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Apollo Chungus

Things You Love About Sonic (the series, what it means to you, and its fandom too)

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With the main focus of things being on the live-action movie, which is something not many people seem to be genuinely looking forward to, I thought it might be a good idea to do a topic talking about all the various things we love that have something to do with Sonic the Hedgehog. These can be anything from official, fan works, videos or articles, or just anything related to Sonic; as long as it's had some kind of positive impact on your life, post about it! I'm not asking for mindless fanaticism, but I think it might be good for folks who are currently feeling a bit cynical to remember that this series has done a lot of good things for people, and how those people have done good things themselves. I'm very bad at actually explaining myself right now, so I think I'll start with a few examples:

-I played Sonic Unleashed on the Xbox 360 for the first time last year, and I think it might be my favourite 3D Sonic game now. I really like how tightly paced and challenging the daytime stages are, I think the nighttime stages are a pretty enjoyable throwback to early 00s platformers, and I love everything to do with the HUB areas. I've never seen such a fantastic use of HUB worlds and optional missions to build a sense of community with you and the NPCs, and the way that Sonic noticeably improves everyone's lives for the better by helping them out either directly or inadvertently is so heartwarming! Also, remember the two sisters in Shamar who try to make an activist group of some kind? According to an in-game bio, one of the group's previous names was "Fullmetal Shamalchemists"! Whoever handled that part of the game's localization deserves a goddamn medal!

-I got into watching AGDQ speedruns last year, and they're a lot of fun to watch! The Sonic ones in particular are great (with this particular bit from the SA2 speedrun making me grin like an idiot), but I've got to single out this recent speedrun by Dr. Fatbody, who provided the most endearingly wholesome, funny commentary to a game I've ever seen:

-One of my favourite YouTube channels is The Geek Critique, who's been doing really good videos on the Sonic series during the early-mid 00s. He recently finished covering the Sonic Advance trilogy, and I think they're some of his best, concise videos. (Here's links to the reviews for Sonic Advance 1, Advance 2, and Advance 3!)

-I love that the majority of the best things coming out of the official Sonic pipeline are things made primarily by the fans! I love that the IDW (and formerly Archie) comics are written by Ian Flynn, who used to write fanfics and fan comics back in the day, and are drawn mostly by talented artists who got into the business doing fanart like Evan Stanley, Tracy Yardley, and Jennifer Hernandez (the latter of whom recently celebrated her 20th anniversary of doing fanart, and who I followed on deviantart a couple years before she worked on the series)! I love that the Sonic Mania Adventures and Team Sonic Racing Overdrive shorts were directed, written and storyboarded by Tyson Hesse, who used to do fanart and parody comics way back when! I love that Sonic Mania's fantastic soundtrack was done by Tee Lopes, who got into the business doing remixes and arrangements of Sonic music! And of course, the fact that Sonic Mania is made almost entirely by fans like Christian Whitehead, Simon Thomley and many more who made fan games and engines over the years!

It's very easy (and admittedly somewhat understandable) to get cynical about Sonic, but I think there's so much good that it deserves to be praised whenever it can. So if you find anything related to Sonic that makes you genuinely happy, please post it here so we can enjoy it too!

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Sonic's Design: If we ignore things like the upcoming Movie and Sonic Boom (Boom Sonic is too tall for my tastes and those sports tapes are stupid), I'd say that Sonic has one if not the most well-done character design of all time. It's simple, but really strong, symbolizing the best traits attributed to Sega as a video game company: cool and rebellious.

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The Music: This franchise has amazing soundtracks and even the bad games (that aren't called Sonic 4 or Sonic 1 GBA) aren't excluded from this. Be instrumental or vocal, the Sonic series has some of the best music ever made for video games.

 

The Fanbase: While not perfect, the Sonic fanbase amazes me a lot. I'm always seeing great fan games, engines, remakes, comics, etc. being made with passion coming from very talented around the globe.

 

Sega's Support: I'm not the kind of person that likes to lick corporate boots (every company has a greedy side), but I'm really grateful for Sega's Support. If you see what Nintendo does with non-profit fangames, you know what I mean.

