How Sega Can Bring Sonic the Hedgehog Back To Its Glory

sega-bring-sonic-back

After my rant on How Sega All But Ruined Sonic the Hedgehog, I thought it would be most appropriate to expand on how Sega can actually transition Sonic into the next-gen consoles without making their down-slide worse. I figured the best way to go through this is to take the core elements that did work of all the past games and explain how they could be pieced together to build a new Sonic classic.  (BTW: I’ve updated this post since it got submitted to Digg)

Digg!

Make Sonic Fast

With a Sonic game, you obviously need speed, and while the 3D Sonic games were still faster than your other 3D platformers, they still did not have the same sense of speed of the 16-bit predecessors. One of the main advantages of 3D action games is the ability to roam around and have complete directional control of your character. In Sonic, however, I believe that really takes away from the speed of the game.

One flaw that seemed to more prevalent throughout the Sonic Adventure and Sonic Heroes series is the fact that when hitting the side of a track at full speed results in the character coming to a dead halt. This is aggravating, especially when it happens more often than it should. If a Sonic game was a bit more limited in terms of 3D control — maybe to the point of putting it on two-dimensional rails, you would be able to maintain more of the high-speed feel and bring it back to the old-school roots.

Stick With Two Dimensions

 When Sonic is in 2D, players had limited vision when it came to their enemies and obstacles. While at times this brought frustration, it also required players to have quick reaction time, and also rely on either quick instincts or a bit of memorization in order to succeed.

Tying this back to the previous point about speed and the limited movement, I might be advantageous to completely bring the series back to a sideways view with limited 2D movement similar to modern games like Viewtiful Joe.

Viewtiful Joe was an interesting success story. It was a franchise that came out of nowhere in a crowded video game market. What made Viewtiful Joe so successful is that it was something completely different in addition to being simple and fun — all because it was 2D.

A two-dimensional environment works best for games like Viewtiful Joe and Sonic the Hedgehog because they thrive on the simplicity of 2D gameplay. When the gameplay basics are simple, it allows both the developer and the gamer to benefit. The developer can spend less time on getting all those 3D camera bugs and other complex issues taken care and focus more on developing beautiful landscapes, amazing speed, and killer boss battles. The gamer also does not have to learn a complex control scheme or all the little quirks of getting stuck in a 3D environment and focus more on quick response time and enjoying the actual game.

Viewtiful Joe enjoyed quite a buzz in the gaming community through both critical reviews and word-of-mouth as more and more gamers got their hands on the title. But why did a new beatemup get so much attention? Because it was different. It stood out. It was basically the only new, 2D action game on the market. It combined 2D gameplay with the capabilities of modern consoles.

Make Electrifying Bonus Rounds

For me, one of the most exciting parts about the classic Sonic games on the Genesis was the bonus rounds. As fun as the main game was, sometimes you were excited to have a chance at the bonus rounds. Back then, the bonus rounds were not only loads of fun, but also a showcase for sweet graphical advancements and trippy visual effects. With the power of next-gen consoles, developers have unlimited number of effects possibilities to create some incredible bonus rounds.

Sega is also well-known (or at least they were) for making some incredibly quirky but fun games. This is an opportunity to insert some of this quirkiness without worrying about messing up the main part of the game.

Bottom line: Fill bonus rounds with an insane amount of eye candy and quirky gameplay and gamers of all ages and skills will eat it up.

Make Monster Robotnik Bosses

Sonic has benefited from a number of incredible level design. But one of my favorite parts of each 16-bit level was making it to the end and seeing what type of mechanical creation Dr. Robotnik would bring to battle me.

The original Sonic Adventure game was a real let-down with its focus on the Chaos water creature. Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes returned a bit more to the more mechanical bosses, but I really think Sega could work a bit harder to create something that takes advantage of the current generation of consoles and would actually strike fear in the hearts of Sonic fans.

Bring Sonic Back to Mobius

Just like Mario has the Mushroom Kingdom, Sonic once had a magical place of his own. His unique planet was not detailed by name in the original games, but was later expanded on in Sonic comics and animation as Mobius.

However, once Sonic went into 3D, Sega felt that Sonic was better suited on Earth and had him and the other animal-like characters to interact with humans. While many video games should obviously be based around life on Earth and a realistic setting, games that have a more fantasy element such as Mario and Sonic should be treated to a unique world/universe the gives them more personality and builds on the specials strengths of the characters.

