Sonic and the Worst Fandom Ever

Fandoms by nature are usually pretty horrible. Get enough people together who like something and you’ll quickly find their personal opinions clashing violently. Have something that has been around long enough or had enough changes in it’s lifetime and you’ll find yourself with a fanbase divided and constantly at war with it’s self. Lord knows merely posting about any Final Fantasy is fuel for an instant flamewar.

However, of all the fandoms out there, the Sonic fandom is easily the worst of them all. There’s just no competition. No fanbase is as mind shattering as the blue hedgehog’s own. It’s what we like to call a “Broken Base”, a fanbase so utterly unpleaseable it’s pointless to even try. But, even amongst other broken bases, Sonic’s stands out. It’s that bad. What happened? How did we get to this point? Why is the Sonic Fandom a writhing, screaming, Lovecraftian nightmare? It’s a question many have asked and some have even partially answered. But only partially, because it takes a lot to get a fandom to this point of unsalvageability.

Chapter 1: Genesis of Sonic

The best place to start any story is at the beginning and while many Sonic fans will claim that nothing went wrong during the “glorious” Genesis era, they couldn’t be further from the truth.

Sonic the Hedgehog was not SEGA’s first mascot, but he was their first serious attempt at competing with Mario. You see, the SEGA Genesis was not originally created to compete with the Super Nintendo. It predates it by two years and competed with the original NES. When the SNES came out, SEGA was in a jam. Nintendo’s new system was clearly more powerful than their own, but it had one weakness: the Genesis had a faster processor. But how does one show off their console’s superior speed? The answer was to make a fast game. That game, of course, was Sonic the Hedgehog.

While the game was made to showcase the speed of the Genesis, the character was made to appeal to a wide demographic. If SEGA was to compete with the well known Mario franchise, they’d need to play hardball. As such, they designed Sonic to be “cool” and took this goal very seriously. Knowing full well that what’s “cool” in one country might not be “cool” in another, SEGA of Japan worked closely with SEGA of America to create a universally cool character. Indeed the tale bears a striking resemblance to that of the infamous Poochie from The Simpsons. Creating such intentionally “extreme” characters usually results in groans and backlash. However, SEGA did it right. They did their homework and showed restraint when necessary. This resulted in one of the only successful “Poochies”. In fact, Sonic was downright beloved.

Chapter 2: Continuity Chaos

With all this in place, Sonic proved to be a success. Not only was the character cool, but the game itself was a truly unique twist on the platformer genre and didn’t feel like just another Mario clone. It wasn’t long before companies were propositioning SEGA to let them put Sonic on everything, including giving him his own cartoon and comic! This is where things get interesting. The story presented in the Sonic games was nothing more than “Mad scientist traps animals in robots, Sonic sets them free and runs fast”, a sparse plot open for interpretation. Was the villain comical with robots perhaps powered by hamster wheels, or was he a threat to organic life? Was the world silly and cartoony, or did the factory stages suggest something more grim? It’s amazing how many different ways one can interpret the world of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Now, SEGA knew that what was “cool” in one part of the world might not be “cool” in another and as such they let each country form it’s own continuities so that they could better serve Sonic’s coolness. After all, it was the 1990s! What were the chances that these continuities would intermingle? As such, Sonic ended up with more than 5 different continuities. In fact, America ended up with two different Sonic continuities at the same time! On one hand you had the lighthearted and silly “Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog”, which portrayed Sonic as a mix of Bugs Bunny and the Roadrunner. On the other hand, you had Archie’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” or SatAM as it’s now called, which portrayed Sonic as a Freedom Fighter in a grim world being overtaken by an evil mastermind and gave him a sizable cast of characters. These weren’t the only continuities either. Europe had it’s equally grim but decidedly different Fleetway comics as well as a series of light novels while Japan had all manner of manga, one of which even portrayed Sonic as a normal school boy who transforms into a blue hedgehog! This would serve to be one of the first major fractures in the fanbase’s stability. Even before the internet, there were many arguments over whether weekday or weekend Sonic was better. Once the internet opened the international floodgates and the fervent fanbases began to intermingle.

See, when you give a character a fleshed out story like Archie and Fleetway did, you give fans a little too much to latch onto. It makes them less susceptible to change. The more characters you add to the story, the worse it gets as well as fans may grow to love some of these added characters. Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto intentionally avoided this, actively claiming all his games have no continuity as he doesn’t want story to prevent him from doing whatever he wants to with the game. But Sonic had multiple stories now, all clashing with one another.

Things got worse when SEGA decided to start adding real stories to the games as well. It left a lot of people annoyed not only because the continuities they had grown to love had been thrown out the window, but so had the characters they had grown to love as well!

Of course, when it comes to beloved characters from regional continuities, most Sonic fans know exactly who I’m talking about. Archie comic’s Princess Sally Acorn, the Sonic fandom’s Helen of Troy.

In the Archie continuity, it was decided that Sonic should have a love interest. This posed a difficult problem at the time. Sonic’s target demographic was young boys, many of which still thought girls were “icky”. So, having Sonic be interested in a girl would make him so much less cool to them. As such, the people at Archie crafted the single most awesome female character they possibly could: a tech savvy, 100% capable, no nonsense leader of the Freedom Fighters. Looking back on it, the TV series was really more about Sally than it was about Sonic! However, this worked and for many young boys, Sally was their first crush. That’s a powerful statement and one that digs deep into the nostalgia centers of our brains.

Unfortunately, being Sonic’s love interest made Sally too important! So when other continuities lacked her and SEGA decided to move on without her, fans of the Archie continuity were left asking, “Where’s Sally?”. However, for a time, fans were able to cope. They wanted Sally back, but they were still fans. Still, it was a fracture in the fanbase and something that would ultimately contribute to it’s screaming collapse.

Chapter 3: Missing the Flight to Saturn

As I had mentioned earlier, Sonic was created for the sole purpose of promoting the strengths of the SEGA Genesis. However, the Genesis would not last forever. SEGA’s next big console was the Saturn, a 32-bit disc based powerhouse capable of incredible 2D graphics. Unfortunately, this generation brought a kink in those plans: 3D polygonal graphics. Widely touted as “the future” by many companies and gaming magazines, 3D graphics allowed for exciting new experiences and many things that were just not possible in 2D. Everyone was excited to see their favorite franchises make the big jump to the third dimension in the hopes that it would make everything even more awesome. There was just one problem: the Saturn kinda sucked at 3D.

In retrospect it seems like the logical choice would have been to flaunt the Saturn’s superior 2D capabilities the way SEGA had with the Genesis’s speed. However, that just wouldn’t have flown back then. We were stupid back then, 2D was old while 3D was new, and that’s what we wanted. While the thought of a 2D Sonic that pushed the Saturn’s capabilities to their limits is downright drool worthy in retrospect, if it had been released back then it would have been an admission of defeat from SEGA. No, Sonic had to make the jump to 3D.

That presents plenty of other problems. Sonic, SEGA’s living tech demo, would now be flaunting the weakness of SEGA’s latest console rather than it’s strengths! We weren’t even sure if the 3D graphics of the era were capable of handling Sonic’s signature speed on any console! But perhaps more than that, how do you make Sonic’s gameplay work in 3D?

This left companies floundering to find a way and we ended up with a number of bizarre experimental attempts at a 3D Sonic. We saw a pre-rendered isometric world in Sonic 3D Blast, we saw limited polygonal race courses in Sonic R, we even saw a miniature world for Sonic to explore in Sonic Jam! But none of these really worked or could be called Sonic’s big jump to 3D. They were all experiments and nothing more.

There was, of course, one serious attempt to bring Sonic to the third dimension: Sonic X-Treme. However, the game was continually delayed and internal strife eventually sank it. Now it is considered one of the most intriguing oddities of Sonic’s long history with everyone wondering what it would have been like. Videos of the game in action show a freakish and disorienting fish eyed camera, generally slow stage progression, confusing level design, and tons of difficulty seeing where you would be going.

It was a valiant effort and years worth of work, yet it still seemed questionable. Placing Sonic’s signature speed in a 3D world would prove more difficult than our young minds could have ever imagined at the time.

Still, what this meant was that it would be a full five years before we would see Sonic make the big jump to 3D. That’s five years of Sonic fans growing older while playing the same handful of Genesis games over and over again, dreaming of what the future had in store.

Chapter 5: Adventures in the Third Dimension

Five years after the release of Sonic & Knuckles, gamers finally saw Sonic make the move to 3D on SEGA’s newest console: the Dreamcast. Clearly the product of years of development, Sonic Adventure broke new ground in many ways. The graphics were incredible for their time, it features six different characters each with their own storylines and playstyles, an explorable hub world, numerous side activities, and a fleshed out fully voiced storyline. There was absolutely no other platformer quite like Sonic Adventure and it blew us all away.

Unfortunately, the changes it made were radical and would cause numerous cracks in the fandom’s foundation. For starters, the entire cast was redesigned for the new era.

While one would think this would cause a massive uproar from purists, at the time it didn’t; not yet anyway. The redesigns were done incredibly well, making the characters look more awesome than ever before without making them unrecognizable. For the most part they were just added details, more consistent artwork, and proportion tweaks. Amy received the most drastic design change, but considering how ridiculous her original design looked, not a single person complained.

The game design was a little more questionable though. There were many “just hold forward” segments, moments where control was almost completely removed from the player. Sonic himself only made up one sixth of the game, with five other characters having almost as much screen time as him. The camera proved to be a problem every now and then, and odd glitches like falling through the floor were a bit more common than they should have been. However, the game’s strengths made up for it’s weaknesses and it proved to be a good first attempt at Sonic in 3D.

Unfortunately, circumstances prevented SEGA from ever topping Sonic’s first 3D outing. It’s direct sequel, Sonic Adventure 2, was developed in a much shorter amount of time than the original and as such it proved to have even more camera issues and glitches than the original on top of forcing players to play as other characters when they didn’t want to. One misstep doesn’t destroy a series though. Fans gritted their teeth and squeezed enjoyment out of it and hoped the next one would be better.

Sadly, this was when the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sonic, did: the Dreamcast died and SEGA stopped producing consoles. Without a system to flaunt and a development team that knew it inside and out, it would be  difficult to continue on. However, SEGA tried with Sonic Heroes. The concept was solid: a good old fashioned stage based Sonic, but in 3D and with a team of three different characters. Each character had their own unique abilities and you switched between them on the fly in order to overcome various obstacles. The problem occurred when Sony decided to interfere. According to legend, Sonic Heroes was originally going to be on Gamecube and XBox only. However, Sony told SEGA the same thing they had told Capcom numerous times: “Release this on Playstation 2 or you’ll never be allowed to release games on a Sony brand console ever again”. The PS2 was the dominant console that generation and being prevented from releasing titles on it could doom a company. However, SEGA was terrible at programming for the PS2. They had even produced a number of Dreamcast titles in the past that flat-out could not be done on PS2. But now, SEGA had to take a title they had already partially finished and move it from it’s own proprietary engine to something that could easily be ported to all three consoles: Renderware. This sudden engine shift probably put them far behind schedule and messed up any chance to really polish the game as much as it needed to be. This caused SEGA to produce yet another sub-Adventure title.

With two titles in a row being playable but not as good as the now aging Sonic Adventure, fans were beginning to grow concerned. Not only had their problems with Sonic Adventure’s game design not been ironed out, they were getting worse. The cracks in the fanbase were beginning to show as the fans question many design elements and the growing overabundance of characters. The games were still playable though, but in baseball it’s three strikes and you’re out and the last thing Sonic fans expected was to be hit over the head with the baseball bat.

Chapter 6: The Shadow of Destruction

One character who ended up becoming more popular than expected was Shadow the Hedgehog. Essentially an “evil” Sonic, Shadow made his debut in Sonic Adventure 2. However, he died at the end of that game. But, due to his popularity, he found himself alive and well in Sonic Heroes. Wanting to try something different, SEGA created a poll to see which Sonic side character was most popular and Shadow won. While some question if this poll ever actually happened, one thing was certain: Shadow was getting his own game. This lead to the event that finally shattered the already fractured and crumbling fanbase. No, it wasn’t the release of Shadow’s self titled game, it was this picture:

When SEGA released this promotional image for Shadow the Hedgehog, the fanbase finally crumbled. Sonic had done something that would forever doom him in the eyes of the fandom: he jumped the shark.

Sonic was now “trying too hard to be cool”. From this point onward, the fandom seemed to apply a zero tolerance rule. Everything the Sonic series did would be put under a microscope and scrutinized to see if it’s “trying too hard to be cool”. However, we’re talking about Sonic here, the embodiment of “cool” and a “Poochie” from day one. Everything he has ever done could easily be labeled as “trying too hard to be cool”.

Suddenly, things we were fine with only a few years ago were “going too far”. The storyline which set Sonic Adventure apart from all other platformers and gave it a unique cinematic flair? Now it’s too much and is “getting in the way”. The side characters who helped provide a colorful and varied cast and fleshed out Sonic’s world? Now they’re stealing the spotlight and “ruining” the game. The unique real world-based setting? Now it’s terrible because it’s not what we grew up with. Even Sonic’s exceptional redesign was considered going “too far”.

It seemed to seep backwards as well. Things Sonic had been doing since the Genesis era were too “extreme” as well. When Sonic Riders was released, many reviewers spent an entire page complaining about Sonic being on a hoverboard when Sonic has been boarding since Sonic 3!

With the leap to next-gen, however, Sonic fans were willing to give Sonic one more chance. Sadly, this last chance is what nailed the coffin shut. In 2006 a game called simply “Sonic the Hedgehog” was released on XBox 360 and Playstation 3 and with the restrictions of the previous generation’s less powerful consoles gone, Sonic fans hopes this could bring about a true revival to the series. Unfortunately, programming on next-gen systems takes more time and money than the previous generation and Sonic 2006 found it’s self rushed for a Christmas release. The end result was undeniably the worst Sonic game ever made, full of numerous bugs and some of the worst load times ever seen. A modern day E.T., Sonic 2006 was so bad it sent shockwaves through the industry and developers almost never rush their titles for Christmas anymore  in the dreaded fear that they would produce the next Sonic 2006.

SEGA had run out of chances and the fanbase was more utterly shattered than ever before. A shame too as immediately after that,we finally started to see some forward progress for the Sonic series, but it was too late. No, now Sonic needed to be “saved” and a plethora of articles were written detailing how. It’s here that one realizes exactly how fractured the fandom is as each and every “How to Save Sonic” article is radically different from one another. Some were mere ranting opinion pieces that offered little to no discussion of the gameplay. Others were very specific, demanding that the next Sonic be exactly like one specific previous Sonic from the Genesis era. More frightful still were the ones that demanded drastic overhauls to the entire Sonic mythos, guaranteed to piss off a large amount of the fandom if they became a reality. The fanbase began to spiral into madness.

Chapter 7: How the Fandom Crumbled

So here we are, the Sonic fanbase is finally broken beyond repair. However, our story is far from over. But, before we continue, let’s recap because it’s here we find the answer to the big question asked in this article: Why?

