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The 15th Anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006


Kuzu
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Dreadknux
Message added by Dreadknux,

We're aware of a historical rule that previously banned Sonic 06 discussion topics... that was a rule set a long time ago, and hopefully the passage of time has allowed us all to mature over the years. The game hitting a landmark anniversary has given this particular topic legitimacy as well, so we're keeping this one open. Please don't let the discussion descend into the petty 'it's good / it's bad / no u' arguments of yesteryear that caused Sonic 06 topics to be banned in the first place. 🙂

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Yup, the 15th anniversary game has now turned 15 itself. Where does the time go.

What can be said about this game that hasn't already been said, so I'll try to keep this brief. This game has a lot of meaning to me and the franchise as a whole to put it mildly, that even a decade and a half later, it's still arguably a huge stain on the franchise's reputation that even popular gaming sites still talk about to this very day. It's likely the reason the series has become so safe and unambitious as of late, and it's pretty much the point when the supporting characters all had reduced roles and the Flanderization starting to get real apparent. This game is infamous for a reason.

I have so many mixed feelings about this game ; On an aesthetic level, it has almost everything that really got me attached to this series; a larger than life narrative, while progressing the character arcs of my favorites (i.e. Team Dark) along with a slew of different story perspectives. On the other hand, god this game fucking sucks to play so much; I was thirteen when I played this game and even I knew how frustrating this shit was. I never went back to play it after my initial playthrough cuz I just didn't have the patience. 

And this game was pretty much the point when the entire gaming community and most of the fanbase essentially turned on Sonic. Kids nowadays think Forces was a betrayal of the series? Naw man, that game is child's play compared to the fall out of this game. You couldn't even talk about Sonic online without someone mentioning how terrible this game was. It was EVERYWHERE. Everything Sonic did from here on out would be scrutinized no matter how miniscule it was, from both the mainstream and especially the fanbase. Even on this very site, 06 topics were straight up banned for most of the 2010's for how heated they were. It was that bad.

 

Ok, I think I said enough. This is just a mini retrospective on this game since its the 15th anniversary and all. So drop those retrospectives yourself. 

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Cosmos Rogue

Preface: what I'm about to say comes from someone who has only played P-06 and watched YouTube videos of the original game.

Sonic 06 is as conservative as anything the Sonic series has done in the past decade. Swinging from poles, running from orcas, the bounce attack, shooting, treasure hunting, vehicles, switching characters mid stage, enemies having multiple hit points... be it gimmicks, set pieces, or game mechanics, so much of Sonic 06's gameplay is lifted from preceding 3D Sonic games. There is Silver and his telekinesis as something new, but from what I've seen Sonic Team didn't have many ideas for letting players actually play around with that ability, so I'm not sure how much "ambition" is on display there.

Compare that to Unleashed and Lost World, two games that for better or worse extensively rethought and reworked how 3D Sonic played.

Music's good though.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow

I was around on these very forums the day the game released and the travesty that came with it.

It’s amazing that it was 15 years ago—we’re still feeling it’s effects to this very day, and much of the same nonsense that came with it inside and outside the fandom. We progressed in a lot of other ways too, but ever since that game it casted a looming shadow on literally every topic concerning Sonic to levels that remain silly, if not downright stupid when people use it like a dead horse 15 years later.

About the only thing that it has going for it is the music. Seems to be one of the few things most people can have a consensus on.

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I can't believe how badly this game poisoned the well of Sonic discussion; its so bad that I don't think anybody even understands what's right or wrong about the series anymore ,even the creators. 

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I’m sure gaming sites are having a field day today, so they’re certainly appreciative that it’s the 15th anniversary lol

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Sonic 06 is one of the first Sonic games I've ever played (either *the* first, or just the first I played on a console). It was an incredibly frustrating experience, but so were most games for me at the time. It wasn't until the internet indoctrinated me that I understood: I didn't suck, the game did. Still, I replayed the game multiple times and had fun in the co-op mode with sibling, so it wasn't all bad. Good memories with that game. Sometimes I have half a mind to play it again, but there are much better ways to spend 16 hours of my life. 

