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.


222 Comments

racketboy says:

GOOD FOR YOU!

ive been a sonic freak since the megadrive and the 360 sonic game felt like a kick in the balls. im working on a 3d montage of all the reasons im hating where the franchise is going. im hoping to get you all to have a look wen its finished, you tube or veoh or where ever. hoping to have it complete sometime april or june this year! watch this space!

flag says:

Hi! I’m a friend of jack, and I’m an immature idiot like he is.
I’M A GRAPHICS WHORE WHO DOESN’T CARE ABOUT QUALITY GAMEPLAY
DEAL WITH IT!!!!!!!

Kitsune says:

If they would just make Sonic in 3D with the old levels almost identical, that would be great. I enjoyed the Green Hill level in Sonic Adventure 2.

Mytar says:

Sonic sense of speed was there in Sonic the Hedgehog Next-Gen, the fastes. Sonic in a game alone in boring brcause there is no variety. Adventure feilds need to be included, again fro more variety. If the made a #D remake of all the old games that would be cool like GHZ in SA2. The Sonic franchise was better than Mario to me always because Mario is sometimes boring since there’s hardly ever a story or any scenes and you definately cannot count on them for music. If sonic keeps the loops, make big loops as well that Sonic can go through really fast, that would be good. The robots of Eggman were the same when they went to 3D except in Sonic The Hedgehog Next’Gen, but the redigned robots of that game was an improvement. If they had levels of the old school sonic design and the new style as well I would like it more. Shadow and Sonic are equaly cool in their own ways, but Shadow is not hardcore to me, he’s calm, sly, intelligent, and talented. Chaos Spear was just an attack in 2-p mode just like all the other characters so i really dont think it was worth it to continue only his attack in other games and the show. In Sonic Next-Gen they should have made Shadow not as fast as Sonic but almost as fast as him and kept the spin dash and homing attack normal, and if they were gonna keep Chaos Spear then only use it by jumping and the using it. The boss battle are ok to me, they just need to do more to seem more exiting. They have a short pattern that meeds to have more and a random order. Sonic DOES need to be 3D because every game is 3D now unless it one of the rare hand held 2D games, plus the 3D effect is to move 3D as in left, right, AND forward and backwards. There was ALWAYS a scheme to collect the emeralds, that’s why they were in the very first game. Sonic Adventure is also the game that got some of the most popularity, notice that it is still in stores some places, and some took them off and brought them bach with a special. Shadow the Hedgehog was a little boring but it made a smart move. It tested out a new style to see how it would go. And they found out that people like using vehicles, that people want more of shooting but only from the robots because the characters have their own abilities and robots with different kind of shooting power makes them “better”, in which people now want more of Omega. It would have been better if Sonic, Shadow, and Silver werent the only main character. Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Rouge, Omega, and Blaze would have been better if they werent just side characters. But THEIR gameplay style was improved, except for Tails and Rouge who had everything right except their attacks which copied Sonic Heroes. If they reshowed Super Tails and Super Knuckles while at the same time looking like an actual super form, plus Shadow being less yelloy and more the color as in SA2, the everything would be interesting. A game including the Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Rouge, Eggman, Omega, Cream, Cheese, Big, Vector, Charmy, Espio, Jet, Wave, Storm, Silver, Blaze, Metal Sonic, Metal Knuckles, and an actual robot of Tails would cause a massive story and variety that would really get people to play because everyone would find their favorite character in the game somewhere. Sonic isnt really damaged, there’s just always someone picky to complain, and fans do not suffer because the games are giving them EXACTLY what they want, because it’s just a game, and suffering means extreme problem. You cannot suffer from and itch, you CAN suffer from breaking an arm, or brain damage, or mental illness, but not from a bad smell or a nsty cup of coffee.

Wow this is long.