As we’ve just spent the past couple thousand words describing, it was more than just one thing. Numerous events throughout Sonic’s long history caused “cracks” in the fanbase. Many of these events were not bad at all, they were often justified and made good sense at the time. Meanwhile, some events were outside of SEGA’s control. Regardless, they were all things that added a bit of conflict to the fandom. The only reason things stayed civil for so long was due to the fact that everyone could agree that the games were great.

One cannot overstate the effects of Sonic practically skipping a console generation though. In those five long years, the nostalgia linked to the older Sonics became more and more powerful. Our glasses were becoming increasingly rose tinted.

The consistently high quality of Sonic’s previous titles served as the “foundation” for the fandom. Once SEGA started making mistakes in the 3D entries, it weakened that foundation. On top of that, it further divided the fandom as some had a higher tolerance for the game’s issues than others. This caused much of the fanbase to be divided on which 3D Sonics, if any, were “good”.

The shark jumping of Shadow the Hedgehog was what finally did the fandom in. It was a paradox of sorts: the embodiment of cool was trying too hard to be cool and now needed to be less cool which would in turn make him less Sonic and thus piss off the fans. Sonic’s own “coolness” was his downfall, or rather, the fandom’s downfall.

What this ultimately means is that the fandom is now split very harshly. Sonic means so many things to so many different people and everyone wants Sonic to return to his “roots”. However, every single person has a different definition of what counts as Sonic’s “roots”. It’s an unwinnable battle.

Chapter 8: The Five Unsung Heroes

In the midst of all this turmoil there were five unsung heroes of the Sonic franchise: the portable Sonics.

The Sonic Advance series was a beautiful blend of old and new, with classic 2D gameplay based off the older Sonics yet fresh new sprites and artwork based on Sonic’s newer entries. What’s most surprising was that each and every one of them was different, never feeling like a mere rehash.

Sonic Advance 1, for example, is the closest to the Genesis originals with stage concepts and level design based heavily off of Sonic’s earliest entires. They even brought back things like the plungered container full of animals that Sonic frees at the end of each zone. While the music and bosses were less than stellar, it was still a very good Sonic game that held up well next to the originals.

Sonic Advance 2 took what had been learned from Advance 1 and tried something new. Kicking the speed up, Sonic Advance 2 proved to be one of the fastest Sonics ever made and was truly jaw dropping.

Sonic Advance 3 took it’s cues from Sonic CD, being slower and more exploration based. It introduced a team mechanic that allowed different teams of characters to have different abilities that would allow them to progress.

Sonic Rush took the concepts of Advance 2 and kicked both the difficulty and speed way up. Meanwhile, Sonic Rush Adventure smoothed things back out, providing a more polished experience while adding surprisingly enjoyable “adventure” elements and some of the best bosses in the history of Sonic.

Playing these and the Genesis titles side by side, they compare quite favorably. Sure they may not be exactly like the originals, but they’re still undeniably Sonic, undeniably good, and most definitely new. It would seem that these portable Sonics would be the perfect cure for what ails the fanbase. Sadly though, this is not the case. For some reason, portable titles “don’t count” and much of the fanbase ignores the existence of the portable series. Now, as the fanbase continues to crumble, even these exceptional titles aren’t “good enough” for them.

Chapter 9: Blame the Children

With the fandom spiraling into a shrieking madness and spewing increasingly bizarre theories as to how to “save” Sonic, many fingers tend to get pointed. Everyone had a theory as to what exactly was “ruining” Sonic. Was it the overabundance of characters? Was it the increasingly overblown storylines? With everyone asking “Why?”, SEGA revealed the horrifying truth: “Well, the kids seem to like it!”

Except that truth isn’t horrifying at all! In fact, a sane person would call it blatantly obvious! Sonic is a blue hedgehog, of course children are his target demographic! But Sonic fans are far from sane at this point. They took this as a revelation. SEGA openly admitting that they market Sonic to kids means they’re taking advantage of them. The theory is that kids don’t know any better and thus SEGA can produce complete garbage and the kids will still love it because they’re stupid. More than that, kids have no appreciation for Sonic’s long history or staying true to his roots. As such, kids became the prime scapegoat for everything anyone didn’t like in a Sonic.

This is both sad and hilarious. Here we have people in their 20s and even 30s arguing with children about a blue hedgehog. What’s more, in a sort of sick ironic twist, the kids actually want the Sonic series to be less childish while the older fans want it to be more childish! One can’t help but wonder if the entire Sonic fandom comes from Bizzarro World.

Chapter 10: Mission Impossible

With a fandom this loud, SEGA can’t help but listen. Hearing the numerous complaints and suggestions, they decided to make a game specifically for the most hardcore unpleaseable fans. From what SEGA could gather, fans wanted a classic 2D Sonic with Sonic as the only playable character and for it to be released as a downloadable. As such they began the noble experiment knows a Project Needle Mouse, which would later become known as Sonic the Hedgehog 4.

Here it was, everything the fans had asked for, and yet it wasn’t good enough. Some fans complained about the lack of side characters, some complained that it looked too much like the Genesis games and felt lazy, while others complained that it didn’t look enough like the Genesis games. Some even went so far as to claim that it was nothing more than a DS port and that it was just an HD version of Sonic Rush. First of all, this was false. Sonic 4 didn’t look like Sonic Rush in terms of graphics or gameplay (from what little we have seen as of the time of this writing). But more than that, these fans were now complaining that Sonic 4 looked like a perfectly good Sonic game. Why? Because it was Sonic 4, making it the direct successor to Sonic 3 & Knuckles and it’s supposed to be as good as that. This was, of course, impossible. Fans were viewing that last Genesis Sonic through rose tinted glasses and nothing could ever compare to it.

The real question, however, was “What is SEGA doing wrong?”. Even the fans couldn’t adequately explain this and their complaints became more and more nitpicky until finally reaching a point where they literally could not properly articulate what exactly was wrong.

It honestly seems like the fans refuse to be pleased. In some places we even have “fans” claiming to have played beta copies and making up blatant lies about the game just to make it look bad. Why so called fans would do this is so far beyond the realm of logic and reason that nothing could ever explain it.

But one look at the fandom’s shrieking face and you know we’re not dealing with normal or sane people here. They might be perfectly fine elsewhere, but once the topic of blue hedgehogs comes up, all logic and reason goes right out the window.

What you see right here is the worst of the Sonic fandom distilled into a single person. In this video, the fan complains because of Sonic’s eye color. He then complains that, due to Sonic’s eye color, that Sonic 4 is nothing more than a DS port of Sonic Rush (again, a spectacular title though it bears little to no resemblance to Sonic 4) and that the game is not enough like the old Genesis titles. Keep in mind, this is all based on about 6 seconds of gameplay footage. Best of all, like any truly insane Sonic fan, he then blames the children.

It’s worth noting that the person in the video had tried to make his own Sonic fan movie, which also used a green eyed Sonic almost identical in design to the one in Sonic 4. His reasoning being that he didn’t want to alienate newer fans and created a middle ground between the old and new Sonic designs. Why he is able to do this, but SEGA isn’t is beyond me. Though I’m sure it has something to do with the number four being in the game’s title.

Of course, the fans would point out that what we are looking at here is a vocal minority. Many have complained because this one person does quite a bit to make the fandom look bad. However, sadly, he’s not nearly as much of a minority as we would like to believe. Take a look at this article:

Skewered Retro: Opinions of Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Here we have almost the exact same rant, but done in a more professional and tasteful fashion. It’s less embarrassing than a man in his late 20’s telling SEGA that they should be ashamed for disappointing his stuffed animal friends. However, at it’s core it’s the same argument: Sonic 4 is not good enough because SEGA is using a more recent design of Sonic and the children are to blame.

As one might notice, the article comes from an actual gaming website. This is perhaps one of the biggest problems with the Sonic fanbase: it’s bigger than you think, to the point where one could call it an epidemic.

Sonic was one of the most popular video games of the 16-bit era, going toe to toe with Mario. As such, many people have played at least one Sonic game and if not that, then they could have easily seen one of his two cartoons or even his comics. This means that a large percentage of the gaming population has fond memories of Sonic.

This causes a chain reaction. First, the obsessive Sonic fans make a big deal out of something minor. Then, one of the more sane Sonic fans will convert their raving lunacy into a more respectable format, like the article linked above. From here, a gamer with fond memories of Sonic could stumble across said article and due to it’s clever wording, be fooled into thinking it’s a bigger deal than it actually is. This is usually made worse because these more normal gamers may have little to no knowledge of Sonic’s recent history. They then spread the word to other non-Sonic fans and soon the entire gaming community is caught in the grips of madness.

Now, no matter how hard Sonic tries, he almost always comes out looking bad for it. SEGA just cannot win. At this point it’s hopeless and one wonders why SEGA doesn’t just kill the franchise off.

Chapter 11: …Because He Still has Rings

So then, why doesn’t SEGA just quit making Sonic games? The answer is simple really: because Sonic still sells.

Sonic is still a big source of SEGA’s profits and as such it would be stupid to kill off the franchise. But why does Sonic still sell if his games are so terrible? Well, it’s because they’re not that terrible. Sub-par, perhaps, but nowhere near as bad as many fans make it out to be. This is actually a part of why the fandom is so wretched as well: despite the decrease in quality, the games are often still enjoyable if you can tolerate their issues and different fans have different levels of tolerance. More than that, however, it’s because of the kids.

The fandom loves to blame children for why “bad” Sonic games continue to sell. It’s true that they are the main reason why titles like Sonic and the Black Knight sell well at all. However, the fandom believes this is because kids are stupid and have no taste. In reality, it’s because Sonic is one of the better kid’s games out there.

This is a problem that has plagued the industry as a whole. As long time gamers get older and graphics get more sophisticated, we find ourselves with more and more “Mature” rated games. It has gotten to the point where if one were to look at the entire XBox 360 or Playstation 3 game library, they’d find barely a handful of E-rated titles and more than a few of them make even the worst Sonic look good by comparison. This is something Nintendo has noticed for awhile and has been a large part of their business strategy. At this point, Nintendo is practically the only company producing quality kid friendly titles. With a few exceptions like the Ratchet & Clank series, most other E-rated titles are lackluster licensed cash-ins. Nintendo alone is not enough to satiate the gaming appetite of kids and whether you like it or not, Sonic is often the next best thing.

It’s more than that though. See, even to kids many E-rated games feel a little bit too “kiddie”. This is where Sonic really scores big. Despite being consistently E-rated, the Sonic series continues to have dramatic storylines and epic scenes. Sonic has mastered an odd sort of family friendly badassery. Just take one look at Sonic’s battle with King Arthur in Sonic and the Black Knight and you’ll instantly understand what I mean.

Regardless of what you think of the game it’s self, the scene on display here is incredible. Sonic dueling a massive knight on horseback against a dramatic sunset while driving rock music blares on. It’s awesome no matter what age you are. However, there isn’t a single thing one could really find offensive or bad for kids in there either. This is something that, really, no other developers are doing. They’ve become so focused on catering to a much older demographic that they forget that kids still play video games.

Yes, one could make the argument that this allows SEGA to slack off. But this is only because SEGA has almost no competition. It’s also here that one has to realize the harsh truth of the matter: who are the real Sonic fans? Is it the fickle, unpleaseable, goalpost moving “hardcore” Sonic fans who will write endless petitions and boycott a game at the drop of a hat? Or is it the kids who buy and enjoy every Sonic game SEGA puts out?

Well, who are the ones keeping SEGA in business? Is it really any surprise that SEGA prefers to cater to kids? No, it isn’t. All one needs to do is step back and look at things from an outside perspective. Put aside your opinions and put yourself in SEGA’s shoes. Video games don’t grow on trees, they cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to make (often more in this generation) and countless man hours to build. Video games are a business and that means you have to make money.

Yet, despite all of this, SEGA still tries to do something for the hardcore fans. As much as they like to claim that SEGA has abandoned them, they really haven’t. After all, they are still making Sonic 4 and you’d have to be completely delusional to think that this is just a mere cash-in aimed at children.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Sonic fandom is. Good thing it takes more than that to kill off a blue hedgehog!


A few colleagues of mine have corrected me on one minor factual error. As it ends up, DiC’s Saturday morning cartoon came first and the Archie comic was based on it. Furthermore, the comic slowly became a spin-off of the cartoon with it’s own parallel canon. This adds yet another continuity to the pile and I didn’t even get into Sonic Underground (due to it being produced much later)!

Personally I feel this detail, while important and intriguing, doesn’t really change the message of this article. If anything, it only solidifies it more. Still, to all hardcore Sonic fans (whom I just bitched out), please excuse this oversight.

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166 Comments on “Sonic and the Worst Fandom Ever”

  1. IconoclastPrince Says:

    Awesome Article! That was fun to read.

    • Shadow Says:

      I have never met with an opinion that all people blame Sonic issues on kids.

      If I read it right, this article is 3 years old. There is a new issue with Sonic games imho. That is that they are too childish. The humor in them is trying too hard to be understood by the slowest thinking simpletons, that it ends up being extremely annoying for anyone who is older then 6.
      Now I don’t blame this on kids. Because what did kids do to make this happen? Nothing. That’s all the developers fault and kids parents. Obviously, Sonic doing radical and crazy things is dangerous and Eggman having a really threatening evil scheme while being cool and “the boss who is really in control” is also dangerous… you know, because children could get terrified if they had to listen to Geralds journals again, they could probably never be able to understand the concept of death… That’s the theory of the producers. The thing is, that children do find the new games childish too. Hell, when I was 12 I was laughed at because I was watching Pokemon. And I too found it childish a year later. If kids were that mature in my days, how come that they are suddenly so childish that they need to listen minutes and minutes of joke explanations.
      I believe that it is solely because of producers fear from parents, who imagine that their child will instantly mimic in the real world everything that happens in a game, if cool character does that.
      But it also sends a signal, that SEGA wants to make games only for kids.
      Well, if a reason why SEGA does not kill this hellish franchise is making money, why in the thirteen hells do they focus solely on that small demographic audience – an audience, which does not last very long. Children will become older in time, and if they find the Sonic games too awkward, they will play said Ratchet and Clank instead, or other games that are most of the time no-nonsense. SEGA is getting rid of nearly all fans it made when it jumped to 3D with Adventure. And not just because of the story, but also because of their clear message, that we should feel that 2D gameplay is superior to 3D gameplay – you know, since all 3D games were mistake and automatically all bad.

      I don’t really understand how fans got angry with Sonic trying to be too cool, when now they praise him even though he became a GOD in his games. Seriously, when he appears in front of Eggman, he has tedious dialogs how he always defeats him, he defeats him without breaking a sweat and then he speeds up to defeat him again. The story made him so incredibly superior to everyone, that any sense of balance is completely lost. He can never find his match, none of his friends is ever needed by him. He barely even tolerates his “friends” presence – I say that since Generations, he makes awkward face expression, when he saves certain characters, as if he never wanted to be in one room with them in the first place.

