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My problems with Shadow, in concept and execution

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11 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

I think in IDW specifically, it came from Ian wanting Shadow to be more cooperative and helpful in his original draft of the story, but being given a mandate by Sega to make him more harsh and antagonistic, specifically wanting him to focus hard on his rivalry with Sonic.

Considering how willing Shadow's been in previous games to help Sonic against greater threats - particularly in Sonic Adventure 2 - this is a strange direction to push the character. Rivalry or not, against a global crisis, Shadow usually buckles down and focuses more on the greater good. 

I mean that's pretty much everyone in the series, though, and of the heroes he is the most inclined to break rank and do things his own way, given he's just as willful and independent as Sonic, if not moreso. Plus the zombot arc is all about the characters being worn down until the raw nerve's showing, and Shadow's not the nicest guy to start with. He ended up listening to Sonic last time and that's (in part) what caused this whole mess, so he's got reason to not want to listen to him again.

11 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

Telling Sonic that he "deserves" to get infected for showing Eggman mercy comes off as particularly coldhearted. On that note, being super homicidal toward Eggman also strikes me as being at odds with his original characterization. (Though it fits just fine with ShtH and Chronicles, so it's not like that's unprecedented, per se; I just felt those portrayals were strange and off-brand for the character too.)

It's harsh, sure, but I consider it a matter of extraordinary circumstances. As poorly portrayed as it was, Eggman had successfully taken over the planet in Forces, compared to his plans usually being stopped before any real harm was done (or at least the harm being mostly undone by the end). He proved himself a threat too dangerous for Shadow to allow him to wander freely. And with Sonic, again, it's not unreasonable for Shadow to see him as being responsible for the zombot apocalypse, and I don't think it's outside his range to say "you caused this, you deserve to suffer it".

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32 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

Shadow's an weird asshole who has very little context for the world around him and is will just clown people. There's a lot of comedy to mined there, but comedy really shouldn't be the focus? Like I think you could just have shadow ...be in character and do cool shit and it will work for people. Not everyone has to be a hehe haha kind of dude. Also sonic's comedy as of late isn't really that funny so why focus on it, who gives a shit about it. At this point its mask for quality issues.  A lot of issues of " where does shadow belong" is he and multilple other characters haven't done anything.

If you get them doing things, no one really questions where they belong. Its why along with characterization issues, issues have risen for him in the comic. He hasn't really...done anything.  Have him do shit, have other characters do shit

We've always had Shadow doing cool shit, so I don't think it's wrong to have the character actually engage in some lighthearted shenanigans once in a while.

I'm bored of Shadow being super cool, I know Shadow is cool, I don't need to see Shadow being cool all of the time.

I want him to be a rounded character who is actually able to do things besides fold his arms and brood.

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42 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

We've always had Shadow doing cool shit, so I don't think it's wrong to have the character actually engage in some lighthearted shenanigans once in a while.

 

 

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I'm bored of Shadow being super cool, I know Shadow is cool, I don't need to see Shadow being cool all of the time.

I want him to be a rounded character who is actually able to do things besides fold his arms and brood.

Eh, not really. Sonic forces he doesn't do anything.

He's not in lost world

Boom he's terrible.

The last time shadow did a cool thing was in generations a boss fight where you fight the sa2 version of him and that was almost a decade ago.

Most of his cool has been regulated to comics. For whatever reason you are thinking that I dunno sonic 06 was yesterday or some shit. It wasn't homie been MIA for a hot ass minute and still kind of was untill very recently. I get wanting shadow to be " rounded" but him doing cool shit part is why people like him and why so many complaints about shadow is " what does he do " he hasn't been doing anything, its why he's here and its how you prove his place in combination with the wll roundedness. And he hasn't gotten to do either, in a long ass time

Just let him do cool shit. Let him find his place by doing cool shit. Give him a place in the story, making him playable , have that playable story be relevant instead of a staple on at the end of a shitty game that adds nothing to the narrative.

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I don't care if he hasn't done it in a long ass time. If I wanted him to just retread the shit he already did, then I would just go play the older games where he was actually good.

