I recall the sa3/era pages having a piece on gaming journalism constantly hyping up the return to Sonic’s ruuts. That and I had no idea the amount of arguments I started over comparing Sly Cooper to Sonic.

It should be noted that any piece of gaming journalism in the west works not only in bias, but also in conspiracy. Gaming journalism is considered a joke all around because every word that is written is a lie, first and foremost. There was a editor from IGN that admits to reviews being closely linked to public relations. When it comes to Nintendo and Sega, specifically, gaming jouralism operates against the benefits of these 2 companies, and it’s closely tied to the level of control Nintendo and Sega both exercised in the 90s when they were the world leaders of the console business. The control of information is to control public opinion. If you lead people to believe that a shitty game (Skyward Sword) is the greatest game of all time, and then you play it, you might become disillusioned with the company and gaming in general because you can’t comprehend the overwhelming insanity of how anyone could dig that game.

The constant hyping of Sega returning to Sonic’s ruuts is deliberate. They know full well they are full of shit, but by feeding the public(internet) constant lies about those ruuts gives the public(internet) a deviously bleek perception of the future of the Sonic franchise. Because as Sega continues drifting further and further away from those “ruuts”, being told that whatever the fresh hell they’re making next is infact a return to the ruuts will make you crazy.

We know full well that very little of what Sega has made last generation had nothing to do with Sonic’s ruuts (S4E1-2 are questionable), but the trip part is the ones that have very little experience with Sonic ruuts will look at these journalists and think “well maybe this is… Sonic’s ruuts because some fans are happy about it”. Game journalism is the butt of regular journalism’s jokes, and it’s primarily the only form of journalism that is known for being fraudulent. Even Fox News has more cred than game journalists by a large margin, and they’re the biggest liars in the world.

That said, regardless of their intent, there is a particularly good reason those kinds of articles exist. Looking at PSN charts for Sonic CD and Sonic 4 Episode 2, this is the direction fans wish for the series to go back to. With the exception of Rayman and Mega Man, there has been some favorable behavior toward Sonic and Mario games going back to these “ruuts”.

When people say “return to ruuts”, we always assume that those people are merely “nostalgic”, that they are blinded by the very things they enjoyed when they were children. Often times, this is the mantra of the youth and newer generations who lack empathy and would prefer these “old people” would just get over themselves and “deal with it”. When people suggest one should “return to their ruuts”, it’s often meaning one should return a philosophy and work ethic that made them successful and prosperous.  When people say Sonic should return to it’s ruuts, it has more to do with concern for success rather than nostalgia (or classicfaggotry as some folks may say).

So what is Sonic’s Ruuts?

Save your “duhs”, please.

Ruuts, in this aspect, isn’t just merely a beginning, it is literally the period in which Sonic was most prosperous. When the Genesis was still around, Sonic was Mr. Big shot. You could find backpacks, tennis shoes, toys, cartoons, comics, and edutainment devices like the Sega Pico.

Now you can learn to be a slave to corporations with the help of a guy who was recently on his period!

Unfortunately, these days, you don’t see Sonic games with the same level of popularity. There are no merchandise, no backpacks, no shoes, no edutainment games, just the regular mediocre crap Sega pumps out. Nintendo still has plenty of merchandise (Mario Kart Playsets, Pokemon toys and plushies, cards). It’s a sad state of affairs when you look back, you were constantly reminded of Sonic’s presence as an icon. These days, people don’t even realize the series exists.

So the common response would be “go back to what worked”. Sankofa the Genesis Era! To a time when liking Sonic was considered normal instead of the opposite where it’s now considered pathetic. Course, it would take a full-blown reboot to wash the taste out of everyone’s mouth (and a decent economic environment where priorities aren’t so tight), but nevertheless.  Some might say “well wait a minute, what about all those 2D games on handhelds? What about Sonic 4?”. The Advance, Rush, and Rivals games are much further removed from Sonic’s ruuts. Simply having a 2D perspective fixes nothing as the design philosophies are completely different. Sonic 4, despite being a poor imitation, is…. the closest we’d get to a tangible “ruuts”, but the lack of care the whole needlemouse project received was enough to bring down the value. If you go purely by gameplay design alone (which everyone does) then it’s easy to assume Sonic Advance 1 is the true Sonic 4. But if you were to take a deeper look at the game, only the first 2 zones resemble anything like the “ruuts”.