      There is the thing – if a Sonic has to be completely alone and made the ultimate being in his games, the story must go away, completely – since it’s ridiculous to have friends only so they can “cheer him up” in the last scene. What other game … what other medium … has side characters, who do nothing but appear there.
      But there is the other thing – if Sonic is stripped from the story and friends which some people find awkward… then he is no longer Sonic for a major group of Sonic fans – those people, who got to know Sonic from his Adventure era, from comics or from SatAM. Because for those people, Sonic has appeal as long as he is cool, not just as long as he is blue and runs fast. And in order to be cool, he needs to do cool stuff. And that cannot be done without a story. How can you pretend that you are cool if all you do is just destroying random robots in abstract environments and bullying Eggman over and over. Even the Genesis games were telling a story. And I don’t remember stupid jokes and Eggman acting like a complete idiot. To make Sonic cool, you can’t just assemble the worst Garfield-like jokes into cutscenes and feel like it makes the trick. You need to have that exciting sense of being on an adventure, and that comes with having Serious scenes as well. Ridiculing and literally underlining everything that happens is a way to scare Adventure fans away.
      It seems to me that some people don’t understand, that making things serious does not mean in the slightest to get rid off all the joy from the game. The game is not a situational comedy – it is an experience. And that experience is recently really ruined.

      But I have an understanding for people who like Sonic that way. You know why? I understand, that they became Sonic fans for completely different reasons. I became … Sonic … fan for extremely different reasons too. Who am I to say that they are wrong and I am right.


      The thing is, that celebrating and acknowledging only that very small group of fans is low blow… it is a straight forward betrayal of us Adventure fans. I would not mind there being games like Colors or Generations, if there was a proper Adventure game coming along them. I understand that Sonic is not like other game characters. He is not just a character from his own universe… well, especially since he (his game variant) does have any established universe. He is an icon – he is a living mascot. You don’t see Master Chief in a racer games or Olympic games. No, that are only party games consistent of mascot characters. And that means that Sonic will, no matter what I want, appear in numerous medias and numerous story continuities, he will never have one cannon. And I am fine with that as long as there is a game that satisfies MY gaming needs. I mean, I can no longer call myself a Sonic fan, if I find ALL the new Sonic games awkward to that extent, that I would never play them. I don’t “hate” those games as games… All I hate about them is that their influence causes that I will probably never be able to play a Sonic game I will enjoy, ever. Because these games have made reviewers happy, since they do not criticize story that much – not in games for kids they don’t. So that makes SEGA confident that all they need to do is continue this road.
      All I want is one Adventure game… per say, 5 years …. or one per 6 years… or more. But I need at least one game where I will not feel embarrassed in a store when I decide to buy it. If they don’t intend to do that – I hope they will at least say it out loud. That way, I will just say “Sayonara, Sonic the Hedgehog”, and move on. I won’t hold grudge against Sonic for that, but I just need to be assured, that they know what they are doing with Sonic and that they REALLY don’t want people like me to be around anymore.

      • Tyler Kennedy Says:

        Now I do know about how the fandom had been declining, due to how picky the fandom is, but i am a really living fan of Sonic, all the games i have played, i have really loved and I do know of some bad stuff from Sonic, Sonic X and the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, but thats it, everything else I love, I haven’t played Sonic ’06 so I cant give it a proper opinion, I honestly didnt read all you wrote, but one thing I know is that fan characters are usually recolors, not me I made my fan character completely original, im not lying, but i still love Sonic, and I’m a kind Sonic fan, i can get defensive when someone disses Sonic, but im mainly a kind person, and i still love Sonic, from since he was first created

      • James Says:

        To be honest I think if people are whining about a blue hedgehog then they are more childish than some of the things in the franchise. I can understand people prefering the older games but they should just shut up and let everyone else enjoy this franchise.

  2. Myuuchan Says:

    What’s funny is that Sonic’s eyes have always been green.
    No, seriously. Go look at the cover of Sonic 2. In person, if you can. The pupils are bigger, yes, but there’s a crescent of iris visible that is unmistakably green.

  3. You nail certain some things very, very well. However, speaking as somebody from the fandom you are lambasting, around my neck of the woods – that is, people I spoke to in real life that were not necessarily Sonic fans, were the ones who told me that the characters of games like Sonic Adventure were stealing Sonic’s spotlight.

    I remember arguing with friends about Sonic Adventure 2 because of the game’s emphasis on being set in a urban, contemporary environment.

    These things happened well before Shadow the Hedgehog jumped the shark.

    I can’t help but feel a lot of this article is painting a narrow opinion in very broad strokes, though. There are reasonable Sonic fans, and I would like to think I am one of them.

    • Pixelphile Says:

      There are always outliers. I’d like to think both you and I are. And I used to think that, well, people taking issue on those who have the audacity to find fun in a platforming series about a blue hedgehog running really fast were blind fools in themselves.

      However, after the nonsensical drama of the last month and a half, I can’t dispute any sort of broad generalizations anymore. I’m absolutely disgusted at everything I’ve seen, I’m disgusted at Sonic’s so-called older/online “fandom”, and I know that if I were SEGA, I wouldn’t think about catering to this sect of the fanbase would ever be worth any of the inevitable headaches anymore after this. God forbid Sonic 4 doesn’t make any money–that’s IT. After that you’re working on goodwill, and there sure as hell ain’t any here.

      The “kids” get pegged in complaints for ruining the series–instead, (general) you did it to yourselves.

      So yeah, I’m predicting that it’s all down to money, now. If Sonic 4 doesn’t make any, you can probably say goodbye to 2D Sonic. Count on it.

    • GEL Says:

      Hey BlazeHedgehog! Fancy seeing you again!

      Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of mentally stable individual fans. I, myself, am a fan of sorts (I’m a side-character fan. I like the series/world/gameplay (usually) but am not that big a fan of Sonic himself. XD I’d rather not think about what the fandom would do to me if they knew!). But you know the old saying “A person is smart but PEOPLE are stupid”? It’s a lot of that here. Individual Sonic fans can be perfectly nice people but the fandom as a whole is SCARY due in large part to how incredibly divided it is.

      Similarly, there’s LOTS of REALLY BAD fandoms. I’ve had people try to tell me that the Kingdom Hearts fandom or the Smash Bros. fandom is just as bad. Oh they can be bad, sure, but I swear the Sonic fandom is the worst. Again, this is coming from a fellow fan and again it’s because of the reasons stated above. The fandom is just phenomenally divided and the games were the only thing keeping them together. Once game quality wavered, it all collapsed.

      As for the 3D Sonics? Yeah I know people were questioning them before Shadow, but the general consensus from what I’ve seen is that Adventure 1 and 2 were alright or even “the last good 3D Sonics”. They shook the foundation alittle but it still held strong and we were willing to give things another chance. Post-Shadow though? It seems Sonic can do no RIGHT in people’s eyes regardless of a game’s quality (I LOVE Sonic Riders 1!). THAT was the breaking point.

    • The Effect Says:

      The two issues you’ve chosen to address are pretty high up in the ranks of unreasonable Sonic criticisms, actually.

      Sonic is for kids/preteens more than it is for its retros and/or other people that still haven’t accepted that Sonic isn’t going back. And kids do not care if the title character gets more screen time than the other playable characters. As for preteens, they’ll gobble up a cast of furry characters like a chocolate cheesecake at Christmas without giving anymore thought to Sonic’s (imaginary) spotlight than the kids do.

      Even more ridiculous are the complaints about the setting. Sonic DID have to go to 3D, and he DID have to do so with an actual universe. It not just shouldn’t, but couldn’t have been about Sonic just running really fast through a series of ghost towns, rescuing animals from a fat guy… by hitting said fat guy with his hair. That would not have cut it, as it very well shouldn’t have.

      The point is, Shadow may have been (a bit) too much, but it’s no excuse for the fanbase’s reactions to it. They reacted like a sacred right of theirs had been violated, and why? Because they think they’re entitled to get exactly what they want – and only what they want – from the franchise. But the fact is, as much as SEGA should try to consider all different crowds, there is a limit. And once we’ve got people complaining that the settings are too “urban” and “contemporary”, it’s time to put our feet down in the same way that we have with the games’ character models and say: “This is Sonic’s modern setting.” There doesn’t have to be anymore guns (although the reaction to THAT one shows how much more is wrong with the fanbase than the series itself), but SEGA aren’t about to ignore the millions upon millions of kids, preteens, emos, and furries that will shell out/get their parents to shell out money on Sonic. Sonic is never truly leaving Earth again.

    • blixt Says:

      Of course you “feel a lot of this article is painting a narrow opinion in broad strokes”. That’s how the type of Sonic fans described in this article are. You can never just admit to your nonsense when you’re called out on it. You’ve always got an excuse or rationalization for why you’re not like the others… Why what you’re saying is right, while what anyone who says other than you is wrong.

      Few of you can even just accept that the different viewpoints came naturally as a result of a long and varied history, and that it’s okay for everyone to think differently on the matters. You’re oftentimes too busy trying to show how cleaver and correct you like to think that you are about everything.

      There’s another description in this article that fits you to a ‘t’. And that is:

      “First, the obsessive Sonic fans make a big deal out of something minor. Then, one of the more sane Sonic fans will convert their raving lunacy into a more respectable format, like the article linked above. From here, a gamer with fond memories of Sonic could stumble across said article and due to it’s clever wording, be fooled into thinking it’s a bigger deal than it actually is.”

      Actually, you fit two descriptions in there. You’ve played both the role of the obsessive fan AND the role of the one who converts the raving lunacy.

      Everyone likes to think they’re a reasonable fan. In most cases, they aren’t. The same can be said about any of the Sonic fans. Unfortunately, it’s usually those who adhere hardcore to the ideals they perceive in the classic Sonics that aren’t.

  4. Aitamen Says:

    Coming from the SatAM/AoStH/Speedrun camp myself, I can certainly see all of the good and bad in Sonic. About the only irrational hate for sonic I have is the robotnik v. eggman debate, at this point. I enjoy almost all the standing games (sans Heroes due to being nigh-impossible to speedrun because of bugs, and Big’s Story), and I’m pleased that SEGA is trying to cater to older players with the S4 chain, as well as with the handheld titles.

    My only gripe is that SEGA, not just sonic, have moved from producing games that were superior to those of their rivals, and expecting them to sell well, to producing games that sell better than their rivals, and expecting them to be good.

    “If you build it, they will come”

  5. GANJic Says:

    @BlazeHedgehog & Aitamen:
    That’s good and all, but when you look @ the bigger picture, the point remains that “Fans are constructive, not destructive”. The fandom IS divided for very minute reasons: a general preference in continuity to nostalgic gameplay. All-in-all, we’ve HARDLY pointed out anything good to work upon without being snide, conceited and/or just plain asinine.

    I have played just about every Sonic game and viewed (or, at least, aware of) each Sonic continuum. I love’em all. I take from each and every one and could care less about SEGA’s decision to omit and reticon a story. The fact remains they are all enjoyable. Many fans draw lines on ‘fun’ simply because of what’s relevant to them and what’s “their cup of tea” but to bring that fanaticism with only one’s own bias (as we can plainly see) ain’t do shit to help.

    So…stop fighting…”put your thinking caps on”…and work WITH each other and stop throwing out the ol’ “I ‘agree’ with you, BUT…” and see what fits and/or how to make them. Time to get creative; the world’s too big to be so small.

  6. BigLord Says:

    I read this over the period of an hour. Excellent read.

    I now know that Sonic 4 will be an awesome game. It’s one game I can’t really trust reviews with.

    • GEL Says:

      Oh yeah, I have high hopes for it (though admittedly the minecart stage is probably gonna be stupid). Sure I expect it won’t “live up to the title of Sonic 4” or whatever and yeah I expect to like Sonic Advance 1 more (it’s one of my personal favorites). But shoot, it looks to be shaping up well and it’s gonna be what? $10? Definitely worth at least THAT much!

      Heck! If you have a 360 you’ll even be able to demo it before you buy it!

  7. Dastly Says:

    I came in to this site thinking it was about

    Glad it wasn’t, good article.

  8. Mark Says:

    Thing is, this article is about Sonic’s fanbase, which is full of all sorts of opinions and tastes as you mentioned. But let’s not forget that most game critics have reacted to these Sonic games in as negative, or more negative a way than the fanbase. Although the fanbase is composed with a myriad of gamers, the fanbase itself is still the one keeping Sonic afloat at all. As far as most critics are concerned Sonic should just retire.

    And also, in regard to the quality of the games, although Sonic appeals to everyone the idea behind the games should always be about what makes Sonic interesting and different from other games. Sega seems to have neglected that idea in favor of the inverse; taking any sort of gameplay and inserting it into the Sonic franchise. Is it wrong to want your character to have games that highlight their special abilities (in Sonic’s case, spinning and dashing as opposed to slashing and clawing) instead of ‘whatever’? Many complaints the fanbase has are entirely valid, despite the other shenanigans.

    • Pixelphile Says:

      “Game critics” need not be held as any higher authority on video games. In fact, that’s the one of the worst things one can ever do. Most game critics have highly similar tastes and are set in a rigid range of values. Rarely do I see a game critic think outside the damn box, be willing to try something different or learn new game mechanics if they’re not halfway-ripped from some other popular game.

      “Sega seems to have neglected that idea in favor of the inverse; taking any sort of gameplay and inserting it into the Sonic franchise. Is it wrong to want your character to have games that highlight their special abilities […] instead of ‘whatever’?”

      Yes. Yes, it is. If Sega made the same game over and over again, I guarantee you there would still be complaints, and the series would be stagnant as all heck conceptually. Just look at Mario. Though like Mario, I’m sure he’d sell a whole lot more.

      The great thing about Sonic is that his speed and/or spinning can add a new dimension to tried and true game genres and mechanics; and while you do get the odd Werehog (which didn’t even play badly), you also get things like Riders 1, Rivals, Secret Rings, SS Tennis, All-Stars Racing and Black Knight, experiments that have at least validated their undertakings.

      As it stands, there’s a Sonic game for everyone. Perhaps even multiple. The problem is, every sect of the fanbase is exceedingly greedy and nitpicky. The supposed “Sonic Cycle” is as much an exercise in constant goalpost-moving by the fanbase as it is any sort ineptitude at Sega.

  9. gojiguy Says:

    Being a Sonic fan from his Genesis days all the way up to Sonic and the Secret Rings (and SRA on the DS- I skipped out on 06, unleashed and Black Knight) I can say that I understand completely the sentiments coming out of the even the most rabid and insane fans towards Sonic 4.

    let me digress:

    I think a lot of the Sonic fandom is comparable to the Megaman fandom. Multiple series, versions, evolutions, reboots, and a lot of cash-cowing that upsets the fans. The Megaman fanbase is pretty broken. And they were down on their luck. No Legends 3 was in sight. No console megamans. and Capcom seemed more content on making more battlenetwork games (masqueradin as Star Force) while only giving them two “real” megaman games for the DS (ZX and ZX ADvent- really more like pseudo metroidvanias with megaman flavour) and two remake series that got cancelled due to poor sales (Maverick Hunter X, Powered up on PSP). Things were bleak.

