Posts Tagged ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’

Part 2 of the Sonic fanbase negativity. I would also like to recommend reading this article to: Yojiro Ogawa and Tetsuo Katano know Sonic the Hedgehog

-Character Bashing and mishandling-

Since probably Shadow and 06, fanboys got it in their head somehow that the other characters are to blame for the 3D games going bad(despite one easily looking at the handheld games and spin-offs to see that alone isn’t the reason). In this article by Heru Sankofa, he brings up the irrational hatred towards the other characters, and the real reasons why people were frustrated with them, so I’ll focus on some other aspects to this. Now, he brings up heroes in the end, and the funny thing is that it’s fixed in a fan game called Sonic World.

And this…

There’s also Sonic Advance 3 but you get the gist by now.

Of course, the main problem people complained about was having to switch to other characters, with other gameplay styles, or genre roulette as the trope goes. What confuses me is how this was such a problem when the gameplay quality, which these people focus on so much, weren’t really that bad, flawed, but most games are flawed in so way anyway, so it’s really about which flaws get overblown. The problem I find here is that most of the biggest complainers were Nintendo fans, and are constantly talking about how Mario is better(for no good reason aside from gameplay, which isn’t nothing special it itself), yet I don’t hear anybody talk bad about the Mario Party series or the Olympics games, both series that are nothing BUT genre roulette(Mario Party having those tired board games to go with it). Of course, this is why no one would say anything about them, but I find it hard to believe people can enjoy these games when many of the games you play in both of those series aren’t that great on their own. If anything, most mini games I can remember in the first 3 Mario Party games weren’t even that fun. Then we get to Sonic Adventure 2, which basically gave you mech gameplay(also playing as Eggman being a big perk), and treasure hunting. The mech gameplay gets flamed for being slow and people having a problem with Tails doing it(when all he did in SA1 was race Sonic). Even though Gamma was faster in SA1, being slower isn’t that much of a flaw(Especially controlling mechs that we should know can’t move on a dime anyway, based on the designs), especially when the stages are designed for slower movement anyway, it’s not like you were running then entire stretches of space and going against time. Then the Tails argument, that in itself is a nitpick given that Eggman had the same gameplay but as you can see, isn’t a problem on it’s own, so the same should go for Tails. The you have the hunting stages. Granted, SA2 had the broken radar, this still wasn’t that big of a deal unless you got stuck in certain stages. The thing about this is that this is EXACTLY the same thing you do in Mario 64, and many games they emulated it, in fact, IT WAS BETTER! In Mario 64, you didn’t even have a radar or anything if you got lost and had no idea what you had to do to complete the mission. Even if you did, you have to find a certain number of McGuffins or certain items. Remember the mission in the first Snow World where you had to some baby penguin and take it back to it’s mom? You literally had to pick it up and take it all the way down that big mountain(or up, I don’t remember), wheras SA1 and 2, you just had to find 3 crystals, and in the first stages, you could get it done in less then a minute. There’s also the gameplay, where you have Mario being just Mario, and Knuckles and Rouge could run fast, glide, climb walls, and dig for other items. Plus, they had better backgrounds and music to go with it. But I guess because that and the mech stages were part of a 3-way genre roulette, they have to be criticized beyond the actual problems, or overblown.

Then you get to Shadow, which people were just mad that the game was dark(no darker then SA2 mind you), people were just mad about the guns and vehicles, which had no negative impact on the game whatsoever. Then 06, which had more characters to use, but actually did away with genre roulette, and each character just had different abilities, and you only played as them in certain stages, while you still mainly used Sonic, Silver, and Shadow. The game even had a co-op mode for 2 players to only use one of the 3 hedgehogs they picked, doing away with character switching, and the Team Attack Amigo(I think that was the name) DLC that lets you play as Tails(who got fixed), Blaze, and Omega for 3 stages each, and you played all those stages in a row with no switching until they were done. I should also mention this game was original going to have online multiplayer, which would’ve worked even in this game’s state seeing how neither me or my friends had any problems with glitches during local co-op(Then again, we hardly had any of those during the main story). This makes the hatred of Shadow and 06 even more ironic because for the most part, they did away with a good number of problems complained about in SA1 and 2, and people still focused on what other problems they could blow up.

