Man I really gotta make these posts when these topics come out, but I can't let this one go till I have my own say on it.
So the title on here had me suggesting that it was about if Sonic's actions (in certain continuities) while having relatively good intentions caused only good results or possible damage [hence Hero or Menace], but apparently that's not this sort of topic so we'll just go with the flow. XP
Seems like this only boils down to two different types of Sonic, a more friendlier relaxed Blue Streak or a more sharper, quick witted Blue Blur.
Honestly I perfer the latter as seen in STC myself although the OVA one has shades of this, yet I do enjoy a more chill Sonic as in from say the Games or SatAM in some regards. However that would be a gross simplification on these Sonics as every incarnation of the character while having some similarities are very different. For one there's the context of the world Sonic is born in, does he come from a Free World where you can travel freely or a world under Robotnik's rule?
Saying the Sonic of AoSTH and SatAM are the same is completely wrong, the one from AoSTH is believe it or not much more responsible as he takes care of Tails in that show like an older brother and at times surrogate father to the point I'd say he's the most Paragon Sonic we have.
SatAM Sonic is tied as my favorite incarnation right next to the one from STC, he's youthful and snarky, sometimes irresponsible yet knows there are real risks if he messes up. SatAM points out a Sonic that is a kid who grew up in a harsher world that his friends are trying to take back, he's got a family in Uncle Chuck and the Freedom Fighters and that makes him the deepest incarnation we've ever had right next to STC Sonic (Though our SatAM friend here comes slightly more ahead).
STC Sonic can be hard to pinpoint down for some, despite his very sharp tongue he does still care about his friends yet throughout his frustration regarding Robotnik's creation and take over, Sonic deals with a lot of crazy stuff and for that he lashes out at others sometimes through snark or really rough humor, much like a kid who goes through a rough patch in his life. He is still a kid to a young man after all, and despite his insults at others at times, even his own friends his actions speak louder then words as he always does his best to save people and fight for others, to the point he can't even rest if there isn't a threat almost like a Hero Complex of sorts.
The Hedgehog of Sonic X on the other hand is completely different as he only does anything when it peaks his interest, I'll say this he's one of the worst incarnations ever tied right next to the Pre-Reboot Archie Sonic. He's completely lazy unless Eggman causes trouble which is almost the only thing that peaks his interest, otherwise he travels alone in his spare time or take naps. Sonic here is borderline Anti-Social I would say and only helps others out only when he has to, even then he plays around a bit too much sometimes (More so then Sega Sonic). Obviously it's because of that which caused pretty much every major event of that Series (being teleported to Earth, spreading the Emeralds throughout the Universe), you could argue Sonic's a catalyst of the entire series. I can't stand him and you'd be nuts to think he's a real hero, he's not. If anything he's a dangerous thrill seeker in Sonic X that ends up causing some of his friends pain, you know what I'm talking about.
Said Archie Sonic I mentioned above, tied for the worst. Only reason why that is because before Ian Flynn came along his character was established by less then stellar writers, even after though Ian rolled with his characterization and tried to make him grow a bit. I can give him props for that, but even then it's almost impossible to redeem him in my eyes. Let me put it this way, unlike any other Sonic this one right here made a huge misjudge of character, and it caused the lives of BILLIONS. Tossed in Space, EVE. It's not like he could have ever known that would happen but letting something that powerful go without any double take was beyond irresponsible. Even then he continued to make horrible mistakes and contradictions, heck House of Cards played on that and the consequences of his actions which made it a pretty good story. However he didn't learn his lesson by the time of At All Costs and before the first Genesis Wave it got Sally Killed. Even then during his first issues he got far too arrogant then he should have (thanks to two certain writers) and that pretty much set the foundation of a broken world until the reboot happened.
At least the Post-Reboot Archie Sonic actually had a decent head on his shoulders, he pretty much is a mirror image of his Sega Sonic counterpart, though due to that both however are an enigma that can't really be pinpointed down, not bad but not as good of a character as he could be. For me it seems like the Sonic of the Genesis Games had more of an attitude then by the time of SA1 chilled out more considerably, from SA1 onwards we have the mostly consistent Sonic of the Games we know. Not too much of a character sadly, but seems to be a rather relaxed guy who crosses anyone trying to mess things up for everyone else. I would like to know why though, and how a Free World Sonic ticks and works overall.
I have my preferences sure, but honestly no matter the story I just want a Sonic whose an actual character rather then some icon or timeless figure. I do think there is room for both a Calmer or Rougher Sonic as separate stories and I'd like that. It's not like we can't handle other continuities, Sonic Boom kinda proved that point yet we have had multiple others throughout the years. Is it that some of the fandom can't handle other incarnations of Sonic or don't want to, why would some feel that way? I'll say this I'm glad to see there are those out there that love to read and tap into those older canons such as SatAM and STC, I just wish that we could see more like those with a legit storyline. There is room for both Sega Sonic and Boom Sonic, there can be room for others to get to know, Mega Man had done so for YEARS and that also goes the same for Legend of Zelda.
Sonic the Hedgehog has one of the most vast continuities of any video game series with several different sources, it would be wonderful to see them all tapped into one day.