A few years ago, Sonic Team released a travesty to mankind. If you've ever played it fully, you know full well. If you've never tried it, you never should. If you've never heard of it until now, now you know...
Type - 2D Platformer
Release Year - 2006
Difficulty - Hard
Here's a freak accident that limped away as an ill-fated prototype, the one that got away with Sonic Team's irresponsibility to catch... Namely, Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis, the worst conversion of one of the most innovative games ever conceived, and something, somehow, whose awfulness is overlooked far too often than should be allowed.
From a stationary screenshot, it certainly looks like the cuddly platformer we hold so dear, save for the zoomed-in-ness to fit the GBA's screen dimensions. But put it in motion, and you've got one heck of a disaster. Honestly, if it wasn't for the vacillating framerate and relentless bugs, Sonic Genesis would've been a whole lot better. The game simply chugs, trips, and tanks from a gameplay standpoint, a direct resultant of the graphical issues and abundant glitches therein. (There's something seriously wrong when the infamous first boss encounter can be beaten entirely by bouncing on Dr. R from above, without ever touching the ground in the process.) Everything degrades what's already been degraded; it's a chain reaction that affects nearly every aspect of this shoddy remake.
Looking back to the Sonic Advances, it's difficult to understand how a simple remake of the very first game in the series could exhibit such an inconsistent rate of FPS on the GBA versus the aforementioned. Blame it either on lazy coding, a short release window, or the combination of the two. Whatever the case, the aftereffect is indelible, and you'll suffer from it if you manage to pull through without surrendering from frustration.
Graphical scaring aside, there's one category that's just scarcely delivered from the grip of total failure. The memorable Mega Drive music has been redone, except now it's not so "memorable". Cheesy MIDI-ized versions of your favorite tunes are the name of the game, and why were they chosen? To lessen your purchase value all the more, of course! Scoring an inferior soundtrack? Why not throw in the original tunes instead, Sonic Team? To cap, sound effects are choppy and often delayed in execution.
By the way, if you're looking for that trademark speed the 16-bit blockbuster is known for, you'll find it here... in teasing spurts. Everything's slow as can be at one random moment, and conciliates it the next, inevitably trashing your timing. It really doesn't matter how long the game can sustain top speed if you're constantly prepping for a sudden jolt of slowdown, right? And as an additional warning, Labyrinth Zone and Scrap Brain Zone are treacherous nightmares, thanks to whacked-out water physics. No chance of a speed rush, guaranteed.
Also, Sonic Genesis offers two ways to play: with or without the Spin Dash. Naturally, you're able to move along much faster after charging and releasing this ability than you would when just running normally, but if this is what you desire, settle with Sonic Jam on the Sega Saturn.
Still incredulous? Undeceived by that nostalgic box art? You'll be glad to hear that a save option is available to you, and also a level-select, further extending your aspirations. You're now free to secure your painfully hard-earned progress at a whim. Oh, and a glitchy sound test with mispronunciations? You're in luck.
Seriously, if the numeric rating didn't convince you otherwise, avoid this heartless masquerade at all costs. Literally, all costs. Replacing a smashed-in screen and prescribing ultra-strength migraine medicine are just a few of the many hidden expenses you'll be forced to face eventually. Not to mention you'll feel sick to your stomach knowing how much Sonic Team totally botched the conversion and retailed it anyway, with you falling victim.
FINAL SCORE - 2.5/10