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How Sega Ruined Sonic the Hedgehog 108

Posted by Zonk
from the poor-spikey-haired-rodent dept.
The always entertaining RetroGaming with Racketboy has a long post up railing against Sega for ruining Sonic the Hedgehog. The blue, spikey hero has had a rough time of it of late. Outings from the series like Shadow the Hedgehog, and even the next-gen title simply named Sonic the Hedgehog, have gotten simply terrible reviews. He longs for a return to simple, fun, not-creepy play. From the article: "As the new generation of platforms emerged, Sega used Sonic as a way to show off their newest graphical technologies. There is no doubt that the new Sonic the Hedgehog for the XBox 360 looks nice, but as the abysmal reviews indicate, graphics are not everything. In order to push its cutting-edge graphics to the limit, Sega, in their infinite wisdom, felt the need to bring Sonic and his friends into a more realistic world, filled with life-like humans. As you can see from this video, there is something creepy about some giant hedgehogs interacting with humans. My point is that Sega doesn't seem to know what it wants to do with Sonic. It seems like Sega assigns various quick-and-dirty development projects in order to see what ideas sticks with consumers. Unfortunately, Sega fans have had to suffer through this process."
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How Sega Ruined Sonic the Hedgehog

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  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @03:55PM (#17082586) Homepage

    Start the video at 00:34 to avoid the blithering asshat.

  • by neostorm (462848) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:05PM (#17082656)
    For the first time since the 2D Sonics, here is a really promising looking Sonic game:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ruxm9D0p6P8 [youtube.com]

    Some of the environments in the screenshots look fantastic too. The game looks just like the 2D games in 3D, which is probably what they should have done in the first place.
    • Or just make some more 2Desque games instead? Seems to have worked with Mario on the DS.
      • by KDR_11k (778916)
        They are making 2d-esque games (Sonic Rush, for example) and those are still pretty good but I think he's talking about making a good 3d Sonic game.
        • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TrekkieGod (627867)
          Why is there a need to make a Sonic game in 3d? It was a classic the way it was. To me the whole idea sounds a bit like trying to make 3d pac-man.
          • by KDR_11k (778916)
            I think it'd work better in theory since in 2d Sonic it's deadly to go fast in an area you don't know, 3d would allow you to see enough of the area ahead of you without making it hard to see Sonic himself (since you don't need to zoom out). That way you could keep running fast even through unknown terrain without hitting the next enemy or bottomless pit.
        • by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75.yahoo@com> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @06:15PM (#17083826)
          They are making 2d-esque games (Sonic Rush, for example) and those are still pretty good

          I'd go further than that - Sonic Rush is the Sonic game all these people have been waiting for. It's amazing to me that so many people complain about the current Sonic games and hardly any of these people have bothered playing Sonic Rush. It's rarely even mentioned in any of the talk about recent series entrants.

          Sonic Rush is a much more natural evolution of the Sonic series than any of the recent 3D games on home systems. Ironically, Sonic Rush is 3D, in the same way the Klonoa series is - the graphics are mostly cel-shaded 3D, the gameplay basically 2D. This lets the old-school gameplay that Sonic fans want shine through, while still adding some new 3D elements and the fully 3D boss battles.

          One of the big sites - it was either GameSpot or GameSpy - called this game the "most significant" Sonic game in many years. I would agree with that if only more people had played it. It is an example of what Sonic games can be in the modern age, although unfortunately for all concerned, it didn't sell particularly well. What lesson does Sega take from that?

          If you want good Sonic games, buy the good Sonic games. If you don't buy them, Sega won't make them. And that's what's happening now; Sega is unsuccessfully searching for a new formula, having apparently been convinced that the original formula no longer works in the marketplace.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            I bought Rush mostly for the music (It's amazing, no one can deny it), but I think they need to slow it down. It wasn't even remotely hard unless you ran off a cliff. Level design is just "run bitch run" and unlike the originals there doesn't appear to me many routes you can take.

