- This entry is about the Sonic franchise. For other uses, see Sonic the Hedgehog (disambiguation)
Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Sonikku za Hejjihoggu) is a video game series that features Sonic the Hedgehog, a popular and iconic character that has the ability to run at super speed. Notable games of the series are action-platformers typically set-up to allow the player to race across a given stage at breakneck speeds while quickly and easily dispatching enemies on the way.
Sonic the Hedgehog was created by Sega and originally began life on the Sega Genesis. As the mascot for Sega and their consoles, Sonic was seen as a rival to Nintendo's Mario. However, in the late 90's Sega's hardware sales struggled and in 2001 Sega pulled itself out of the console business. Sega continues to be a popular game publisher and developer; Sonic games alone have been on nearly every possible gaming platform, with several games on Nintendo systems. The first Sonic game to be released on a Nintendo handheld is Sonic Advance for the Game Boy Advance, while The first Sonic game to be released on a Nintendo console is Sonic Adventure 2 Battle on the Nintendo GameCube.
As the series has grown, many sidekicks and friends have helped Sonic in his adventures, including Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Cream, Blaze and Big the Cat. All of these characters have not only been active in the main series but have participated in spinoffs and party-style games, as well. Outside of platforming, the series has also enjoyed racing, fighting, puzzle solving and RPG gaming.
Early games were action platformers where Sonic had to reach the end of the level, or "Zone", while surviving obstacles and robots that held innocent animals captive. Sonic could save the animals by destroying the robots and can rescue even more imprisoned animals at the end of each Zone, but he must first defeat Dr. Robotnik in a boss fight. Later titles have had different approaches to the gamplay as the series moved from 2-D to 3-D.