How’s dat Project X doin, btw? I haven’t heard diddly squat about that game since it’s release.
Anywho, I’ve been shown about a million blog/articles/posts/w/e the fuck you wanna call em about how Sonic still needs some savin, or how there’s hope because Green Hill is in the background of the Lost Mind box art.
4 years in which Sonic has had a bad period of games, and another 4 in which people believe the bad times are over. All over the interwebs, people extol Sonic Colors and Generations for saving the franchise from certain doom, and yet whenever I’m minding my business, a chunk of Angel Island falls to the ground near me and several groups of fans which sends them all into a fit of panic, proclaiming that the sky is falling and that they need to be “saved” once more. Only the power of their over-active nostalgia can their hopes and dreams be fulfilled.
You’d think after removing playable characters and the genre roulette, catering exclusively to petty nostalgia, and becoming more and more like Mario, there would be no more complaints from those assholes (it’s our turn to piss and moan). The fears of experimental flops time and again are over with (har har) and Sega can once again focus on perfecting Sonic’s core gameplay by removing everything “core” about it, and we can have an extra helping of “light-heartedness” because of this new-age perception that Sonic is for pussies.
It’s a little disturbing to see people rant about how Lost Mind should not include side characters outside of pussified Tails to preserves the “goodness” of the games when it’s already confirmed there won’t be any. One could say that these fans have yet to play any game since 06 or Unleashed to make the claims that the games still need to be saved. Though when they mention how Colors and Generations “turned the series around”, I feel the need to take a shot gun to my nuts. Why would the series still need to be saved, still need to return to the goddamn roots, and still need to exclude side characters after 7 years of doing just that? I think back to 08 when Sega claimed that the fans are just hard to please, and yet they still try for some reason.
1. Maybe Sonic fans just like to talk.
Shit is all we spit these days because we have no interesting content or subjects within the series anymore. Sega games just aren’t worth talking about, so we recycle our completes from way back yander and graft those complaints to new games, I don’t know. Gamers in particular have huge egos, especially when concerning a certain company. Have you noticed how no gamer wants to admit that they did good for once? If one proclaims this company fucked up, they are fuck ups for life and will never outlive that. We have a bad habit of refusing to acknowledge anything a game company might’ve done right. It’s human nature to refuse acknowledgment because it points to a flaw with our thinking. We don’t like admit anything, so we refuse to acknowledge any rights or wrongs with changes that we would normally see as a step in the right direction.
That’s the case for Sonic. Has been since Sonic 4 Episode 2 came out. That game alone proves how much Sonic fans want to deny that Sega listens to them. Episode 2 had ZERO buzz. From the demo I played, I could tell the physics were reworked. But did you hear anything about it? Course not. Sonic 4 was just a failure in every regard because of green eyes and Ken’s mouth.
Another theory is, and I know people hate using the word “culture” when concerning video games but fuck it, Sonic’s downfall has become ingrained in our “culture”. It’s “normal” for the perception of Sonic to be “shit”, no matter how much better we imagine the newer games to be. So even if you hear all the buzz about how much Sonic Colors saved the Sonic franchise, deep down, those buzzers don’t even believe their own bullshit. It’s like when the media goes on saying that the economy is getting better, but they always go on a tirade about “times are hard”. There has been no improvement since.
So what happens is that Colors and Generations go virtually ignored for the salvation of their egos, or for “normalcy” to be maintained. Despite the so-called demand for “digital only” releases, gamers are the most conservative folks you’ll ever know. We are highly resistant to change (why the Wii succeeded against PS3 and 360), which would explain the state of Sonic the Hedgehog. It changed too much, and we don’t want to change our perceptions of the series.
Though that brings up the question that if Colors and Generations were what saved the franchise, why didn’t they have enough impact to stave off the conservative perceptions of the franchise? Easy.
