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PhoenixtheJackal

Why is everyone taking Infinite Seriously, a Discussion about Infinite's character, and why he's in my top 5 characters.

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So like what I mean everyone is like he's so lame his backstory is bad, etc., and that's exactly why I love him, he has such like middle schooler energy, the time when everyone was just poorly emulating what they see as cool, and it's adorable and hilarious, but everyone is like "he's the worst villain" for everything I love about him, am I like alone in this, does anyone else really like Infinite, or am I just justifying my love for a terribly written game because Infinite is just me when I was 12, and Forces is a shoddy version of my childhood (the 3d boost games)?

Edit: I feel like I'm the only one that found Infinite as funny as he is because they played it so straight that his story being so lame made me find him really funny

Edited by PhoenixtheJackal
I think I worded this not ideally so I attached a bit more to the end to explain how I feel better

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Why is everyone taking Infinite Seriously

Because that's what the game does. Possibly excepting the "I'm not weak" moment, which manages to be a step more ridiculous than the rest of Forces' story, there's nothing that points to Infinite being any sort of deliberate joke. Everything in the game frames him as being at least as serious and legitimate a threat as any other villain has been, there's no wink to the player that he's deliberately written to be over-the-top, he just is badly written.

Which is kind of a shame, because I think they absolutely could've taken that route; make Infinite the bad (in both alignment and quality) self insert counterpart to the Avatar as the good self insert. But I see no way to read that from what the game actually does with the characters.

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You love him for ironic reasons;  there's nothing wrong with that, but there's a difference between why people hate him. 

People don't like Infinite because he's simply a poorly written character; the game wants you to take him completely seriously, and accept everything that happens at face value. There's no level of irony in how he's presented, or no joke about it. What you see about him is literally what you get. That simply compounds how badly written he is because there's nothing about that's actually all that interesting despite the game's attempting at building him up.

Liking him for ironic reasons is fine, but it kind of misses the point of what they were going for. 

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42 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Because that's what the game does. Possibly excepting the "I'm not weak" moment, which manages to be a step more ridiculous than the rest of Forces' story, there's nothing that points to Infinite being any sort of deliberate joke. Everything in the game frames him as being at least as serious and legitimate a threat as any other villain has been, there's no wink to the player that he's deliberately written to be over-the-top, he just is badly written.

Which is kind of a shame, because I think they absolutely could've taken that route; make Infinite the bad (in both alignment and quality) self insert counterpart to the Avatar as the good self insert. But I see no way to read that from what the game actually does with the characters.

The way I thought of it is sort of like a they build up this ultimate villain, he's so intimidating and terrifying he can tear reality, then you learn he's just a random Jackal who thought he was the best Merc get's kicked by Shadow once and then becomes the edgy overpowered self-insert, and the story was played completely straight to emphasize how bad of a character he is, that also definitely could've been done better as well, I wish Sega would just hire the Boom Cartoon Writers, and the Writers of Colors to work on games

34 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

You love him for ironic reasons;  there's nothing wrong with that, but there's a difference between why people hate him. 

People don't like Infinite because he's simply a poorly written character; the game wants you to take him completely seriously, and accept everything that happens at face value. There's no level of irony in how he's presented, or no joke about it. What you see about him is literally what you get. That simply compounds how badly written he is because there's nothing about that's actually all that interesting despite the game's attempting at building him up.

Liking him for ironic reasons is fine, but it kind of misses the point of what they were going for. 

I saw it as a really bad Deadpan Comedy, where everything is played straight but is meant to be funny because of the over the topness, so it's played Straight to be a comedy, but I also find Shadow the Hedgehog (game) hilarious so yeah there's that

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I have always seen Infinite as the pathetic spoiled kid who was given big powers and became dangerous. I kinda like this concept too, but I agree that it's bad written in the game. Though, every character in that game is bad written.

Infinite is someone who acts childish and is filled with desire of revenge for silly reasons; he wants to kill people and destroy the world in order to fullfill his childish revenge, because according to his ill psychology and twisted vision of the world, it makes sense. If used well, a villain like that has some potential IMO.