Mytar says:

Me again. My fav sonic is Sonic 2 and Sonic Adventure 2. I wish they’d give Tails more physical credit instead of using machines and bombs. Flying the plane ONCE IN A WHILE is alright. It’s always been like that. NOw, how can you hate speed pads if they’r in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, look at the 2nd and 3rd levels. THey’re everywhere. Their taller designs are better, not too silly and crappy anymore. He actually LOOKS like he’d be fast. Rouge should stay, along with all the other characters, just without crappy gameplay, but not like Sonic, then Sonic wouldn’t be special. Let Tails and knuckles run fast just not as fast as sonic, let tails not get tired when flying, give him is old attack like sonic’s back in exception to the homing attack, let knuckles gilde and climb and dig and all he could do in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Next-Gen just without havind to look for emeralds, have them run through the level like normal slightly different from sonic. Shadow should be way faster than tails and knuckles but slightly slower than sonic and have all hims normal gameplay abilities of spin dash. homing attack, speed, gringing (only like in SA2 though). Why take out the voice and talking? It makes it more interesting. Many people want to see more CG cutsenes and that can’t happen if there arent any voices. Plus the freaks who pair characters up together (even though it’ll never happen) cant do that if they’re just animal objects running around like clever idiots. Sonic is an actual CHARACTER now, with a personality. That’s why on YouTube, people watch the group of videos that are just the cutscenes. I am making a series (cartoon and game) so I know a lot of the correct flaws of the game and there are many, but not enough or big enough to complain about.

Louis the Hedgehog says:

I may not see eye-to-eye on all of your solutions, but I understand your reasoning. But the one thing I do agree on by far is putting Sonic back on Mobius. If done right, it could make the story as good as Star Wars or Halo or Splinter Cell. Come to think of it, the series you mentioned does have alot in common with Star Wars. Not only are they both Sci-Fi, but they also have alot of similar plot elements. Both of them are nothing short of epic.

So to shake things up, I have decided to create a project that will do for Mobius Sonic what Star Wars 1, 2, and 3 did for 4, 5, and 6 (hopefully without the Jar-Jar Binks effect.) If you’re interested, we can talk about this later.

Jared says:

I agree with your comment about the Knuckles levels in Sonic Adventure 2. I found myself thinking as I was playing through the game “Come on, I want to be Sonic again already! I want to get this over with!” I really enjoyed Sonic Advance, though it was the only “real” Sonic game I have played. I think if Sega wants to stay true to the “true meaning” of Sonic games, yet still have some element of 3-D, they should go for one of those “2.5-D” things like New Super Mario Bros: as in side-scrolling like the original games but with 3-D characters and enemies.

BillyNevets says:

Hey there. I’ve been playin Sonic games since, well, it all began! So nice to see a site with veiws like my own! the haters of this place can shove it because it’s all true!!
I have to agree with the “Bring sonic back to Mobius” thing. When i heard a new Sonic game (Sonic adventure) was coming out, i was so exited! I really wanted to see what Mobius would look like in a 3-D world, but Sega decided to destroy that dream by making it all happen on earth. and contrary to what Erry said… no. I believe most of the old games said it was mobious… the Anime movie(Made by Sega!)called it the Land of the sky…so… um… yeah.
I also miss the old fashioned “Robotnick” and his machines (Really miss sonic calling him Buttnick…ok so it only happened in DiC Cartoons, but that was still cool!) I also think that they should bring back the Robotasizing machines… it made it more fun to watch little animals pop out and then see Sonic go and try to save the day. And i swear,if i have to fight aother alien, lizard, or stupid water blob… someones gonna die!!
When it comes to sonic talking… i’m a little ok with it, though they really need a voice actor so that he sounds a bit more serious and not like some little kid. Even worse… Tails voice drives me nuts! Seriously! He sounds like he is five and um… a little “lovingly attracted” to sonic. Knux is ok… but i think they changed his voice actor too much… my point is that they should find better voice actors
As for Playing as sonic more: Sounds great, but let us play as others too, but only if we want to.
I also agree with Knuckles having a better mission than finding emeralds… HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE AS FAST AS SONIC… USE IT! Also, if we want to play as tails… i’d really like to play as tails, and not tails in his “Torpedo”
When it comes to the emeralds though, i enjoyed not having to worry about getting them, but rather have them in secret levels like before, posing more of a challange than Knuckles digging around for them…
And, um, as far as i have been concerened…. Robotnick is the only human there… this G.U.N crap is kind of annoying.
And as for everone that claims Sega hasn’t killed off the sonic franchise: Yes, they have… can you honestly think of the last time you heard how awsome the new sonic games where from someone other than all your freinds? I cant even talk about Shadow the Hedgehog without people saying that it seemed like a Racist game!
Um… i’d better stop before i end up writing a novel. Hehe: “When Sonic was good!”