An actual comparison can be made between the “ruuts” and Sonic Advance, primarily the “feeling” these zones all give off, but only for the first 2 zones. Everything else in the game is shallow and is practically the type of shit we get nowadays. Lacking in style or “coolness”. It could’ve been a Mega Man game for all we care. Sonic Rush Adventure could also vouch for giving off a “ruuts” like feel, mostly in Zone 6 Sky Babylon. And dat music.

In either case, material that resembles past games are still quite rare, and is a key reason as to the diminished appeal of the series. The last time a Sonic game truly felt like the old games was Sonic Adventure 1. As I’ve said in previous postings, the newer Sonic games feel very dry in comparison to the older games, particularly when it comes to design aesthetics, music, and overall atmosphere. As Iizuka implied, both Retro Sonic and modern Sonic are almost completely different games. And it is that disparity that needs to be repaired. It gave the series a unique sense of flair from other franchises.

That’s just content alone. The gameplay also needs to be put in check. Especially when it comes to controls.

Tutorials are bullshit. No one likes them. If people don’t like reading manuals, then believe me, tutorials are bullshit. Nothing says “exclusionary” like a tutorial with too many directions, and believe me, Sonic games have a bad habit of them. Why? Because Sega has a bad habit of changing every goddamn game up everytime.

Take Sonic Heroes, for example. A game equally as disorientating as dubstep. If you decide to forgo the tutorial (and who can blame you), you would get Freedom Tower’d by confusing controls. The 3 formations alone would take a while to get used to, as well as all the switching you’d have to get accustomed to during gameplay. I sure as hell didn’t know what to do with those fans where you needed triangle dive (w/e the fuck that meant to me).

When you get to the next game, and then the next game, the gameplay and the controls always change, meaning you can never feel comfortable playing sequels as they keep changing, and add insult to injury, they change simple commands for no goddamn reason! Homing attack is no longer pressing jump twice, but now I have to hit the boost button after a jump? And that’s after 5 Sonic games which had similar homing attack controls.

I figured Colors and Generations removed the idiotic accessibility barriers, but Lost Mind goes right back and slaps you in the face with needing to hold both shoulder triggers for a spindash and needing the touch screen for silly wisp powers. That’s “Nintendoping” the controls (where you make them more complicated in the sequels for no apparent reason IE the fucking rolling tackle in Skyward Sword) These problems alone would make someone WISH to run back to the older games because you didn’t have to put up with that nonsense. The simplicity of needing only a jump button to do 90% of your abilities instead of needing 3 to 4 buttons for different actions. That and most actions actually worked well, too.

You can’t expect anyone to enjoy the game if it’s barely playable, and it’s safe to say after 06, Sonic games played like ass. Considering that Sonic’s primary action involves jumping, jump physics shouldn’t feel like ass. It feels as though Sonic cannot gain any air or momentum with his jumps anymore! Not to mention his double jumps are horrible. Everyone made a point about physics when regarding Sonic 4 (they were promised afterall), but Sonic games haven’t had decent physics in their games for well over 10 years (including Sonic Advance 3. Especially Advance 3). Building up any kind of momentum feels horrible without a spindash or boost. If you simply try to run, the start up speed is horrendous. At least for games not using the Hedgehog Engine. Sonic Rivals, you can’t even accelerate.

If you feel that you can’t naturally speed up on your own without some sort of crutch, the game is less fun automatically. It was never difficult to build up speed in “da ruuts”. Even Sonic R, it was easier to build up speed without a spindash. Shadow the Hedgehog, you get full speed automatically, no questions asked. In later games, it feels like Sonic is covered in tar half the time.  It’s odd to see someone who has played the original “Ruuts” Sonic games, from Sonic 1 to 3, and struggle so much on Sonic 4 because as my cousin described “feels weird, he’s not moving right!” It’s inexcusable when even 3D Sonic prior to 2006 felt more “natural” to play. So you have games that don’t have good atmosphere, nor do they feel “good” to play! It’s hard to blame anyone for running back to the older games or anything that feels like the older games. 2006 and up has been a rocky period for Sonic games. We’re talking 7 years of mediocrity. While I did enjoy Rush Adventure and Episode 2, I can’t say the same for the majority of people.

