The Sonic series

Recently, my boyfriend and I have been re-discussing about getting Sonic Lost World (he really loves the new DLC pack–it does look pretty awesome and it’s a crossover of two of his favorite series). We had debated on it before the game launched, but ultimately decided not to. We both like Sonic games, but the newer ones haven’t really gotten our attention.

I always liked Sonic–I remember playing the original games on my Sega Genesis and always enjoying them, however, the game series that really made me fall in love with that series is Sonic Adventure. For me, Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 were the 100% enjoyment games–I’d like to make it clear that it doesn’t mean they were perfect, but it means that I enjoyed them so much that the good outweighed the bad to the point where I loved them regardless.

While I didn’t have the camera issues many people complained about (or at least not bad enough for me to mind), I actually had a large issue with Sonic Adventure 1 on the Dreamcast–whenever I got to 60%, the game would reset itself. I spent countless hours redoing things and was just thankful I always put my Chao back into her VMU when I was done. In fact, I think she’s still in there… Because of this though, I didn’t complete Sonic Adventure 1 until it was ported to the Gamecube. And despite that, I still loved that game.

It was my favorite voice cast (Amy’s did improve in Sonic X, but she is the only one I liked in later games), my favorite games, and I just enjoyed nearly everything about it. I’d like to repeat that again, I didn’t enjoy everything though. As just some quick highlights:
-Big’s levels were kind of a pain and really didn’t fit. I didn’t necessarily mind him or the idea of fishing in some levels… but it terrified me when I screwed up and landed in the water and could not get out of there because Big jumped weird and yeah.
-I loved playing as Amy, but I hated her level design–being chased by Zero constantly creeped me out.
-Tails kind of got the short stick in both games. I think he was a lot of fun to play as so I wish his levels were more than “RACE SONIC” in 1 and “ROBOT MODE” in 2. Eggman it makes sense for the Robot, but Tails, even if he is an inventor, has been shown before to do just fine normally and I never felt there was a good reason for it (other than to continue the Mirror theme–the comparison between Knuckles and Rouge was neat as Rouge was more a spy and Knuckles was brute force, but the others weren’t very different at all and I preferred the different gameplays in Sonic Adventure 1 to how 2 worked out).
-I really enjoyed the hub world of 1 so I was sad to see that gone in 2.
-I wish the items you won for your Chao in the races/battles could be chosen which area to go in–I hated that they were pre-picked.

Regardless, as I said, these things weren’t enough to ruin the game for me–even has my game constantly erased itself on the Dreamcast. I enjoyed them so much. I loved the level design, I loved the cutscenes (The one with Rouge and Knuckles in space is one of my personal favorites), and it was just a lot of fun. Not to mention, there were reasons for characters having certain levels (some characters are better at things than others–something shown quite well in the final stage of Sonic Adventure 2) unlike games like Super Mario 3D World where you have to use certain characters in certain stages to unlock everything (which can be rather frustrating when you’d rather play someone else) or Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze where you have to play DK and use other characters as power-ups unless playing with friends… and then again that same issue where you need to use specific characters sometimes to get everything. I still enjoyed Super Mario 3D World and plan to pick up Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (only reason I didn’t is because I’d want to play as Dixie the whole time and my boyfriend is not a fan of Donkey Kong), but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that irks me. I’d like to point out that I don’t mind playing male characters (Afterall, I did play all the stories in the Sonic Adventure series and I love the Harvest Moon series and played Harvest Moon 64 for ages)–but something about being given the option to be certain characters, but only partially/still forced to have to play certain other ones regardless in said stages is a bit frustrating.

And sadly, I have never been able to get that feeling back. I mean, these game even got me to repeatedly replay levels–I don’t replay games. When I beat them, that’s it. If I can still run around in my completed file, I will, but otherwise I am done and I put the game away. I have never felt any need or urge to reset my game and start over (thus I’m not fond of New Game+ modes where there’s special things you can only see/unlock by doing it ALL OVER AGAIN) so the fact that I repeatedly kept doing these levels and finding them fun and not a chore and just getting things for my chao says so much.

Sonic Generations got pretty close, but wasn’t perfect. I enjoyed the nostalgic streak, I liked the scenes, and it’s definitely the game to get closest to what I had missed. Sonic 2006 had an interesting hub area, but the loading times, story, and many of the levels (Plus, I’m not fond at all with stuff on rails…unless it’s literally levels where you are grinding on rails and only during said grinding on rails) made it frustrating, Sonic Unleashed was pretty interesting and the hub world was fairly nice–I also liked the souvenirs, but I felt it would’ve been better as a Sonic & Knuckles title (with Knuckles doing the “Werehog” stages) versus the Werehog storyline.

Similarly, while I have fun playing as Sonic (he definitely had some of my favorite levels in one and two), it seems like a downgrade from when we could play as so many characters and I miss that.

As for Colors… I actually didn’t care for most of the levels nor did I enjoy any of the power-ups. The fact that Colors had some of the longer levels in Generations was super disappointing for me.

So, as for why we skipped Lost World? It’s pretty much just not wanting to get our hopes up. I think we’ll still pick it up eventually regardless–we do love the Sonic series, but I really wish the Sonic Adventure series was continued and/or Chao Gardens were brought back. Especially now where I feel the 3DS could be a more interactive kind of thing like the VMU was–with StreetPass and stuff and a Chao Garden game and you can put it in your Wii U otherwise in the game and I feel there are so many opportunities for it.

In a more personal sense (afterall, why does a minigame mean so much to me)–Chao are what lead me to a site where I met all my first friends due to looking up information. That was about 12-13 years ago now. While I don’t talk to as many anymore, I still see them around from time to time and there’s just so many memories there. And not only did I make all those great friends, that is how I met my boyfriend who I’ve been with for 11 years now.

Thus, even if a Sonic game may never hit that high mark for me again, I still feel I owe it to them and I still enjoy getting the games (even if it may not be at launch)–so thank you, Sonic Team, for the memories. <3