Sonic the Hedgehog Megamix

by – “Tiger” Oliver

If you’ve read my posts about Project Needlemou- I mean, er, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, you’ve probably heard me refer to a game called Sonic Megamix. To be honest, it’s the best 2D Sonic games that I’ve probably ever played.

Don’t go looking for this game in stores, though, you won’t find it.

Sonic Megamix is a complete overhaul of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, from the background music and level design, all the way down to the basic code of the game itself. Earlier versions of the game were in Genesis/Mega Drive ROM format, but due to the sheer size of the current version of game, it has been switched to Sega CD/Mega CD format. So, if you still have a Sega CD, you can burn this game to CD and play this on the console itself without an emulator like GENS or Fusion.

Instead of playing as just Sonic, you have four other characters that you can choose from: Miles “Tails” Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, Shadow the Hedgehog and Mighty the Armadillo (from the Knuckles Chaotix 32X game).

Each character has his own special techniques, game style and even color theme. Sonic is, obviously, all about speed, and can use a homing attack and light dash to collect chains of rings. Tails can fly and use his tail to attack. Knuckles can fly and climb things. Shadow (my favorite of all the characters) is slower than Sonic, but has a nifty double-jump and can use collected rings to give himself a speed-dash. Mighty utilizes shields he’s collected and uses their powers like you would in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Speaking of shields, all the shields from Sonic 3 are in this game. Also, a special “S” monitor appears in certain parts of the level. If you have all six Chaos Emeralds (they couldn’t get the code to allow seven), it’ll give you 50 rings, allowing you to engage your character’s super mode.

The levels are completely remapped, though still based off of the original level themes. All of the music has been replaced with music from other games or remixes (my favorite is the 16-bit cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”).

And, yet, even with all these fancy additions, tweaks and upgrades, this still feels like good ol’ Sonic the Hedgehog. No storylines about a quasi-2012 apocalypse, nothing about a damn werehog and thankfully no more horrible gameplay. This is the game Sonic Team needs to learn from to make subsequent Sonic games, or even license and compensate Team Megamix. This is a prime example where gamers get fed up with a series enough to take matters into their own hands. And, after the many years spent on this project, Team Megamix has proven that game companies should start listening to gamers about what they want.

I’d even go as far to say that this is the best Sonic game I’ve ever played. Period. It’s longer, harder and more intense than any of the original games that I’ve played (and a hell of a lot better than that Sonic 3D Blast horse crap). Even if Sega would ream Team Megamix’s hindquarters for “copyright infringement”, they could not deny that this is what Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Part I should play like.

For more information about Sonic the Hedgehog Megamix, go to the official webpage, or check out the main Sonic Retro page.

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