            But yea, it's a step in the right direction but still needs work.
          • by MilenCent (219397)
            I'd agree with you completely except for one thing.

            Sonic Rush changed some of the basic rules of the game, with the biggest being that, when Sonic jumps, he spins and remains spinning until he touches the ground again. While he's spinning, he destroys any enemies he touches if they are not spiked, electrified or fiery in some way. When he lands on a foe while spinning, he bounces back up into the air, still spinning, and returns from the height from which he fell. And when running on the ground, pressing
          • How is this much different than Sonic Heroes? A little more open landscape, but I actually found SH somewhat fun to play.
          • It's amazing to me that so many people complain about the current Sonic games and hardly any of these people have bothered playing Sonic Rush.

            I'm certainly one of those people who have complained about the current Sonic games (Shadow the Hedgehog was just horrid on many levels) and I hadn't heard of Sonic Rush... I was curious why, so I looked it up and realized it was for the DS.

            While I think the DS is intriguing and if I was going to get a portable that's probably what I would get, but I just don't li

      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by Frizzle Fry (149026)
        The Sonic Game for DS (Sonic Rush) was quite good also. Not as good as Mario, but a fun old school Sonic game that certainly worth the $20.
    • Some of the environments in the screenshots look fantastic too.


      You call that looking good? It was uninspired, drab, bland. Man, gamers nowadays will call anythign with a high texture rate goodlooking. Get over it. Art design trumps resolution 99 times out of 100.
      • by nomadic (141991)
        Art design trumps resolution 99 times out of 100.

        True. Look at Diablo II; a beautiful game, lousy resolution, but it didn't matter. Or any one of a number of PS2 games.
    • That does look very promising. Equal parts simplicity and excitement is what my man Sonic is all about. For the most part I think the original Dreamcast 3D Sonic Adventure did a pretty damn good job. Sonic 2 is pretty much still the pinacle of the series tho. :P Maybe this return to simplicity of gameplay (as I understand it you basically just use the Wii-mote like a steering wheel, ya?) with punched up adrenaline environments is what's needed. All the platforming they've had Sonic on is the wrong idea.
    • Sorry, its a bit late for Sega to make a good Sonic game for me. I plan on never buying another of those game again. Sega has proved one too many times that they just don't want to make one worth my time, so I lost all interest. Even my memories of the old games are tarnished. Sonic, that cool guy who once rivaled Mario (in my mind), can just die and burn in hell for all I care. [/jaded rant]

    • by arevos (659374)
      Sonic's legs don't seem to be moving at the pace he's running, which seems to kill the illusion of speed a little. He also turns a little too quickly; there's no sense of momentum. I guess it's easier to get these things right in 2D than 3D.
    • by Kuukai (865890)
      If the logo and the title are any indication [imageshack.us] however, I have a bad feeling about where they're drawing their inspiration from...
    • by shrykk (747039)
      That's great - thanks for posting.

      That game actually looks fast and fun. I hope I'm not alone in saying, I don't get particularly attached to a game world, be it Sonic, Mario or whatever (IMHO Mario remains insanely popular because so many of the games have been high-quality, not because of any intrinsic interest in a plumber in the Mushroom Kingdom).

      Original Sonic was amazing because of the incredible speed and excitement, not because of a smartass blue hedgehog. That Wildfire footage looked fun t
  • It would likely of been a big hit.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Would it "of"?

      Someday you'll be asking someone if they "of" any spare change.
    • It would likely of been a big hit.
      I believe it did [wikipedia.org] modestly well. Honestly speaking, it wasn't too bad.
      • by Mprx (82435)
        That's not real pinball, that's highly inaccurate pinball simulation.
  • by Deag (250823) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:09PM (#17082694)
    The demo is on xbox live if anyone wants to try it, and it is all I have played
    But good luck, it is very very bad. Doesn't look the worst but it is impossible to control. The camera goes all over the place and the little bastard you are supposed to be controlling just flys about the place very quickly, yes that is what sonic is supposed to be, but it is not good when you have to follow him at this pace.
    No idea how a modern Sonic game should go, I think it would be best if they just gave up on this one, maybe release a newer version of the platform game on the arcade services for the new consoles. I don't think anything else would work.
    • by Asmor (775910)
      The sad part is... Sonic 3D (for the Genesis) was actually pretty decent.

      But frankly, the only sonic games of recent years worth playing were the ones on the GBA.
      • by 7Prime (871679)
        You're kidding, right? Sonic 3D Blast? That was quite possibly the worst sonic game ever, and has gone down in history as one of the biggest dibacles of a series. It was slow, uninspired, impossible to tell where you were, virtically, due to goofy isometrics. I would go as far as to say that the Sonic Adventure games were even slightly better (even though I think they're absolutely terrible). I've heard great things about Sonic Rush, though.
    • No idea how a modern Sonic game should go, I think it would be best if they just gave up on this one, maybe release a newer version of the platform game on the arcade services for the new consoles. I don't think anything else would work.

      Actually, the newfangled 3D Samus does Sonic better than Sonic does. The morph ball puzzles in the Metroid Prime games are some of the best parts. I'd pay good money for a Sonic that did that kind of stuff, but required quicker reflexes.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:20PM (#17082834) Homepage Journal
    to whatever god she was praying to for sonic's revival is even creepier than the kiss. I want to convert to whatever religion it is where you can pray for the revival of giant anthropomorphic hedgehogs.
  • my 2 cents... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daddyrief (910385) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:40PM (#17082994) Homepage
    I have beaten almost every sonic game for genesis (3D blast being the exception.) I was also younger than 12 at the time, and all I can say was that despite recycling themes and gameplay for 3 sonic games, the first sonic trilogy was FUN. They had a formula that worked for level design, bosses were always different and creative, certain levels had other things to do(slots in casino night zone? checkpoint minigames?) Now, I'm glad they didn't make another sonic side-scroller back then, as it would have been simply milking for cash.

    But how should Sonic look and behave next-gen? (now, current gen?) It's simple.

    -Keep sonic badass. Sonic has always been badass, but not OVERDONE. He always looked badass just by looking mean and shaking his finger. Tails should serve as a foil to his badassness. Shadow makes me cringe as a one-time sonic/sega fan -- way too overdone.

    -Keep the former cast of Sonic. There was no need to create a slew of new characters, IMHO. With the comic book series from a few years back, plus minor characters from other games, was there a need for new characters? Guess the old ones weren't cool enough for 'next-gen.' Familiar characters would have kept old fans coming back. Sonic has even had love interests in the past! Don't tell me you can't work that into a game.

    -Most importantly -- KEEP the feel of GAMEPLAY. The old Sonic games were easy to pick up and play. You couldn't really get lost, and there wasn't a myriad of moves to learn just to understand the game. Mario made the transition well into 3D; Sonic didn't. I saw another /.er's video of the Wii Sonic to come out, and I must say it looks closer to what a 3D Sonic should look like. Fast paced gameplay, ring collection, but in a 3D environment. Sonic should feel faster than Mario and other platformers.

    So ends the rantings of a former fanboy. I must also admit, I haven't played many of the recent Sonic iterations, but if reviews (user and site) are any indication, I'm not missing out on much. Sonic needs to return to its roots.
    • by bersl2 (689221)

      -Keep sonic badass. Sonic has always been badass, but not OVERDONE. He always looked badass just by looking mean and shaking his finger. Tails should serve as a foil to his badassness. Shadow makes me cringe as a one-time sonic/sega fan -- way too overdone.

      -Keep the former cast of Sonic. There was no need to create a slew of new characters, IMHO. With the comic book series from a few years back, plus minor characters from other games, was there a need for new characters? Guess the old ones weren't cool enou

    • You might give the DS sonic game a try. http://ds.ign.com/articles/666/666139p1.html [ign.com] 2d Sonic + solid polished design = great sonic game.
    • by kinglink (195330)
      Sonic isn't "bad ass". Sonic is like Bart Simpson. Not a trouble maker persay, He wouldn't shoot a teacher, but definatly tries to be too cool for school. Unfortunatly even he too is now a lame shadow of himself (funny thing, both were created at the same time, and both fell upon their swords about the same time)

      I think the big problem for sonic is speed. Even in Sonic's 2d adventures, the camera had minor issues, in his 3d adventures you have two options. Make the camera always exist behind him even i
  • Profit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:42PM (#17083006)
    Every day there is an argument as to why someone should care whether their gaming company of choice should turn a profit, and I think Sega demonstrates why it is important. Back in the Genesis days Sega was nearly as good as Nintendo was at producing a large number of high quality titles; as the Sega CD, Sega 32X, and Sega Saturn drained Sega of their profitability the quality of their product diminished because they could no longer afford to produce the high quailty games. The Dreamcast had many gems, but most of Sega's games demonstrated their problem in that they were reasonably unique but lacked the polish to get the most out of the game.

    Today Sega's games are (pretty much) released 'on schedule' whether or not they're complete or not; this means that Sonic the Hedgehog and Shadow the Hedgehog are terrible games that never stood a chance of being good in the first place.
    • by NeMon'ess (160583) *
      What on Earth are you saying? That Sega shouldn't have released the Saturn to compete against the Playstation? Sega made tons of mistakes, but a huge one was letting Sega of America release the 32X. I doubt the Sega CD hurt profitability very much since it was presumably sold at a near break-even price.
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mongoose (8480) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:57PM (#17083156) Homepage
    Sonic goes super saiyan! Does the 360 game have Freeza in it?
    • by Spectek (1034712)
      Freeza?! Oh come on. The problem (well one of the problems, it's the one that sticks out for me the most) is that people care too much about graphics and not enough about meaning and development and the concept of a game being a kind of interactive movie where you can really get a feel for the main character and develop the sid characters too. I'd rather play the PS1 version of Metal Gear Solid 1 anyday than all this "Sonic Rush" rubbish any day of the year. Sonic Adventure 1 was great, but its sequel was
    • by Shados (741919)
      Lol, Sonic was able to become "Super" since Sonic 2 on the genesis, and has been able to in (almost) all of the titles since then...
  • by identity0 (77976) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:58PM (#17083168) Journal
    there is something creepy about some giant hedgehogs interacting with humans.

    Boy, I bet Disneyland is going to give you a heart attack.

    Actually, it'd be really funny if we could have a "Grand Theft Sonic" game, or Ico with Sonic, or "Metal Gear Sonic". Putting a giant blue hedgehog into a realistic, serious game = comedy gold. I'd love to see Sonic beating up hookers or sneaking up on a guy and snapping his neck.

    Seriously, though, the clip looks like they combined Sonic with Final Fantasy and Dragonball Z. WTF? The realistic humans I don' care about, but it looks like they took some of the cheesiest parts from the "kid's anime epic playbook" and put it in Sonic.

    And despite what the title of the video says, no Sonic does *not* get an erection in the clip. That's his hand, maybe his thumb, which is on the other side of his body. Too bad, it'd be *awesome* if it was :D
  • I have a younger brother who is only plays the new 3D sonic games, and loves them. Its horrible, seeing his mind being warped into thinking that somehow these are games that we should welcome into our consoles.

    I've only ever passed the first level in these games (heroes and shadow) once, and never EVER felt the urge to play again. You can't see what your doing, but your sure to do it fast. And if the gameplay wasn't enough of a reason to ignore these games, the whole repulsive attitude thing is, as it will
    • Heroes and Shadow were horrible games, but they were far cries from the first two Sonic Adventure games, which were, in my opinion, far better 3D translations than the Mario series.

      The big problem most people had with the Sonic Adventure games was that you didn't actually play as Sonic for most of the game.
      • far better 3D translations than the Mario series.

        You may be the only person in the entire world that thinks so.

        Super Mario 64 is still by almost all standards one of the greatest games of all time. Sure, it's out-dated now, but the challenges are still fun. Good enough that many people felt compelled to repurchase it on the DS to get the new stars that were added, and to play through it again with the new characters.

        Be honest with us, you never did really play it did you? That's okay, it's not too late f
        • I played through most of it, and for a N64 launch title it was great, but Banjo-Kazooie was IMO a far better entry in the same genre.

          Super Mario 64 is still by almost all standards one of the greatest games of all time. Sure, it's out-dated now, but the challenges are still fun. Good enough that many people felt compelled to repurchase it on the DS to get the new stars that were added, and to play through it again with the new characters.
        • Actually, I did play Super Mario 64. I played it on N64 shortly after it was released, and was blown away, but I was frustrated by the sloppy controls and mid-game challenges and bored well before then.

          Not that I expect the one of the most pioneering games ever to do everything perfectly. It broke ground in the 3D genre and set the standard for all other games. It was one of the most important games of all time.

          I bought it for the DS, thinking that maybe it was just me being new to 3D games that put me o
          • by Jarlsberg (643324)
            SM64 was a great game for its time, but it was overrated then, and since it's now canon that it not only broke ground but also was the greatest 3D platformer of all time, you'll find many who adore this game to no end. I thought it was a good game on the N64, and I liked it on the NDS, but I certainly do not consider it to be the pinnacle of 3D platforming. Plus, towards the middle and end, it gets boring and repetetive.
        • I have to second that.
          I come from a background of Atari and Sega - and while I had played SA 1 and 2, they didn't feel like sonic games.

          Then I got a Wii and downloaded Super Mario 64. Within seconds, I was saying to myself: "_This_ is how it should be done!" It was amazingly intuitive, with better 3D motion and camera control than many games coming out today - and every detail made it feel like a Mario game.
      • Heroes and Shadow were horrible games, but they were far cries from the first two Sonic Adventure games, which were, in my opinion, far better 3D translations than the Mario series.

        Owning both a DC and a N64, I can tell you with some authority that you are the first person I've ever seen make that claim.

        The DC games weren't particularly bad - especially compared to modern 3D Sonic games. But they had quite severe flaws (especially during the non-sonic stages). They simply can't compare to Mario 64.

  • Project S (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:01PM (#17083206) Homepage
    These days, the only new Sonic game I really want is Project S. It's a fan project that aims to complete the infamous cancelled Saturn title Sonic X-treme [wikipedia.org]. And here's the most interesting bit: the project is being led by Sonic X-treme's own director, Chris Senn.
  • Hard to tell, but looks like he has his 360 hooked to a standard definition TV :|
  • Suggestion (Score:3, Funny)

    by Black Art (3335) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @06:00PM (#17083694)
    He should roll up the humans in a large ball and give them as an offering to the King of the Cosmos.
  • Rodent? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kchrist (938224)
    from the poor-spikey-haired-rodent dept.

    Since when are hedgehogs rodents?
  • by operato (782224)
    is it just me or is this very much like the game wipeout 2097 except with legs?
  • .. and it was great.

    http://www.gamespot.com/dreamcast/action/sonicadve nture/review.html [gamespot.com]

    Why they haven't been able to replicate that success is puzzling.

    Many people are pointing out the very good Sonic Rush for the DS. The developer deserves credit for that game, not SEGA: http://www.dimps.co.jp/pro/list-hard.html [dimps.co.jp]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sesshomaru (173381)
      It's not surprising why SEGA wasn't able to replicate that success.

      SEGA died.

      What we call SEGA these days is actually SEGA Sammy Holdings [segasammy.co.jp] a different, and much more unsavory beast.

      Development teams were merged, staff was let go, staff left rather than be a part of the new entity.

      If Sonic represents the face of SEGA, then it is no wonder that he is a shambling, grotesque abomination lacking the spark of life that the old Sonic had.

      Although, honestly, I don't see how a company which is "Realizing gr [segasammy.co.jp]

  • I love Sonic, but all the recent console games suffer from one big flaw: Too many options. Sonic was meant to be fun and fast. These recent RPG style Sonic games just plain suck. The control sucks. The puzzles are extremely easy or extremely hard. Don't get me started on some of those platforms that you have to hit just right or die and lose the *entire* game. If you want to make Sonic RPG, make Sonic RPG games and get rid of the timer/rating system.

    If you want to keep the original fun of Sonic then p
  • Penny Arcade has already handled this topic.
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/03/11 [penny-arcade.com]
  • Maybe if the series followed Mario and added baby versions of every character, it would work again.
  • Wasn't this on something like Charmed or one of those silly witch TV shows???
  • There is a Sonic fan game called Sonic Robo Blast 2 available at http://www.srb2.org/ [srb2.org] . It's a 3d game based on the doom engine, and, to me, it feels exactly how Sonic should in 3d.
  • by SP33doh (930735)
    I'll tell you what ruined sonic. in two letters

    3d
  • Hey guys -- thanks for posting my article on Slashdot.
    I've followed up on the original article with my thoughs on what Sega could do to bring Sonic back to his former glory while making the most of the modern consoles
    http://www.racketboy.com/retro/2006/12/how-sega-ca n-bring-sonic-hedgehog-back.html [racketboy.com]
  • That the article in its rant simply ommitted the excellent Sonic on the Nintendo Ds, this is probably the one all the Sonic fans have been waiting for.
    • Actually, I didn't omit it.
      Read it again :)

      "Sega's one redeeming endeavor has been the portable titles. The Sonic Advance series has at least replicated the original Sonic experience about as much as the GBA could, and Sonic Rush on the DS was probably the best Sonic game in over a decade. (Although, the really botched the new Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis for the GBA)

      Sonic Advance and Sonic Rush are essentially the only Sonic games since the Genesis (sans the initial buzz of Sonic Adventure) that the majority
  • Yet another article hating on Sonic because it's cool.

    One of the many arguments is that it should be like the older games, and then they reference the GBA games. Uh, they aren't like the older games. Sure, they're 2D, but are they well designed? It doesn't seem like it. Sonic has a kick move that brings him to a full stop, he can grind on rails, but only for about two times in the entire game. In general, the games seem to try to make you go as fast as possible, with boosters all over the place.

    Sonic Advent
    • I rented Sonic Heroes and was pretty impressed. It was 3D and fast and a little different. But yes I hated the other characters. I liked Sonic, tails and knuckles. But would never want to use all 3 at once.

      • by BenoitRen (998927)
        The article's author also states not wanting to play with multiple characters.

        Why not? What's so bad about playing with multiple characters at the same time?
        • The other characters are identical in gameplay. They just look different and sound different when they give out their catch phrases.
          • by BenoitRen (998927)
            That's not what I meant. I was asking why you didn't like playing with Sonic, Tails and Knuckles at the same time.

            As for the other teams, there's one difference that puts them in two groups. The Sonic and Dark teams have the power characters boxing with and throwing the other characters, while the Rose and Chaotix teams have the power character launch the others instead of boxing and performing a rebounding smash move towards the ground when in the air.

            In general, though, the other teams are the different d
  • OMG......i wish i was sonic for that moment...lol...and omg beastility?
  • It looks ok. The graphics are really cool, but it seems that they've come a long way from the classics. The only new one I've played is Sonic Heroes. I never finished it, but what I've played of it is good. It kinda sucks that they've put this new one in a really different looking world.
  • The only comment in the teaser rant that seems out of place is the one about humans, really. All the comics, SonicX tv show, etc have Sonic and pals hanging out with humans... so it should be OK if he hangs out with humans in the new games. The only problem is that with the possible exception of Sonic Rush, the games aren't well-done or fun to play.

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