Let me be clear on certain things. I might’ve given the wrong impressions from the original posting.

In no way do I hate the Sonic series. But in order to actually look at the quality of the games, you need to forgo your own love for the games to see exactly what is wrong. My favorite title in the series will forever be Sonic CD, but the game is horrendously short, too damn easy, has the worst special stages I have ever seen, and the final boss is a joke (really Robotnik? You’re just gonna throw a gyro machine at me? That’s something that should’ve been a regular boss fight!). And instead of fighting Metal Sonic, you race him instead, and this was one of the more tedious aspects of the game overall. But dat music and ability to alter the stages by your own accord…. great shit right there.

This isn’t fucking unheard of. Lots of people have the mental capacity to look at their favorite titles and analyze why people may find dissatisfaction with them. It’s not an issue of people hating their favorite games. You cannot hate something you like.

When you look back at the original titles, and compare Sega’s (mostly successful) attempts at returning to their roots, people are not impressed. I’m not talking about Sonic 4 Ep.1. I’m talking about Sonic Advance 1. This game is mostly forgotten. And yet, this is the most accurate game that pertains to Sonic’s “roots” persay. But everyone was more in-tuned with Sonic Rush, proclaiming it to be the greatest Sonic game ever. It didn’t resemble a damn thing about Sonic’s roots aside from being in 2D. Gameplay-wise, there’s no real comparison. And yet many people mistakenly believe that Sonic Rush was a true return to Sonic 3 and Knuckles. How, I have no idea, but I suppose it’s the same reason people believe that Super Mario Galaxy is a game that sticks closely to Mario’s roots. That is a damn lie! People do not know how to define the actual roots of their video game characters if this is the case.

But I digress. The popularity of Rush gave way to the “lol boost spam” trend going on with the latest main 3 Sonic games. And as far as I’m concerned, people have already gotten tired of that.

Sonic’s gameplay, regardless of how many improvements or improvisations or innovations, get old fast. We can talk about how much we love certain games in the franchise, but considering the case with Sonic Advance and Sonic Colors, both games that narrowed down what people loved about Sonic’s core gameplay, I’m convinced that Sonic’s overall fun factor is unsustainable. As I’ve said before, Sonic sold based on spectacle. Nothing else besides that. More people go back to NSMB2 than they would for Sonic 4. And it’s not even about quality. Damn near everyone shit talks the NSMB series as if it’s the second coming of satan! And yet they still run to it in droves! Sonic will never have that kind of momentum regardless of what Sega does with him. The reason the boost gameplay will probably never leave was because Sonic Rush was the most successful game of this era, and yet people are already getting sick of it. There is no sustainability. Sega MUST continue to improvise or else sales will continue to decrease.

Why do they need to keep improvising while Nintendo can get away scott free with doing the same things over and over? NSMB is considered shallow but there is no… debating that people want that shit over Sonic 4. Again, not about quality. Otherwise, Sonic Advance would’ve been considered more of a footnote in Sonic’s history. Instead, it is forgotten, while Sonic Rush is more so “the shit”. And even it’s sequels couldn’t do anything. Even Sonic Rush was unsustainable in that regard!

The only REAL conclusion to this all is that there is something inherently wrong with Sonic’s core gameplay. We can talk about quality all we want to, even a GOOD Sonic would not sell well enough. We can talk about bad reputation, but franchises have ALWAYS managed to bounce back and deliver something entertaining (as has Sonic). This goes beyond all of that rhetoric. Sonic’s original concepts and designs must be at fault. And we can’t really say that because Sonic’s original intentions are, and have always been, to show off the power of the Genesis.

