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Zanok the Hedgehog

Bashed By Some, Praised By You

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With over seven billion people on this planet, it's easy to say that not all of them will agree with one another on everything. As such, out of all of the Sonic titles which have been beaten to a pulp by fans and critics alike, which one - if any - do you like the best? 

While I may be a bit biased due to childhood memories, I really like Sonic 3D Blast for the SEGA Genesis. The music is some of the best in the series and the gameplay, while flawed and different, can be somewhat relaxing due to its focus on exploration. The game is also a technical marvel considering the limitations of the Genesis cartridges, so simply witnessing it can be quite enjoyable. 

So what "bad" Sonic title do you enjoy? Why do you enjoy it? 

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Sonic 06 continues to have a special place in my heart despite its notoriety. Sure, it has glitches (although I found none that are reportedly game breaking), the story is trash and the other stories outside of Sonic can be a slog to play at times, but I still enjoy it and find myself going back to it time ans time again.

It brings me back to simpler times, when I was a kid hyping the hell out of this game, looking for news left and right and overall having my whole life being all Sonic, all the time. Og was a time to be alive, I tell you and the memories made while waiting for release are downright irreplacable.

The graphics look nice for the time, and even some aspects still hold up imo. The music is stellar and I found Sonic's stages nice, open, ripe with multiple pathways and fun to play through in short bursts.

Nowhere near perfect, nowhere near good, but it has this charm to me I can't resist.

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At the risk of the ire of many, I really did like Sonic Riders, Sonic 3D Blast, and I even have a higher opinion of Sonic 2006 and Black Knight than most do. I like them all for their own individual reasons, but obviously for '06 and Black Knight aren't exactly cherished classics old and new fans alike look back on fondly. 

And yeah, they've got problems, I will never ever argue that they don't, but I can have a lot of fun with them as, as bad of a reason as nostalgia is, I do have a lot of happy memories associated with '06, both with the game itself and just how much better my life was back then.

I also do like Sonic R quite a lot and streamed it a lot earlier this year, and I even considered remaking it in Unity at one point.

A lot of the Game Gear games, too! I love most of them.

Edited by DreamSaturn
Had more thoughts that I wanted to add, didn''t want to clog up the thread with another post.

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This is such a tricky question. There are so many games and so many reasons. 

Truthfully I guess I do enjoy '06 and Sonic R as probably my top that are known for being bashed. With '06 the story for some reason just really sits well with me no matter how ridiculous it is and I always find myself enjoying it when I play or look back on it. As for Sonic R, that game is just simple fun with no real rhyme or reason that I just simply enjoy for it being Sonic and racing in Sonic style levels.

Yeah, nothing really deep, but sometimes it's the simple things that make life better. With all of these overly complex games these days that feel like I spend as much time grinding in menus as I do exploring the world and experiencing the story it's nice to be able to fall back onto simpler times when you can just turn off your brain and soak up those feelings that fulfill you on an emotional level no matter how illogical.

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I'll also chime in Sonic R. Sure the balance is broken especially if you're Super Sonic playing in the snow where you're fast and skip half the course but it has that charm and liked the idea of you know Sonic actually running in a race. It's also fun for the short time it takes to complete the game. It might be low polygonal (or quads in this case) but its one of the few times Classic Sonic was in 3D before his redesign. Plus the soundtrack that people seem to bash more, I really liked because you go back in time to an another world the 90s where Brit pop was playing on the radio. I mean Work It Out is pretty much an expy for Moving On Up and Super Sonic Racing both the vocal and the instrumental versions is one of my favourite Sonic songs.

In terms of the Modern games, I'll go for Sonic Lost World (Wii U/PC version) and Sonic 4 Episode 1. Are they good games? No, no, no. They just suffer from a few design issues and both could have been really decent or even good games. For Lost World, its the charm of the game. Its own take on the Sonic by having it bright and happy, having a few elements from the Classic games like the enemies but does it own thing and keeps things fresh. Even the original version played around the formula and was experimental to the point of even ditching the 100 rings = extra life system (that got patched to revert back). It was also designed for smooth frame rate and liked its graphical style. People seem to bash the game because it takes cues from Mario but what is wrong with that? Sonic was designed to take cues from Mario and adds twists to the gameplay to stand out. The parkour system was an interesting way of playing because it follows on the idea of Sonic having multiple routes (just like the Classics did). If it wasn't rushed and fixed the control issues then it would have been something that they could improve on instead of going the opposite direction and made the Boost formula worse.