It could've been a lot better, but it wasn't, and it never will be. What's done is done. It's been half of the series' life since it came out, and everything that could be said about it has been said.

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It's insane to think that the "post Sonic 06" period of Sonic's history is now as long as the "pre Sonic 06" period. Sonic has been a joke longer than he was respected, considering that the series image started to crumble even before 06 (definitely by the time Shadow the Hedgehog came out).

Sonic 06 could probably be considered one of the absolute most important games in the series due to how, as others have said, the franchise has ever since pretty much had to inentionally avoid being too similar to it. "Sonic 06 had a serious story, so better make this new games story not so serious", "Sonic 06 had realistic graphics, so better make this new game have not so realistic graphics", "Sonic 06 had many playable characters, so better make this new game have only a few playable characters", ect ect.

On a personal note, Sonic 06 is actually not the Sonic game I've been the most disapointed in. When it first came out I played it at a friend (I didn't have any of the consoles it was released to) and while I didn't have a lot of fun with it I also didn't find it to be terrible. Now, in my defense I only played small portions of it, and my friend played all the boring overworld parts. Also, I think we were lucky enough not to encounter any glitches. At the end of the day, my limited exposure to the game left me with sort of a "eh, I guess it's alright" feeling. It was only over time when I got the chance to play more of it as well as watch playthroughs of other people's encounters with game breaking glitches that I fully realised what a dumpster fire it was.

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15 years of overdramatic negative reactions to a nothing less than ambitious project. The visuals, level design, and music are all fantastic.
 

These last ten years have made me appreciate a game like ‘06. 

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57 minutes ago, KnuxDLX said:

15 years of overdramatic negative reactions to a nothing less than ambitious project. The visuals, level design, and music are all fantastic.
 

These last ten years have made me appreciate a game like ‘06. 

People tend to not like games that are bad. Novel concept, I know.

 

Ya'all gotta judging these games on what they could have been and judging them for what they are. Do I like a lot of the concepts in 06? Absolutely and would love to see them again in a Sonic game, especially since they were done better before 06 came out.

Does that stop 06 from being a shit ass game? No it does not. Judge the finished product, not the imagined version of it.

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Gloved Frontiers

I thought Sonic Adventure 3 topics weren't allowed. 🤔

We're now 15 years removed from the game that killed the things I liked about 3D Sonic (other playable characters, a sense of exploration, stories of any import). Yeah you can argue the past 3D games did those poorly, but at least they were in evidence.

Since then it's been other characters having 2 minutes of screen time before they fuck off, linear levels you're meant to blow past without experiencing, and story replaced with endless jokes even Cartoon Network would think are lame (probably why they dumped Sonic Boom off after one season).

 

The series has been a big ball of almost-nothing for the past 15 years. Hard to believe it's been that long that new Sonic games have been so vacuous and empty (not counting Mania and partially not counting Unleashed).

I have to admit that I'm fascinated by people who became fans in this era. What is there to like about this era of Sonic you can't find with better video games or any show on Cartoon Network that's loads funnier or any internet meme that gives you a more potent dose of irony? Sonic doesn't really do any of those very well anymore. Is it really just the character designs and R34 that grab people and keep them hooked?

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8 minutes ago, Gloved Animal said:

I have to admit that I'm fascinated by people who became fans in this era. What is there to like about this era of Sonic you can't find with better video games or any show on Cartoon Network that's loads funnier or any internet meme that gives you a more potent dose of irony? Sonic doesn't really do any of those very well anymore. Is it really just the character designs and R34 that grab people and keep them hooked?

To be blunt, yes. Sonic's visual design is the primary reason he never stopped being relevant despite the quality of his games.

The first thing that grabs people, before gameplay, before plot and characters, is the character's design. Sonic is made up of simple shapes so kids can easily draw him (its why OC's are so popular) yet is visually distinct enough that you know who he is just by his silhouette.

