I had hoped to hear a bit more about how to strengthen it. I guess it’s just a No Hope For The Sonic Franchise feeling he has.”

…….Tis true, in a sense.

When you look at the history of the gaming environment at large, there is no point in making topics about “how to save/strengthen Sonic”. It’s the most pointless thing you can do.

What’s the idea behind the mantra of “Save Sonic?” To go on the internet and high-five each other on thinking each other’s “ideas” are good? It’s childish behavior. What progress does that do to intellectualize a solution when you have no real power to put it into action? Every gamer does this, and it tires the fuck out of me. Sonic fans, in the brink of their own insanity, are so convinced that Sonic is doomed that they come together in a collective sense to create an endless list of ways to save the franchise. Is it any wonder why people hate Sonic the Hedgehog on an even grander scale… when it’s own fanbase has no real hope in it?

The longevity and success of a series (any series) is only as strong as the support it gains. There’s no debating that the support for Sonic has waned greatly. And it’s strongly evident in it’s fanbase’s constant and overbearing desire to list ways of “saving” it. Saving it implies that the series is on the crash course to oblivion and is near death. That does not give any non-fans actual confidence in the strength of the franchise. You’re basically advertising how terrible the series is. Who wants to share the love of a video game franchise with people who can only come together in a collective sense by defaming it constantly and obsessively? There is a time for criticism, but that is not 100% of the time spending on video game discussion alone. Listing ways to “save Sonic” is doing nothing but a disservice and wasting everyone’s time.

And you know why? People spend more time talking about gameplay changes that could improve the series. That’s all well and great, but no one is talking about how to make it appealling.

Sonic sold based on his appeal (spectacle), not his gameplay. His gameplay is shallow. Ultimately, back in the 90s, this was acceptable, because no one gave 2 damns about gameplay. When you have to constantly think about gameplay, you’re not enjoying the game. So no one cared about Sonic’s gameplay. This allowed him to be one of the most popular characters of all time. Make no mistake. Good gameplay makes people stay for the sequels, but first impressions are more important than the overall gameplay.

Sonic’s core gameplay had no true focus, so he has to constantly sell based on appeal, or changing factors of his gameplay. The latter option is the primary means of “saving Sonic” if you will. But we know damn well nobody wants the gameplay to change! As soon as the fucking Werehog was announced, people immediately dropped their support. No ands, ifs, and buts about it. Gameplay be damned, nobody wanted shit to do with a hedgehog that could become Mr. FantastiHulk. So there’s no way of saving the series besides making him appealling again! And this task is fucking monumental! You cannot make a series appealing to a populas that derives pure pleasure from hating that series.

And you know why?

Strike 1

Shadow the Hedgehog again.

Sonic with guns was a concept with no appeal. And everyone from this point in time was thinking that Sega was absolutely insane with this decision. Everyone’s concept of Sonic was “…but not TOO edgy!”. One sudden change to the atmosphere of a franchise that was (sans Sonic Spinball and SA2) mostly kid friendly. But the thing was people were willing to forgive Sega for this minor oversight in favor of getting hyped up for…

Strike 2

Sonic 06 again

And everyone lost their shit upon playing it.

Now, there’s something very strange with this game. The Sonic Series has had bad games prior to this title. We’ve had 3D Blast, Spinball, Racing, Advance 3, Shuffle, and Battle. Hell, lets throw every gamegear game in existence into the pile. But none of these titles have garnered the franchise the kiss of death. It’s almost bizarre that with one title (or 2) that instantly, people’s hopes have been shattered beyond a reasonable doubt that Sonic was finished. Certainly, the game’s overall story, level progression, and dull gameplay aspects are all less than stellar (Sonic himself is literally out of character). But these issues were the least of everyone’s problems. No, these issues went beyond all of that. We had…

1. Multiple characters

2. Camera problems

3. Glitches

4. Load times

And all of these criticisms were blown into the very depths of disproportionate hell. Let me be clear. It is never impossible, almost inconceivable, to not be able to enjoy a video game that has these problems.  There are several games that have glitches, bad camera, and severe load times, some even worse than 06 (I’ve played Bomberman Act Zero, and I can’t see what the fuck they were loading if I’m playing on the same field with the same Bomber models and some randomly generated power ups). Yet 06 deserved very special attention due to horse shit reasons.

“It was his anniversary!”

“The hype!”

And despite all of this, I have played and watched others play the game with little to no problems with glitches. Fuck, most of the glitches in the game were more fun to tinker with than to decry. In fact, many gamers actively have more fun finding glitches in a game and exploits as well. Some have actually contributed to the evolution of gameplay designs. Where do you think modern combo systems in fighting games came from. It’s not unreasonable to find joy in a few glitches that occur in certain video games. 06 included. Camera issues? You mean the same ones that have plagued every action platformer in the history of mankind? Multiple characters? This is the most damning critique of all time. Why would one damn the ability to play more than one character not because of gameplay reasons but simply because they are present? You hear nothing about how they play, but you only hear about their mere presence.