    Then Capcom did it. They just took the old 8-bit style megaman games and continued the series as if it left of at 6. The even included the option to turn on “glitches” and other effects that fed directly to the hardcore Mega man fan. It was a hit and the reaction was much better than the reaction to Sonic 4, even though the circumstances are VERY similar. So why was Megaman 9 received better than Sonic 4?

    well first off:

    People have been waiting for Sonic 4 since 1994. That’s 16 years. 16 years of expectations and dreams. It’s like trying to make a sequel to the 56 character megaton Marvel vs Capcom 2 (oops. did I say that?)- the expectations were bloody high and had been around since ’94.

    Second, Megaman 9 didn’t mess around with the MM formula. Sonic 4 is. Whether it is actually going to enhance the game or not is left to be seen, but still. The graphics are 2.5D, high definition, and decidedly un-retro. Something more like Sonic Rush or Advance in style than Sonic 4.

    Now, when people started watching MM9, Contra Rebirth, etc. they had similar expectations of Sonic 4- they wanted a 16-bit genesis game. They might have even wanted the same bloody sprites. But SEGA wasn’t content doing that. Kids wouldn’t get it.

    Now, I’m still reserving final judgement on this game, but understand the circumstances of the drama. Fans would be fine if this game was called Sonic HD. or SOnic speed chase. But SOnic 4? It has to meet the expectations of fans from 16 years ago. It’s too ballsy. The reception of Sonic Colors has been much better because the expectations aren’t there.

  10. Neofcon Says:

    Gojiguy, you’re basically saying “Sonic 4 isn’t pleasing anyone because Sega isn’t copying capcom”. Keep in mind that just because it is a sequel to older titles doesn’t mean it should be 100% like the older games. And quite frankly, thats not a requirement. Take for example, New Super Mario Bros. which is another retro revamp/resurrection/whatever game. New 2.5D graphics, newer abilities, etc. That game is to Super Mario Bros as Sonic 4 is to Sonic 1. They aren’t exact duplicates, but they aren’t crap. One because Sonic 4 isn’t even out to be judged yet. Also, there is a new Mortal Kombat game thats “going retro” as well, but it’s fully 3D. Should MK fans immediately turn their noses up because it’s not using digitized sprites? Also, from the videos, the gameplay looks exactly how a normal 2D sonic game would play. They just give you other abilities to compliment them. I doubt anyone had an issue with Mario wall jumping or ground pounding.

    Lastly, people didn’t care about a Sonic 4 around 98. Because that’s when they finally got a new installment in the main series. For them, that was their Sonic 4, as much as Mario 64 was their Super Mario 5. That was a 4 year wait. No one cared about a “sonic 4” at this point. It was all about Adventure, Adventure 2 and beyond. People even had high hopes for Sonic 06. Sadly, they screwed that up and it was then that people started to care about a retro revamp, because they started to grow asinine and clinically insane. But really, waiting for a 16 bit sequel for 16 plus years? That really sounds far-fetched.

    “But SOnic 4? It has to meet the expectations of fans from 16 years ago. It’s too ballsy.”

    Being ballsy is a better quality than playing “safe”. MM9 WAS BALLSY AS HELL! Look how well that worked out. To everyone, doing a game like MM9 was crazy, absurd. Unrealistic. But it’s overrated now. Now with any retro revamp, people want exactly that! But Sega says otherwise, and now it’s ballsy? What dangers do they actually risk with this? The fury of you? Really now, if Sonic Unleashed can get bad coverage yet STILL sell like hotcakes, I doubt not being 16 bit would kill it because it’s named “Sonic 4”. Sega isn’t Capcom, so expecting them to do the exact same thing as them is the most absurd reasoning ever.

    As for the article, great job covering every aspect of this fandom, and giving a few good points towards Black Knight. It’s a family friendly franchise that manages to stay cool without going overboard (Shadow being the exception ofcourse).

  11. Jasper Says:

    …Good sir, I fear I might be in love with you. It’s amazing to finnaly see someone strike at the heart of the problem, and so unapologetically even! I just pray that the clearly rabid Sonic “fans” you just bitched out don’t find where you sleep.

  12. Red Dharma Says:

    Reading through this, you have earned all of my internet respect. It’s such a relief to see someone being reasonable about all of this. I’ve been a Sonic fan since the very beginning, and I feel so embarrassed to even say I love Sonic to my friends because of the behavior of the fandom. Great article!

  13. smx Says:

    I have always said that I like Sonic games but despise the fans. For all the reason put here too. I like to think that I’m tamer by comparison at this point, but really shouldn’t we take the good with the bad, Don’t the bad games make the good ones even better?

  14. I love the Sonic games but I hate the retarded fanbase cause of idiots like AAssholeResident,Alex Henriol and that fat fuck creep Chris Chan ruined it.
    I really wanted to play Sonic 4 because it’s awesome and I can’t wait to pick up Sonic Colors those Old-School Sonic Fags needs to get a grip if they hated the new Sonic games so much DON’T FUCKING PLAY IT!

    • Riddle Says:

      So, according to your logic, your mom should put you into adoption at the first time you done something wrong.

  15. Liam Says:

    I used to think like this. Then I went to Summer of Sonic.

  16. Reaga Says:

    I believe the real fans are those who can tolerate the games (Saturn games mostly excluded)
    I will admit to not liking Sonic 06 and Heroes (though this article puts Heroes in a new light). But I still played them, and What I’m Made Of made Heroes worth it. Shadow wasn’t a problem at all except for the inside Ark levels. I loved Secret Rings and why would anyone not like Black Knight? That and Unleashed are the best since SA2. I’m waiting for Colors.

    • GEL Says:

      Yeah, I personally LIKED Heroes BUT I played it on Gamecube. I know the PS2 one is borderline unplayable. Even then I never got around to beating Heroes so SOMETHING must have gotten in my way…gonna have to look at that again sometime.

      • TV Tropes FTW Says:

        Hmm… that’s interesting, because I have the PS2 version and don’t really see anything wrong with it. But then again, maybe I’m just being biased because Heroes was my first ever Sonic game. Speaking of Heroes, the only team I ever beat it with was Team Rose (FUCK YOU EGG EMPEROR). I’m stuck on Bullet Station with Teams Sonic and Dark – I know I’m doing SOMETHING wrong, but I just can’t figure out what – and… I think it was Power Plant with Team Chaotix. Maybe if I go back and play it again, I’ll find out WTF I’m doing wrong.

    • Riddle Says:

      Real fans are those who cares about Sonic’s reputation and Sonic’s return to the praising of the gaming sites and reviews once again, surpassing Mario.

      Generations is half a great game for this

      Or do you think a real mother is one who loves and kisses her son, even if he disobbeys her and use drugs, without complaining?

  17. Dallen9 Says:

    Well…. I being What you call a “Sonic Aged Person”, Meaning I’m as old as the Cute little speed Demon, Can note this as a truth and a lie since I like to think I’m a hardcore Sonic fan. In fact I still want to play some of the games listed and not listed in the article as well as others. And Sonics’ original Eye Color was black has been green since Sonic 2 so Green Eyed Sonic is just Sonic. In fact the only sonic game I didn’t like was Heroes and that’s do to I still haven’t beat it yet. Plus the “hardcore gaming series fan” in general likes everything about what ever the thing is and will bust there ass to acquire, play, or see game play of the game in series. And portables haven’t counted since the Megaman portable series came out the only exception is the Metroid series due to the fact they made the handheld series games apart of the regular series. In short this points to a major problem that is mainly a lore mishap. There is no solid background or foreground story of everyones favorite blue hedgehog. I’d also note Sonic X was omitted from this article and I’m guessing is the thing that separates the ones who are hardcore sonic fans from the “HARDCORE” sonic fans.

    • GEL Says:

      Actually on the topic of portable series that “count”, don’t forget Castlevania!

      Seriously, that just occured to me. Castlevania has had lackluster 3D console titles and solid 2D portable titles too but it’s considered to be doing well.

      But yeah, well aware that portable entries USUALLY “don’t count”. It’s just that this fact annoys me in ALL series.

      • Dallen9 Says:

        I don’t really know about the Castlevania series so That’s why it’s not mentioned I was mainly aiming at what classifies as “Main stream” in the Video games world.

  18. Suroguner Says:

    What I don’t understand is how Sonic could jump the shark in Shadow’s Spinoff game. That makes as much sence as Tails Adventure being a slow sonic game. It may be apart of the series, but it’s a spin-off, just like Knuckles Chaotix on the 32x.

    so far, my only problems with the series are sonic 06 and sonic4. And sonic 4’s reason is the physics. One only has to let go of the d-pad while rolling, spin dash up a quarter-pipe, or let go of the d-pad while in the air to see what I mean.

  19. […] on the bandwagon too with Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Unfortunately, there’s the Sonic fanbase. As I’ve said in the past, they’re quite possibly the most unpleaseable fandom ever. If you thought this game, a game […]

  20. YES Says:

    Sir, you are indeed amazing. After reading this article, it only makes me want to ask, “Why doesn’t SEGA just come out and say what we all KNOW they want to. “F**K you all, we’re still making the games, your still probably gonna buy them!” and we all know this is true, even you hardcore “critics” that don’t want to admit it. I have been a fan sense Genesis, and even when things go downhill I stil buy the games. Not because I hope they’ll save it, but because I see a game as “a game” meant for entertainment purposes and don’t focus on aspects that won’t match up to the originals. Evolution is natural and games aren’t an exception to this. to summerize, move on.

  21. julsjacket Says:

    This is an informative article, but you’re wrong on many fronts.

    First of all, the sonic gameplay isn’t simpley about “speed.” Its fun comes from exploration and careful exploration. Only a few levels in the first games allowed you to go fast.

    This is why the Gameboy and DS versions sucked. They were vapid, roller-coaster rides that focused solely on “SPEED” Dimps should stay the hell away from the series.

    Sonic 4 was a step in the right direction. Hopefully the next episode can be better. But still, Sega marketed it as a return to Sonic’s Genesis roots, and it unfortunately played more like Rush than anything else.

    The 3D titles are just awful though, marketed to children or not. Have you seen new footage of Sonic Colours? Its just your typical GRIND-RUN FORWARD-QTE-GRIND level progression, with some shitty puzzles thrown in the mix.

    The “Sonic Fan Remix” demo, that’s the way you do a Sonic game. (even though its just a Sonic 2 remake, original levels with those physics would be great)

    • Lien Says:

      “First of all, the sonic game-play isn’t simply about “speed.” Its fun comes from exploration and careful exploration. Only a few levels in the first games allowed you to go fast.” Exploration was something you could do but not something that was mandatory to enjoy the games. Honestly, the most fun I ever in a Sonic Game was trying to clear levels as Super Sonic without a care in world in Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles.
      Sonic Fan Remix” Demo was god-awful terrible. Shiny pretty graphics can’t make up for shitty enemy placement. The whole time you couldn’t go run make it past 5-10 seconds without running into something unless you were in ball form the WHOLE time. The enemy placement ruined it for me badly. Oh yes I know Sonic games had this problem too but it was never that BAD on the FIRST level.

  22. Energy Incarnate Says:

    Honestly, as much as I’d love to say I’m an old sonic fan, my first game was Adventure 2 Battle, after which I played all of the older games, and then later many of the newer games. As a person who has seen many different Sonic communities, I’d have to agree with pretty much everything in the article. Personally, I long looked at the game I once thought was so awesome, and saw the melancholy truth, but then I realized. Sonic was MEANT to be a campy style of awesome. He was that dude who pulls out cheezy one-liners about friendship and togetherness, and honestly, I kinda miss heroes like him. With the rise of war, blood, and gritty realism in video games that seem to have become the things gamers point to to say “Video Games are for adults too!”, many people have forgotten that sometimes its good to have some variation, and its a sad day when including a character who would never pick up a fire arm and only fights when he deems it necessary due to violence “not being cool” is what would create some. I hope in the future, more animal crossings, harvest moons, sonic the hedgehogs and marios appear, but until that day, it will be up to Nintendo and Sega to make sure Video games don’t go the way of porn.

    • Dallen9 Says:

      Agree Video Games are on that apparent course. And Nintendo with Sega are preventing in America what is happening in Japan with video games.

  23. KODJOS Says:


    who’s the writer, he just TOTALLY earn my respect. HE must have “FOUND A BIG COMPTUTER ROOM” To write the whole article. i’m sold goddamn.
    myself i’m a cool french sonic fan, i grow up with him in 90s and i’m surely one of the rare sonic fans who have no real problem with the series.
    i have my own likes and my own dislikes. sonic series isn’t perfect and I prefer it stay that way. I don’t even deny the series has its flaws. but sonic doesn’t need to be perfect for being a kick-ass franchise.
    however far I remember, since the original sonic the hedgehog, I always had fun with sonic games and I love his stories and his main continuity generally and how he’s seen in the other continuities. this is an international icon, come on ^^ others can call me fanboy if you want but this is how I’m feel, maybe be because I’m simple-minded ? but whatever. I find the “BAD” sonic games not as bad as they seems to be. We cannot deny that even if sometimes they trying something differently, they remain playable and fun and even hell funny if we had imagination LOL. some experiments have their own charm if we look deeply.

    I don’t even care of sonic fanbase, I have never really followed them. I was always away from all these melodramatic groups. I’m just good with my deviantart page with my friends. we discuss very often sonic (tha bad and the good etc.) but we are cool with. Between us this is total respect even with total drastic opinions. All this to say I’m in this very small minority of sonic fans who can show themselves pleasant with others whatever the bad situation. people like me exist but we aren’t LOUD, that’s all.

    I have no idea what could look like the perfect sonic game. maybe aside that it will be fun XD

    I am proud to be a sonic fan and I hope that SEGA/Sonic TEAM will continue to make sonic games for a very long time.
    i’m still playing all sonic games, old, new and the most recent ones equally. they have a huge replay value IMO without forgetting and sonic is the number one in music quality. i’m really proud of all these years with sonic.

    this is an extraordinary article maybe the most epic objective i have ever seen. really amazing

    sorry for my awful english ^^

  24. you make some good points, however, i did enjoy sonic adventure 2 alot, and sonic 06 wasnt THAT bad, sure the story and voice acting were terrible, but i could still get some fun out of it

  25. actually you make ALOT of good points, the fanbase is an eternal paradox of people who are too delusional to realize that sonic has always been aimed at kids and always will be, tho cutting a guy in half and shooting up a city and saying damn every 2 seconds is rly trying too hard to please the fanbase…
    im just glad im an outsider

  26. Anonymous Says:

    This article should be printed and included in every newspaper in the whole world.
    I’m serious.

