3D Sonic The Hedgehog’s 3D Effects Are, At Best, Marginal

By Spencer . May 16, 2013 . 4:06pm

sonic3d5 Arika developed some sharp retro game 3D conversions. Adding depth for 3D Classics Xevious and 3D Classics Twinbee makes the ship sprite pop out and bombs feel like they are dropping down to the ground. 3D Classics Excitebike makes the stadium look larger since the seats are further away and Arika gave Kid Icarus a colorful makeover for 3D Classics Kid Icarus.


3D Sonic the Hedgehog didn’t get the same amount of care. The game is essentially a port of Sonic the Hedgehog, which would be fine if it wasn’t "3D Sonic the Hedgehog." M2 made the Sega logo pop out in the beginning and the Sonic the Hedgehog logo stands out floating over the water, but that’s about it for the "3D." When you’re actually playing 3D Sonic the Hedgehog the background appears to be a slightly further away, otherwise it looks like regular Sonic the Hedgehog. The Special Zone doesn’t have any 3D layering but when I played it with 3D turned on it’s a strain on the eyes with neon birds flying in the background and the whole world rotating. In comparison to 3D Space Harrier, which has 3D arcade cabinets, 3D Sonic the Hedgehog feels lacking.


3D Sonic the Hedgehog does have some special features like the option to turn the spin dash on or off. You can also select the Japanese or International release and there’s a CRT mode (sans 3D effects) for the sake of nostalgia. However, the iOS version of Sonic the Hedgehog has been upgraded with a time attack mode and three playable characters. You can use Sonic, Tales, and Knuckles. Not only does the iOS version have more content, it’s cheaper too. Sonic the Hedgehog for iOS is $2.99 while 3D Sonic the Hedgehog is double the price, 600 yen or $6.

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  • EdgeKun

    That iOS + Android release sounds like it ended up extremely solid. It’s a real shame that 3D StH ended up so bad, considering that the Genesis Sonic games usually have BEAUTIFULLY designed backgrounds that lend themselves very well to (well done) 3D.

  • Foxeh Shihōin

    but what about the gameplay? D:

    • Fidelis

      ..It’s Sonic 1..
      Reviewing the gameplay would be a waste of time..
      It’s been done, to say the least

      • I think he’s wondering if it actually feels like Sonic 1. There have been ports with abysmal gameplay, like the GBA version.

        • Foxeh Shihōin

          absolutely my point.

  • gold163

    Sonic’s parallax backgrounds should have been perfect for a more thoughtful 3D implementation. Although maybe it was hard to find ways to do this since the game moves fast, and it would strain the players’ eyes.

    • Juan Andrés Valencia

      Sonic Generations is fast (Even with it’s 30-20 FPS framerate) and I still didn’t have problems with the 3D, if anything it made my eyes ignore the background a bit better so I can focus better on the actual level.

  • Vesperion

    Lol what’s with all the thumbnails of Sonic getting hurt?

    Speaking of Arika……..I’m still waiting on Fighting Sample

    • Fidelis

      I’m sensing an anti-Sonic vibe from Spencer, but that’s just an assumption because it’s a fair review.

      Though, after the whole DMC fiasco it really irks me to see posts with even a hint of bias in them..
      And with the mention of the Sonic cycle and the images of Sonic being damaged used twice in a row I’m starting to think it may be a fair assumption.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    It’s a shame that it’s such a rushed port. After playing Sonic Generations in 3D I thought “Maybe the original games can look amazing in 3D” but instead we got a cheap and quick conversion.

  • AuraGuyChris

    Oh, so the iOS has extra characters and modes while the 3D version has spin dash, and it can give you seizures in the special zones.

  • Raltrios

    I’d still get it if it comes over. The playscreen on my laptop is astronomically tiny for some reason. And I’d be more comfortable with the handheld controls.

  • Zonic505

    A shame the 3D isn’t all that well. I was hoping they could so some cool 3D effects with the special stages from 2 and 3&K.

  • Istillduno

    Wonder how much you can grab a copy of sonic classic collection for now lol…

    Seriously, the game can already be played on the 3DS so not doing much with the 3D does seem like a bit of a deal breaker here.

  • Repede91

    I think this is the first time Knuckles has been playable in Sonic 1. If only it wasn`t the iOS version.

    • Tyler Beale

      Hehehe….I wonder if Sega plans to release the updated iOS version on Steam/consoles? Or update 2/3/Knuckles/3D as well?

      Also, Pirachu, why isn’t your mk2 theme song in Victory, dammit?!!

      • Repede91

        *chump* My theme in mk2 was an mp3 obtained on Pirate Bay *chump*. With the defeat of Arfoire, the use of such items was henceforth forbidden *chump*.

  • Auvers

    It really doesn’t need to be 3D so I don’t have any problem with this. I really hope Sega decides to release Sonic 2, Sonic CD (hopefully the PSN edition with the changeble soundtracks) and Sonic 3 & Knuckles (or atleast the option to play Sonic 2 & Knuckles by purchasing both somehow?). I’d love to have these handheld.

  • BillyMK

    It’s a 16bit Sonic game on my 3DS, I would buy it even if it was a straight port. Now just bring it over please?

  • Guest

    “your future is going to be great”

  • I think that should be ‘Tails’ rather than ‘Tales’, unless I’m being dumb and missing a pun. :)

  • I recently purchased this game and I found the 3D effect to be fine; it doesn’t look too watered down to me. There’s a Zoom 3D mode that really makes your eyes bug out, but it does look neat. In comparison to the cheaper iOS version it may look a bit pale, but on it’s own it’s a good port. The gameplay feels just like the original game. At least this version has real buttons!

  • xxx128

    I love this game and i am happy with it in 2D as it is. Thank you.

  • i don’t know what you expected..

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