So, just a quick thought and a simple example demonstrating how a SNES version of Sonic the Hedgehog could improve the visuals of the game in some areas to give the SNES version a very nice look of its own, despite it not having as wide a view of the level as the Genesis version:
The image above shows how, along with adding a little more colour into the GUI, a nice gradient on the background sky, and making the clouds look a little softer using some more colours, the SNES version could also use that extra third background layer along with a bit of colour math to have a really nice reflection and semi-transparency effect on the water. And, it’s important to point out that not only does it look like its reflecting the scenery there, but the actual shimmering water would be on a seperate layer from the reflection of the hills and would be scrolling at a different speed too, which would add some really nice extra depth to the parallax also. Oh, I also used the Sonic Mania character design and GUI icon for him too, just because.
Here’s how the layers could be arranged:
You can see below how the original Genesis version compares to the SNES version created by TiagoSC, and just imagine my additional touches added into the SNES version.
SNES port by TiagoSC:
In fact, the SNES version could actually have gotten very close to the PlayStation port that TiagoSC went on to make, with the reflective water effect and even the waving of the reflection looking pretty much identical:
It’s a shame TiagoSC didn’t add that to the SNES version too.
Also, TiagoSC mentioned that he didn’t complete any more stages of the SNES version because he thought there would be some issues with adding the larger stage elements that use sprites in the Genesis version of the game into the SNES version, such as the large pillars in Marble Zone Act 2, which this post addresses in terms of how that could have been overcome actually rather easily on the SNES, I think. And I think that would probably hold true for most of the game.
Just wanted to put that out there because I think TiagoSC did an amazing job with his SNES port, but he stopped short of showing off how a SNES version could in fact add some very nice graphical and visual touches of its own. It doesn’t have to be just a mostly slightly downgraded port of the Genesis original, and in fact, could be a noticeably enhanced version in some areas.
Edit: Oh, and I’d also tweak the camera view slightly on SNES to push a bit further in front of Sonic in the direction he’s moving to claw back some of that extra screen view ahead. But it would need to be done with Nintendo/Rare-like skill to make sure it’s very smooth and actually enhances what’s there rather than just make it a jerky mess (see Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country for a couple examples of good camera implementation).