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Are The Modern Sonic Games Severely Underrated?


Kidd Ryze

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The classic Sonic games are so overrated IMO. A lot of issues that people complain about in newer Sonic games are present in the older games. 
 
1. "Not enough speedy sections.
- Remember Labyrinth Zone, Marble Zone, Oil Ocean? Those zones are slow, and half of Sonic 1's zones are slow too.

2. There's only a few good games in a pile of lame ones.
- Most of the crappy Sonic games nowadays are spin-offs. And I don't know if you forgot, but the classic Sonic spin-offs we're mediocre or terrible. Sonic Blast, Sonic Labyrinth, Sonic 3D Blast, the Tails games, the list goes on. And while 3D Sonic has had huge stumbles, it still has great games. Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, Sonic Advance 1-3, Sonic Rush and Rush Adventure, Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations, Sonic Battle, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing... 

Honestly, most people who hate on modern Sonic are seriously being irrational and unfair, and can't seem to look at the pure facts. I know there is some really bad modern Sonic games, (Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic '06, Secret Rings, Black Knight) but when you're gonna hate on a series, AT LEAST know what you're talking about!

 
While I love the classic games, I still have to say that the Modern games are better, but hey that's just my opinion? What's yours?
 
P.S: Sorry if this topic has been done to death before.

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No.

 

They're a steaming pile of mediocrity labelled as excellent because that's what they are by comparison to what the 6th gen shit out and nothing more.

 

If they get critical feedback, it's because they deserved it. Sonic Team doesn't need asspatting, they need asskicking, end of story.

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No.

 

They're a steaming pile of mediocrity labelled as excellent because that's what they are by comparison to what the 6th gen shit out and nothing more.

 

If they get critical feedback, it's because they deserved it. Sonic Team doesn't need asspatting, they need asskicking, end of story.

 

Uhhhh

Well if you mean the critics both Colors and Gens didnt even break 80% and Unleashed was pretty lukewarmly recieved on by release. This goes even further if you want to include SLW

 

If you mean the fans well...again not really? Over time people notice the flaws more and more and see the games as good/average at best usually, of course everyone has their opinon but I always found that to be the general way of how the games were seen.

 

I just think you're really overstating how praised the games were, that's all

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That's entirely up to you, as under rated is a highly subjective term.

 

Unleashed had its share of severe bullshit design choices I can't wrap my head around, like sun and moon medals being required to access stages, and the worst fucking final level of any Sonic game, that seriously dragged. Yet at the same time, for everything that pissed me off, I couldn't help but have fun with the trial and error Boost gameplay as I mastered it, adore the charming story and art style, and absolutely rave over its severely under rated diverse cultural+orchestral soundtrack.

 

I'm baffled as to how Sonic Colors was being praised as one of the greatest Sonic games known to man, with a completely superfluous (yet admittedly fun at points) Wisp gimmick. The Level design felt severely bare in 3D sections, and slowing down in 2D wasn't very fun, nor were entirely spring bouncing focused stages taking up like 1/3 of the game. I'll come back to it now and and again, but I find it hard to get in to, and it isn't really my thing.

 

Now Sonic Generations. Sonic Team really knocked it out of the park with this one, gimped length and god awful final boss aside. The Classic gameplay felt like such a magnificent return to 2D form, and the Boost felt much more polished. Expanding on Unleashed's alternate pathways was appreciated. Glorious musical remixes galore, heart felt level remakes that felt like a true love letter to fans... gah, I rave about this game enough as is.

 

Didn't play the Wii U version of Lost World.

 

But that's just me. You take what you like, and leave out what you dislike. Works just fine for me. I'll continue to play the Sonic games I enjoy, and leave any steaming pile I despise sitting in a corner if I can help it, rather than brand them all together.

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Honestly, most people who hate on modern Sonic are seriously being irrational and unfair, and can't seem to look at the pure facts.