Now, I’m not fully convinced Sega (of Japan) really intended on Sonic being the rival mascot of Mario. Here are the reasons. SOJ is not intelligent enough to create a character that could compete with Mario. They have made countless bad decisions through out their entire career. The idea of Sonic being Mario’s rival falls squarely on the shoulders of Tom Kalinski. He is the person who suggested that they had to REALLY compete against Nintendo. One idea was to pack in Sonic 2 with the genesis. SOJ thought this was a TERRIBLE IDEA! Now, lets look at this clearly.  If you have a company mascot, and you were serious about competing your mascot against another, you would let people know your mascot was important to you and your gaming device. And a part of that reasoning would be to include a game featuring that mascot packed in with the initial purchase of the game console. If SOJ really cared about Sonic, they would have taken Tom’s advice. But they thought he was an idiot for this idea. The results being that SOJ gets frustrated that the Megadrive blunders while the Genesis thrives. A partial reasoning to that was because of the success of Sonic the Hedgehog. Sega hardly ever made games that appealed to people on the Genesis outside of Sonic. Hell, Yuji Naka moved his development offices to America just to work on Sonic 2! Sonic was more important to the West than he was to Japan.

Another reason I feel they didn’t care was the overall confusion people had to Sonic’s own universe. It honestly took SOJ 8 years before they could make an official universe surrounding the mythos of Sonic the Hedgehog. Since then, we’ve had 2 shows, a comic, some mangas, and an OVA, all with severely different universes and content. The Super Mario Bros. cartoon, the Mega Man cartoon, and fuck, even Earthworm Jim did had an overall picture of what the game’s universes had. All Sonic media made us damned CONFUSED as to Sonic’s own story and universe. And no, we can’t say those productions were outside of Sega’s control. Sega has FINAL SAY over every production or adaptation of their own IP’s that come out. We all know Capcom doesn’t give a damn about a game’s universe, which is why everyone hates their cartoons. Sega didn’t give a fuck at all! So America, Europe, and Japan all had different storylines and universes all because Sega themselves did not make a coherent storyline, or actually work hard on ensuring the game adaptations that came out weren’t so cock-smashingly in-cohesive.

We spend so much time listening to what the developers say instead of looking at what is being done. Lets be clear and honest on one thing, my audience of 3. Japanese game developers are the BIGGEST LIARS you will ever know or see. They lie through the teeth. You can see this with Capcom and Nintendo as they try to put spins on every decision they make. Look at Street Fighter X Tekken. And the DLC fiasco that erupted over 12 characters being on the disc and Capcom not telling a soul. Or promising RE5 for Wii if UC and RE4 sold well? Or how about suggesting that no one had interest in MML3!? How Iwata’s constant mantra of people not buying Wii U’s because “no one gets it?”. Or that people don’t buy their games because of a lack of accessibility? These are all lies to cover their asses! Japanese developers cannot help but lie habitually! Sega has lied about Sonic 06 being a return to Sonic’s roots. They lied about promising the physics for Sonic 4. They lied about not having enough space to include Knuckles Chaotix in Sonic gems collection. Why in the fuck would I trust them with the claims of wanting Sonic to be their mascot when the very person that made it a reality is VILLIFIED in Segagaga instead of praised!?

