Sonic Spinball, Sega (1993), Mega Drive

Sonic_Spinball_Box

Oh, fuck me. I’m sorry, I’m honestly not doing this on purpose, I actually love Sonic. YOU DON’T KNOW HIM LIKE I DO.

Plot

Bear with me, I honestly had no idea that Sonic Spinball had a plot, so I’m piecing this together using the power of lies on the internet. Let’s see here….Dr Robotnik…evil plan….Veg-O-Fortress?! What?….chaos emeralds…yep, that’ll do – put some red sneakers on it, and push it out the door!

Presentation

So at the time, Spinball was praised for it’s graphics – I have no source for this beyond this being the second ever Mega Drive game that I ever owned. My (somehow senile, apparently) little mind was in awe of Spinball’s…well, I’m not quite sure really. The character models are fine, but the levels are just an absolute misery to behold, and the silver/grey/purple/green colour palette is about as unpleasing to the eye as you’d imagine. It’s not awful looking, just a bit drab, really. That being said, there are some occasional hellish framerate issues that are tough to get past.

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Club foot Sonic will jump out of this guys mouth and…straight back into his mouth. The controls aren’t good.

Gameplay

Wait, is this a pinball game with Sonic happening in it, or a Sonic game with pinball happening in it? Anyway, the crux of the matter is that Spinball is effectively a pinball game with some platforming elements, with the goal of each level being to grab the chaos emerald. The problem lies with Sega seemingly being unsure in which direction they’d rather lean. Sonic controls as though Spinball were a platform (albeit incredibly sluggishly), but the levels are designed with pinball in mind – and my stars, does the platforming ever suffer as a result. Requiring some of the most infuriating pixel perfect jumping ever designed, you’re gonna get really well acquainted with the game over screen before all is said and done.

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Ugh. This cap gives me PTSD.

 

Possibly the worst instance of this is the metal drum you need to land in and use as a boat in the first level, which honestly seems to have a hit-box smaller than the drum itself. Missing it means you’ll bin it into the green sludge and lose a life, and there’s no way out of the chamber. What rollicking fun. The hit-box issue wouldn’t be so bad were it not for how poorly Sonic controls. For clarity, imagine playing any other Sonic game, but Sonic has a shit-ton of rocks in his pockets. It’s not fun, and it certainly isn’t easy. Couple this with the fact that Sonic doesn’t even behave like a pinball when he hits a bumper, and it’s just a bit of a disaster.

Verdict

It’s not like Sonic Spinball is unplayable, or even a bad idea. In fact, it’s a very good idea, and I would argue that the bare bones of a good game are here, it’s just poorly executed. Frustrating, clumsy, unforgiving and a real shame.

Pros : It’s a genuinely good idea, and a decent little fan service.

Cons : Moves sluggishly, miserable colour palette, hideous hit detection, tedious boss battles

45%

 

Back In The Day

Sonic Spinball was developed in an astounding 61 days in order to rush a Sonic game to market in time for Christmas 1993, whereupon it received mixed to poor reviews – mainly due to it’s poor controls and gameplay. So it’s not that astounding, really.

Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic Team (2006). PlayStation 3

Fuck off.

Pros: Using the disc to scare crows out your garden, makeshift frisbee, classy coaster, mini mirror, can be used to inspect your hemorrhoids. Sometimes the game crashes and you don’t have to play anymore. Can easily be confused with original game in archive listings.

Cons: Everything about it

0%

Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic Team (1991) Sega Genesis

Everyone loves Sonic right?

Well, you might have noticed a trend on this site that suggests we aren’t the biggest fans of the entire series. But the first one? That was a masterpiece! Right? Continue reading

Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island. Traveller’s Tales. (1997) Sega Saturn

Hi, my name is Jamie and I like to shitpost about Sonic games because it offends the sensibilities of the people out there that can’t see how terrible Sonic’s legacy truly is.

And after the many successes of fantastic games such as; Sonic The Fighter, Sonic R, and Sonic Adventure I thought I’d try a game I had never heard of.

Turns out this is Sonic 3D Blast, so I have heard of it, but us PAL lot got the same game with a different name (I am easily confused) and the subtitle is inexplicably small text on the box.  Continue reading

Sonic the Fighters. Sega AM2. (1996) Arcade

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Imagine a world where for every good Mario game there was a “Mario is Missing” and “Luigi’s Time Machine“?

Imagine living in a world where you would do anything for the ones you love, only for them to spit a big green loogie in your face?

Well folks, that is the world Sonic fans have lived in since around 1994. Craig in his Sonic Adventure 2 succinctly alluded to the fact that the more of Sonic’s extended universe appearing in a given game the worse the game was, and with Sonic and 7 of his buddies in tow, how do you think the game shapes up? Continue reading

Sonic Adventure 2, Sega (2001), Dreamcast

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“People need to be entertained, they need the distraction. I wish to God that someone would be able to block out the voices in my head for five minutes, the voices that scream, over and over again: “Why do they come to me to die? Why do they come to me to die?” – Glenn, Waynes World 2.

Why do they come to me to die? Continue reading

Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sega, Sega Genesis (1992)

Sonic2_European_Box

 

I’ve been bashing poor Sonic on here quite a bit. It hasn’t been intentional, I’ve genuinely gone back to Sonic R and Sonic Adventure because I loved them as a child. For clarity – I was a stupid, stupid child. So for the sake of fairness, I decided to revisit what many argue is the best Sonic game. It’s bound to have held up better than the woeful 3d games, isn’t it? Isn’t it?! ISN’T IT?! I CAN’T GO THROUGH THIS AGAIN! Continue reading