(SMS / Master System)

Sonic the Hedgehog (SMS / Master System)

Game Profile

Based on the original Sega Mega Drive / Genesis version, Sonic The Hedgehog was re-created as the first Sonic game for the Sega Master System. Not just a straight port, this version includes new stages, bosses, some different zones and a level map.

The most noticeable difference, however, is that the Chaos Emeralds have to be found within certain stages other than the Special Stages. Dash through six Zones (including special zones that were only available for the Sega Master System version) and face Dr. Eggman (a.k.a. Dr. Robotnik) at the end of every Zone.

Game Review


USA USA Version

Posted by Darren Calvert

Sonic's back in 8-bit style.

Following the undoubted success of Sonic The Hedgehog on the Mega Drive it seems only fitting that a version of the game was created for the Sega’s 8-bit wonder, the Master System which still had strong support in Europe at the time. This game was also...

Game Screenshots

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If you've been keeping up with the news you might remember that "Sonic the Hedgehog" was recently added to the OFLC listings a second time. We speculated that this could be the Master System version of the game, but now the ESRB has confirmed that that is indeed the case.

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Game Trailers

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User Comments (89)



Bass_X0 said:

My friend had this on his Master System as a kid and was my most played game whenever I went to his house.



Roo said:

Though I certainly wouldn't go as far as calling it "an excellent title", for 500 points you could do a lot worse. Give it a try if you want some more Sonic in your life...



Ragnor said:

You guys want to include some screenshots of the other zones to prove it's not a port to the uneducated

Because we are sure to get the "Is this a port of the original or what?" remarks, only more poorly worded

I owned this game, along with every other currently released SMS game, as a kid, and this game was brilliant. Sadly though, every game relased after this is an import for americans



Adamant said:

@megacody: It's one of the harder Sonic games out there. Just wait until the final few levels.

And honestly, the video should easily prove the fact that this is no port.



Final_Starman said:

This is exactly the same as the Game Gear one, which I can play on Sonic Adventure DX. In terms of quality, I say, "meh."



Sharecrow said:

The graphics look pretty good for being on an 8-bit console. Yeah, I'm definitely going to have to get my hands on this whenever it comes out. Good times.



Ricardo91 said:

This doesn't look too bad. I'll drop 500 points on it. Though those bonus stages look LAME

@Ragnor. I asked a question like that in the very first Sonic SMS-related article and got my answer, so you're spared. And it was also quite well-worded.



y0ss4ri4n said:

I loved this game, the GG version was uglier and slower in comparison. The penultimate stage is evil if you don't use the shortcut.



Aloth said:

Good memories!!! I´ll buy this one. There were some SMS games that were not just a simple version of the Genesis games. In Brazil the SMS was a huge success like the PS2, we had even translated games and "transformed" ones (this is really really uncommon, except in the PC). Does anyone remember castle of illusion???



gamerwizz said:

cant wait for this it was one of my favourite games on master system
@aloalonso I also remember castle of illusion it was a great platformer I still own the cartridge



Kevin said:

Apparently we're getting this today instead of mega man. Stupid nintendo.



mamac said:

megacody u think this is too easy and u havent even played it? i can guarantee it isnt easy and that u will never complete it!!!!!



DJ_Philanegro said:

Looks like I've missed out on a lot of good Master System games. Definitely going to pick this one up.



ToyStoreHero said:

Im confused, I always thought sonic for genisis was the first sonic, is this the first sonic, or did this com eout after the genisis version, well no matter what its a sonic sidescroller i missed as a kid, so im buying it.



Kelvin said:

I found this one more difficult than the MD version. Great game this, although the sequel is a touch better (and more difficult again!), and the music is particularly good, especially for the MS, which often didn't do well in this regard. A definite classic.

Oh, and can we confirm that it is indeed the MS version, and not the GG one?



Dazza said:

It is indeed the Master System version... why would you doubt?



RoninDennis said:

I remember that a lot of the music was quite melancholy, especially level 2. So that was appropriate for the last game on the SMS. Played it a lot, though.



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

This is better than Alex Kid.This is better than the MD version. I´ve said it before, Sonic the Hedgehog is the best plattformer for Master System. The game, though not as advanced as its 16-bit counterpart, has much better designed levels. It´s not as hard as the MD version, but that´s becuse it´s not full of unfair elements. Music´s unique and good too. I highly recommend it to platform fans.



Roo said:

I went back to this last night. It's actually held up quite well - a pleasant surprise to say the least.

Certainly better than Alex Kidd and Adventure Island, yet I find it lacks the really clever bits of games like Super Mario Bros. 3 and even Bonk. Accept it as a straight-forward platformer with none of the pizazz of it's Mega Drive counterpart, and you'll enjoy it.



