In 1991, we were introduced to a video game character that would soon rival a certain plumber, who is the mascot of another well known video game franchise. Within the last 25 years this speedy blue needle mouse has had some moments (both good and bad) that have made him one of the most iconic video game characters in the world! Just like a certain red capped hero, there isn’t a single soul on this planet who doesn’t know who he is. He may not be as famous as the King of Pop, but he’s definitely known as the Legend of Speed.
Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most iconic video game franchises in the world; rivaling that of Nintendo’s flagship character, Mario. Contrary to popular belief both Sega and Nintendo were trying to out-due one another with each other’s franchise character. If you’ve gotten the chance to play games from both franchises then you’ll notice some slight similarities between the two (i.e. Bowser and Dr. Eggman, as both of them can’t stand Mario and Sonic).
Now back to the blue blur; if you’re a 90’s kid who used to own a 16-Bit Sega Genesis (or still do), then you probably couldn’t wait to get your hands on this old school classic. Sonic the Hedgehog, or Sonic 1 as fans would call it, was the beginning of something revolutionary. In fact it’s even noted that the game’s concept was inspired by the Super Mario franchise, which may explain why there’s so many similarities between the two. (We know, we said that twice already!)
Throughout the 90’s it was already clear that Sega had one goal in mind; to “defeat” Mario in any way possible! Enter the second and third installments of the series (with two new characters known as Tails and Knuckles) and you’ve got yourself a trilogy of high speed awesome-ness! ‘Why stop there?’ they thought as the 90’s decade was nearing its end, ‘Why not kick it up a notch and introduce Sonic’s first in-game rival?’ Now we’ve got ourselves the lock-on cartridge known as Sonic & Knuckles, where fans can play as either True Blue, or Rad Red.
Oh, and don’t forget about Sonic CD, as it has one of the coolest original soundtracks of the 90’s that you’ll ever listen to!
The 2000’s was going to be a time where Nintendo was going to set the bar a little higher. So what did Sega do? They stepped their game up in terms of keeping up with the red capped plumber, by doing some 3D shifting and re-branding of the World’s Fastest Hedgehog. Around 1998 came Sonic’s first real world adventure known as Sonic Adventure, where fans were able to play six different characters; Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Big, and E-102 Gamma. Their mission was to stop Dr. Eggman from collecting the chaos emeralds and releasing an ancient evil known as Chaos, the God of Destruction! (Other than Lord Beerus, that is. *laughing nervously*)
Now we shift our way to Sonic Adventure 2, where a new hedgehog comes into play known as Shadow, the ultimate lifeform. From that moment on we were going to see a greater rivalry (even greater than Sonic and Knuckles) come about between these two hedgehog’s, even though Shadow can activate the Chaos Control with just one emerald.
The mid 2000’s was also great for Sonic throughout the handheld years, although the 90’s is originally where his handheld gaming debut started. The blue wonder made his way back to 2D with the Sonic Advance series for GameBoy Advance and GameBoy Advance SP. Then came Sonic Heroes and Sonic Battle around 2003 and 2004, followed by Shadow the Hedgehog in 2005. 2005 through 2010 were some rough years for the Blue Blur, as three-star games weren’t exactly cutting it for the legacy of the franchise. Sega knew they had to do something, and they had to do something fast!
Now we find ourselves in Fall 2017, as a new era known as the Sonic Renaissance began! This newfound period began with the first Sonic game for the Nintendo Switch known as Sonic Mania! It follows a little after the events of Sonic and Knuckles and features the return of classic 16-Bit Sonic, only sleeker and with an FPS of 60. Also coming later on in the fall is Sonic Forces, which plays like Sonic Generations if any of you gotten the chance to play it yet. To most of us it seemed like Sega was trying to save their beloved mascot any way they could, but we do believe that they’ve got it right this time. As for the future of the World’s Fastest Hedgehog, we can only hope that Sega continues to be one step ahead of Nintendo. A dream that we, the fans, can only hope for.