I know Shadow is a tortured soul who broods, everyone knows it. Sega might not care, but fans sure as fuck won't let anyone forget it.

I want the character to be used in new and different ways, not doing the same shit that was considered cool over a decade ago.

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

I don't care if he hasn't done it in a long ass time. If I wanted him to just retread the shit he already did, then I would just go play the older games where he was actually good.

I know Shadow is a tortured soul who broods, everyone knows it. Sega might not care, but fans sure as fuck won't let anyone forget it.

I want the character to be used in new and different ways, not doing the same shit that was considered cool over a decade ago.

I get what you are saying. And agree. But its not like " well he has to stop being cool now and do new shit" He can just be cool doing new shit and going on new adventures while also being cool. That's essentially what well written comic shadow was.

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I can't help but feel you care more about Shadow being "cool" than Shadow actually being a character.

If I was still an impressionable 12 year old, fine. But I'm not. I like watching cool shit, but it should not be the only thing a character has to offer. 

A character who is nothing but "cool" is ironically enough, not cool at all. Shit man, even Dante and Vergil have depth to their characters beyond just being super cool badasses. And sure enough, when they got rid of that depth and tried to make them just "cool", people hated it.

By actually rounding out your character's personality, you better highlight their traits and get people to actually give a shit about them.

 

 

If "coolness" is the end all and be all about this character, then he never had much to offer to begin with.

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

I can't help but feel you care more about Shadow being "cool" than Shadow actually being a character.

 

No? Considering I got whole write ups about shadow's character being funky theoriticals about how to handle his story and proposed several reboots on how you could change aspects of  him. No , but him being kind of cool is part of his appeal. And understand while I would love a whole story where he and cream on go on adventure a lot of his audience including myself also come here for the cool shit. Its the cool and compassionate shit in balance that makes shadow a neat dude. To remove one or the other , ruins the whole thing

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19 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Shadow's biggest problem nowadays, to me at least, is that fan opinion is still extremely split on how he should be handled and Sega, in their infinite wisdom, are trying to satisfy both parties, which means they are satisfying nobody. 

Are they? :o 

19 hours ago, Kuzu said:

On the flipside, Shadow also represents what many people feel is one the series` core identities. Sonic as a series has always been built on character motivations dictating their actions, and Shadow is the logical conclusion of  that, being a character who is completely defined by his motivation to act instead of it just being a personality quirk of his. 

Er, has it?

And isn't that generally good storytelling anyway?

19 hours ago, Kuzu said:

The simplest solution is to just give Shadow his own fucking series so people can have their cake and eat it too, but since that isn't going to happen any time soon, we're stuck with this. 

Yeah. Wasn't that the intent, btw?

18 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

People go on about how Shadow's personality is exaggerated now, by being written as a generic "jerk" character, and I agree.

But I'd argue that Shadow's gross character exaggeration began the moment he was brought back from the dead. 

In Sonic Heroes, they had the chance to continue Shadow's character where it left off in SA2. With his fresh new view on the world and on humanity. But they didn't. They conveniently erased his memory so that he'd have a new reason to be sad and angry. They effectively undid the character development he went through in the previous game, just so he could go through a very similar arc all over again.

By the time of Boom (which is noncanon to the games, but important for the purpose of this discussion) they just decided to make Shadow antagonistic to Sonic by default, with no apparent motivation; An outright malevolent figure who laughs at Sonic and derides him for... uh, having friends, like a Saturday morning cartoon villain. Fair enough, Boom's a separate continuity, but then this motiveless antagonism seems to have been adopted into the mainline games themselves, with even Ian Flynn saying Sega's mandated that he write Shadow this way.

I feel like Shadow was a cohesive character once, and that was in his debut game, Sonic Adventure 2. Since then, his portrayal has effectively been at war with itself, shifting and changing and being every extreme imaginable - none of them truly feeling like a proper followup to his epiphany on the ARK in SA2. 