Have Creative Level Designs With Personality

The orignial Sonic games had a ton of creative level designs that were each very distinct and featured an interesting gimick. Many themes were repeated thoughout the series, but were always given a fresh flair. Examples are the fresh-but-fast Green Hill Zones, your colorful and zany Casino zones, and your don’t-run-out-of-air Underwater Zones.

Many of these unique zones were lost in Sonic Adventure and the later 3D games. Sonic Heroes brought back a handful of these themes, which was one if its few saving graces.

Resurrecting some of these colorful level designs could not only give the Sonic series its personality back, but it would also add new gameplay elements and strategy requirements to keep the gamer interested.

Limit The Amount of Playable Characters

When more people pick up a Sonic game, they want to play as Sonic. I don’t think they by it to play as Tails, or Amy, or some fat cat with a fishing pole. They like to be Sonic. Other Sonic-like characters like Knuckles and Shadow are ok as long as the play like Sonic for the most part.

Sonic and Knuckles on the Genesis was great when it let you play as Knuckles. He did run around like Sonic, but he also had some additional powers like the climbing and gliding capabilities. His levels were, for the most part identical to Sonic’s, but it allowed you to think differently about how to approach the level.

However, in games like Sonic Adventure 2, I dreaded playing as Knuckles because you had a completely different level that, instead of blazing though and exciting landscape, you were forced to fly around until you found a certain number of jewels. I only wanted to complete those levels so I could play more Sonic afterwards.

Don’t Let Sonic Talk

I have to admit, once I heard Sonic and the other characters talk in Sonic Adventure, I was embarrassed to have anyone else see me playing the game. Back in the Genesis days, I viewed Sonic and Knuckles both as being “cool” (for lack of a better term) while each having a distinct personality. Sega did a good enough job with their facial expressions and body language to make them into a character that we could relate to. Tails was once viewed as a dependable sidekick, but once he opened his mouth, he was nothing but an annoyance.

Nintendo doesn’t have Mario speak audibly very often for good reason. If he did, it would be absolutely grading on the nerves. (Unless you are really into the cheesy Italian accent for long periods of time). A few little phrases here and there (like those used in Sonic CD) are fine, but that’s about it.

Slick Graphics Are Fine

Sweet Graphics + 2.5D Sidescrolling = Bliss

Even though I am an old-school fanatic, I still love high-end graphics as long as they are used properly and the game does not rely on them as a crutch. When it comes to many 3D titles, including Sega’s 3D Sonic games, it seems like developers use 3D “because they can” and its what is mainstream — not because it actually suits the game.

Sonic the Hedgehog on the XBox 360 looks phenomenal. I cannot deny that it has some real stylistic potential. But as I mentioned before, I truly believe that combining those graphical capabilities with a 2D gameplay engine could really turn into a landmark game in the Sonic series.

Focus On The Core Gameplay

You’ll notice that one of the biggest differences (besides the graphics) between the 16-bit Sonic games and their newer siblings is Sega tried to greatly expand what a Sonic game included. In the first Sonic Adventure, this was very apparent with the exploration mode after the first level. I can still remember the first time I played Sonic Adventure — I was blown away by the first level and all of its excitement and beauty. I couldn’t wait to jump into the next exciting, blistering fast round. Instead, I had to wonder around some town trying to figure out where to go.

Obviously, Sega toned that element down a bit, but they still have a tendency to drift away from the core Sonic gameplay we all love. Let me clarify to those that think I hate 3D Sonic games: I actually enjoy playing those Sonic levels. Obviously, I think they can be improved, but at least they are much better than many other parts of the game.

Sega (and any other game developer, for that matter) needs to take a look at what elements are actually working well for them. Then, examine the areas that aren’t working and throw them away. If you want to experiment with one or two things, that’s fine. But don’t keep that new thing around for the next installment if it’s a dud.

Take Your Time

Learn from Nintendo

If you take a look at the games that have the highest review scores over the years, you can probably think back and remember that those games were in development for quite a while. Perhaps there were even a delay or two before reaching the final release date. As disappointing as delays might be for fans, they usually mean that the developers are making sure the final product is as good as it can be.

