Ever wonder why your Sonic games have shooting, emerald hunting, brawling, more shooting, telekinesis, lengthy cutscenes, hub worlds with annoying inhabitants, and various other things that are not running? Well, during IGN’s “Red Light Podcast,” David Clayman talks about a discussion he had with one of the members of the Sonic Unleashed team at the Tokyo Game Show. 19 minutes and 40 seconds into the show, David said:
I asked one of the developers at TGS, you know I was like, come on everybody just wants Sonic running, like whats up with the werehog? And he was like, well, heres the deal… he [Sonic] runs at this miles per hour, kilometers per hour, and he laid out all of the statistics on how fast this hedgehog goes, and he was like In order to make a game where Sonic is running and everybody enjoys the whole thing we’d have to design this many miles of level, and it was some ungodly number. And he’s like and that would be like maybe a three hour game and I was like wow, well that kinda stinks and he’s like yeah, so we gotta do this other stuff.
Total bullshit, right?
I love it when SEGA opens its mouth, because they always end up saying something that gives me leverage. The first thing that I have to point out that SEGA must have Sonic go so-and-so miles per hour. Why? I’ve played all versions of Unleashed now and, man, is Sonic faaaaast. One way to remedy the “ungodly” amounts of level that they would have to create is to slow the little guy down and take away his boost ability. But, no, we get a werehog instead.
A 3-hour game? Well, all the Genesis and Advance titles can be beaten within that amount of time and I still play those games. To use a non-Sonic example, Star Fox 64 can be beaten within one hour and it is one of the Nintendo 64s most successful titles, because of its high replay value through its design. The core experience should provide the replay value. But, no, we get a werehog (and sun medals) instead.
In closing, let’s take a look at Sonic’s release calendar. I just finished playing through Unleashed and now I have a Black Knight screens baraging my gaming sites and blogs. If you want to make a good, core experience with replay value, take some time on your game! We really do not need 3 mediocre Sonic games a year. If you want Sonic to go so-and-so miles per hour and long levels are necessary, take the time to do it. Do not make excuses and give us werehogs, black hedgehogs with mommy issues, or starfish-headed psychos as cop outs.