 

17 hours ago, Kuzu said:


Both of these do great jobs at following what happened in SA2. I feel like Sega's biggest problem is that they had no idea where to go from there. They had basically milked his backstory for all that it was worth, and you can only do that for so many times before it gets stale. But then that led to the problem of without his backstory, "who is Shadow the Hedgehog?" By not establishing a solid purpose and roll for him after his story was completed, it just leaves the character in a really awkward position. Because they never properly transitioned his character, any time they add traits like him being an arrogant asshole, it just feels WEIRD and completely nonsensical because it flies in the face of what the character experienced. 

I feel like they want to move on from Shadow's backstory, but they don't know how and just kind of default to the most popular public perception of him; which is that of an angsty, jackass loner. There's transition point, it's just a change for the sake of a change. 

So basically, they regressed his character in order to milk the dark mystery angle of him for several games and then didn't really know what to do after those stories stopped working. 

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Why are you assuming that I said Shadow shouldn't be cool at all? All I said is that he should be able to do shit besides be angry and moody all of the time. Contrary to popular belief, characters can in fact have more than one, mutually exclusive trait. 

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

Why are you assuming that I said Shadow shouldn't be cool at all? All I said is that he should be able to do shit besides be angry and moody all of the time. Contrary to popular belief, characters can in fact have more than one, mutually exclusive trait. 

Yo my homie , I think we having an argument. And we think the same shit and agree. And we have just been talking past each other for several posts.

So can we agree that shadow problably reads comic books and doesn't tell anyone because he thinks it will be uncool. But tails catches him and they form like a comic book cook club

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You've mostly been giving me the impression that Shadow can't be anything less than the absolute coolest person in the room, and anything else isn't acceptable for the character. Especially given you've beating people over the head at how "cool" he needs to be. 

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18 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

You've mostly been giving me the impression that Shadow can't be anything less than the absolute coolest person in the room, and anything else isn't acceptable for the character. Especially given you've beating people over the head at how "cool" he needs to be. 

I haven't done that and most agree with your points. You on the other end assume I want shsdow to be the coolest man whoever lived and never stop. I never said that. I'm not beating people over the head either

I think we both agree on some level of. " he should be cool, but also be able to express himself in new ways" if that's the case I agree.

I think I was just arguing a point you weren't making a vice versa

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No, I don't want Shadow to be "uncool", yes I know a significant portion of his fan base only care about him being cool and how important that is to the character for them. All I said is that he can MORE than just being cool. Perhaps some moments where he's decidedly uncool, just to flesh his character out. 

 

Das it. 

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Just now, Kuzu said:

No, I don't want Shadow to be "uncool", yes I know a significant portion of his fan base only care about him being cool and how important that is to the character for them. All I said is that he can MORE than just being cool. Perhaps some moments where he's decidedly uncool, just to flesh his character out. 

 

Das it. 

...i agree with everything you said here.

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7 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

The issue with take is , what just happened in the comic proved that a bunch of people didn't really see him as vegeta and proved  alot of people do not like that take on the character, including and not limited to , the audience. The writer of the comic, the new writer of the comic book, multiple artists , ruby eclipse the community maneger, multiple other people who work at sega internal.

So no I don't think that would work

Shadow's an weird asshole who has very little context for the world around him and is will just clown people. There's a lot of comedy to mined there, but comedy really shouldn't be the focus? Like I think you could just have shadow ...be in character and do cool shit and it will work for people. Not everyone has to be a hehe haha kind of dude. Also sonic's comedy as of late isn't really that funny so why focus on it, who gives a shit about it. At this point its mask for quality issues.  A lot of issues of " where does shadow belong" is he and multilple other characters haven't done anything.

If you get them doing things, no one really questions where they belong. Its why along with characterization issues, issues have risen for him in the comic. He hasn't really...done anything.  Have him do shit, have other characters do shit

Do you have any proof of this or are you just saying it? The audience? Internal sega people. If you have proof of any of this do share it.  And the comic was in no way a "vegeta" Shadow dove in headfirst into a problem thinking he was a god and got taken down for it. Vegeta has actually grown as a character and knows when he is in over his head. Then again its Segas character and they can do with it what they want. Shadow still does cool things like in 06 and sure he can share a quick witty slapback at  another character but hes is not built to be a comedy character nor should he. AGAIN though with the way the series is written today and the way sonics social sites typically only meme all day I would doubt in future shorts or games shadow being more of a cool goofy over the top methods for simple problems type.

