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How is it, that Sonic is still popular?

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Something that really fascinates me about the Sonic the Hedgehog series is, that this brand is still very relevant to this day, although it has so many bad games in its line up. Every other series would have died out with only one bad game that is only half as bad as the ones from Sonic. Take Banjo-Kazooie for example, this series was killed off after Nuts and Bolts, and B-K: NaB wasn't even really a bad game, it was just a different one. Earthworm Jim is also a good example. Only needed one bad game in his lineup and he was gone. Sonic 06 is a bad game, a really terrible one, but it sold pretty well and I even know people from the internet that even like and defend this broken mess of a game.

Only Sonic seems to have this power, to please so many fans, no matter how awful his games really are. But why is it this way? How is it, that this series can survive so many awful games, while others would be killed off by only having one. I have four theories of why this is the case.

1. Sonic is an old series: Sonic was born actually at the right time, where the industry didn't really have much beloved IPs. Unlike today where we have much more companies, software and smaller indie developers who are part of the market. Plus, every series that is old has a big advantage with the nostalgia card.

2. Sonic's design: The design of Sonic has a wide appeal for many different target groups: kids, teens, families, girls, boys, furries, foot fetishist etc. Many people find his design very appealing and you can tell with all those ocs on Deviantart. 

3. Sonic's rivalry with Mario: This Nintendo vs. Sega marketing really gave Sonic a boost for attention. They challenged the biggest videogame mascot in history. No wonder, so many people wanted to keep an eye on Sonic. Everyone wanted to see if Sega really can pull off a character that is as beloved or maybe even more than Super Mario.

4. Sonic's fame on the internet: This is probably the main reason, why Sonic is still very relevant to this day. So many people on the internet take advantage of Sonic's fame and kinda mock him for that or make many reviews of his games and shows: Gamegrumps, SomecallmeJohnny, Mashed, Dorkly etc. Also, a site like DeviantArt boosted Sonic's popularity even more with all those original characters, fanfics and fan comics. Sonic has become this big internet phenomenal.

What are your theories in Sonic's fame? 

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Isn't this a bit similar to "how niche is Sonic?"

Anyway, quoting myself from another thread:

Quote

Also, If fans love Sonic there should be a reason, for me it's his charisma, like he's a spitfire, impulsive, funny at times (depending on the writing), impatient and cocky, rebel, all those things, it's my favorite character and not just because I'm attached to him as a childhood icon. But yeah, he's niche nowadays.

They like his charisma. Plus some recent good games here and here, the nostalgia factor, the characters… and being a childhood icon for many people doesn't hurt.

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Mania was good for the old-school fans who left the series long ago. Those same casual fans were probably familar with Sonic in Smash Bros and also merchandising of classic Sonic like t-shirts, internet memes and such.

Younger fans enjoyed games like Colors, Generations and the Boom TV series. 

And then there's the hardcore fans like us who have stuck with Sonic through thick & thin.

 

 

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New and older games, that's nothing else quite like Sonic out there. I mean, yeah, there are games that are like Sonic, but even the best of them miss things like the level design, tight controls and mechanics that make something like Sonic Mania so much fun.

Not to mention the colorful, fun cast of characters. Kids play a major factor into that, with very few outliers, people enjoy colorful, fun things.

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Ah, Sonic-Fandom-Self-Hate-Topic *take a shoot* I was this close to getting sober.

Many reasons, but for starters:
1 New bad things don't erase old good things from reality
2 Sonic Mania, IDW, even that Overdrive cartoon. Let's not go this "bu-hu everything about Sonic is terrible" routine, it's getting old.

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The character designs are really appealing, a lot of the games are  fun and even the low end games are something that's mostly just nothing special for most people. Like, only Sonic fans really got caught up on how bad forces is. It's mostly just a shallow game that probably made a decent buck. 

Sonic has no clout as far as mainstream gaming enthusiasts go but thats about it. It's fine.


It's more of a series that pretty consistently lowballs it and hits that mark now than an outright massive failure. The perception here is kind of skewed because people here are waiting for Sonic to pay off their long term investment when there's no real obligation for that

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Because nostalgia and Sonic has an appealing design, like the modern-Mickey mouse, the shape of Sonic and his friends design is appealing to the eyes for both older and young.

 

But there is a huge argument that can be made that Sonic isn't as populair as he was in the 90's. It might still be populair but its not as known or beloved as let's say Pokemon. 

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Ok serious question does anyone on here like...actually like Sonic? Because it seems like nearly everyday there's another "Hey here's why Sonic sucks and we should change everything about it" topic.

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3 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

Ok serious question does anyone on here like...actually like Sonic? Because it seems like nearly everyday there's another "Hey here's why Sonic sucks and we should change everything about it" topic.

I don't blame you but to be fair, most of the responses to said topics have been "uh, no, Sonic is good, you idiot" (slightly paraphrased).

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7 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

Ok serious question does anyone on here like...actually like Sonic? Because it seems like nearly everyday there's another "Hey here's why Sonic sucks and we should change everything about it" topic.

I think a lot of people here will defend the series when it comes down to it but yeah I don't like the vibe where everyone is just fixated on the Sonic that could be and making themselves upset. It's something that's interesting to think about but not worth dwelling on much in the long run. The series obviously still delivers to you some kind of joy so focus more on that, maybe.

There's a whole other issue where people don't really care that much about Sonic and are just obsessed with starting dumb arguments too but that's it's own separate can of worms.

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20 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

Ok serious question does anyone on here like...actually like Sonic?

I like like Sonic, if that means anything.

He's good to me, he's predictably mediocre.

Which means I never have to care about any new stuff.