DarkAkatosh said:

I've got the GameGear version on SMC+ for the PS2 (which is the game game) and I think it's awesome. The special stages and method of finding Chaos Emeralds are unique to the series, and hella fun. A hidden gem on the VC, for those that have some extra points lying about. Can't go wrong here.



Beau_Skunk said:

As an American kid, I never knew the 8-bit Sega Master System existed for a long time, (it was cancelled quicklly here) so I never knew about this title. (I stuck with the NES.)
I do have the GameGear version in Sonic Adventure DX, I hear it's the same exept a few minor differences. (Smaller screen, some graphic differences, & such.)
It's easilly one of Sonic's best 8-bit games. I even prefer it over Sonic Chaos, and Triple Trouble personally. Sonic also feels quicker, and easier to control in it. (Regardless of not having the spindash like in the Genesis/Megadrive version.)
And at 5 bucks I'll definatelly be getting this game so I can finally expirience the Master System version. It's a good buy, I say.



Beau_Skunk said:

In anwer to Demon212's question :
I take it you meen the "Spindash" move. (Hold down while tapping the button to rev Sonic up.) Personally, the lack of it doesn't really affect the game much to me, (and I personally don't think it does the Megadrive/Genesis version of Sonic 1 either.) the game doesn't have many uphill moments, or anything that would require the spindash.



Kelvin said:

Dazza, I doubted it just slightly because the original announcement was that we'd see GG games under the MS banner too, so I was just checking.

Bass, thanks for the confirmation. I knew about the differences between the two versions, I was just expecting Nintendo to cock up somehow and release the GG version. I'm looking forward to the UK release of this one!



Mipsymoodle said:

i dont know why but i actually like this version better than the genesis version
i like the fact that u have to collect the chaos emeralds on the course



Hristof said:

How does this hold up to the GameGear version? I had this on the GameGear way back, but never played a Master System. (Is that a bad thing?)




I still have my game gear sonic but the sega master system sonic was done very well for it's time and was the last game released for the american sega master system. Alot of 16 bit classics made it on master system in 8-bit throughout different regions including the us like,ninja gaiden,ghouls and ghosts etc,dont get me wrong but i loved the master sytem versions.Im also a very true hardcore gamer slash collector so i guess too each his own if you cannot recognize good games when you see or play them.



Adamant said:

It's a slight improvement over the GG version, mostly due to the larger screen.



Mixer152 said:

Yeah I had it on GameGear too so I'm really excited about this, never played this version before either.
Whens it coming our for EU?



LordJamak said:

So wait a minute... The Master System was available in the US and is had a nice little run, right? I remember it. Well, when the MegaDrive or Genesis hit, that was Sega's big thing (Genesis meaning origin or rebirth) and then they had Sonic. But the Master System was still around and they went and made Sonic for that? Interesting... and confusing.



Eltigro said:

IIRC, this wasn't the only game that appeared on both Master System and Genesis (Mega Drive) at about the same time. I remember seeing screenshots comparing the two different versions of Altered Beast and I think Golden Axe. But even though the Master System didn't last long here, it did in other countries. It seems like it was popular in South America well into the Nineties!

Anyway, I knew a kid who had a SMS in Junior High School. I went over to his house to play games a few times, but while I was interested in playing the SMS, he just wanted to play his NES (he had R.O.B.!) Anyway, that was the closest I came to a SMS until I became an adult and saw one in a pawn shop. (I bought some TurboGrafx games instead.) I bought my SMS on eBay about six years ago. I have Sonic 1 for my Genesis and I have the Sonic Collection for my GameCube, so I'm pretty full on Sonic games. I don't see myself getting this version for my SMS or my VC. But it might be interesting to play.



Ricardo91 said:

I'm surprised at how well this game is selling, given that it was originally on a system few people even know about. It's in the top 5 best sellers right now. Must be a lot of hardcore Sonic fans out there.



Adamant said:

Given that most recent Sonic games suck balls, Sonic fans are swooping up everything that looks even remotely good (and when it comes to Sonic, that usually involves the game being in 2D), no matter if they've heard of it before or not.



gamerz said:

Sega Master System wasn't short-lived in the U.S, having come out at roughly the same time as the NES. I consider the system to be more capable than the Nintendo, while it had considerably less blockbuster games.



AlphaNerd01 said:

Just downloaded this. I, like a lot of other people here, got to enjoy this title through the GG version. I have to agree with the four-star rating; although it's just as fun as I remember, it's slow, suffers a lot of slowdown (especially during The Bridge stages), and just doesn't have the same charm as the Genesis Sonic titles.

That said, if you're a Sonic fan, definitely give this a download. It's a lot of fun regardless of its shortcomings. I'm happy to see that it's been selling so well.