BillyNevets says:

real quick blurp on the new Wii game.
Ok, i admit it, i like it.. a little. But the voice actors still sound like crap… and i don’t like the controls much. i can’t help but think that the game would be a little better if Sonic was moved with the Nunchuck instead of constantly moving forward, so that you can explore more of the areas at breakneck speed.
Another game that was fun to play, but the story line wasn’t very good(I think) was Sonic Rivals. The speed was nice, but i didn’t like what the big threat was: Losing the race and then Robotnick (I will always call him what he should be) takes a picture of you and you’re turned into a card. Whoopdy doo.
Also, i don’t think that additional character are ruining the franchise (not that anyones said that yet.) though i do remeber watching a quick spoof on Newgrounds where they were trick or treating and sonic was dressed up as tails. someone got mad at him and said that Tails ruined the franchise. Um, no. Tails was the first addition. If he ruined it… then game and the others would cease to exist. (though his stupid machine might ruin the franchise)
In the end of things, i will continue playing Sonic games… even if some of them are not that good. Sonic is and always be fun to play… but if Sega is not carefull enough- the gameplay (Storylines) might get worse and Sonic might be no more than a memory of a once good game that killed itself.

dylan says:

i honestly think that sonic needs to be faster than in recent ones, but i think they should stick with the large cast, 3d environment, full voice overs(but sega could atleast hire some better ones),while at the same time make everyone in these games who were once fast, fast again

Xynthax says:

Hmm.

I agree and disagree.

Make Sonic Fast: Uhh… depends on how you look at it.

One of the reasons I can tolerate Labyrinth Zone is because of the drag. Underwater, Sonic is painfully slow, and this emphasizes his weakness to water, which I feel can be elaborated upon. It’s such an unorthodox weakness, and really adds to Sonic’s equally unorthodox personality. But back to the speed, I can tolerate Labyrinth Zone because of the incredible feel of speed and freedom you get when you escape the water. It’s also the reason Star Light is my favorite zone in Sonic 1.

However, I got the feeling I was going faster than in the 2D games a lot while playing Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, and sometimes in the incredibly underrated Sonic Heroes (I’ve never played Adventure). I especially liked Metal Harbor because of its speed, and it certainly adds to the feel of the game. HOWEVER. People place too much value on what the expect Sonic to be, and don’t pay as much attention to the merits that some games have. F’rinstance, Sonic Heroes is actually one of my favorite Sonic games. Just because it’s not the quickest Sonic ever made, doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Anyone else feel thrills on Egg Fleet? … Anyone?

Emphasize reaction time with 2 dimensions: Uh, sure, as long as you can see where you’re going. When I was playing Chemical Plant Zone, I felt blind. If you, say, create a blur effect with Sonic’s speed, you would be able to test reaction time without making the player blind. Or, possibly, test reaction time by having the player move really, really, really, really quickly so it would test your reaction to obstacles you can barely see coming. Oh, and make Sonic go faster in 3D, while making trickier obstacles. But not those walls. It would be really sweet if Sonic could suddenly turn and run up those damn walls.

Make Electrifying Bonus Rounds: WHOA yeah! I liked the Sonic Heroes style of chasing the Emeralds, but if you put that in a Sonic 2 style Special Stage, it would be PARADISE. The only thing wrong with Sonic Rush (other than the music) was the Special Stages.

Make Monster Robotnik Bosses: If Eggman is gonna be a villain, make him a villain! He needs to play a bigger part, without being the stereotypical princess-kidnapper he was in that curse called Sonic Next-Gen. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with other villains, like Chaos, Black Doom, and (especially) METAL SONIC AND EGGMAN NEGA. Just give Eggman a role other than being a clown, and have HIM come up with a sinister plot sometimes. And Eggman Nega and Metal Sonic were GEMS of villains. Keep them, but Eggman has got to step up.

Bring Sonic Back to Mobius: What about some dimension hopper that had stages on Earth and Sonic’s original world/Mobius? Or maybe even Blaze’s world? Just don’t put Blaze in the future. Anyway, Mobius is fine, and a rarity of humans made Sonic special. Make Eggman the only human again. And DON’T REVIVE THAT CURSED ELISE!!!