That's the hallmark of an iconic design. Cuz I can tell you right now, it wasn't the stories or gameplay carrying this series in the early 2000's despite what fans think lmao.

 

Why do you think there was such a controversy over his initial movie design and why there was an immediate response to changing it. People know what Sonic is supposed to look like.

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3 hours ago, Gloved Animal said:

I have to admit that I'm fascinated by people who became fans in this era. What is there to like about this era of Sonic you can't find with better video games or any show on Cartoon Network that's loads funnier or any internet meme that gives you a more potent dose of irony? Sonic doesn't really do any of those very well anymore. Is it really just the character designs and R34 that grab people and keep them hooked?

It's funny because what you are saying right now is exactly what a lot of fans from the classic era said about fans who came on board during the Adventure and Dark ages. Seriously, back in the 00's there were plenty of classic era fans saying "Sonic sucks, but at least we older fans got on board while the series was good, so we have a reason for getting into the series in the first place. All these newbies on the other hand, what excuse do they have? What drives them to become attached to crap like Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog? Must be because of some sick sexual attraction to the characters". I swear to God, that's what it sounded like. I'm getting deja-vu all over again.

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Gloved Frontiers

Full disclosure, I came on during the Classic era, also liked the Adventure era (never thought of it as being distinct or different than Classic, just in 3D instead of 2D), lost interest in the Dark era, and I've been watching the Meta era with morbid curiosity more than interest.

I think it comes down to age I guess. I was really young during Classic, and was still young when Adventure was a thing. People who were already adults when that era was around were probably already bitter, hardened nihilists by the time Sega went third-party. I didn't get there until SatBK came out and I was sick of all the bad games and dumb gimmicks.

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56 minutes ago, Gloved Animal said:

Full disclosure, I came on during the Classic era, also liked the Adventure era (never thought of it as being distinct or different than Classic, just in 3D instead of 2D), lost interest in the Dark era, and I've been watching the Meta era with morbid curiosity more than interest.

I think it comes down to age I guess. I was really young during Classic, and was still young when Adventure was a thing. People who were already adults when that era was around were probably already bitter, hardened nihilists by the time Sega went third-party. I didn't get there until SatBK came out and I was sick of all the bad games and dumb gimmicks.

Yo, always nice to meet a fellow classic era fan, aka a veteran of the 16-bit wars! Ain't that many of us left in the active online Sonic fanbase. Though I guess that's to be expected considering that once people reach their 30's they tend to lose interesting in things like cartoon hedgehogs. Not me though! I'll stick with this goddamn franchise 'till I die. 😄

And yeah, like you say, how we percieve the different eras of the Sonic series often has a lot to do with whenever we ourselves happened to jump on and what we expect or dont expect from the series. And while it can be difficult for you or me to see the exact appeal of the boost/meta-era (I personally find the quality of this eras games to vary so much that I can't even say anything general about it) I'm sure that kids and even new adult fans finds something about the likes of Lost World or Forces that draws them in. Maybe, as Kuzu said above, it mostly comes down to visual design. Or maybe the basic idea of a high speed platformer is so inately appealing that people find joy in such games even when they're arguably poorly executed. It's gonna be interesting in a few more years when more and more former children who first got to know Sonic from the meta era games or the Boom subfranchise starts talking about what makes those games so great and memorable.

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Feels pretty weird talking about this game. Are we celebrating this or we just acknowledging the fact that this game happened 15 years ago? To be perfectly blunt, I am not the most comfortable with talking of this game, having not played it (I did however play its predecessor, Shadow the Hedgehog). All I know is that the blunders made with this game caused the shift in direction that we've seen starting with Unleashed, which in itself is seemingly changing with Sonic Frontiers on the horizon. 

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Wow, 15 year anniversary of this game...  That means it is about as close in time to the present day as it is to the release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991.  The Pre-'06 and the Post-'06 eras are about equal in time...  Yet in spite of all of this game's flaws and how universally it got panned, the next few games (Unleashed, Colors, Generations) had a certain undeniable quality to them, regardless of your personal opinions about them.  Post-Generations Sonic has, to be blunt, just been incredibly boring.  The quality wasn't always there in the few years leading up to '06, but things were interesting at least.

