Video Let's Review Sonic 1 (Master System Version)

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Sep 29, 2018


Let's Review Sonic 1 (Master System Version)
Let's Review Sonic 1 (Master System Version) thumb Let's Review Sonic 1 (Master System Version) thumb Let's Review Sonic 1 (Master System Version) thumb


  • Ever since gaining the Framemeister,
  • I've been playing the Mega Drive on my TV a lot more
  • and it really gives it a super clear image with its integer scaling.
  • Adding scanlines and other retro looks,
  • nostalgia started to hit me pretty hard and I began to reminisce my childhood.
  • It was then when I remembered the good ol’ days of the Master System.
  • I never owned one but an old friend of mine did as well as my cousin.
  • I recall hours and hours of playing Sonic and other titles on their consoles.
  • In fact, they’re the reason why I got into the blue blur.
  • Feeling a bit emotional, I took a quick gander on eBay
  • to see how much the vintage machine was going for these days.
  • £30 plus isn't bad.
  • Or £50 for a modded version so it would run in 60Hz,
  • seeming as I'm in the PAL region.
  • I took the plunge and bought it, as well as other miscellaneous games separately for a decent price.
  • I obviously had to get as many Sonic games as I could for this console,
  • as long as they didn’t cost an arm and a leg!
  • Ha, yeah, like I have that in my back pocket!
  • Within a few days of ordering, the games arrived first,
  • with a week later, the Master System.
  • Which came with Sonic 2....
  • Looks like I'll be doing a giveaway in the near future!
  • But I digress, I plugged it all in and after a lot of technical snaff,
  • I was recapturing my youth.
  • And "shock-horror",
  • I started with Sonic 1 and Sonic 2.
  • These were the two I have most recollection with, but was it at all as I remembered?
  • Was it worth the money I paid for?
  • Well seeming as I have the tools to record real hardware,
  • despite the jailbars, that’s just part of the Master System’s charm
  • irritatingly delivers, you’re going to have to ignore that,
  • let's take a look together starting with Sonic 1 for the Master System, a mini review!
  • Seeming as this is just a small appraisal,
  • I'm not going to analyse the progressive lead up on how the game came to be,
  • but I do want to get one little thing off my chest.
  • Sonic 1 for the Master System did NOT see a release before its superior on the Mega Drive (or Genesis).
  • The 16-bit variant was first into the wild on the 23rd of June 1991,
  • with our 8-bit friend not appearing until the 25th of October in the same year.
  • And before you jump out and ask, the Game Gear handheld equivalent was even later in mid-December,
  • but we don't care about that with its screen crunch and uglier sprites
  • (gracious, they're awful).
  • However, we can all agree that this is Sonic's first main starting point
  • for this generation of consoles and 'they' did a great job.
  • They, as in the developers of this game, Ancient Corp.
  • You see, back in those days,
  • Sonic Team had their heads screwed on and knew they couldn't split their team to work on separate projects.
  • So, they got another company to work on the Master System port.
  • And there was me saying I wasn't going to examine the back story.
  • Let’s crack on and actually talk about this magnificent game.
  • Yeah, it pales in comparison to the Mega Drive counterpart,
  • but the speed and excitement still exists within.
  • I mean, the very first act of the very first level,
  • you can break the boundary of the camera like nobody's business.
  • Quite often I went a tad too fast, even making the game skip a cut scene.
  • And woah, I’m diving into this retrospective too fast;
  • let’s take a chill pill and start from the beginning.
  • The controls are pretty simple.
  • Have a wild guess what the D-Pad does.
  • And both 1 and 2 makes Sonic jump.
  • While running, tapping ‘down’ on the control pad will force Sonic into a roll
  • or while static, you can see what’s below you
  • or even up above by holding the ‘up’ button instead.
  • Thus, in essence, the exact same controls as the 16-bit edition.
  • Not too complicated then with the dynamics being relatively easy to master.
  • It’s just the inconsistent frame rate you have to fight against way too much
  • and that’s when you may start to struggle because this game is full to the brim of sluggishness.
  • And avoiding obstacles and traps becomes harder than it actually should be.
  • Even without the game dragging, a new mechanic I could not get to grips with
  • is your incompetence to collect fallen rings or shall I say, ring.
  • I know with Sonic games it truly doesn’t matter how many rings you currently hold
  • but every little helps when it came to recollecting your scattered rings
  • but in this lesser version, you’re out of luck
  • and you have to find fresh rings elsewhere.
  • At least you get to keep your shield between zones so that’s pretty awesome.
  • Sonic looks spectacular in this game.
  • He has the right amount of colour to him, he’s at the perfect size,
  • and the hedgehog always stood out no matter what scenario he was in.
  • No criticism from me here.
  • As long as you're using an RGB Scart and not the horrible standard RF cable,
  • the colours to this game really do pop out; especially in Jungle Zone.
  • A lot of the stages look exquisite and with a fair amount of detail;
  • I'm quite impressed with the standard they came up with for an 8-bit classic.
  • There wasn't really any presentation that disappointed me,
  • bar the title screen when you boot up the game.
  • I mean really, they couldn't even add a background of some sort?
  • Talk about an awkward first impression.
  • Having said that, the emblem here is pretty decent looking with a great beholding palette.
  • I assume with all the colours that were involved here, a background image wasn’t possible, so...
  • Okay, I retract my complaint.
  • There are 6 zones to this game each containing 3 acts; the latter being a boss encounter.
