Like in the original Genesis Sonic game, Sonic 1 on Game Gear does not feature the iconic spin dash move or even proper special stages where you can nab the mystical Chaos Emeralds! In a normal Sonic romp, these seven emeralds are spread throughout secret stages that can be accessed through meeting certain criteria. However, in 8-bit Sonic 1, the Chaos Emeralds – of which there are only six – are just spread throughout each stage. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. If anything, it makes stages feel a bit more open than is usual for Sonic.
Overall, it’s a really fun little romp. While the larger field of view more fun for me on the Master System, the Game Gear version is still good fun and well worth giving a shot. That Master System version can also be a pain to get ahold of here in Canada, as it was the last game ever released for the SMS over here. The Game Gear version, on the other hand, has seen release numerous times. It’s featured on a Game Gear Micro, is unlockable in Sonic Adventure DX, and best of all there is even an excellent port available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop!
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit, 1992)
Sonic 1 on Game Gear may have paid some homage to the Genesis game of the same name, but Sonic 2 on Game Gear is an entirely different beast from its home console counterpart!
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Genesis was notable for introducing Sonic’s two-tailed fox sidekick, Tails. Sonic 2 on Game Gear brings him back, though instead of having him as a playable character, the game revolves around him being kidnapped at the beginning of the game. There’s even both a good and bad ending here, with it heavily implied that, in the bad ending, Tails is killed by the evil Dr. Robotnik.
Who said 8-bit games couldn’t be dark?
The only way to save tails and make it past the late-game boss fight against the mechanical Silver Sonic is to once again obtain all six Chaos Emeralds. Well, technically just five emeralds, as the sixth is held by the evil Dr. Robotnik himself!