I hate Dragonball comparisons, but there's Majin Buu that's kinda a similar character in that regard, minus the backstory (and the fact that Buu is even more childish, he gets angry for suff like candies and such). The interesting thing of that type of characters, is that if you manage to get into their psychology and reason with them in the right way, they may even turn to your side, or at least stay neutral to you; but at the same time they are very unstable, and every little pointless thing can turn them dangerous again.

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51 minutes ago, PhoenixtheJackal said:

I saw it as a really bad Deadpan Comedy, where everything is played straight but is meant to be funny because of the over the topness,

That's not what deadpan humor is, again, outside of his "I'm not weak" moment...nothing about him is over the top.

He's not meant to be ironic, deadpan humor only comes in the form of actual jokes not the tone of a story.

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I kind of like him, too, though certainly not as an edgy all-powerful monster.  I think he's accidentally a good character; he wasn't written to be, but somewhere in the mess of his conflicting backstory emerges something interesting - a coward with a massive inferiority complex.  I'm just not sure the writers realise it.

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4 hours ago, FFWF said:

I kind of like him, too, though certainly not as an edgy all-powerful monster.  I think he's accidentally a good character; he wasn't written to be, but somewhere in the mess of his conflicting backstory emerges something interesting - a coward with a massive inferiority complex.  I'm just not sure the writers realise it.

I hope Sega gets good writers again, and reintroduce him, but not make him a good villain make him over the top edgy but super lame, I dunno if they will but I hope they do

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People are definitely too cynical about him IMO. He turned out pretty over the top and hammy, intentional or not. Makes him much more immediately entertaining than the last like 8 Sonic villains even if he never quite reaches Mephilies levels of OD. The game doesn't need to let me know it's in on the joke. It would have been even less entertaining that way then playing it straight considering how bad the jokes in new Sonic games are. 

I'm glad they didn't try to force some commentary about fan-characters in it. The last thing I want from Sonic is for it to lecture me on why kids making edgy fan characters is bad after 15 years of the internet doing it. We've done more than enough damage there.

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Honestly I kinda agree. Forces isn't great but Infinite is so over the top Edge that it honestly makes him kinda charming to me.

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1 hour ago, Wraith said:

People are definitely too cynical about him IMO. He turned out pretty over the top and hammy, intentional or not. Makes him much more immediately entertaining than the last like 8 Sonic villains even if he never quite reaches Mephilies levels of OD. The game doesn't need to let me know it's in on the joke. It would have been even less entertaining that way then playing it straight considering how bad the jokes in new Sonic games are. 

I'm glad they didn't try to force some commentary about fan-characters in it. The last thing I want from Sonic is for it to lecture me on why kids making edgy fan characters is bad after 15 years of the internet doing it. We've done more than enough damage there.

He Certainly more memorable than Zavok, but I think unfortunately there's not too much chance for him to get another Shot because people didn't like him so why would he be back, we barely see Silver because he wasn't very interesting, along with being the worst character to play as in 06, despite his potential for being really fun to play as

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1 hour ago, PhoenixtheJackal said:

He Certainly more memorable than Zavok, but I think unfortunately there's not too much chance for him to get another Shot because people didn't like him so why would he be back, we barely see Silver because he wasn't very interesting, along with being the worst character to play as in 06, despite his potential for being really fun to play as

Nobody liked Zavok either, but Sonic Team keep pushing him anyway.

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1 hour ago, PhoenixtheJackal said:

He Certainly more memorable than Zavok, but I think unfortunately there's not too much chance for him to get another Shot because people didn't like him so why would he be back, we barely see Silver because he wasn't very interesting, along with being the worst character to play as in 06, despite his potential for being really fun to play as

We don't see Silver because they cut the secondary cast out of most of the games. Despite 06 getting a bad rep, we still got Silver in every spinoff game immediately after and up until this day. That's arguably what's happening with Zavok too, where they're just tossing him in a bunch of games until we eventually warm up to him.