I have ZERO reason to believe that Sonic was intended to be anything other than a tech demo for blast processing. And everyone can see this with how Sonic games are factory produced to make back their losses on projects they actually cared about. There’s no doubt that there is more work put into Phantasy Star Online 2! And this isn’t a BAD thing, but who honestly gives a shit about Phantasy Star Online when Monster Hunter is dominating it’s ass on all markets!?Looking at Sega’s behavior is more evident than their words. Looking at Sonic’s history, Sonic 1 was clearly intended to be a demonstration of the Genesis power and capabilities. The very thing that made Sonic unique has little to do with core gameplay. Core gameplay was not at all the major focus of Sonic! And that is what is inherently wrong with the gameplay. There… was… no…. focus in the very beginning. The major people that legitimately gave a damn about improving Sonic’s gameplay…. are all gone! Iizuka, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t cutting it!Mario games (no matter how shit the 3D ones are) continue to be popular because it’s origins in gameplay had a clear focus. Zelda had a clear focus. Mega Man, even though he’s faltered, had a clear focus. Castlevania had a clear focus (that… no one really liked). Starfox had a clear focus. Sonic!? Well, you get assholes that don’t even know how to define Sonic’s core gameplay. Is it about Speed or platforming!? Is it both!?There was no focus in Sonic’s core gameplay. It was done to show off hardware and nothing more. When Sonic got popular is when developers starting focusing on improving Sonic. But the only thing they could improve on was the thrill of his speed (and giving us Knuckles, that I will admit). Because his speed was his main selling point. His gimmick. That gimmick doesn’t work this day in age! People quickly get tired of the roller coaster aspects of current Sonic games. The gimmick of speed is no longer truly appealing.Now, lets look at this in a different light.
This came from a guy I know at work, btw. Not exactly my own thoughts.Go back and play Sonic 1. There are a million ways you can access Sonic 1, Sega released this game about a million butt-fucking times now, you really have no excuse.What do you see in this game?What you see is basic action platforming. Levels have enemies and obstacles that you must get through to make it to the end of the stage. Only you could do it “faster”. There was never a massive boost in speed until Sonic 2. So what was the deal with Sonic 1? It was really not about “high speed”. It was just supposed to be a much faster platforming game with pinball physics. All of this was done to show off the power of the Genesis’s faster processor. Even though the games still had slowdown (hah). Thing is back then, Sega’s problem is exactly the problem Sony and Microsoft had with the PS3 and 360, and even the Neo Geo. They all wanted to advertise console power. Console power has never been a reason to buy a console. The games are always going to be the main reason.Sonic 1 was just a fun game. Shallow and devoid of any real focus, but a fun game nonetheless. But in the western world, Sonic’s speed was promoted in a most disproportionate manner.

He’s the fastest thing aliiiiiiiiiiive!

Americans are… extremely…. simple-minded people. They see one thing about any portion of media… and disregard everything else in favor of the one thing they notice. And the main thing they noticed about Sonic was his speed. So Sonic’s games became more about his speed than anything. Well, for the most part anyway. We did get one Sonic game due to the popularity of Casinopolis zone.

NOT… DA DRAGON!

But see, this created a problem. Because Sonic’s speed was advertised mercilessly, that’s all people could think of when it came to Sonic. So instead of thinking about Sonic in terms of being a faster Mario or Mega Man, we thought of him as D.C.’s the Flash. So level design in Sonic games would have these small sections dedicated to just watching him go. You don’t really control those sections, you just… watch him go! Sonic’s gameplay started becoming more about showing off than otherwise. Watching him go became… the reward of Sonic games almost. But the overall gameplay was no longer important. We just had to watch him go!

This was Sonic’s blessing and curse. Sonic became extremely popular for his “super speed”, rather than being just a faster action platformer. Mainly due to the methods used to advertise Sonic’s appeal. And America is the king of deception when it comes to advertising. So we believe that Sonic is all about speed because we’ve been TOLD that a million butt fucking times. So now it’s like… he must live up to that. What has happened was that you programmed a consumer’s thoughts into a process that locks them into believing a linear concept. We already know how much the Sonic fans bitch about just wanting Sonic to go back to being “just Sonic running to the goal”. Because we’ve been taught that that is all that Sonic is about. So he can’t go outside of the linear concept set before the fans of the series. Otherwise, they earn displeasure.

The problem with that is the fans want the return of essentially a gimmick! That gimmick of super speed is harming the franchise! And American marketing is ultimately to blame.

Americans have a bad habit of running shit into the ground. They essentially milk a cow till it bleeds all for the sake of quick and easy money. We’ve seen it with pokemon. We’ve seen it furby. We’ve seen it with Twilight. And we damn sho seen it with that fucking Gundam Style song! So looking at Sonic’s condition of his super speed, it’s been bled dry. Americans have no self-control when it comes to trends, as they overdo it until it’s no longer special. Look at the state of the industry and the severe amount of shooting games.

Sonic is trends personified. Sonic Rush is popular, boost gameplay is overdone. Shadow is popular, Shadow is overdone. Classic Sonic is popular, Classic cash-ins are overdone. Sonic can only truly appeal to the West. And the Japanese are full of stereotypes. So flooding Americans with the same shit over and over again seems to be the best strategy. But it is clearly not working!

Sonic is a product of the 90s, and may never gain a foothold in today’s market ever again.

 

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