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Sonic the Hedgehog is a 2D, side-scrolling beat 'em up game developed by Sonic Team and published by SEGA for the arcade. The game is a spoof of super-hero games, most notably Batman and Superman. It involves a human super-hero, clad in a blue hedgehog suit embarking on an adventure to defeat the evil Dr. Eggman and protect Central City. Contrary to most Sonic games, Sonic the Hedgehog, while officially licensed by SEGA, is intended to be more of a comedic parody of super-hero fandom. It was released in February 6, 2017 in Europe and Japan and is scheduled for release in the US and Oceania on May 30th and May 31st respectively.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2017 Arcade game)
Sonichero
Developer
Sonic Team
Publisher
SEGA
Designer
Platform
Arcade
Release Date(s)
Jaguar European February 6, 2017

Jaguar american May 30, 2017
Jaguar flagen February 6, 2017

Jaguar Australian May 31, 2017
Genre
Beat 'em up
Modes
Single-player

Premise

The game involves a superhero dressed in a blue hedgehog suit battling against the evil Dr. Eggman and his army in order to rescue Amy Rose and restore peace to Central City from Dr. Eggman's villainous schemes. Originally inspired from an easter egg image found in the debug mode of Sonic CD, the game is a mock-up of the superhero genre. Nevertheless, it retains a much darker tone than most usual Sonic games.

Gameplay

The game is a 2D, side-scrolling beat 'em up that plays similar to Streets of Rage and Batman Returns (SNES). The player controls a superhero referring himself to as "Sonic the Hedgehog", whose aim is to stop Dr. Eggman, save Amy Rose and clear Central City from Eggman's minions. The player moves towards the right side of the screen using the joystick, killing enemies and avoiding obstacles while collecting rings and items in attempt to reach the Goal Ring. The player may move towards 4 directions: left, right, up and down. Enemies appear from both sides of the screen attacking the player. Defeating them releases rings, which Sonic must collect to maintain his health. Rings are also found scattered in the stage but are much more scarce than in the usual Sonic games.

Sonic has a multitude of moves, which seem to similar to how Batman fights. His most basic attacks are punches and kicks, which can be directed with the joystick. He can also perform a roundhouse kick, grab and throw enemies, as well as pick up weapons such as knives, matches, ropes, lift up barrels and create amature weapons such as bombs by occassionally picking up parts of them throughout the stage. Sonic can upgrade his moves on-stage by collecting power-ups. This allows him to access some powerful moves and perform combos which are inaccessible from the start. Moreover, Sonic can use some powerful, "signature" moves which allow him to defeat many enemies together with a single blow. These attacks can only be used when the power meter on the left corner of the screen are full. They can be increased by defeating enemies. Except from walking and jumping, Sonic can run, but very slowly compared to the actual Sonic. He can crouch, dodge and shield himself from attacks. 

There are 7 stages overall, each of which consists of "segments". Each segment has a mini-Boss, each stage has a Boss, usually Dr. Eggman in his mech or the Grimmer, Dr. Eggman's henchman. Stage enemies depend on the stage but are usually thugs, punks, hooligans, fugitives and drug-addicts, especially in the first stage, all of which form a part of Dr. Eggman's "army", instead of robots. Dr. Eggman is presented as a more comical, egg-looking man while Amy Rose is the typical damsel-in-distress, and like Sonic, she is also human. The player progresses to the next level when he/she beats the Boss. Given the fact that the game is made for the arcade, its duration is relatively short compared to other Sonic games. Upon collceting all 7 Chaos Emeralds, which are hidden in each stage, the player unlocks the Final Boss.

Characters

  • Sonic the Hedgehog - The game's protagonist. He is a middle-aged muscle-man superhero dressed in a hedgehog suit akin to that of Batman. His duty is to watch over Central City and ensure its peace. When the evil Dr Eggman attacks the city and kidnaps Amy Rose, it is up to Sonic to save the day.
  • Dr. Eggman - The game's villain. He attacks Central City with his army and kidnaps Amy Rose. He is fought as a Boss is most of the stages and appears as the Final Boss once all Chaos Emeralds are collected. He resembles his original look from the Sonic games, but looks more like an egg.
  • Amy Rose - Sonic's self-proclaimed love interest, she is kidnaped by Dr. Eggman forcing Sonic to go rescue her. Like Sonic, Amy is human and serves as the game's typical damsel-in-distress.
  • The Grimer - Eggman's subordinate and henchman, he is fought as a Boss in some stages and appears together with him in the Final Boss. He is based on a character from Sonic the Comic.
  • Tails Man - A superhero spoof version of Tails, he is available in co-op mode when two players play together. He does not have any influence in the game's story. He appears as an oversized man wearing a tight yellow fox costume. Inexplicably, he can fly.

