Friday, August 13, 2010

Brings Back Memories... and Ranting

As a young kid, I was absolutely obsessed with Sonic the Hedgehog.
Seeing this video sure brought back memories, back when I used to beg to use my uncle's SEGA console to play Sonic 3... even if I was really just mashing buttons and dying constantly.

YouTube - Sega's Office Pranks - Aaron's Desk

Honestly though, these SEGA workers seem to love the oldschool stuff.
How about they take that enthusiasm and bring Sonic back to his former glory, rather than continue to put him in games that only a child could possibly appreciate?

The success that Sonic the Hedgehog reached in the 90's was due to the fact that the games were enjoyable by any age group.
Now that technology has moved forward, Sonic's target age group has moved backwards, so to speak, in the constrained direction of a younger target audience.

Just take a look at the E3 trailer for SEGA's newest Sonic title...
Sonic now fuses together with strange colored creatures reminiscent of Pokemon's "Rotom" character to gain power-ups.

I'm all for adding new features and gameplay to old series, but really?
Adding a whole new "species" of characters to an already cluttered cast is not the way to go, especially when they are placed at the center of the game's mechanics.

Sonic Adventure's "Chao" characters were a prime example of what DID work in the series. The addition of the Chao were intuitive, and generally unobtrusive.
Though they played a part in the plotline, they were seen in cutscenes and didn't factor into gameplay.
For those who wanted something extra to do while playing the game, the Chao were an interactive side show, a cross between a mini-game and pet simulator.
The fact that taking care of the Chao was a non-essential part of both Sonic Adventure games meant it could be ignored by those who saw it as a nuisance, though personally I embraced it.
The Chao were fun and time consuming, adding countless hours of extra play time, and ultimately game value.

Sonic Adventure and its sequel, Sonic Adventure 2, both proved that Sonic definitely could work in a 3D setting.

However, after seeing SEGA add magical storybooks, swords, "were-hog" transformations, and now superpowers based on color, that little blue hedgehog has become the center of a mess of random, yet unoriginal plotlines.
I think it's time to let Sonic walk, or should I say run, off into the sunset, and leave him with what little dignity he has left.

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