News Article

ESRB Update: Sonic the Hedgehog on Master System

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

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.

The ESRB has been quite specific, calling the game "Sonic the Hedgehog on Master System" in its rating, so you can be 100% sure that it is coming to the Virtual Console sometime soon. The Master System version of Sonic the Hedgehog looks similar to the Mega Drive / Genesis game, however, the levels are completely different, so if you enjoyed the original game you will probably like this one as well. This was the last game released for the Master System in the USA also, Sega's swan song to North America!

The ESRB has also rated Splatterhouse 2, the Mega Drive / Genesis sequel to the original Splatterhouse, which is on VC. This game was also previously rated by the OFLC, and Japan got it this month, so it is not unreasonable to expect it very soon.

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User Comments (54)



Kreegs07 said:

Looks very fun, and for only 500 points why not? I have all the other ones on the mega collection disk so I plan to download this.



DarkLloyd said:

so this is basically the only classic sonic game not on either of the 2 separate collection disc for gamecube? if so looks like i will be getting this one. my first own sonic game is that godawfull controls and unfinish storyline for wii which is secret of rings. hopefully unleash will be better but i have a feeling sonic and the black knight will be my favourite which is yet another sonic game coming soon and its wii exclusive .



Wiireview123 said:

pretty shure this is slimiar to the game gear version. and that was quite enjoyable. so i might get this.



Dazza said:

There were a lot of Master System games made around Sonic. Sonic 1, 2 and Chaos (which had tails). Not to mention versions of Sonic Spinball and Sonic Blast (without the 3D!).

I think these are mostly identical to the Game Gear games of the same name.



AtTheDriveIn92 said:

looks like a bargain for 500 points, can't wait to try this out, i hope it runs as fluid as the megadrive sonic games.



Adamant said:

@BlackFira: "so this is basically the only classic sonic game not on either of the 2 separate collection disc for gamecube?"

No, there's a lot of games not on either collection, but all of them, this game included, can be found on Sonic Adventure DX.

@AtTheDriveIn92: "i hope it runs as fluid as the megadrive sonic games."

It doesn't.



classicmike said:

It's cool how ESRB rated these 2 games for the US, even though I perfer the Gensis's Sonic the Hedgehog over the Master System version.



Rexy said:

Considering I'm not all fussed about 3D Sonic titles, I will say "HELL YES" to the sight of the confirmation. Now, all we have to do now is guess which day it will arrive in our home territories



Roo said:

Consider Sonic The Hedgehog on Master System, but seriously saty away from Splatterhouse 2: its mince.



blackknight77 said:

My guess is that Splatter house 2 will show up around Halloween. Also I think Sonic MS or Sonic & Knuckles will show up with the Wii release of the new Sonic game.

I will not look forward to Sonic drift. It was terrible



Ricardo91 said:

@Tony. What's Sonic Drift?

I've held off on the Original Splatterhouse due to it's mixed reception. Is the second game better?

And yay Sonic SMS is on it's way!



Objection said:

It sucks that I dont like Sonic. I will be annoyed if this comes out before other ESRB,etc. rated games like 2 certain RPGs, which means I'll probably be annoyed soon.



Outrunner said:

Sonic Master System is a great game and I'm glad it's coming to Wii. The master System version is better so I would say no, it's not better to get Sonic Adventure DX just for the extra games. They're the Game Gear versions on that so they're not as well presented.



Terra said:

Why they put the Game Gear versions on Sonic Adventure DX, i have no idea. I own DX so i won't get this when released. I own Mega and Gems Collection as well, so any other Master System/Game Gear Sonic games are not for me.

Speaking of Sonic, anyone else here about the Secret Rings sequel?



MasterMario said:

I have this as a bonus game on Sonic Adventure DX Director's Cut on the Gamecube. It was the Game Gear version which has no differences. The one on the Genesis was better, because this game is harder than the Genesis one. I guess it's a worthy addition to the VC.



Ragnor said:

Master system versions dont have crushed horible aspect ratios

Watch the video on the game's page and you'll see a direct result of this at the very end



Aloth said:

I really liked the sms version, altough I had the genesis one. I´ll probably buy it.



AtTheDriveIn92 said:

nobody ever answered my question haha, so i'm going to repost it..

is sonic for the master system play like mario for nes, except with sonic, or is it faster than that?



Virus said:

No, Sonic for the Master System is like Sonic for the Genesis but for the Master System.

