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General Sonic series appreciation thread and discussion


LordMetallix

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After searching around I couldn't really find a "general" topic for things that we liked in the Sonic series and why. So I decided that a thread like this could be a good idea as we could share our thoughts and discuss positive things about the franchise.

 

I'll start:

 

One of the things I really appreciate about the series is that , off the top of my head, all of the stages that we visit have distinctive features and gimmicks giving us something to remember in the level and makes each one distinct. Whether its the Seasonal changes in Mushroom Hill zone, the scaffold run in Sky Deck, or the incredible waterfalls of Adabat, each stage has something that we can immediately recall and is one of the things I feel makes Sonic so unique and different from many other platformers such as Mario.

 

What are some other things that you appreciate about the series, and why do you appreciate it?

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There's so many things that give the Sonic series a special place in my heart, but I'm gonna name the few that stand out incredibly here...

 

The memorable setpieces.

 

A video game level usually passes by and you don't remember it that easily. Sonic chucks this out of the window. Each level has unique gimmicks; remember first going underwater, in Labyrinth Zone? Remember that goddamn Mystic Cave pit underage gambling in Casino Night? Remember the barrel of doom in Carnival Night snowboarding section at the beginning of Icecap? Even the ghosts in Sandopolis act 2? The rising platform at the end of Flying Battery? The Mushroom Hill season change?

 

Even in the 2D games, Sonic had such memorable setpieces that we would never forget.

 

In 3D, this was expanded upon. Two of the most notable, iconic moments in Sonic Adventure, if not the Sonic franchise, are right here in these screenshots.

 

wg-sonic-adventure-3.jpg

 

^ Above is the famous orca chase in Emerald Coast, Zone 1 of Sonic Adventure.

 

lostworld_shot3.jpg

 

^ Above is the iconic Indy-style flaming boulder chase in Lost World, Zone 9 of Sonic Adventure.

 

 

Chase scenes. Mostly "hold up to win", sure, but memorable as all hell.

 

Windy Valley has the tornado, Casinopolis has the pinball tables, Icecap has the avalanche, Twinkle Park has fiery rollercoasters, spinning rooftops, bowling, etc... It goes on.

 

The whole franchise has expanded upon this, and this is one of those amazing points of the series I adore.

 

The music.

 

This was a given. Whether it be vocal tracks or instrumentals, the Sonic franchise has some awesome music. You want rock? Listen to the likes of Metal Harbor. You want orchestral? Listen to the likes of Lost World. You want funk? Listen to Sonic Rush's soundtrack.

 

The series has a wide variety of genres available in its music, along with some of the most memorable melodies in videogame history, such as this iconic, historical beauty.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF9ZLNxHaBY

 

The physics in the classics.

 

This is a feature that has lacked in recent games, but it's a thing anyway.

 

The classic trilogy are known for their incredibly awesome rolling physics, where Sonic can gain insane momentum on literally ANY slope by simply rolling. The speed you can reach in levels such as Star Light, Chemical Plant and Hydrocity is overwhelmingly good, and racking up speed in levels like Marble, Labyrinth and Sandopolis is rewarding and efforty as fuck.

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Just as SuperSpindash stated, there's one element of Sonic that's consistently good: the music. From the catchy, iconic tracks in the classic genesis games, to the heavy rock infused track by video game music legend Jun Senoue, to the powerful orchestral melodies in titles like Unleashed(my favorite Sonic soundtrack of all time) and Colors, and the kick ass remixes in Generations, I'm hardly, if ever, disappointed. Lost World looks to have an awesome soundtrack too, even though it probably won't top Unleashed for me. Hell, if the music in this series wasn't so good, we never would've gotten awesome fan remixes/projects, such as this beauty from the Sonic Stadium 2012 music album.

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fMZlJO6Rj0&hd=1

 

Thanks for spawning such incredible songs, Sonic. You've given a lot of composers and fans inspiration to make such fantastic music.

 

Sonic-Channel-Sonic-sonic-channel-314563

 

Another aspect of the series I'm usually pleased with are the character designs. Is there a design more iconic than the blue blur himself? I can't imagine him being any color other than blue, and the spines/hair are just plain cool. I also gives props for several designs, ranging from the cuteness of Tails, to the badass design of Knuckles. I also have a soft spot for Shadow's, even though he basically looks like a recolor, and even Silver's(pothead the porcupine jokes aside). One of the reason's I became such a big fan of the series is the  magnificent character designs. Truthfully, I really don't think I'd be very interested in Sonic if he didn't have such an awesome look. 