Make Creative Level Designs With Tons of Personality: Sure! Underwater zones help emphasize Sonic’s weakness to water. Why don’t they let Sonic go underwater in the 3D games? Casino zones are classic, colorful, and wonderfully represent what Sonic stands for. Maybe some jungle, or *gasp* Don’t-get-burned-before-you-get-to-the-goal FIRE zones? Since Rush, the idea has been perfect. Try lighting the characters on fire when they’re hit by a certain, and pushing their speed to the limit as they try to go as far as they can before they lose their rings, or move quickly enough to lose the flame. Maybe the abandoned fire would become some sort of enemy…? I can imagine it in Marble Zone now.

Limit the Amount of Playable Characters: So long as we emphasize playable. It’s fine to have lots of characters–don’t forget the fanfic writers, people–just limit those you can play as, or rather, have to play as. You should only be forced to play as Sonic. If you want to play as someone else, feel free.

Don’t Let Sonic Talk: Nah. Put dialogue in the cutscenes, but by the Rift of Existence, change the voice actors! Leave them the way they were in Heroes and the Advance games (better an actual 8-year-old boy like Tails is supposed to be than a female adult!). Drummond fits Sonic much better than Griffith does. But, when playing, scrap the talking and put up text boxes for the hints, or something.

Slick Graphics Are Fine: Of course they are! But Sonic’s legs in Next-Gen look demented. Keep it Adventure/2/Heroes style and I’m fine (the other two look like dorks).

KitsuneFox59 says:

You are so right about the new Sonic games. I feel almost ashamed of liking the classics because of how the new 4kids-esque games and franchise have colored the enire series. I grew up with the 2d games and played them almost every day. And I’d have to say that Sonic Rush for the DS was the best Sonic game since the classics, sans the plotline. Actually, since finishing the game I don’t remember any of the plotline, just the great level (oh, and gay 5-year old Tails yelling at me during boss battles). What I’d like to see is a Sonic game that uses the old graphics engine and design style while using time travel ideas from Sonic CD and maybe the trick system from Sonic Rush (but no grinding rails).

Knux Dude says:

Well, I may as well post in a comment, Ive nearly played every Sonic game out there. I like some of the old like Sonic 2 and 3, and of course Sonic and Knuckles. But some games in there just suck. Dr. Robotniks Mean Bean Machine was pretty lame, Sonic isnt even in it and the story lacks everything.
ROBOTNIK: I will rid of those fun-music-loving critters! Muah ha ha!!
This bad story also makes me dislike the Flicky Game and Sonic 3D. Sonic 3D was neat for its time, really. But hey, I dont like wandering about collecting helpless moronic birds. They fly, they get around better than Sonic can. And the music in those games are embarrasing to hear… I actually like to Jam out to the newer songs from Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Sonic the Hedgehog (360). I really enjoy the main themes, but dont get me wrong, I dont like Amy or Knuckles music… I dont like everything. The controls in Sonic Adventure 2 really impressed me, and that quickly made it my favorite. Having Sonic in the city seems more normal. Other than the fact hes about 3 feet tall (Which I actually like) he fits in pretty well. It also seems to give Sonic more of a heroic sence. He isnt just saving little birds from a guy who morbidly obesse and has nothing better to do but find ways to take energy out of little animals and use them to specifically take down Sonic, but he is saving the whole dang planet! As for Mobius? You can still see your favorite animal planet in your Sonic Comics available at nearly any smoke stack or comic shop. I enjoy Sonics voice and most of the time Knuckles too. They all vary from game to game. Tails had an interesting voice in Sonic Adventure 2, it was child like but hes not like a baby as he sounded in Sonic Heroes… Gee, sounded like he just learned to talk. I like Knuckles with a deep voice, and Sonics American accent. And Im glad theyve softened up Amys voice. Ass for the name Eggman? I welcome it. He is still the same guy, but now he is a little more scary as he is serious about world conquest. I like the ARK better than the Death Egg, it has much more creativity and its not embarrasing to say what the ARK is. Death Egg sounds like a bad meal. As for adding in characters like Big? I welcome them. I believe its neat to have the option to play as them, but I dont think it should be nessasary. Silver is a real neat addition. Play the game, its very origional and exciting to figure out. The biggest caviot about Sonic the Hedgehog (360) is the sloppy controls. Its much too sensitive, the kind where you try to just turn Sonic and he goes flying off a cliff. But hey, Sonic CD also had bad controls. The burn-out command seemed usless, and I didnt like holding spin dash for a set amount of time. I liked tapping the button to charge and release as quickly as I could. And I saw a comment on the new Sonic being too much like DBZ, well clearly you didnt beat Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and above. Super Sonic (and in one case Hyper Sonic) has been around since 1992. Quite a while ago. Its not some lame feature, although I woul like to see Super Sonic as a playable character who isnt a last resort in story mode. Im saying GIVE IT TO ME, of course, you have to work to get some emeralds. I like how the emeralds are more involved with the story, but I miss the Gold Hedgehog. Speaking of Gold, Silver the Hdgehog takes a lot of shots from critics. Want to see a lame character? Look at Cream the Rabbit. You know what? I could go on for hours, but then nobody will even glance at my comments. Im just going to say, I like the old and I like the new. Those who cant accept the new are just afraid to let go of thier childhood blankie. And if the 2D aspect is a priority and you want new… play Sonic Advance and Sonic Rush. Im out. Peace.

