Xbox Live Arcade is a great service that tends to dip a little too far back for its titles a fair bit. Publishers have only barely dipped their feet into the most recent gaming golden age - the 16-bit era. One of the greatest console battles in history produced some of the best, most inspired games on any console. And now one of the two figureheads of that battle has finally arrived on Live.
Sonic the Hedgehog probably isn't as fast as most of us remember. Back in '91 this was state of the art platforming, and single-handedly seduced thousands of gamers to try out Sega's Genesis console. And even though it's a bit rough around the edges, Sonic has aged quite well.
Chances are this isn't the first time you've played Sonic the Hedgehog on a contemporary system. But it is one of the best-emulated versions thus far of a game that's notoriously difficult to emulate properly. There are a few sound issues here and there, but that's about it. And at approximately 5 bucks, most people probably won't think twice about buying this game yet again.
As for updating the game at all, developer Backbone Entertainment has done nothing to this classic aside from offering a "smoothing" option that honestly doesn't make the game look any better. Along with that, you get the standard 200 achievement points to unlock. Oh, and the option to save anywhere during the game.
If there's a negative side to Sonic the Hedgehog, it's that console gaming has come so far in the ensuing 16 years since its release. Sonic can be completed in under an hour and doesn't have a whole lot of replay value (there's a bit of exploration to be done, but that's about it). So it's hard to call this a must-play game nowadays. Well, except for the aforementioned price, which makes this the ultimate impulse buy.
Sega chose the only game it really could to launch its "Sega Vintage" label on Xbox Live Arcade. Sonic has defined the company for so long - for better or for worse. Drop the 400 points and see where Sonic came from…back when he starred in good games.