Released in 1991 for the Sega Genesis, platform video game Sonic the Hedgehog served as Sega's answer to Nintendo's Mario series and kicked off an immensely successful franchise of its own. Though Sonic games have evolved through the years to fit into 3D settings, the classic 2D Sonic the Hedgehog, maintains a reputation as one of the greatest Sonic games of all time. Its popularity has led to many of the game's most iconic stages to be remade in other installments. Sonic the Hedgehog has also received a number of ports.
Sega recently announced that the company would be releasing classic Sega games under the banner Sega Ages. Five of the first Sega Ages titles are Sonic the Hedgehog, Thunder Force IV, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Gain Ground, and Phantasy Star. An August release date has been set for Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunder Force IV.
The Nintendo Switch version will feature new abilities for the Blue Blur. Sonic will now be able to use the Spin Dash from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and the Drop Dash from the latest game in the series, Sonic Mania. Both can be turned off in the options menu, for players who prefer to play the game the way it was originally intended. One of the new modes is Mega Play, which adds a time limit and changes the stages in a way that puts more focus on Sonic's speed.
A new ranking mode challenges players all around the world to see who can finish Green Hill Zone Act I the fastest. Ring Keep Mode from the 3DS port of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is also included, which makes the game easier. The stage select option, which was previously a hidden feature, is now easily accessible. In the original game, players would have to start all the way over after losing all of their lives, making it difficult to ever reach the final level.
It's easy to understand why Sega would want to revisit the original Sonic the Hedgehog. While the franchise's latest 3D effort, Sonic Forces, was considered by many to be a disappointment, the 2D throwback title, Sonic Mania, was a huge hit, both critically and commercially.
Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog will arrive on the Nintendo Switch's eShop in August.