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How would you say that people of your generation perceive the Sonic franchise?

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So in another thread, the young member by the name of Rowesh mentioned something that really captured my interest. He said that whereas people of his generation often consider Sonic to be a "joke franchise", people belonging to his parents generation often has respect for it. This got me thinking about Sonic's reputation among different generations. Since this forum features a wide variety of ages among it's members, I would like to ask you all; based on your personal experience, how do people of your generation tend to perceive the series? And I'm not talking specifically about Sonic fans, but rather just people in general (I'm asuming most people of any generation born after maybe the 1950's or so at least knows what Sonic is). Do they tend to think of Sonic as something worthy of respect or as something to ridicule? Which specific games or other properties of the franchise (shows, ect) are most well known among them?

As for my generation, me being born in 86, I would say this; Sonic is a nostalgic and generally respected franchise due to the fact that everyone of my generation remembers the golden age of the franchise when Sonic was inescapable. In my experience, even those that stood firmly in the Nintendo corner during the fabled console wars tend to have a respect for the series. Basically everyone of male gender is at least passingly familiar with the Mega Drive games. I specify "male gender" because to be blunt, a lot of females of my generation didn't grow up playing video games. Back then, video games were seen as a boys toy just as much as Barbie was seen as a girls toy. But of course, even females knows who Sonic is and they probably saw the cartoons and remembers the avalance of merchandise, so Sonic is very much an icon even to them. I rarely find that people of my generation have gotten their view of Sonic tainted by the tanked reputation of the series or the memes ridiculing it. The only people of my age who tends to be familiar with the "Sonic sucks and his fans are weirdos" narrative are hardcore nerds who keeps up with current nerd internet culture.

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I don't really have that many friends, or even interact with anyone since I'm quite shy talking to people (I'm also introverted, so yeah), so I couldn't tell you about them if I tried. what I will say is that there are people who know who he is, but that all I know.

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I'm sorry, but that's impossible to answer. There is no age on internet. I have no idea if people claiming something are in their teens or 30s. And even then, how can I know this is broad opinion of generalization, not of one bloke?

I suppose there are youtube reviews 1) it's a tiny percentage of people 2) people in IGN say Sonic is a joke and they aren't kids.

 

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35 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

people in IGN say Sonic is a joke and they aren't kids.

 

Yes, they would be examples of the people in tune with current nerd culture that I mentioned. Youtuber's such as the Game Grumps would fall into the same category.

But once you movie past those kinds of people and unto, well, "normies" (people with a more passing interest in games, comics, ect) you'll find that most people between the ages of 30 and 40 have a positive outlook on Sonic due to his extreme prominence in early 90's kid culture.

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Yeah most casuals I think see Sonic in a positive light. People my age tend to remember Sonic fondly, having loved the Adventure games and that's all most people my age seem to know Sonic for. And the movie having been so popular and gotten good reception helps.

The only people who remember or even know about blemishes like 06, Boom and Forces are people on the internet, 'nerd culture' I guess as you mentioned.

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I actually have lots of contacts with many persons when the subject is Sonic and yet almost everyone seems to have a different opinion.

First, I believe I'm a point out of the curve when it comes to my generation. As you even told me a few times, many got surprised when I say I'm only 17. And first, I think is interesting to note how I got in touch with Sonic: via my brother (Who's 4 years older). Sonic CD once came in a PC my parents bought (Around late 90s I guess). My brother, a kid at the time, had lots of fun with the game and when he bought a PS2 (Around late 00s), he showed me a few Sonic compilations on the console.

But, the situation turns completely when talking about MY generation. I wasn't so active in the forums when I had lots, LOTS of crisis not identifying myself with my current generation, yet identifying so well with 2000 teens. But that's not the main point. I'd likely say that people from my age (around 15-20 yo) would see Sonic as a childish old school game. I don't really think anyone ever would have played a game and just a few closer friends who know better the history of video games probably would play but mostly, with the idea of a classic franchise which is just buggy and crappy nowadays. Note: I think I know no one in real life who is a dedicated Sonic fan who played the vast majority of games as well keep updated with the news.

Once again, things change completely when it comes to a generation, maybe 2-5 years older than me. And I say this because of my cousins. I think mostly of them have a good relation with the franchise (even the 2 who are females had a good relation with video games, if this matters). And likely knows the 2D age of the series, and easily recognizes him.

When coming to my parents, I doubt many of them actually used to or even enjoyed video games (Note: My family doesn't have children that soon, so I'm easily saying people 50+). But I guess is safe to say they probably recognize the Sonic image, but I guess this is pretty much because of their children.

But here comes the interesting plot-twist. I see an increasing growth when it comes to newer generation, like whose only 5-10 years old. And not just Sonic, but classic gaming in general. Easily I spotted this at the Sonic movie, which is understandable as the movie is focused on children, but one interesting moment in my life was around 1 year ago. My friends went to talk with a teacher in the after class and I saw some children talking about a YouTuber, who I follow, that only makes video about classic video games (and says more bad words than properly content, but that's another story...). So I do see a light in the tunnel for a great generation of new fans, probably already moved by the hype Sonic Mania was (It's been 3 years believe it or not!). This, I do have to say I still have faith in the upcoming fans and also, that bitter feeling that my generation in overall will be a jerk when it's coming into recent culture.

