An accurate portrayal of Western Sonic fans.

Looking across the world-wide web, I’ve come to a most un-startling conclusion.  Everyone’s mental state swings from calm and stable to extreme hormonal imbalance if they see a hedgehog moving across the road. They slam on their gas in a mad dash to kill the poor creature. But then… they miss! They slam on the breaks to avoid hitting the tree, but they were too slow! They kept on juicing! And then… WHAM!

In the hospital, while recovering from 2 broken legs, they are given pudding from one of the hideous and morbidly obese nurses. They take a bite, but immediately spit it out when they tastes a piece of curly hair filled with dandruff and cum. upon this discovery, they are filled with rage as thy fling the pudding across the room, throw their arms into the air and proclaim loudly and proudly.

“I HATE THAT HEDGEHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOG!”

When news broke out about that rumor of Nintendo buying Sega, the forum twats came out of the abyss to show once again why they should be ignored. It’s hard to believe, but people are cheering for Sega’s demise. All those years of hyping up Sonic’s downward spiral has painted a nasty picture of the company overall. Course, every news story about Sega also includes nothing but details of mismanagement after mismanagement, not to mention people are literally using this story as fuel to hate Sega even more.

It feels like the video game equivalent of Michael Jackson.

And hell, they used to hang out with each other.

If that legend’s history is anything to go by, Sega is probably gonna die soon, but with less people being sad.

That’s the issue I’m not comfortable with. Considering that gamers are very spiteful people who nowadays just wishes for companies to die out, it won’t come as a shock that Sega will go out without as much as a single tear. Instead, it would be a parade, a party, and a memorial dedicated to Sega’s collapse. It’s certainly gotten to the point that Sega is seen as worse than EA. When people are literally cumming rainbows at the thought of Sega being bought out by Disney, you know they’re fucked.

But not all hope is lost. Any company can bounce back up into prominence, but only rarely does this ever happen. But how would anyone go about it? Well, here’s how I would go about it.

This is my list of 5 ways Sega can officially “Save Sonic the Hedgehog”

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#1: Turn off the damn internet.

When it comes to Sega, the majority of people believe that “saving Sonic” is the only way for Sea to bounce back. While a mascot needs to have a clean track record to give a company it’s image and goodwill,  many people have exaggerated Sonic’s image as being the worst thing ever. While many other company mascots have fallen on hard times in the past, Sonic is given special treatment due to being a world phenomenon in the past. Give him a AK47 and watch the rage happen.

Of course, when you give the fans something they asked for, you can only expect nothing but sheer stupidity.

lolzy

Lets be quite honest. The Sonic Fanbase isn’t the brightest bolt to ever grace the internet. After all, these fans are at war with themselves over children’s drawings. The overwhelming amount of suggestions that people have to “save Sonic” have literally been done to death. Everyone says “Sonic only”. “Sonic needs to go back to it’s roots” “Sonic needs better writing”. Most or all of these suggestions have literally been done in the latest few games to come out. And people are STILL bitching. With Sonic Generations, varying opinions withstanding, Sega is taking… baby steps in the right direction with the franchise. But this isn’t enough, ofcourse. Now people are complaining that Sega is just milking the “retro” cow despite people asking for this. Not to mention Spax (the infamous Sonic fan known for crying to his mamma to sue everyone’s ass off) had a most unprofessional interview with Ken Ballough where he showed nothing but his sheer spite for Sega. I can’t the video at the moment, but according to even the fans themselves, it wasn’t too pretty.

While we can go on the logical case and say these are “different factions of the fanbase”, that’s actually quite difficult to determine. Sonic’s fanbase is gigalithic. Even today. And when it seems the ENTIRE fanbase is screaming with hivemind, and the general consensus is that “Sonic sucks, sell it to Nintendo”, you tend not to get a different message, because EVERYONE is saying the same exact things. So when Iizuka talks about not being able to please their fans, it should be easy to understand why one would come to that conclusion. Course, this asshole shouldn’t even open his mouth, but the point still stands. Something is holding the fanbase back from giving one game a chance. Sonic Colors seemed like the one game that could get on anyone’s good side, but that’s not the case.