Ricardo91 said:

@Adamant. Good point. And I don't think Sonic and the Black Knight is going to help this trend. I do have an ounce of hope, however, for Sonic Unleashed. Thankfully, I've only played Sonic 1 and 2 so far, and thus haven't tainted my outlook on the speedy blue rodent yet.



Clayfrd said:

I played this when I was younger at my cousin's neighbor's house; I'm almost certain. It's a great game, and I like it better than the Genesis version because I think the levels are better on MS. I really HATE Marble Zone... My top list is:
1. Sonic 2
1.5. Sonic 2 & Knuckles
2. Sonic CD
3. Sonic 3
4. Sonic 1 MS
5. Sonic Advance
Unfortunately, the only games on that list that I've completed are Sonic CD and Advance, but I've yet to collect all the emeralds on either. I haven't played S&K enough to put it on the list, but it is good... I've come painfully close on Sonic 2, S2&K, 3, and 1 MS, Final boss, Final boss, Final Boss, and Last few levels respectively, but I fail epicly every time I get close...



Beau_Skunk said:

The whole "most 3D Sonic games are bad" thing is all a matter of opinion. I personally liked & enjoyed the Sonic Adventure titles, Sonic Heroes, and even the critically-hated Shadow game just fine. (And I never even really liked that Shadow guy!) Onley recent game I disliked was Sonic Riders, and I don't have a 360, so I haven't played enough of Sonic 2K6 to pass judgement on it.
There are plenty of people out there who do enjoy recent Sonic titles regardless of what some critics on the internet, and in gaming magazines say. (Last I checked, all of those games sold well.)
Though, I admit it wouldn't hurt for Sega to get more better bugtesters for their games.



Yeah, the Gamegear version is easy to get your hands on and pretty much the same, but I can't blame anybody for wanting the Master System version for the better screen view.

At any rate, anybody foolish enough to consider themselves a gamer and has never played Sonic had ought to start with the 16-bit games. That's what I grew up with, and that's the whole reason Sonic was ever popular.

Sonic was meant to be a 16-bit series, but this game isn't bad. It's not a port of the Genesis game either, and that's the best part.



gamerwizz said:

This better come out sometime this month as this is one of my favourite games on the master system I want to download it even though I still have it for the master system downloading it on the WII is a lot more convenient than setting up my master system plus the classic controller is more precise than the master systems controller ever was.



Super_Sonic said:

I'll probaly will get the Master System version first. I never even touched a Master System console and I want to try this game.Then I'll graduate to Sonic The Hedgehog 1 for the Sega Genesis. After all it is a classic game and I think this is worth a buy to all Sonic fans out their. If this game is popular enough maybe we will get the Sonic 2 Master System version or even Sonic Choas for the Master System.
Unrelated: Sonic Blast in Brazil was the last Master System game ever made.



Outrunner said:

OK I just know this is coming to VC tonight. I have 500 points saved. Bring it Sega!



alvieao said:

I remember playing the Game Gear version of 8-Bit Sonic on Sonic Adventure DX. But looking at the differences between the GG and MS version, I'll definitely play the latter as well. Regardless, it still plays just as well as the Genesis/Mega Drive version. The music is also good thanks to Yuzo Koshiro's re-arrangement of the tracks from its Genesis cousin (with some new ones); it was the first game developed by his company Ancient. Even if you have played the Genesis game, the 8-bit version is another classic Sonic game worth playing...



y0ss4ri4n said:

4 stars? Heresy. I loved this game. Whilst it lacked the polish of the MD version it made up for it in great level design and some nasty sequences like Sky Base Zone. It didn't have the speed of the MD games but then it didn't have that awful pillar to post feel either.



kingmario said:

In my opinion this is better than the MD version which was ridiculously easy, this game whilst not hard does have it's tricky moments especially the boss of the jungle zone. It is slower though but the only time you went fast on the MD was when you weren't really doing anything anyway except holding right. Hopefully they will release Sonic 2 on the master system as well as both these games have much better level design than the MD equivalents.



Mendez said:

ONM's 58% review put me off this slightly but I'll be getting it as soon as I next buy Wii points. I now have space for more games as I've finally parted with Toki Tori..



Bass_X0 said:

They also rated Ecco Jr. as being better than Samurai Shodown 2. I'm now disregarding their VC reviews and sticking to the VC reviews on VC reviews.



kingmario said:

Ignore ONM they gave Ecco jr something like 72% and that is one of the worst games ever to be made (if you can call it a game, you can't die) and doesn't deserve the Ecco name. This is one of the best games on the Master System and you'll be playing this long after you get bored with the MD version



gamerwizz said:

about time this game came out I probably wont buy it though as I already own the cartridge



slangman said:

It looks ok but i dunno about getting this since I find the original Sonic meh compared to Sonic 2 and 3.