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19 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

That's why you make different shit for different people. the classic fans if they keep getting manias aren't gonna say much because guess what? They got their thing. invest more in your multi million dollar global franchise with movies, comic books, and toys and maybe produce more video games for wider audiences.

This is a solvable problem

 

19 hours ago, Kuzu said:

The series is in no position to make multiple things right now. So for better or worse, we're stuck with only the main games for representation. Mania's future is up in the air.

That and Shadow and all of the characters are all grouped in Sonic's story as well in these multimedia products.

So yea, you're gonna have to learn to share.

 

19 hours ago, Kuzu said:

You're ignoring a LOT of context to just say "just do different shit". They've literally been doing "different shit" for years to varying degrees of success.

Mania is an extremely exceptional case and it took years before it came into fruition and the Movie literally had little to no input from Sega at all. 

 

 

But let's humor this; what are you defining as "different shit". They've been doing "different shit" for almost two decades as I mentioned.

Everything you said is so extremely vague and unconvincing as an actual option the series should have. 

What exactly is "different shit"? Are you saying Shadow should just get a spin off separate from the main series? What?

 

19 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

What's different shit?

You know why mania is good. Its two things, it does not compromise itself it understands what its supposed to be and what made the things its based on great. Do that, but with other sections of the fanbase. Make a new boost like game, that is just that not boost and another thing, just boost make it the best it can be, understand what made the boost gameplay good and expand on that. Do not compromise. Maybe make an adventure inspired thing that understand the gameplay and characters people like and expand on that. Do not comprise mania didn't and its better for it.

Make different focused products for different groups , make them good make them quality. And it will solve every problem. Every once in a while you try something weird, let platinum do that shadow spin off or whatever. Make a tails mech battling game, something. But whatever they do, focus on what its supposed to be, and who's its supposed to be for and focus on that. Do not compromise. Focus. Every single sonic game in the past...decade + even the good ones have had this as an issue.

That's different shit

The secondary answer is sponsored outsourcing: pick a legit developer, offer/humor them using the Sonic license, see what can do as a proof of concept, and then let them develop the resulting spinoff to the best of their ability.

Oh, also leave them alone and don't force them to considerable change up the accommodations at crucial junctions in the development period.

13 hours ago, batson said:

That's pretty much what I meant. I didn't mean that they should treat his serious nature in a comedic light (in other words as a character we should laugh at, but laugh at because he is overty serious, or what TV tropes calls "the unfunny" character). I meant that he could be a character who is laregly extempt from the comedy in general. That's why I compared him to master Spilnter from the classic TMNT cartoon. Splinter was presented as a genuinly wise and dignified character, and existed largely outside the comedy that marked the entire rest of the TMNT universe.

Probably late on this, but I think that trope is called The Comically Serious.

9 hours ago, Meta77 said:

I think the reason a lot of people liked him from the start was cause he was akin to vegeta. basically still brooding but a good anti hero who did not need to belt out jokes to be liked. but with the way the series is now with more comedy takes (true dat) i could one day see sega making him more goofy in a does something bad he thinks is helping only for it to backfire IF sega keeps the writers they have.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

I mean, to be fair, Vegeta when went from brooding villain to antihero to a dorky dad who sings songs about bingo. And honestly, he's great for it. I wouldn't have it any other way. His transition from feared space tyrant to doting family man is honestly one of the most charming parts of the series.

I feel like Shadow ostensibly has grown to care about his friends in the form of Team Dark, but we don't really get to see them palling around or goofing off in their downtime much. I'm not saying Shadow, Rouge, or Omega need to be as silly as the Chaotix or anything, but giving them some moments where they actually act like a group of friends could honestly humanize all three of them a great deal.

