Blast processing. Sega had it, Nintendo didn’t. I had no idea what it was and most other kids didn’t either. Of course it was a made up term used by the Sega marketing department, but that didn’t matter to us in 1991. All we knew was that there was this blue hedgehog named Sonic spinning around loop-the-loops and blazing around the screen at speeds unseen before. Commercials don’t lie, right? Well, it didn’t matter. I still wasn’t going to buy a Genesis with the money I was making at my after school job just so I could play Sonic. I had a drivers license and a car and other reasons to spend money (mostly on music and the occasional new NES game). So I was relegated to just watching the commercials while wondering what the big deal was all about.
Sonic the Hedgehog quickly became the face of the Sega Genesis after the game launched due to its unique concept of speed encouraged gameplay combined with typical platforming elements gamers at the time were familiar with (levels, boss fights, left/right scrolling). The sense of freedom you felt while wandering (or blasting) around the relatively straightforward levels allowed the gamer to feel like you were experiencing something completely new, even if it was a little bit of a gimmick. The fact of the matter is the 3 official Sonic titles for the Genesis are classics and hold up in 2016 like they did upon their releases from 1991-1994.
When I finally purchased my used Genesis in the late 90’s, the Sonic titles were high on my priority list to own. He was the Mario of that particular console. Iconic and intriguing, I needed to own them and play them through. Due to their common status as pack-in titles (Sonic 1 & 2 at least), they were and still are cheap to find. Over the years, I have procured several copies of the same game when I would purchase game bundles. They don’t hold a ton of value at this time, so I haven’t bothered to sell off my duplicates.
Just like any video gaming mascot, Sonic was whored out to other lesser titles in an attempt to capitalize on the name recognition. The two additional Sonic titles I own for the Genesis, Sonic Spinball and Sonic 3D Blast, are not nearly as fun and memorable as the original 3. Spinball is a Sonic pinball game that was released to tide Sonic fans over between Sonic 2 and 3. 3D blast was developed in an attempt to rival the 3D polygon graphics that were taking over gaming in the mid 90’s with the 32 bit systems (PS1, Saturn, N64). The gameplay is what failed in this version of Sonic.
Sonic titles in my collection: 5
- Sonic the Hedgehog – A The original classic is my favorite.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – A Another stellar game, this one featuring Tails…..who is kind of irrelevant.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – A- Nothing bad to say about this title except it’s all starting to get a bit stale.
- Sonic Spinball – B- Sonic’s pinball game. I have a soft spot for video pinball.
- Sonic 3D Blast – C- Tough for me to play when the other titles are so good and right there on the same system.
Wish list add:
- The box for Sonic 3 so I could have all 3 original titles complete.
- Sonic & Knuckles