Whoever the enigmatic "Somari Team" is, they decided to convert the
original Sonic the Hedgehog game to the NES, the gimmick being that
Mario would take the place of Sonic. And on that point, it
succeeds; all the usual Sonic trademarks are here. Running fast,
turning into a cyclone of death when jumping, and hopping through
obstacle courses of spikes and springboards in your quest to grab
rings. Even the "rotating" animations when Mario does a spin
attack and goes through a loop are present.
But as is the trend with pirate games, the idea of turning out a
profit is not from providing a quality game, but in utilizing
their shamelessly stolen source material and characters to pawn off product
for a quick buck. This is evident in Somari; you'll often find
yourself diving right into bullets fired by offscreen enemies, randomly
being "snagged' on nothing in mid-jump just to be dropped right into
bullets, and not collecting rings
that you run directly through. Several times in the process of
collecting screenshots, I jumped toward an enemy to take them out, and
ended up passing harmlessly through them. But naturally, if they
were to touch me afterward, every ring on my person would go flying.
Not to mention that you can become permanently stuck in spike
pits. You become invincible for several seconds after being hit,
and since you can't jump high enough to escape the pit and rings bounce
off walls, you can end up collecting the same ring over and over,
unable to escape a spike pit due to your effectively limitless immunity
to harm. At that point, you'll either have to wait for time to
expire, or hit Reset and begin again.
Yep, even Dr. Robotnik and his wrecking ball are here (only a quarter
of which is seen due to sprite flicker). Pretty much the same
the Genesis game here; get beneath the platform until he looks away,
then smack his backside when he turns. Repeat several times until
he's defeated, at which point you get to rescue the local fauna from a
From there, it's on to the next zone, which will not be covered in this
review, since the novelty of the game will have been lost long before
you get there anyway.
Download the Somari ROM
One-line synopsis: Proof that a game's
fame doesn't always mean it's a worthwhile title.