Fan Shout: Are Recent Sonic Games Bad?

Fan Shout: Are Recent Sonic Games Bad?

This Fan Shout is written by Psychobob.

The answer is no.
Sonic games have been on and off lately, but their position has been further worsened by groups of people who feel compelled to compare them with the MegaDrive games of yester year. The underlying flaws in this argument are:

  • A. Comparisons are being made to games as old as thirteen years and bear no relevance with today’s market.
  • B. The newer sonic games are not trying to imitate the gameplay of the originals

The majority of fans continue to concern themselves with judging the most recent of sonic games by standards set when the serious was at it acme (peak). Not only is this a difficult expectation to reach, but it is one which is irrelevant when it is considered that each game was catering for a different industry period.

Why is it then that the fans are continuing to compare the old with the new? I think that perhaps it is because it is easier to judge games with similar aesthetics, rather than on game dynamics. For instance there would be far more relevance to compare “Crash Bandicoot GBA” with “Sonic Advance” because both have been developed to cater for the same industry.

Generally the comparisons made between old and new sonic games tend to focus on comparing the two rather than contrasting them. If more attention was paid to contrasting the games, then it would be seen just how different the new games are from the originals. Just like Sonic Advance 2, Sonic Advance 3 is all about speed. Many would agree that both games were trying to imitate the Classic MegaDrive gameplay, and failing to do so. A more realistic approach would be to suggest the GBA games are not trying to imitate the originals; instead they are trying to establish a new set of dynamics for a new generation of sonic. The problem is that so long as critics continue to think the new is trying to imitate the old, they will always see differences from the older games as a negative, rather than the positive that it is.

The biggest flaw in most comparisons is the inclusion of the speed element. For people who concern themselves so much with the original sonic games, it seems unusual that one important factor has escaped them: sonic never achieves blistering speed, at leased not to the degree we see in Sonic Advance 2 and 3. With the exception of early levels which were purposely designed to be less complex, there was more emphasis put on the platforming element of the originals rather than rip roaring speeds. This is not to say there was no speed in sonic, because there was, but more often than not it was restricted to small sections abruptly ending in cruel object placement and far overshadowed by the platforming elements. Below is a list of levels which demonstrated the greater emphasis on platforming in the original sonic games:

  • Marble Zone 1,2,3 (Sonic 1 MD)
  • Spring Yard Zone 1,2,3 (Sonic 1 MD)
  • Labyrinth Zone 1,2,3 (Sonic 1 MD)
  • Scrap Brain Zone 1,2,3 (Sonic 1 MD)
  • Casino Night Zone 1,2 (Sonic 2 MD)
  • Hill Top Zone 1,2 (Sonic 2 MD)
  • Oil Ocean Zone 1,2 (Sonic 2 MD)
  • Metropolis Zone 1,2,3 (Sonic 2 MD)
  • Flying Fortress Zone (Sonic 2 MD)
  • Hydro city 1,2, (Sonic 3 MD)
  • Carnival Night 1,2 (vonic 3)
  • Icecap 1,2 (Sonic 3 MD)
  • Launch Base 1,2 (Sonic 3 MD)
  • Sandopolis 1,2 (Sonic and Knuckles)
  • Lava Reef 1,2 (Sonic and Knuckles)
  • Deathegg 1,2 (Sonic and Knuckles)

If you consider all this, then a game that was far closer to the originals was Sonic Advance. Ironically this gas was criticised for not being enough like the originals.

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.