Perhaps it’s not so much as different factions, but a fear of change. We’ve been used to ragging on Sonic games for 8 years now since the release of Shadow the Hedgehog. That’s 8 years of constant bad press, shitty reviews done deliberately to paint a bad picture and get a rise out of the fans, silly “save Sonic” posts like this one, and many more. It’s become ingrained with our very culture. Not to mention people from the inside have the same exact opinions of the company as the fans do, and only reignites the firestorm of the internet. It’s gotten so bad that Sega decided to cancel the Sonic 4 series. This despite selling exceptionally well for a Sonic game with this reputation.

So, if the company admits a problem in pleasing the fanbase, and they have a series that’s selling better than originally thought, maybe it’s time to break away from the pack. Sonic fans in general have a bad habit of articulating what they find wrong with the series at this point. Hell, most of them haven’t even played the recent games and just jump on the band wagon because it’s fun. Or they go by the hyperbole and believe it entirely. This is the problem of game journalism and internet trolls in general. They don’t care what damage it does to the overall picture as long as they squeeze as much last minute thrills they can get before they burn the whole place down. That’s not to say there are no fans with legitimate opinions on the games, but how many of them can you actually count? The ones that played Sonic 4? Well, there’s an idea of how many units sold. If you get more legitimate complaints than not, you get a better indication of how many people actually played the fucking game before hand.

Also, if you’re gonna listen to the fans anyway, make sure NOT to add your special innovations. Nobody wants that bullshit. They want exactly what they asked for.  That’s bullshit I expect from Nintendo’s developers. Not you.

NOTE: Hmm… never thought about Werehog being Ristar. Might have to keep that in mind.

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#2: Get Hajime Satomi’s dick out of your ass.

A lot of people haven’t become aware of something. In 2004, Sammy, the money men behind fighting game series “Guilty Gear“, had purchased Sega for a certain mil. It was during this year that Sega would face a dramatic change in all of it’s ventures, as well as the future destruction of it’s image. Later, 2005  saw the fateful year of the release of Shadow the Hedgehog. Not to mention rushing Sonic 06 for holiday seasons (and not taking advantage of the extra development time for the PS3 version), dictating that Nights: Journey into Dreams should be given 1 year of development as a Wii game instead of an already completed HD game ready for 360, as well as the creation of this piece of shit.

Where’s my tag racing mode!? Dammit!

2004 was the death of Sega’s reputation, and it’s all thanks to 1 man.

Burn this man’s image into your mind… and hate him for all eternity.

Hajime Satomi, ranked #698 on Forbes list of “World’s richest people” with a net worth of 1.1 billion, is currently Sega’s boss. With all the money he gained from the Pachinko business, the buy out seemed to be a sweet deal for Sega, seeing as they needed money.

But low and behold what a misjudgment that was! Sega’s downhill spiral to a mediocre image started the moment they were bought by this guy. Certainly, SOJ has always been a terrible company when it came to management, but this guy clearly has no idea what he’s doing. Every year, there’s always a report of Sega Sammy Holdings losing massive profits, usually by 80% or so. Most of this is pointed directly at the Pachinko side where profits have been getting hit hard. Some reports say that Sega’s games are selling decently, but if the main arm of profit (the Pachinko side) is losing more money, that really doesn’t mean shit for anyone.

But what I want to get at is the development cycle for Nights, Journey into Dreams.

Back in… what was it, 2007? 2008? There was a blog post by a former Sega employee regarding the development of Nights JID. Apparently, the game  was supposed to be for the HD twins, but due to the success of the Wii, Satomi gave Iizuka the finger and told Sonic Team to retool the game for a Wii release. With the budget they had, they only had 1 year before they could finish the game up. What happened was yet another tarnished IP. Granted, it wasn’t going to push big numbers anyway, it could’ve been salvaged and given more time to make it good. But that was noooooooooo good! Game was a flop. And looking at the flailing business of the Pachinko side, Satomi couldn’t manage a decent erection to continue his kin. And for that, we should be eternally grateful.