To strengthen my argument, lets take a look at the 3D installments of both the Mario and Sonic franchises. The core Super Mario series has only had three console releases in a span of 12 years (Super Mario 64 [1996] , Super Mario Sunshine [2002], and Super Mario Galaxy [2007]). Sonic, on the other hand, has had six games (if you include Shadow the Hedgehog) in only nine years. Now consider the acclaim the Mario games have received (especially, the recent Super Mario Galaxy) in contrast to the ridicule the Sonic games have received.

What Is Your Opinion?

Obviously, this is a hot topic for anyone that is interested in Sonic games. I’ve already had a large number of people (usually in their early teens) that have criticized me for what I’ve said in my previous articles, and if they enjoy these newer games, that’s just fine. Perhaps Sega thinks it’s better to cater to the younger crowd. But I would like to think that I’m not the only one that thinks that Sega should put the effort to create a game that gamers of all ages can enjoy — much like Nintendo fans are with Mario Galaxy.

I’m not holding my breath for Sega to take these ideas into consideration. But until they do, I’ll be playing much more of Sonic Mega Collection and Sonic Rush than any of the newer console installments.


220 Comments

Anonymous says:

I have to agree with you Sonic hasn’t really been the same since the Megadrive sonic and while I did enjoy the later iterations.
They simply were not as good.
I totally get what you’re saying about the Sonic Adventure games too I wanted to play Sonic not them stupid exploration levels.

kevinski says:

Sonic for Wii really doesn’t look like it’d be all that fun. Instead of having Sonic react properly as he collides with barriers, he still comes to a complete stop, without any sort of transition. Lame.

The problem with other Sonic games is that, as was stated in the article, Sonic Team seems to place Sonic in 3D games for absolutely no good reason. Furthermore, the team can’t even seem to prioritize when it comes to crafting an engaging gameplay experience.

Why does Sonic need to be in 3D? He doesn’t. His character really doesn’t translate well into 3D space, in my opinion. He looks like complete crap.

Why does Sonic need realistic physics (as in the Xbox 360 game)? He doesn’t. Making nearby piles of crates (Why are there so many piles of crates, anyway?) fall to the ground realistically whenever Sonic hits enemies in the vicinity is just…pointless. And throwing another hedgehog, this one with telekinetic powers, into the loop to justify the use of an advanced physics engine just comes off as desperate.

Since Sonic has gone 3D, I’ve developed a deep-seated hatred toward him. Sega and Sonic Team only keep him around to rake in some cash every once in a while.

Fans of the newer Sonic games tend to have some of the lowest quality expectations, and it’s a shame that fans of the series actually shell out money for this crap every single time.

extrarice says:

I agree with you on Sonic’s voice, with one exception. His English voice in Sonic Adventure sucked, but his Japanese voice was much, much better. But if Sega brought Sonic back to his roots and ditched the RPG-esque “adventure” aspects, a voice track would not be needed.

alonzobots says:

How about you only play as sonic, and instead of limiting the playing field you allow people to see what is comming from further ahead but you can run really fast. That would be awesome, because unlike a car game you have to jump a well, so its like a car game/platformer where you run and jump and destroy enemies and collect rings, solve little puzzles to get on the good track (at full speed, or you just go to the less desirable track). That would be pretty cool. My problem with the 2d sonics was I could never see what was comming next, so putting the camera behind sonic and playing a 2d sonic game would be pretty neat.

Anonymous says:

I think you forgot the most basic element. The one element that made Sonic…Sonic.

Physics.

Physics is what differentiated Sonic from all other platformers. The fact that he could run so fast that he could go up walls, around loops, and run on water.

Because of the physics, he was able interact with gadgets in the level (another aspect that made Sonic unique). It wasn’t as simple as activating a gadget, but rather he had to push them, run into them (and use his inertia to get the gadget to do what he wanted), and jump on them to bounce off of (whether it be the springers, or the sort of bouncers you saw in Casino Night Zone).

In fact, this is one of the two things that I think that is hurting 3D Sonic games, as far as playability is concerned. Currently, the physics are hacked. There is no joy in going through a loop because of this. The other thing missing is a fixed camera behind Sonic. It would look and almost play like a racer/platformer, and with the current 3D controls, be much better than SonicR.

nrXic

gord says:

me and my older brother both grew up on the mega-drive sonics and love them so, yet in his adult life he hasn’t kept up with his gaming whist i have. his view on the new sonic games however i feel summes up things better than i ever could “too much walking about, not enough jumping on stuff”

its all well and good to run stright for an hour but wheres the part that makes you think? also, i agree, no more freaking cats with fishing rods and no more “oh dear god, sonic does _not_ talk like that” moments please.