Edited by Chaos Incarnate
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Definitely the music, aside from about 2 or 3 games in the series even the most bizarre spin off games had pretty epic soundtracks. The gimicks used throughout the years in each game is another thing I appreciate, my favorite gimmick was the mine cart in Sonic 2 8-bit and we can't forget about the snowboarding section in Ice Cap Zone. :3

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One thing that I always enjoyed about the Sonic series would have to be the music. They're catchy and really get you into the mood while playing the games.

 

I also like the fact that Sonic Team would try and do new things with the Sonic games than to be too afraid for change. It keeps the games fresh and interesting.

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How do I even begin to say this.

 

I'm not saying either business is better.  I had a Super Nintendo when I was a kid, and I loved every minute of it.  There are so many good games on it, and I'm not saying that I would have preferred to have a Genesis, but Sega games had something that Nintendo games didn't.  Just... something about them was just so atmospheric.  Nintendo had some very atmospheric games too, but Sega had such a perfect formula for bringing out that atmosphere and making their games just overflow with life.  It was incredible at the time and it's still incredible now.

 

On the visual side of things, Sonic 3 & K does an amazing job doing what Super Mario World didn't even care to.  Even to this day, I'm blown away at how the lighting and scenery change throughout the actual level.  In Super Mario World, the scenery changes in the level, but not to the same degree.  You typically start in a bright, sunny field, but then you go down a warp pipe and suddenly it's dark.  In Sonic 3, this all changes as you're playing it.  You feel like you're in an actual environment as opposed to a fixed, simulated region.  None of the games have recaptured the same sense of visual wonder, but the games still feel considerably more alive than a lot of games.  The backgrounds are so busy and the hazards can be unpredictable at times.

 

SA1 may have failed to age as well as some of the games before it, but that killer whale scene in Emerald Coast was pure genius on their part.  SA2 continued to impress me with its opening stage.  I mean, again, the game hasn't aged well at all, but it's hard to really describe how blown away I was at the time when I first popped the disc into my brother's Dreamcast and the first thing I saw was Sonic literally jumping out of a helicopter on a makeshift snowboard.  I never expected that I'd actually be able to USE it.  It was temporary, but it was sweet.  Then, towards the end of the stage, you see a gate that looks like every single other gate you've come across so far, so when the camera changes perspective and the truck starts chasing you, you're just like... OH MY GOOOOOD.  Brilliant.

 

And I don't even know where to start with the music.  The music is just... unbelievable.  Nintendo's scores were impressive as well too, but only Sega managed to turn 8-bit beeps and bloops into immersive music that is actually tolerable outside of video games.  (Although the Zelda dungeon theme reaches the same level of excellence, as well as Capcom's music for the Mega Man games)  Sure, the Super Mario Bros. theme is great.  Upbeat, lively, fun, but I never listen to it when I'm not playing the game.  However, I could listen Bridge Zone and many of the other MS/GG tracks any time of the day, no matter what I'm doing.  The Genesis games are the same way, because of the Genesis' diverse and beautiful soundfont library, and the way the compositions take after many of my favorite 80's bands like Depeche Mode, Bronski Beat, Styx, etc. really just make them... words can't describe.  Even today, the music is something that's remained consistently mind-blowing with the exception of one game in particular whose name shall not be mentioned.  It's just so... omgggfantasticcccc

 

Mindless gushing aside, these are just some of the elements that keep me coming back to the Sonic series, regardless of its faults over the years.  I'll probably be back to list some other things that I love about the series but for now, I'm tired and this post is probably completely incoherent all because I just woke up.

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Oh dear, oh dear. Where on earth do I even begin with this?