Edit: Jokes aside, it's like Sonic 1, 2, 3 etc. for the Genesis but overall it has the presentation of an 8-bit game. The closest thing I can compare this to is like Super Mario Bros. 3 compared to Super Mario World.



alxtlvra said:

I own Sonic Adventure DX for cube, and it has 12 unlockable Master System/Game Gear (the MS versions are almost identical to its portable GG releases, at least on this game disc) and considering the fact that there are rated games that have been canceled or taken more than a year (and still counting) to show up on the vc; you´d rather spend your bucks on this one, which includes this first Sonic. (Besides being a great game by itself)

The ONLY Sonic games from SEGA consoles that arent on ANY Nintendo remake/port/collection (the cheapest and most practical way) are Knuckles Chaotix for the SEGA Genesis (32X add-on) and Sonic Schuffle for Dreamcast, and because of that they would be the ONLY Sonic instant downloads for me and any practical guy. (If they popped up on vc someday)



alxtlvra said:

Why do you always judge a game without noting its time of release, without doing a proper research and worst maybe without even having played it?

Sonic drift is a racing game from 1994, great PORTABLE game (facts that explain its limitations in gameplay and graphics) which, being the first racer portable on color and with rotation feature represented critical growth in the portable gaming industry, being one of the basis for the portable racing genere as we know it today.

Old school gamers surely know this one, but if not, think of it as a Pole Position or Rad Racer for Game Gear featuring Sonic characters. For nowaday's kiddies all I can say is that without games like the ones above and Sonic Drift maybe you wouldnt have known and played Mario Kart DS or any Need for Speed version in the time and way you did, so if you are so "close-minded" to give them a try you should at least show some respect and do a further research when discussing about 'em, not just here, but anywhere.



Bass_X0 said:

"It sucks that I dont like Sonic. I will be annoyed if this comes out before other ESRB,etc. rated games"

Yeah, VC releases don't work like that. Some games have been sitting on the "coming soon" lists that have been ESRB etc. rated for ages while other games show up and get released in a matter of weeks. Its a petty thing to get annoyed about.



Bensei said:

@Bass X0: You have to unlock those games, and in some cases it isn't that easy, but Sonic 1 should be one of the first to unlock.
It's the Gamegear version I can't guarantee if there are differences!
You unlock GG Games by collecting Emblems and Missions.



slangman said:

I knew it was coming soon (when it was rated by the OFLC). Might get this when it comes out.



Rexy said:

@alxtlvara: To be fair, I had a Game Gear but never played Sonic Drift, so I couldn't really judge on what it was like. Assuming its development at the tailend of the series' golden era as well as that for the GG itself, it can be seen to be a more primitive variation on the standard kart racer genre, it itself being kicked off by Super Mario Kart if I'm not mistaken. But I'm saying this now though - considering how horrendous Sonic R turned out to be, I feel that Sonic Drift wouldn't be worse.



Virus said:

Heh, I actually enjoyed Sonic R...just shows how much my nostalgia blinds me. I'd still say Sonic Drift is worse though.

You're right people should do their research and play the game before they pan it, so I did both, and I'll say Sonic Drift is a bad game now. It may have shined when it came out, but in my opinion, it has not aged well and I'm pretty sure others think the same. As for Sonic Drift's influence, it may have been the first portable racing game, but I wouldn't go as far to say it did any influencing. Like Rexy said, Super Mario Kart already came out to influence the endless onslaught of rip-offs.

Then again, I liked Sonic R despite all of its problems...



Kelvin said:

The GG versions had more colours than the MS editions, but since the screen was smaller, the action was slightly "zoomed in". This made the games a bit more difficult than the Master System versions, as you couldn't always see what was coming, and for a game based around speed, this could be a problem sometimes. So generally, the MS ones play a bit better, and the GG ones look a bit better, but are otherwise pretty much the same.



splatterhousefan said:

Mr Cheez splatterhouse 2 is better then 1 though i liked 1 a lot too.Splatterhouse 2 had much better graphics, and sound then the 1st



Adamant said:

@Rexy: Sonic Drift is far worse than Sonic R.

@alxtlvra: Let's take SNES Doom as an example - can you honestly say that's a good game? It's really impressive that they managed to port Doom to the SNES, but when the game ends up being nearly unplayable, that doesn't help much. The only way anyone could possibly enjoy SNES Doom is if they had never played another version of Doom before. It's that awful. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. Sonic Drift being on a handheld is impressive, but that doesn't make the game any less horrible.



7th_lutz said:


I am an old school gamer, but I didn't hear about Sonic Drift 1 back in 1994.

Sonic Drift was not released in the United States in 1994. Most gamers in the United States didn't have to place Sonic Drift till the 2 gamecube collections came out.

Sonic Drift 2 was released in the U.S in 1995 though and I heard about it back then despite not caring about hand held systems back then.

I didn't care about the Game Gear and Game Boy because I had problems seeing the screen while I was trying them out. I tried them out at stores back in the day.

I heard about about the game by seeing game magazine ads.




Drake said:

@ splatterhousefan: You must mean the inferior TG version of Splatterhouse, the arcade version of the first game is miles better than 2.



everydayJOE said:

I'll defenitly be getting this, i'm sure a lot with also. This is a sonic game that probably a lot of people hav'nt played. I't is 1 out of 3 sonic games i hav'nt played. Does anybody know if it has the down spin roll? i don't think it does.