Evan says:

I don’t think Sonic Adventure was really all that bad- I don’t like Sonic’s voice, or the setting anymore however.

I know a lot of you are probably going to disagree, but I think the best Sonic voice has got to be Jaleel White (Adventures of Sonic, SatAm). It was high pitched, but had an attitude. It was realistic for the character. However, I think I can do without hearing Sonic talk.

I think Sonic Team needs to look at Sonic Rush as a foundation and build up on it. It was 2D, but had 3D elements. Are they afraid to do that on a console? They shouldn’t be. Sometimes I wish I could talk to them and just be like “Sonic Rush was the best Sonic game in years!” … I know the sales don’t show that, but that’s because it wasn’t advertised enough!

Regardless, I want my Sonic back! Being a Sonic fan is rough now, and it shouldn’t be.

gibbage says:

I blogged about this some time ago. I think we’re on the same wavelength…!

http://www.gibbage.co.uk/2006/05/stop-getting-sonic-wrong.html

I’ve since decided “Keep him mute” should definitely be on that list, too.

It’s so achingly simple, it infurates me that Sega can’t see it…

Anonymous says:

I think it’s fair to say you all miss your 2D Sonic. However I can’t stand idally by and let you all diss the Sonic Adventure.

My reasons for this are quite simple. Sonic adventure was not intended to be anything like this prequals. I belive it’s fair to say that the “adventure game” achived what it set out to do. ANd people that were upset clearly didn’t have any interest in reading the reverse of the packaging or previews. Speech in the game, by the characters, closly mimiced that of those on the TV series. I think that’s good. However games to follow such as Sonic heroes did muck this concept up.

The adventure was indeed an adventure. Uncovering secrets of how the race of echidna dissapeared. Very deep and mystical, almost tomb raider ^^

The Chao. *cough* BONUS LEVELS. Though it’s not exactly using the characters of sega you should admit that this idea was amazingly good. Being able to create your own personalised tamagotchi and then play minigames on your memory card to further it’s growth.

I shall admit that the Sega team have rushed ideas quicker than Sonic runs but I am so passionatly in love with Sonic Adventure that I almost belive that you guys are afraid to lose the retro games you love. I think it’d be nice to accept something new. give sega time and they’ll give you what they want. change isn’t bad. I love the old and the new.

Hate mail @ mithryl_mithra@yahoo.co.uk

Mr Horsefly says:

I agree with you on a lot of points in this article, but it troubles me how little credit you give Sonic’s 3D games. It’s going a little far to say that everything after Sonic CD should be scrapped. There are parts in each game that work extremely well.

For example: the mechanics for the spin dash in Sonic Adventure 1 were easily the best of the series. The slow acceleration of Sonic’s normal run gave you precise control when you needed it; and with a single button press you could spin dash to near-max speed, drop into a ball for downhill areas, pop out of the ball for extra traction in uphill areas, and even cut your jumps short to reduce air time for speed runs.

Sonic Adventure 2 effed that up majorly by mapping the new ground roll attacks to the same button as the spin dash, which basically made it either impossible or too risky (since accidentally going into a roll attack would bring you to a screeching halt) to attempt the maneuvers I listed above. But it did Sonic right in areas where SA1 just didn’t cut it. In short, SA2 made Sonic edgy again. No retarded cats, no sadsville Asimov robot arcs, and no pink hedgehogs with plastic hammers. The mood the game set in most of the speed levels was near-perfect in my opinion. The San Fran hill level where you snowboarded down the street, the jungle stage that didn’t let up, and the freaking space levels? And the music? Genius, that game oozed style.

Sonic Heroes took a step back in mechanics and edge, but it did offer much more in the department of level and enemy design; as well as the genesis of what I believe could be the ultimate game of co-op sonic (but that’s an article all it’s own :P). I mean, come on, it let you take Knuckles back onto the tracks again! This was a thinking man’s sonic game if ever there was one. The dynamic of how each character worked to complement the other’s weaknesses and the way they designed the enemies and obstacles around that were great.