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1 hour ago, thumbs13 said:

We don't see Silver because they cut the secondary cast out of most of the games. Despite 06 getting a bad rep, we still got Silver in every spinoff game immediately after and up until this day. That's arguably what's happening with Zavok too, where they're just tossing him in a bunch of games until we eventually warm up to him.

Well Spin-offs I don't super count because they take basically everyone for those, but like in the other 3d games other characters show up, and yeah Silver is in Forces isn't he, so I guess he does still show up in mainline games, I wish they'd bring back multiple characters the problem wasn't the characters it's that everyone was slower, or had a really annoying gimmick, if the modern games had playable characters in a Similar vein to Mania but with individual storylines and still having unique stuff, but not annoying stuff people would like it

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12 hours ago, PhoenixtheJackal said:

 

I saw it as a really bad Deadpan Comedy, where everything is played straight but is meant to be funny because of the over the topness, so it's played Straight to be a comedy, but I also find Shadow the Hedgehog (game) hilarious so yeah there's that

Well fine, but that's not what they were going for; he's clearly meant to be played entirely straight. Anything hilarious or funny about is the result of just poor execution of what they were going for. 

 

 

As for me personally; I really don't care about him. Yea, the concept surrounding him had potential to be interesting, but the execution is botched as usual. So all you're left with is a confusing mess of a character with superficial traits that make him appealing. I'm trying not to be too cynical here, but after all of the hype and marketing that went into him, only to see how he actually was in game just left me kind of sour on him. 

Mephiles was way more over the top and edgy, so I can't really like that either. That said, I think the idea that he had such a darwinist attitude and that he was so insistent on his "might makes right" mindset could have made for an engaging character, but they never elaborated on it, so it's just fluff. 

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I love Infinite and will be disappointed if Forces is his only appearance in the series. Here's the thing with Infinite - I do take him seriously as a villain, but I think people misunderstand the role he serves. Infinite is not the big bad in Sonic Forces, Eggman is. Eggman takes over the world, Eggman is the final boss you fight, and everything is framed as the Resistance fighting Eggman. Nothing in any of Sonic Forces' various material shows Infinite has any machinations of anything more than what he is - Eggman's hired goon/general. He attempts to fight Eggman briefly during the Rise of Infinite comic, but then immediately agrees to work for Eggman based on the vision he gets. He and his squad work for Eggman until they're taken out by Shadow, which motivates him to be experimented on to get strong enough to beat Shadow and anyone he perceives as being stronger than him - a petty reason based on his ego and self perception.

Throughout the main campaign he is presented as a credible threat - or rather the Phantom Ruby is. Infinite's act is all bravado, he sees the ruby's power as his own power and this gives him a cockiness and smugness that is completely unearned. The game presents him as a major threat who oozes pompousness and you can't wait to deck in the face: and the game gives you three opportunities to actually do so and push him off his pedestal. Infinite is a hubristic lackey, and this is what I love about him. He's like a melding of Jet and Metal Sonic with some Fang thrown in for good measure - his role is to talk a lot of trash and then get his ass handed to him in a cathartic act for the player. I would love to see Infinite come back as a mid or penultimate boss to shoot his mouth off toward Sonic and then be put in his place leaving with a "I'll get you next time, Gadget" line. Don't look to him to fill the roles served by other big bads like Mephiles or Merlina - characters with the power or motivation to make them compelling on their own. Infinite is on the same level as Orbot and Cubot, except his personality is defined by his ego and he can be used in a boss fight.

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To me Infinite always came across as what anti-Shadow fans think Shadow is. Over the top, edgy, wanting to be the strongest, tragic backstory, etc. Shadow is some of those things, but I never saw him as edgy as others did, including Sega itself during his game. If anything his design contrasting with his personality is something about him I love in SA2. It's like the trope of someone being born with a "mean" looking face actually being a nice person.