  27. Nick Says:

    I want to thank you for shedding some light on this controversial issue for me. I never even had a Sega Genesis as a kid, but I was very aware of Sonic’s popularity and the whole SNES/Genesis “console wars” going on in the 90’s. I only really knew Sonic from watching the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon and was kind of following the franchise as a naive fan of that cartoon, so imagine what it’s like for me having to discover all these different incarnations that were always there over the years, along with the seemingly drastic Sonic Adventure redesigns and all the other characters I was unfamiliar with (I was not as familiar with Knuckles, Shadow, or Amy as I was with Scratch and Grounder). One thing I’m not a part of though is the Dr. Robotnik/Eggman argument because of knowing that his name in Japan was Eggman to begin with, and they’ve even established in the games that he uses both names. With all these continuity issues it’s very hard to know what Sonic is and what he isn’t, but I do know that the original Genesis titles are the basis for how the fans interpret Sonic.

    Continuity aside, it’s never changed a well-made Sonic game from a lesser quality one, and the gameplay is the only thing I really care about with Sonic anymore and look for in the games. Now that Sonic 4 has come out, I’ve noticed that the majority of complaints are actually on the quality of the music and physics and not whether or not Sonic has black eyes or anything, and if you think about it isn’t good gameplay the thing that matters most in video games? If Sonic fans can’t agree on everything they can at least agree on that. And if you want my opinion on story, I guess I look at the Sonic games as being best when they just had a simplistic story like the Mario games that wasn’t overly serious and complicated (Sonic rescuing small animals from Eggman), and I probably felt that way about Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog as well. That’s just what I think.

  28. Scrabbit Says:

    The only thing I disagree with in this article is your view on Sonic Adventure 2. In my humble opinion, Sonic Adventure 2 > Sonic Adventure.

    It had FAR less glitches, as well. I never fell through the damned floor in SA2, at least.

  29. tishauna Says:

    this does need to be mandatory reading when concerning rabid fans.

  30. Prometheus Says:

    Long have I waited for such an article to written about Sonic the Hedgehog. This is the kind of knowledge and reasoning that needs to be laser-printed into the eyes of the most arrogant “hardcore” fan out there, most notably AKnotholeResident, Alex Henriol, Chris Chan, and ESPECIALLY Nicochi.

    Though it would be unfair of me to completely call out everything these rabid fans say, as their obsession for this blue hedgehog helped them point out a few good things, like Sonic’s recent focus on speed instead of platforming and exploration, Sonic’s attempts at trying too hard to use gimmicks that disrupt gameplay instead of complementing it (Like Mario), and of course, the character over-population.

    The real problem with them, however, is that they are, in fact, very nitpicky and overly demanding of perfection towards staying true to nostalgia to the extent that they rule out entire games without trying to find any good parts.

    And while they might have SOME reason to rule out other people’s opinions (trust me, there’s a lot of stupid fans out there too, which is why they’re so arrogant), they go so far as to ruling out everybody else’s “likes” and calling them all delusional if they don’t share the same artistic/gameplay tastes as they do. They don’t just say that they “personally” don’t like speed-games or green irises, or just say that they don’t stay true to the original games. No, they act as if it’s a universal FACT that they’re bad in existence period. It’s like a guy telling another guy that he’s delusional because he likes racing games, and not FPS games…or better yet, because he like squares, and not circles.

    This is just an example of how arrogant the fanbase is. They mistakingly combine their knowledge and personal preferences, and then label it as a fact. Most of the smarter Sonic fans are aware of this, and say nearly the same thing.


    Okay…..and on the topic of Sonic himself, I’d say that I personally preferred the original Sonic much more (mostly because of the platforming and nostalgia). Yes, I agree that all post-Genesis Sonic games (Adventure, Advance, Rush, misc.) focus too much on speed and bad gimmicks, yet have some redeeming qualities. And yes, I agree that Sonic 4’s REAL problem was the lazy physics engine…and MAYBE the homing attack. But if people like them, then they like them. It’s only debatable if they state opinions that may suggest request upon facts, and are only DELUSIONAL if they choose to claim wrong facts.

    Sonic Fan Remix, however, is probably the best attempt at a modern-day 2D Sonic, and ought to have been what SEGA should’ve aimed for. As for 3D Sonic…..well…..all I can say is that SEGA should start studying Mario and Nintendo a little more closely as well.

  31. D-Virus Says:

    I believe this article is very helpful for the few rabid fans that will venture here. Along with the non rabids, and those like me. My first sonic game is sonic adventure two battle. I own Shadow the Hedgehog. And have played the both the hoverboard games. Only liked the first. Then played 2006. DId not like it. I personally will always love and probably only love Adventure two. But it has the menu I like, and the gameplay I like. The newer games I am interested in, and I read about when they are coming out. But, I normally opt out of buying them due to their main elements. All in all, the sonic games are going into stranger territories, but I just generally agree that they are working to the fanbase. And when there is a game I want, I will get it, but I am not the fanbase.

  32. Shadow Says:

    I love your article and I completely agree with you, good sir.

    I have been a long Sonic fan. I didn’t play the Genesis games that much (but I did); my fan-ness came from the cartoon shows.
    The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was targeted at my age demographic, so it scored perfectly: I loved the show.
    As I grew, SatAM was broadcast and it totaly satisfied my new age category and I loved it even more. Ever since my childhood, Sonic has been a more interesting character and series than Mario because it had a storyline and was taking me seriously, etc.

    Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 were awesome. I thought Sonic Heroes was good, too, although more cheesy. I guess I have a higher tolerance level. But I was getting old now, and Sonic wasn’t the same to me as it used to be. It was nothing like the cartoons I grew up with and loved. But I thank them for being so tolerant to the new Sonic. Should I have been a hardcore Sonic fan and played 1,2 & 3 to death, I’d probably be an angry fool as well.

    Today, I still love Sonic, even if I don’t play his games anymore. I respect the work Sega are doing, and understand them. Just like how Pokemon hasn’t matured, so hasn’t Sonic, since the profit isn’t with the old fans anymore but with the new generation who gives them money and appreciation. (I use to whine on how Pokemon sucks now, but I understand why: I am not the target demograhic anymore).

    I am so very disappointed with the Sonic fanbase. They are never satisfied, never appreciate the work Sega does (and compared to Nintendo, Sega DOES listen to its fans), and they are just totally foolish and, dare I say, immature.

    Sorry to say this, fandom, but… Grow up. Do yourselves a favor and boot up your old Genesis games and play some good ol’ fashioned classic Sonic, because there is where you are still dwindling at; in the 90s era.

    I will forever miss the old Sonic but I will not root myself stuck there. The Sonic cartoons are a big part of my childhood and I will allow it to be there to cherrish and not destroy myself.

  33. - Says:

    Wasn’t the “Sonic 4 = Sonic Rush” criticism actually related to the fact that Sonic 4 uses a modified version of the Sonic Rush engine? You seem to omit this detail.

    • Yeow95 Says:

      This article was made when Sonic 4 was announced. I would like to see this article updated noting this is mind and other things, though.

  34. Guest Says:

    i like all the games, my personal favorite is a tie between 3&K and Colors, but i agree with you completely, the so-called “fan base” is really more of a hate base now, unpleasable and more than likely insane, but at least the kids like sonic…right? i also like black knight, it’s a fun game, arthur was a meeeeean machine though.

  35. GoldenHedgy Says:

    Also fans shout over the Robotnik/Eggman name change.

    They were too close-minded to actually see “Eggman” was mentioned in Sonic 2 (play Wing Fortress zone).

  36. foxytaur Says:

    You know guys I don’t stick to the nostalgia of staying in the past and proclaiming sonic genesis games were the only good sonic games.

    I loved the gba and ds sonic games aswell.
    The closest thing now to tying both New-gen and Old camps is Sega’s latest “Sonic generations”(having played the demo)

    I played sonic games since the master system era and I’m as retro for owning a turbografx console even!…but Modern daytime Sonic gameplay from unleashed were damn good and I think if we mix in genesis style gameplay and daytime unleashed levels then this will be a good attempt to diminish various camps from further sub-dividing.

    I understand the frustration with “Sonic fags”(lulz) but If you don’t like the game; Don’t buy it!

    • Riddle Says:

      “If you don’t like the game, don’t buy it”

      If your son doesn’t obbey you, put him into adoption.

      • Cosmic Chaos™ Says:

        You’re right. I mean, neverminding that other people like the games the way they are, we should totally have dissenters center it solely around their own preferences and demand change until the developers kiss their asses. Oh, and screw coexistence or compromises. Sounds flawless to me!

        On a side note, my son has informed me that he doesn’t enjoy basketball like I had hoped, and refuses to play. I’ll ship him off to the local orphanage first thing tomorrow. Good thinking, buddy. =)

  37. foxytaur Says:

    Also sonic colors was good too……just different….Not broken(phew)

  38. Just came upon this recently, and only one nitpick, which regards the update: while I think the cartoons might have begun development first, the comic was the first to be released to the public.

    • …and I should really say something about the rest of the article, too, shouldn’t I?

      Very detailed, informative, and insightful. This makes a great overview of the franchise’s history, as much as a look at the fandom itself.

  39. sonictopfan Says:

    while I do disagree with you in some parts, merrily due to being a big fan of dark stories like Shadow and 2006 “which ironically proves your point again” I’d like to say great article, you really nailed this and made a great research that the assholes at Sonic Retro couldn’t do for years of trying, this is by far the best article I ever read regarding the Sonic fanbase, I salute you for this and like you said, like I always been saying, blaming the kids is rather stupid because we all been kids at some point and SEGA did sell us these games at the time, it’s not a bad thing if you think about it, and I have no regrets buying and enjoying these games whatsoever, and I will continue buying them even though I’m not in my mid 20s, simply because like you said, the games ARE great despite what some “hardcore” fans may claim!

    • Riddle Says:

      “The assholes at Sonic Retro” -> You mean those “assholes” who are the reason SEGA decided to make it’s first “Sonic Game” instead of a “Game With Sonic On It” since 1998? (Generations)

  40. My most sincere salute to you for this great article, sir. Reading your article was very pleasant to me due to the fact that, despite I’m 27 years old right now, I’m an all-around Sonic fan since the very first game came out (1991) and played every Sonic game on existence (except for a couple of prototypes like Sonic X-treme). This article reflects the reason why at first I lol’d so hard on Sega forums’ and Sonic Retro’s users complaints and how after a couple of months that complaints started to annoy me. :(
    I hope you update this article for commenting about the upcoming Sonic Generations, that seems to unify in swome way all this fanbase madness… at least for this time. xD
    See you soon! :D

  41. Riddle Says:

    Fact is: Only a retarded extra-purist would think Sonic’s Green Eyes are something awful. Green Eyes is not what caused the games to suck like they do.

  42. iceeslush Says:

    I’m seriously embarrassed to even admit that I ever liked Sonic. I abandoned the franchise after the Gamecube era because I just got tired of all the creepy things that went on in the fandom and I no longer wanted to be associated with it. Heck, I don’t want to even display any nostalgia for it anymore. The DeviantART jockeys have certainly made things look bad for us that grew up and matured beyond Sonic. I don’t know what’s worse, being associated with Sonic stans or with pop music stans.

  43. Ele Says:

    Fantastic article. Its very informative, thanks for making it. The only thing we disagree on is Sonic Adventure 2. In my opinion, it was equal if not better than the first Adventure which was itself a brilliant Sonic game.

    While I had played 2D Sonic before as a kid, I consider the Dreamcast Sonic as my first “true” walk in to the series as it was my first console and games that I could truly call my own. (I was born in 1990, so when I was playing games Sonic had just entered into the 3D era)

    Sonic’s transition to 3D was actually quite good and a real success, something that even the game reviewers on other sites cannot deny.

    Sonic’s fall to me started with Heroes. Not because it was a bad game or anything, but because of the reason that you listed (Sony) that I didn’t even know about. (That and the direction) Sonic 2006 was a missed opportunity and wasted potential, all because the game was rushed. Sonic 2006 was actually suppose to be released in late 2007/possibly early-mid spring 2008. Would also likely would have been renamed Sonic Adventure 3. What we got was basically a “very” incomplete game sadly. I really like Shadow the Hedgehog (character) but his game did indeed “jump the shark.” The ultimate life form using guns, and then other machinery in 06 was just plain stupid.

    Never played Unleashed nor Colors, but they likely aren’t as bad as people have said.

    Looking forward to Generations which is shaping up to be the most epic Sonic game since the Dreamcast-Adventure years. All in all, Sonic in 3D is not bad in the least, the first 2 games being fantastic, and then sort of going down from there, and then them increasing in quality again but not yet reaching those golden years on the Dreamcast.

    Once again brilliant article. Thanks for being objective and showing the truth about Sonic and a fanbase.

    • Dallen9 Says:

      and I really think with the new games Sonic is slowly making a come back cause it’s sonic in 3d but has the speed of Sonic in 2d which is what sonic is about .

    • Team Zalphos Says:

      Okay, I’m feeling the urge to reply to everybody, but this is my last comment.


      The only reason Sonic 2006 was rushed was because it was going to be released later, much later than the release date today, but the fans begged and pleaded for the game to be released in 2006, which was a landmark date for Sonic, its 15th anniversary. The game was going to actually be Sonic Adventure 3 in 2007, and we all know how that all worked out.

      Thanks to the fan base, we have the downfall.

      • Jason Says:

        It wasn’t really the fans, it was SEGA rushing their Sonic Team division with the development.

  44. Dallen9 Says:

    Sonic Generations maybe the best Sonic Game ever made. It has Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic. I has almost every Game mechanic Sonic the hedgehog has ever used and leaves about 80% of it as an option.

    • Team Zalphos Says:

      Just because it has the two characters in it doesn’t mean it can convey the same feel as playing chiefly as Classic Sonic in a classic game. It’s a modern game with Modern Sonic and Modernized Classic Sonic.

      • Jason Says:

        Nitpicking motherfucker, can you stop doing it?

      • Jason Says:

        I swear, SEGA could make an actual 3D/2D-sidescroller remake of a full Genesis Sonic game using the Classic Sonic model from Generations and you whiny turds would still go out of your way to complain about something you asked for. And I don’t care how old your post is, that kind of attitude is the reason why the admin made this article in the first place.

  45. Another prof of the broken fanbase:

    Even Generations being a good game, The Sonic Stadium made a hate review about the game in a cynical away.

    Now I have no doubt: They critisize even what they ASKED!

  46. Chuck Says:

    The way I see this ariticle is that Sonic as a whole is kinda like a child growing up with the fanbase being the parents.

    Some parents, in this case the crazier, less logical side of the fanbase, are unable to deal with the change in seeing their child grow up and mature, for better or worse. And, of course, they’re gonna wish for their child to remain in a state that they enjoyed and appreciated.

    Other parents, the more rational side of the fanbase, expect and accept the change. They may not approve of all the traits the child has as it’s grown up, but they still recognize the child for who it is, and in turn, show their love and appreciation for it.

    All in all, in this light, Sonic is a very intriguing series that is one of few, if there are others at all, that seems to grow and mature as time goes on. It doesn’t really go out of its way to forget what it is, even when it tries something different.

  47. This is the best material I’ve seen written about the sonic fandom. I had been wondering if anyone took a stab at it, so searched on Google for it. It was refreshing to come across a serious and well-informed take, and not a disjointed rant on Livejournal given by someone with their neon-colored Sonic fan character as an avatar.

