Monday, October 21, 2013

No, actually, it's not time to take Sonic out back and shoot 'im

at 3:47 PM

Those Lost World reviews really slid out, huh? Maybe I don't whore the review sites anymore, but they didn't even make headlines on Joystiq or GamesRadar. Wonder if that reflects more on Sonic, or Wii U? Probably also reflects on "don't release your review embargo on a goddamn Friday". Anyway, I'm really shocked to hear that people are finding the game to be highly uneven. That's not the Sonic I knew! I guess we the Sonic fandom have learned to take reviews with a grain of salt. 

I feel like the amount of Sonic coverage on this blog may actually lead one to believe I consider myself part of the Sonic fandom. Such is not the case. The above sentiment was to be considered a joke, and at this time it would be appropriate to commence laughter.

After playing through Sonic's recent output, the "it's time to put Sonic to rest" cliche (which I admit I myself parroted for years) feels somewhat exasperating. Like 'em or not, the recent games (Unleashed/Colors/Generations) are clearly driven by some core race-platforming that isn't overwhelmingly common elsewhere, and they're well-made products, even if often misguided. The kind of review and comment section feedback we get for games like Sonic Unleashed and Lost World would make an onlooker think the series has completely fallen to pieces and is vainly clutching at the threads of past glory. In fact, recapturing past glory doesn't appear to be on Sonic Team's radar at all (Generations seemed to evidence that they only care superficially about the old games) - the modern 3D series has an identity all its own (you can argue about the quality of that identity all you want, but it's there...).

It's only the tired "put Sonic to rest" outsider mantra that forces the series into a backward perspective - it demands that Sonic should be solely in the hands of people who grew up playing Genesis. While I agree that every franchise has to stay true to its identity to justify its existence, I also think its identity can evolve over time. In this case, I don't see how comparing every Sonic game to the now decades-old Sonic 2 is a valuable or realistic perspective on the series' identity - if anything it seems to reflect the stunted growth of the individuals insisting on the comparison. They're just old nerds in denial, wishing they could be 10 and playing Sonic 2 again. They oughta leave the new games to those of us who like 'em.

If you were 10 when Sonic 2 came out, you are too old to matter
And if your job requires you to keep playing Sonic games against your will (poor reviewers!), maybe try professionalism?

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