Stages

There are 7 stages overall, each consisting of 4 segments. There is a sub-Boss at the end of each segment and a Boss after the 4th segment of each stage. Collecting all 7 Chaos unlocks the Final Boss.

  • Central City: The first stage takes place in Central City during night-time. Enemies include thugs, hooligans, punks, convicts, drug-addicts and junkies. It is a basic stage that takes place on the streets of the city and then progresses to the skyscrapers. There are also some interior areas Sonic can access, as well as a bridge that resembles the Golden Gate Bridge. Dr. Eggman is fought as the Boss.
  • Adrenaline Highway: The stage takes place mostly in a highway. Sonic can pick up and drive cars and motorcycles in this level, as well as perform stunts. Central City can be seen in the background. This is the only stage in the game with only 2 segments instead of 4.
  • Las SEGAS: The first two segments take place in a SEGA-themed city with numerous SEGA references. The third segment in a casino-themed city during night-time as well and the 4th in a movie-themed park. The 4th segment contains numerous references to well-known films, especially superhero movies.
  • Forgotten Islands: This stage seems to be a reminiscent of Angel Island as it takes place on a series of floating islands in the sky. Here, Sonic must constantly reach higher areas as the floating islands collapse. The sky is blue in the first two segments and purple-red in the next two, indicating a sun-down.
  • Sky Convoy: Dr. Eggman's air fleet soaring into the cloudy sky. The sky changes according to the segments from purple-red to dark and stormy weather. 
  • Egg Metropolis: Eggman's fleet takes Sonic to the former's headquarters, a heavily-armed, massive iron city with dark, super-tall skyscrapers and floating vehicles. The stage takes place during night-time. The Grimer is fought at the end of the stage as Eggman escapes with his space shuttle to the Death Egg,
  • Cosmic Construct: The newly-built Death Egg, equipped with the most state-of-the-art weaponry and defense units. The stage takes place in outer space and the Earth can be seen in the background. Sonic must traverse through the Death Egg's traps and hazards to reach the core, where he fights Dr. Eggman in his mech.
  • Last Battle: This stage is unlocked by collecting all 7 Chaos Emeralds from the previous stages. It is not a stage, rather, the battle against the Final Boss, which is fought back on the rooftops of the first stage. Dr. Eggman's Egg Titan is a machine operated by both Dr. Eggman and Grimer. Upon defeating the Final Boss as Super Sonic, the player rescues Amy, restores peace to Central City and completes the game.

Development

Production began in July 2016 and it was unveiled to the public on January 6, 2017, corresponding with the worldwide Wii U release of Sonic and the Fountain of Youth. The game started off as a joke, but attracted significant attention, eventually setting forth the game's production. It was decided from the beginning that the game would be released for the arcade and was planned to be ported to Sonic Supremacy as an unlockable bonus content, but because of the latter's very early release it was dismissed. The game is not part of the main continuity of the series but rather a spin-off. The game was released exactly 1 month after the release of Sonic and the Fountain of Youth, on February 6, 2017 in Europe and Japan and is scheduled for release on May 30 and May 31 in North America and Oceania respectively.

Reception

Sonic the Hedgehog

Aggregate Scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 74/100
Gamerankings 69.87%
Review Scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8/10
Famitsu 35/40
GamesRadar 6/10
Game Trailers 7.2/10
Gamespot 6.5/10
IGN 7.4/10
Nintendo Power 8.5/10
X-Visual 7/10
Destructoid 6/10
1Up.com A-

Sonic the Hedgehog received mixed to average reviews from professional critics. It was praised for its unique approach, old-school, retro gameplay style, replay availability and length but criticized its lack of content other than story mode. The highest score came from Nintendo Power, who praised the game's aspects of super-hero parody, its wide diversity of attacks, simple controls and stage design. Music was also well-received. In contrast to Nintendo Power, Gamespot was more critical of the game, stating that it does not differentiate itself from other 2D beat 'em up games of the 80's or 90's. Other critics disliked the fact that the game was heavily influenced from other Arcade games, as well as the few playable roster the game offered.

Trivia

  • Inspired by the hidden easter-egg image from Sonic CD's debug mode.
  • First appearance of Grimer in a video game, before his next major appearance in the upcoming Sonic Freedom.
  • The first beat 'em up Sonic game in the franchise.
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