I'm going to politely ask that we avoid calling other views on the franchise "irrational" or "unfair," or accusing people of not looking at facts. That's how flame wars get started; all you need for a fire is one spark.

Disagreement is good, because it promotes debate and discussion. Accusing people of being unable to look at and understand information (in essence, calling a person ignorant) isn't.

 

They're a steaming pile of mediocrity labelled as excellent because that's what they are by comparison to what the 6th gen shit out and nothing more.

For the sake of quality debate, I'd ask for some clarification on why the games are of lower or higher quality than others (as the OP did for why they feel certain criticisms are unjustified).

Otherwise, we could devolve into saying one game or group of games is superior to others because it just is. While that makes sense for jokes, it's not conductive to good discussion.

Overall, while there's going to be tons of disagreement on this topic no matter what side people are on, I ask that all arguments are presented not only in a respectful manner, but some basis be given to arguments (e.g. "I think Sonic Adventure 2 is better than Sonic 1 because of control x or design element y."). There probably is no real such thing as an objective basis accepted by everyone (we all have our favorites and such), but we can at least try and get something close to it, I think.

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Sections based around speed are automated and sections based around platforming are stilted as shit.

 

And that's just Generations and Colors I'm talking about. Unleashed is a whole other ballpark filled with shitty QTEs, shallow design, progression haulting plot tokens, and all around just a fucking awful time.

 

You want to know why everyone sucks the first 3 Sonic games' metaphorical dick? It's because they had effort and love put into the design that the series hasn't had as of 1998. Effort and love that didn't take 3 fucking years of development resulting in lame branching pathways and an anti-climactic final boss.

 

Sonic Team is a joke of a dev team that stopped being funny a long fucking time ago.

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"Modern Sonic games" is vague. If you're referring to the 2009-present games, absolutely.

I think that the classic games, while good, are only as good as the good 3D Sonic games. I'd only want to play Sonic 3 and Knuckles as much as SA1. I think that Generations and Colors are better than both Sonic 1 and 2. I like Lost World more than Sonic CD (not the 3DS version, that one sucks). 

 

But, if you're using "modern Sonic" to mean the dark age of 2004-2008...maybe.

I think games like Riders and Rivals are okay. Sonic Rush, Advance 3, Rush Adventure...yeah. Those games deserve more love. As for Shadow, Sonic 06, Secret Rings, Unleashed...no. Probably not. I actually think Sonic Unleashed is overrated. The game pisses me off way more than it should. I think it's because of the design mentality of "oh but if we make it only the fun stuff it will be too short" when they could have just filled in that werehog with more day stages. And look, there's Sonic Colors which every normal person thinks is decent at the least.

I dunno, really. Maybe it's just because the homing attack is on the X button.

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"Baaaawwwww Nothing can beat the classiks!" Is all I'm honestly getting from your post Solkia, without the current games we wouldn't have an expansive verse and defining story tropes full of characters, or sub series spin-offs. Most of the games don't break mediocrity, that much is true, but SEGA still hard heart and drive all the way up to their last big Sonic game attempt with Unleashed, by rights Unleashed from a technical and scale standpoint is SEGA's biggest Sonic game ever, and to completely undermine the efforts that went into it because of the Werehog and QTE's is honestly a shallow generalization.

 

The only thing I personally agree with is that Sonic has lost it's charm and direction since Colours onwards, and leave nothing more than a shallow gaming experience and I barely get if any satisfaction from them, because of how half assed Sonic team tend to make their efforts on their games.

 

pre-Unleashed was still the SEGA i know and loved, even if most of their titles were awful. 

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Only 2 sentences int hat post had anything to do with Classic Sonic. And one of those 2 reference Adventure, a good 3D Sonic game.

 

I stated why I hate modern Sonic. I just threw in Classic Sonic because I'm tired of people fucking being labelled as fanboys because they know good design when they see it.

