Well it seems that a nice group of Sonic fans have recently found my article about how terrible the Sonic fandom is and I am quite happy about this.
Before I continue, I’d like to mention that I am well aware that not all Sonic fans are terrible. Heck, I am one myself! But have you ever heard the saying “A person is smart but people are stupid”? It’s like that. While one person may be able to sanely state their opinions in a nice, calm, dignified manner; much of the community as a whole instead throws massive tantrums so epic that they are the stuff of myth and legend.
It seems that for every sane Sonic fan, there’s ten raving lunatics and trying to carry on a discussion with said lunatics can drive even a sane fan completely crazy. The end result is that the community dialogue often devolved into a flamewar that burns brighter than the sun. So much so, in fact, that sometimes I think I went too easy on the fandom in that article! I mean shoot, I completely forgot about the Eggman vs Robotnik name debate! Did you know that one formerly sane Sonic fan actually closed down his site after the release of Sonic Unleashed entirely because of that? This is the level of madness that lurks at the darkest depths of the fandom.
Which brings us to Sonic 4, a title which is literally tearing the fandom apart at the seams. It’s utterly jaw dropping, but also incredibly fascinating. It’s so literally SEGA trying to clear their name and please the most enraged part of the fandom and said fans just don’t know what to do! Some say “Hey thanks SEGA, I really appreciate this!” or at the very least “Eh, it’s a start!”. However others really show how utterly unpleaseable they are, dissecting every frame of leaked video and spewing reams of minor complaints with such vitriol it’s terrifying.
The finest example can be found here:
This fan has just watched a more complete video of Sonic 4 and lists off reams of complaints, each one increasing in it’s absurdity. It starts with complaints about them using Sonic’s modern design, going so far as to claim that it is an “ugly freak” that “doesn’t look like Sonic”. It then goes on to complain about the speed being too fast (despite being the slowest recent 2D Sonic I have seen and not being too far off from the speed of the Genesis originals) with perhaps the most painful quote being:
“If it plays like Rush, by all means make Rush-like levels and let the game suck. But if you’re gonna create decent levels, then adjust the gameplay accordingly!”
There are not enough words in the English language to describe how infuriating that is. How dare Dimps have decent level design! Yes, this is the part where I snap. The thing that is really driving me insane is the constant references to Sonic Rush and how many fans claim that this is going to be just another Rush game.
First of all, I thought we liked Rush! I thought Rush was SEGA “getting it right“! Why would it being more like Sonic Rush be a bad thing?
Secondly, it doesn’t look like Rush at all! It’s slower and closer to the original Sonics, exactly like what they’re trying to do. I truly suspect that the people making these claims have never actually played a Sonic Rush title and are merely assuming they’re bad because they must be due to being Sonic.
This, of course, infuriates me further not only because I am a huge fan of portable titles in general and am annoyed by the lack of respect they recieve, but because people so quickly dismiss the Advance series. Each Sonic Advance title was different and had it’s own feel. You want “classic Sonic” from Dimps? Try Sonic Advance 1. I am completely serious about that. They got the blend of speed and platforming just right and the level design was quite good. If you want proof that Dimps can do it right, just look at that.
It’s funny too because normally I hate Dimps. They make a lot of fighters and they usually have very stiff control. Even Street Fighter IV is a bit stiffer than it should be (yes, Dimps made SF4. Did you forget that?). Normally I’d be all about hating on them, but Sonic is the one thing they can do right! Something they have proven five times now!
While I don’t normally condone piracy, it’s been long enough that I think we can all let it slide. People, download Sonic Advance 1 and play it. Seriously, just try it. No it’s not perfect, the music is sub-par and the bosses kinda suck. However, was it bad? Was that “not a true Sonic”? What do you think?
Now, as for my opinions on Sonic 4? I think it’s gonna be good. Will it be great? No clue. Will it “live up to the title of Sonic 4”? Probably not as the original Sonic series has been so deified that such a thing is impossible. Will I prefer Sonic Advance 1 over it? There’s a good chance of that.
But, will it be a fun game that’s worth the $10 pricetag? Almost certainly.
See, that’s the thing we’re forgetting here. This is a download title. It’s budget priced. It will probably cost $10, definitely no more than $20. You’ll be able to pick it up, on the cheap, whenever you feel like it from the comfort of your own home.
Even better? Since it will be on XBox Live Arcade, that means 360 owners will be able to download a demo for free and try it for themselves! It’s almost impossible to go wrong!
That said, for anyone who “knows” that SEGA had to screw up something? The “token fuck-up” this time is the mine cart stage. One singular act which involves using the shoulder buttons to rotate the stage while Sonic rides a mine cart through it. From the leaked videos it looks dumb, but playable and no doubt we’ll be able to get through it and enjoy the rest of the game with little to no issues.
Anyway, the way I see it, Sonic 4 has yet to be released and it could play out in one of three different ways:
#1) Sonic 4 is released and after the Sonic fans try the demo out of curiosity and/or spite and find that it’s pretty fun. For only $10? Why not, right? It gets bought and sells well enough to warrant more 2D Sonics. Happy days for everybody!
#2) Some Sonic fans like it while others continue to complain. However, the “kids” try it and download it. This prompts SEGA to release a companion download after Episode 2 called “Sonic & Shadow” that can be “locked on” to all previous and future Sonic 4s to enable playable Shadow. The fandom cries and I make delicious Kool-Aid out of their tears.
#3) Game is released, too much of the fandom boycotts it and not enough of “the kids” download it. Does poorly and ends up with only 2 episodes tops. SEGA then goes back to working on the next Storybook Series game, Sonic Hood, which combines Sonic-style running with pointer based arrow shooting resulting in a kick-ass on-rails shooter reminiscent of Sin & Punishment. Friar Shadow will dual wield crossbows. I’ll love it despite the lack of playable Marine.
So, you see, no matter what happens I win! :D
Also, I highly advise everybody to check out this article, because it’s awesome:
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish this bomb shelter before this thing hits as I’m sure at least one knothole resident is gonna go nuclear.