  • Starting each act, you're presented a map to demonstrate how far you've proceeded,
  • with the name of the level in a tidy little box.
  • It's a neat addition, although I wish there was more use for it.
  • Like, imagine pausing the game to re-display the map to see how far you've advanced within the act;
  • just like you could with Alex Kidd.
  • I know, I know, each act being super short,
  • the map idea is a bit pointless but it would have been cool none-the-less.
  • I can live with the game freezing on the spot except for certain objects for some bizarre reason.
  • A lot of assets are borrowed from its bigger brother like the majority of the badniks,
  • the level name and art design.
  • Yet there is some originality to this platformer.
  • We have a good amount of exclusive levels,
  • some interesting yet annoying level gimmicks with the auto-scroller in Bridge Zone;
  • God forbid we go fast in a Sonic game!
  • And the screen boundary lock in Jungle Zone 2 which will be the death of me!
  • Another splendid trick reserved for the Master System port is the bonus prizes dished out
  • by the ending sign post.
  • I still haven't for the love of Jiminy Cricket figured out how this works
  • but all I know is that a certain ring requirement is needed for a particular gift.
  • And that 50 rings or more are needed to be sent to the bonus stage;
  • which is just Sonic bouncing around obtaining an extra life or continue
  • and also regretting every waking moment of entering the bleedin’ place.
  • But do you know what the real kick in the teeth is?
  • If you manage to obtain 100 rings or more within the zone,
  • you're granted an extra life right there and then which is nice and all,
  • but you do not get sent to the bonus stage when passing the goal post.
  • You technically need between 50 and 99 rings for that honour.
  • Theoretically, if you collected 108 rings, the game will say you only have 8!
  • The bonus stage isn't really essential to anything anyway
  • therefore it's not a massive deal.
  • So, what, no Chaos emeralds then?
  • Oh, there are Chaos Emeralds!
  • Just like the original Sonic 1, 6 of them exist.
  • However instead of the means of special stages,
  • the stones are sprinkled around the island with one Emerald per zone.
  • You do not need any ring requirements or keys to pick them up;
  • just simply run into the colourful gem, and be on your merry way.
  • Some emeralds require a bit of exploring
  • whereas some of them are just in plain sight and it's impossible to miss.
  • Oh look, I'll be taking that!
  • Initially, finding all of these can be perplexing, but when you’ve done it once,
  • the game becomes really easy to 100% next time around and forever over.
  • And here's some good news, if you collect a chaos emerald and you die before finishing the act,
  • you don't lose the emerald.
  • No automatic refunding here!
  • Once it's yours, it's yours.
  • Still, there's no incentive to get all the emeralds really.
  • An extra few seconds are taxed onto the ending cut scene
  • with the emeralds removes the darkness casted by the evil genius,
  • but that's about it.
  • Let's talk about that moustached villain for a moment, shall we?
  • …Wow, that was easy.
  • Surely, I'm going to breeze through this ga...
  • Ah, nuts.
  • Oh, come on!
  • What, really?!
  • The bosses bar the very first conflict can be quite challenging.
  • The main reason being is the absence of rings.
  • Make a small mistake and that will cost you a life.
  • It may take a few lives to figure out the pattern of these clashes but after that,
  • the bosses become easy to defeat,
  • except for the Jungle boss because the exploding rolling bombs seems to be totally random when they explode!
  • Blimey, Jungle Zone is probably the hardest level of the lot with its boss
  • and its huge-gapped platforms
  • and its rising screen of death.
  • It’s just lucky that the stage looks sophisticated
  • and plays cheerful music to keep up my spirits.
  • The majority of the melodies are enjoyable to my ears
  • and I find myself actually going to have a quick listen to the soundtrack on YouTube
  • if I'm ever in the mood.
  • Sonic 1 for the Master System contains some interesting compositions
  • with Sky Base being my favourite.
  • To me, it sounds like it could have been an invincibility theme for Eggman;
  • especially as the zone itself contains no rings.
  • I have to say, for Sonic’s first entrance to the third generation of video game consoles,
  • they did a remarkable job and had all their priorities in the right places.
  • With the visuals, the tunes and the controls all being near-spot-on,
  • I can forgive the little annoyances such as the slow-downs
  • and how the scattered ring scheme was implemented.
  • This game could have included more in terms of level design and features,
  • I mean, there’s not even a single loop in this game,
  • but maybe that’s what Sonic 2 was left to pick up?
  • We’ll find out in my next mini review to arrive soon.
  • But I would most certainly recommend giving Sonic 1 for the Master System a go;
  • especially for any newcomers to the franchise of the SEGA mascot.
  • Thank you so much for watching!
  • And if you want to see the Sonic 2 mini review sooner rather than later,
  • make sure to hit that like button.
  • And to subscribe to be notified of future content.
  • As always, thanks to my sponsors!
  • They get early access to all my videos as well as other priorities and goodies.
  • More information on becoming a sponsor yourself can be found in the description.
  • Until next time, you guys have a wonderful day.
  • Too-da-loo!

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We all love the 16-bit editions of the game, but how does the Master System edition compare? Well, with my recent purchases of the retro console and the Sonic games to accompany it, I decided to make a mini review of Sonic 1! And to be fair, it has a lot of upsides!

Sonic 2 Master System Review is now available: /watch?v=0gTtqHJN7qo

Sonic Chaos Review feat. A+Start: /watch?v=it0pD-Am2Ic

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