    I grew up with the Sonic games since the beginning; I even remember the old Sonic 1 promo comic in the Disney kid’s digest I used to get; it was the whole reason I begged for a Genesis!

    I’ve dipped my toe into the fandom later in life, in a way you kind of find older groups to reminisce with, and barely lasted due to the… eccentricity.

    I actually like seeing how Sega tries to appeal to the kids of the current generation just as they did in the 90s. I used to volunteer at a school. When I wore a Sonic shirt that I usually wear around the house to the school, the kids got excited and curious, and it made me happy to remember that time.

    I think there are a lot of older, less “possessive” fans who understand what Sonic’s target demographic is, and who appreciate the retro-nods Sega slips in. But we’re quiet and often overshadowed by those few crazies who have time to put into shoddy and non-constructive rants to show how Sega somehow owes them, and how their one non-purchase is a threat to this corporation.

    Again, thank you for making and sharing this. Not only is it interesting from a Sonic fan’s standpoint, but also a game development and marketing one.

  48. Apologetic Grammar Nazi Says:

    A really interesting article. Great stuff.

    But you really need to check your grammar. I’m surprised that you write so well but make such an arbitrary mistake : the only time you need an apostrophe is “its” is when you’re abbreviating “it is”. A possessive apostrophe is not needed here to denote ownership. “it’s self” is incorrect too – it’s “itself”.

    I wouldn’t usually point this out, but you’ve got a talent for writing so this kind of thing leaps off the page and could hamper future success.

  49. Dillo64 Says:

    Its funny how you make Sega out to be the victims in all of this, when it was their own bad decisions that got them in the mess in the first place.

    For one, they didn’t have to give Shadow a gun. Considering the position they were in at the time, they shouldn’t have taken the risk. It wasn’t just them “trying to be cool” like they always were, either. When they “tried to be cool” before with Sonic, they were subtle, practical, logical and creative. Shadow as the opposite, blunt, stereotypical, and entirely unnecessary. He was already a badass who could have had a great game, but they had to push the envelope go overboard, even though it was the absolute worst possible time they could have done so. They shot themselves in the foot, plain and simple, and now no one can take them seriously. Pun intended.

    They should have also learned from Sonic Heroes when they made Sonic 2006 (and Shadow for that matter) that finishing and polishing a game is important, but they decided to rush it out anyway, and look where it got them. They should have also learned that the fans didn’t like guns and vehicles. But they put that in too.

    As for your whole kiddies argument, Sonic was created to compete with Mario. That’s how fans see him. Mario continues to please his fanbase with games that are filled with gameplay aspects both new and oldschool, and appeal to everyone, young or old. In fact, most companies/franchises are still doing this more or less, like Zelda, Mega Man and Final Fantasy. Many video game franchises have evolved to still appeal to their original demographic, while simultaneously pulling in new players, and this has been proven a successful strategy that benefits everyone.

    Sega didn’t do this with Sonic – they made something completely new and off the wall with every title and abandoned the core aspects of the originals, like the pinball physics, smooth controls and general sense of freedom, for things like guns, Werehog and sword waggle. That’s why fans are mad and jaded – because all their other favorite games series grew up along with them, while Sonic moved away after middle school. Only now has he suddenly decided to come back to ask to borrow money, and it should come to no surprise that we’re skeptical.

    BTW, Sonic 4 was bad because the physics were bad, not because of the graphics or being targeted at kids or any of the other silly reasons you state. Fans hated it because it played like shit.

    • David Says:

      The reason they gave Shadow a gun and try to make the game all dark and serious is because you stupid fans complain about heroes being too lighthearted and soft.

      And your last argument is not even the freaking case, you fans will whine and bitch at every little thing Sega/Sonic Team will put in there games. So that’s load of bull carp, And the guns and sword wiggles were for the spin off, similar to how Mario had ghost sucking vacuums and F.L.U.D.D.

      And moving away from the core gameplay? Yeah because Super Mario Bros. was so much like Super Mario Galaxy.

      Yeah, just shut the fuck up.

      • Yeow95 Says:

        First off, generalizations of the fans and/or the fanbase and unnecessary insults. They don’t make your arguments look any better, and make you look no better than the worst aspects of the fanbase you are supposedly comparing him to.

        Not everyone complained about Heroes because it was lighthearted and soft. And the only reason it was even so because people complained about Adventure 2 being too dark. It goes both ways.

        Not every fan throws a hissyfit about anything changed about the games. If I recall correctly, Super Mario Sunshine did get some criticism because of the use of the cleaning gameplay focus and FLUDD gameplay mechanic which did significantly altered the core gameplay somewhat-rather significant because unlike the other examples you listed, Sunshine was a mainstream Mario game.

        And yes, even though Galaxy did add some changes like the spinning move, collecting star bits, etc.; they still weren’t the focus of the core gameplay of stomping enemies and using powerups, that was reinstated as the main gameplay focus.

  50. […] GameBabble blog is a barren wasteland of content. With exactly one noteworthy article that generates copious amounts of hits and little […]

  51. Moira Says:

    You forgot the rabid shipping war…urg. aweful.
    Who cares who a fictional hedgehog dates? Its an awesome fun gaming icon, with some nice spin offs and fan art. Thats what sonic was supposed to be, not have every character ‘shipped’ to eachother!
    Though, there are a few good shipping fan ficts…

    • The Effect Says:

      Who cares if another person cares? Sonic is a work of fiction, as you pointed out. And just like every other work of fiction ever created in the history of humanity, it has fans of romances and different couples. I’m not usually a Sonic shipper, myself, but I can easily understand why it’s become the way it is.

  52. The Effect Says:

    As far as the overall quality of the article goes, this is the best piece of Sonic-related media ever written. Sonic never “jumped the shark.” Not all the Sonic games were great, but they were a lot better than this cheap stuff they’re popping out now.

  53. zachary fleming Says:

    U r absolutely right. However u didn’t say much about shadow the hedgehog and sonic 06 well positive sonic 06 and shadow were awsome games so shadow cussed and used guns and vehicles, the guns and vehicles were optional and cussing words ares just words shadow had an intersting backstory and choice of stories sonic 06 may be rushed, but had an engaging story awsome gameplay but reallyy sonic is taking a dive ever since generations weak story that wasn’t even interesting 3 bosses in the game were dissapointing espicially the final boss super boring plus u could beat the game in maybe 5 or 6 hours of just playing through the main story. So dissapointing that ths kids love the dark and serious tone of sonic while adults just want kiddy version sonic. I’m suprised that sonic battle wasn’t called a terrible game because u can whoop sonic’s ass in that game and super smash bros brawl though they should make a more action pact crossover with mario the olypmic games should just end

  54. anonimys Says:

    All of you are tupiyets and your dream book shit as it in general it is possible to look

  55. unknownmysteryguy (most of my accounts on the internet are this) Says:

    Excellent review. I’m a hardcore Sonic fan (not a true fan, those are impossible for any series, and in this one the word ‘true’ usually seems to mean ‘Genesis’) and personally, I prefer the modern series, but still enjoy the classic. An ironic thing about Shadow the Hedgehog is that guns and another dark story (the game’s main critisisms [that word’s spelt wrong] against it) were the two most asked for things for the internet fans. The dark story thing makes sense since people seem to assume that a dark story means a good story.

  56. Detov Says:

    Except for the claim that Sonic Adventure was better than Sonic Adventure 2, this article is spot on. From a technical standpoint, SA2 is objectively better than SA1; its controls, camera, and glitch count are much better than those of SA1, though they’re still problematic.

  57. Yup Says:

    Then the bronies came and sonic went to the 2º place of worse fandoms.

    • David Says:

      Nah, Sonic’s is still wose

    • David Says:

      Worse, I mean.

      • ender Says:

        naa Bronies are not nearly the worse, they are just an easy target (and waay over enthusiastic). The only real base braker they had so far is the whole “derpygate” debacle, and even than they can still be civil debating it.

    • GEL Says:

      Nah. There’s a couple REALLY disturbing bronies here and there but generally speaking they’re one of the BETTER fandoms! They’re usually civil and produce some amazing fan content. They also do a pretty good job of keeping any “disturbing” material in properly labelled and sectioned off areas.

      The over-enthusiasm is a half-troll. They really DO like the show, but they often play up their love for it because there are so many people SO insecure in their masculinity that they FLIP THE FUCK OUT at the very IDEA of My Little Pony being good!

      Some folks just…overdo it…

      • The Effect Says:

        My first Sonic “disagreement” was on a forum that has now become completely overrun by bronies, many of whom are the same people I’d initially talked to, but now with different screen names and user icons. I don’t know or care much what’s happening with My Little Pony one way or the other, but I still find it hilarious that some of those people mocked me for liking dramatic Sonic, whilst they displayed pony porn all over their website…

        Not necessarily related to the topic at hand, I know, but… interesting, all the same.

  58. Russ Waldren Says:

    Heya, I have wondered about buying the application DubTurbo Beatmaker and was hoping anyone could give me an actual authentic critique of the program. Almost all of the websites that give product reviews are literally web marketers advocating the computer software so I doubt that the product reviews are legitimate. Cheers in advance for all the insight any individual can offer.

  59. mawuliza Says:

    There’s one other problem. Metacritic.
    Sega has been actively pulling Sonic games off store shelves if they don’t have a good Metacritic score. So this LOUD ASS FANBASE is more detrimental than you would believe. Because Sega is hyper-sensitive to criticism, they are gutting their own profits, meaning you’d have to buy Sonic game like DAY ONE before the reviews start rolling in because lord knows they’re gonna bash the fuck out of it.

    Sega’s better off turning the damn internet off altogether.

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  61. I know this article is pretty old, but your arguments are very interesting and valid. BTW, Sonic Generations was awesome, and I didn’t see very much Sonic fans complaining about it >_>

  62. Cheese1121 Says:

    The Zelda fandom is almost as whiny as the Sonic fandom. I remember before Skyward Sword came out, you could hear such complaints as Link not being left-handed, or his pants being too baggy. And everytime there’s a new art style, the Zelda fans always break into an uproar.

  63. Team Zalphos Says:

    You kind of forgot about the part where old Sonic fans are converting to the newer games. I run into people all the time who will swear on their lives that Sonic Colors was the best game they ever played. They are still persistent in their Classic Fanboyism but direct it towards new games so they won’t get stuck in the 90’s again.

    Also, the fan made characters… I just—I just hate how they’re all…fan made and stuff. And how all the girls are named Lily or Star or Elisa or stuff like that. And how they’re all half-emo with spikes in front of their eyes. And how they all have magical powers that come from a sparkly pendant. And how they’re all Sonic’s girlfriend. And—yeah… I could go on forever.

    And don’t even get me started on the Sega Forums wiki. It’s just a few people making “articles” based on opinion and telling everybody they’re right.

    Alright, I’ve done my rambling. Who’s next?

  64. Beamos Says:

    You speak sense my friend…

    Also, I always wondered why the sonic advance games never seemed to receive praise in the fandom… Man, I loved those games..

    • hystericaldark Says:

      I like them too o/
      Well…maybe Sonic Advance 2 not that much, while it was a fairly decent game, it was also reeaaally frustating at times >_<

  65. blixt Says:

    The Sonic series currently IS catering to kids – they all just happen to be in the bodies of 30-year-olds.

    Stereotypically, old school Sonic fans were mostly kids when the series first came out. And they already have these pretty narrow pre-conceived notions about what a kids’ game “can do” and what a kids’ game “can’t do”.

    The number one most ridiculous (and overused) excuse a new school Sonic hater hides behind is that the series is “about a blue hedgehog” and that all the different things it’s done are “ridiculous” for a series about “woodland critters”.

    That, and the typical “Sonic doesn’t need this” bullshit. As if video games (or any other form of entertainment) were EVER about what they NEEDED.

    And the rest of the old school Sonic fans who claim to hate the newer games? They’re teenagers or pre-teens who have read a lot of bad things about them on the internet. And they’re afraid that liking the new games will make them look bad. So they convince themselves that they really DO hate the newer games. When they probably don’t. (Or wouldn’t, if they’d played the games without reading anything about them online first.)

    And then… be they 30 or 13… they go on the internet and start arguments with anybody who disagrees with them to make themselves feel better about the lack of importance their opinions carry. Falsely secure in their delusions that “everybody agrees with them”.

    And twist everything their opponents say to make it sound like the new school Sonic fans are doing what the old school Sonic fans are really doing.


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  69. SonicIsStillAwesome Says:

    I absolutely agree with your article. Nothing that SEGA does seems to make the ‘hardcore’ Sonic fans happy. Arguing over green eyes? Seriously?
    To be quite honest, I think that the ‘fans’ who are constantly complaining over things that are so minute, for example, Sonic’s green eyes in Sonic 4, need to move on. Not from Sonic, but from the topic. It’s time that people like that find something better to do.
    With that said, I think that the more recent Sonic games are NOT as bad as some fans claim. Example: Sonic Riders. I really enjoyed Riders and its sequel, Zero Gravity. I think that having Sonic in a hoverboard racing game was a really good idea and it adds a bit more variety to the franchise. In my opinion, the Babylon Rogues (consisting of Jet the Hawk, Wave the Swallow and Storm the Albatross), introduced in the Riders series, are actually great characters with lots of potential. This is the case with most of the characters.
    I must stress that I’m not saying that the WHOLE Sonic fanbase are a bunch of hard-to-please complainers, just that there are a few of them. I believe that the fans that always complain are the fans that are more vocal. There are a few people who are NOT complainers that are vocal, but there is less of them. I would like to think that I’m an outlier, along with you and a few other fans.
    I hope that I’ve caused no offense with any of the points that I’ve put in this comment.
    This was a great article to read!

  70. tkf2 Says:

    I think Sonic 2006 sucks, not just because the bugs and glitches it has, but because the love between Sonic and Elise. Sonic 2006, is a bad game, it has destroyed the reputation of the entire Sonic series. Sonic Adventure 2, however, is better, because it was the first and only 3D game of the whole Sonic franchise to allow the players to play as the three antagonists, Shadow, Rouge and Dr. Eggman .Much time before Sonic Adventure 2, it was Sonic & Knuckles that allowed the players to play as Knuckles, who was interpreted as villain, but he’s an antihero, just like Shadow the Hedgehog. As for Sonic Heroes, it’s a good game, as well as Sonic and The Black Knight and Sonic Unleashed. Worst mario game ever? Super Mario Sunshine(the other ones are better, but this one is pretty worse, worse enough to make me vomit). Worst Mega Man game ever? Super Adventure Rockman(I hated that game at first sight, it’s a ridiculous first-person shooter, C’mon, even Mega Man Legends is better than this ridiculous crap).

    • blixt Says:

      It wasn’t that bad. And the whole Sonic and Elise thing wasn’t, either.

      There have been FAR stupider things people have been expected to swallow than that.

      If Sonic and Elise were both human characters in an all-human universe…

      …their relationship would STILL too tame to even be considered inappropriate for a two-year-old.

      So it doesn’t matter.