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I feel like many people here werent old enough to understand just how massive Sonic was in the 90s. He was really, really, really big, and helped SEGA dominate the market in the western world while becoming a permanent, global pop culture icon. 

Think of it this way: Prince (RIP) was really, really big in the 80s, super massively successive musician. Still big in the early 90s but not close to what he was then, and eventually faded from eminent popularity and relevance in the "now" scene of the late 90s, 2000s, and beyond. Continued a long career as a musician, with some highs and lows but of course nothing remotely like when he was in his prime. Despite his popularity never getting close to his apex again, no one would ever forget him because of how big and influential he was to the industry as a whole during his peak.

Sonic is in a similar position. He himself wont be forgotten for a long, long time in the public conscious. The video game industry itself would almost have to go away before people would forget about him, because he is one of the biggest gaming icons ever and is much too remembered for what he was at his peak. (For the same reason, nostalgia pandering that diehard fans seem to hate so much will never go away).

A huge contribution to this is the fact that Sonic is probably one of the greatest character designs ever. He has such a simple, naturally appealing design that is instantly recognizable, you cant mistake him for anything else. Kids have always wanted to draw sonic characters and create their own versions of sonic characters since the beginning. 

 

What does this mean for the games? Well, probably nothing. As long as people recognize Sonic, he will sell games to some degree. The real question really is whether or not Sonic will ever be close to a AAA franchise again, and not whether or not he will sell games at all. The former question is one that is definitely affected by the reputation of the series (through word of mouth in the gaming community, and professional reviewers) over the past 20 years and quality control. If sonic regains a consistently high level of quality and word of mouth/reviews improve, than his recgonizability will help sell more games rather than keep buyers at a distance.

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On 3/20/2019 at 12:51 AM, ShadowSJG said:

Like honestly, there are only 2  bad Sonic Games:

06 and Shadow 

Rise of Lyric too, but yeah, I feel you. And gaming media will always bring those decade-old games up as justification to piss on Sonic in the current day. Lost World and Forces weren't perfect, but far from terrible. Colors, All Stars Racing, Generations and Mania were all well recieved (along with the Boom cartoon series and comics) but yet gaming media always focuses on Sonic's missteps.

It annoys me to no end how whenever any Sonic game, cartoon, or even the movie is announced, the first paragraph in a Kotaku, Polygon, Destructoid, IGN, article ALWAYS starts with the phrase: 'Sonic has had a rough transition to 3D' or 'Sonic USED to be a gaming giant until the 2000's' or 'Sonic has seen his share of failures' it's so biased. 

It's like using Mario is Missing, Mario's Time Machine or the live-action Mario movie to justify scrutinzing some modern day Mario game on Switch.

'Mario sure has had his ups and downs over the years. First there was that disastrous live action film, followed up by two awful edutainment titles for the SNES. Couple that with the massive failure of the Virtual Boy and Wii-U, it's safe to say Mario has seen better days. Let's hope Nintendo can fix that with their upcoming Super Mario Odyssey for the Switch.'

See how ridiculous that sounded? That's pretty much what gaming outlets are doing now with Sonic.

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The difference here is Mario is Missing, Mario’s Time Machine and the Movie were all projects farmed out to third parties back when Nintendo didn’t have a vice like grip on the Mario brand. The bad Sonic games in question are mainline Sonic Team titles. Shit, even the Wii U Mario titles are considered fantastic, despite the system itself bombing.

It’s not “biased” to think one set of games sucks and another doesn’t. Especially if there’s reasoning behind it, which reviews usually have, contrary to most fan moaning. I don’t think it’s too surprising that the media focuses on the missteps a lot when they’re so frequent and even as recent as the last 3D Sonic game released.

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Forces wasn't a bad game though. In Sega's yearly earning report for 2018, Forces was considered a financial success for the company.

http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2018/02/07/sega-says-sonic-forces-sales-performed-strongly/

It's a divisive game because yes, some fans dislike it, but you really cannot compare it to something like 06 or Shadow. Same goes with Lost World. 

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10 minutes ago, Myst said:

Forces wasn't a bad game though. In Sega's yearly earning report for 2018, Forces was considered a financial success for the company.

http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2018/02/07/sega-says-sonic-forces-sales-performed-strongly/

It's a divisive game because yes, some fans dislike it, but you really cannot compare it to something like 06 or Shadow. Same goes with Lost World. 

Financial success does not equal a good game. Otherwise something like Okami would be considered a bad game just because it didn’t sell.

Likewise just because it’s not as bad as the very worst this series has to offer doesn’t mean it isn’t bad. Power to you if you enjoy it but the consensus is, at the very least and for very good reason, that Forces is pretty damn naff.

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On 3/19/2019 at 4:45 PM, Wraith said:

I think a lot of people here will defend the series when it comes down to it but yeah I don't like the vibe where everyone is just fixated on the Sonic that could be and making themselves upset. It's something that's interesting to think about but not worth dwelling on much in the long run. The series obviously still delivers to you some kind of joy so focus more on that, maybe.

There's a whole other issue where people don't really care that much about Sonic and are just obsessed with starting dumb arguments too but that's it's own separate can of worms.

You could make the argument the reason they are upset is that the series stopped doing things they enjoyed. And in many ways started actively doing the opposite. Consistently , more so than the good stuff. You can only survive remembering the good times for so long

That said, at that point I would just make the argument to bow out. You don't owe Sega nothing and should move on to brands making you happy. Or even, like some, try and create your own happiness. It's harder, but at least make something that reflects what you want

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On 3/19/2019 at 11:51 PM, ShadowSJG said:

Like honestly, there are only 2  bad Sonic Games:

06 and Shadow 

I  bought 06 three times

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