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Published on November 21st, 2014 | by gareth


The Best Casino Themed Levels of Sonic The Hedgehog

It is somewhat ironic that the latest addition to the expanding plethora of features offered by online casinos are themed games, considering that back in the 16-bit era it was video-games that used the casino’s glitzy and neon setting as the backdrop to their levels. Way before websites like SuperCasino started placing superheroes within their casino games, it was Sega’s Sonic The Hedgehog who was the first virtual creation to be seen running around slot-machines and pinging about like a pinball.


It is undeniable that if there is any one video-game series that has most utilised the colourful and vibrant setting of casino games, Sonic The Hedgehog is it. Since the now classic Casino Nights stage was introduced in 1992’s Sonic The Hedgehog 2, the speedy blue hedgehog has barely had a game where he has not been surrounded by flashing lights and electronic beeps reminiscent of Las Vegas’ finest establishments. So in honour of this, here are the two best casino themed stages from Sonic’s astoundingly large canon of outings.


Casino Nights (Sonic The Hedgehog 2, 1992)

Perhaps the finest entry in Sonic The Hedgehog’s history, this mega-drive classic is as close to 2D platforming perfection as you can get. Taking the speedy pace and complex level design of the original Sonic The Hedgehog, this sequel delivers all the thrills of the original whilst adding additional honing and embellishments. The edition of fan-favourite sidekick Miles ‘Tails’ Prower, with his ability to spin his dual-tails like the blades of a helicopter, added an extra dimension to exploring stages. This ability to switch seamlessly between the lightening quick sonic and the gravity defying Tails created an unbeatable quick-fire platforming experience.


Nowhere was this ability more useful than during the Casino Nights stage. This neon maze of bouncy pinball style sections is perhaps the most famous of all of Sonic’s backdrops. These stages were as frustrating as they were exhilarating as you desperately tried to direct the bouncing characters through the tiny gaps in the walls that led to the next section. The jazzy backing music and piercing boing, as you ricochet of the walls, perhaps sticking in the minds of gamers more than anything else.


Casinopolis (Sonic Adventure, 2003)

Sonic suffered a bumpy landing in to the world of 3D gaming, this 2D master never quite matching Mario’s smooth jump into the next generation. However, the Dreamcast launch title of Sonic Adventure still has its moments. This 2003 platformer is mostly let down by its clumsy and uninteresting hub-world and the addition of questionable new types of gameplay, including the mindbogglingly dull fishing levels of Big the Cat.


It is the action-stages concerning Sonic himself where the game get back on track. These fantastical virtual roller-coasters are an almost perfect transference of the blitzing side-scrolling fun of earlier games, if only slightly let down by a wayward camera at certain points. The game, reflecting its then new platform, is keen to replicate as many of Sonic’s classic stages as possible. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Casino Nights influenced Casinopolis appears early on. This 3D recreation is another speedy rush of neon, with the shimmering background of colourful lights rushing past as you bounce around life-sized versions of pinball machines and roulette wheels. Although some segments are rather trickily designed, which breaks up the pacing of the level, the stage mostly balances seamless gliding and intricate manoeuvring without a hitch.



About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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