Clearly, he had good intentions with putting Nights on the Wii. It had a much better chance on the console where as the HD twins were gunning for more “mature” games on their consoles. Nights just wouldn’t fit in with the “big boys” as they call them. Wii was the home to niche titles and would’ve benefited from the Sega fans already present. But oh well.

Plus, considering how much money this guy has, why won’t he pony up the cash for some actual MARKETING!? How many Sega games did you guys produce!? I didn’t learn about Binary Domain until I got the news from a PMer!

Maybe there’s a good reason Yuji Naka left. But even then, the Japanese need to have some balls and say “Satomi, we need more time. 2 years ain’t cuttin it these days.” And this is mostly for Sonic Team. SOJ seems to take kindly to the other development branches. But Sonic Team is real special. More on that later.

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#3: Nail Ken Ballough’s mouth shut.

For a long time, I’ve been wondering why people kept harping on and on about Sonic 4’s physics as if they were the most damning things ever. I mean, Sonic Rush is considered a wonderful return to Sonic’s roots from 3&K despite having shit physics, level design, and gameplay.

That’s nothing compared to this crack whore.

Really, why did people keep hammering on about the physics? It’s like they were deliberately trying to slam Sonic 4 as hard as possible for not being Mega Man 9.

Well, it’s all thanks to this cracka right here.

I got my stache did last week!

The fat one on the left. Ken Ballough’s facial dew is the result of someone more concerned with his own fame rather than the good of the game. He actually made the promises to fans that Sonic 4 would play 100% similar to the classics. He’s made these comments in certain interviews.

Ken Balough: Old-school Sonic fans have long asked to see Sonic return to a more 2D style of gameplay. Many liked the daytime stages in Unleashed, but wanted to see a game that plays purely similar to the early games of the Genesis. Project Needlemouse is that critical first step that brings Sonic back to his 2D roots.”

“”We’re going to deliver a Genesis-era Sonic game as if it were created today that goes to the core of what classic Sonic fans desire.””

““We’re gonna be doing everything as far as polish is concerned, but we’re also going to be taking a lot of level design considerations – we’re going back and we’re even going as far as redesigning certain elements of certain levels, to make it feel more momentum-based and more momentum-driven.”””

This was Weber’s comment.

““The physics, I think, are really a big thing,” says Webber, “That’s the biggest thing if anything that the fans have come back and given us feedback on; the physics look different. That’s one of the things we’re going to be looking at once again, we’re gonna try and make it a bit less ‘floaty’ and a bit more like the pinball mechanics style that the classic Sonic games are.””

Yeah, while not Ken’s words specifically, he made more than enough nodges to Weber’s comments before we even got to this point.

With that in mind, complainers of Sonic 4 are completely justified in this department. They were promised genesis-era physics, even after feedback was given during an interview about a delay specifically because of the feedback. And the game still plays like ass.

All those Ken Balough interviews were just PR stunts to boost his image so that the internet would love him (and that mustache is atrocious, not cute or funny). I suppose a “brand manager” has to bullshit people just to keep the goodwill running. But when you promise things that aren’t specifically in a game, you do more harm than good.

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#4. Reinstate Tom Kalinske…. and goddammit, LISTEN TO THE FUCKER!!!

There’s a distinction that needs to be made between white people and the Japanese. White people look at the world as a business. IE they see everyone as a potential buyer and not as a human. As such, they are very willing to compromise anything if it means making a buck. The Japanese, on the other hand, do not like to compromise anything. They are very stubborn people who are unwilling to change or take another’s suggestions to heart.

Case in point? A little game called Segagaga. The game is a self parody of Sega’s ventures into game development, covering their rise and downfall as well as taking a look at a little character called “Alex the Kidd” and how he went down on his luck when Sonic came out.

That’s really all that people like about the game. What I like about the game is a character called “Special Task Force Director Cool”. He’s an American portrayed as a malevolent business man out to churn out mediocre games to make a quick buck.