The Kraken says:

I have to agree on most of your points, racketboy. Sonic is not the same character I grew up with. The Genesis titles were something special, because they were able to offer BREAK NECKING SPEED and other mechanics that other platformers failed to provide. Now I compare then to now, the difference is huge and vast. It seems that Sega cares nothing but to make a quick buck off of young gamers that don’t know any better, hence Sonic Next-Gen and Sonic Riders. The 3-D Sonic is slow, and the mechanicals needed for a 3-D game are lacking. Why Sega can’t make a camera work right I don’t know.

I use to love Sonic, including the TV shows, comics, merchanise, and other sorts of media that he was in. It’s really depressing how far the franchise has fallen, when it was once on the road to success, once Nintendo’s biggest threat. Shadow the Hedgehog is still one of Sega’s worst creations, because it lacks everything that made the Sonic franchise special. I actually had hopes for Sonic and the Secret Rings, but it turned out to be a disappointment once I found it was on-rails and I couldn’t go where I wanted to. Clearly the only good thing going are the portable titles. Sonic Rush was a pleasent surprise, maybe if Sega fit that formula into their 3-D games it may actually work. Then again who knows.

Segawillriseagain says:

It seems like Sega’s only starting to wake up and realize why we liked sonic.
Heres my two cents:
Minimize Dialogue. Don’t remove it completely, just find better voice actors, and avoid the lines that make us all cringe. Probably the second greatest injustice to the sonic series (aside from 3D mechanics), is the terrible voice acting. The same goes with the music, make some scores of your own, no singing please.
Back to your roots, I think sonic the hedgehog fell out of the mainstream somewhere between 95-97, as a result of multiple poor decisions made by sega on several fronts. Im not going to go into that, but what i think is necessary is a complete reboot. A remake of the first three sonic games on a next gen platform would be excellent, I can only speculate as to how awesome those final boss battles would look on my 360. No humans, no ultrarealistic eggman, and take us back to mobius please.
Fix the 3d. My two greatest frustrations with the more recent games are the way the third person camera keeps away from the player like it has a disease, and just the design of the levels in general, while the originals felt more like platformers, the 3d ones feel like racetracks. What really needs to be fixed are the camera angles, they just suck theres really no other way to put it, and theres really gotta be a better way to incorporate sonic into a 3d world.
Fix the playable characters. Theres just too damn many of them. Nobody ever became a fan of sonic because of the now-ridiculous multitude of introduced characters. Keep the list short and simple. I absolutely hate playing as a goddam robot or machine, and i definetly do NOT want to play as a cheap sidekick of shadow or an obscure character in the sonic universe. The only characters i can stand playing as are Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, The Tornado, and possibly Shadow.
I wish someone at SEGA would read this. If you are going to make any more games like the last few, just give up. Everyone either misses the old sonic or has totally given up on you. Back in it’s heyday, sonic had so much potential, a character like that is instinctively much more likable than one like a certain italian plumber. But because of a series of stupid blunders, the potential has been lost and I can only imagine how things could have gone otherwise. Please hear me out, its not too late to bring sonic back.
Regards,
A longtime SEGA fan

The Kraken says:

I totally understand where you’re coming from, Segawillriseagain. As I said in the topic “How Sega All But Ruined Sonic the Hedgehog,” Sega’s problem was trying to push ahead of their competitors with their hardware systems, rather than concentrating more on their games. I admit, they were ahead of their time, but they did terrible in sales (Sega Saturn, Sega Nomad, Sega 32X, Sega CD, and Sega Game Gear). This is perhaps why Sonic X-treme was never released, and I would of been dying to play a game that introduced Sonic into the 3-D world.