There are a number of key archetypes shared among them, yes.

The distinction is Vegeta's development was long, gradual, and organic as a well written element of his further appearances within the arcs. Also, maybe it's more of a Dub thing, but Vegeta was generally more emotive, fallible, and even cheesy than Shadow.

8 hours ago, Kuzu said:

We've always had Shadow doing cool shit

I'm bored of Shadow being super cool, I know Shadow is cool, I don't need to see Shadow being cool all of the time.

 

Eh, kind of a good sum up of im.

8 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

 

 

Eh, not really. Sonic forces he doesn't do anything.

He's not in lost world

Boom he's terrible.

The last time shadow did a cool thing was in generations a boss fight where you fight the sa2 version of him and that was almost a decade ago.

Most of his cool has been regulated to comics.

Forces gave him his own free DLC, which shoehorned a connection with Infinite by having him wipe out Team Jackal offscreen("Should've hired a defense squad for the defense squad, eh Doctor?") and then kick his face in. And the game proper has him show up in time to seemingly save Sonic from his own clone, be the one to confirm that the Phantom villains are fake, and then casually body multiple of them in the final battle while the other characters take out three at most.

Boom is obviously unfinished and also possibly a case of being added in kinda late.

TSR is whatever, though.

 

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13 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Forces gave him his own free DLC, which shoehorned a connection with Infinite by having him wipe out Team Jackal offscreen("Should've hired a defense squad for the defense squad, eh Doctor?") and then kick his face in. And the game proper has him show up in time to seemingly save Sonic from his own clone, be the one to confirm that the Phantom villains are fake, and then casually body multiple of them in the final battle while the other characters take out three at most.

 

 

He kicked a lame dude, kicked himself after just being absent because plot reason. Then casually slides into them with poor animation, shoutouts to the zavok he hit that was in the middle of the walk animation and got knocked off screen without stopping.

I want to note I don't just feel this way about shadow. I think everyone got shafted in that game, everyone sucks. Everyone. Shadow can say at least he showed up. Chaos's model isn't even in the game. I don't think you can hold up forces as a good look for any character in it. They are either absent or not doing anything of note or both. I can have an entire conversation about how sonic is the protagonist and kind of does jack shit. It fucking sucks

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On 6/18/2020 at 12:22 AM, Kuzu said:

Telling half of your loyal fanbase to "fuck off" isn't exactly a good image for a company.

I wanna add to this by saying that telling “half” or whatever arbitrary percentage of your loyal fan base is precisely why this fandom is in this current status as it is.

And anyone encouraging that isn’t doing any good favors for this franchise.

 

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10 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

I wanna add to this by saying that telling “half” or whatever arbitrary percentage of your loyal fan base is precisely why this fandom is in this current status as it is.

And anyone encouraging that isn’t doing any good favors for this franchise.

 

The " fandom" is the way it is , is because sonic's 30 years old and people like different shit. And sega doesn't make enough shit to satisfy those demographics. It actually hasn't told anyone to buzz off, that would be freeing.

And also I think a lot of companies would be better off, for better or for worse if they told consumer bases in certain situations to buzz off

 

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9 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

The " fandom" is the way it is , is because sonic's 30 years old and people like different shit. And sega doesn't make enough shit to satisfy those demographics. It actually hasn't told anyone to buzz off, that would be freeing.

And also I think a lot of companies would be better off, for better or for worse if they told consumer bases in certain situations to buzz off

 

No, the fandom is this way because the head honchos botched its handling over the last 20 years and fans divided themselves into factions that blamed every surface detail they could come up with that they personally disliked as the reason why it was doing poorly. From blaming multiple characters in 2006 and leading to their near-removal to token appearances at best, to blaming the inclusion of the Z-axis in the 3D games, and even blaming Shadow fans for liking the character too much that he got his own game, people were looking for scapegoats rather than seeing the real development and technical problems lying under the surface that was the real cause.