 

 

 

I remember back in early 2002 when Sonic Adventure 2: Battle was released for the Gamecube, my brother had gotten a copy of the game. Now, this was my first real introduction of Sonic as a video game. Yeah, I had seen an occasional AoStH episode here and there, and I remember seeing a couple gaming magazines that mentioned Adventure 1 and Shuffle, but I consider SA2B to be my first true introduction to the franchise as a video game. And once I got to experience Sonic for myself like that, I've never looked back.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog is my favorite video game franchise. Yes, I grew up with Mario as a kid and my top favorite video game in general is not a Sonic game, but Yoshi's Island, but Sonic just has this place in my heart that Mario has yet to really match. Like, I can pick up and play Sonic 1 and Sonic Adventure over and over again, just on a whim, but I can't do that with say, Super Mario Bros. or Super Mario 64 on the same level.

 

But Sonic games? Pretty much my go-to games when I'm in the mood for a good platformer.

 

What makes the Sonic franchise so special for me is something I can't describe with just one or two reasons. It's a culmination of many different elements that makes me love the series.

 

I think the best place for me to start with is the gameplay. I've always liked games where I have to have quick reaction times. There's just something so satisying about running through a level and jumping at the right momements and all that kind of stuff. I love doing speedruns of the levels in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, just memorizing the stage design and honing my skills. Fun stuff.

 

I love the sense of speed most of the games give you. The level design lends it self well to the gameplay, what with the loops and slopes and the rolling physics - you actually feel like you are controlling the 'fastest thing alive'. The platforming, though it could have used some work in the more recent games, was fantastic in the classic era.

 

It's great, satisfying, and just downright fun.

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               The thing I appreciate the most is the music. Let me use some emotocons to express my feelings over the Sonic Game soundtracks.wub.pngbiggrin.png  wub.png biggrin.png wub.png ph34r.png  wub.png . There. That should do it.

               I have yet to find a Sonic game where I did not have at least one or two songs I liked. I even enjoyed the less popular Sonic Rush soundtrack. I remember the glorious day I got my first Sonic album, "Sonic Adventure 2". Falling in love with sonic with the first song I heard "It doesn't matter". That soundtrack still holds a special place in my heart to this day. Listening to that cd got me through many a horrid boy band concerts that my sisters dragged me to (shudder).

           I love that Sega always puts a lot of heart and thought into the music for their games. I am even guilty of buying Sega soundtracks to games I haven't played yet. (I promise Nights into Dreams, I shall play your game someday! But for now I will listen to your holiday soundtrack from iTunes again! Bwahahahaha!).

             I especially enjoy the music from around the world in Sonic unleashed, Sonic Colors, and all the amazing songs done by Crush 40. I am also ashamed to admit that when I finished Sonic Generations, that during the credits when the best sonic songs were playing one after the other (along with images from the original games), I clapped and cheered (Its the End Roll Melody ver. 1 song available in the iTunes Sonic Generations album). While my sister wondered if there was something wrong with me, until she remembered that I am an odd duck.

               Thanks for listening to my Sonic music rant. I'm good now.

Edited by Neon The Hedgehog
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  • 2 weeks later...

The main thing I appreciate in the sonic series is all the wonderful characters and the stories that go along with each of them. Sure, I love the music of the series as much as the rest of us, but to me, its the characters that make me love the series more and more. If it was just sonic and Eggman, I would still play, read, and watch, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as interesting as it could be. Some people may see this as a disadvantage to have many interesting characters other than just Sonic himself, but I find it such a huge plus that I appreciate it all the time.

 

From Tails, the lovable, cute fox that has been the main reason I stay in the fandom so much,  he being my favorite. Knuckles for his strength and interesting backstories that have gone on for awhile now, and so many other characters. Sure there are characters I may not care as much, unlike how I feel about Tails and the Chaotix, but they are all unique in their own way and I love hearing more and more about them. I always look forward to my games, and comics when it comes time to get more of them. Things just wouldn't be the same without sonic and all his friends and enemies for us to all love and hear about. Unlike mario, who I grew up with more, sonic's characters and stories have always just been more intersting and felt more fleshed out than the mario series ever felt like to me. I'm always into games for the story, and with so many characters and opportunities for more interesting stories, I always can't wait to hear more.

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I still appreciate how the Storybook games encapsulated what makes Sonic....you know, Sonic. They were like a last shining beacon of stellar characterization and thoughtful stories before Colours and Generations happened and before and after Unleashed largely failed to exploit it's gimmick in regards to story and characterization.

