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  1. You know the formula: Sonic is hot-headed and cheesy, and Tails rambles about mechanical things with big words. Eggman attempts to take over the world, with Orbot and Cubot providing nothing more than extra comedy. He unleashes robot after robot trying to kill Sonic, and Sonic takes them out with a spindash and a cheesy one-liner. The final boss comes along, which may or not be Eggman again, which Sonic destroys, again paired with more cheesy hero banter. All’s well that ends well. Rinse and repeat for the next game. Is anyone else getting tired of this redundant formula found in the last few main Sonic games? (Colors through Lost World mostly, but Unleashed has a lot of these qualities as well) For one, the characters come off as pretty flat. Sonic is the cheesy, sometimes hot-headed hero. Tails is the smarty-pants sidekick who makes all the computery gadgets used in the game work. Eggman is the evil genius who simply can’t seem to build a single machine that doesn’t contain a big flashing “Sonic Hit Here” spot, let alone fulfill one of his world domination plots. And… that’s it. There isn’t really much else to these characters anymore. Sonic games used to have impressively written character development. For example, Tails realized his capabilities and found that he could do things on his own without the help of his older brother-figure Sonic by saving Station Square from Eggman’s missile. Oppositely, Blaze realized that not every situation can be solved on her own, and sometimes it’s important to trust others to help you. Shadow went from a revenge-seeking monster wanting to avenge Maria by destroying the world to carrying out what she truly wanted – to save and care for the people of the world. Knuckles actually had a serious duty of guarding the Master Emerald because he is the last of his clan (seriously, who guards the M.E. now since Knuckles just seems to always be tagging along with whatever Sonic is doing?). Amy could actually do things herself, such as saving herself time and time again from the robot Zero, rather than depending on Sonic for everything. Gamma gave his own life to set free the small bird powering him from inside. The plots have been just as mundane. Until recent years, Sonic games have had fairly deep plots. Well, at least there was more to the story than there has been lately. They’ve included dark time travel where the future is an Eggman-ruled wasteland, deep backstories of civilizations that no longer exist, and plots to destroy the world with an Eclipse Cannon coming terrifyingly close to realization. And a lot of the time, Sonic was always one step behind Eggman! I get that Sonic is mainly targeted at kids. I know some people like the newer, more light-hearted approach, because how can anything to do with a giant blue hedgehog be serious, right? However, when I was younger and played through these older games, I understood these plots and characters fully. Good plots and characters aren’t just for adults, you know. And you know what? It didn’t seem weird or out of place to me that a talking blue hedgehog and his friends were in some seriously sticky situations. In fact, I thought it was awesome. And there were even some characters learning some damn good lessons that I could apply to myself. What is a 7-year-old going to take away from Sonic shouting about the “B.B.B.E – Best Boss Battle Ever”? Nothing more than I learned from Tails’ newfound independence at the end of his story in Adventure, that’s for sure. I realize this is more of an outpouring of my thoughts (thanks for sticking through and reading the whole thing to those that did) than a simple question and answer topic, but how do you feel about the state of plot and characterization in the more recent Sonic games? Do you support the newer light-heartedness of Sonic? Or do you prefer when Sonic games had a little bit deeper of stories?
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