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 Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)

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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyMon 28 Jan 2013 - 11:54

Okay, so trumping the first batch of retro titles was Sega's classic platformer of speed and precision, Sonic the Hedgehog. Find your chosen format, and let's go fast. Let's have a chat about everything about the game - is it how you remembered it, if it's your first time playing it are you enjoying it, are you getting stuck on a level - whatever, just let's have a grand old time playing through a Sega classic.

Quick question I'm posing to you all: how long do you reckon we should play this for? Shall we go for a week, two weeks, longer than that or just until discussion crawls to a halt? Let me know guys. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyMon 28 Jan 2013 - 16:03

Give it a fortnight, with a few days to discuss individual aspects of your choosing. I've got lots that I feel I could type about in regards to Sonic 1.

I'll play through it again later tonight. It's usually one I return to every few months or so, but I'm entertained every time.

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ZeroJones
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyMon 28 Jan 2013 - 19:35

Yes, seconded. A fortnight feels about right, just to give everyone a decent chance to play it through.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyMon 28 Jan 2013 - 21:36

There's no way in hell I'll get chance to play this before Saturday, so a fortnight for me will be just grand. Smile
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyMon 28 Jan 2013 - 21:42

Fortnight it is. I've got this on my Xbox 360, need to hook it up (and find it for that matter).
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyMon 28 Jan 2013 - 21:55

I need to pull my comp cables out of my Wii because Sonic's not comp cable compatible. *grumble grumble*

I'd hook my MD up to the flatscreen, but running through old-fashioned aerial cables will make the picture look like turd.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyTue 29 Jan 2013 - 14:08

I rattled through the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection version on PSP this morning. While it's not a game I haven't played in years or anything like that, this was the first time I'd sat down with the intention of completing it in quite some time.

I could share all sorts of memories in regards to Sonic 1 with you - and I plan on doing so, once folk begin to join in the discussion - but this morning's playthrough emphasised to me that it's still as vivid and vibrant as it was when I bought it almost twenty years ago. If you asked me to compile a list of my top twenty games of all time, Sonic The Hedgehog (and, for that matter, it's two immediate sequels) would be in there. Brilliant!
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyTue 29 Jan 2013 - 16:57

Okay, so I fired up Sonic this afternoon, and I'm recalling the reasons why I've never beaten this game.

I always experience something I'm going to call the Marble Zone Wall. Everything starts off so well with me and Sonic - I boot it up, and that iconic opening to the Green Hill Zone track starts and away I go, racing through the first act of Green Hill Zone. I cannot say this game isn't pretty looking; it's colourful, the sprites really pop and the artwork is excellent. The music as well - Green Hill Zone is fantastic, and when Eggman comes onto the screen with that menacing boss theme, you know shit's gotten real. It's far better than any of this "LIVE AND LEARN YEAH YEAH YEAH" pish. Speeding through the levels is where the thrill stems from with Sonic. You're going fast, plowing through all the enemies, leaping from platforms, getting rings, good times all round.

But then comes Marble Zone.

This is why I don't like Sonic. Marble Zone forces you to engage with all the aspects that, to me, do not work at all with Sonic. It slows the game down to a crawl as you ride a block across lava, or make finicky jumps. Sonic doesn't play well when the pace is sluggish. I've always felt Sonic isn't a good platformer because the jumping is so jittery, and when you're forced to do that, it takes away from the feel and the fun of the game. I just don't enjoy platforming in Sonic, I don't know if it's just my ineptitude at the game but being precise in Sonic just doesn't feel right to me. So, initial first impressions are the same as they've always been: looks and sounds impressive, but the core mechanics of the game are flawed to me.

Having said that, I fully mean to power through the Marble Zone Wall and see the rest of the game because I think I've only played past Marble Zone once before in my life.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyTue 29 Jan 2013 - 17:31

Up, Down, Left, Right, A and Start is your friend, my friend.

I've never, ever found the jumping jittery in any of the Mega Drive Sonics. I felt that most of the disappointment with 2010's Sonic 4 was induced by the fact that it 'didn't feel right' compared to the original trilogy.

Come to think of it, there isn't much opportunity for ploughing through the game as in, say, 2005's Sonic Rush. I've always felt Sonic was a more thoughtful, considerate game than only the shitest critics thought (you know, the 'hold right and win' crowd).
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyTue 29 Jan 2013 - 19:52

Phillips wrote:
...disappointment with 2010's Sonic 4

This. In no way was Sonic 4 worthy of the main series title, especially not after Sonic 3 (which is hugely underrated, if you ask me).
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyTue 29 Jan 2013 - 20:19

Phillips wrote:
Up, Down, Left, Right, A and Start is your friend, my friend.

Is this a Contra code for Sonic? If so, I'll try and beat the game legitimately, but if all else fails, I'll fill myself up with lives and go for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyTue 29 Jan 2013 - 21:31

JayMoyles wrote:
Phillips wrote:
Up, Down, Left, Right, A and Start is your friend, my friend.

Is this a Contra code for Sonic? If so, I'll try and beat the game legitimately, but if all else fails, I'll fill myself up with lives and go for it.

It's world-famous level select code! Note: takes a few attempts before it works in my experience.

And if you're feeling really adventurous, here's the debug mode code:

Up, C, Down, C, Left, C, Right, C (wait for ring noise) A+B+C+Start*

*Note: Can bork the game temporarily (fixed by a restart) if you don't use it sensibly mid-level. Also takes a while to work if you're the impatient sort.*

*Sub-note: Is completely pointless.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyTue 29 Jan 2013 - 22:07

Well, I was going to join in with this using the 360 version, but sadly the game's decided that I don't own the full version, but the dashboard thinks I do, so I can't play past the Green Hill Zone, nor can I do anything about it. Reeeeal helpful.