But his success in 3-D has been all for naught. You would think that after dropping out of the console race, that Sega would try ever harder to satisfy longtime Sega fans, like they did back in the early 90s. But that wasn’t the case. I mean, how hard is it to have a camera working right in a 3-D game? If Nintendo could do it with ease, shouldn’t a big company like Sega do the same? What they need is a complete overhaul of what they’ve done with 3-D and think of something better, maybe follow Nintendo’s path. I do agree with you on Mobius. Since Sonic Adventure the plot has been placed on Earth and that doesn’t really go for an interesting concept. Oh, and I almost forgot, change Eggman back to Robotnik.

The playable characters in the recent Sonic games are just ridiculous. Hell, I loved it when it was just Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. Sega should make a Sonic game that includes and ONLY includes these characters. I don’t want Rouge, Shadow, Silver or any other character that tends to be more of a disappointment than one with potential.

I’ve been a fan of Sonic since the early 1990s, and I know how you feel. Sonic was SO much better back then, in fact I hold a collection of his cartoons on DVD and Archie Comics when I begin to feel nostalgic. I only wish that he went into a different direction for the better, instead of the mess that he’s in now. Sega has only made him worse and worse since they began to lose control of the console market. Like so many others here, I want the old Sonic back.

Kingpin says:

Personally I like both. Yeah the originals rock and so does the gameplay but think a moment SEGA just wants to make money ther near backrupsy heck sonic team is just barely keeping it alive but personnaly I love rthe 3D graphics I enjoyed sonic heroes. I loved shadow the hedgehog. but the camaras bad its not that the game sux its just the camara angle but If i were SEGA and sonic team Ild hook back up with travvlers tales just tell them to this time make it playable and fast that would solve our probloms

Kirby says:

Yeah. Kinda agree. I don’t really like all the weird characters and storylines in the new Sonic games. I like it better when it’s a simple storyline and just Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Shadow suks!!!

The Kraken says:

I liked it when Knuckles was actually Sonic’s nemesis during the Genesis days. But now, he’s nothing more than a walking joke.

What Sega should consider doing is remaking the original Sonic games, with a new twist. Heck, Nintendo has done it countless times with their Super Mario Bros. series, so why can’t Sega do the same? The original Genesis games is what made Sonic so great in the first place, which then spawned numerous continuties, including comic books and TV shows. If they can actually incorporate most of the elements that made the original Sonic games special into the next-gen consoles of today, the games in return may actually be successful.

Chloe says:

I really enjoyed the Genesis games,and found a number of great cheats such as super sonic and debug mode for Sonic 2..after a while of experimenting with these cheats,it got boring.I was dissapointed with the ending for Sonic the hedgehog 2,all it really was were a few pictures and Sonic changes into super Sonic.Overall I enjoyed the game and even managed to turn Tails into Super Tails!

Hiro says:

Basically, it’s my opinion that what Sega needs to do is look at their recent portable Sonic games. The Sonic Advance games were damn good for GBA games, Sonic Rush was awesome, Rush Adventure’s gameplay was great (story was meh), and Sonic Rivals and Rivals 2 look great (I haven’t played them, so I can’t say anything beyond that ^_^;)

What they need to do is make a 2.5D game with the rails system from Rivals, nice looking 3D backgrounds, Rush-style 3D bosses, 3-to-4 playable characters (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and maybe Blaze), speech kept to a minimum… basically all the stuff you mentioned in your articles.

And, of course, everyone involved in the production, from the level designers to the music staff, should be made to play through Sonic 1, 2, 3&K, CD, the Advance games, and Rush, to get the feel of where Sonic came from.

Scott says:

well i got a idea you should make more Sonic levels give the levels fun and very fast and please dont put tails in the game i say just make more Sonic levels and make them very fast

Weston says:

I read this and I have to say that, while I understand that the game started as a 2d game, but I think the reason they changed it is because they thought they needed a change. So what if Sonic startedas a 2d, do you really think it’d be that great if they did that forever?

racketboy says:

Yeah, I understand what you’re saying. I’m not saying they can’t use 3D techniques. Viewtiful Joe is techincally a 3D game, but it has 2D gameplay.

I also think that a fully 3D Sonic game would be fine every now and then, but when they keep pumping out mediocre 3D games multiple times each generation, that’s a bit much.

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