Take a ride on the Sonic Cycle!

Sonic the Hedgehog is an interesting topic. On one hand, he represents all that was “cool” in video games during the 90’s. He’s the character Nintendo fans were secretly jealous of back in the day, the face of “Blast Processing” and Sega itself. On the other hand he’s a fallen hero, the object of ridicule by impossible to please fans of his old adventures, and the poster boy for bestiality.

And oh yeah, he’s the star of some of the best, and worst games ever made.

Sonic has had a starring role in over 20 games, some good and some bad. High points include the original Genesis games, Sonic Rush, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Lows include games like Sonic Shuffle, Sonic: The Fighters, and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). He’s one of those mascots that’s supposed to be like Mario in that he can do anything and get away with it. At least that’s how it began. See, for some reason the quality of Sonic games dropped like an anvil around the time when games started going 3D. Some series made this transition with grace, but Sonic wasn’t so lucky. After the Genesis, Sega released the Saturn and everybody hoped for a new 3D Sonic game along the lines of the excellent Super Mario 64. Instead they got nothing. It wasn’t until the release of the Dreamcast when gamers finally got to play a full Sonic game in 3D with Sonic Adventure. Looking back on it today, it doesn’t hold up as well as you might imagine, but it’s a fair sight better than what followed. What went wrong? Here’s my theory.

Sonic Team can’t make games in 3D. I’m not sure why, but everything these guys touch that involved a 3D camera seems to result in repeatedly falling into holes. I can’t say that they lost their talent because they are at least partially responsible for great games like the Sonic Advance series, NiGHTS: Into Dreams, and Chu Chu Rocket. But once they step outside this realm they keep failing over and over. This can be attributed to 2 main factors.

1. Sonic doesn’t need gimmicks. Every freaking Sonic game featured some sort of silly gimmick and it’s just not necessary.

2. Sonic games are about more than speed. The original games that we all know and love are about pacing and precise platforming.

And don’t even get me started on the awful, vomit inducing excuses for music.

I bring this up because the current state of Sonic is just as interesting as the character himself. There are 2 new Sonic games coming out. One is Sonic the Hedgehog 4 which is a direct sequel to the Genesis originals. The other is Sonic Colors which is a modern 3D take from the people who brought us the miserable pile of crap Sonic Unleashed. Sonic fans have been more than happy to speak up about how terrible his modern games are so Sonic 4 should be a godsend right? Well, it seems that Sonic Colors is actually getting more positive press than the game that was made specifically for those complaining. My question is why? Don’t get me wrong, both games look very good to me. There are very good aspects to the modern Sonic games that have been bogged down by the rest of the garbage surrounding them and Colors looks like it’s a game based around only those good points. Sonic 4 looks exactly like a modern version of the Genesis games. Is it the fact that everyone is still waiting for the Sonic equivalent of Super Mario 64? Is it the fact that Sonic’s eyes are green in Sonic 4? Is it that Sonic 4 is episodic? Who the heck knows? I say, let’s get off the Sonic Cycle. We have 2 games here that look good and instead of getting massively hyped or overly harsh, let’s just look forward to them and reserve judgement till we actually get our hands on them. I’m rooting for Sonic on this one. Here’s hoping this time truly is a return to form.

Posted by CaptainK 923

(Watch the Sonic Colors trailer on mute. It features more of that trash Sega calls “music”)

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Posted on September 7, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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