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 Sonic the Hedgehog: Will it ever be amazing again?

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Hafk
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PostSubject: Sonic the Hedgehog: Will it ever be amazing again?   Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:10 pm

(This is about the main series games on console and handheld consoles. As such, I am not including spin-off games like Mario and Sonic, Sega All Stars Racing, Sonic Spinball, or etc. I am also not including the "Sonic Storybook" series or whatever it is on the Wii)

When I was a kid, I owned a Sega. As legally required by all Sega owners, I had to have Sonic, but why did I love thes games? Creative stage design. Levels were straightforward, but had many secrets and routes to take. Momentum-based platforming. It wasn't always about speedy levels, but it certainly had a faster pace. And of course the music. Great, wonderful music.

Sonic didn't make the transition to 3D well, sadly. After not existing in the 32 bit generation (Other than Knuckles Chaotix on the 32x), our lovable blue hedgehog appeared on the Sega Dreamcast in the form of Sonic Adventure. There were fast creative levels, and the music was decent. However, with the new dimension came the difficulty of pacing. Sonic Adventure was either a fast paced high-octane speedfest or a slow crawl. I didn't have the magic in the old games that made the transition seemless. Sonic Adventure 1, 2, and Heroes were decent games. They were by no means as great as the originals, but the heart was there.

On the GBA, we had Sonic Advance. These games had the momentum based platforming of the genesis games, but the level design and music wasn't there. These levels were mostly straightforward and relied on single routes. However, the gameplay of Sonic Advance 3 was very creative, using two characters and combining their traits for form a team. Sonic for speed, Tails for jumping, Knuckles for power, etc. The levels were designed to support the characters and they Sonic Advance 3 was easily the best game post-Sonic Advance. The DS games are also raging between decent and good, from what I have played of them.

Sadly, something happened. Shadow the Hedgehog happened. For the first time, Sega decided that they throw gimmicks into their Sonic game. Shadow was supposed to be some gun-toting badass out to find his true identity in the world. Also known as
THE BIGGEST FUCKING "DARK CHARACTER" CLICHE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. Then came Sonic The Hedgehog. Touted as the restart of the franchise, Sega decided to rush it for a holiday release and voila, the game was plagued with decent ideas, horrible execution, awful load times and bugs all over the place.

Two years ago, the last console iteration of Sonic came out, known as Sonic Unleashed. From the beginning, all previewers looked at this game as the return of Sonic. Daytime levels were full of seemless 2d to 3d, great pacing, and creative levels. Things were looking up for Sonic Unleashed.....until Sega let the "Werehog" out. Werehog levels were poorly designed pieces of Poos that ruined the game. Which was a damn shame, considering how much praise the game got beforehand.

So here we are, two more console games coming in the future. Sonic 4, and Sonic Colors.

Sonic Colors is a game for the Wii and DS, which plans to use the style of the praised Daytime stages in Unleashed throughout the whole game with the colored wisps, which gives Sonic different powers for the levels. So far, this game looks like a Sonic game that should have came out a long time ago. Shame the only console version is on the Wii. However, like always, I'm not getting too excited. They can still drop the ball at any time. Sega's been chasing after a super fast, graphically gorgeous, inventive and fun Sonic platformer for so long that whenever it promises yet another new Sonic title, it's very, very hard to believe that it might end up finally being that game. Just according to the odds, I'm going to guess that Sonic Colors still isn't that game, but Sega has been trying very hard, over and over again, to do it right.

And then comes Sonic 4, for XBLA, PSN, WiiWare, and iPhone. The game isn't filled with a billion extra characters. The game is 2D all of the way, and designed to be a true sequel to Sonic 3 & Knuckles, much like how Mega Man 9 was a true sequel for the Mega Man series. Initially, I had my reservations. One of the leaked stages, a mine cart stage, was filled with a ridiculous gimick and some of the stages just seemed too slow, let alone the physics were very off from 2D Sonic physics. Then something happened.

Sega, for the first time ever, responded to people's reactions to the leaked footage (Might have even been leaked on purpose... you never know.) Sonic Team decided to delay a Sonic Game, for the first time ever. They are removing the stage and every stage so far is getting redeisgns. Not to mention they are eventing out the physics. And at a E3 demo... the game looks like an absolute blast. They are listening. Just this alone makes me feel like Sonic 4 is on the path to greatness. Keep it up Sega, that is all I can say.

As a guy who's childhood was defined by Sonic on the Genesis, I want to be proud to be a Sonic fan again. Sega, please let that happen.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic the Hedgehog: Will it ever be amazing again?   Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:33 pm

Totally agreed. Sonic used to be a wicked cross between platformer and twisted racing game, and it's stepped further and further away from the experience ever since.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic the Hedgehog: Will it ever be amazing again?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:20 am


Screeny of "Splash Hill Zone", level 1 of Sonic 4. Of course keeping the tradition of a tropical-themed starting level that has "hill" in the title (Green Hill, Emerald Hill, Mushroom Hill, etc)

According to the preview by Joystiq, the game replaces the insta-shield attack of Sonic with the homing attack, which causes him to bolt forward at the nearest enemy. This is also used in level branching, and it's great to hear that the levels are full of multiple routes, secret passages, and what not. This is actually shaping up to be pretty great.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic the Hedgehog: Will it ever be amazing again?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:17 pm

Looks like a good old Sonic game to me. I'd like to play it Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic the Hedgehog: Will it ever be amazing again?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:18 pm

yeah, finally looks like they might be getting it right
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic the Hedgehog: Will it ever be amazing again?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:00 pm

And when you say "getting it right," you mean "what they had in the first place."

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic the Hedgehog: Will it ever be amazing again?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:51 pm

Rat wrote:
And when you say "getting it right," you mean "what they had in the first place."

To be fair, I think if they manage to get a new sonic game to be as good as the old ones, then they have a wonderful launch platform for a comeback.

Oh, and I really hope Sonic 4 pulls a Return of the Jedi Hedgehog and brings forth a Death Egg II. Actually, come to think of it... Sonic and Tails destroyed the original Death Egg 3 times. First time in Sonic 2, where the remains fell on Angel Island. Then again at Launch Base zone, where Sonic causes the relaunch to fail and it falls into Lava Reef zone. And then at the end of Sonic and Knuckles, where it blows up entirely.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic the Hedgehog: Will it ever be amazing again?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:56 pm

yes i do mean going back to what they originally had, and yes, there must be a death egg 2 so that they can go inside of it and destroy it.
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