If nothing else Infinite's powers and setting is something that stands out to me. It's been so long since I felt like a villain was actually "mysterious" and a threat.

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34 minutes ago, DryLagoon said:

It's like the trope of someone being born with a "mean" looking face actually being a nice person.

Does this seem like the face of a meanie?

image.png.0189023eb8960f4b979c9e4e8c32dfeb.png

or this:image.png.1f7a3ca89a95219a6b40eb207cb3b151.png

or this:image.png.8552e32e80bde75687fd2f826cc909bf.png

It really doesn't, right?

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Infinite is an uninteresting character who eats screentime that could've been served to Eggman himself (he actually had less of a presence here than in Colors considering he at least could talk through announcements). All of the defenses of him frankly come off as spins made after the game turned out to be yet another disappointment.

What does Infinite have going for him? A backstory that's not shown in the game (and is actually contradicted by in-game dialogue) unless you shell out the cash for Shadow's DLC?

Frankly, the only way to make Infinite interesting would've been to make him and Eggman legit friends/good allies as a mirror to Sonic and OC. We've already done "Eggman gets betrayed by the new villain" "Eggman unleashes the new villain who uses him as a pawn" and "Eggman outplays the new villain and makes him his slave." How about "Eggman and the new villain are genuine allies who aid each-other for more than just a power play"? 

13 hours ago, GentlemanX said:

Infinite is not the big bad in Sonic Forces, Eggman is. Eggman takes over the world, Eggman is the final boss you fight, and everything is framed as the Resistance fighting Eggman. Nothing in any of Sonic Forces' various material shows Infinite has any machinations of anything more than what he is - Eggman's hired goon/general.

How does that make him any better than the Nega-Wisp or Time Eater? We haven't gotten a 3D Sonic where Eggman was threatened by another villain since Unleashed.

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My stance is probably a little more in the outfield than others but I like Infinite for the potential his three stories hint at to me. A character and potential has a way of making me invested, and Infinite definitely has "character". Plus, I like how his whole schtick is about image and perception. The relationship he has with Sonic is a clashing of the images the two of them have and his need and desire to destroy Sonic's. In a way I find that the Shadow DLC expands upon that by showing the need for recognition that he has from being the self-proclaimed Ultimate Mercenary to seeking greater and greater glories after finding Shadow meaningless later on. He traps him in an illusion (timespan is really insignificant) and moves on to bigger prey. And why wouldn't he? Despite Shadow being who he credits for his transition from egocentric mercenary to egocentric goon, Shadow has no image to tear down or prove himself against. He is a character about imagery and perception, and Shadow's imagery and perception is almost entirely meta rather than in universe. Well, this leads him to Sonic naturally, both as the Image of Eggman's enemy and failures and the world renowned hero and adventurer. There is no one better in a clash of imagery and perception to engage with. Sure Shadow was personal due to the Jackal Squad who have no bearing on him when after he puts on his mask, but Sonic is a mountain to climb and/or tear down to increase his own image. It's too me what makes him an intriguing villain narratively as their is heaps of potential there. Obviously though, direction can waste that potential and how I see his character can be lost forever, but as he is in Forces and the immediate supplementary material there is more than enough for me to like him unironically.

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10 hours ago, StaticMania said:

Does this seem like the face of a meanie?

I mean no one in Sonic Looks all that mean, they're all mostly Adorable even the Cosmic Horrors are a tad cute, the exception being the out of place humans, and Eggman, but they don't look mean

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I'm trying to recall my thoughts on Infinite and I would say they're not mixed, so much as ...positively middling? Idk, I guess if I can finally start somewhere, I guess I'll sum him up as enjoyable for what he is, but I've had no presumptions or predilection towards him doing it again.

