20 years ago, on this very day, SEGA released a game that would prove so popular it would lead to their Genesis/Mega Drive outselling Nintendo’s Super-NES by a factor of 2-1 during the 1991 holiday season. Its lead characterÂ – a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog – would also become SEGA’s mascot in response to Nintendo’s ubiquitous Super Mario.
We are, of course, referring to the beloved Sonic the Hedgehog – who turns 20 today (though he’s actually perpetually 15)! It wasn’t the first game to feature the red-shod speedy blue mascot; his beginning were actually a little humbler, appearing as a toy or air-freshener affixed to the rear-view mirror in SEGA’s arcade racing class, Rad Mobile. The first games featuring Sonic, mostly 2D platformers are hailed as classics and rightly so; they were the first to introduce an element of speed to the platform genre. Since then, he’s appeared in over 65 games that have sold over 75 million copies between â€˜em.
Unfortunately fate hasn’t been too kind to Sonic; for some reason, his games (barring a handful of handheld titles)in the last ten years have ranged from â€œpretty badâ€ to â€œabsolutely awful.â€Â You can blame it on the transition to 3D, the ever-increasing cast of useless support characters or Sonic Team’s seeming inability to some up with decent idea, one thing is for sure; Sonic’s legacy just isn’t what it used to be. Sonic’sÂ 20. Feel old yet?
Still, I don’t want to be too negative on the fella’s birthday, after all – so tell us…what’s your favourite Sonic memory?
Last Updated: June 23, 2011