Rescue Rings - Sonic the Hedgehog (Video Games, February 1991)

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Video Games (DE) #2/91
"Rescue Rings - Sonic the Hedgehog"
A two page review of Sonic the Hedgehog in the February 1991 issue of the German magazine Video Games. It has a lot of sweet pictures of a prototype version of Sonic the Hedgehog. They wind up giving the game a 80% for graphics, 72% for music, 70% for sound effects, and 79% for gameplay.

Amusingly, they list Virgin as a developer of the game. It may have meant that they were meant to be a distributor of the game in Germany or was simply a mistake.


(Translation provided by Oerg866, the original translation can be found
Sonic Retro



Main Section

A myth says that anyone that says "Mario" in front a Sega executive must play "Altered Beast" on the Master System for 3 hours. As unusual as this might look to outsiders it's more understandable for game-insiders. If their big rival Nintendo presents a new "Super Mario"-adventure, most gamers flip out.

Over the passing of time, Sega tried many things to compete with their rival. Their biggest glimpse of victory was "Alex Kidd". He had a great debut with "Alex Kidd In Miracle World". But now with Part 2 and 4 available on the Master System, Sega had to bust this dream (that Alex Kid could be a mascot to rival Mario). "Wonderboy", with some Arcade-experience, wasn't able to defeat King-Mario. So Sega now tries again a-new to create a cult-character (mascot), that's always going to be connected to Sega. This long awaited "creature" is called "Sonic the Hedgehog".

The game belongs in the genre 'ability' (Warning: I don't know the English genre for "Geschicklichkeit"... sorry, i just looked it up on Sonic is a small and fast guy, whose home is in many colorful worlds. His talents basically are limited to these two things: He runs as fast as the wind and he jumps from platform to platform. While he is in the air, something unusual happens. He doesn't jump like a normal boy, but instead he does somersaults all the time. While Sonic is jumping forward like a little ball, no enemy can hurt him. If Sonic hurts an enemy while jumping, it dies or is at least damaged badly.

But Sonic isn't controlled as easy as it might just sound. As fast as this little boy is, it takes a long time to get very fast. It takes some distance to walk before Sonic reaches his maximum speed. The jumping ability is controlled by the speed, too. If Sonic is walking slowly, then you can't expect very large jumps. If he runs fast, he can even jump over the biggest holes in the ground.

The programmers didn't give him only a huge jumping ability, but also 6 different levels. These are labeled with an explaining name and divided in several acts. Like this Sonic rushes through, for example, the "Sparkling Zone" (full of neon colored lights), the "Green Hill Zone" (Green nature at it's best) and the "Labyrinth Zone" (Where is the exit here?). At the end of each world, is an uber-boss, wich can be destroyed with precisely aimed summersaults.

The game-area scrolls with you in all directions. There are multiple ways to finish an act. Even in the spirit of adventure, you shouldn't forget one important thing. The more rings you collect, the bigger the chance of survival. Rings lay all around in the stage or are in hidden areas. If Sonic gets hit by an enemy, he loses most of his rings. But that is not as bad as if you get hit without any rings. In this case, you lose a life. Sometimes Sonic encounters computer terminals (Item Monitors). These sometimes contain ten rings, but sometimes also contain important extras. Depending on the symbol that Sonic collects, he either gets a shield for a short time or he gets really really fast. In the middle of the levels sometimes springs appear, that get Sonic in a higher area of the act. Watch where you're going.

Sometimes, the ground breaks off or fire goes on it.

Second Section (Result)

Segas dream may come true. Sonics star-adventure is not really perfect, but it's a great debut. Technical and flawlessly designed, Sonic rushes through a scrolling and colorful world. The artists used so many colors that the eyes almost launch out of our head because of them. In the gameplay, there should be more varietly. The extras don't bring much surprise often. The jumping-abilities are fun, but at least if you arrive at world 3 you wish for something new. If Sega uses more ideas, then Sonic has potential to defeat Mario.

Anybody who has a Mega Drive and likes simple and ability-games (Again not sure if right translation) with some adventure-flavor, should buy this game. Sonic the Hedgehog is a good Jump'n Run, this is good, although it still has its difficulties. -MARTIN GAKSCH

Third Section (Result)

The Result in advance: With Sonic The Hedgehog, a rival is growing for Mickey Mouse. The graphics are similar to "Castle of Illusion". The Sega-Developers either were the same here or were extremely inspired from the Mouse-adventure. As good as the visual presentation is, the gameplay is that of a excessive jump-adventure. A title like Sonic the Hedgehog is only possible on a 16-Bit-console, because if you are running with the High-speed-hedgehog, you will be happy to have a Mega Drive in front of you. No lag, no flicker. The only thing I have to criticize is the atmosphere. Even though there are many colours, details and visual differences, you don't have the the feeling to change the area with changing the world. All the levels are similar in gameplay - but I have to wait, I didn't complete the game yet. -WINNIE FORSTER.

Review Box

Sonic The hedgehog


Gametype: *SYMBOLS*

Developers: Sega/Virgin
Beta-version from: Sega/Virgin

Number of players: 1
Features: Continue

Good for: Beginners, advanced and professional players.
Price: about 120 German DM (about $88.10)

80% Graphics

72% Music

70% Sound Effects

79% Gameplay

Screenshot Captions

  • Level-select picture: With a secret menu you can select all the levels.
  • Marble Zone picture: When Sonic does somersaults, enemies can't hurt him.
  • Spring Yard Zone picture: Sonic even can walk up steep walls.
  • Clock Work Zone picture: Each world has new graphics and different enemies.
  • Huge Green Hill Zone picture: Those who need extras should go after those Computer-terminals.
  • Labyrinth Zone picture: In each act there are lots of secret paths.
  • Little Green Hill Zone picture: Thanks the the springs, Sonic can jump very high.
  • Marble Zone Picture with UFOs: If Sonic has rings with him, he does not get hurt so much by getting hit by an enemy.