Before I do the apparently inevitable contrast, let's mention how he's very much channeling the Dreamcast and very early Modern eras in his presence, with a number of key trappings involved. One would be the atmosphere dedicated to his character that's arguably a rival for that of Mephiles, very much being your Ultimate Villain archetype with a dark theme around him. But the big one is how he almost certainly dies in the end once he outlives his usefulness near the eleventh hour and then possibly has what remains of him go wild before going up in an explosion ( if you roll with Lewis's interpretation anyway). Thanks to a combination of the Archie comics and leveled up genre savviness (not to mention the wasted Grand Finale feel of the premise), I've come to recognize what Tvtropes calls "Too Powerful to Live" syndrome and like most of the villains before him, Infinite ticks off a lot of the boxes. Maybe even more.

To talk a little more about the Jackal himself, I once again did like aspects about him. I think the 3 or so general concepts of his character are cool if wasted, I like most renditions of his theme song, and I like the completely different if more in type performance by Liam O'Brien (Zazz and Gaara). I also thought aspects of his relationship with Eggman were kinda neat(even if I'm still inclined to think that could've been Nega). But most importantly as a partial segueway, I genuinely enjoyed/respected how they put quite a time into his banter & dynamic with Sonic as well as the Avatar; I realize the latter is because they're building up to the Double Boost duo defeating him the third time, but you gotta give to them actually being able to let the villain have near equal tension with both protagonists.

Now it's time to acknowledge how, intentionally or not given certain statements and rumors, he kinda feels like another course correction on Lost World. There's only one of him versus the Deadly Six, he has a DeviantArt friendly edgy Sonic design compared to their more caricature & nonstandard impish looks, I think he's the first villain with an outright vocal theme about himself whereas they have a collective bad guy theme in addition to individual leitmotifs in cutscenes, and finally more of the story's focus & presentation goes into sizing him up in a one n done manner compared to them seemingly being custom made for encore appearances regardless of how that actually went--an arguable debate between self-contained stories vs ongoing serials. Let's not forget how they even threw on a free day one DLC that featured something resembling backstory for him in supposed response to how previous villains were lacking in such motivation, even if it's vaguely contradictory with what's given in the base game and a blatant attempt to shoehorn in even more Dreamcast era stuff by making Shadow [superficially] more connected & intheknow with him. And personality-wise, Infinite is a slightly more indulgent/grandiose, let's say Bishonen Zavok, which Forces makes a little more obvious; one thing you can undeniably give him is that there was more chemistry allowed in the Ultimate Mercenary's debut than with the Strongest Warrior's.

 

Overall, I (& evidently the Franchise itself) still have a preference for most of the manageable Zeti compared to Infinite, but I and many others still recognize the latter. I just don't see the likelihood or honestly much appeal in bringing what he was back.

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2 hours ago, DabigRG said:

I'm trying to recall my thoughts on Infinite and I would say they're not mixed, so much as ...positively middling? Idk, I guess if I can finally start somewhere, I guess I'll sum him up as enjoyable for what he is, but I've had no presumptions or predilection towards him doing it again.

Before I do the apparently inevitable contrast, let's mention how he's very much channeling the Dreamcast and very early Modern eras in his presence, with a number of key trappings involved. One would be the atmosphere dedicated to his character that's arguably a rival for that of Mephiles, very much being your Ultimate Villain archetype with a dark theme around him. But the big one is how he almost certainly dies in the end once he outlives his usefulness near the eleventh hour and then possibly has what remains of him go wild before going up in an explosion ( if you roll with Lewis's interpretation anyway). Thanks to a combination of the Archie comics and leveled up genre savviness (not to mention the wasted Grand Finale feel of the premise), I've come to recognize what Tvtropes calls "Too Powerful to Live" syndrome and like most of the villains before him, Infinite ticks off a lot of the boxes. Maybe even more.

To talk a little more about the Jackal himself, I once again did like aspects about him. I think the 3 or so general concepts of his character are cool if wasted, I like most renditions of his theme song, and I like the completely different if more in type performance by Liam O'Brien (Zazz and Gaara). I also thought aspects of his relationship with Eggman were kinda neat(even if I'm still inclined to think that could've been Nega). But most importantly as a partial segueway, I genuinely enjoyed/respected how they put quite a time into his banter & dynamic with Sonic as well as the Avatar; I realize the latter is because they're building up to the Double Boost duo defeating him the third time, but you gotta give to them actually being able to let the villain have near equal tension with both protagonists.