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Quality wise and reception wise the modern titles are all over the place. I can't exactly say they are all one thing or another. It really comes down to personal view and taste IMO. I appreciated Unleashed for the atmosphere and grand scale it brought, but didn't find the gameplay that special. Colors was literally all meh for me, and the reception while better than Unleashed took a nose dive after about a year or so. Generations was great fun gameplay wise and had a great soundtrack to boot, but felt lacking in a lot if ways. Boom already is raising eyebrows for almost everything. And the spinoff titles have their problems as well.(motion controls, glitches, potential being missed, etc.)

All of them have ha there share of issues, and depending on the person, those problems can break the game and experience or just be a small issue. So I can't really lump them all as underrated or overrated. Overall I'd say mediocre honestly, though I still get enjoyment out of some titles.

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I wouldn't say underrated when more often than not, they're more polarizing if anything. Unleashed had the majority liking the day stages, but hating the rest, so they make it like the day stages in Color, but strip down on what made the day stages fun in the first place, but the wisps were fun powerups and the game had enough charm and care to pull it off, despite it being quite "empty" in a lot of cases, leading to a mostly warm reception. Then there's Generations, which takes the good ideas from both Unleashed and Generations, which gives us Modern Sonic's stages, as well as Classic Sonic's stages, which feel like evolved forms of the 2D stages from Colors. Taking what they knew and improving it led to better and better results here.

 

I feel like they got the credit they deserved, as well as the criticism.

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Pro tip.

 

If you're going to start a topic that suggests a specific selection of games are underrated but then open your topic with this:

 

The classic Sonic games are so overrated IMO.

 

...that is an easy way to lose whatever starting credibility you had.

 

I'm also going to suggest to you not use the terms "overrated" and "underrated" if you're merely going to use them as labels for games you personally like or dislike in some attempt to make your personal preferences about those games somehow more universal. Which considering the topic title and opening statement, seems as if that's the case...

 

Anyway, like others have said the modern games are for me all over the place. They each have their high points and low points that drag the games down, and I personally would seem them as mostly mediocre games with a few moments of brilliance rather than underrated and overrated titles.

 

Except for Sonic 4. I think both episodes are just poor games all around, regardless whether you view them as sequels to the Genesis games or not.

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For more than a decade, the general consensus has been that Sonic went downhill. Many say it started once the franchise jumped to 3D. The Sonic Adventure games were well received, but only when they first came out on the Sega Dreamcast. Many people opened their eyes to how flawed those games really were once they were ported to the Nintendo GameCube (the original SA1 got a 86.51% on GameRankings. The GameCube port got a 64.43%. The original Sonic Adventure 2 got an 83.26%. The GameCube port got a 72.33%). The fact that those games were received worse upon being rereleased goes to show that they have not aged well and are not blueprints for an ideal Sonic game (it's ridiculous how some people say otherwise. People who still hold the Adventure games in that high of a regard are seriously blinded by nostalgia). Sonic Heroes was considered by many reviewers to be the best 3D Sonic game to date when it first came out as it removed much of the criticized features of the Adventure games entirely (the fishing, the shooting, the treasure hunting and the Adventure Fields). However, it did retain the camera and control problems and was blasted for that.

 

Shadow's game marked the very first time a 3D Sonic action game was near universally agreed to have been bad. It's not hard to see why - the game did nothing to fix the problems from Sonic Heroes. The control was still spastic. The camera was still terrible. And its new features (the guns and vehicles) were poorly implemented. However, even though Shadow's game bombed, it wasn't that much of a blow to the series' reputation. What truly tarnished the series' reputation was Sonic 2006.