Jolted85 said:

I remember playing this game on the Sega Game Gear a long long time ago, and I happen to like it, since the Game Gear and Master System are almost the same, there probably is no difference, plus 500 points for it isn't to shabby either, i'll get this when it comes out.



deadly_by_design said:

@Adamant: Funny you should mention SNES Doom. I actually enjoyed it at the time, but only because my previous Doom experience had been limited to short periods of the PC demo. PC Doom & Doom 2 beat it hands down, but I still fondly remember strafing left and right with the L & R buttons on the SNES. (I think it was borrowed from a friend, so at least I never dumped cash for it)



alxtlvra said:

Guys, what can I say? Most of you just cant see beyond your noses, I mean the only thing that most of you care about is if YOU personally enjoy its controls and GRAPHICS, there´s notohig I can do given that fact, I just think more like a hardcore gamer collector than just a gamer alone, so I also care about the growth of the whole gaming industry, not just the likes of me or my friends. (ABSOLUTELY, SONIC DRIFT WAS RELEASED IN THE U.S. ON 1994, YOU CAN CONFIRM IT AT WIKIPEDIA OR ON THE SAID GAME)

@Rexy, @Adamant: You cant compare handheld and console games in anyway, not that any is better they´r just different.

@Virus: I truly respect gamers like you who take on the work of playing and researching a game before judging, but analtze things beyond yourself, I also like Sonic R its a very original concept for a Sonic game in its whole, every Sonic soundrtack is an instant hit and OF COURSE this isnt the exception, I love Radiant Emerald and City soundtracks.

@everydayJOE: NO, sadly Sonic the hedgehog for Master System/Game Gear doesnt feature the DOWN + B spin dash/roll, this was really the first Sonic game, he just jumps and runs.



Kelvin said:

The original MS Sonic does feature the spin. You can only activate it by holding down when running, rather than being able to do it on the spot, but it's in there. I don't think the in-place spin dash arrived on the MS until the third game.



kingmario said:

Looking forward to getting this, slightly better than the megadrive version in my opinion as that was a little too easy especially the boss battles unlike the boss at the end of the jungle stage. Hopefully sonic 2 will follow, they are slightly more imaginative then the megadrive games due to the limitations of the console for instance on sonic 2 you can fly a hand glider and ride in a bubble or a mine cart and there are some really tough boss battles. For those of you that have sonic dx on cube they are basically the same games as the gamegear ones but on the gamegear the action is zoomed in making it a bit more difficult to see what is happening.



Rexy said:

@alxtlvra, comment #46 - So? The Game Gear and SNES both play videogames, so neither can single out the other. Either way, from the footage I've seen of Sonic Drift it actually looks fine considering the system it was on, though I can't help but the road shading techniques seems to be more prone for seizures with the way it was animated.
I'm just saying it was a primitive variant on Super Mario Kart because at that time, the genre had already been done before and any more additions into the karting genre would most often get the comparisons across various aspects of the overall package. You can't say that the first kart sims released for each and every single videogame system will be a revolution in any way, because in all due respect, the way they generally function would be similar no matter how well presented they are.



7th_lutz said:

@alxtlvra, comment #46

You are still wrong about Sonic Drift being release in the U.S. in 1994.

WIKIPEDIA said the following "Sonic Drift is a kart racing game released in Japan for the Sega Game Gear in March 18, 1994. Originally, this game was only released in Japan, however, it is now available in other markets thanks to the recent series of compilations in the Sonic series of games and importing it on certain shop websites." It you don't believe me, check it out on .

I own a Digital Press Collector's Guide. It didn't list Sonic Drift as a North American game Game gear game. The Dp online rarity guide listed Sonic Drift as non U.S. game. You can check it out on .



alxtlvra said:


"You can't say that the first kart sims released for each and every single videogame system will be a revolution in any way,"

Sonic drift is a racing game from 1994, great PORTABLE game (facts that explain its limitations in gameplay and graphics) which, being the first racer portable on color and with rotation feature represented critical growth in the portable gaming industry, being one of the basis for the portable racing genere as we know it today.

Got it? I never spoke of a hit on a specific console, I said ... PORTABLE, way wider group

"Either way, from the footage I've seen of Sonic Drift it actually looks fine considering the system it was on, though I can't help but the road shading techniques seems to be more prone for seizures with the way it was animated."

So ... you never PLAYED it, I hate speaking about games I havent played because I realize I cant judge fairly something I dont know for complete, I can only limit to say "PERSONALLY I dont like how it LOOKS" ... you should think about doing this sometime.



Rexy said:

Eh, I did not say that the game was crap. I was just making a statement regarding its presentation; any opinions about the game content itself are practically nonexistant for me.

Plus, even if Sonic Drift DID apply such powerful technologies at the time, let's not forget that the Game Gear shared technologies with the Master System - trying to get something done right on an awkward portable to begin with isn't exactly that big of an accomplishment.

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