Now it's time to acknowledge how, intentionally or not given certain statements and rumors, he kinda feels like another course correction on Lost World. There's only one of him versus the Deadly Six, he has a DeviantArt friendly edgy Sonic design compared to their more caricature & nonstandard impish looks, I think he's the first villain with an outright vocal theme about himself whereas they have a collective bad guy theme in addition to individual leitmotifs in cutscenes, and finally more of the story's focus & presentation goes into sizing him up in a one n done manner compared to them seemingly being custom made for encore appearances regardless of how that actually went--an arguable debate between self-contained stories vs ongoing serials. Let's not forget how they even threw on a free day one DLC that featured something resembling backstory for him in supposed response to how previous villains were lacking in such motivation, even if it's vaguely contradictory with what's given in the base game and a blatant attempt to shoehorn in even more Dreamcast era stuff by making Shadow [superficially] more connected & intheknow with him. And personality-wise, Infinite is a slightly more indulgent/grandiose, let's say Bishonen Zavok, which Forces makes a little more obvious; one thing you can undeniably give him is that there was more chemistry allowed in the Ultimate Mercenary's debut than with the Strongest Warrior's.

 

Overall, I (& evidently the Franchise itself) still have a preference for most of the manageable Zeti compared to Infinite, but I and many others still recognize the latter. I just don't see the likelihood or honestly much appeal in bringing what he was back.

All of the Zeti were so one note, Infinite is kinda one note but he's actually interesting at least, and I love his theme so much, but I just really like that he's basically a 12 year old

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6 hours ago, Sonic Fan J said:

My stance is probably a little more in the outfield than others but I like Infinite for the potential his three stories hint at to me. A character and potential has a way of making me invested, and Infinite definitely has "character". Plus, I like how his whole schtick is about image and perception. The relationship he has with Sonic is a clashing of the images the two of them have and his need and desire to destroy Sonic's. In a way I find that the Shadow DLC expands upon that by showing the need for recognition that he has from being the self-proclaimed Ultimate Mercenary to seeking greater and greater glories after finding Shadow meaningless later on. He traps him in an illusion (timespan is really insignificant) and moves on to bigger prey. And why wouldn't he? Despite Shadow being who he credits for his transition from egocentric mercenary to egocentric goon, Shadow has no image to tear down or prove himself against. He is a character about imagery and perception, and Shadow's imagery and perception is almost entirely meta rather than in universe. Well, this leads him to Sonic naturally, both as the Image of Eggman's enemy and failures and the world renowned hero and adventurer. There is no one better in a clash of imagery and perception to engage with. Sure Shadow was personal due to the Jackal Squad who have no bearing on him when after he puts on his mask, but Sonic is a mountain to climb and/or tear down to increase his own image. It's too me what makes him an intriguing villain narratively as their is heaps of potential there. Obviously though, direction can waste that potential and how I see his character can be lost forever, but as he is in Forces and the immediate supplementary material there is more than enough for me to like him unironically.

I found him moving on from Shadow one of the biggest missed opportunities actually. Him and Sonic have no real personal connection besides just being the villain and hero respectively; it's not a very interesting relationship.

With him and Shadow, there's actually some pathos there. But I understand that it takes the focus off Sonic, and that was one of the biggest criticisms of 06 that Shadow had more of a personal connection to the plot than Sonic did. But then I question why even give Shadow that personal connection at all if it wasn't going to go anywhere.

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Understandable. Developing his relationship with Shadow could have really fleshed out his character and maybe even brought a clear focus to his obsession with image. Building up his own, tearing down others, and anything around it. There is plenty to explore to be sure, but as it was presented just finding Infinite's seeming obsession with Image and how Sonic is the ultimate image to tear down to build up his own it's something that I latch onto for why I see potential in his character.

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