Get ready to buy Sonic the Hedgehog for the umpteenth time--the original Sega classic is now available on your iPhone, and for the measly price of $5.99.
The complete first adventure of Hirokazu Yasuhara's blue-haired speedfreak plays surprisingly well on the iPhone and iPod Touch. You only ever needed left, right, and jump controls, so that's all you're getting on the iPhone. And they come in the form of virtual onscreen buttons.
"O rly?" you snark, "onscreen buttons? Don't they, y'know, suck?" Well yeah, kind of. They lack any tactile feedback, so you never know by touch alone where your fingers are (if you see what we mean). It's not ahairstyle-size obstacle, but for a game as fast-paced as Sonic, we found it takes a good half hour to acclimatize.
But the graphics are lush; the original soundtrack is intact, along with all the original sound effects; and gameplay is smooth. Very sporadic frame rate drops notwithstanding, the game plays admirably. Perhaps better than we were expecting.
Yes, Sega could have used the phone's accelerometer to allow you to roll Sonic around the screen--something which was never possible on the Game Gear back in the day--but no, that would've been too much to ask. As, apparently, would've been the ability to save and load more than just one instance of the game.