Sonic games weren’t bad, just different — here’s why you should take them for another spin

With the critical reception of the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 film, the phenomenal ongoing Impostor Syndrome arc in the IDW comics, and the upcoming release of Sonic Origins, many gamers are rejoicing in the current era of Sonic, even with the upcoming release of Sonic Frontiers. However, rather than a celebration of a Sonic renaissance (Sonicsance? Sonicaissance?) it seems like there is an unspoken notion that we are leaving a worse Sonic behind.

There are differing opinions about what Sonic games are “bad.” The series has a history of spin offs, disconnected studios with miscommunications, labor issues, and a general lack of direction that caused many of them to become imperfect. This isn’t exclusive to the 3D games, many of these development conditions have been noted since Sonic’s beginnings including the sordid tale of Sonic X-Treme. Regardless of precisely when they started, these conditions have caused development woes throughout the series and, as budgets and developmental baggage have accumulated, these issues have become increasingly apparent.

For this reason, there are numerous groups of people who feel certain versions of Sonic are good and certain versions are bad. Most popular is the 2D versus 3D argument, in which many believe Sonic lost everything that made him Sonic during his translation to 3D. There are also people who debate between Adventure gameplay versus boost gameplay, which is comparing two different forms of physics design between Sonic games. Then there are those who believe that Sonic has just been bad after the release of Sonic Heroes.

Sonic Frontiers (Image credit: Sega)

It’s in this last argument that lies the group that has gone mostly unheard throughout the Sonic franchise, which is the fans of the Sonic games that most players ridicule. Check out the Sonic tags on Twitter or Tumblr, or a YouTube video of one of the 2000’s titles, and you will find countless players advocating for them. Yet, in discussions at large, be it critics, let’s players, streamers, or most casual gamers, these titles are considered distasteful.

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