Still, there's always emulators. In full screen, it runs at upwards of 320 FPS!
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyWed 30 Jan 2013 - 0:29

One thing I've noticed about Sonic The Hedgehog which has been pointed out well with the Marble Zone Wall is that the first in the series is a very different kettle of fish to the other Sonic games in that it's more platforming orientated than just straight up speed. For this reason I've always found this one to be more difficult than others.

I think it shows how little differences have completely changed it too, it doesn't feel right anymore playing a Sonic game that doesn't have the spin dash, probably something that made every game after seem so much faster.
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyWed 30 Jan 2013 - 9:37

Okay, so I managed to play past Marble Zone today and played some of the Spring Zone, but things aren't improving for me. I think I just really don't like Sonic. Everything feels wrong to me - the way you slow to a standstill whenever you're hit, the pretty piss-poor platforming segments - the game isn't made for subtlety, it's made for going fast. I know that the slowing to a standstill thing is a way of punishing poor play, but honestly, you have to memorise these levels in order to stand a chance of not getting hit.

I understand the appeal of these games; memorising the levels in order to find the best route and achieve the fastest time, but that isn't appealing to me. I've never enjoyed trying to speedrun through things, and if you strip that element away from this Sonic game, you're left with a pretty shonky platformer, in my opinion.

I've never played the rest of the series, but I hear Sonic 2 and 3 are superior experiences. Hopefully we'll play through those at some point during our retro adventures together so I can understand what a "good Sonic game" is, because I'm not seeing it here.

I'm going to utilise that handy level-select cheat when I next play this so I can check out the other levels in the game and see if it improves at all, because right now I'm struggling to derive any real enjoyment from my time with Sonic.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyWed 30 Jan 2013 - 18:41

Harsh!

~

As an aside, I was looking on Nintendo Life to gauge the overall opinion there, because, honestly, I don't think I've seen the game criticised in the way JayMoyles has (each to their own, though!). I noticed in the comments section that I had written back on February 23rd 2009 that:

"The PAL coversion does indeed butcher this game. By taking away its defining characteristic - namely, the speed - what we've been left with is a version of Sonic The Hedgehog that it fairly sedate. The game does shine, but its a struggle".

Now, frankly, I'm bored of the shitstorm regarding the Balloon Fight conversion on Wii U VC - it makes f**k all difference to me. Yet I feel it matters greatly in the Sonic games. I'd still call it a classic, but my opinion of the game was enhanced no-end when I was able to play a 60hz version for the first time (on the GameCube). Apart from the legendarily poor GBA port, I feel the Mega Drive version is the worst version of Sonic 1, because of the relative lack of speed.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyWed 30 Jan 2013 - 18:56

Phillips wrote:
Now, frankly, I'm bored of the shitstorm regarding the Balloon Fight conversion on Wii U VC - it makes f**k all difference to me. Yet I feel it matters greatly in the Sonic games. I'd still call it a classic, but my opinion of the game was enhanced no-end when I was able to play a 60hz version for the first time (on the GameCube). Apart from the legendarily poor GBA port, I feel the Mega Drive version is the worst version of Sonic 1, because of the relative lack of speed.

Playing it at 60FPS on the emulator surprised me because I was used to a much slower version of the Special Stage music.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyThu 31 Jan 2013 - 19:58

i dont no care what you say this is the only way to Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) 20130111 but agree the fram rate is bad on it, plus i ended up playing the mega drive for a few hours though which is always good
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyThu 31 Jan 2013 - 22:05

I played the first level tonight, got 35 seconds. I really don't like how slow and clunky it feels.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyThu 31 Jan 2013 - 22:20

I did it in 29secs
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyThu 31 Jan 2013 - 22:37

You guys have fun: I'm Sonic-less unfortunately. I'll join in next time though! Bounce
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyFri 1 Feb 2013 - 10:41

andyman949 wrote:
I played the first level tonight, got 35 seconds. I really don't like how slow and clunky it feels.

That's my issue with it, to a T.

What do the Chaos Emeralds do, Sonic veterans? I've picked up a couple during playing, and one time I received a continue for my efforts but another time just the gem itself. I figure there must be some nice reward for picking them all up.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyFri 1 Feb 2013 - 13:27

JayMoyles wrote:
andyman949 wrote:
I played the first level tonight, got 35 seconds. I really don't like how slow and clunky it feels.

That's my issue with it, to a T.

What version are youse playing? Unless it's the Mega Drive version (on a PAL Mega Drive), I don't understand how you can call Sonic 1 slow or clunky. That's the last thing I'd call it.
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyFri 1 Feb 2013 - 15:19

I'm playing it on my 360, the XBLA version.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive)   Let's All Play, Round 1: Sonic the Hedgehog (MegaDrive) EmptyFri 1 Feb 2013 - 22:19

I have acquired the 360 version of MD Ultimate Collection and will start as soon as is possible :king:


Update : I did rubbish. Died on the third level. I hate the way Sonic ambles up inclines when he has no speed up, and the way he jumps diagonally backwards away from said inclines. Perhaps it's my Super Mario conditioning that makes me hate these mechanics, but while the fast is fun, the slow and careful is a pain in the balls.

I'll give it another bash later today Smile
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