ARRRRRRRRR! I’M A PIRATE!

There’s only one problem with that. He’s actually based on one of SOA’s former CEOs. Tom Kalinske, otherwise known as the guy who is making Leapfrog a shitload of money. Currently, Leapfrog is the 3rd largest toy company, raking in $680 Million dollars.

“What the fuck!? This guy worked at Sega!?”

Oh hell yes. This is the man that kicked the shit out of Nintendo during the time of the Sega Genesis. Around the time of his stay at Sega, he saw that the company was…. shitty with their approach at selling the Genesis. He went straight to Japan and told them straight up. “You guys suck”. First off, they wanted to sell the Genesis at $189.99 dollars which was pretty expensive at the time. Not to mention they wanted to package the console in with Altered Beast. Instead, Kalinske had the bright idea of packing in Sonic the Hedgehog with the Genesis, and a price cut. Needless to say, SOJ hated the ideas. But SOJ’s CEO, Hayao Nakayama, said “we hired you to kick ass. So do it”.

And ass was kicked royally! Say what you will about Sega’s marketing campaign being “mean”, but it worked. The Genesis was a break through success and revealed that Nintendo was still a mortal like many other companies at the time. The Mega Drive in Japan (Japanese Genesis) was a flop, however, and around that time, Nakayama was getting pissed at his coworkers. “why can’t you do things like Kalinske!?” It was funny because most of the folks over at SOJ thought Kalinske was a foolish man for releasing Genensis at a lower price, and with their best game packed in. See, SOJ  was thinking more about gaining more profits by selling the console and then getting people to buy the game separately (something Nintendo tried with N64 and Gamecube. We all know how that turned out). Needless to say, the Genesis won out due to Kalinske. He spit fire so hot that Nintendo was dying of heat stroke! Hell, anyone deserves some credit if you force a competitor’s hand to resort to pussy tactics like… oh I don’t know…..their lawyers?

“Sorry, but your market was welcomed to the next level!”

90’s Sega fanboyism aside :P, here’s the problem. SOJ couldn’t stand it. Mega Drive flopped while Genesis toppled the beast known as Nintendo. So what was the solution? Make Kalinske’s life a living hell. For the next few years, SOA would face the onslaught of SOJ’s arrogance, stupidity, and overall spite by one decision. To discontinue the Genesis and focus entirely on the Saturn. Nakayama, such a nice guy, was put into a strangle hold by SOJ’s asshole board of directors which forced him to betray Kalinske, a man he had so much faith in. As a result, Saturn was rushed to launch with jack shit to show for it, retailers got pissed off for getting rid of the Genesis (some even refused to stock Saturns!), Kalinske left and Bernie Stolar joined in and guaranteed Saturn’s eventual destruction.

All those who are Sonic fans. If you want to know why Sega’s been stuck in a rut, why Sonic X-Treme has a legendary development history, why Sega was bought out by Sammy, and why we have shit marketing, you can attribute it to SOJ’s previous board of directors during the 90’s (and probably today).

And how much you want to bet they’ll never admit it? The Japanese NEVER admit their faults. They take that shit to grave. Hell, they still won’t admit their awful treatment of the Koreans back in the ol’ days of war. Why else would depictions of Samurai be banned in Korea!?

They NEVER acknowledged Kalinske’s success with the Genesis. They strong armed all control from him because, in general, they NEVER wanted to be ursurped. How DARE this baka gaijin have MORE success with something WE created!?

And the problem is…. a lot of Japanese devs hate this. Sakamoto of Metroid fame will NEVER acknowledge the Metroid Prime Series as being legit Metroid games… and why would he? They only had more success than Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission… and Other M. And wasn’t it Rare, an American company, that saved Nintendo from Kalinske’s ass kickings from the Genesis? What did they do? They sold them off to Microsoft without so much as a thank you.

