Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis
Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis is a port of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game to the Game Boy Advance to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise along with Sonic '06, both of which were released on the same day.
Why It Sucks
- Like Sonic '06, this game was rushed. This time, it took only one month for them to make this port. This caused most, if not, all of the issues below.
- The game was ported using the engine, which was also used for Sonic Advance games, an engine that wasn't meant to run the Genesis Sonic games, rather than just using the game's original source code which would have been much closer to the original if it was ported properly.
- Poor frame rate and considerable lag which creates a sense of inconsistent speed, which is surprising as the Game Boy Advance is more powerful than the Sega Genesis.
- The save system does not save score or the Chaos Emeralds, unlike the later Xbox 360 port.
- A pointless level select screen, since you can only get the good ending by playing from the beginning as you need all six of the Chaos Emeralds.
- Not to mention, in the good ending, the Chaos Emeralds do absolutely nothing.
- Poorly remixed music from the original game. Star Light Zone's music track is decent, but the rest of the music tracks sound like bad MIDI music, with the wrong instruments playing, and the instruments that are playing are muffled.
- Downgraded sound effects. Obviously, since it is on the Game Boy Advance which didn't have the same sound hardware as the Sega Genesis, the sound effects sounding slightly different can be excused. What can't be excused is the fact that lots of sound effects are clones of other existing sound effects when the original game had a different sound effect. Also, the sound that occurs when Sonic inhales an air bubble is incredibly cartoonish.
- Numerous bugs and glitches that can make the game virtually unplayable or even crash. For example, Sonic can fall through the walls of the Special Stage, causing him to activate a Goal block which kicks you out of the stage without you being able to collect the Chaos Emerald in the stage, or fall out of the entire stage and continuously fall until the game crashes and starts making a horrid noise as if you've ejected the cartridge. Another glitch causes Sonic to be crushed to death when he is merely touching the corners of two separate platforms, and also the Marble Zone glitch where the graphics are glitched, no floor, and Sonic can glitch out.
- Glitchy physics that hardly match the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, despite being a port of the original game on the Sega Genesis. Downward slopes don't actually speed Sonic up when he runs down, and rounded edges somehow slow him down when he goes along them.
- All of the boss fights (including the Star Light Zone one) can be easily beaten by bouncing on them, due to the aforementioned physics.
- Sonic does not drag his feet on the ground to slow down when you stop holding the directional buttons, thus making him continue moving for tens of seconds when in the original game he would have stopped in less than a second.
- Horrible screen crunch, which comes to a horrendous conclusion at the end of Act 3 of Labyrinth Zone. In this part of the zone, you're required to go up to catch Dr. Robotnik and stay above the water. The screen crunch prevents you from seeing objects above you before you can react and avoid the object, causing cheap instances of losing rings and cheap deaths unless you can memorize the placement of the traps.
- The seesaw in Star Light Zone is broken to the point that it rarely brings you to the correct height to reach the next platform. You could spend over five minutes just trying to get past this part.
- The electric damaging poles in Scrap Brain Zone do not work at all.
- Two days after the port's release, the Sega Genesis Collection was released for the PSP with a decent version of Sonic 1, which made this port pointless.
- The spin dash feature was already added to Sonic the Hedgehog in the Sonic Jam compilation of games, and this was the only feature added for the anniversary mode.
- Awful sound looping. Once a song is finished, there's just silence for a few seconds.
- The game's graphics are almost exactly the same as the Genesis original.
- Unlike the original, there is a game save option that allows you to start only at the beginning of the Zone rather than the game, unless you got a game over in the Green Hill Zone.
- The concept is cool but was executed poorly.
Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis was poorly received by many, with a Metacritic score of 33/100; the chief complaints concerning its poor conversion to the Game Boy Advance (resulting in a slow frame rate), remixed chunky music, and poor preservation of the original gameplay. While it does have some improvements in comparison to the original, such as a save system and being able to use the spin dash, the Game Boy Advance port is still considered one of the worst Sonic games, next to the Game.com version of Sonic Jam, Sonic '06, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, and Shadow the Hedgehog.
Web reviewer, SomecallmeJohnny, considered this game as "The worst port I've ever seen in my life!"
Simon Thomley (also known as Stealth), the same person behind the "Knuckles in Sonic 1" ROM Hack and founder of Headcannon (one of the co-developers of Sonic Mania, along with Christian Whitehead and PagodaWest Games), made a much superior proof-of-concept GBA port of the game, showing just how much Sega dropped the ball.