Gamers were not at all focused on the gameplay. They weren’t even focused on the appeal. Something changed in everyone’s behavior. Disappointment was expected and noted. But no. People were focused on predation. Plain and simple. Something about Shadow was so damning and pervasive, it awakened a vindictive spirit within the minds and hearts of gamers, especially Sonic fans. And with 06, they unleashed their fury, and to this very day, this game is reviled for the same disproportionate reasons that pervaded the game since it’s release.

I suspect this had nothing to do with the game overall, but a primal craving was unleashed.

The technical problems can be blamed on 2 things. The game was rushed and Sonic team lacked experience with hardware that was in it’s infancy. Programming for the HD consoles is extremely taxing. Sonic Team’s programming skills were never really top notch when it came to Sonic games.

But you don’t give a shit. All you know is the game is shit, and nothing else.

The attitude amongst gamers is not exclusive to 06, but to a huge majority of video games. We have become so wrapped up in our animosity that we don’t give even simple games a chance anymore. We demand perfectionism. And a single imperfection is enough to earn our displeasure. And we crave displeasure. It allows us to really blow off steam for any kind of reason. We NEED something to defame. Reviewing video games and decrying them by overblowing their flaws to the point of absurdity gives us a source of empowerment and pleasure. We’ve become monsters even greater than those of the 90s. No game is safe. No… we must be “brutally honest” which is a mere excuse to be dishonest, yet brutal in our verbal massacre of a single video game.

And you know what? I can’t even put the blame on the gamers. The real culprits are here.

adam sessler and morgan manjaw.

X-Play is the primary reason gamers are truly “cranky”. Have you noticed that every gamer review you see on the net, the most popular ones are those rip games to shreds with no remorse or pity while trying to put on a show of bad jokes using the flaws of a game as an excuse? You can thank these 2 crackas for that shit. X-Play became more and more popular due to their increased focus on the defamation of video games. And gamers are like children who wish to emulate their childhood heroes. Given the strange increase in unfunny reviews over the internet, the dots can be easily traced to this series. Many people can look upon X-Play as a source of the most uncredible reviews on the face of the Earth. You cannot even describe them as reviews, but mere satire. And gamers hardly even listen to the actual details given, they just want to see something ripped to shreds.

X-Play has encouraged some of the worst behaviors seen amongst gamers today. The unhealthy desire to accentuate the negative aspects of video games is directly linked to a desire to be loved. Gamers, for the most part, lack actual achievements in their lives. I don’t care who you name. When they look at X-Play, or the Angry Video Game nerd, or Yahtzee Ben Croshaw, they see fame and celebrity status. And our society teaches us that fame is one of the most important goals in life at the expense of everything else.

“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read.”

So when a gamer sees a chance to make themselves feel loved by their peers, the best way to do so is defame a video game franchise. And you know what? Sonic has been unfortunately chosen as the sacrificial lamb. The series appeal and popularity had already been washed away thanks to Shadow the Hedgehog, so they were ready and willing to spring on the next game in the series in hopes that official reviews will already share their predetermined views. It didn’t matter what Sonic game came next. Gamers needed Sonic so that they could be loved by how much they can unleash the dragon upon it. Americans have no self-control when it comes to bullshittin.

In order to prosper, someone has to suffer. Such is the law of the world when governed by a culture of dominance and w— supremacy.

With the current state of gamers as it is, in their collective mindset of being willfully cranky, what in the depths of your naivete makes you think Sonic can be saved? You would be so arrogant as to suggest that there is hope left? Sonic games barely make a profit for Sega anymore! It is a series that has no appeal left in it’s battered body. You’re better off making shoddy fan-games for yourself and friends. If you really want to save Sonic, get off the internet, learn something about making and selling a game, and go straight to Sega of Japan themselves and advertise your skills. Going on message boards and making a damn list of ideas you think would improve the series is a waste of time. Waiting for Sega to make a game and request your input has been proven to be a waste of time.

If you honestly want to save Sonic, then try getting some power and influence in the industry. Show these mother fuckers that you’re actually serious about wanting to save the franchise. If not, SOJ has every reason to ignore you and continue being dumb asses as usual. And we know damn well that’s just gonna happen anyway!

To reverse the state of the series’s reputation is only possible through a reboot. That’s by waiting a few years when people have already forgotten their bad tastes, allowing some planning time to occur, and releasing a fresher game. But even that isn’t an option! Sega would have to make other games and profit off of them for funding. And because Sega does not advertise anything, all of their other games are unknown to people, they flop, and that’s more wasted money. The games they DO advertise are already outdone by games with more appeal. Monster Hunter dominates Phantasy Star Online. Tekken dominates Virtua Fighter. Sega is out of ammo, and to make up for their losses, they have to continuously make product that sells. And that is Sonic the Hedgehog! He’s being leveraged to keep the company afloat! And because Hajime Satome keeps losing profits, they have to continue doing this process! There’s literally no way out.  It would take a miracle to “save Sonic” because no one has faith in the franchise anymore. The cranky gamers and Sonic fans have effectively conveyed the message that Sonic is shit. No one bothers to scrape the surface of the series besides a global minority that is constantly shrinking.

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