It's such a shame how bad that game bombed. The game did nothing at all to improve the problems from the mainstream 3D Sonic games. While the Sonic Adventure games and Sonic Heroes did have camera and control problems in common, they all still were significant improvements from each other. A major complaint about Sonic Adventure was the Adventure Fields and Big's fishing. They were removed for Sonic Adventure 2. A major complaint about Sonic Adventure 2 was the treasure hunting and shooting. They were removed for Sonic Heroes. Without any mechanics or gimmicks that significantly detracted from the core experience, Sonic Heroes' primary complaint was now just the problematic camera and controls. Instead of trying to fix that, Sonic 2006 brings back the Adventure Fields from as "Town Stages" and alternate gameplay styles from the Sonic Adventure games. Nobody asked for any of that to return. And to top things off, the game was an terribly buggy, unfinished mess.

The series went SEVERAL steps back with Sonic 2006. Sonic Unleashed was a significant improvement but only because of how it wasn't anywhere near as glitchy or buggy. Other than that, the game was still a mess. The hubs were still around. Worse of all, we were given a terrible God of War-esque beat-em-up with the Werehog. Nobody wanted to play that crap in a Sonic game. And the camera and control problems still remained. Seriously, once the Werehog's gameplay was unveiled, it should have been as clear as day that Sonic Unleashed was going to bomb. Sonic Colors set things back on track. No more hubs. The camera and controls were significantly better. And there weren't any gimmicks or gameplay styles that detracted from the core experience. Sonic Generations kept things back on track.

Sonic Lost World has been considered a step-down, but had it not been for all the low quality Sonic games we had been getting for years (Shadow, Sonic Riders, Sonic 2006, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight), its criticism wouldn't have been as prevalent. We have been given too many lackluster games for people to let "just decent" Sonic games slide. So, to answer the OP's questions, no, most of the modern Sonic games are not underrated. Things got rocky with the Sonic Adventure games, got back on track with Sonic Heroes, fell WAY off with Sonic 2006, continued to stay off with Sonic Unleashed, got back on track with Sonic Colors, stayed on track with Sonic Generations and got rocky again with Sonic Lost World.

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Yeah, I guess it really depends on your definition of "modern."  I'm assuming you're referring from 2008 to now, so I'll base my judgment off that.

 

I love the newer games.  In fact, I think the more modern games, while flawed and bearing a rather heavy list of personal bothers, are more enjoyable than the Sonic games I grew up with.  They're a lot more charming, for one, with a much better (in my opinion only; feel free to disagree) art style, atmosphere, story setup (empty as they may be), and to a certain extent gameplay style.  However... no, I don't think they're underrated.  I think they're just about the right amount of rated.

 

While I love the games myself, I actually have to agree 100% with Solkia.  From a design standpoint, they are seriously lacking in substance and often suffer from poor implementation and programming.  There's definitely a lot more heart put into them, but I think they have a long way to go before they become "good," or "great" again.  You could argue about all the flaws in Sonic Adventure and how positively that was received at the time, but I'm not going to stand up for that game, because even as one of my favorite Sonic games, it still falls flat on its face from a technical standpoint, not helped by the fact that recent ports are absolute rubbish.

 

So no, I don't think the modern games are underrated.  They can definitely stand to be improved, but they're not bad in my opinion. 

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Hm... Well, I don't really know what to say. I don't want to sound biased, since you all know I don't really care for the classics besides 3 and CD (do you guys know that? XD), but I know I prefer all the Modern Sonic games (if we're starting from Sonic Adventure) except Colors and Heroes.

 

Underrated and overrated are two words that I never use, so I can't really say whether the Modern games are either of those. I didn't like Classic Sonic games since, well, I didn't like how everything felt. The momentum threw me off quite a bit, and those games were hard. Part of the reason that I only like 3 and CD is because you get rings before the Final Boss. Sad truth is I'm just not very good at old games (aside from some RPGs and one or two Mario games), so I never really got into those. I think the Modern ones, especially Unleashed and Generations, were some of the best Sonic games. I just had a blast going really stinking fast through stages.

 

Also, though more of a nitpick than an actual reason to dislike something, I don't like Classic Sonic's design. IDK why, he isn't even that cute to me. Modern Sonic just seems cooler to me (and he was the Sonic I grew up with, since Adventure was my first Sonic game).

