I loved this game when it was released. It had this cool 90s vibe, representing very well how those years really felt. The songs, the themes, it all felt so fresh and representative of the era we were living then. The premise is simple, yet very original: a giant pinball like stage, in which Sonic can move and achieve some goals. The game suffers from a somewhat clunky Sonic movement (not like the main games counterpart), but the originality and all that visual, songs and "vibe" pays out and delivers a very enjoyable game.
Sonic Spinball is a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game, released in 1993, in the middle of the Sonic fever and in the peak of the 16-bit era itself.
I don't think the game aged very well by today standards, but it is an important chapter in the Sonic history. I always felt that Sonic Spinball deserved a new release (maybe a remake, who knows), with improved physics and graphics in general. Sonic is a kind of game that begs to be a pinball, the whole concept is very pinball-esque. More than that, I can't erase the fond memories about this game. Maybe that was a happy moment of my life, we were so optimistic in the 90s about new technologies and all (now we seem so skeptic, or even pessimistic about it), and the new colors, the new music… the CDs delivering clear music, the computers, everything. This game makes me remember about that era and my childhood.
The mix of platforming and pinball is pretty unique. Sonic Spinball makes the opposite of the Sonic main games (which is a platform game inspired by pinball, at some degree). Now it is the other way around, it is a pinball game with platforming elements. This is so cool and the idea itself (even not being very well executed) is good enough to keep this game interesting. The secrets and the methods to beat the stages were so mysterious back in the day, and it related greatly to the games magazine culture and the "backyard gossip" culture we had in gaming. You felt great to find how to advance a stage, what you were supposed to do, and so on. Now it aged a bit badly, but that was so cool then. Now everything is very easy to find out and it doesn't feel the same anymore.
It is really easy now to dismiss this game, and this isn't without a reason, since it has its problems, especially in the gameplay and in Sonic's movement. But that was a cool variation in the Sonic series, and it was worth the time. The bonus stage, which has a more literal approach on pinball (when you play a "real table", let's say), was very cool. The game has all this weekend rental feeling, which is such a great memory. Maybe not the best game to play today, but it is worth consideration and maybe to be played a bit – and it is definetly deserving of a remake with improved gameplay. A great idea that could be much better and a beautiful memory from the past.
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