For Episode 1, it is a beginner Sonic game and also one for low skill such as myself who struggled with the Classics and even a majority of the Modern games. It was one of my first Sonic platformers that I managed to 100% complete. The game is a retrend of Sonic 1 and 2 and does have a few new elements such as the torch and the playing cards level (both were last minute changes compared to its original design), then again I did like Emerald Hill, Casino Night and Metropolis from Sonic 2. I also like some of the music such as Lost Labyrinth Act 2 and Splash Hill Act 1 gets into my head quickly since it sounds cheesy. What surprised me the most was the Special Stage. It is pretty much a clone of Cameltry and I liked that game, unlike Sonic 1 it controls like that too. Yes, I did give it 4/10 when it came to rating the series however I actually had fun playing the game and since it was designed as a mobile game originally, it is better designed than many from that eco system. All it really needs is to fix the physics.

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i'd say riders, but that has a quite a bit of a cult following from the fanbase. unleashed has also been thought of more highly since '08, and the night stages even got some more praise over the years.

i'll come back to this once i've played a few more main games in my quest to play all of them to review them on my channel.

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Tails Adventure which is honestly a decent game. Though really all the game gear games kinda get labelled and not just this one. It's not even close to the likes of true metroidvania games, but on it's own it's fine enough. Could potentially be a starting point for Metroidvania's. It's one of the few alternate gameplay types I think the Sonic series had that worked well enough.

Sonic Heroes. Honestly it's a pain and a slog if you do everything in one go. To play all 4 teams and then get the ending...painful. Shockingly I had a really easy time getting the emeralds despite how notoriously difficult they are supposed to be. I just used Team Rose and Big the Cat....basically got them all relatively quick. Still though I ain't out to really defend this game. What I will say is I think if you came back to it, and just played like 1 team that is not Chaotix and then the final story, I think it can be fun. It won't overstay it's welcome as the finale is unlocked already and you can just stick to one team of your choosing. Again not defending the game, just saying for me it's a way I can enjoy it....otherwise I will never play everything it offers again.

 

 

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I've probably said this a hundred times by now, but Sonic 3D Blast's PC version holds such a special place in my heart; being the first Sonic game I ever owned and all. The iconic visual style set a standard for me that gave the Sonic world a sense of wonder and a dream-like atmosphere. That opening FMV is just purge magic to me!

Sure, the game itself may get a bit repetitive and the sense of speed is mostly gone. But the redone visuals and music is nothing short of stupendous! The OST is still one of my all-time favorites with tracks like Green Grove, Rusty Ruin, Gene Gadget and Panic Puppet that I find myself jamming to even today! Gotta love that wicked cool Eggman boss theme too! (Fun fact: The title screen's theme is my ringtone :P)

Another I'd say is Sonic Battle: a game that I regretted ever trading in all those years ago. It was a solid fighter with a great customization feature. Battle really would benefit from a remake imo.

Others would probably be Sonic R for being so lovably cheesy, and various Game Gear titles for their charm.

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I kind of liked 06, in a weird way, in that I see it as a buggy mess but I did feel like something could've really been there that I would've liked had it not been so difficult to just play. Kind of a matter of the released product being the bottom line, though, and so while I'm not actually pleased of it and would hesitate to call myself a fan of it I'm still kind of soft towards it. Not really into the whole princess romance thing, per se, though, but that's still the only thing I'd say I dislike on a conceptual level. If they didn't drop enemies directly on my head without giving any sort of chance to respond, if I could actually climb certain walls with Knuckles or Rouge without getting glued to them, if I could just not clip through the floor or have to wait through 2 long loading screens for any given action taken, I could honestly see myself kind of liking it quite a bit and holding it in good regard. Now I just kind of like it while shitting on it, though.

