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November 8, 2015 in Sonic Games
After replaying Sonic CD recently I've come to the conclusion that Sonic CD's cutscenes had the best characterisation of any Sonic game. Seriously, these things are genius and they are damn near flawless. I'm going to give you some reasons why Sonic CD's cutscenes were so damn good and why they nailed what Sonic should be as a character.
This is obviously going to feature a lot of images, but I hope to use them as commentary, rather than just have a raw image post.
Sonic's speed is captured unlike any other game
We all know Sonic is fast, but the cutscenes in Sonic CD really capture his agility. It's something that has been embarrassingly missed in games like Rise of Lyric and Heroes that attempted to make a more 'action' orientated game. Battles are slow and plodding in Heroes despite Sonic being able to run really fast. This also applies to the more successful 3D platforming games, such as Adventure, Colours and Generations. Actually fighting enemies is slow despite the games letting you go full on fast.
Look at how Sonic deal with enemies in Sonic CD's cutscenes
Note how he runs around the badnik and causes it to flip out. It's a side of his speed that has literally never been displayed until now: his agility!
It's the same when he just moves about. He's almost graceful with his agility
For these reasons, I believe Sonic CD's cutscenes perfectly capture Sonic's speed.
Sonic is the perfect mixture of likeable cocky and noble hero.
Sonic wastes no time in mocking his enemies when he's noticed that they stand no chance of fighting him:
Sonic's cocky in almost a cute way. He has his infamous arrogant charm on display here but what's important about this Sonic is that he mostly knows when to take things seriously. I think we have the perfect mixture of the likeable cocky and noble hero Sonic in Sonic CD. It's not as serious as the Sonic Adventures which often appeared melodramatic with the lengthy dark and serious dialogue without much in the moments of cute and charming cocky moments that Sonic was famous for. And on the other hand, it's not like Post-Colours in the Modern Era where Sonic usually doesn't take things seriously at all and constantly goofs about and all sense of agency is lost. A possible notable exception to this rule is when Sonic gets straight to trying to rescue Tails in Lost World.
Yet there are times where Sonic's cockiness can get the better of him in CD, which showcases Sonic's somewhat reckless behaviour: So it's not like he's this perfect character who's never making mistakes.
Despite all this cockiness, Sonic isn't a walking embodiment of arrogance. When Sonic checks that Amy is okay before he rushes off to his next adventure, you get a simple scene that expresses emotional incredibly well. Sonic is a character who always rushes off to his next adventure, but that he checks Amy is okay shows that he isn't just doing this for the thrill of chasing Eggman. It's subtle and done without a melodramatic monologue .
When he looks up at Little Planet and focuses on how difficult his adventure will be, before he rolls down to launch himself onwards, Sonic weighs his objectives rather than chuckling through the game like in the more Modern titles.
Sonic doesn't fuck about
Sorry, I just had to name the title this . In Sonic CD, Eggman can't just fly away like he usually does in Sonic games, because Sonic throws a fucking rock at him:
What I find really funny about this scene is that even if you don't get all the Time Stones this still plays in the ending. In other words, if you get the bad ending, Sonic still beats Eggman. It's certainly a breath of fresh air to the likes of Modern Sonic games where Eggman always rushes off.
Sonic is both cute and cool
Despite being quite a small point, I actually think this is very important point, in Sonic CD he's both cool and cute. I especially like how the game isn't afraid to present the two sides of Sonic, shown in the two images below respectively.
It's not like Classic Sonic in Generations who is like this over the top puppy and it's not like Modern Sonic who's always being an exaggeration of hip and 'cool', in Sonic CD he has that perfect mixture.
I think Sonic CD accomplished a lot in the very small amount of screen-time these famous cutscenes had. Really, when you think about how short the cutscenes are it's incredible exactly what they managed to show. If Sonic was characterised like he is here in Sonic CD, I think we would have something truly special.
Aw man, loved the Sonic CD cutscenes. They always portrayed Sonic in the way that I envisioned his personality as a kid in the 90's. Confident, focused, cocky and all around, badass! He seems more than comfortable with his abilities and enjoys having fun with them.
I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis! Good eye for all of his subtle animations and such, too. I thought something was off about C. Sonic in Generations, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. He was a cute-looking character that acted cute, rather than be a cute-looking character that acted like a boss.
The only other medium where Sonic portrays this is in the OVA.
I love how Sonic essentially teleports to dodge things, he's that fast.
I really agree with this. Sonic was characterized beautifully in Sonic CD, and it's probably my favorite portrayal of the character. It helps that his design in the game is so damn cool.
And yeah, I really thought Classic Sonic is sort of "too cute" in generations. I mean, I love cute more than anyone, but like, I felt Sonic looked way better like this
I think an HD Sonic the Fighters model would have worked better. Idk, something about the way Classic Sonic looks in Generations just seems... off I guess.
Mmm. In Heroes' defense, that stuff was a lot harder to do with 3D models bc I'm preeetty sure they were trying to do the same exact thing with the intro of that game lol.
Sonic CD definitely has my favorite personality for Sonic, wittiness and courage with just a little bit of kindness thrown in. I was very thrown off by how cutesy they made Classic Sonic in Generations, all of his attitude was gone.
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