 

The Comics: I will be honest here: While I like some of the cheesy stuff this series has, I don't think Sonic has many well-written games or characters. But the comics? They are simply amazing and have the best characterizations i've even seen of Sonic & Cia. Ian Flynn is a incredible writer and I hope Sega hires him for a new game someday.

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I like Sonic for the unique fast paced/physics based platforming gameplay.

I also like the characters a lot, I like all of their unique designs and their gameplay (especially when you play the same level with different characters and you can take advantage of their unique skills to take different routes or shortcuts). I don't like when a character is scrapped or neglected, because they are one of the main reasons for why I like the franchise and I easily grow fond of them as soon as they are introduced in the series (with some exceptions, but well, I'm even starting to like the Deadly 6 who I initially hated).

I also like the musics and the art style... it depends from game to game, but I usually like it in most of the games, I even enjoyed Sonic Rush's weird music style.

But that's not all....

The thing that I like the most about Sonic is the sense of adventure, the sense of travellig... very few games addressed this correctly. I think that the best example of this is Sonic 3 and Knuckles. All the levels are connected with transitions, and during the level you see the background change, you see details from the background come closer to the camera, as if you are getting closer to them... it really feels like you are actually exploring Angel Island and it's very rewarding. It's hard to explain with words, but just having level transitions is not enough to recreate the same feel, everything must be done right from an artistic point of view.

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Been a fan since I was 5 , never grew out of it  , never will. I just enjoy it for what it is and grateful it's lasted for as long as it has. 

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I always liked how much care and though Sonic Team puts in all of their characters (even the ones I'm normally indifferent to) since nothing about them feels random nor improvised.

Another aspect I have always enjoyed is fanart, especially seeing the works of other people regardless of skill since all of them carry their passion and dedication, showing a very positive side of the fandom and just how many talented artists there are out there who create this pieces to show their support for this franchise.

The cartoons. In my personal case, some more than others... Basically, love the OVA, Boom and the animated shorts by Tyson Hesse, which are samples of Sonic's potential in this media form when done well.

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To make my point, I'm going to be sharing an anecdote from my childhood:

I still remember getting my GBA SP. It was my birthday during Kindergarten and I got Sonic Advance 3 with it. I picked the family dinner that night as Rain Forest Cafe and when I unwrapped those I was absolutely over the moon, I was a child who loved everything about Sonic. I played it for the entire car ride home, and even a good chunk of the dinner. So much playing that the GBA SP died during its first time even being on. I don't think I got any further than Sunset Hill's hub but gosh that was such a magical night.

The colorful, fun cast of characters, the diverse, creative worlds, an unmatched sense of speed, a (usually) rocking soundtrack...there's a lot to love with Sonic!

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I really appreciate the gameplay, the setting and stories most of the games have to offer. I don't outright hate any game in the series, and only dislike a few for being uninspired or boring, such as Rise of Lyric, and that's mostly because it doesn't keep true to the spirit of other Sonic games.

I also like how all the stories have some level of potential, and even if each game has varying degrees of meeting it, I still appreciate the ambition behind them nonetheless. Same goes for the games themselves. The Sonic games I like the most tend to have the most ambition, whether it be making a world adventure with a Werehog, or attempting to make the best Sonic game ever despite the corporate heads making that practically impossible. The ambition of the series is something I will always appreciate it for despite not always being successful.

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I've yet to honestly regret playing a Sonic game. I may think the Adventure era games haven't aged well buy I still revisit them. Even Shadow The Hedgehog. 

I haven't played Lost World or the Boom games or Forces though. 

As for the Fandom...I give it a lot of crap I'll admit but I've made a lot of great life long friends through it so I can't complain that much. 

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I should probably note that Sonic is one of those things that I initially didn't like at a distance with what minimal I could observe(Sonic's Adventure art) but ended up really getting into once I was actually able to(McDonald's sports games, SA2's cover, Sonic X). 

I simply love and appreciate a lot about the franchise in various forms & outings and it's something I've managed to stick by all this time as it keeps on running.

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