Despite its flaws, I have some fondness for Spinball. I think mainly because despite owning it for a while, I only completed it after I'd finished Sonic 3 and Knuckles in late 94. Sort of like a "Okay, I've done that, now for the ultimate challenge" kind of deal for me. I remember arguing with someone on a forum years and years ago who had stated that "The reason no-one likes the HARDEST Sonic game ever is because it has SatAM characters in it", which is a load of shite if you ask me. It's just a bit of a difficulty jump if you arrive at it after playing the mainline MD games especially with the different physics, sod all with some sprites that show up as easter eggs. As mentioned in the posts above though, I did always wonder what in hell was going on with Robotnik's art style in the game (And I thought his S3K spriteset was off-model....) As previously mentioned its entirely possible they went for a in-between design so it could be released in Western and Japanese territories without having to make graphical changes or storing two sets of graphics on the cart, like what was planned for SegaSonic's English release. Bear in mind though we're still a year away from the AoStH Robotnik being the "standard" depiction for him in the West, infact, the 8-bit version depicts the AoStH version for the final boss, but the SatAM incarnation for the stage title card: I mentioned shortly after Mania's release I would have liked to have seen a Veg-O-Fortress stage in the game to represent the "pinball" trope - with the zone simply being a standard "get to the goal" deal incorporating two Spinball stages per-act (obviously expanded into a "proper" classic Sonic level). The special stage rings could have been hidden away behind the switches and puzzles.