Sonic the Hedgehog was a character that became popular based on his appeal of high speed levels, attitude, and action. The the concept of becoming popular based on “well-designed gameplay” is a farce that many of today’s (hardcore) gamers liken to perform. Great gameplay has always been irrelevant to a person’s enjoyment of a video game. No one thinks of gameplay when they are playing a game. Their minds are focused on completing an objective in a game and having a fun time. If a person spends all his/her time thinking about the gameplay, then either 1 or 2 is at fault.

1. The game is flawed.

2. The person is actively seeking flaws.

Lets be clear. Sonic always had shallow gameplay. And this… doesn’t even matter.

Many (3) people have been reading thus far, those I assume are filled with either rage or glee in the mere suggestion that referring to Sonic’s gameplay as trite is but a severe criticism if not referring exclusively to the modern games. The question is… why should you care about the gameplay? Why should anyone? If you are going into every game you come across thinking about how well it plays, you are doin’ it wrong.

Sonic’s shallow gameplay was acceptable in the 90s because no one gave a shit. They LIKED the thrill of speed. They LOVED playing a cartoon animal with attitude. They LIKED the pinball levels using Sonic as the weapon. They didn’t give 5 shits about “gameplay”.

But now we exist in the modern era of the cranky gamer. Everyone is on edge. Everyone is more and more vindictive. Showing nothing more than their animosity toward almost every title that is released. We’re always thinking of how well something plays or how well the controls respond, or even how easy it is to focus the camera. We’re thinking so much about the game’s quality rather than whether or not we just have “fun” with it.

And yet, I am still baffled by this fucking movie!

Most of any gamer’s abnormal display of grievances can be linked to the celebrity status of “angry game reviewers”. The intoxicating desire of being worshipped by one’s peers is irresistible to many. How else would a gamer go from being some loser to an internet sensation than to create the persona of a cranky gamer?

But if the person fails on such an endeavor, 2 things can happen. The gamer abandons the mentality of the cranky gamer, or the mentality becomes the gamer.

See, when you have to constantly think of gameplay, more times than not, you’re going to be stressed out. Thinking is mental work. A video game is supposed to be a break from work. We all know the phrase “all work and no play”. A cranky gamer’s mind is permanently set to “on” for the majority of time he or she spends playing a game, constantly paying attention to all the details  of how well the mechanics mesh together. Even one imperfection is enough to send someone into a fit of rage. I’m sure some of you know of the incidents regarding a certain screen shot of an HD game being enough to decide “never buy” because it wasn’t “720p”. And this wasn’t even about gameplay!

We’ve become vindictive toward a piece of software.

When a person does not think about gameplay, that person’s mind is at ease. That person can only focus on his or her enjoyment. A mind at ease is in a state of relaxation. There is no stress on the mind. When a person has to constantly think about gameplay, stress is ensured. The only time one needs to think is when there is a problem to solve. If a gamer thinks 100% of the time, it is an abnormal condition. With all the stress of thought, the gamer is in a constant state of pessimism. Pent up rage that must be released. And the main culprit behind the rage will know his fury. Everything about the game comes under excruciatingly careful deduction. If the gameplay is not “perfect”, or close enough to match perfection, nothing is blind to him. The entire product must be destroyed.

Sonic’s gameplay is never perfect. It is shallow. Therefore, it must be destroyed.

A cranky gamer, who doesn’t fail at his endeavor to become an internet celebrity, will have this mindset as well as credibility from his celebrity status. And all celebrities, by nature, follow a significant pattern. They all repeat each other’s successes in hopes of gaining the same exact praise.

Sonic’s popularity in the video game world was damn near unmatched. He was loved by all, shunned by none. No one cared about his gameplay until his appeal waned with Shadow the Hedgehog. The concept of using a gun in a Sonic game was absolutely dreadful. The thoughts of “jumping the shark” crossed everyone’s minds. People were losing hope by the mere sight of a PP7. It was too much to even think about.