It wasn’t people liking different things—they’ve made several iterations of Sonic racing games, sports crossovers with other Sega franchises or Mario, and even a separate sub-franchise among other experiments like fighting games. It was people not wanting others to enjoy different things from what they liked to begin with, which is the one attitude this fandom hasn’t fully grown out of over the years.

And at worse, telling consumers to buzz off is basic commercial suicide since you need those consumers to buy the things you make. Maybe instead of that, you at least compromise first and listen to the reception to see if you can improve and make things better. The only reason you should tell consumers to buzz off is if they’re being unreasonable in spite of your best attempts. Everything may not cater to everyone, but that’s no excuse to be an asshole to people about it, especially if you want them to buy from you.

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1 hour ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

No, the fandom is this way because the head honchos botched its handling over the last 20 years and fans divided themselves into factions that blamed every surface detail they could come up with that they personally disliked as the reason why it was doing poorly. From blaming multiple characters in 2006 and leading to their near-removal to token appearances at best, to blaming the inclusion of the Z-axis in the 3D games, and even blaming Shadow fans for liking the character too much that he got his own game, people were looking for scapegoats rather than seeing the real development and technical problems lying under the surface that was the real cause.

I mean I agree with what you said. Doesn't really negate what I said though, even without the scape goating, sonic been around a while and differences arise. Scapegoating didn't help though. And if I'm being honest, we are about to enter a whole new period of scapegoating.

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It wasn’t people liking different things—they’ve made several iterations of Sonic racing games, sports crossovers with other Sega franchises or Mario, and even a separate sub-franchise among other experiments like fighting games. It was people not wanting others to enjoy different things from what they liked to begin with, which is the one attitude this fandom hasn’t fully grown out of over the years.

Considering a lot of sonic people indulge in other sonic content, that's not really entirely true. I would argue the issue was, one section of the fanbase doing it, and sega basically rewarding them for doing so. By kind of shitting on other sections of the fanbase, removing the things they like ect etc. This didn't work at all. But I would make the argument outside of the classic diehards while there are certainly people with hard preferences and who like to see things implimented. The folks who play the 3d games are at least willing to humor things.

I feel like its been kind of lost  , but it should not be underestimated the worship of the classic games in particular did to change the entire direction of this franchise. And even as it shifts again its prescience is still felt and in many ways atleast in 3d space, viewed as a negative at this point.

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And at worse, telling consumers to buzz off is basic commercial suicide since you need those consumers to buy the things you make. Maybe instead of that, you at least compromise first and listen to the reception to see if you can improve and make things better. The only reason you should tell consumers to buzz off is if they’re being unreasonable in spite of your best attempts. Everything may not cater to everyone, but that’s no excuse to be an asshole to people about it, especially if you want them to buy from you.

Not at all. Now most companies wont tell you " buzz off " unless you are trying to advocate for something offensive. But stating to your audience " this is your audience this is your focus we are focusing on this " tends to work out fine if the content is good. Obviously not all the time, bunch of times your focus is the wrong call. but that focus and it being the wrong call allows you to isolate what isn't working and what audience isn't interested.

In this case in particular it would be super harmless

If sega just said " shadow's popular, he's gonna be around and be who he is. " shows where they stand will most likely change nothing about their bottom line. The people who don't like shadow, wont and the bunches of people who do , will keep buying things. It would only serve to maybe make the fanbase discussion a bit better. Which sega could stand to do , considering years of chiming in on " edgy is bad " memes as produced toxic sections of the fanbase.

I think sega could do for " Hey , hey . Shut up"

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51 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

Considering a lot of sonic people indulge in other sonic content, that's not really entirely true.

No, that’s very much true. And I know this because I was there at the very beginning when it all started back in 2005 when Shadow as a character became the first major target as the divide became obvious.

I’m not saying there weren’t people who didn’t like other content, but they were drowned out by the louder voices that were more singular in their tastes that led to the common divisions we know them as today. It’s easy to call out Classic Purists as being the more vocal and entitled of the factions, but they were still rivaled by Shadow Fanboys and Girls (and Haters), as well as those that demanded Sonic as the only character and those that demanded the outright end of making Sonic in 3D with that trite and cliché phase “Sonic hasn’t worked well in 3D” all because ShTH and 06 sent this series’s reception into a nosedive.