  71. SonicRulesAll Says:

    Wow….the Sonic fan base is utterly terrible! I’ve seen the fan bases of the Oddworld games and the Crash Bandicoot games and they have good wholesome fans that stick with them no matter what. Sonic on the other hand, has people bashing on his games no matter what.

  72. My proverbial hat off to you, sir. In recent years it has ocurred to me that the true solution to any problem lies in rational, objective thinking. If the fandom would simply get over the fact they have differences and learn to live and let live, things would be a lot more peachy (or should that be “rosy”? ;)).

    I used to be a “passionate” fan myself, but I’ve wised up since thanks to more mature fans I’ve encountered as well as more mature opinions on many different matters. I try to look at things objectively now and see the silver linings. Glaring problems like glitches and really bad audio definitely should be criticized, but not with foaming mouths and foul language. Calm scrutinization in many cases presents a more compelling argument, preferably mixed with sound logic and humility.

    In the end, Sonic is a series for many people, not just one subset. And reading this article has helped me realize that Sonic can wield swords and transform into werehogs and help genies and colored aliens. He’s a blue hedgehog, why should robots be the one sole defining concept of his stories? Mario certainly doesn’t have any such constraints. Just be cool and have fun, people. Sonic himself would say as much.

  73. todpolle . Says:

    I’m not a massive Sonic fan but I do enjoy the games i have played, my favorite is Sonic 3 and knuckles. I haven’t played every game, especially the bad one, I do have thoughts of what I’ve seen.

    First, I don’t have a problem with the characters. I actually like most of them, even the annoying ones. The only one i wish they get rid of is Eggman Nega because he’s a boring recolor. worse than Shadow, Mephiles and Team Metal.

    Second, with the exception of 06 and Chronicles, the game-play seems decent. Even Shadow’s looks like fun if they got rid of the side missions and vehicles, but keep the guns because it makes his game-play unique.

    Third, There is nothing wrong with the story and 06 is non canon. Although i admit Shadows story could have been better constructed. Adventure had a good story. Rush had a good story. S3K had a good story.

    But in my opinion, the answers lie in Sonic 06. For most , it’s the worst Sonic game so everything has a problem. like glitches and bugs everywhere, bad level design, too many game-play styles, pointless side activities, a god-awful story and wasted characters and villains.

    But instead of whining about it, why do want I did and write down you thoughts on the series and see what you think can make it better. or better yet, make up you own version of a games story. It can’t be any worse than 06.

  74. Kevin (Ket) Says:

    You’re right about the fandom being fractured. Going from review to review of recent Sonic games, the only thing we can really agree on is that different people want different things out of their Sonic games.

    Since this was written, more games have been released- most notably “Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2”, “Sonic Generations”, and “Sonic Lost Worlds”. Some people liked “4, Ep 2” as if it were a return to Sonic’s roots while others felt it was too derivative of older games. Others lauded the updated versions of classic zones in “Generations”, but others hated it simply because Classic Sonic didn’t follow the exact same physics as he did back in the Genesis era.

    And here we are with “Sonic Lost Worlds”. I myself have played the 3DS version and I love the game for how tight Sonic’s movement has become while the game grants seemingly full control to the player, rather than being scripted for the sake of theatrics. It did have some questionable course designs, however. And, at least going by what I’ve seen on YouTube, the Wii U version looks far too much like “Super Mario Galaxy”. A sad state of things for a character that was once viewed as Super Mario’s rival.

    But for those of us who still stick with the character despite the flaws? Well, the music is still catchy and at the quality of the original Genesis games. The zone designs are as fantastical and quirky as ever. And its still a perfectionist’s game. “Let’s do that Act again, only better this time!” BAM! 999 rings in Sky Road, Act 3 in under 5 minutes with no deaths! And those silly game critics said it couldn’t be done…

    My personal problem with Sonic’s critics within the fandom is that they refuse to see the Genesis games without the nostalgia goggles:

    – “Sonic should be about speed”, but going through Scrap Brain zone at full throttle usually got you killed.

    – “It should be about Sonic, not his friends”, even though “Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles” is praised for the diversity Tails and Knuckles brought to the gameplay (personally, I always thought they were too overpowered compared to Sonic. “Sonic Heroes” just made that blatantly obvious).

    – “Some latter Sonic games have questionable course designs”, kind of like the Labyrinth Zone!

    – “Sonic should always be about forward momentum”, even as those signpost special stage in “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” always forced you to a grinding halt.

    The old “Sonic” games hold up to this day, but not for the reasons the fans claiming. Hearing them talk, you’d think Sonic’s finest moment was that time he ran through Green Hill Zone Act 1 in 30 seconds. It’s ALL downhill from there.

    There is one thing I will say I am disappointed in, however. The most recent “Sonic” games have very unambitious stories. I know we don’t play something like “Sonic the Hedgehog” for the story. But that is one of the things that endeared people to “3+Knuckles” and made some consider “Adventure” to be Sonic’s last hurrah. Their stories were ambitious, especially for their time.

    “3+Knuckles” managed to say a lot with only sprites and no dialogue. It’s zones were constructed in a way that one lead to the other. There’s a prophecy in a temple mural. A betrayal. And a climactic battle across space.

    “Adventure” had full dialogue at a time when that was unheard of for games. And while it sounds clunky now, it’s a lot more understandable given that context. It’s story gave origin and meaning to things in the series like just what the deal is with the Chaos and Master Emerald. And for one final moment in the series, Dr. Eggman was truly a villainous figure.

    The newest Sonic games just don’t seem to have that kind o ambition. Personally, I think the games misstepped with “Heroes”. And I’ve never played “2006”, but I’ve heard enough about. That isn’t a reason for them to give up trying…

    • The biggest problem this franchise has is that there are not enough people who could agree to disagree and were more sane and open minded, instead the majority of this entire fanbase has opted to become extremely opinionated, biased, specifically nit-picky about every aspect of the franchise, and narrow minded to the point that the sheer insanity of it all is indistinguishable from a full-scale World War (like much of society these days). I hardly ever go out on any Sonic community anymore due to the pure bile that always, always rises from it. I’m almost ashamed to be a fan of a fanbase basically run by batshit crazy inmates who turned it into nothing short of an insane asylum.

  75. […] is one of the most infamously split and controversial among all video game communities – read this post to learn more about that. And perspectives on the series from the outside also varies considerably. […]

  76. james Says:

    you know what the saddest part of this whole story is?
    Scrolling through the comments section here.
    hardcore Sonic fans are the definition of desperation.

    • Exactly which type of “hardcore fans” are we talking about here? ‘Cause that can mean a LOT of different things to so many different people. Not trying to disparage you either, I’m just curious as to what you specifically mean when you say “hardcore fan”.

  77. […] the guy who wrote “Sonic and the Worst Fandom Ever“, you would think I’d be angry at the fans that seem to hate the upcoming Sonic Boom […]

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  79. Ophelia Says:

    This is probably the third or fourth time I’ve read this article (it’s that good), but something I’ve always wondered about that isn’t addressed here has been nagging at me for years: Why do these Sonic fans like so few things?

    By this, I don’t mean just the Sonic franchise. I mean anything. The only thing that the Sonic fans seem to be united on is their love for Batman: The Animated Series. Everything else seems to attract snark, which degenerates into name-calling, then civil war. You could try to discuss something that is near universally-liked (or at least tolerated) everywhere else, like The Simpsons or pizza or Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and within minutes, an outspoken Sonic fan will come forth to rant to you about how much that sucks.

    A case that stands out in particular to me is how the Sonic fans were the only ones who complained to any significant degree when Sonic was confirmed playable for the Smash Bros. series. Everyone else celebrated. I’ve been a Sonic fan since 1991, and I LIKE most things and most people. I only dislike when I have a good reason to dislike.

    Is it because the fanbase is so utterly shattered into subatomic particles that it’s equally shattered about everything else?

    (As I know the Sonic fandom is so easily provoked, it’s been an ongoing subject of interest for me. And because they’re so easy to mess around with, I often wear a metal pin of Sonic the Hedgehog next to a metal pin of Rainbow Dash to see who I can tick off.)

    • heatseeker0 Says:

      I never saw so much interest in batman in the Sonic fandom, it’s mainly been Nintendo IP’s and My little pony, leaving me to think that most of the complaining came from Nintendo fans, being the main group of games want childish games and bash on M rated games, especially COD.

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  81. Alex Magnei Says:

    Hey there, this is a pretty accurate article. Though I would like to make one thing clear, and I think I’m the only person who feels this way – a large number of Sonic fans are complete hypocrits. Why? Because Sonic Adventure 2’s story by all accounts is straight up bad, and many in the fanbase consider it the best Sonic game ever. Any game in which the moon blowing up is immediately forgotten about is so blatantly obviously poorly written that when I see those people going on about the story in Shadow the Hedgehog or Sonic 06 I cringe.

    Why is Sonic Adventure 2 regarded so highly? Because it was the first game on a non-SEGA console. The “kids” you refer to were those who played Sonic Adventure 2 prior to any other Sonic game, the ones who want the stories to be overly dramatic. What’s more, I hold them responsible for Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic 06, since they were the ones who wanted to see more of Shadow the Hedgehog and SEGA figured that if human/hedgehog relationships worked fine between Shadow and Maria, it would work just as well between Sonic and Elise. Yeah I could be talking out of my ass with that last statement, but I think it’s true.

    • beleester Says:

      I think you’re the only one. SA2 forgetting about the moon is a single error in a large story, and continuity errors are easier to forgive than pacing or characterization errors. Basically, they don’t really think about the impact of the moon getting (partly) destroyed, but they kept ramping up the tension in other ways as the heroes raced towards the ARK, so the story as a whole still delivers.

      Or in other words, if everyone loved the story despite this problem, it isn’t “obviously” poorly written. If it was obvious, everyone would have hated it.

      Besides, forgetting about the moon was miles better than the original Sonic Adventure saying “All’s well that ends well” while the characters were literally standing in the ruins of Station Square.

      • WanderingBubsy Says:

        SA2 didn’t even forget about the moon. SA2 blew up half the moon and then LATER games forgot about that.

  82. LilMissCritiquer Says:

    It is truly sad that there are people who are my age (twenties) who act like raving brats because the game isn’t tailored to their specific needs.
    I think I got lucky to come into the sane side of the fandom when I really got into Sonic at the age of 12. I never played the original Sonic on the Genesis, just a port on Windows Vista. Now here I am, cringing at the immaturity of the other 80% or so of these fans, getting frustrated at the thickness of their rose-colored glasses. Their nostalgia is infuriating, since they decided that anything new is crap and that SEGA has abandoned them for the kids. (Though honestly,those “childish” games are more fun.)

  83. Original the character Says:

    More selection with playable characters and an more evil eggman would make the next great sonic game. Anyway I hope all of the fandom dies because you’re going straight to hell!

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  85. RegalSin Says:

    At least twenty of these 128 comments above me are from SEGA fan forums

    I am one of those kids ( not young adult ) who was around when 1991 Sonic was on the selves. What happen to Sonic fan-base was damaged even before it hit the shelves.

    Sonic and Madonna ( that was when her filthy pussy-woman/cat-woman BM-Returns ) image was actually hot on an global scale. So Sonic was already corrupted from day one. Goes to show you how our predecessors was thinking in mind.
    Personally the idea was again re-used in Dino-wars/DinoCity ( aka the movie as well ). Which is why “Shadow the Hedgehog” is humba-one ending with the post apocalyptic 2001 Twin Towers.
    All the Sonic/Power Rangers/Pokemon fans from the Bush II war era ( and those who did not make it ) was about. It was the one chance we got to see Sonic Madonna. That is what Shadow was about.

    Moving on was the next corruption of Sonic. AKA Senn games.
    Back on the Senn forums you will find the leader of the company is an woman. Senn involvement is what brought us Tails. Instead of having Madonna they gave us Tails.

    I will admit because of Senn we also got to see Sonic Cartoon back in the 1990’s. Nothing but Sonic and Tails going on random adventures. It was the high point of Sonic life.

    Then SEGA of Japan got mad. So they made their Madonna in Sonic CD. Which also added to the fire. I will admit I do not like the Comic usage of Robo-Sonic but the design of Robo-Sonic is something to be loved. I would stare all day long at Robo-Sonic.
    They also gaved us Girly-Sonic ( aka Amy ) which was turned into Sally.

    Then Archie Jumped in and split the character into Princess Sally. Then came the animation. Keep in mind their was some usage of the Sonic Cartoon as well.

    To make things better for us we also got Knuckles and Metropolis Robo-Sonic. Including MKII. Which later gave us the auwsome unofficial animation of Super-Mario Z ( made in flash ).
    Too bad for the Axem Rangers they should have been more powerful. Then their was also Egg-robo.

    So bear in mind the problem with Sonic progression.
    1. Sonic and Madonna :: Canned ::
    2. Sonic Tails and Metropolis ( the movie ) Robo-Sonic
    3. Sonic and Amy ( AKA Sonic and Madonna AKA Girls Garden )
    4. Robo-Sonic ( the true one ).
    5. Knuckles ( A better and Sonics true equal/rival ).
    6. Egg-Robo AKA E-series.

    This is the problem with Sonic in general. All of those things I mentioned is what made Sonic perfected back when it was pure.
    Now what really hurt the fanbase was this.


    That is it. Sega kept on chugging and made Sonic fan base into an dirty man. Because back in 2001 or when the Dreamcast was out, All original Sonic fans were all teenagers ( young adults 10-20) or even continuing adults ( 20-40 ). That is the truth. Also the USA had declared an genocidal war on an innocent nation as well.

    That is the problem SEGA decided to ma

    1.Split Amy Rose into two characters.
    A. Rouge the bat = everything Amy Rose is not
    B. Cream the Rabbit = everything that Rouge is not.

    2. Give Sonic Moddana one last censored chance.
    A. Shadow the Hedgehog
    B. Sonic 2006/2008???


    Sonic Adventure 2 was the worst Sonic Game in history of mankind. Shadow is not an bad character ( for an adult persona ). I understand Shadow, and Gerald, and the whole Maria/Madonna bit.



    Because we were niave Sonic fans or for me an Nintendophile/Nintendoslave/Nintendopion

    I could just cry watching all those Sonic Cartoons remembering how pure and normal Sonic was.

    The sicko minded adult in me says. Yes Rouge, Yes Gun toting Shadow. Yes Pee-wee Herman dark voice over enemy. Yes I must “Cream the Rabbit-patch-kids” ( get that joke ).

    It all ended with Shadow the Hedgehog. Everything after that is SEGA crap. Sega will never release an true Sonic game every again. Ever again. Seriously poor Knuckles ( can he even fly still? ). Poor Knuckles He was so perfect. I am pretty sure that Amy in going thru menopause right now.

    It is all sex right now Gel.That is it. Just do what you know and dodge Osamabama Help yourself act. Just reproduce or rot away and be forgotten. The masters have surely thought of everything Gel. Either got gold or “Paint chips” in your pocket Gel. Just get an wife and forget about everything and dodge the tax-man. IDK about you GEL but our parents are stupefied to allow for the war in the Orient to occur. It could have been stopped and maybe we would have had an normal Resident Evil 4 Grand Finale but then again Metal Gear and Splinter Cell had to be invented now did it.

