The fact that this game exists is just crazy to me. Not that they made an arcade version of Sonic, that’s not that strange. But that a Sonic game was made by Sega and received huge hype from critics after being demoed for western audiences that was then never released in the US and has never been released in any form since.
I’m just not even sure what to say beyond that. Here’s the transcript. Enjoy!
4/7 – SegaSonic the Hedgehog
Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.
Today’s game will be the first in our show to actually be in response to our previous game. There were many questions about a statement in yesterday’s episode so today, let’s talk about Sonic the Hedgehog’s first arcade entry, SegaSonic the Hedgehog. For those listening who may want to research further after the episode, SegaSonic is written as one word.
At first glance, SegaSonic the Hedgehog resembles Sonic 3D Blast, in that both use an isometric camera view, but plays similarly to Marble Madness. Players can play as Sonic the Hedgehog, Mighty the Armadillo or Ray the Flying Squirrel. The game can have three players play cooperatively to get through levels.
As it was not bound to the limitations of the console controllers, developers opted to give players a trackball control system, allowing players control of direction and momentum, as well as a single button used to jump. Unlike other entries in the Sonic franchise, each player has a health bar which depletes as the character runs into obstacles or falls into traps. Collecting rings increases the health bar. The game has seven levels with players fighting Eggman at the end.
SegaSonic the Hedgehog was developed by Sega AM3, an internal team dedicated to arcade games who would go on to create the Jurassic Park rail shooters, Crazy Taxi and Virtual On. SegaSonic the Hedgehog was also the first game to feature voice acting for all characters, including Sonic and Eggman.
SegaSonic the Hedgehog received extremely positive reviews when demoed at trade shows in 1993. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a perfect score of 10/10 saying that it “shatters your perception of what a good game should be”. Other outlets also praised the game saying the music and graphics were incredible. Despite the high reviews and expectations from western outlets, SegaSonic the Hedgehog was never localized anywhere outside of Japan and has never been re-released in any form. While ports were planned for the 32X and Sonic Gems Collection, problems with the trackball controller have prevented them from ever being released. The characters would be rarely used with Mighty the Armadillo only showing up in Knuckles Chaotix and Ray only appearing again in the comics. Sonic Mania Plus, the expanded edition of Sonic Mania, features both Mighty and Ray as playable characters for the first time since SegaSonic the Hedgehog’s release.
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