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Not at all. Now most companies wont tell you " buzz off " unless you are trying to advocate for something offensive. But stating to your audience " this is your audience this is your focus we are focusing on this " tends to work out fine if the content is good. Obviously not all the time, bunch of times your focus is the wrong call. but that focus and it being the wrong call allows you to isolate what isn't working and what audience isn't interested.

In this case in particular it would be super harmless

If sega just said " shadow's popular, he's gonna be around and be who he is. " shows where they stand will most likely change nothing about their bottom line. The people who don't like shadow, wont and the bunches of people who do , will keep buying things. It would only serve to maybe make the fanbase discussion a bit better. Which sega could stand to do , considering years of chiming in on " edgy is bad " memes as produced toxic sections of the fanbase.

I think sega could do for " Hey , hey . Shut up"

That’s completely different to telling your audience to buzz off tho. I’m talking to the extent in which they marketed Sonic 4 by rejecting any character other than Sonic from having an appearance due to that specific demand being vocalized.

Even so, Sega’s not in the best position to make wrong calls with Sonic given it haphazard reception. Not that it’ll kill him outright given how it was able to survive the aftermath of Sonic 06’s flop. Doesn’t really help that even when they focus they still throw in something that could very well not be a good idea as a major feature with mixed results. 

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Every fanbase is going to have a vocal minority that screams louder than everyone else about what they want, and with the advent of social media, it only makes those voices louder. Even games with much more focus and polish than Sonic have their vocal critics, it's what happens when any franchise gains enough mainstream notability.

But people aren't stupid either; I'm pretty sure everyone in the fanbase recognizes there  may be different things about Sonic that people prioritize over others. Some prefer the gameplay of the classic Genesis titles, while others prefer the focus on narrative and characterization in a lot of the 3D games. One of the primary reasons shit is so divided and volatile is that Sega will prioritize one over the other, and the quality of said products varies greatly. 

So people feel the need they gotta defend their preferences out of fear of losing it, because Sega are fucking stupid and have no idea how to handle a multimedia franchise. No I don't think Sega wants to tell it's fanbase to fuck off, what I do think is that they do want to give everyone what they want but are completely misguided and misunderstanding in that for whatever reason. 

 

 

But no, Shadow being a prominent character is not ruining the series and anyone who tries to entertain that statement isn't worth listening to, because they are already coming from an bad faith place. 

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Shadow personality wise is basically Vegeta  from Dragon Ball Z meets Venom from Spider-Man. He is the antihero. 

I personally am a major fan of Shadow, he is the James Dean of Hedgehogs, but I do believe his advent hurt Knuckles the Echidna. For one Shadow is all about emeralds and harnessing their power, this originally was Knuckles’ position, albeit he was Guardian of Floating Island, but I noticed Knux declined in the stories to Wolverine standby after Shadow emerged. 

I’d prefer Shadow had remained a villian, Sonic’s foil and opposite, play up he is like Sonic from an alternative universe. Or at least make him destined to destroy the world and as he bides time, he acts disinterested in the events that transpire unless its involving the chaos emeralds.  Another option would be to have Shadow feel bound to Eggman because of some oath to Gerald Robotnik. 

I hate Sonic Heroes adding clone Shadows and leaving you guessing if the Shadow you play is the one who fell to earth in SA2 or is just a clone. 

Shadow the Hedgehog game seemed to come from the mind of Tim Burton and J. j. Abrams (a la The Rise of Skywalker). I personally don’t consider it canon. 

Shadow is a cool character. He’s one of my favorites, but his very existence diminishes Knuckles the Echidna and Mecha Sonic; how can you do better than a darker edger hedgehog?   

Shadow would have been better if  he inevitably became a character like Metphiles the Dark, a true villain. But since Terminator 2: Judgement Day, villians have to become antiheroes. 

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