Before I move on from this subject, I did bring up Mario Party before, and there’s no reason to bring up shuffle since it’s mainly a clone, there was another party games that managed to outdo both games.

Why do I say this game outdoes Mario Party and Sonic Shuffle? For one, Crash Bash completely did away with the maps and lets you get straight to the games, and they’re battle based and actually fun to play. Plus, instead some of them being hard to play or don’t need a learning curve, these are easier and the AI only gets hard as you progress through the game, though it’s a problem if you play alone when all the AI are gunning for you, all the time. In any case, not only is genre roulette out of the picture, but you get to use any character you want, and at that, there’s a much better plot to.

Getting back to Sonic, regardless of the problems, the people who complain don’t make up the entire fanbase. There are people who were ok and even liked the other characters, they have fans of their own pretty much, giving more value to them then other give them credit for. Many of them were either cool yet we have to ditch them because SOME fans didn’t like them, like how Silver has his Telekinetic powers, but while he should’ve had a basic attack rather then needing to upgrade for his shock move, people got on him just because he was slow, which his abilities made up for in the first place. What I find jarring is that Amy is hardly called out on this when she was also nerfed compared to everyone else, I mean I had a better time playing as Big then Amy, I spent most of my time with him out in the fields rather then fishing. I even heard a friend of mine tell me that someone praised Amy in one of the advance games because she was hard to play with then the other characters, which made no sense whatsoever. I’m chalking that up to someone having hardcore gamer tendencies.

With us having all those complaints, we had lose many of those characters, at least in the main games, Black Knight being the best game they were in at the time, but now along with the series, they’re loosing some of their coolnes now and being mishandled, Sonic and Knuckles taking more damage in this department. One could easily look at the majority of the Sonic material up till 06 and then everything afterword to see the full direction of character mishandling the characters of this series has gone through. Don’t get me wrong, I know some of it started around the Adventure era, just not in the adventure games themselves(though Knuckles being tricked my Eggman again may have started this his huge decline in handling). Point is, Sonic and co were a lot cooler back in this time, but it’s like since Unleashed, there was this change going on where things were getting a lot less cool and epic, and even though the story book titles brought some of that Sonic coolness back, Colors just went …. not even downhill, it fell of a cliff at how when it came to it’s coolness, I.E., lacking it completely.

We went from characters with a mission:


To self aware jokers:


Sonic is now telling jokes that goes on a lot longer then they need to(especially when they aren’t funny from the start), Tails just sits on the side lines doing jack, Knuckles was turned into the laughing stock of the series, and Eggman turned into a complete buffoon. They literally took the modern kids cartoon way of handling Sonic, which is a huge mistake. Thankfully, the archie comics and still going, but I’m concerned over that reboot because of how much it started resembling the games. While it’s only in narrative and the characters are still themselves, what’s stopping them from turning the comics into the games even more, to the point we loose the good writing to? Hell, Ian Flynn could get fire, seriously injured or worse, and a new writer would have to be brought in, who just may be another fan of the kiddy direction, or doesn’t know Sonic and thinks that direction is the more logical approach to Sonic?  See as though I brought the comics up, I should put this here for an example of how the writing goes when the story is focused on action and purpose rather then bad comic relief.

For all the beef these comics got with many Sonic fans, they do a much better job at character portrayal, rather then making them self aware jokers, which is another basis of negativity in this fanbase, watching our favorite characters being forced into bad writing for cheap attempts at writing, and that’s not what people want in their games. If there are any games with comedy that manage to pull it off, it’s because they still put effort into the story and characters. For example…