30 Years of Sonic The Hedgehog – Many Faces of Mario’s Greatest Rival

Image: SEGA / Nintendo Life

Over the holidays, we’ll be re-publishing some of our best features, interviews, opinions, and views from 12 months ago. from employees and contributors alike – articles that we feel represent the best of the year 2021. In them you’ll find our usual blend of thoughtfulness, vanity, nostalgia specialize, nostalgia for gaming, and – of course – enthusiasm for all things Nintendo. Interesting!

Over the past three decades, many types of Sonic fans have appeared and developed. The type of fan you usually are depends on where you’ve jumped into the platform franchise. You’ve got your 2D purists, your handset advocates, your 3D guardians, your Werehog defenders, who say that 8-bit games are better than 16-bit games… and that’s just the tip of Green Hill.

Today, ‘long-suffering Sonic veteran’, Stuart Gipp, describes himself as ‘long-lasting Sonic veteran’ looking back chronologically across the entire series ‘until now…

Sega’s big blue hope seems to go through incarnations as if he had to wear a pair of socks. One has to wonder what the heck is causing him to be in such a hurry, but given the patchy quality of the series as a whole, we suspect he may be trying to run faster. he himself.

Have looked at many faces of Donkey Kong in honor of the gorilla’s 40th anniversary, recently – and typically catalysis – release Sonic Colors Ultimate the hedgehog’s 30th anniversary year seems to be any time to consider a selection (albeit not quite complete) of Sonics. A Sonics double. A Sonics sniper. Sonic aperitif.

We start with a draft of the genuine article; The only Sonic that pleases ‘purists’…

Appropriate sound: Mega Drive years (1991-1996)

Image: SEGA

Now, some will dispute the “proper Sonic” labeling of this batch, but all are wrong – this is Sonic at the height of his power. The 2D platform leverages momentum that has never been matched, or even convincingly imitated.

The original Sonic the Hedgehog and its two and a half seasons (Sonic & Knuckles only somethings like that counts as a full game) still looks and plays great to this day, hence the excitement for the upcoming game Sonic Origin – which also includes the misunderstood masterpiece CD Sonic the Hedgehog.

In our opinion, we think it helped directly elevate these classics in Sonic Mania for the series to achieve unanimous critical acclaim once again after its early ’90s heyday.

8-Bit Sonic: Main System / Game Gear Years (1991-1996)

Sonic 8 bit
Image: SEGA

It would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the rather underrated Sonic 8-bit games, especially their Host System versions that we argue are, at the very least, thoroughly playable and audible (or must theoretically) Great.

While still fast, focus at 8-bit Sonic and Sonic 2 has been moved to a more linear, precision-based platform; an approach that is focused on the ‘MacGuffin, Chaos Emeralds’ series; here, hiding in a backwater location in each area instead of being locked behind Special Stages…

Until Sonic Chaos and Sonic Triple trouble, which means, at that point, they, um, locked them up again after the Special Stages.

Incredibly Confused Sound: The Saturn Years (1996-1997)

Image: SEGA

The promise of a future Sonic may have sold Saturns, which makes you a little sorry it never got.

Yes, you are shouting, it received a version of Sonic 3D as well as the racing wheel Sonic CHEAP, but the title of the best Sonic in this era is Sonic Jam Compilation of classics. That’s not exactly a great advertisement for your expensive, fragile new console. Fans know that fisheye lens titles are planned and weird Sonic X-Treme had a very rough development at this point, but it looked like a hot mess and it never saw the light of day.

Outside Saturn, there is a strange arcade fighter Sonic the Fighters, but that one doesn’t exactly scream “Hi, I’m a Sonic franchisee. I know what I’m doing”. It runs on the Fighting Vipers engine (also Virtua fighter plane engine) and surprisingly good.

Sonic Confident Failure: The Dream Years (1999-2001)

Sonic Adventure
Image: SEGA

Remember that scene in The Simpsons where Mr Burns’ doctor was demonstrating the fragile equilibrium of his patient’s health with tiny disease-representing toys stuck in a tiny doorway. ? Sonic Adventure it’s basically a game version of that, where it’s a game that completely falls apart and basically breaks, but somehow it just sticks together in a way that sees the wobble Its considered free-to-play, rather than disgustingly unplayable.

