Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis (GBA)

Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis (GBA)

This arrived in the post today, along with some other stuff, from Play Asia. And, since ugvm Retro Week has been extended into this week, it was ideal for playing!

Or so I thought. It turns out that in the process of simply porting the original Megadrive Sonic game to the GBA, Sega couldn’t help but rape my childhood memories by making it worse than those shoddy “fan-made” Flash-based Sonic games. It has more issues than a journal library. Par example:

1) You only get to see around 60% of the screen. The edges have been trimmed to fit the GBA. Not a huge issue if you know the layout of the levels off by heart (like me), but it means far too many leaps-of-faith and running-off-the-edge-of-things otherwise.

2) Horrific slowdown. Even when the screen isn’t busy, the game will slow down for seemingly no reason.

3) Inconsistent scroll speeds. Scrolling up and down is twice as quick as left and right. Or perhaps it’s just Sonic moves twice as quick when jumping? Either way, he doesn’t control like Sonic any more.

4) Things don’t draw in. You know the edges of the platforms in Green Hill that crumble when you stand on them? Sometimes they’re not there. But you can stand on them, and they crumble under you, but you can only see them as they crumble. The swinging platform on Green Hill Act 2 vanished while I was standing on it too.

5) Things simply aren’t there. You know the baddie in the air when you fly up into all those rings after the tunnel bit on Green Hill Act 1? The one you generally rebound off and aim back left to get more of the rings? Gone. Not just “not drawn in” – he’s gone.

6) The sound effects are broken. Some of them simply aren’t there. Others sound out of tune. Some sound completely wrong.

7) The music is awful. It’s like some 12 year old has “rerecorded” the original tracks using a dodgy midi sequencer.

8) The special stages are impossible. They run three times faster than the rest of the game. And no, it isn’t just 50 vs 60Hz issues – they’re WAY faster. And there’s the smaller viewport to contend with too.

Basically: Fuck off, Sega.

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