 

I  appreciate the way their storylines challenged his fortitude and ideals. The way Secret Rings tested his ability to keep forging-on in the face of a fatal curse despite it gradually draining his energy. How he stayed in high spirits despite his worsening condition. The way Black Knight tested his ideals, how he got beaten to a pulp for them and yet still kept getting back up not out of chivalry but because he was sticking up for his beliefs.

I appreciate the way that Shahra's peace of mind was his priority despite the pickle he was in himself which is a cool portrayal of selflessness. How Nimue employed a secret test of character to see how he would handle the small child weeping over the issue of her folks being kidnapped and then Sonic followed his heart and his sense of morality, his 'own rules' instead of what was expected of him from Caliburn by rescuing the child's family. It still annoys me to this day how the way the fandom sees fit to completely miss the point of his final wish in Secret Rings, a view that when you think about it may very well ultimately stem from selfish outlooks?

I also appreciate the way in which contrary to what many of the Storybook series' naysayers like to say, Sonic is not portrayed as the perfect goody-two-shoes in light of his highly visible compassion and goodness in these games. He was the first to attack Merlina instead of the other way around. He even looks as if he was less than a meter from cleaving her in two had she not conjured a barrier to protect herself? Then there's how he ruthlessly deals with Erazor by sealing him in his lamp for eternity then throwing the lamp into the molten metal within Evil Foundry, either annihilating the evil genie or preventing his lamp from ever being found and eliminating the possibility of him ever being freed. How he chafes with Caliburn and even blames him unreasonably for his own ineptitude regarding swordsmanship. How he deals with some bosses in some notably brutal ways. Pulling Captain Bemoth’s horns out. Slashing the Mist Dragon’s horn clean-off after hacking at it’s face. Beating the ever-loving crap out of Alf Layla Wa-Layla, slashing away at an extremely heavy rock pillar in order to pin the Earth Dragon under it. Voicing complete apathy about doing all of that. These games perfectly portray his obstinance and arrogance and even viciousness to an extent.

I don't forget the way they portrayed him as a kind, gentle and forgiving character in light of the clusterfucks that happened to him in these two games. Unconditionally forgiving Shahra and consoling her even after her betrayal with no semblance of bitterness. Comforting Merlina with a bit of simple yet wise advice that I couldn't envision coming out of the mouth of any character other than him and giving her a flower to remind her in a fairly powerful way that life is ephemeral. And then there's the manner in which he leapt to grab Percival when the ground she was standing on crumbled, sending her to a flame-broiled death had he not leapt forward and grabbed her without a second thought for his own safety.

And wow, the way they portrayed him as the funny little guy that he is. Making comical and occasionally snarky observations during cutscenes and gameplay very much in-line with his snarkyness. Teasing Sinbad/Gawain because real Knuckles is gullible and Sonic likes poking fun at the Echidna's shortcomings despite his alternate reality incarntions being different to the real one. The way he saves King Shahryar....by stepping on the hem of his cape with one foot whilst the king hangs perilously over the edge of the cliff and looking as if he'd rather be doing anything but that. Jokingly commiserating if he should abandon Caliburn and run when Lancelot asks him if he will because he doesn't quite get along with the sword by that point in the story. Pointing out in an incredibly deadpan and/or cocky manner that enemies can't hit him because he's too fast/skilled. You know, the funny little pain in the butt and arrogant little guy he's been established as.

 

To me, these games portrayals of that character are like sweet little gifts that keep on delighting me and reminding me why I like Sonic so much as a character.

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There are so many reasons why I really like the Sonic games:

 

First off the character design and some of the characters. In terms of Sonic, he is very recognisable in both classic and current forms. In his classic form, he is cute but expressional taking cues from classic cartoon characters like Felix and Mickey then adds a touch of Japanese design on top of that. Oh and the Sega blue to make sure that he is a mascot like Mario has the Nintendo red. Personally classic Sonic has a look of a timeless character whether he is happy or angry and no matter whether it is the Japanese style or the thick eyebrows attitude American style. Also I really like his sprite in many of the classics as well such as Sonic 1/2/CD look, Sonic 1/2 MS look, Sonic Triple Trouble look, his design from Gameworld, SegaSonic the Hedgehog look and even his Spinball look. As for the current Sonic, I actually like that he is happy and not being serious like he just want to play along while he defeats Eggman. Tails is also a character while not as strong as Sonic, he's there giving Sonic help and manages to be cute as well (especially especially his Sonic 2/3 design). One of the things about Sonic Adventure was that he matured from a follower to an independent hero in his own rights. Also Tails Adventure showed that a Sonic spinoff doesn't need Sonic to be any good due to the different gameplay and the really colourful detailed graphics on the Game Gear.