The Sonic series doesn’t need to be taken back ten years to be saved. Sega just needs to put a good team and budget together and devote some serious R&D time into refining the design with all the elements that worked in their previous games. If they could just start using more than two buttons for character moves, re-harness Sonic’s “edge”, and put some work into revamping the mechanics for Knuckles and Tails so that they’re closer to Sonic’s (but still unique), then they could kick Mario’s ass all over again.

racketboy says:

Thanks for your comments!
However, if you read my other article:
http://www.racketboy.com/retro/2006/12/how-sega-all-but-ruined-sonic-hedgehog.html?08316730

You will see that I mention many of the good points about them (many that you mentioned).

I actually enjoyed some parts of each a lot. It’s just too bad they weren’t that well-rounded.

Mr Horsefly says:

Oh, and one more thing: Bonus levels in Sonic have always been BS. They’re too hard and require you to develop entirely new skills in what is essentially a minigame just to get the good stuff in the regular game. All I’m saying is I’d rather get my super sonicing abilities from goals achieved in normal gameplay. If they wanna throw in minigames, that’s always fine, but don’t make that the only way to get the damned emeralds. 🙁

Anonymous says:

the first game i had ever played in my life was Sonic 2 for Genesis and THAT is my favorite Sonic game.
Here are my pros and cons of some sonic games
PROS
-2d games good!
-3d the only one i thought was good was sonic adventure 2 battle for gamecube for the most part THE SONIC AND SHADOW LEVELS VERY GOOD EXCEPT that space level at the end and let me say that sonic vs shadow battle i thought was TIGHT
– Bonus levels (maybe try putting some in new games)
– maybe MAYBE give tails and knuckles, Shadow (THATS IT, no rouge)there own levels if and ONLY IF they are like sonic with there own spins on it like the old genesis era.
– MAYBE go back to the time and make a new game like when Knuckles was evil MAYBE I SAID but you know like the review said above not all crappy and tall versions.

CONS
-Not that fast anymore
-seems like sonic lost his speed and only gains it by BOOST PADS
– I HATE BOOST PADS
– Grinding i feel can be taken out, i like it in SA2B but not really in the others
– this is a side note I HATE CHRIS from Sonic X he is gay! Why are there humans
– Sonic next gen, i wanted it soooo bad but the game got reviews just like my desires for the game.
– Sonic looks ok in 3d mode
-Stop making RETARDED knuckles and Rouge levels they are gay you are imbarrasing them and yourselves sega
– for all you out there saying why dont you make the game yourself or help out or somethin like that I WOULD LIKE TO! And would get yall and my friends to help hive sega some ideas.
– Voices (GOTTA GO)
– No more Tails behind sonic? (that was goodness)
– Tails used to be good but he suks now his voice is wierd and he is allways in a MACHINE, TAKE HIM OUT

I HAVE ALOT MORE BUT IM BORED OF BEING BORED AND BORED OF THESE LET DOWNS…and i will tell you all i am deeply disapointed in myself i just recently bought a PSP and got Sonic Rivals for it and WHAT A MISTAKE its SOOO SLOW!

yes i know i have bad spelling

Anonymous says:

I’ve been hyping about this for YEARS, and I’m so relieved someone finally sees that these new games just aren’t Sonic! I grew up with Sonic the Hedgehog, and being young and enamored with the games, I naturally absorbed the “feeling” or the essence of the sonic games which gave them their magic. But playing game after game these days, they just feel so fake, amateurish, and disappointing. Instead of keeping to roots and branching off of that, Sega consistently ruined the game by creating a monstrosity based off of bad programming, cliched storylines, gimmicks, and worst of all, changing everything in its attempt to just CONFORM to other mainstream videogames.

First off the running mechanics. The new 3D games have no physics involved in them whatsoever. Basically, Sonic team has resorted to having sonic run on train tracks, with a few gimmicks strewn in here and there, and all the player has to do is press “forward”. Has the Sonic team become retarded? Yes it’s nice to WATCH sonic slide down some rail or run down the tube, but if the computer is gonna do everything, why play?

Second…THE FEET. Personally the rush I got was seeing sonic’s feet spin insanely fast when he was running at top speed. Running with sonic these days feels slow and cumbersome. He seems to be ice skating when running, and the long legs flopping everywhere…blech.

