The Crossfire: Guest Edition

The Crossfire: Guest Edition

Hey, dudes, The Crossfire is back!  I’m tied up with school and a few loose ends on the ooool’ fangame project, but SSMB member, Cake, is here to fill the void with a guest Crossfire!  Let’s see how this goes, shall we?

Everyone craves getting caught in The Crossfire so we can’t just stop, can we? What do we have for today’s topic? Each Sonic game seems to throw out the welcome mat for a new character, and the simple question is, are all these characters contributing to the series in a positive way, or are things getting crowded to the point that the blue blur has no room to run?

POINT: New characters take away from Sonic, while serving no purpose in the long stretch of things.

Why are we still calling these things Sonic games? The games barely even feature the blue blur anymore, he’s usually overshadowed (pun completely intended) by someone else, or his time is taken up by some other random character. Who is usually stronger then him too. I mean, Shadow is a seemingly darker version of Sonic, able to match our hero in speed and abilities. But, Shadow has a better grip on Chaos Control. And he knows his way around guns. Lots of guns.

Then we have Silver, who nearly kills Sonic not once, but TWICE in Sonic 06. What’s happened to Sonic to make him so… weak, all of a sudden? He can’t beat the Biolizard without Shadow, he can’t defeat Solaris without Shadow and Silver, he needs Blaze’s help to beat Nega, and these are all instances when he’s… wait for it, Super Sonic! Face it, Sonic is being dumbed down in order to accomadate all these new characters, and give them a chance to shine.

Even if we look at it from a gameplay point of view, we can’t really run with Sonic anymore before having to drive with Shadow, throw things with Silver, dig for Emeralds, shoot stuff in Mechs, run from a robot, or FISH! Where do we draw the line? Certainly not at Unleashed, because now we get to play with “Werehog Sonic” who may be the same character, but honestly, stop and think for a second. They could’ve easily just said “Eggman creates Werewolf to kill Sonic, it rejects him, wants revenge.” and it’s the same game with a new character. Werehog is a new character, and new characters are going to continue to be churned out with each new Sonic game, each one fulfilling the gimmick required for that game, and then being tossed aside with Fang, The Chaotix, Bean, Mighty, Ray, Silver, Cream, Bark, Blaze, Marine, Knuckles, Mephiles, Tails…. you get where this is going?

To sum up: New Characters have no “Silver” lining, they take away from Sonic, and their numbers are simply astounding at his point.

COUNTERPOINT: New Characters bring something new to Sonic games, and compliment Sonic as a character.

Since Sonic 2, Sonic’s shown that teamwork is an important part of being a hero. After all, if it wasn’t for Tails, Sonic wouldn’t have reached the Death Egg. Or been able to beat Robotnik in the Marble Garden zone. And without Knuckles, who would have opened the path for Sonic to Sky Sanctuary? When it comes down to it, Sonic needs new characters. Characters like Shadow and Silver bring something new to the series, and by pitting the Blue Blur up against tough opponents like Shadow and Silver, it shows that he’s no one trick pony, just taking on the good Doctor.

New characters add a lot to to the story of the games as well, allowing us to explore the stories presented from different angles. Besides, with such complex stories taking place, we can’t expect Sonic to fill in every role. If Sonic Heroes taught us anything, it’s that Sonic values teamwork, and while he’s a capable hero on his own, he’s Sonic! He’s a hero, a nice guy. The lone ranger role is more suited for someone like Shadow.

Looking at things from a game play standpoint, the new characters keep things fresh and diverse. Playing as Sonic rocks, sure, but all that speed running gets a little tiring. Mixing things up with a fast, but slightly combat oriented play style of Shadow’s, or Silver’s intense psychic destruction/exploration adds more to the game, and while it might mean less running time with Sonic, it keeps Sonic’s running fresh, by not over feeding it to us.

Sure, there might be alot of characters, but each character plays a specific role, and face it; without those characters, Sonic games would be a lot less exciting.

To sum up: Sonic games wouldn’t be the same without all the characters, old and new, who each bring something fun and unique to the games, while still keeping the blue blur as our main man.

DECISION: Where do you stand?

Thanks for reading this guest edition of the Crossfire! Be sure to post your opinions on this article’s thread on the SSMB!

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Slingerland is a staff writer and editor for both The Sonic Stadium and Sonic Retro. His area of emphasis is the inner-workings of the games and laughing at everything.