic the Hedgehog? Perhaps it’s our reactions that are slowing down with age rather than Sonic speeding up, but in the Xbox 360 latest version he does seem to have been injected with some sort of performance enhancing drug that sees him accelerating over ramps and doing the loop-the-loop faster than we ever remember in the days of the Sega Mega Drive. To be frank, Sonic has lost it big time and his emergence on next-gen consoles is a huge disappointment.
In Sonic the Hedgehog there are three playable characters; the hero himself, Shadow and Silver. Strangely, you don't actually get to play as Sonic as much as the other characters but when you do you'll be gritting your teeth with frustration at the awful camera shifts, the glitches through trees and rocks and be bored to tears with the fact that it doesn't actually feel as though you have much control over the the crazy hedgehog. In short, Sonic the Hedgehog lacks the playability factor and if it wasn't for the sake of trying to get a balanced opinion of the game, we'd have given up even before the end of the first level.
Bizarrely, Sonic the Hedgehog contains 'Town' stages where you can wander around freely in an area chatting with NPCs, taking part in mini-quests, buying items and generally bumping into things. The stages add absolutely nothing to game with poor graphics and a severe lack of atmosphere. However, Sonic fans will be totally familiar with the action stages where you make your way at high speeds from point A to point B, collecting rings, power-ups, medals and defeating robots with your range of attacks.