Feature: Sonic and why he’s lost his appeal
Yes considering I’m a massive Nintendo fan this would only be a matter of time before this cropped up. However there was a point I absolutely loved Sonic and the first two games were two of my favourite games of all time so it surprises me that I am writing about the demise of one of best characters in this field. So what happened?
Whilst officially a platforming game Sonic had something that Mario didn’t have, it had speed. Now Mario was all about adventuring and finding secrets, Sonic was rushing through the level timing everything to perfection so much so that on my last play-through of Sonic 2 there were a number of secrets that I had accidentally found that I hadn’t done in other play through. Ever played Sonic 3D? They took speed out, heck there were even parts of S&Knuckles and Sonic 3 where you had to stop the speed side of things to do some random gimmicky thing like using a see-saw (or there abouts) to move up the next part of the level. Take the speed away then what’s the point?
5. Stupid additional characters
Now this may be one of those points that you expected (just like speed) but seriously what’s the deal with the random characters? Before we get to that I’ll get it out of the way…Mario has a ton of random characters but they’re usually used on the spin-offs, they keep with the same sort of characters for the main game. So who do we have? Tails. Amy Rose, Knuckles, Espio, Vector, Blaze, Shadow, Rouge, Jet, Storm, Wave, Big the Cat, Froggy, Mighty the Armadillo, Cream the rabbit (lmao), Fang the Sniper oh I give up…there’s a huge list! Some have an appeal (like Tails who has the appeal to the younger gamer, and Knuckles who I’ll get to later) but come on…the rest hold no real love do they?
I’m pretty sure you’re now humming in your head one of the amazing pieces of music from Sonic 1 and how it added to the overall game or you’re like me and singing the Dr Robotnik now Eggman theme from Sonic 2 . In fact if I showed this piece to a hundred people I doubt anyone would give us a rendition of one of the “modern” Sonic games attempts at a Soundtrack, they easily add to the dated feel of the game…I mean just listen to it.
3. “Sonic was popular when rollerblading was popular!”
It was College humor who said that and I think that one quote sums up his demise rather nicely. Think the early nineties what was hip and cool, things like Rollerblading and the cool up yours to society mindset. With that Sonic stepped forth and people flocked to him as it was something different, it wasn’t an Alex Kidd and it definitely wasn’t a Mario, he had the attitude and it was very quickly dated. Within five years Sonic was seen as the norm and not this cool hip new thing, not like Pogs!
2. Surely he shouldn’t mix with humans.
Aside from Robotnik the Sonic games never really had any humans in it, but for some crazy reason Adventure seemed to take place on Earth with somewhere looking like San Fransisco. As the games went on the interaction got more and more and in Unleashed is one moment where I’ve literally shouted at the TV in frustration. You’re looking for Tails and you end up speaking to some dude who sold you Ice Cream or a Chilli Dog and you ask if he’s seen a yellow fox. I was like WTF you’re a Hedgehog talking to a human asking if he’s seen a yellow fox when Tails’ main thing is he has two tails and can fly! Good grief! You need to keep Sonic in his world, he’s not a human so don’t put him in the human world as we can’t relate to it, it’s an escapism so go wild and give us Green Hill Zone!
1. That bloody Echidna
No this Echidna looks nothing like Knuckles at all, the red guy who most Sonic fans love. This one should be a controversial one (seeing as I’ve not mentioned Unleashed too much or even the horrible Wii story games) but I believe Knuckles ruined the Sonic franchise. Why you must say? The whole thing to the success of Sonic I will label the Batman syndrome. What is the Batman syndrome? You make something that’s not what the main hero of the time is. Mario was slow, fat, old, human and nice, Sonic was fast, thin, young, a hedgehog and had a cocky attitude about him…he was the opposite of Mario. Then Tails came into the frame and that I think was a good move as it opened to the 2player side of things and also gave the younger person in the family a character to play almost like the Robin to Sonic being Batman. Then we add Knuckles in. Knuckles was cooler than Sonic, he was more mysterious and more of a rogue, suddenly he isn’t the anti-Mario but rather more like him than you can imagine. Batman never had someone cooler and better than him and thus his appeal stayed, Sonic did in Knuckles and his appeal did decline.