To All The People That Said “Sonic Needs To Die”

Sonic Mania has finally launched and many, including myself, claim it to be the best Sonic game in years. Mania is probably the first time in a while where I felt truly immersed in that sense of style, speed, and platforming that I fell in love all the way back in the early 90’s. But most importantly it proves that Sonic isn’t dead and shouldn’t be.

Being a Sonic fan in the modern world is extremely challenging. Recent games have been somewhere between mixed to great but mostly bad. Sonic 06 and Sonic Boom are the most prime examples of how a Sonic game can go terribly wrong thanks to clunky level design and feeling like an unfinished mess. So naturally a divide formed where fans of the old were completely dissatisfied with how the series turned out and newcomers trying to defend it because, well, they just love Sonic. It’s kind of like supporting your favorite sports team even though they never had a good season for a long time.

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This has sparked multiple debates among gaming communities with plenty of critics such as the infamous Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw reviews of Zero Punctuation to major outlets such as IGN who claimed “Sonic was never good” and “Sonic needs to die”. People, mostly edgy gamers, unanimously agreed that there’s no solution to the franchise and that its style is considered dated and should just die.

Then Mania happened.

Mania is the solution and the proof us Sonic fans needed to silence the naysayers once and for all. This was the game we’ve been waiting for and even if you’re not a fan of 2D Sonic (yes, those exist), it’s still something we can use to shut them up. But if this does indeed prove that Sonic can work in the modern gaming world then what really is the problem?

The Problem Isn’t Sonic. It’s SEGA and Sonic Team

Mania proves another important point, one that honestly saddens me. SEGA and Sonic Team just don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. Like, I’m sorry, I know there are a lot of fans out there that would praise and defend those brands but let’s face it: they’re out of touch. They don’t understand what makes a Sonic game good and as a result continue to dish out disappointing experiments such as Sonic Lost World and Werehog sections of Unleashed. Their experience also seems to lack polish as plenty of levels, especially towards the end of their games, end up feeling rushed, broken, and frustrating. Like whenever I play Sonic Generations I always tend to stick to the earlier to mid sections for a reason. They’re just more fun.

SEGA should have also seen the disaster coming with Boom. Honestly, I’m not sure what they were thinking turning the game into a sort of Jack and Daxter experience which seems completely divorced of all the charm and fun that made Sonic memorable. Furthermore these additions to the brands end up fragmenting the fanbase even further. We now have Classic Sonic, Modern Sonic, and Boom Sonic. Some even claim Dreamcast Sonic to be his own category. That’s like 4 Sonic’s that fans have to deal with. Like how do you market that shit?

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SEGA and Sonic Team kept adding obstacles and unnecessary changes that fans didn’t ask for. It’s almost like they enjoy creating problems so they can solve it when the problem shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

I can go on why SEGA and Sonic Team lack focus or how they can’t make interesting fun levels, but the bottom line is that they forgot. And in the process ended up reinventing the wheel.

I won’t lie, I did enjoy some modern Sonic games. The adventure series Sonic/Shadow levels were great and up until now have the best 3D movement for Sonic that actually demonstrates proper momentum. Generations was a lot of fun and I still occasionally go back to it. I just feel the movement is a bit slippery and the boost button just breaks the game. As for the rest I have nothing to say other than that they were forgettable at best.

SEGA and Sonic Team’s lack of focus is evident even up until today. Forces is treated as their big Sonic game with Mania as an appetizer while the rest of the community see the opposite. For the record I’m still looking forward to Forces but Mania will no doubt overshadow it which again, is something SEGA did not anticipate but should have.

I hope that from this experience SEGA is going to look at the feedback and take maters more seriously. The fact that Mania is the highest rated Sonic game in over a decade is a testament to that. Maybe that’s why they agreed to let fans make their next game to see where it goes? It’s a hunch but entirely possible.

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Whether or not Forces will do good or bad, Mania has at the very least given Sonic fans something to hold on to and prove the franchise isn’t going anywhere.

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SEGA’s Future Video Gives Us Hope

Amidst the onslaught of news from last week’s E3, SEGA decided to play it a bit low-key and release the following video well after the event has concluded.

It’s filled with inspiring words narrated by none other than Toshihiro Nagoshi best know for the Yakuza series (which is probably the only high quality series to come from the studio in the past decade). More importantly thought it gives us hope that perhaps SEGA is finally listening and wishes to make amends to its less than stellar post-Dreamcast phase.

SEGA has also been doing retro Tweets from its SEGA Forever Twitter account. Could this be a hint of a retro console revival? Maybe. But on thing’s for sure: if there’s one studio that definitely needs to make a comeback it’s SEGA.

Sonic Forces Introduces Customizable Character Creation

For the first time in the franchise’s history, players will be able to create and play with their own created Sonic character.

This was revealed in a new trailer that unveils the mysterious character as a randomly generated avatar (and not Bubsy). Here is a list of creatures you can select from along with their abilities.

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We also get a sneak peek at some new gameplay footage as well.

Sonic Forces arrives Q4 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, Swich, and PC.

Sonic Forces – First Official Look at Gameplay

SEGA have released the first look at Sonic Forces and as we guessed, it will play similar to Sonic Generations.

Interesting to note is that the gameplay is running at 60 FPS. Generations on consoles was only able to manage 30. However it’s worth noting that the Switch may have slight degraded quality and will most likely run at 30 but we’ll see!

Now some may be wondering why they went back to the Generations formula? Well considering that it was the last really good Sonic game that not only sold but got great reviews, it makes complete sense from a business to go back and work on that formula.

Sonic Forces is coming Holiday 2017 on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Here’s Our First Look at Knuckles and Tails (Plus New Zones) in Sonic Mania

SEGA and Kinda Funny Games have teamed up to give us more Sonic Mania goodness.

Finally we get to see Knuckles and Tails in action and their adorable sprite animations. It’s charming and feels totally connected to the origin of what made 2D Sonic great in the first place. We also get to see some new zones one of which is basically a recreated version of the cancelled Desert Dazzle Zone from Sonic CD.

Sonic Mania is expected to arrive May 2017 along with a beautiful collector’s edition.

There’s Already a Sonic Mania Fan Game

With the trailer reaching 2 million views, it’s no secret that fans both old and new are excited for Sonic Mania. And in it’s wake it’s only natural that a fan game is created.

YouTuber YESMEN10 has managed to recreate the new zone Studiopolis which was featured heavily in gameplay videos and launch trailer. Players can download it now and play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and even Shadow and explore the new zone. YESMEN also made it clear that he is not intending on making a copy of the game but just did this as a sort of demo to help ease the wait.

Sonic Mania launches early next year, a beautiful looking collector’s edition has also been announced.