Game Reviews

Sonic The Hedgehog

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Sonic The Hedgehog

When you find that special someone and decide to take the plunge, you get a ring. It's not so much about the material's worth than about the bond you forge as a couple. Sonic The Hedgehog has a lot of rings to offer and he really, really likes iPhone, though you may just want to continue casually dating this old timer.

Starting in the Green Hill Zone, Sonic spins across seven zones in pursuit of the maniacal Dr Eggman, who has transformed cuddly animals into diabolical fighting machines.

Each zone contains three acts that have you speeding with Sonic over obstacles, collecting golden rings and defeating enemies with his spinning attack. Rings are essential here, providing access to bonus stages and keeping you from losing one of three precious lives.

Movement is handled via a virtual D-pad at the left and an 'A' button for jumping at your right. Sliding your thumb left and right instructs Sonic to zoom in the corresponding direction, while pressing down allows you to instigate his spinning attack. Alternatively, you can jump onto most enemies to free the animals trapped inside.

Surprisingly, Sonic The Hedgehog gets the controls right. Unlike other retro conversions that struggle with touchscreen pads, here it works well.

Tricky manoeuvres and precise platforming don't really come into it, which places less strain on the D-pad. You're not meant to methodically hop across platforms and take out every enemy in sight; on the contrary, you're supposed to blaze a path collecting rings along the way.

Still, this is a game intended for a controller. There are moments when Sonic comes to an abrupt stop and getting him moving again takes a second or two longer than desired. To be fair, it's not fully the fault of the virtual controls so much as the game itself. In other words, it's the way it was designed nearly two decades ago.

That argument works when it pertains to control, but it hardly stands as an excuse for omitting any type of meaningful Continue feature.

You're afforded the ability to quit out of the game and resume at that spot, which is great when playing on-the-go. Lose all of your lives, however, and you're forced to start the game from scratch.

You can argue the game's classic cred for preserving this antiquated notion of absolute Game )ver, but it's 2009 and you should be able to resume play at the start of the zone in which you lost your last life.

Some missed opportunities also prevent Sonic The Hedgehog from blazing a new trail on iPhone. Bonus stages are ripe for accelerometer controls, though the feature is completely glossed over. Options for different control scheme would also be nice, although you can switch an "arcade" perspective that benefits play by offsetting the controls to a band around the play field instead of over it.

Ultimately, Sonic The Hedgehog is great for some quick fun. It's more of a hook up than marriage material, though that shouldn't keep you from enjoying this admirable iPhone adaptation.

Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog hooks you up with speed platforming and surprisingly decent controls, yet doesn't marry itself fully to the potential afforded by the platform