Third, I feel sonic was mainly made for ROLLING. I’m surprised they haven’t introduced any ball mechanics ala monkey ball into the sonic series. That was the main concept in the first sonic anyways and that’s how super fast speeds were obtained – by rolling down hills or what not and using gravity.

Fourth, the graphics are too “glossy” and fake to me. I know Sonic is a cartoon, but something about the graphics makes me feel like i’m in a plastic world. Because of that, the immersion level isn’t as great.

Finally, Sonic’s faith to it’s original story is long gone. It was the fuzzy animals being attacked by creatively insane mechanical monstrosities, not thousands of mediocre “sonic pals”, water monsters, and super dragon ball z powers. Sonic has become way to pretentious. I would love to see a game with ONLY sonic…battling giant metallic machinery in huge landscapes…rather than restricted to simple runnning tracks. Sonic was meant to RUN FREE! so LET HIM!

Unfortunately, my ideas are meaningless, but I’m still waiting until someone revives videogames into something meaningful and bring out the TRUE sonic.

Anonymous says:

I agree there should be no humans – what the hell is with that? They add nothing to the games and in fact make them look stupid.

I think being able to move freely rather than on rails is required, but they could implement a turning system whereby the more speed you have, the more you sway left to right instead of having him do sharp turns.

Sonyo says:

you are so right with all of this. SA2B kept us hooked with the chao idea, and that was cool, but it gets boring after a while. the best sonic game ever was probably sonic mega collection. bring all the good ol’ games back! YEA!

Anonymous says:

What the hell were they thinking when they created the soundtracks to the 3D Sonic games? The music is totally lame! Sonic 2006’s soundtrack is slightly better than his previous 3D outings but it’s not good enough. They should use the same formula used in the Sonic 3D Saturn Game but modernize the music and ditch the crappy jazz and stupid casino music. Honestly, which of todays gamers listens to jazz and blues? Get rid of those 80s synthesized sounds too and bring in the modern.

Anonymous says:

The team who worked on the soundtrack to the F-Zero game for Gamecube should be working on the Sonic Soundtrack.

Anonymous says:

Emphasis on PHYSICS DAMMIT! They need to take advantage of the technology instead of just being flasy with the graphics. What happened to the jump mechanics? Why does he float all the time? Why are there all these useless special moves? Why don’t they make sonic roll anymore? Why do Sonic’s feet move so slow? ARHGH!

Maybe one day I’ll join the Sonic team and show them what sonic’s really about

Anonymous says:

Personally I loved Sonic Adventure. As much as people gripe about playing as other characters, or the “horrible” adventure parts of the game, it wasn’t that bad.

Sure Knuckles plays nothing like Sonic. Don’t like it? Don’t play as him. You started the game as Sonic and didn’t need to play as anyone else to play level after level with Sonic. You DID have to play as everyone else to unlock Super Sonic, but that was optional.

Sonic Adventure 2, in forcing you to swap up gamestyles constantly was a pain in the butt.

As for the adventure mode, you weren’t timed, nothing was hard to find, it was pretty much just there to add a little depth. Consider the menu in Mega Man. SA1 let you return to any stage you liked as much as you wanted, but without being so flat and dull. The only “challenge” was not running off a cliff.

Style: Sega wants Sonic to go from a happy world where no one dies, filled with cheerful music to gritty, cities destroyed (AS1), unsure if you’re the good guy or bad guy (Shadow). “Attitude” has gone from a smirk (and possible unsaid snide remark) to trying to ape current pop culture. No we don’t want to look at a bunch of bird skate punks. The series is trying to grow up, but comes across like a young child trying to act older than they are. Start of SA1, before anything happens, Sonic hops from building to building then says “Now THIS is happening!” Random drop-ins of seemingly “cool” phrases out-of place doesn’t work.

Interacting with humans? What’s Robotnik? How did he come to live in Mobius? Perhaps Sonic’s still in Mobius now, but moved to the big city from out in the country.

Physics, less scaffolding / dead stops please. If you’re steering drunkenly, you should bounce drunkenly off the walls. Non-stop chances to fall to your death that take several times of trial and error to figure out how many enemies you can spin dash to land on the next platform without over / undershooting is frustrating, not fun. In 2-D Sonics you died, but took in the whole scene as you did. With the new movie style environments, trying to run across an environment that’s falling INTO place you don’t know if you overshot, undershot, had your timing off or missed sideways. Now you can go too fast, and will die if you do. (Demo level of the 360 Sonic) Using the homing attack on too many enemies can also make you miss your platform, as well as using it freely on the boxes sitting on tiny floating platforms. (Also 360 demo) Sonic’s world’s seem far less solid than they used to be.