I would love to know what happend to ONM? They were great with reviewing VC games but now they cut down on reviewing the VC since giving their mag a new look and they even give VC games like SSII unfair scores now.



President_Leever said:

Is the camera this loose on the VC? Because the gamegear game had sonic in the middle of the screen while running, which helped a lot with the trial & error.

Anyway it's a nice port considering the hardware but I missed the innovative bonus level and those autoscrolling levels had no place in a sonic game.



soniczelda_dude said:

Why do any of you even bother with this game when you can download the genesis version for a meager 300 extra points?



Nath17 said:

I'm going to be controversial by saying I prefer this version to the Mega Drive version. Mainly because it's faster than the 50hz version of the Mega Drive version and is more playable in my opinion. The only flaw in the game is the fact that they don't seem to give you rings in Robotnik's acts.



Ho11oWxxMaN said:

I recall fond memories of playing Sonic on my Game Gear as a kid. At the time, it blew me away. I thought it was amazing that I could play Sonic on the go. However, I don't think it has really stood the test of time. My honest opinion, is that you save your wii points and buy Sonic 1, 2, or 3 for the Mega Drive instead.



greatdekutree said:

Is the slowdown a real issue with this title - i have the sms with this sonic on and never realised it was released after the mega drive version - strange world - i would really like to download this but am concerned with the slowdown

does anyone know why the slowdown happens and is there anything that can be done about it?



greatdekutree said:

@ soniczelda dude, its a different game you goomba on the first level appear to be similar to megadrive/genesis version

you should maybe read previous comments on the game as it has been mentioned ALOT



H_Hog said:

You also cannot pick up any rings again when you get hit, which really makes the end of level boss battle much trickier.

It would, if there were rings in Boss Battle stages in the first place. A Shield, carried over from a previous level, is the only protection you might have in there.



soniczelda_dude said:

@greatdekutree, I am aware of that, but this version simply seems to lack the intense speed and excellent level design of the genesis Sonic the Hedgehog. Different level design doesn't mean it's worth buying.



2D_Dreamer said:

I still have the SMS and MD versions on cartridge and the SMS version is easier and more enjoyable in my opinion having recently replayed them. In the SMS one, there's less enemy sprites in order to keep the speed up and I think it has better level design overall. Well worth 500 points even if you own the MD/Genesis version.



Clayfrd said:

@soniczelda dude - We bother with this one because it is a great game. I really don't like Sonic 1 for Genesis that much, and I think the MS version is far better.



dres said:

Sonic 1 for MS is my introduction to Sonic games, and i think its the same for a lot of european games, as the MS was just as popular as the Genesis/MegaDrive over here. I regard Sonic 1 for MS as one of the best games i ever played, and I like those sonic games better than the Gen/MD sonic games. There level design is better in my opinion, and not as confusing. There are just fantastic 8-bit Achievements.



Wesker said:

This game is pure fun. Ok, so you might not come back to it as much as Super Mario Bros. but I guarantee that you'll enjoy the first play through... a lot!

It is easier than Sonic on the MD, which makes it more enjoyable for beginners. Quite possilby the best 500 pointer imo.



seanehawk said:

This is a good game but not as good as the Genesis version of the game, You should probobly spend the extra 300 wii points and get that instead.



pikmin95 said:

I want to get a Sonic MS game, but I already have 2 & 3 (Genesis) for the VC. I think that too much Sonic isn't good.



Lotice-Paladin said:

It's a great game IMO. The difficulty makes it more harder then the usual Sonic games we see on the Mega Drive/Genesis. Sure the levels are short but anyone who plays this the first time round will definately have a hard time to complete this game.



pixelman said:

I wish it had the same sprites for Sonic that were in the Game Gear version I really don't like the look of this Sonic.



ovaLs said:

is this the same as the game gear version? Besides the the bigger screen i mean.



President_Leever said:

This game has just as much trial & error as sonic 1 MD (or Maro 1-3 for that matter) if not more. Especially in Jungle & Labyrinth zone.



SuperMarioFan1995 said:

Not as good as Sonic 1 on Megadrive. Mainly because the 16-bit console had blast processing (fast). So I personally prefer the 16-bit Sonic over this.



SparkOfSpirit said:

The 8-bit and 16-bit versions are actually completely separate games.

The 8-bit version has Green Hill, Labyrinth and Scrap Brain from the 16-bit version, but with totally different level design and music.

Similarly the 16-bit version does not have Bridge, Jungle, or Sky Base.

If you're a Sonic fan, don't pass this up just because it has the same title as the 16-bit game. It's a completely different game, and actually quite good. Of all the 8-bit Sonic games, this has aged the best and is still well worth playing now.

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