September 17, 2008 - Bright blue or otherwise, I've never seen a hedgehog run so damn fast in my life.
Sega struck oil when it settled on a super high-speed mammal as its new mascot. As far as platforming games go, Sonic the Hedgehog is easily one of the most innovative titles of its time. Mario may have had firepower, raccoon tails, and Tanooki suits, but Sonic was all about the speed. Curling up in a spiky ball and blasting through levels at a dizzying pace is simply joyous.
How did a spiny blue hedgehog end up with crazy fast powers? It's the magical shoes, of course. It seems a possession capable of such wondrous abilities would undoubtedly fall under the covetous eyes of others hedgehogs seeking fame and glory. What a hedgehog would do with magic shoes, besides saving the planet by running around very fast and thrashing animal cyborgs, is really up to one's imagination.
The game's plot, revolving around an unusual scheme by Dr. Robotnik (or Dr. Eggman, if you're from Japan), was of little consequence. However, I'm not entirely sure about the exact processes involved in turning small little animals into malicious robots. Considering robots are typically 100% mechanized, it seems they'd turn out more like animal cyborgs - but I digress. Sonic had to save his pals…as fast as possible.
Jumping around and bopping baddies was fun enough, but the realistic physics allowing Sonic to gain momentum on downhill slopes, whirl around loops, and fly into the air after jumps brought a new level of energy to the platforming action. Charging up his spin action and jetting forward like a blue buzzsaw is still a novel attack. The franchise may be a little played-out nowadays, but Sonic's first tentative steps in those bright red shoes on the Genesis were smokin' fast.
CCC Staff Contributor / Pixel Artist