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Gloved Frontiers
28 minutes ago, trizob said:

Post-Generations Sonic has, to be blunt, just been incredibly boring.  The quality wasn't always there in the few years leading up to '06, but things were interesting at least.

This, absolutely, though I think it started earlier. Every game from Colors onwards has been so pedestrian. Sonic and Tails stand around and talk during a cutscene. Puerile, sub-Teen Titans Go-quality jokes and self-deprecation. Boost gameplay I was personally tired of before I even finished Unleashed. Longer periods of waiting for mediocre-to-poor games. Obviously-shrinking budgets, dev teams and ambitions.

There's been no relief from it, except for the Boom games (which were even worse), Mania (which we all knew was a one-off going in), and Runners (whose love letter to the old days didn't appeal to the mainstream and it got shut down). 

It reminds me of the parody of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal that Roger van der Weide made back in 2014, where he joked about how the 2000s games were generally bad, but at least they were fun. Lots of crazy characters and situations and ideas being thrown at the wall to see what sticks. A lot of it was dumb, but it was kind of charming if you weren't taking it too seriously. That was part what made Sonic appeal to me in the 2000s and why I stuck around even when the games started to suck: because I was so curious as to what the hell was coming next.

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4 minutes ago, Gloved Animal said:

This, absolutely, though I think it started earlier. Every game from Colors onwards has been so pedestrian. Sonic and Tails stand around and talk during a cutscene. Puerile, sub-Teen Titans Go-quality jokes and self-deprecation. Boost gameplay I was personally tired of before I even finished Unleashed. Longer periods of waiting for mediocre-to-poor games. Obviously-shrinking budgets, dev teams and ambitions.

There's been no relief from it, except for the Boom games (which were even worse), Mania (which we all knew was a one-off going in), and Runners (whose love letter to the old days didn't appeal to the mainstream and it got shut down). 

It reminds me of the parody of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal that Roger van der Weide made back in 2014, where he joked about how the 2000s games were generally bad, but at least they were fun. Lots of crazy characters and situations and ideas being thrown at the wall to see what sticks. A lot of it was dumb, but it was kind of charming if you weren't taking it too seriously. That was part what made Sonic appeal to me in the 2000s and why I stuck around even when the games started to suck: because I was so curious as to what the hell was coming next.

Getting a little out of subject here. 

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Gloved Frontiers
3 minutes ago, Zoomzeta said:

Getting a little out of subject here. 

Not exactly. I think the failure of '06, like others said above, was the event that caused that shift into safeness over the next three years. I've been taking more about what '06 did to the brand than the game itself, because there isn't much to be said about it that hasn't already been said.

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Whether you agree with it or not, Sega didn't really have much of a choice in shifting the focus after 06.

Its difficult to see it now, but gimmicks, plot and multiple changes were the last things anyone wanted from Sonic at the time. Its why Colors onward aren't really as hated, because "at least its not 06" and that's pretty much been the metric of quality everyone functions on nowadays.

 

If it's not 06 bad, it gets a pass.

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Jovahexeon Jax Joranvexeon
On 11/14/2021 at 5:28 PM, J.R. said:

15 years of Sonic having a bad reputation!

Not really?

Much as people tend to overblow things, the franchise is not looked on with disdain by the general public these days.

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Yea, now its just indifference and apathy. Which might be worse in all honesty 

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No no, the fandom views everything with indifference and apathy (or ever-engulfing rage, one of the two).

The series outside of us is still looked at with pleeenty of disdain. Fifteen years later (sixteen counting ShTH) and people still cannot speak of Sonic the same way they did before. We're just used to it, at this point.

Anyways, on topic: happy fifteenth 06. You're as old as the series was when you came out. That's upsetting! Hope everyone leaves a stocking out for Mephiles tonight.

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