Sonic The Hedgehog vs. Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Now that both classic Genesis titles are on the Xbox Live marketplace, we decided to review both of them. Of course, any Sega Genesis fan should download both of them for nostalgia purposes. At $5 a piece, they aren’t a bad deal considering the other options on XBLA.
Sonic The Hedgehog
This is the title that put Sega completely on the map and even threw Mario off the top of the mountain for a little while. Sonic is still alive and kicking, but showing signs that he could potentially fade into obscurity the next couple of years.
The original Sonic game was revolutionary at the time and still a blast to play. It’s a fairly easy game to beat. With a little bit of practice, most gamers should be able to beat the game in about 40 minutes. The game you get on the arcade is identical to the original, minus the cheat code that allowed you to skip to any level and a few minor issues. However, the ability to save your game at any point is a true bonus.
It had been so long since I played the original title on the Genesis, I had nearly forgotten the speed of the original. For whatever reason, the XBLA version of the title seems a little slower. I dusted off the old Genesis and did a little side by side comparison. My assumptions were correct. Sonic runs much faster on the Genesis than he does on the Xbox 360. It makes absolutely no common sense that this is the case, but that’s what it is. They obviously did not get the frame rate down properly, and that could definitely take away from the title. It took me a while to get used to the arcade version, because the timing I had memorized many moons ago for Sonic were now off.
Despite the problems, it’s still a worthy game to purchase considering the other options available.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
For many years, I have always been torn between which one I liked the best. Sonic The Hedgehog seems a little more challenging in certain spots, but both games are fairly easy to beat. The original Sonic had a better ring stage in my opinion. The Sonic 2 stage seemed cool at the time of it’s release, but has really lost any uniqueness over the years. Sonic 2 obviously has more extensive enemies and more things to do. The multiplayer option with Sonic 2 is not really an issue with me, considering I thought the ability to play 2 players at the same time was a little sloppy in the game. It’s more distracting than helpful to have a partner in Sonic 2.
They did a better job getting the frame rates down in this version than they did with the original. Sonic moves as fast as I remember and the addition of the spin dash helps considerably. The Sonic series over the years has been known for always adding new things, but perhaps they have gone too far from the simplicity that we all loved back in the Genesis era.
If I had to choose between downloading Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 on the Xbox Live Arcade, I would probably go with Sonic 2 simply due to the frame rate issues. Sonic 2 plays exactly like the original we all loved. If you are a Sonic 1 fan and absolutely have to get it for your Xbox pleasure, it’s still not a bad deal. Both games are enjoyable and bring back some great memories from an exciting era in gaming.