Sonic The Hedgehog Review
Few games have had the enduring popularity and genre-defining quality of Sonic the Hedgehog. A mascot for Sega ever since his debut in the early 1990s, Sonic has spawned a legion of spinoffs and sequels, and remains a popular choice for console gamers to this day. Now he’s back in his original glory on the iPod.
Sega of America has developed the original Sonic The Hedgehog, the same game as the one on the Mega Drive console, for the fifth-generation iPod, iPod classic and third-generation iPod nano. It’s a fast platform game that really shows off the iPod’s performance, although the control scheme, which is dependent on the iPod’s Click Wheel, is ultimately deficient and really hurts the play value of this game.
If you’ve somehow missed the Sonic phenomenon, here’s the deal: A cartoony blue hedgehog wearing a pair of snazzy red trainers has to stop an evil genius
(Dr. Robotnik) who wants to turn the world’s animals
– all of Sonic’s friends – into robots. To that end, Sonic runs from level to level, collecting golden rings and emeralds, and, as time and circumstances permit, he
can also roll into a ball to crash through barriers and bounce on the robot monsters he finds, smashing
them open and freeing the fluffy bunnies, duckies,
and other animals hidden within.
On the iPod, everything happens on the Click
Wheel – you control Sonic by holding the back or forward button on the Click Wheel and pressing
the centre button to jump.
Sonic employs two different control schemes: Scheme A, as it’s called, is a two-handed method that requires you to get both thumbs on the Click Wheel and actually click the buttons in order to make Sonic run and jump. Scheme B, a one-handed scheme, uses touching instead of clicking. Neither scheme works particularly well – neither has the precision or control
of a d-pad with a separate button.
Don’t get the impression that Sonic is poorly developed. In fact, it looks and runs fabulously, lets you save at the beginning of any stage you reach, and provides you with an unlimited number of continues, so you can keep playing as long as you like.
Sonic The Hedgehog for iPod is a great trip down memory lane and superbly well done, but proof positive that the iPod isn’t the best platform for some games.