Eghhh, I also kind of like Spinball, even though it generally seems to be viewed as garbage. I didn't really take any notable issues away from it - there's better pinball games out there, definitely, but I am a fan of that style of thing in general and when I played it I actually kind of walked out with a good opinion of it on the whole. The things I didn't really like were the hybrid nature of it kind of creating these sorts of shifts in gameplay I wasn't really fond of in this instance - no outstanding issues with sorts of hybrid styles in general for me, but the platforming elements kind of felt unnecessary and sloggy in a pinball style game, as well as just a bit half-assed in how they were implemented. Sonic moved a bit slow as a pinball-type organism specifically, but in general the way things moved about in terms of physics felt kind of wonky at times which I wasn't really fond of. That was more a minor annoyance to me as opposed to the first one, though. Thought it looked really nice visually and I'm just a sucker for pinball stuff, so maybe a bit of bias in terms of why I liked it a lot, lol. I do genuinely like it, though, but from what I can tell it has a mixed reception at best.

There's a bunch of other stuff I like in this series that is hated by some, but I do kind of feel like that'd go for any given installment so I'll just list what I kind of see as my two biggest divergences and leave it at that.

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Sonic Battle:

Oh, I'm in agreement with some here. I enjoyed Sonic Battle. It had simple controls and was easy to pick up and play, it brought back Gamma and Chaos, it had a deep and engaging story, a new and cool looking art style. Also it had some rockin' music, who can forget this jazzy number?

Sonic and the Black Knight:

Yes, Sonic and the Black Knight also has a special place in my heart and it's not only because I was one of the artists featured in the European fan art collection. I also loved the story, (And the fact you could change from English to Japanese voice actors.) it had cool music from past Sonic games, the story was fantastic and I understood the motivation behind the antagonists actions, it also had a new art style for the cut scenes and it almost goes without saying that the music was awesome. Who can forget this jazzy number?

Sonic 3d Flickies' Island (PAL) Blast (NTSC) Sega Saturn:

Only two major differences exist compared to the Saturn version and the Megadrive (Genesis) version, if I'm remembering correctly. The visuals and the music. The visuals made a big impact on me. The increased feeling of creepiness at Rusty Ruins. The heightened sense of heat and cold you get from Volcano Vally and Diamond Dust respectively. I also loved the fast paced music and visuals that came from the version specific Special Stages. Yep, the music was still cool....who can forget this jazzy number?

 

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Sonic the Fighters has been mocked as a game that you can beat with just one button... Something not really true, though I do acknowledge that it has issues with some of it's very dated gameplay mechanics.

However, I don't think there really is any other Sonic game that captures and plays the cartoony aspect of the franchise and it's characters better than Fighters did with it wacky slapstick violence. Add it's awesome soundtrack and I have a game that offers something that makes me not only forgive it's flaws, but also enjoy it.

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1 hour ago, DanJ86 said:

Sonic Battle:

Oh, I'm in agreement with some here. I enjoyed Sonic Battle. It had simple controls and was easy to pick up and play, it brought back Gamma and Chaos, it had a deep and engaging story, a new and cool looking art style. Also it had some rockin' music, who can forget this jazzy number?

Sonic and the Black Knight:

Yes, Sonic and the Black Knight also has a special place in my heart and it's not only because I was one of the artists featured in the European fan art collection. I also loved the story, (And the fact you could change from English to Japanese voice actors.) it had cool music from past Sonic games, the story was fantastic and I understood the motivation behind the antagonists actions, it also had a new art style for the cut scenes and it almost goes without saying that the music was awesome. Who can forget this jazzy number?

Sonic 3d Flickies' Island (PAL) Blast (NTSC) Sega Saturn:

Only two major differences exist compared to the Saturn version and the Megadrive (Genesis) version, if I'm remembering correctly. The visuals and the music. The visuals made a big impact on me. The increased feeling of creepiness at Rusty Ruins. The heightened sense of heat and cold you get from Volcano Vally and Diamond Dust respectively. I also loved the fast paced music and visuals that came from the version specific Special Stages. Yep, the music was still cool....who can forget this jazzy number?

 

Oh shit, I almost forgot those jazzy numbers!

As for my problematic favs, I’ll start with 2006. I must have played Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 for over a hundred hours each between the Dreamcast and Gamecube versions, but I wouldn’t get a PS3 until Sonic Unleashed released. I got Unleadhed and ‘06 on the same day, but was intially unimpressed with Unleashed’s twitch gameplay and (imo) horrible characters and hub worlds. Playing Sonic 2006, however, was like slipping into a warm bath of familiarity. Sure, the water was stale and had enough germs and stink in it to be considered broth instead and of bath... but damn it, it tickled my nostalgia and provided me an actual sequel to the Adventure games I’d loved.