2. Colors and Generations ain’t shit.
The lack of acknowledgement for any gameis proportional to the lack of impact a game has on the perceptions of people abroad. Look at Mortal Kombat 9. Everyone felt Mortal Kombat was dead. Same way they felt for Tomb Raider, even. And then look what happened? There’s hope for these series to continue on strongly for years to come. Where as Sonic Colors and Generations both went out with a whimper. There was nothing in these games that warranted any excitement. Same thing for Mega Man 9 and 10. Nothing grabbed people because the content came off as lazy. People saw ambition with MK9 and Tomb Raider. People saw ambition with Sonic 06. There was something in those packages that drew people in. The title of “Colors” chased away more potential fans than did Unleashed. Unleashed sounds “cool, bold, and extreme”. Colors sounds “gay, kiddy, and pussified”. If you were a “normal person” with no kids, you were not buying this game, ever. Generations seemed to be a parrot of Sonic 4’s “return to the roots” mentality. By the time we even got to these games, people stopped caring about Sonic. Too many big name games came out who’s fame wasn’t fucked by one or 2 bad games. Street Fighter stopped people from going to Sonic back in the day, SF4 did it again. If you were paying more money for games, you were going to want them to impress you beyond bloom and shading. They had to really grab you. You were not going to buy consoles for Sonic. None of them were built to grab you beyond 06.
This isn’t the same case with NSMBW where people deliberately ignored something with a significant impact due to their irrational desire to evolve gaming, there’s just too many fucking Sonic games in circulation, each with wildly varying degrees of quality. Saturation begets decreasing value. There’s no demand for what we have enough of.
There wouldn’t be any reason to parrot about the need to save Sonic. Had Colors really been the shit, then there would be no broken records. No constant media reports about “a return to the roots”. No continuous articles about a potential for Lost Mind to revive interest in Sonic the Hedgehog or (laughably) the fuckin Pii U. Sonic games barely keep Sega afloat, there’s no way in hell it can save the Pii U. What I find amusing about that claim is that more people are banking on Sega to save a Nintendo console than they did Pikmin 3 (HAHAHAHAH!).
What ambition is there to be found in Lost Mind? Simplistic aesthetic design that poorly imitates the “good ol’ days” of the genesis? Saturation of nostalgia will kill the Sonic series faster than you finish green hill on the game gear.
Mortal Kombat lacked appeal after MK4, but they made a komeback in 2011. What’s Sonic’s excuse? It’s supposed to be way past cool, but no one finds this shit cool. What’s cool about Lost Mind? Nothing. Sonic living up to his role as the Iblis Trigger 7 years too late isn’t enough. The package itself just isn’t cool. If no one found Colors and Generations to be cool, what makes anyone think Lost Mind, a game built around the foundational content of Colors and Generations, will be cool?
TLDR, because Yuji Naka is gone, Sonic has no appeal.
3. Bitches need hits.
One possibility that I tried to avoid mentioning is one of trolls. Sonic is a troll magnet simply because it’s easier to get away with shit talking this series than is Mario. Sonic’s downfall still generates attentions because it’s more interesting for people to see a big name train wreck than success.
More often than not, people are drawn to negativity. We enjoy a good grumble about everything that’s popular, how else is Razorfist able to gain so many hits than by taking shits on everything that’s popular? That said, Sega apparently did us all a favor by giving us our personal sacrificial lamb. No one cares about Sonic these days, so it fulfills a need to vent without the fear of persecution. You don’t need to have authority status to smack talk Sonic the Hedgehog. But if you want to piss and moan about a fighting game, you had damn well better be well-versed in the genre or you’ll be eaten alive. Sonic? Fuck Sonic. Sonic games suck today, they don’t sell, Mario’s better huuuuuuuuuurrr. Street Fighter? Fuck Street Fighter OH YOU FUCKIN SCRUB!
In general though, no one actually believes Sonic is in good hands. We can all just sense how fucked this franchise is. And we cry inside knowing that Nintendo is going to ass rape it for all it’s worth. At the same time, though, it’s nice to know people still care about it this much. I’ve never seen articles about how to save Star Fox or F-Zero from Nintendo’s stupidity. Those are cool franchises that died in the shitter, or even Mortal Kombat after the 3D games got shat on. On one hand, it’s probably because they had no significant impact on gaming like Sonic did to receive so much attention. People still harping about the franchise needing to be saved, you see a helluva lot more than you would for Star Fox. Colors and Generations is, admitted by these very “fans”, inefficient to doing a damn thing about the state of the franchise. The sad part is the denial and hopelessness they display when suggesting that Lost Mind would revive interest.
Unfortunately, the time to revitalize Sonic the Hedgehog is over. Looking at where Iizuka intends to take it, we’d be better off waiting for a Jak and Daxter sequel, shit.