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Just hit 29. Outside or in a store when I have a shirt on or something, most people who comment positively and sometimes lead to a short conversation tangibly Sonic related. I think most casual people, as said earlier in this thread, just have fond memories, or maybe because alot of them have kids now who also love Sonic. Either way, minus the internet, it's overall perception has gotten better at least.

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"Nerd culture," which includes people like Game Grumps and the various "saying things louder makes you sound smarter" YouTube celebrities, has primarily spent most of their time focusing on 3 games in 3 year window of a 30 year franchise with dozens and dozens of games. STH '06 being one of the worst games ever released doesn't mean much to someone in their late-teens or younger whose first Sonic game was probably Generations or Lost World if any; just like the similarly infamous shitty Zelda CD-i games stopped really meaning anything tangible to anyone born after 1990 or so or E.T. to anyone born after 1980. It's something that was specifically damaging to the "generation" of people who entered the franchise with Adventure 2 Battle or Heroes (ones who'd be in their 20s now); which is the same age demographic that that sort of YouTube stuff is targeted at anyway. It causes a feedback loop.

 

 

 

The main issue regarding franchise perception at this point is probably that people that are the equivalent age now to those who were young during the Genesis era or the Gamecube era may not have played any Sonic games at all, since the franchise has been quieter than ever in the past 8 years and most of the games that were released were exclusive to failed console; so if they have any opinion at all the only thing they have to go on is secondhand unless they watched Boom or the movie or something.

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“My generation” is the one born during the NES’s lifespan, so for many of us Sonic was the first video game we ever saw that looked high tech to us.  And thus I also remember when Sonic was at its most popular, but not as much as some people, as my family went through an economic rough point during the first half of the 16-bit era.  The N64 was the first console I started getting lots of games for, likewise with the Game Cube and Game Boy Advance after it.  Thus the period I was most into Sonic was when it’s games started releasing on those consoles, but most people I was talking to about it were online, as by then the presumed state of the art in high-tech gaming had moved to X-Box and PC, and has been said above,   on the Internet it’s not really easy to see what age someone is.

I don’t discuss video games a lot with other people these days; Sonic games or otherwise, my age or otherwise.  Much of gaming is a loop I’ve fallen out of and I’m not really that sociable in general.  
 

As for children these days, the one bit of evidence I’ve noticed that they even know Sonic exists is it’s movie did well.  Of course, that doesn’t mean I actually believe they don’t know of Sonic, but for what this is worth, I do watch child-aimed cartoons reasonably often, with commercials, and I can’t think of the last time I saw commercials for any Sonic-related thing besides the movie.  Mario commercials, yes.  Pokemon commercials, yes.  Commercials for various mobile games, sometimes.  Not Sonic commercials.

Edit: Upon further consideration, probably the last non-movie Sonic commercial I saw, as part of a TV broadcast, was the Sonic Heroes commercial.  I probably never saw a Sonic commercial embedded in an Internet video, so those commercials made after, I only saw in YouTube compilations.  So yeah; it’s pushing two decades, and that’s depressing.

A big part of me fears that Sonic, as traditionally made, might be too complicated for today’s children’s tastes.  But Mario is at least as complicated, and is still big, so who knows?

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I will attempt to clarify my vision of Sonic when growing up in the timespan of late 2000s - early 2010s (I am 18).

Sonic kept a trustworthy reputation of household-friendly franchise. The adults were familiar with his name as a mascot, safe and entertaining for kids all around. Much of his presence was felt through the loads of games published during the "Dark Age", as there was a high change you as a kid would come across one of those games. I myself got to play Rush Adventure and two of the Mario & Sonic Olympic titles, which were very satisfying back then (and now too). Sonic was present quite firmly in outside media, I recall Sonic X being a thing even years after its original broadcast, a show that caught mine and many children's attention and perhaps the most accessible source of what Sonic was all about for a long time.

The biggest source of respect for Sonic to me came from Retro gaming culture. Sonic's own history is mixed with SEGA's path in the industry, and it was celebrated amongst adult SEGA enthusiasts for the many games and consoles, not only nostalgia-worthy but also capable of holding up quality standards that ruled the industry back then. As such, Sonic was quite respected in these circles, all the way from the 8-bit games in the Master System (which was popular in my country) until the Dreamcast's death bed. The classic games definitely had a golden spot, though. Granted it's later told Sonic and SEGA went through turbulent times, there was some positivity coming out of the early 2010s with titles like Colors and the racing games, which too celebrated SEGA as a whole.