Sonic Adventure is still incredibly fun to play, arguably more so than any of its more rigid sequels. Sonic Adventure 2, for example, it’s a much more polished and engaging title, but also a bit boring and trashy, if you ask us. Of course, many people disagree, but we found it quite consistent.

The most interesting thing about Adventure games is their outright refusal to trade past glories – not only are these not classic Sonic games, but they are completely nothing like their ancestors in almost every way besides obvious loops, circles, etc… There’s something to be said about going from the most accessible tiles ever created to sheer complexity. Continuity and feedback of the Sonic Adventure series.

Throw-Stuff-At-The-Wall-And-See-What-Sticks Sonic: Cross-Platform Wild Years (2003-2009)

Sonic Hero
Image: SEGA

Then the unthinkable: Sega quit the game console business and started putting its most popular brands on the systems of old competitors.

And Hell follows: Sonic Hero is the toilet, but it’s just a slip compared to some absolute washes that have seen the light of day in this, very colorful stage; Shadow the Hedgehog, for goodness sake; port of the Dreamcast games, in the case of Adventure, even more broken; miserable person Sonic Riders and subsequent sections; terrible Sonic Storybook series with Secret Rings and black Knight; and interesting Sonic Unleashed created a portrait of a series that really didn’t know what it wanted to be or what the hell it was doing.

Thankfully, throughout this period, there was a solid core of 2D titles for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS that kept things on track a bit more – all three Sonic Advance The game is a good time, not to mention Sonic Rush and Rush Adventure, both provide high-quality running action. That said, even handhelds aren’t completely secure, to the horror of Bioware Sonic Chronicles wafted over the air-like aftertaste of a plate of dog chili peppers.

OH; and a little something commonly called Sonic ’06 ruin the reputation of the series forever.

Boost Sonic: Cross-platform Wild Years part II: some coherence in common (2010-2021)

Negative color
Image: SEGA

Thank god this cataclysm ended with Negative color, then, a title with a shocking level of purity and focus on a series they seem to have long forgotten about. Far from being called Sonic Colors perfect, it was (and still is) above average for 3D Sonic; something that finally realizes the game’s strengths – that is, the traditional 3D Sonic platforming stages you’d think would have been the focus of previous titles, without any alternative gameplay or Pointless diversionary minigame to waste time. It’s just Sonic’s live action, something taken from the “Days” stages in the mediocre Sonic Unleashed and expanded here and in the celebration sequel. Sonic Generations, a title that is undeniably trading based on nostalgia while still providing a lot of delicious meat for players.

There are some missteps in this era – Sonic the Hedgehog 4 tantamount to a war crime just because of its name, Sonic boom The best game is not mentioned and exclusive to the Wii U . console Sonic Lost World is a mistake in most ways – but for the most part, this consistency gives Sound force, a widely mocked game that this writer considers pretty much strong, especially when you consider the huge wave of die-hard fans who had to navigate before it.

And then there’s Sonic Mania, of course.

Future Sonic (2022 – ????)

Sonic Teases
Image: SEGA

Of course, many people will disagree with the conclusions drawn here about what, statistically speaking, are probably some of their favorite games. And that’s perfectly fine. We’re looking at the series here in a more separate way than enthusiasts would. And we missed out on a lot too – Sonic isn’t just about the game, but to many beloved comic book universes (Archie, Fleetway, IDW), TV cartoons (The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic SatAM, Underground and then Boom), as well as many other deviations in the franchise (not to mention hit movie), each of which is more fully documented by the fan base than we actually have the space to.

We think Sonic’s success comes in waves and is coming Sonic Rangers has a chance to once again deliver a consistent experience for fans, though it’ll most likely be another whole new direction in a series that really struggles for identity at times. However, we still quite like the silly blue color and we just want what’s best for him. Which means we really have to stress that he choose a lane.

What is your favorite Sonic era? Let us know in the poll below and please tell us exactly what kind of Sonic fan you’re using.


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