I don’t like to give white people too much credit, but Sega of Japan owes a lot to Kalinske because without him, the Genesis would be just another Neo Geo. Sega would just be “another console dev that was crushed by Nintendo, lol”. He’s the reason people still give a fuck about Sonic the Hedgehog, why Sonic was voted the most desired character in Brawl, why he’s gotten 4 tv shows, 3 regional comic book series, and the largest fanbase ever. Sega wouldn’t be shit without this guy and they damn well know it.  He deserves better than this.

Sources:

http://info.sonicretro.org/Tom_Kalinske_interview_by_Sega-16_%28July_11,_2006%29

http://www.adilegian.com/Segagaga/?p=26

http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/blazehedgehog/sega-japan-vs-sega-america-continues-to-be-fascinating/30-84107/
http://www.sega-16.com/2005/02/tom-kalinske-american-samurai/

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#5: Stop making Knuckles a damned retard.

His shoe colors are inverted. O_O

Words cannot express how sick and tired I am of having one of my all time favorite Sonic characters…. being reduced to comedy relief.

First off, we have a new generation of Sonic fans coming up. When I grew up, this was how I saw Knuckles.

He was a bad mother fucker.

The year is now 2012. After a decade, this is how children see Knuckles.

Thinks he’s tight, but can’t do shit.

Never has my piss boiled in a million years. I bought EVERY ISSUE of Knuckles the Echidna before they merged his series in with the regular Sonic comics. Every game he appeared in, I wanted for christmas the next year. He’s my main in Sonic the Fighters, Sonic Riders, and Sonic and Sega All Stars racing. This is my mother fucker. I will admit that I ride his nuts hard. 

But when I watch the latest anime series to find out how shitty you’ve made him, bricks are shat.

He gets fooled into believing Robuttnik’s lies 3 times. 3 TIMES! You have any idea how retarded you’ve made him!? Lets see

1. Gets deceived by Robotnik in Sonic 3. Understandable as Knuckles is in isolation.

2. Gets fooled again in Sonic Adventure despite knowing that Sonic is a good guy, and acts all surprised knowing he was lied to. Not understandable.

3. Gets fooled again in Advance 2. Played for comedy. And how the fuck does he know how to use a machine!?

4. Sonic Battle/X. He’s temperamental as hell! And is the butt of everyone’s joke! This is NOT the same Knuckles that used to kick Sonic’s ass!

5. Advance 3. Tries too hard to be cool and comes off like a dick.

6. Sonic Riders. Devolves into nothing more than a meat head who picks fights with everyone and yells at people for answering his questions.

7. Sonic 06. Doesn’t even get to finish a level unless you glitch the fuck out of Flame Core.

8. Sonic Generations. Gets knocked on his ass by AMY.

When you watched the cartoons, read the comics, etc. what was the one thing that came to your mind? Sonic was unbeatable… and cocky. He let everyone know that he was the shit, and that Robotnik couldn’t touch him. Do you know how awesome it was when Knuckles comes out of nowhere and punches him out of his goddamn super form!? And throughout that game, and Triple Trouble, he kept sending Sonic and Tails on wild rides almost every chance he got! He even got his own game and his own brand of “freedom fighters” which were twice as cool as anything Sonic could throw at him.

Do I look like the kind of person who would be cheering for the direction SOJ is taking with this character!? This is the absolute WORST thing that could happen to the series!

Ok, I lied.

This is… the Sakamoto treatment! Knuckles used to be hip! Cool! Tight! He didn’t fuck around! Sonic Adventure 2 had the best portrayel of Knuckles EVER. Infact, the best portrayel of all the Sonic characters. It might also be because Sonic Team USA had a much bigger hand in development of that game than SOJ did. Once again proving that the Japanese are terrible writers in general. They should NEVER have stripped control of Sonic games from the USA branches. But thanks to their arrogance, we get a character who caves into peer pressure by Cream when he doesn’t want the Master Emerald to be used without his permission. (Metorex Saga).

No really, get Tom Kalinske back. I don’t want Knuckles to be fucked up anymore. You assholes can go on making Sonic a one-dimensional mary sue all you want to, but when you touch and Knuckles and reduce him to… to this…

I tend to get veeeeery pissed off.

Well, there’s my list.

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