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Time For Sonic To Evolve As A Series

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Written by Tony Howell
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Well to start off, if any of you have known me for even a week you would know that I’ve been a die-hard fan of the sonic franchise for a long time now. That being said, there have been things that have really been disappointing me as far as this series has been going lately. There’s always the good and bad when it comes to a series, I will admit that no series is perfect, but at some point a series has to continue with some type of evolution. For example, after the genesis days of Sonic passed, they moved onto making Sonic into a 3D game which was suppose to start with Sonic X-treme. Then it got canned and they later moved to Sonic R. After that came the Sega Dreamcast Era of Sonic Adventures 1 and 2 along with Shuffle. Different features were being added to the series, more characters were being added to the mix, and the music was changing.

Well with all that being said, it is the year 2010 and Sonic has not evolved one bit since 2001. Now to be fair, Sonic Colors is coming out for the Wii soon and I really can’t judge that game because it isn’t out. It could be a good step in the right direction, or a failure like Sonic 2006 regardless of whether it’s good or not. The Wiki isn’t exactly the next generation experience that’s going to give you a new taste of what Sonic can actually do on the PS3 and Xbox360. ANYWAYS ( I know I keep getting off topic) Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is coming out very soon and one would think I would be extremely and impressed but I have to say…I’m not really at all. Could it be good? Hell yes, it can! Do I want to play it on my Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii? Hell no. People get all sorts of upset with me when they hear me say that because, and I quote, “There hasn’t been a good 2D side scroller since the Genesis days”. Now ummmm I remember a handy little device called the Gameboy Advance, and with this device there were some games called Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance2, and Sonic Advance3 which were all extremely well put together 2D sonic side scrolling games that were faster and, in my opinion a hell of a lot better than Sonic 1 and Sonic 3 and Knuckles. These games let me choose between Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Cream (2 and 3) as apposed to just Sonic, Tails and maybe Knuckles. With the Nintendo DS, we were introduced to the games Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, which were really well done games as well (with really well done soundtracks, I might add). With the last Sonic 2D side scroller being in 2007, how exactly can someone say there hasn’t been a good one since the Genesis days? Just because something is classic does not mean its better and I think people need to step out of what I like to call “The Classics Bias”.

Now in 2008 a game called Sonic Unleashed was UNLEASHED to the public and was created with the Hedgehog engine; that was pretty damn impressive. There were times in that game where you would be going so fast that you could hardly even control Sonic. That game was a perfect example of what Sonic was suppose to feel like on current generation consoles. However, that game suffered due to the stupid Werehog bullshit, lack of multiplayer, and fact that out of all the 20+ characters that the series has… I had to be only Sonic, that stupid pink Chip motherfu**er that followed Sonic around, AND… the music sucked.

I guess what I’m trying to get at out of all of this is that instead of focusing on what Sonic started off as, why don’t they try to focus on what they can improve on the 3D sonic games of this generation and to actually push the console to its limits? Like I said before, Sonic Unleashed was a step in the right direction. All Sega or Sonic Team really need to do is bring back the Hedgehog Engine, Multiplayer online 2-16, let people be able to select any of the characters that have been introduced into the series, create a story that can be followed up and actually be taken seriously EVEN to kids, and lastly….effort. While Sonic the Hedgehog 4 promises to be a well-done game, it really isn’t 360 or PS3 generation material. It just looks like Sonic Rush slapped together with some HD visuals. I honestly don’t understand what’s taken this game so long to come out in the first place.

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