The real trouble for Sonic comes from the mainstream gaming perspective, what others here have pointed out as nerd culture. As everybody knows the trainwrecking disaster of 06, it seems like every game after just isn't worthy of respect regardless of their individual quality. The common phenomenon of ridicularizing Sonic based on the numerous entries of "bad games with cringe stories" raged on: Werewolf Sonic, Knight Sonic, Shadow swearing and using guns... Those all became easily mocked through numerous memes, Youtube videos and news articles about "The downfall of Sonic the Hedgehog". Even years later when the franchise sparked positivity back in 2010-13, the idea of Sonic as a bad franchise solidified for me. I remember famous animators like Dorkly poking fun at the many failures of Sonic as if things were not improving at all. And they sort of didn't, coming from the aftermath of Ryse of Lyric, the bugs, glitches and reboot attempt brought new life to memes mocking Sonic for another wave of terrible games and its decadence and incapability of getting mainstream appeal again. (Curiously, I saw less contempt directly at Adventure Era content during this time, althought ideas like the "too many friends" argument would be blamed on it. In recent years however these games have been more targeted).

And not only Sonic, but its fanbase was also a target. As much as I admittedly enjoyed art, story-driven fan comics and animations about Sonic (It is a very appealing mascot after all), those were drenched by numerous content creators making fun of "Sonic's cringy fanbase of pre-teens and adults who cry over a blue hedgehog" , or so would they say. It's almost like being a Sonic fan was something undesirable. 

But frankly? This negative vision is all pushed by outsiders who don't care for Sonic, as most people here should know. For a teenager like me who wasn't a lot into Sonic and got to know the franchise through reviews and memes, it damaged Sonic's reputation quite a lot, and for the longest time I treated Sonic as a Icon fallen from grace, only good for laughs. But for my generation who grew up with the games? I don't think so. Because despite everything I don't believe Sonic really lost appeal. The games got more polished and the people who grew up with Unleashed, Colors, and Generations have usually good memories. Even the supposed "cringe" portions like stories taking themselves too seriously always had a cool factor that's just what children like. I myself remember feeling dazzled by a Unleashed trailer, a game I only got to play a decade later.

A important detail however, I can see Sonic has become less of a great Icon than before in the golden years of the 90s, as it certainly feels like more of a niche franchise than it should, at least game-wise. I knew few people who played Sonic games, and pretty much none of my closer friends ever mentioned our blue hedgehog as their field of interest.

As for today and the next generation to come, I believe they're decently served so far. Mania sparked Sonic's Retro identity at full force again, as Solister mentioned it's very appealing for children indeed, I say this from experience. Forces has been widely played and I think it's alright of a game for kids and newcomers. The Movie was probably one of the most important landmarks for Sonic in the casual perspective, and you can bet a few years in the future there will be folks nostalgic for the Movie calling it the good times.

So is Sonic a joke franchise as I said? Sort of. It's especially predominant in current nerd culture, either by jokery or just indifference towards the franchise, as I recall my friends who watched the Movie with me knew little of Sonic besides "Gotta go fast" and other catchphrases and memes. But it's a safe and nice icon in the casual perspective. If Sonic manages to score consistent good games once coming from media positivity, it's a chance to be well liked once again. Even so, I say this mantle of mockery will take a long time to fade, and I hope it won't stop anyone from genuinely enjoying Sonic.

Finally, I say this all from my own experiences with Sonic growing up. And quite frankly I'm now bothered I didn't give Sonic more chances to play a part in my life, because this is a great franchise as I recognize it now.

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As a classic, the rival of the Super Mario Bros franchise. Sonic was more addictive, it challenged Mario by its sheer speed on the TV screen, setting it apart as unique and not a clone. Thankfully Archie Comics and the TV shows flushed out the mythos, and story of the Blue Blur which bled into the video games. 

What Sonic was able to do was convey story through actions and less through dialouge as seen in The Legend of Zelda franchise. That is why I don’t understand criticisms of Sonic for not being a linguist,  he has always spoke more through actions than words, speed than speech. Granted he’s more chatty in the Comics and SAtAM show. 

Sonic in my generation was an icon like Mario and the Power Rangers, a major contender and lovable character with a successful franchise  

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Many people in my generation are fairly mixed on Sonic as a whole, since the games that were out when we were young were the ones that were mostly considered apart of the dark ages, though some hold some nostalgia for them. I'm 17, but I mostly grew up on the Mega Drive trilogy - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles being some of my favourite games of all time. It's interesting.

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53 minutes ago, CashIn said:

Many people in my generation are fairly mixed on Sonic as a whole, since the games that were out when we were young were the ones that were mostly considered apart of the dark ages, though some hold some nostalgia for them. I'm 17, but I mostly grew up on the Mega Drive trilogy - Sonic 3 & Knuckles being one of my favourite games of all time. It's interesting.

Sonic & Knuckles was one of my favorites too. I loved how you coukd put Sknic 2 ans 3 in the Master cartridge to play as Knuckles in both games. 

I loved Sandropolis, especially the music: 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wvskEyw-hzA

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