On the 8th March, the Game Developer’s Conference’s “Walk of Game” ceremony was the time for SEGA America to display its new game in development: Shadow the Hedgehog.
As Sonic the Hedgehog was awarded a place in the Walk of Game, SEGA took the opportunity to speak at length about Sonic’s achievements. This followed a trailer where Sonic’s brief game history was shot to pieces by an approaching Shadow, gun in hand.
The gameplay in the brief, trailer video included familiar Sonic Adventure 2 level design aspects coupled with the novelty of shooting, as seen in other platformers such as Ratchet and Clank. More game features were teased, involving various ‘Sonic Battle’ style charge moves and some sort of ‘hyperspeed’ warping mode.
The bombshell has left Sonic fans divided. To say that is something of an understatement. Some people disliking the move of giving Shadow a lead role in a game. Others worried that this game was really the title Sonic Team Japan was working on the quiet. More have exclaimed their anticipation for the game.
Whatever the discussion on Sonic fanboards across the internet, the major talking point is the use of ‘real life’ weaponry. On the SSMB Forums, the idea of whether the placement of a gun is necessary to make the story more “mature” has been a hot topic.
Member Prometheus exclaims that “The guns are unnecessary in a Sonic-style game which revolves around speed”, whereas the optimistic side of the argument is exampled in Psychobob’s comment: “Guns remove the manual labour of dealing with an enemy, further more they should jack up the adrenaline level that has previously only been provided by speed”.
Even the existence of Shadow is being questionned, with poster Max explaining that “Shadow would be a better Character if he had died and never returned… It adds emotion… Bet Sonic sounds stupid for saying Sayonara now.”
Whereas the values of the Sonic series are close to everyone’s hearts when discussing this issue, things can only be explained as more information and media is revealed by SEGA. Aggressors can die happy knowing that Yuji Naka still plans to reveal a brand new Sonic the Hedgehog game at May’s E3 event in Los Angeles, removing most pressure on this spinoff to achieve the same level of quality so expected from the average Sonic fan.
The debate continues…