Sega Master System: It’s a Sonic World

Yep, apparently Genesis’ older and much un-cooler older brother got in on the Sonic craze as well; but with a different flavor.  I started with Sonic Blast; which is basically a dumbed-down shorter side-scroller with a few of the Sonic staples thrown in.   It’s like another numbered version, in this game you can play as either Sonic or Knuckles; I went with Knuckles for a diff. game experience and I have to say, having his cling to walls ability came in handy big time.   The game was perfectly fine, some of the level layouts felt like you could just glide over the top of everything though and some were claustrophobic with no discernible escape anywhere in sight.  No classic Sonic tunes either; just a lackluster type of experience.

Sonic Chaos I played for Game Gear and this was an exact copy of that game; I went with Tails here to switch it up.  There’s not a lot to say about this; it’s another Sonic game, formulaic, but the speed of these characters , way toned down, even more so than in Blast.   But, it was more true to the Sonic experience; same button combos, same levels, I actually had more fun playing a smaller game like this.

Sonic Spinball is a concept; believe me, they don’t all take.  Sonic, himself, is the pinball, inside a rather large machine.  Trick is, if you land on certain areas, you can play him as a character too, collecting rings and defeating enemies.  Whoever thought it up I’m sure got a pat on the back and an “Atta Boy” but when you take (largely) the best part about Sonic; speeding through levels, away, the game becomes less and less fun.  And pinball?  is this the 70’s?

Sonic the Hedgehog was actually a different game on Sega Master.  You still start in Green Hills, but you don’t lose all your coins each time you’re hit; and you’re capable of attaining masterful speeds while dashing through these boards.  There’s a lot of polish missing from this though that the Genesis version had; just the overall look of the worlds isn’t as bright and alive; the music isn’t quite there either.  It’s still an extremely fun game; they were onto something with the whole concept and even playing what feels like pass #3 instead of the final version is still a great gaming experience and further cements in my mind, how legendary the game and character are.

Sonic 2 feels like more of the same; I don’t recognize the first stage as being linked to Sonic 2 and again, the levels aren’t as fun and vivid and the feel of the character doesn’t play as smoothly as you remembered from the Genesis version. I can fault them harder here because this game came much later in development and should have higher standards.  I just didn’t enjoy going through this one as much.

Scores:

Blast:  Playability- 4.5    Graphics- 4     Music/ sound- 6     Replay Value- 6    Originality- 2.5   Final: 46%

Chaos: Playability- 7     Graphics- 5     Music/Sound- 3.5     Replay Value- 7.5    Originality- 1   Final: 48%

Pinball: Playability- 6     Graphics- 4.5    Music/Sound- 3     Replay Value- 2    Originality- 6    Final: 43%

Sonic: Playability- 6      Graphics- 7      Music/Sound- 6.5      Replay Value- 7     Originality- 7.5    Final: 68%

Sonic 2: Playability- 5     Graphics- 5     Music/Sound- 4.5      Replay Value- 6.5    Originality- 3     Final: 48%

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