 

In the early days, I liked Knuckles as a rival where he was cheeky like you just cleared a zone and Knuckles jumps on the switch causing you to fall down, get burnt or him activating a machine to fly up to the rest of the act. It added character towards the stages and showed that he knew what he was doing. Don't forget Dr. Robotnik/Eggman as well. He's a villain who want to take over the world but he enjoys do it and laughs about it even when Sonic beats him time and time again. Whether it is the original from the games where he is a mad professor that has an egg shaped body, his AoSTH design or the current one, his personality makes from what is an adventure of collecting rings, defeating badniks and freeing animals into a jollyful rivalry that makes me sometimes even laugh at his lines. In fact next to Sonic himself, Robotnik is my second favourite character in the entire series. In terms of badniks, they are like Sonic and Robotnik recognisable character designs showing that there are inspired by animals but also robotic as well as being different in approach to defeat like defeating a MotoBug is different to avoiding a Newtron (similar to Mario in terms of Goombas and Boos). If other universes are allowed (even though they did appear in the games), Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts as well. They might be incompotent but also showed loyality towards Robotnik and some of the tricks that they try or the dialogue that they say adds a bit of humour.

 

Another reason is the level design in the platformer games. While I like the Mario series just as much, the Sonic series for me tend to be better on the level design of the stages in many cases. It has the depth of alternate routes so every time you play, you don't go through the exact route as in by the timing of your jump, you could end up on the lower or the upper route. The way you hit the enemies can also change your outcome as well. There are also secrets that finding like a power up located in an area you didn't see due to being hidden from view and remembering them for future play. It also seems to reflect Sega's arcade roots as in simple to play (only a few buttons to worry about) but hard to master

 

Graphically the Sonic series has held up pretty well on the classics with the Paralax Scrolling, the intense speed of Chemical Plant (even though it is I think a camera bug) and the depth of the foregrounds/backgrounds. Despite the palette limitations on the Mega Drive (+CD), Sonic 1, 2 & CD are very colourful, viberant and yet detailed due to the graphical design that Sega chose, after all many Mega Drive games look awful due to wrong colour choice [mainly SNES ports] and/or grainy look. Later games such as Sonic Unleashed, Colours, Generations and from the looks of things Lost World also have the very colourful and viberant look. Sonic Unleashed is also very detailed in terms of character animation & location artwork too, its like cartoony with a touch of realism as well. Also I liked that they used Global Illumination in Unleashed and Generations that makes the lighting in the games more realistic. Even the Sonic 4 series with its problems, graphics is one thing that the games didn't disappoint (Ep 1 is actually quite good for a low budget downloadable game inspired by the classics with a Dimps touch, Ep 2 however is very detailed ranking very high in terms of downloadable game graphics in my view). While Sonic Adventure has aged in terms of evolving technology, I still feel that the graphics were a jump beyond most console games made in 1998/1999 with only some PC games and the arcades were on par graphically. Emerald Coast with its waves (and the Whale), Speed Highway with its city depth and Lost World with its stoney textures (plus the Indy moment) were some of things that was a pleasure to see as well as elemental effects (fire, snow, water, sand).

 

Like many people said and I agree, the music is also a very strong point in the series (with only a couple of games being on the not so good scale, considering how many Sonic games have been made that's an achievement). Many of the songs are really catchy and stick to your head to the point of some of my favourite songs of all time and the sound effects are just as memoriable such as the ring collecting sound, the drowning sound Sonic made when he's out of breath, collecting a Chaos Emerald, the distinctive bubble collecting sound, the Extra Life jingle in Sonic 1 & 2 could go on. Even the Master System/Game Gear PSG that is known to be one of the more weaker sound chips next to Spectrum Beeper and the 80s PC Speaker (it was better than them two but not as good as any other sound chip) had catchy tracks that are easy to remember but hard to forget.

 

Also it seemed that from Sonic 1 to Sonic Adventure, it had something that I can't describe but it is there. Like a type of atmosphere.

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