Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Sonic the Hedgehog

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chris-littlechild - June 27, 2013

For those of us who don't memorize the birthdays of irritating ballache company mascots (shame on all of you), this week saw Sonic the Hedgehog's twenty-second anniversary. To celebrate, we're partying like it's 1991 and revisiting that seminal first adventure.

These were the glory days, when Will Smith dressed like a dick in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, MC Hammer wasn't bankrupt --and presumably forced to auction his soiled parachute pants to raise his dwindling funds-- and ‘Eggman' was still known by his non-shitty moniker of Dr. Robotnik. It was a time when Sega didn't have a mascot that didn't suck King Kong's big ol' hairy wang (screw you, Alex Kidd, and your craptacular sideburns! Screw you always!).

Into that void strode Sonic, the only fame-rival that Nintendo's own Mario has ever had.

Resist the 'hog roast' humor. It is not worthy.

Sonic the Hedgehog's first outing was named (perhaps the big game was on, and Sega's creative team didn't want to dick around with brainstorming sessions and such before hauling ass home) Sonic the Hedgehog. Our nemesis has, for reasons best known to himself, been imprisoning harmless woodland creatures inside big ol' suits of armored robo-animal death. This is probably the most demented world domination scheme ever devised --even including all the mad, mad shit that Bond villains come up with-- and Sonic disapproves.

His goal, then, is to pursue the ginger-mustached one across a series of levels (‘acts') and worlds (‘zones'), gathering the elusive Chaos Emeralds as he does so. He doesn't become that angry gold bastard for doing this, though. That came in the sequel.

As with the second game, the passage of time has been kind to Sonic the Hedgehog. This series is the GILF of video games; the chunky and garishly colorful art still looks great and the music is infinitely memorable. Every inch of the presentation screams iconic. As does that high-speed, spin-tacular gameplay. Just as you'll never forget the first fine young lady you ever played genitalia-tennis with, you'll never forget your first mad dash through Green Hill Zone (or its jaunty musical accompaniment).

This is pure Sonic. Sonic done right. Sonic without talking swords, flailing motion controls and a whole menagerie of dumbass animal groupies (screw you too, Big the Cat!). It has that timeless quality of only the very best games, and is still a blast.

Let's close with a romp through memory lane. In a balls-on-fire hurry, naturally:

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