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Sonic vs Mario

The Atari 2600 was forgotten and a new era started with… the incredible 16 Mega video console Sega Mega drive (…Applauses…).

And Sega’s new baby was really a beautifully designed console. Nothing to do with the grey Nintendo 8 bites, that was the most popular video console at that time.

The Sega Mega drive was the closest step to the promise land of reaching the technology and graphics that could only be enjoyed in the arcades (where I and my friends were burning our free time and weekly pay, since we were not old enough to go to clubs or pubs).

And together with the video console, I discovered the sensation of the videogame world: his name was Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog.

This blue creature was the fastest thing you had ever seen moving on screen in the videogame world. One of the funniest challenges when playing was to advance to the next stage in the shortest period of time. And even girls loved to play it!

Sonic was promoted as a sensation by the Sega marketing people: blue coloured (the same as the logo of the Japanese company) and a direct attack on their main competitors: the legendary Super Mario Bros.

It was no longer a battle between Sega and Nintendo, it was a battle between Sonic and Mario. And yeah man, I was on Sonic´s side. I mean, how could you compare a fat Italian plumber with a moustache, whose best feature was having a hot blonde girlfriend (remember my friends, that I was a kid – nowadays I would pay more attention to the blonde girlfriend’s part of the story), and who shared the company of his twin, Luigi, to a sharp and fresh animal: fast as a flash and full of new tricks!? Nobody had seen a damned hedgehog moving like that before; and nobody had experienced a platform game as cool and addictive before Sonic burst onto the market. It was the year 1991 and Sonic was the new Lord of the Rings.

Later on, Nintendo counter-attacked with the new video console Super NES. Now, looking back, I must admit that Nintendo’s one was probably technically much better, and had a much wider catalogue of games. But well, when you are a kid, defending the honour of your favourite videogame’s developing company is like defending the honour of your mother. And everybody has only one mother – no space for secondary love: if you were pro-Sega, you were against Nintendo.

Other sequels of the games came, other amazing advances had to be played; but in my heart the first Sonic videogame remains the one that changed the conception of home entertainment.

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