Initial Impression: Fans go “WTF?”

Initial Impression: Fans go “WTF?”

The unveiling of Shadow the Hedgehog took place on the 8th March in America, where the ‘Walk of Game’ celebrations were taking place. Sonic the Hedgehog was the first entry into the ‘Walk’, and SEGA celebrated and were understandably happy. Ironically, that’s where they decided to first show this little “beaut”. Hmmm.

It has come to this. It’s amazing just how much of a pull idiot gotho-choice Shadow has on teenager fanboys/fangirls. His appearance in Sonic Adventure 2 was cool. His return (from his timely death) in Sonic Heroes just annoyed everyone. And now we get a whole GAME on this bumbling whinger? You know Shadow’s only here to cash in on silly goth-compulsive-depressants anyway, but hey if that’s your bag, so be it. The popular “word on the street” is that this game was derived from opinions set in a survey organised by SEGA of America some time back. This survey asked fans what kind of Sonic spinoff game they would most like to see. This isn’t the case, as the movie shows it has been some way into production, so the survey must have just been a hint/teaser. Although I still wouldn’t be surprised to see those results and find millions of rabid Shadow loonies craving for more. He’s dead already!

Character quibbles aside, ‘Shadow the Hedgehog’ is a game starring everyone’s “favourite” sulky git. Nothing’s been revealed aside from the trailer TSS has seen, and from the looks of things it appears a lot like a ‘backwards step’ to Sonic Adventure 2 style stages, with Sonic Heroes graphics. Did we mention Shadow has a gun?

Oh yes. For the perfect case of “dumbing down”, this game also has the added “value” of weaponry. Shadow is seen with at least two guns at his arsenal, a pistol and a machine gun (…I can’t believe I’m typing this description on a Sonic website…). Looking to mix Sonic style platforming with… shooting, Shadow the Hedgehog looks like the designs we’d more likely see from a slightly demented fangame.

While we’re obviously none too impressed that SEGA and Sonic Team have decided to go downmarket with the Sonic series and selling itself to the lowest common denominator possible, there is still some aspects of the game that seem intruiging, funny as it sounds. Notably, strange meters at the top of the screen – perhaps indicating some sort of charge move. If we were to go with this assumption, the most obvious candidate would be a Chaos Control maneouvre. More moves include something akin to his ‘Sonic Battle’ actions, and some sort of “hyperspeed” mode where Shadow is flying across a plane of obstacles at high speed. Again, probably linked with Chaos Control. The idea of guns may be some sort of inspiration from Ratchet and Clank, but to be honest when the idea of guns is crap anyway who gives a toss? And again with the whole “Choose to be good or evil” rubbish. Seriously SEGA, it’s getting old. The whole thing reeks of 2001 again. With guns. And 100% more “Shadowy” (cringes).

We’re hoping upon hope that if anything, this game will at least shed some light on all the Shadow plotholes that Sonic Team created in Sonic Heroes. Because that way at least all questions are answered and he can just sod off to where he came from (his crater-shaped grave). If this isn’t the last Shadow game (or last game with Shadow IN IT), then we’re in for a very sad end to the Sonic the Hedgehog series as we know it.

Good news though, is that this game is NOT the new Sonic the Hedgehog game Yuji Naka is banging on about for Nintendo Gamecube. He’s stipulated time and time again that the new SONIC will be revealed (and playable) at E3 in May. Which only calls to question who had the brain fart that spawned this idea. Hopefully Sonic Team Japan aren’t paying too much attention to this; an easily forgettable spinoff that’s likely to be as dull as the character starring in it. As always though, we remain open-minded and won’t give you definitive reactions until we’ve played it. Just don’t hold your breath for anything special. Or good. Stay with TSS for updates.

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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.