Griping aside, the best “attitude” I’ve seen from Sonic lately was also in the 360 demo. Tearing apart a dozen robots at once, lightly tapping the last remaining, struggling to balance itself robot off the edge and bending over to watch it with a grin that just screams “hit me!”

Speech is hard to get right, but Sega could do better. Bowser has forever lost all credibility. Robotnik is still cool, Tails comes across well for what he’s supposed to be. Unfortunately when you have people trying to write for an age and culture they aren’t, what do you expect? want to groan? Pop in the 3DO Mario game or a CD-I Zelda game. The opening scenes will make you cry. “I’m so hungry I could eat an Octarok!”

Eventually, in spamming out games trying everything possible, they’ll get it right. Hopefully they’ll do so while there’s still people left who are willing to buy the games.

Anonymous says:

I agree with a lot of this rant.

I grew up on Sonic the Hedgehog games. The speed was mind-blowing and just… amazing. Sonic can’t continue to be about missions and crap like that.

The bonus rounds could be much better like you said. But then again, they were never really my favorite part of the game to begin with…

And please don’t call Sonic’s unnamed world “Mobius”. I’m a Sonic GAMER and I don’t particularly enjoy the comics/television shows.

I do like alot of level designs from Sonic Adventure and Heroes, but the Sonic Adventure 2/ Shadow the Hedgehog/ SONIC the Hedgehog ’06 were pure shit.

My favorite Sonic character actually isn’t Sonic. I don’t want to play as him all of the time. I like to see a bunch of characters fit in there. A lot of them are very interesting.

But I agree with what you are saying about the gameplay of each character. If they were all playing through the levels like Sonic does (each with different abilities), then peace will be restored between me and Sonic Team.

I didn’t mind the voices back in the Sonic Adventure Era. But, like everyone says, when Sonic Team fired those actors and replaced them with the 4kids, I got pissed.

And there’s no harm in good graphics! 😀

Anonymous says:

Damn man, where the hell do i start. it pains me, it really does. what happened to sonic? my childhood memories are filled to the brim with the creative tallent and refreshing games that were sonic 1 and 2. everything about those games was what any “game” should strive to be, unique, cool, fun to play and really really momorable. i do like adventure, as im a dc fanboy, but the flaws are evident throughout, namely the horrible camera angles. the only character that should talk is eggman. its so true what they say about just putting him in 3d, just because they can, even though it hurts the game. i have a copy of sonic rivals, free with my psp, and i just cant bring myself to play it, it really really upsets me. sonic cd is as good as i will ever be as long as sega keep up this trend. bad mistake.

David Duce says:

Its funny that I found this page because I was actually doing a search for “fanmade” sonic games. These are games that are created by sonic fans like you and me who realize that 3d was a bad move, so they use the engines of sonic2 and 3 from the genesis. Its a shame that I have to do these searches, and I am not stuck in the past. Sega MUST realize what a hit Sonic would be if they launched a “back to basics” advertisement ploy. No dialogue, simple story , Robotnik, sweet levels with 2 or 3 acts, Even though some people might not like this, Knuckles is a thing of the floting island, bringing him back was like having a sequal to the matrix, cool but not needed. And to take advantage of the new hardware out today, huge 2.5d levels, great visuals, and bosses that lose limbs , arms,etc, like those in sonic cd. I mean , what do you have to lose sega? Youve tried everything already.

jopamine says:

hhmm.. i was just looking up my daily news and there’s another article on how sega can save sonic.

http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3157060

anyway, i just thought i’d revisit this blog entry and compare the two. I like this one better.

Jack says:

ARE YOU ALL BLIND!!!??? SEGA NEVER RUINED SONIC!! I AM TRULY ASHAMED AT THAT ARTICLE FOR INSULTING SONIC 3D GAMES!! EVERYTHING THAT ARTICLE SAID WAS JUST PLAIN WRONG!!! AS A TRUE SONIC FAN, I COMPLETELY DISAGREE WITH IT!!! I LOVE SONIC 3D GAMES!!!!

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