 

Also the Modern games introduced some of my favorite characters to me (Shadow, Espio (even though he debuted in Knuckles Chaotix, I had no idea what that game was at the time), Blaze, Cream, I guess Silver, etc.), so that's a plus.

 

So while I don't know if they're underrated, I do know that I prefer them.

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As others have stated this is quite a difficult question to answer. It's because everything is subjective. I disagree with most of the opinions in this thread, but does that make them right and me wrong, or even the other way around? Absolutely not! We all like different things, after all. 

 

Personally, I think:

- Sonic06 is neither under nor over rated, everyone rated it as the complete mess that it unfortunately was.

- Unleashed received a rather indifferent reception from critics, which I personally found unfair. It's nowhere near perfect, of course, but I still think it's a better game than people give it credit for.

- Colours was much better received than Unleashed, and deservedly so. It's one of the only Sonic games I rank right up near Sonic 2 (which I consider one of the most perfect games ever made). That's just my take on it of course.

- Generations was incredibly well received by critics, once again deservedly so. It was one hell of a polished piece of work. The "Classic" levels might not be a 1:1 take on what the Genesis Sonic games were, but they were just so damn fun I didn't even care, and the "Modern" levels were beautiful and a blast to speed through. It's a phenomenal game.

- Lost World was blasted by critics and fans as being a complete step in the wrong direction. Even though I agree, I still didn't find it as bland or as dull as a lot of other people seemed to.

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If anything I'd say they're overrated.

1. "Not enough speedy sections."

- Remember Labyrinth Zone, Marble Zone, Oil Ocean? Those zones are slow, and half of Sonic 1's zones are slow too.

Sonic 1 at least has the excuse of being the first game, before they fully grasped the strengths and weaknesses of the mechanics they had created, and before they could gauge the audience's response to them. Games made 20 years later can't say the same. But if you want it stated straight out, yeah, Marble and Labyrinth are Bad Sonic Levels. And they're part of the reason Sonic 1 isn't my favorite Sonic game. But it still has Green Hill, Spring Yard, and Starlight, which are solid, fun, and decently speedy levels, moreso than a lot of stuff that later games have done.

Oil Ocean I don't think is that bad, though. Not the fastest of stages, but that's largely due to being a late-game stage with a lot of obstacles, and it's not as if it's terribly slow like Marble or Labyrinth. Can't say I understand why you'd group it with the other two.

2. There's only a few good games in a pile of lame ones.

- Most of the crappy Sonic games nowadays are spin-offs.

I don't really care about the spinoffs. If "Mario & Sonic Are Still At the Goddamn Olympics" or the low-priority handheld accompaniment to the next main series game sucks it's disappointing, but it's not why I'm disappointed in the series as a whole. The problem is that I'm not happy with the main series games either; I think the boost gameplay has proven itself shallow and unsustainable, the werehog gameplay was mediocre and didn't belong in the Sonic series in the first place, Generations Classic was an insult to actual classic Sonic gameplay, and SLoW had some interesting ideas but just didn't form a cohesive, fun game in the end.

Sonic Adventure 1 and 2,

I'd like to point out that these games were released closer to Sonic 1's release date than to today. Regardless of your thoughts on them it's a huge stretch to call them "modern".

Honestly, most people who hate on modern Sonic are seriously being irrational and unfair, and can't seem to look at the pure facts.

Do you have a monopoly on facts?

I can't claim perfect objectivity (of course, no one can). But I do try to recognize and account for my biases. And I don't really appreciate the unproven assertion that I'm being irrational and ignoring the facts.

