Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis is a port of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game to the Game Boy Advance to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise along with Sonic 2006, both of which were released on the same date.
Why It Sucks
- The game was ported using the Sonic Advance engine, an engine that wasn't meant to run the Genesis Sonic games, rather than just using the game's original source code which would have been much closer to the original if it was ported properly.
- Poor framerate and considerable lag creates a sense of inconsistent speed.
- The save system does not save score or the Chaos Emeralds, unlike the later Xbox 360 port.
- A pointless level select screen, since you can only get the best ending by playing from the beginning as you need all six of the Chaos Emeralds.
- Poorly remixed music from the original game. Star Light Zone's music track is decent, but the rest of the music tracks sound like bad MIDI music, with the wrong instruments playing, and the instruments that are playing are muffled.
- Downgraded sound effects. Obviously since it is on the Game Boy Advance which didn't have the same sound hardware as the Sega Genesis, the sound effects sounding slightly different can be excused. What can't be excused is the fact that lots of sound effects are clones of other existing sound effects when the original game had a different sound effect. Also, the sound that occurs when Sonic inhales an air bubble is so bad, it may be funny.
- Numerous bugs and glitches that can make the game virtually unplayable or even crash. For example Sonic can fall through the walls of the Special stage causing him to activate a failure block which kicks you out of the stage without you being able to collect the Chaos Emerald in the stage, or fall out of the entire stage and continuously fall until the game crashes and starts making a horrid noise as if you've ejected the cartridge. Another glitch causes Sonic to be crushed to death when he is merely touching the corners of two separate platforms.
- Glitchy physics that hardly match the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, despite being a port of the original game on the Sega Genesis. Downward slopes don't actually speed Sonic up when he runs down, and rounded edges somehow slows him down when he goes along it.
- All of the boss fights (including the Star Light Zone one) can be easily beaten by bouncing on them, due to the aforementioned physics.
- Sonic does not drag his feet on the ground to slow down when you stop holding the directional buttons, thus making him continue moving for tens of seconds when in the original game he would have stopped in less than a second.
- Horrible screen crunch, which comes to a horrendous conclusion in the end of Act three of the Labyrinth Zone. In this part of the zone you're required to go up to catch Dr. Eggman/Ivo Robotnik and stay above the water. The screen crunch prevents you from seeing objects above you before you can react and avoid the object, causing cheap instances of losing rings and cheap deaths until you can memorize the placement of the traps.
- The seesaws in Star Light Zone is broken to the point that it rarely brings you to the correct height to reach the next platform. You could spend over 5 minutes just trying to get past this part
- The electric damaging obstacles in Scrap Brain Zone do not work at all.
- By the time this game was out, there were already several other ways to play Sonic 1 in compilations, making this game pointless if you already had other systems, such as the PSP or the Nintendo DS.
- The spin dash feature was already added to Sonic the Hedgehog in the Sonic Jam compilation of games, and this was the only feature added for the anniversary mode.
- This game does let us see the Sega Genesis logo in a game on a Nintendo console.
- Like what was said before, we get to have a save system and have a spin dash if wanted.
- The game graphics are almost exactly the same as the original game on Sega Genesis.
The game was poorly received by many, with a Metacritic score of 33 percent; the chief complaints concerning its poor conversion to the Game Boy Advance (resulting in a slow frame rate), remixed chunky music, and poor preservation of the original gameplay. While it does have some improvements in comparison to the original, such as a save system and being able to use the spin dash, the Game Boy Advance port is still considered one of the worst Sonic games, next to the Game.com version of Sonic Jam, Sonic 2006, and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
Web reviewer, SomecallmeJohnny, considered this game as "The worst port I've ever seen in my life!"
Simon Thomley (also known as Stealth), the same person behind the "Knuckles in Sonic 1" ROM Hack and founder of Headcannon (one of the co-developers of Sonic Mania, along with Christian Whitehead and PagodaWest games), made a much superior proof-of-concept GBA port of the game, showing just how much Sega dropped the ball.
Nowadays the original game can be found on iOS and Android devices so this port of the game is entirely useless, as most people already own a smart phone or similar device. This port of the game also includes the Spin Dash move and a save feature, as well as the ability to unlock both Knuckles and Tails, a feature not found in Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis.