Log in or sign up to comment
49 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for blueblur1
Posted by Blueblur1

Okay, so this blog post you're reading is a precursor to an article I plan on writing. What the Hell is the appeal of trashing the Sonic franchise? Jeff's take on Sonic Unleashed struck a nerve that's already been pretty irritated. I understand that the last few 3D Sonic games weren't great. Sonic Heroes, Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic 2006) and Sonic and the Secret Rings followed the successful Sonic Adventure 2.

Heroes wasn't exactly a hit as it introduced a team mechanic that broke up specific abilities between three characters. There were 4 teams of 3 characters each and all the teams were nearly identical. You basically had to play through the same game four times. Levels consisted of a lot of stopping and going followed by more stopping and going. Sonic 2006 tried to be Sonic Adventure 3 but unfortunately it was many things except great. It was riddled with game stopping bugs, had terrible level design, had terrible visual design (realistic characters FTL), had constant 15 - 20 second load times, had a ridiculous bestiality-riddled plot, aggravating on-foot and vehicle controls and was just uninteresting. Sonic and the Secret Rings tried to do something different  by being loosely based on One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. It was on-rails, required repeated play throughs of levels to level up Sonic's abilities and had frustrating controls. Yet, it still has its fans.

Sonic Unleashed is practically free of all of those complaints. The controls are finally just right for a Sonic game, the visual and level design is fantastic, the plot is simple and doesn't take away from the game and isn't intruding, the game is restricted to playing as Sonic only, only a few bugs exist (amazing considering all the bugs that riddle EVERY SINGLE PREVIOUS 3D SONIC GAME),  the gameplay is fast as ever as Sonic and the combat is more than competent as the Werehog, you can beat the game without playing the extra stages that are littered throughout the game (and in almost any order, as long as it has been unlocked), has relatively short load times (5 - 10 seconds), and no mid-level loads.

All of that and Sonic Unleashed is still shit, apparently. Common complaints include: the Tornado mini-game is garbage(a mini-game you're required to play twice and is very easy), the plot is silly and for kids (as opposed to Sonic 2006's serious bestiality love subplot and the overall saving Soleana Kingdom plot), the controls are terrible (despite being the best in any 3D Sonic game; precise jumps are easy to make and Sonic doesn't make a right angle turn at the flick of the left control stick), the game is too fast (yeah, because the game requires you to hold the boost button all the time... oh wait, it doesn't), the Werehog combat and levels are terrible (while the puzzles are weak, the combat is fantastic once you level up the Werehog a bit and the stage design is simple and flows well) and Chip is annoying (he only speaks in cutscenes, which you can skip).

Oh yeah, Sonic Unleashed is TERRIBBBBBBLE. Honestly, I get the impression that these game enthusiasts have a grudge against the Sonic series. Maybe some hold resentment because they were forced to review a game they didn't like; I wouldn't be surprised. Others sound negative and leave me with the impression that the game was just too difficult for them so in turn they criticise the controls and level design to compensate. And it only frustrates me more to see people post in internet forums trashing the game without having played it. (Thanks for the stigma, "gaming journalist" assholes.)

If you pass on Unleashed, and I mean that you don't even try it, then you're missing out. Its the best 3D Sonic game in nearly 8 years. I would really like to see more people play it and give constructive criticism than rather trash it without having actually played it.

Note: Sonic Unleashed on the 360 is the definitive version. The PS2/Wii game is not even the same game thus I don't consider it. Its largely considered to be inferior consisiting of arduous controls (on Wii), dumbed down Werehog combat, and consists mostly of Werehog stages. The PS3 version is identical to the 360 version except the frame rate is sometimes at 60fps but consistently drops. The 360 version has the frame rate locked at 30fps except for a few instances and noticeably in the final stage.

Avatar image for thomasp
Edited by ThomasP

*pokes thread with stick*

Yep,  Sonic's dead.

Avatar image for snipzor
Posted by Snipzor
Sonic is about as dead as the 1980's.
Sonic is about as dead as the 1980's.
Avatar image for andrewgaspar
Posted by AndrewGaspar

Haven't played a Sonic game in a while, but I'm getting the impression you're holding the new Sonic game to the standards of the other more recent Sonic games, which is laughable. When journalists say Sonic Unleashed is bad, they're comparing it to the quality of ALL games released, not just Sonic games.

I did play Sonic Heroes, I think it was, a few years ago, and that game was BORING.

Avatar image for dalai
Posted by Dalai

Maybe Sonic Unleashed isn't a bad game, but at best it's just okay.  Until Sonic takes a long, overdue break and goes back to the basics, it will always be shit on.

And adding needless elements like the werehog levels don't help either.

Avatar image for champy
Posted by Champy

its not sonic's fault! its the people who make the games!

Avatar image for vinchenzo
Posted by Vinchenzo

I'm frustrated with all the Sonic love.

Avatar image for handsomedead
Posted by HandsomeDead
Blueblur1 said:
"Its the best 3D Sonic game in nearly 8 years."
This sentence means absolutely nothing.
Avatar image for kombat
Posted by Kombat
HandsomeDead said:
"Blueblur1 said:
"Its the best 3D Sonic game in nearly 8 years."
This sentence means absolutely nothing."
The word "best" does not make things good.
Avatar image for staticfalconar
Posted by StaticFalconar

I was always a Mario man myself so I never liked Sonic to begin with. Even at its best in the glory 2d days, I was at most meh when I preferred Mario instead.

Avatar image for jakob187
Edited by jakob187
Blueblur1 said:
"Honestly, I get the impression that these game enthusiasts have a grudge against the Sonic series."
grudge - a persistent feeling of resentment against something that has caused harm or upset

......so, essentially, you are trying to say that game enthusiasts are pissed at the fact that they continue to be delivered shitty games from a franchise that once actually held quality to it?

Then yeah...I would absolutely say that there is a grudge against the Sonic series, because that ball-sucking blue hedgehog needs to run super-fast up the ass of a good fucking developer and stop being such a fucking poon-jabbie.
Avatar image for eric_buck
Posted by Eric_Buck

Yeah the 'for kids' plotline is stupid. I mean look at Mario. A princess gets captured by a giant dinosaur and taken into space where an italian plumber who can't speak has to go save her. In space. And that was great!!

Avatar image for jonathanmoore
Posted by JonathanMoore

I bought Sonic Unleashed on the Wii and 360, they are incredibly average. I am a huge fan of the Sonic series, even considering the last good Sonic 3D game was 2 generations ago, and the only good Sonic games are on the Handhelds. So you can tell these people Sonic's good still, but hes not.

-- God Bless.

Avatar image for twswordsman
Posted by twswordsman

The sonic we know is dead....its like looking into the eyes of a clone of a clone of a clone of a clone of a clone's clone. What ever memories we had of him are meaningless. Sonic games were good back then because they pushed the technology...Sonic games today barely tip the needle in terms of system usage. If they had a Sonic game using the Unreal 3 engine, or they used the PS3 to its limit with it, it might be a good game once again.

Avatar image for xshr3dx
Edited by xShR3Dx

Fuck yeah dude Sonic Unleashed is a step in the right direction. But its fucked up because now people will not play it and they will fuck it up and make the next one worse. But most people like the ones commenting are too fuckin ignorant to play the game and give it a fare chance or some people its just not there style game and they just rip on it because of that but FUCK EM!!!!

Avatar image for purerok
Posted by PureRok


I've hated Sonic since the first one.

Avatar image for gearhead
Posted by gearhead

Sonic Unleashed is a step forward, but with the gameplay, the Sonic Team makes one step forward, and four fucking steps back.

Avatar image for snail
Posted by Snail

Sonic fans that don't want to accept Sonic is dead that easily, such as myself, will try to like the game. And I managed to do so, and it was pretty easy, I just had too look past the annoying part of the day stages (the 3D part) and I enjoyed it, I agree with you in most of the stuff you wrote on the game.

Avatar image for devean
Posted by DeVeAn

I hear ya bro. Its the cool thing now to bash Sonic. Sonic Unleashed is a good game. People here prolly play shitter games yet they will never admit it. Sonic is far from Dead as the game has sold over a million already. The game just needed a bit more polish and it would have been great.

Besides people these days only play FPS, and raciing games. So when a platformer comes along they can't accept that.

Avatar image for snipzor
Posted by Snipzor
DeVeAn said:
"I hear ya bro. Its the cool thing now to bash Sonic. Sonic Unleashed is a good game. People here prolly play shitter games yet they will never admit it. Sonic is far from Dead as the game has sold over a million already. The game just needed a bit more polish and it would have been great.

Besides people these days only play FPS, and raciing games. So when a platformer comes along they can't accept that."
No, that isn't the issue. The fact of the matter is that Sonic fanboys have kept Sonic on life support, and or every twitch that came with it, is a legion of people who say it is alive and well while others say that it should clearly be killed off. Sonic games over the past few years have been painful to play, with broken controls/graphics/story and that motherfucking voice acting that screeches at you.
But I suppose it is cool to bash Sonic, but since when was it a crime to hate very bad games?

Oh, and XBLA platformers are a hell lot more popular than Sonic. Even the remakes, and that is because they know how to make games. Braid anyone? It isn't an issue with platform games, it is an issue of bad game design.
Avatar image for blueblur1
Posted by Blueblur1

There is something that alarms me. A good number of you have posted that the Sonic series is shit, has been shit and will continue to be shit but none of you back it up. When all you bother to do is type a 2 to 3 sentence response that ultimately is just meant to be a slight at the subject in question don't expect yourself to be taken seriously. You have no voice besides that of the prevalent internet fuckwad.

Snipzor, that really isn't a fact. Its a personal assumption of yours; let's make that clear. If you're insinuating that I am a fanboy then you are mistaken and it has no bearing on my response. As for your comment that Sonic games have not been basically what amounts to be enjoyable experiences then I think you're not looking at the whole picture. Sonic fans doesn't only consist of people that grew up with the Genesis games. The market consists of those people but also a lot of children. You're probably thinking that kids play bad games then which can be construed as a throwaway thought because there is no point in debating something that cannot be proven for all children.

Simply put, Sonic sells. And its fantastic that great games like Sonic Advance 1 through 3, Sonic Rush and  Sonic Rush Adventure reach a large audience. It may be very easy to bash the 3D games because they all haven't been fantastic but they're still solid games, excluding Sonic 2006 of course. You completely disregarded all portable games as if they were of no importance.

Now, as I continue here I'm addressing everyone who chooses to read this response. The current crop of Sonic games are looked upon as not being as great as Sonic once was. If you feel that way then good for you. The truth is that the entire franchise as shifted from one direction to another once Sonic hit 3D. There are some platforming elements but the emphasis is now on speed. And for some people that's a damn shame (certainly it is for me) but that shouldn't stop anyone from enjoying these Sonic games. They're a different approach but the majority of the post-Genesis titles are very good games. You can argue over minutiae all you want but all of Sonic's portable excursions have been at the very least above average games.

To say that every Sonic game you didn't play or like is a total waste of time is very asinine. Unleashed is a great game. Like I've already said, you will love it or hate it. But for the exception of a few people on NeoGAF, I have yet to see many people be able to explain why they hate it. For what it is, the game is fantastic. It has a layer a polish missing from all previous 3D Sonic games (including Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2) and dodges nearly every mistake that the past 3D titles made and Sonic Rush. (Most Rush compliants stem from the issue that some of the level design is flawed as your punished for going full speed by obstacles that the player had no idea where coming up ahead while running through the levels.) The most common compliants and remarks in forum posts usually come from people who either didn't care about the game in the first place (if so, why are you here reading this?) and from people who didn't play the game.

Very simple. Of course, you're free to have your own opinion but to sit there and type posts that trash Sonic fans and bash the games with zero explanation is very juvenile. That is not the audience that I'm playing to with my writing.

Avatar image for lvl10wizard
Posted by lvl10Wizard

I always though Sonic was a twat, never liked the guy.

Avatar image for bucketdeth
Posted by Bucketdeth

Alot of people on Giant Bomb hate on this game, because they can, because there on the internet and they can post there opinion but I have tried the game and it isn`t that bad at all, I`m going to give it a rent this weekend.

Nice post by the way man, you have put the time in to write your thoughts on the game even though half the people that posted probably skimmed and ready parts to quote on.

Avatar image for pause
Posted by pause422

Guess that's too bad. Sonic is dead and has been, and evertime Sega makes a new Sonic game, it gets killed even more, and run into the ground even more. Yes, people liked Sonic plenty when good sonic games existed. Its over though and probably best you accept it. Sonic is terrible now, and dead.

Avatar image for optiow
Posted by Optiow

I don't understand the sonic games, where's the fun in them?
But it is probably just me, I don't really like games like sonic, mario, so my opinion is not worth much.

Avatar image for clarke0
Posted by clarke0

Maybe it's because just about every 3D Sonic game has sucked balls in comparison to the memories people have of the classic 2D games? Sure SEGA actually put a little effort into their newest game, but it's not like it's the amazing franchise reboot that people keep hopelessly waiting for. If you can see why people hate Sonic so much, I think that's your problem.

Avatar image for jayge_
Posted by Jayge_
Blueblur1 said:
"Very simple. Of course, you're free to have your own opinion but to sit there and type posts that trash Sonic fans and bash the games with zero explanation is very juvenile. That is not the audience that I'm playing to with my writing.
That audience isn't here.

Simply put, the speed gameplay is boring, the lack of the classic Sonic platforming challenge is a gigantic disappointment, the werehog segments feel like cheap fillers, and overall it's not a compelling game to play. It's not very hard. I never liked Sonic much in the first place, but the game doesn't even come close to living up to the standards that were set over 15 years ago. It was a gigantic waste of my time, and I never want to play that demo again.
Avatar image for rowr
Posted by Rowr

OP'ster needs to be under the age of 12 for me to not hold this post against him.

Avatar image for perryvandell
Posted by PerryVandell
This is pretty much what I think of sonic right now.
Avatar image for capncloudchaser
Posted by CapnCloudchaser

I really don't understand the mentality of "Sonic Team does not care" about how Sonic Unleashed was created.

A whole new team was brought in for Unleashed, that consisted of a lot of people from college and old school Sonic fans, excited to be working on such a huge project. As such, Sonic Unleashed was the first game this 'new' Sonic Team made, and for a first go, it was certainly a lot better than older 3D Sonic games, and the daytime stages are a step in the right direction, and I reckon it will be their focus from now on, now they've found what works and what obviously doesn't.

The [Xbox 360/PS3] game is littered with so many hidden touches, small fan services, a lot of detail, polish, great graphics, great music, to me all of these things and more speak of a team that actually cared enough to put in as much effort as they could. The budget for the game was certainly more than any other Sega game outsideof Shenmue, so of course they cared about it.

If you think Sonic Unleashed represents Sonic's death, you probably didn't play Sonic 06 >_> Sonic Unleashed is him trying to get back on his feet. It will take some time, but it is a step in the right direction. You won't see him take a break though, sorry; they need low budget games like Sonic and the Black Knight to raise up enough money to pay for a better Sonic game.

Avatar image for clbull
Edited by Clbull

I thought that Sonic Heroes was ok to be honest. The team based gameplay worked quite well although level design wasn't that good. However, Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) did deserve the criticism it got. Sonic the Hedgehog had both awful gameplay, bad load times and often poor level design, and the story was pretty bad too. I haven't played Sonic and the Secret Rings though but I heard it was bad too.

But I own Sonic Unleashed, and while its better than the last game was, its still flawed. The main Sonic levels are linear and often on rails which leaves little oppurtunity to explore, and involve moving extremely fast through levels, to the point where Sonic is often hard to control. As for the Werehog levels, they are good at times but can be repetitive. The game itself sometimes has decently desiged and also poorly designed levels too. I agree with you that its not shit but its definitely nowhere near perfect.

Avatar image for teflonbilly
Posted by TeflonBilly

If you like Sonic so much, why don't you marry him?


Whoops, too late
Avatar image for red
Posted by Red

I'd understand if you were saying that the standard Sonic levels were great and the game derserved at least some credit for that, but you're saying that the game as a whole package was a good game. It wasn't. You can't have a Sonic game with OK running levels that take about 5 minutes and horrible combat levels that last 20 minutes, AND THEN you have to painfully walk around town, talking to people and taking their pictures. With the running levels, I guess you could say Unleashed was a step in the right direction, but you can't honestly say that Sonic Unleashed was a great game.

Avatar image for thehbk
Posted by TheHBK

Yup, I was a huge sonic fan and though Sonic Team had it right with the first Sonic adventure, but putting in a new edgy character in Shadow, thats where i thought they just were being lazy and I was right.  No this game does not control well and the levels are fast and boring, no where near as good as that first experience in sonic adventure where the killer whale jumps out of the water.  Also, that game kept the feel of the old sonic games with flashy levels and fast action.  I could do without that stupid cat but it was a good game, this new sonic game doesnt have the feel and sound of the old sonic games.  And adding weresonic, just as stupid as adding Shadow.

Avatar image for shadow
Posted by Shadow

If Sonic Unleashed weren't a Sonic game, everyone would love it....or maybe if they used Knuckles instead of Werehog for those levels

Avatar image for handsomedead
Posted by HandsomeDead
Shadow said:
"If Sonic Unleashed weren't a Sonic game, everyone would love it....or maybe if they used Knuckles instead of Werehog for those levels"
Oh, you.
Avatar image for creciente
Edited by Creciente

Except for Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), I've been quite satisfied with Sonic games throughout, more or less. They were fun. Sonic Unleashed has turned the series in the right direction, with a new approach. Although, I don't quite see how the concept of "Werehog" came into existence, it didn't turn out to be a bad thing for me. Werehog levels are quite good and fun on their own, and they provide a rather good alternative, sans restraint from excessive combat. I'm not saying the game is the best it could be, but it's not bad or even mediocre by any means. You can find flaws in just about anything, if you nitpick. I think developers could do some things differently and it could spend some more time in development, but the result is more satisfying than not, especially for a new team. I do not understand how people manage to have so much negativity and bias towards Sonic games, including times when the games are not even released or played by them yet. You could sense the hate from a mile away, a couple months after the game was announced. 

That "classic game super fan" etilist attitude doesn't make things any better, either. Stop comparing them, and expect more and more from every next game. Take into consideration that there are not just the "hardcore gamers", but also kids and grown-ups much like you once used to be, developers try their best to make it work for the largest audience possible. Give them a chance, people put a lot of time and effort into making games. 

Take it easier.
Avatar image for eder
Posted by Eder
Shadow said:
"If Sonic Unleashed weren't a Sonic game, everyone would love it....or maybe if they used Knuckles instead of Werehog for those levels"
That would've been great, I was thinking the same thing when I played this game.
Avatar image for iamjohn
Posted by iAmJohn

I know I've told you this on GAF before, Blueblur, but you're out of your fucking mind.  Unleashed is awful.  Sonic controls terribly, and it really shows in the 2D parts - he has the most unrealistic and awful acceleration that will kill you most of the time; the game forces you to stop but the character doesn't want to, and it especially shows when you're going full speed, do a stomp to completely stop yourself, and Sonic goes directly into a slide and goes off a cliff into a bottomless pit.  Not to mention that the levels themselves are incredibly simplistic and boring; it's essentially like playing Secret Rings or the a game based around Sonic 2k6's high-speed sections, except crappy 2D parts are thrown in occasionally.

Avatar image for al3xand3r
Posted by Al3xand3r

Hey, Secret Rings was fairly decent.

Avatar image for hairydutchman
Posted by Hairydutchman

Personally I think the  Sonic games have always been overrated; even the 2D games. They where knockoffs of the Mario games but with a 90's attitude and speed to show off the "cool" and fast system. It worked in the 90's, but not anymore.

Avatar image for eder
Edited by Eder

I agree with the TC that the portable games have been very very good. Sonic Unleashed is... well bad but the daytime stages are a step in the right direction. Sonic in the secret rings im sorry Al3xand3r but I have that game and I got to the final boss and just said, you know what, this is the worst sonic game ive played and I just cant beat it, not because its hard but becuase its terrible. Ive played i think every sonic game and am still a big fan. I'll even check out or even buy sonic and the black knight. Yeah, I like sonic, but I am very objective when it comes to kinda review the games. Not saying that youre not though, I just didnt like the game. A lot of people liked SATSR i think and reviews on that game weren't bad. I think the main thing was the controls, they require you to be fast and thats good, but the wii's motion controls just were not responing fast enough for me.

Avatar image for creciente
Edited by Creciente
Eder said:
"I agree with the TC that the portable games have been very very good.."
I wholeheartedly agree. Advance+Rush series are so much fun! Do you think there's going to be Rush 3 any time soon, if ever?
Avatar image for eder
Posted by Eder

Hope so, maybe it will get anounced at E3 or something. I never played the Rivals games. They looked ok wished it was a normal game and not racing and stuff

Avatar image for thehbk
Posted by TheHBK

Ok, lets get this straight, after the first Sonic Adventure, the sonic games have sucked, go to the GBA or DS to get a good one.  The first SA had what made sonic classic except in 3D.  The music, level design, even characters and simple plot made it enjoyable, just like why Mario has made an easy transition.  Sega has to treat Sonic with the same reverance.  Since Mario 64, how many real Super Mario games have come out?  freaking 2.  Sonic games since SA? I dont fuckin know, too fuckin many.
I dont know why you are defending Unleashed, it is a bad game and if you seem to like it with all its flaws, you are part of the problem.  Just because you can work around problems doesnt mean its ok for them to be there, just because you think the story is good, doesnt make it true (ie. Twilight assholes) and the game does not control well.  Ahh I miss the dreamcast.

Avatar image for iamjohn
Posted by iAmJohn
Eder said:
"I agree with the TC that the portable games have been very very good."
I think they're good compared to every Sonic game that's come out since the first Advance came out in 2002.  But I don't think they're particularly great Sonic games because aside from Advance 2, they don't feel like the Genesis games.  Advance 1 is way too slow and the levels are pretty dull, and Advance 3 is just a clusterfuck because of the two-character system.  The Rush games are great (well, Sonic Rush is; Rush Adventure's only okay), but again, they don't feel like classic Sonic.  Which is a lot of my problem with Sonic Unleashed besides the fact that it sucks - the daytime stages feel more like a Sonic Rush game than a Sonic game.
Avatar image for blazehedgehog
Posted by BlazeHedgehog

I'm a little annoyed at all of the Sonic hate - because I know that if Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Sonic 2006 did not happen, public opinion on Sonic Unleashed would be very, very different.

But those games did happen. So in a way, while I know Sonic Unleashed is an enjoyably flawed game, when I see people spew vitriol for the title, I just sort of shake my head and go "Well, he's getting what's coming to him." And from what I'm hearing, Sonic & The Black Knight is a return to the sort of trash that got Sonic where he is right now in the first place.

Everybody latches on to a certain franchise as a kid - for some it's Ninja Turtles, others it was G.I. Joes, and more recent examples include Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh - but for me, growing up, it was Sonic. In a way it kills me to see what has happened to this franchise, but sometimes, for people to realize the mistakes they're making, they have to take some abuse.

And right now, Sonic needs all the abuse he can get.

Avatar image for jonathanmoore
Posted by JonathanMoore
Vinchenzo said:
"I'm frustrated with all the Sonic love."
True dat dude. You complain that Sonic Unleashed fixed all these problems with the series. It did not. The characters dialogue is still horrendous and why they have gone back and fixed a couple things (for example, I think the Sonic stages are genious) there still fucking up at every corner, needless to say this is where the Werehog fits in to my rant. The Werehog stages are AWFUL to say the least, they are unappealing and exceptionally bland.

Look, you can enjoy the Sonic series, don't let anyone else tell you what you think is a good game, but you shouldn't preach to people who know Sonic has gone downhill and there view isn't going to change until the day comes where we can truly say once again  "Wow, this is a good Sonic game!".

-- God Bless.
Avatar image for oldschool
Posted by oldschool

I have a lot of Sonic games and I really do dig him as a character.  A new Sonic game was an automatic A+ on my wish list.  However, a series of very ordinary games has pushed him into the bargain bin.  I couldn't be more sad about that, truly.  I want a good Sonic game, but one hasn't been forthcoming.  He works best at this stage as a 2D game on the DS.

Sonic Riders was the last straw for me.  That was just plain bad.  I yearn for the good old days of relaxing in the Chao Garden.