The Friday Five is gone. Welcome to the Sonic list! Why the change? Well, for one, I was unintentionally stepping on the toes of one of my co-workers at Segabits who has one of their own top five lists on Fridays. Also, I wanted to not limit myself to exactly five at any time. I realized as I was thinking of some topics that I had up to 8 and as little as 3 subjects on some lists. Also, while I’m still planning to be Bi-Weekly, I don’t have to update on a certain day. Anyway, onto the topic for this week.
“Sonic’s shi**y friends” they’re called. Characters that have not only annoyed some, but have single-handedly made a game WORSE with their presence. Some, only liked by the most die-hard of fans were hated the moment they were introduced. They’re annoying, they bring nothing to the franchise and they have no reason to exist.
Or do they?
I want to give you more die-hard fans some fuel for the characters I feel get a little too much disrespect. Yes, I’ll start by why I feel they’re disliked by others, but I also want to show why you should give them a chance. To slightly misquote Charlie Brown “It’s not such a bad little character, it just needs some tender loving care.” Or was that Linus? I forget. Who cares? Let’s get on with it!
A lot of folks tend to hate these characters not only for being annoying and fairly shallow villains, but starred in a mediocre franchise that got worse over time. Also, they’re bird-aliens. What the hell? But frankly although they’re not the greatest characters, I kinda like them. Let me give some reasons why. A list within a list? INCEPTION!
1. THEY’RE PARODIES OF TEAM SONIC – Jet’s the cocky, arrogant leader, Storm’s the big, dumb muscles of the group and Wave is the brains of the group. Sound familiar? I’d rather have rivals done in a more comical way like this than some dark version of Sonic. Speaking of…
2. JET’S SONIC’S ONLY ACTUAL RIVAL – Yeah. I said it. The definition of a Rival is an individual with the same goal(s) as yours that you must compete against. Shadow? Started as a genocidal villain, not a rival. Knuckles? An enemy by a misunderstanding, not a rival. Jet wants to be the best “extreme gear” in the world and Sonic’s in his way of doing so mainly because he likes to compete. While he hates Sonic, he’s also respectful of his skill. NOTE: I’m not counting comic rivals like Geoffrey Saint John or Antione.
3. THEY STAY IN THEIR OWN SERIES – Shadow sacrificed himself at the end of SA2 and IMO, should have not returned (I still feel it’s just a clone/robot now). Silver should not have appeared in ANYTHING after Sonic ’06 due to the past being redone. Outside of cameos of the non-cannon Mario and Sonic series, the Babylon Rouges are still in their futuristic city and I like the idea of certain characters staying in certain series. Moving on…
This poor dweeb managed to premiere in one of the worst Sonic games of all time (Sonic ’06) as a teenage kid from the future who gets duped by an obvious demon clone of Shadow (when the guy you’re talking to has black eyes and no mouth when he talks, he’s probably evil) into trying to kill Sonic and even manages to fail every attempt at that. He was one of the worst, most broken bosses in the game. Also, he was best friends with one of the only teenage girls in his post-apocalyptic future and managed to still stay in the friend zone. Geez, why am I even defending this dork?!!
Because Silver puts the pathetic in sympathetic. Unlike Shadow the grimdark, Silver is basically a good kid trying hard to save his world and makes a few mistakes along the way. I like characters with faults to them. It makes them more human and relatable and what’s more relatable than a nerd? He’s a bit of an outcast only liked by a few others even in the comics (even Sonic doesn’t like him). He tries hard, makes sacrifices along the way and gets little thanks in return. So cheers to Silver, one of the most relatable and human characters in Sonic-dom.
Whoo-boy! This is a tough one. Marine’s character was written to be an annoying little girl and WOW did they ever nail that one! She constantly demands to be called “captain”, follows Sonic and crew into danger no matter what and has an Australian dialect so ridiculously thick that would make the late Steve Irwin go “ Krickey! What the bloody hell are you saying?!” She’s the Scrappy-Doo of Sonic characters. Even Sonic comic writer Ian Flynn used to absolutely hate the character.
So what’s to defend? Well, unlike the super-polite Cream, Marine is actually more like how a little child actually behaves. She’s rude, selfish, speaks out of turn, cries when she doesn’t get her way and basically wants to be the center of attention. I’ve known kids like that. As a sidekick to Blaze, she can help bring her out of her more prim, proper and serious state at times (mainly shown in the comics). Plus, she’s only been an NPC. You’ve never had to actually play as her. Despite not much love for the brat, Ian and Tracy have made her into a humorous and charming character in the comic books.
The other little girl on the list, Cream came along when Tails was losing his “cute, widdle sidekick” image and basically became the newest “cute, widdle sidekick” on the block. Super polite and an all-around goody two-shoes, Cream wasn’t exactly the most liked character at first. She was super-cutesy and seen as the character “for babies”. Not only that, her only attack move is to sick her pet Chao “Cheese” on her enemies. Surprisingly, that Chao can do some serious damage.
I’ve never really hated Cream myself. She’s the character you most likely pick if you want to get through Sonic Advance 2 or Sonic Heroes on easy. She doesn’t bring the series down in any way and is the only character in the series that actually has a parent. One of the best aspects of her character is what she brings to Amy. Before she had Cream as a sidekick, Amy was nothing more than a boy chaser constantly going after Sonic. Now, with Cream at her side, Amy goes on other adventures away from Sonic. In fact, in the latest Sonic Universe arc, “Pirate Plunder Panic” Amy didn’t bring up Sonic during the whole adventure (I think). If a character helps improve the aspects of another character, that’s a big plus for me.
This fat, slow cat almost ruined Sonic Adventure. Knuckles emerald hunts could be boring at times, Amy was a little hard to control, Gamma was fairly blah, but nothing prepared you for a single player campaign totally about a slow cat fishing…..IN A SONIC GAME!! Big is the anti-Sonic. He’s large, slow, doesn’t go looking for adventure, but would rather kick back with his pal Froggy and just fish….and probably smoke a blunt.
But really, his presence in Sonic Adventure is the only thing really bad I can think of about Big. Outside of Sonic Heroes and All-Stars Racing, he became the “Where’s Waldo” of Sonic characters. You can find him hidden in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and throughout Sonic and the Secret Rings just chilling out. It turned him into a super-secret extra to try and find which only adds to the game instead of taking away. So really, Big only helped ruin one game while helping add more enjoyment to others. Plus, he’s just so damn loveable a character in his own right. He’s simple, peaceful and not too bright, but goes out of his way to help others. Big went from a character I couldn’t stand to one of my faves.
So what hated Sonic friend do you love? Give us your defense for your favorite character who’s just not too popular in the comments below. Except Chris Thorndyke. There’s just no defending Chris Thorndyke. 😉