    Also Fakk ADV films and their corrupt carcasses. I mean back then when Anime was new to everybody these morons decided to create “Lady of death” as an animation. Just goes to show you
    why the west can never have anything awesome with animation.

    Too busy censoring/localization ( which is just another way of saying censoring ) everything.

    We might as well rename the US and all of the Americas to land of the Agnostics

    Nice post gel and I mean duh Sonic woopie goldberg dog doo. Speaking of barack women Gel. Isn’t funny how in western media we never really see any good looking black women? Look at SNL compared to “Living in Color” AKA MadTv. I mean seriously why Gel why.

    Also forgot about Princess Sally and how they destroyed everything that made the tv series. Either way we have our sexploitation works to fall back on.

    started a long time ago before Sonic was even around. More or less it was SEGA itself attempting

  86. John Doe Says:

    Two thumbs way up! :)

    Sonic is the most under-appreciated mascot ever.

    I am sick and tired of every video game critic and random nobody saying that he is overrated and needs to die. Sonic is responsible for laying the foundation of gaming as we know it and gets way too much of a bad rap. You think that people would band together and work to solve it’s problems instead of getting more and more hateful with every game. Also, I think it’s high time everyone grew up and got the hell over Sonic ’06, it wasn’t responsible for 9/11. If his games are still able to sell and make money then there has to be value in them despite their supposedly low quality.

    None of cast members bother me at all and I enjoy looking up fan made originals characters. Like I said, instead of banding together and providing constructive criticism on how to improve these characters, people bitch way too much. There is a much more productive way around the franchise’s problems instead of pointing. Another thing people need to quit doing is dumping all over the fans by lumping them all into one big bad group. Not everyone complains about every single change or new addition and there are creative and unique characters that they have made, and I am willing to prove the latter. I feel that I don’t have to prove the former as I believe that it should be common knowledge.

    Check all this out.

    It is incredibly sad that there are people out there that want to see Sonic and his fandom obliterated and I care way too much to let anything like that happen. People need to stand up and challenge that way of thinking because I feel that it damages people. I should know because I regretfully used to be one of them.

    Have you ever heard of a guy named RandomDCE? He’s probably Sonic’s number one hater out there. He calls him a prick in every single one of his videos on YouTube and, like I keep saying, blames Sonic alone for everything that’s wrong with not just Sega but gaming in general to point where he wants Sega to actually give up on him. Not to mention he’s incredibly negative and whiny to where I wonder if he has any problems. If you’ve seen him, you will have much easier time understanding why I am freaking out so much.

    It’s a huge double standard that people take it all out on a creation one amount and then judge the creator the next. What if the same thing happens and Mario’s games see a decline in quality? Are people going to blame him for his own downfall and not the management?

  87. John Doe Says:

    I feel that Sonic was betrayed by the gaming “community.”

    After reading reviews of Sonic’s “failures” on Amazon, I am thoroughly convinced that he has never ever fallen on hard times. He and Sega never “betrayed” anybody for changing their gameplay styles. I know that I should not trust “professional” or mainstream reviewers nowadays because they tend to be biased and misleading as all hell, but here I actually got a rarely positive outlook from personal experience.

    Here are some average scores of Sonic’s games according to Amazon.
    1. Sonic 06: 3 out of 5 stars by 178 customer reviews for the Xbox 360.
    2. Sonic and the Secret Rings: 3 and a half stars out of 5 by 166 customer reviews.
    3. Sonic and the Black Knight: 4 out of 5 stars by 139 customer reviews.
    4. Sonic Unleashed: 4 out of 5 stars by 196 customer reviews for the Wii.
    5. Shadow the Hedgehog: 4 out of 5 stars by 204 customer reviews for the Gamecube.
    6. Sonic Heroes: 4 out of 5 stars by 225 customer reviews for the Gamecube.
    7. Sonic Rush: 4 out of 5 stars by 117 customer reviews.
    8. Sonic Rush Adventure: 4 and a half stars out of 5 by 37 customer reviews.
    9. Sonic Rivals: 4 out of 5 stars by 39 customer reviews.
    10. Sonic Rivals 2: 4 out of 5 stars by 15 customer reviews.
    11. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric: 3 and a half stars out of 5 by 114 customer reviews.
    12. Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal: 4 and a half stars out of 5 by 53 customer reviews.
    13. Sonic Riders: 4 and a half stars out of 5 by 45 customer reviews for the Playstation 2
    14. Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity: 4 out of 5 stars by 63 customer reviews for the Wii.
    15. Sonic Free Riders: 3 and a half stars out of 5 by 113 customer reviews.

    That’s mostly 4 out of 5 stars by a grand total of 1,704 customer reviews if I did the math correctly.


    Is there anything that I am missing? If not, then what this shows me is that casual gamers enjoy Sonic more that “professional” gamers. Professionals give Sonic a bad rap because by appealing to the lowest common denominator, they get subscribers. It’s all about fame for these kinds of people and not honesty, and instead of wishing for Sonic to die they should encouraging the series to evolve like real gamers.

    Do not listen to anyone who says otherwise.

    Sonic is alive and kicking.

  88. Bruh. Says:

    Finally someone who understands, glad that people like these still exist

  89. jigenryu778 Says:

    Well, Screw Attack just released a video counting down the top 10 worst Sonic games, and I think it’s time I said something that nobody else seems to have said. You see, I was feeling down one day because the topic of failure was swirling in my mind. I went online to look up some lessons about failure and what some people have said about this subject surprised me happily.

    Check this out.

    Now, Sonic has always fascinated me more than Mario because I have now come to learn that Sonic himself is sort of this “great experiment.” After reading this article from Forbes, I have actually come to appreciate Sega even more for having the courage to actually try, fail, and get back up and try again at what they do. In contrast, as much I hate to say it, Mario has gotten just plain old for me.

    There is something that both I, and everyone else, I feel, desperately needs to tell Sega before it’s too late. Someone needs to stand up and tell Sega that they should know better than to fear failure. They also need to be told that if anyone needs to apologize, it’s the entire gaming community for turning against Sonic.

    It is becoming easier and easier for me to despise this so-called community for how fickle and entitled it is, and the cycles of sensationalism need to end.

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  92. Very interesting article. Looking back, Sonic 4 ended up being a little weird in terms of physics and had somewhat lackluster level design, but was still well received. A handful of the hardcore fanbase still hate it for not being enough like the original games, since it was made in a new engine rather than the one the original trilogy was build on.

    Besides that, though, my only concern for what makes a “good” Sonic game is whether or not it’s fun. Generations is a good example here; it’s considered by the fans to be one of the best but I can’t help but feel the boss key challenges slow it down too much. Other than that. the story is a bit thin but still passable and the gameplay is solid, though I feel like Classic Sonic has a little too much input lag at times. I’m looking forward to Project Sonic 2017 (which looks like it might be Generations 2), and hopeful that there will be some improvements. If not though? Still a solid game.

    I think, so far, the one I like the best is Colors. Between the humor, loose but fun story, and well designed stages that don’t switch between 2D and 3D too often, it holds up well. I’m going to start looking into some of the newer games that I was steered away from previously, since the pro reviews and sales speak differently from what the Sonic fans have been vomiting back and forth between each other.

    Except Sonic ’06. Screw that game.

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  96. Flain Fan Says:

    This article is perfect.

  97. Sam Says:

    This was exactly what I have been looking for from the beginning. Ultimately, Sonic never went bad. His fans have just lived past their expiration date. Every Sonic game I’ve played I’ve always found out that overall, it was a pretty good game. Although, I do feel like I’m the last polite Sonic fan alive.

  98. RandomSonicFan Says:

    Sonic Team just needs to be be allowed to make different games again. The last game I remember by them that didn’t have Sonic in it was Rub Rabbits. They want to try new things but they’re forced to slap Sonic on it so Sammy won’t catch feelings and refuse to release the game. What made Sega great was their willingness to experiment and try new ideas in their games. That was easier to do when they made their own consoles though. I hope that with the current management they have learned from the mistakes of the past and also remember what made people like Sega in the first place.

    As for Sonic, if Mario can have great game after great game then Sonic should get the same too. Even Rayman has a better track record when it comes to quality. No fan should have to settle for less for the sake of being positive or a “real” fan. If you keep buying stuff when it sucks then they’ll keep dong a bad job.

    They didn’t need to release crap like Sonic 2006 or Sonic Boom. The first should’ve been delayed like the QA recommended (maybe Naka would’ve stayed…) and the second should never have happened. If they couldn’t get the game done in time for the cartoon, delay the game. Sonic Generations was a good start but it seems they lost the plot with Lost World though I believe that game was made by Nintendo not Sonic Team. Sonic Mania is looking nice and I hope it feels like an evolution of the mechanics of the Genesis games rather than a pretty fangame. Sonic Forces… eh… hoping for the best. At least there’s Sonic Mania.

    • Ophelia Says:

      The most recent release from Sonic Team (besides remakes), as of the time I type this, is in fact Puyo Puyo Tetris for the Switch and English-language PS4 in May 2017. Granted, it was a port of a game made in 2014 that got caught in a web of rights created by The Tetris Company and Ubisoft that prohibited a release outside of Japan until then, but it’s still a much newer game than Rub Rabbits.

  99. […] Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase has gotten a lot of hate over the years.  There are good reasons for it that I won’t get into, because that’s not the point.  Despite the hate, though, Sonic […]

  100. […] est sujet à des débats parfois beaucoup plus violents qu’une simple guerre d’opinion. Cet article (en anglais) résumé très bien comment la popularité de Sonic est perçue par les fans et ce […]

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  102. Chaos Spindash Says:

    That’s the article I’ve been looking for all the time, ever since I understood how grim the situation of the fandom really is.

    I’ve just heard that 2D Sonics are in general better than the 3D ones. If I could trust IGN or any other blatantly biased gaming website, it would be no surprise to me, that Sonic Mania is better off right now than Sonic Forces (8.5/10 compared to 6.5/10).
    When I got my PS4 Pro last Christmas, I was hoping for any Sonic game to be released in the upcoming year, and both Mania and Forces looked very promising. The last thing I want on a new console is a bad Sonic game, that would jeopardize any hopes for a better game.

    First of all, Mania is, in my opinion, a worthy successor to Sonic 3 & Knuckles – a 2D Sonic, that could be straight from the Genesis games (or Mega Drive in my case). It also shows, that you do not always need to go 3D to show top-notch graphics (which Mania does in its own way).
    Forces, however, is a game I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, you get a good, grim storyline, accompanied with gameplay, that has great potential, especially the Boost gameplay, and the series’ trademark soundtrack (Thanks, Ohtani!).
    On the other hand, the stages come a bit short, and with the custom characters, Forces might be another greenhouse for those fans, who claim their recolored fan characters to be “original” (why Classic Sonic is here is out of the question). Nevertheless, SEGA did it right, although there are many things, that could be improved.

    What I wanted to say, is that the fact, that 2D is better than 3D, is complete BS. SEGA has learned from their mistakes, they didn’t rush the games to Sonic’s 25th Anniversary, hell, they took about 5 years to develop Forces. However, it also shows, how broken the fandom still is, 7 years after this article has been published. I almost get to the point, where I don’t care about it anymore. Sometimes I can’t help but think what it would be like if Sonic never existed. Would we be in the level of technology as we are today?

    • Ophelia Says:

      If you look in places of intellectual game design discussion, like Extra Credits, you will find a good number of Sonic fans who are peaceful, intelligent, rational, and are more than willing to admit the faults in Sonic games (though there are just as many outside of these circles, if not more, who aren’t). But the fact is that they exist and are now in big enough numbers to be able to congregate. That is a good sign for the fandom: The Star Trek fanbase and the Doctor Who fanbase both transitioned from being mostly wild, loud young people to what the Sonic fanbase is now and then eventually grew up, became adults with jobs and responsibilities, and act a lot more like normal human beings. The anime fanbase is going through a more advanced phase of this transition, but I think Sonic’s fans are undergoing it too.

      There will always be the rabid, annoying, angry fans who can’t stand any criticism, but they won’t be the dominant identity among Sonic fans forever, or even a vocal minority.

      By the way, I should point out that while SEGA advertised that Sonic Forces took 4 years to make, 3 of those were development of the Hedgehog Engine 2, a graphics engine to allow for realistically detailed environments to be both expansive enough and easy enough to process for Sonic and the others to run through at incredible speed.

      And, of course, there’s how broken the Sonic fanbase is in that I keep encountering Sonic fans on YouTube who love Sonic Forces but would prefer to pretend Sonic Mania never existed. There’s been an emergent group (or possibly re-emergent) ever since the writing of this article, whom I call the non-gaming Sonic fans. They’re the ones more interested in the lore, the characters, and the speculation, than they are in the gameplay. They consume most of their Sonic through YouTube and TV and may not even play any video games, or they have a few game systems and play Sonic games here and there. They treat the playthroughs on YouTube like episodes of a TV show on a streaming service, essentially. Sonic Mania doesn’t provide much lore, so it doesn’t interest them. They’re more interested in the story-focused Sonic Forces.

      I think that’s actually a good idea for SEGA to do: Release something to satisfy fans of the classic gameplay, and release something else to satisfy fans of the Adventure Era or Modern Era where the stories became more complex than “Dr. Eggman is doing something bad, so stop him!”

  103. Jason Field Says:

    Oh nonono, the undertale and fnaf fandoms are just as bad if not worse.

  104. Enough. Of. This.
    I am WAY past sick of all this criticism and hate the Sonic franchise is getting. Why can’t people learn that what they say affects others? Why can’t they learn not to spoil the franchise for fans like me, who actually like it and the direction it’s going in?
    I just cannot believe what the fanbase has come to. I don’t remember it being this severe and divided when I was younger. It just makes me sad and hurt inside, and I wish there was more fans like me could do.

  105. Taylor Says:

    I have learned to forgive Sega for Sonic ’06, I have even enjoyed Rise of Lyric for the most part, and I hope that they will forgive me in return. Heck, I’m even willing to give the former the benefit of the doubt and look for its good parts.

    Anyway, I’m sick of this so-called gaming “community” so much that I am going so far to say that Sonic is one THE most underappreciated franchises next to Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot. It’s really sad that gamers believe in the superstition that Sonic is somehow cursed. Why tear someone down who is struggling instead offering a hand up? Does it require too much thinking or effort? Does it take the cheap joy away?

    I’m going to make the point now of purchasing almost everything I have missed out on, including 06, Unleashed, Generations, the Racing games, Forces, and Mania. Heck, while I am at it since I have a Retron 5, I’ll get all of the Advance titles and Battle.

    Sega is way past the point where they need to listen to nobody but themselves.

    As a budding artist, I have learned that “failure” is good because it just serves as a launch for eventual success.

  106. Weeby Says:

    Can we get an update on this article? I think it would be an interesting read to see how things have changed.

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