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Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog. Is this what made the Sonic story interesting?


Azure P
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With the whole implosion and polarization of the Sonic fan base upon introduction to Infinite lately. I've taken a look back to see what has been missing from the Sonic franchise ever since Shadow has taken a back seat. What made Shadow such a popular character upon his introduction. Other than the usual 'he's edgy' response.

We all know Sonic 3 and Knuckles is the undisputed king of Sonic game play (at least for 2d). But I'm willing to believe Sonic Adventure 2 is considered the most influential game and possibly peak of the Sonic franchise for most fans of the series. Why?

 

I came across these two videos that explains quite well what Shadow's introduction to the series meant and what has been missing from the Sonic franchise since.

 

 

I'm bad at paraphrasing. So don't look to me for a TL;DR. Just watch the videos.

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I haven't watched the videos yet so I'll just give my thoughts on why Shadow was more "popular" at his introduction. 

One, SA2 came out at a different time than the classics did. Most of the people who grew up with Sonic 1/2 were now teenagers or young adults and had probably moved on. The Adventure games kinda introduced Sonic to a new generation of kids, and so many many kids grew up with SA2 and have a fondness for Shadow and SA2 as a whole for that reason since for many of them it was probably their first Sonic game. They were also quite young so a "badass dark evil Sonic" seemed pretty cool for the time. Remember this was the time when DBZ's Funmation dub was at it's peak and darker action based shows and media were on the rise. It fit in quite well for the time, and so Shadow and SA2 were a big part of that whole scene and somewhat defined the childhoods for a lot of kids then. 

Also, the stigma against edgy characters and fancharacters, at least in the Sonic fanbase didn't exist yet. You know why? Because they didn't exist yet. Shadow was the one to kickstart the whole thing. That's the reason why Shadow was more well-received than Infinite, the people who would go on to make all the edgy Sonic fanart and ruin the whole thing were kids when the Adventure games came out. And the whole reason why Shadow ended up as the joke character running around and swearing was because SEGA was looking for what was popular (and horribly failing obviously), that's about it. Most people know now that Shadow was originally never supposed to come back after SA2, but it coming out at the right place at the right time gave this character a new lifespan. Most of which is filled with stuff that most people have been happy to get away from.

And one more thing, I'll just say that SA2 is NOT the peak of Sonic for most around here. 

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SA2 is actually a very polarizing game, especially today. It MAY (may!!) have once been considered the "peak" by the majority, but times they are a-changing. Don't get me wrong, there's still a significant segment of fans who think that, but there's also very many who either have looked back and re-evaluated and seen the game's significant flaws, or who were never on board to begin with. There are also those who are still quite fond of it but wouldn't call it "the peak". So yeah, I haven't watched the videos yet either but I hope you realize the premise you're starting from is very questionable.

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The only people who have ever thought Sonic Adevnture 2 was Sonic's peak are fans who grew up with the gamecube version of the game. But even then, the game did not fare very well with the gaming media even back in the early 2000's shortly after its release, scoring mostly mediocre reviews. SA2 was never widely considered the best Sonic game ever. A certain segment of fans in the Sonic fanbase believes that but no one else does. This thread has a false premise.

Throughout the entire history of this franchise the only two games that I've heard in that conversation over and over again, are Sonic the hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. 

 

 

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The Adventure series did occur at a perfect time for it to really make sense in the world of its respective creative medium (video/audiovisual games).  The games were very ahead of their time, surreal and very splashy, sensation driven, arcade style, fully 3D experiences in new interpretations of what Sonic could be.

In many ways, the series did stick the huge jump from 2D platforming scrollers to 3D platforming scrollers!

But, the team(s) then had literally decades following that to have to work in the same format.  The Genesis and Dreamcast games had the benefit of having an end point to them set from the outside.  They were/are like canvasses that became filled and completed.  Since then it has been a canvas that keeps growing in size; nothing has yet set a third endpoint.

When it is time for Sonic to make the third huge jump, I think that it will be smooth and impressive!  That could be a jump into any new base mechanic/dynamic for the games once the technology, and Sonic Team's ideas too, are at their sweetest spots, and that will allow the series to have its new canvas!! 

 

 

 

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I can't speak for others, but the whole Adventure era was what made me very invested as a fan, and ever since the "Colors" route I've had trouble feeling invested as I used to.  Though I wasn't that big on Shadow as a character ( didn't hate him just didn't think he was so great ) and I certainly don't care for Infinite's design.

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