Sonic Colors remains a controversial title in itself. While it was a somewhat sign of Sega listening to demands for having only day time stages, having the techno dreamworld, eliminating accessibility hurdles that damn near every Sonic game had since 2004 had, and slightly going back to having a balanced mix of speed and lolplatforming, the game is simply not attractive! The name alone deters all, and… well, you know how childish it is. There’s a documentary about that.

Words cannot express my eternal furiousness over this damn cutscene. Not only is it just some typical pep squad, there is ZERO tension here. Everyone is doing fine, not helping out one inch while they are fully capable of doing so, and ” TIME TO SCRAMBLE SOME EGGMAN” is the WORST fucking writing I’ve ever heard. Hell, that probably boosted SA2HD’s sales alone (haha)! I’d would buy Sonic 2 in protest right now! Sonic has never been this childish since AOSTH. Actually, no. AOSTH was funny at times. This is fucking pathetic.

No one, and I do mean no one, wants to play a game where the characters are this cheesy or childish. A game with “Colors” in the title IS enough to deter people from purchasing it. If an art style is enough to decrease sales of an entire game console (Wind Waker), it is absolutely dangerous for Sonic games to go that route, and the results speak for themselves. Now it’s an unknown franchise the likes of Castlevania and friggin Bomberman! Compare the coolness factor you detect in these boxes of Sonic games.

Best one imo

To…

Show me your bling and let me SHINE on you!

Peep the bottom right corner for why this cover fails.

This is lame looking box art.

Which era would you prefer playing? This is really where you can judge a book by it’s covers. Before anyone goes “but wait, you forgot X game”, I’m going by general cover art. This is how most Sonic games look and feel from both eras.

The first era of Sonic games leave a sense of “FUCKIN A!” while the modern era leaves a sense of “out of ideas”. And kid friendly abandonment of previous audiences. With that in mind, the greatest hurdle is making better box art. 😛 Box art is important in selling people on a game to go “I WANT this and that’s the fucking end of it!” Looking at the box of Sonic Colors (and people have gotten angry about this), who would logically buy this game expecting coolness? The game exemplifies gay to the core. The only people that know Sonic exists are those that grew up with the franchise, and damn sure enough, our expectations do not include childish content.

Some might wonder “but what a minute, Heru, wasn’t Sonic 1 about the same level of kiddiness that is Lost Mind, Colors, and Generations?”

Yes. Extremely so. Sonic 1 is probably the most uncool Sonic game of the Retro era. Being that it was nothing more than a tech demo, it took what was already the standard of platformer entertainment and just inserted it into the game because thats all people knew at the time. Cutesy music makes the game feel “happy” and shit. And quite frankly, no one cares about Sonic 1. After Sonic 2, and SATam in particular, Sonic 1 became irrelevant. Sonic 2 and onwards redefined Sonic as an element of badassitude. You don’t see MARIO fans begging for more SMB1 content in NSMB games, do you? No, everyone cries about that retarded tanooki suit. Mega Man 9 was modeled after Mega Man 2! Not 1! People enjoyed Castlevania 3 more than Castlevania 1, and most of the series inspiration comes from #3.

Lets be frank. The sequels are sometimes more important than the first game in a series. The only time Sonic 1 mattered to Sonic fans was to protest against a sequel, meaning it has no value beyond a tool of negotiation. I can go to Sonic CD and get the same game damn near. Collision Chaos is Spring Yard, Tidal Tempest is Labrynth, Stardust Speedway is Starlight Speedway (or w/e it’s name is), Metalic Madness being ScrapBrain, etc. The fuck would I need to go back to Sonic 1 for?

NO ONE wants Sonic games to take after Sonic 1 because the game is a simple tech demo with barely any content. And a badly designed game in some areas (Labrynth Zone). People would rather have the series take after 2 and up. Sonic 1 being used as an argument to justify how childish Lost Mind was is indication enough that it should not be the blue print for any Sonic game ever again. Sonic 4 was, in it’s entirety, a Sonic 2 fanservice game because Sega knew Sonic 1 ain’t shit anymore. Oh they’ll milk it for all the brainless portions of the fandom who swear it’s better than it is.

K, done.

 

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