SegaSonic the Hedgehog
|SegaSonic the Hedgehog|
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Arcade system||Sega System 32|
SegaSonic the Hedgehog[a] is an isometric platform game developed and published by Sega. An arcade spin-off from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, it follows Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel, who must escape an island after they are kidnapped by series antagonist Doctor Eggman. The gameplay centers around escaping the island in the fastest time possible, with players using a trackball to move the characters.
SegaSonic the Hedgehog was developed by Sega's arcade division, Sega AM3, and released exclusively in Japanese arcades in 1993. It received positive reviews from Electronic Gaming Monthly and Computer and Video Games, who praised its graphics and gameplay. However, the game has never been re-released; a port to Sega's 32X platform never materialized, and the game was cut from Sonic compilation release Sonic Gems Collection (2005) due to problems with replicating the game's trackball control system on a standard controller. Mighty and Ray have reappeared sparingly in the Sonic franchise.
SegaSonic the Hedgehog is a platformer action game that has been likened in gameplay to Marble Madness. Players control three characters: Sonic the Hedgehog, Mighty the Armadillo, and Ray the Flying Squirrel, who can be controlled by a single player or simultaneously with two others. The story follows the three characters after series antagonist Doctor Eggman traps them on his island. They team up to escape, and must dodge various hazards and dangers to reach Eggman in his base, the Eggman Tower.
The game takes place over several levels, which must be completed in the fastest time possible. Players use a trackball to control a characters' speed and direction from an isometric perspective, and a button to make a character jump into a Spin Attack. Each character has a health bar, which is depleted when the player falls into traps; players lose a life if the bar empties. Health can be recovered by collecting rings that are littered around the course or hidden inside obstacles or enemies. Players receive bonus rings for use in later levels they collect over a certain percentage of rings within a level. Upon reaching Eggman at the end of the game, he pushes a button that causes the island to self-destruct. The three heroes manage to escape unharmed, while Eggman is left stranded at sea.
Development and release
Development of SegaSonic the Hedgehog began after Sega expressed a desire to create an arcade game that recaptured the spirit of the Sega Genesis games. The game is one of four spin-offs in the Sonic the Hedgehog series to feature the SegaSonic name.[b] It was developed by Sega AM3, an internal Sega division that created games for arcade cabinets, with assistance from Sonic Team. The game uses a Sega System 32 motherboard, which enables the multiplayer option, and a unique graphics system. It also features two new characters, Ray the Flying Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo; Mighty was based on an early prototype of Sonic. The game also features voice acting, with Takeshi Kusao, Hinako Kanamaru, Yusuke Numata, and Masaharu Satō voicing Sonic, Ray, Mighty, and Eggman, respectively.
SegaSonic was featured at the Summer International Consumer Electronics Show 1993 and the Amusement Machine Show 1993. It was released in Japanese arcades in October that year. A port for the 32X was canceled. According to series co-creator Yuji Naka, it was also considered for inclusion in the 2005 rarities compilation Sonic Gems Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2, but was excluded due to difficulties with emulating the trackball controls on a standard controller.
Reception and legacy
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave SegaSonic the Hedgehog a perfect score of 10 out of 10. The magazine stated that the game "shatters your perception of what a good game should be", reserving high praise for its graphics and music, and the variety of levels. It also praised the "hilarious" character animations and cinematics, and encouraged readers to play the game. Computer and Video Games offered similar praise and praised the game's attention to detail, "highly recommending" it. The French magazine Mega Force compared the game's isometric graphics to Sega's Zaxxon (1982) and SNK's Viewpoint (1992).
Mighty appeared as a playable character in the 32X game Knuckles' Chaotix (1995). Ray has never appeared in another game, but he and Mighty were featured in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series published by Archie Comics. Ray became a member of the Chaotix along with Mighty, who is depicted in the series as his honorary brother. SegaSonic is also referenced in the anniversary game Sonic Generations (2011), where a "missing persons" poster of Ray and Mighty appears in City Escape.
- "Sonic the Hedgehog (tentative title)" (PDF). Electronic Gaming Monthly. Vol. 6 no. 8. August 1993. p. 60,62. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
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The game play is somewhat similar to Marble Madness.
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Yuji Naka: It was done by part of the Sega arcade division at the time. We did think about adding it to Gems Collection, though, but we couldn't implement it in the end because the game used a trackball control scheme that is very, very difficult to replicate with a standard controller.
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- "Multimedia" (PDF). Mean Machines Sega. No. 24. October 1994. p. 20. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
- "The Sega Village: Sonic" (PDF). Mega Force (in French). No. 19. p. 29. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
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- Ponce, Tony. "Sonic Universe says, 'Make way for the Chaotix, son!'". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming. Archived from the original on 15 April 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
- Sonic Team. Sonic Generations. Sega. Level/area: City Escape (Act 1).
MISSING since 1993. Ray the Flying Squirrel & Mighty the Armadillo. Have you seen them?
- SegaSonic the Hedgehog on Sonic Retro