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While in most cases I dislike the Sonic games that are generally considered bad, my clear choice for this topic would be Sonic Heroes. While it may not be as absolutely loathed as other games in the series, its reception is mixed at best. I absolutely loved this game when it came out. I loved seeing Sonic and the others return to the surreal, classic-inspired environments after the realistic settings from the Adventure games, I enjoyed the team gameplay, the soundtrack is amazing, and I generally just had a really good time with the game. Even playing this more recently within the last few years, I can clearly see all of the many flaws that Sonic Heroes has, but, somehow I have no problem looking past them and enjoying the game to this day. Seaside Hill, Power Plant, and Egg Fleet are always my favorite levels to run through.

The dialogue, however, is beyond terrible; probably the worst out of any game in the entire series. It made me cringe back in the day, and it just makes me cringe even harder now. You can all say all you want about Colors and Lost World with their lame "Baldy McNosehair" jokes, but I would gladly take that over Sonic Heroes' writing any day.

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Sonic '06 will always be one of my favorite games in the franchise, despite all the hate it gets (rightfully so, don't get me wrong). It's Silver's introduction, and he has consistently remained my favorite Sonic character since that time.

Sonic R, on the other hand, is a bit of a guilty pleasure. I think it's too short, but it's kind of fun. The soundtrack is... okay, I guess. I just really like racing games, lol.

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Sonic Unleashed in my eyes will always be one of the best games in the entire franchise, even with the Werehog. For a first attempt at a brand new playstyle totally different from everything before it in terms of 3D Sonic, it was a excellent first attempt. Unleashed's environment and visual style is absolutely breath-taking, and my absolute favourite version of his world. It isn't just a bunch of walking talking animals mixed in with flickies and critters, it's humans that share the same cartoonish artstyle and fit perfectly fine with Sonic in the game. They're exaggerated and stylized enough to make it work.

I love how every single world in the game is different from the last, from the icy world of Holoska, the jungles and beaches of Adabat, the skyscrapers of Empire City, and the massive theme park machine nightmare of Eggmanland, I love every environment in the game, all so uniquely styled enough to sell the concept of a globe-trotting adventure.

The story is actually one of the better ones of the series, with side-missions and characters you actually get to know in each city of the game. One of the best things the game does is the world-building and atmosphere of Sonic's world and characterizing Sonic himself which is why you'll often find me hating how Lost World moved into flickies being the main inhabitants. 

The gameplay, as I said I think is pretty damn good for a first attempt for the boost formula. Each level has sections that require your reflects being on point to stay alive, and some levels even go as far as having open sections for Sonic to explore like Jungle Joyride allowing Sonic to run on water and find various little islands. Even the alternative paths and shortcuts that you can find in the levels are really damn good, especially with the likes of the Hot Dog missions nearly requiring extensive exploration of the levels to find an optimal path to reach the goal ring in time. 

And the soundtrack, do I even need to say anything?

Each song is so varied and fits in with the theme and tone of the various countries presented in the game, it's legitimately probably my favourite soundtrack in the entire series, filled with insanely catchy tracks. 

Might not be the most "bashed" game in the series, but one I find often unappreciated due to the Werehog, which is just meh IMO, as opposed to full on bad. 

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I actually quite enjoyed Shadow the Hedgehog and was surprised it was so loathed - while it's gameplay is less than polished and its plot daft as a brush, I... actually preferred it overall over Sonic Heroes, if I'm honest. Which admittedly isn't the highest bar to hurdle, but while I could see it was flawed, it was still an overall enjoyable experience.

For me, the fact that they actually attempted to make a plot (even if it did end up hilariously overwrought) put it above Heroes's minimalist plot, and the way that you could essentially choose your own story and craft something which - depending on how you did it - made at least a modicum of sense was a cut above what Heroes offered. The large variety of missions to choose from was also a welcome change to Heroes's 'play the same game nearly identically four times' set up (with the exception of having to play Westopolis 374 times), and the removal of the power and flight character mechanics made the game seem a bit smoother.

I did actually enjoy Heroes, don't get me wrong - it was a flawed but pleasant game - but I found Shadow to be just a bit better and is something of a guilty pleasure for me.

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