A World of Games: SegaSonic the Hedgehog

Of course Galloping Ghost has a SegaSonic the Hedgehog cabinet, what was I thinking? If you aren’t familiar with this legitimate Sega arcade game, it’s essentially a 3-player arcade version of Sonic 3D Blast. Kind of. It’s a weird game that is actually still exclusive to arcades!

Using an isometric view (ala Sonic 3D Blast) you can play as either the titular Sonic, Mighty the armadillo, or Ray the flying squirrel as you guide them through a variety of levels inspired by the Sonic the Hedgehog series. You’ll run down auto-scrolling levels, jump over bad robots, and thwart Robotnik just like you would on the home console games. If the novelty of the game was in it being an arcade Sonic game, then it’s definitely in the controls.

SegaSonic the Hedgehog using a trackball to control your character. This allows for full 3D movement int the game world. A single button allows for jumping, and that’s it. The trackball is kind of weird to use, because you are still going kind of fast, but without the d-pad you might have some trouble accurately moving around the game world. Still though, for an arcade game this works: it’s fun and entertaining, with just enough novelty to make the experience rewarding.

Some history for the weird name too: instead of being called just Sonic the Hedgehog or maybe Sonic Arcade, Sega decided to go with SegaSonic. The reason being, apparently Sega was in a legal battle over copyright of the name “Sonic”. Absurd as that sounds, I guess it was better to be safe than sorry for this game’s title. Lastly, this game was officially only released in Japan, with an English translation being found by included in the game’s files but never being officially released outside of the island nation.

I’m a huge fan of arcade exclusive video games. They are unique already being arcade games with huge cabinets with unique artwork and oftentimes exclusive content. Combine all of that with some games only being released in the arcades and you’ve got a game that is absolutely worth playing if you can find it. SegaSonic the Hedgehog is a super unique game that you should not pass on if you find a cabinet.


*Played at Galloping Ghost arcade in Brookfield, IL 2019

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