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The only bad Sonic games worth talking about are Shadow, 06, Secret Rings, Unleashed, Chronicles, and Lost World 3DS. Everything else is too small or insignificant to mention, or just plain "not bad enough". If any of those other than LW3D classify as "Modern Sonic" than I would agree that Modern Sonic is underrated. But if we're talking as a whole - anything that comes after Sonic R - then no. I think that while there are more bad modern games, that may be because since there is simply more Sonic games as a whole since 1997. And there's also plenty more good games. Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, the Sonic Advance and Rush games, Sonic Heroes wasn't that bad, Sonic Colors, Generations, Lost World, even the two Sonic 4 episodes, while I disagree thoroughly that they were fitting of the "Sonic the Hedgehog 4" title, were not unplayable. They were not bad games for what they were. They only cost $15 each - it's not a full $50 console game. Sonic isn't in the kind of shit people make him out to be.

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The only bad Sonic games worth talking about are Shadow, 06, Secret Rings, Unleashed, Chronicles, and Lost World 3DS. Everything else is too small or insignificant to mention, or just plain "not bad enough". If any of those other than LW3D classify as "Modern Sonic" than I would agree that Modern Sonic is underrated. But if we're talking as a whole - anything that comes after Sonic R - then no. I think that while there are more bad modern games, that may be because since there is simply more Sonic games as a whole since 1997. And there's also plenty more good games. Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, the Sonic Advance and Rush games, Sonic Heroes wasn't that bad, Sonic Colors, Generations, Lost World, even the two Sonic 4 episodes, while I disagree thoroughly that they were fitting of the "Sonic the Hedgehog 4" title, were not unplayable. They were not bad games for what they were. They only cost $15 each - it's not a full $50 console game. Sonic isn't in the kind of shit people make him out to be.

 

 Sonic and the Black Knight was definitely terrible. The Secret Rings wasn't seen by most as one of the really terrible games in the franchise.

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I never count Sonic and the Black Knight because it was so much more insubstantial as a game and also so much better than Secret Rings. It's not a good game, sure, but the amount of worse every really bad Sonic game is just leaves it sort of sitting in that "who gives a shit" position.

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Really, I have a smattering of Sonic games I like and love across pretty much the series' entire history. "It all comes down to opinions lol" is pretty much a cop-out answer, but...yeah. That's...pretty much the way I see it.

 

I mean...honestly, "overrated" and "underrated" are such...dodgy terms with me. I'd be a hypocrite to say it's wrong to ever use them (since I've used both of them here and there myself), but I see this tendency to use them as a way of saying "BY THE WAY I'M RIGHT AND THAT'S THAT". Really, though, I'd say it's hard to pin down any of the modern Sonic games as being "over" or "underrated" when there people - at least here - who like and dislike them in almost equal measure. Sonic Lost World's consensus leans more towards the negative end, but even then, it's got some vocal supporters.

 

Now, if we are to consider the "Adventure era" games modern...SA2 is clearly underrated, and if you disagree, you're a butt. C:

 

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Depends on your definition of modern. It almost sounds like you're lumping everything as modern if it had green eye Sonic in it. That's over a decade. There's several eras in between, they all have different things.

 

Modern, to me, is Sonic Unleashed to Generations.

 

In that, I would say, no, not really. They're okay games. Okay. Yeah.

 

I mean, by comparison to several past titles, they're a breadth of fresh air, particularly Generations, but they're just okay. Missing something special to them, a certain charm doesn't exist.

 

But, they're okay. Just okay.

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Hold on a fucking minute, Black Knight is a bad/awful game? From a gameplay standpoint yes, from a narrative standpoint, fuck no.  Black Knight's portrayal of Sonic is one of the very few instances that define Sonic as a character more than it has ever done in the past. Sonic shows his true character in these games and rounds off with fantastic story telling. The game may have been awful gameplay wise, but to completely undermine it as a whole really pisses me off when people can't see the potential in the storybook's writing and character portrayal. 

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Hold on a fucking minute, Black Knight is a bad/awful game? From a gameplay standpoint yes

 

 And that's all that matters. It doesn't matter how well it portrayed Sonic. The gameplay was horrendous, so it's a bad game. I agree that it's portrayal of Sonic was spot on, but that doesn't make it a good game.

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