At this point, people still did not care about gameplay. But as soon as the gun appeared, Sonic had lost all appeal in an instant. With Sonic’s appeal destroyed, the opportunity of sensationalism had arisen. There is nothing more desirable for a sensationalist than to see a hero fall from grace, as it gives the sensationalist a purpose in life. And that purpose is to bring the hero further down into the pits of hell. The sensationalist justifies his defamation as a desire of the people to see conflict and chaos as it gives people amusement in their lives. People are, after all, attracted to a train wreck. With the cranky gamer mentality on the rise, the sensationalist behaviors baking inside, and with Shadow the Hedgehog, a game as a part of an incredibly popular franchise

….You see where this goes.

Without Sonic’s appeal, there was no hope left. The spectacle was no longer effective. The cranky gamers descended upon him at every turn and corner. Before you knew it…

It must be destroyed

Bad publicity can alienate even the most open-minded of a potential fan. We are 7 years later, and people still believe the series has no hope left. And one would foolishly believe Sonic now has a place in this era? The era of the Cranky Gamer shares no real belief in spectacle.  If a game has no appeal, it has no opposition for the Cranky Gamer to oppose. If Zelda had no appeal, I can assure you that Skyward Sword wouldn’t receive even half the unwarranted praise it gained. Without appeal, Sonic stands no chance in this era. Only a fool would believe it could be saved. Even

Despite all of this, certainly, the fanbase would be there to show the Sonic series some…

….Was I… going to lie?

Sonic fans are the video game equivalent to Uncle Ruckus! What glory could they hope to achieve when they have been taught so righteously to despise the very object of their own fandom!? Everyday, I resist the urge to vomit at the fanbase’s supreme jealousy of other platforming series, especially Super Mario. It isn’t uncommon to come upon several sonic forums where they sing the praises of a rival mascot in favor of vilifying their own series. Fuck me. To hear such self-depreciating phrases such as “Sonic should be just like Mario”. Like what? Slow and more obsessed with solving puzzles!?

There is something troubling with a fanbase that feels the need to praise another franchise and defame their own. They speak in supreme jealousy of things like “consistency” and the like. I have never been so baffled at how BLIND Sonic fans can be if they cannot even begin to see the incredible differences between Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Brothers. Tell me, my audience of 3. What do you see here?

Clearly, the progress of this game is based on 2 things. The requirement of power-ups… and the ability to solve special puzzles/minigames to progress. Each small meteorite acts as a special minigame stage before progressing to the next meteorite.

What in Amma’s name makes you think this is anywhere similar to that of Super Mario Brothers!? You are not solving puzzles to progress or at the mercy of a mere powerup to progress either! Super Mario Brothers allowed you to progress without the need of such mediocre obstacles! Super Mario is NEVER about puzzles. And yet, Sonic fans idiotically believe these games are the same exact thing!?

Have Sonic fans been so dulled by years of Sonic’s shallow gameplay that they lack the mental capacity to actually examine the actual details of old and new? Why, then, do they know how to intricately pick apart the gameplay of their own series and depreciate it on such an eviscerating scale?

Because Mario still has appeal. This game clearly received praise based on it’s spectacle and not it’s merits. Because that looks trite as shit. Is it any wonder that Miyamoto complained that not many people bought SMG2 over NSMBW? And that LPer’s voice irritates me to no end.

Had Sonic Unleashed been made prior to the era of the Cranky Gamer, there would not be such a civil war on whether or not the game has merit. People slowly and surely began their self-depreciating pessimism toward Sonic Colors, and relapsed in the wake of Sonic Generations as well as Sonic 4. Had Sonic still had his appeal, Sonic 4 wouldn’t be so despised for “physics”, promises be damned. If Battletoads can be remembered so fondly despite playing like shit, Sonic 4 should not be an issue.

But that doesn’t matter. Sonic fans are a self-loathing lot. Years upon years of being told the object of their fandom is an empty void, an insect not worthy of a boot, they have come to believe that they themselves are deserving of the world’s scorn. Hell, they hate each other so much, they go to war over children’s drawings. As I’ve said before, when you love something, that something’s spirit is imprinted onto your very soul. So if that something is constantly mocked and ridiculed for the sake of sensationalism, you will feel an emptiness without cure.

Sonic has no appeal… or fan support! If there is a hell, this series has jumped right into it.