TGS 2005: Sonic the Hedgehog Hands-On

We spend some more time playing this excellent port-to-mobile of the classic Genesis game.

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TGS 2005: Traditionally, mobile ports are hit or miss because cell phones are limited by less-than-ideal control schemes. However, every once in a while a game manages to make the controls seem as simple on a phone as they do on their console counterparts. Sonic the Hedgehog for mobile, which is finished in Japan and will eventually make its way over to the United States, seems to do just that--at least on the high tech FOMA phone we used to play it with.

This game is a direct port of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, so we had the opportunity to run around Greenhill Zone a bit and try not only to remember the tricks of the game, but to execute them as well. The controls are quite simple: The directional keys serve as normal, and the center button is used to jump. Like the original game (and all those since), you can roll up to go faster through the level. The most impressive thing about the game so far is how well it captures the speed of Sonic, something uncommon in traditional cell phone games. Although you do have to use both hands to play the game (one for direction, the other to jump and roll), it feels fairly comfortable for a two-handed game.

Hopefully, Sonic the Hedgehog will see a US release soon. It's unclear if its speed and general frame rate were due to the quality of the port itself or the type of phone that was used to play it. Either way, this game certainly has quite a bit of potential in the cell phone market, and should it get a US release, it would likely fare well, particularly among the current list of ported games. We're certainly looking forward to seeing more of this game--especially on lower-quality handsets, to see how well it holds up. We'll have more on Sonic the Hedgehog as new updates of the game present themselves.

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