Why do people in the Sonic community take such offense to low review scores? Anything 69% and lower is like a kick to the nuts to some. I’ve seen people react like the reviewer had just murdered their parents. While video games are an expensive endeavor, cashing in at $50 or $60, that doesn’t seem to be the point of contention with the “true Sonic fan,” which, by the way, is a derogatory term to the lot of us here. The “TSFs” are more concerned with the reputation of their furry, blue idol than whether or not it’s worth a purchase, rental, or pass. They probably have already bought the game and have beaten it three times over before the review is out, so they could care less for a recommendation.
It begs the question: Why do the TSFs care so dearly about other people’s opinions, especially the dissenting ones?
The TSFs have played the game and absolutely love it, so what does it matter to them that everybody else hates it? If I could capture one of these creatures, put on a lab coat and study its ticks, then I would know the answer. Sadly, it remains a mystery why these embarassments of Sonic fandom do what they do. We can only assess from the asinine things that they post in forums and comment boxes.
A recent trend in the community is this obsession with whether or not a reviewer finished the game or not. While I agree that a reviewer should play the game thoroughly, the need to 100% complete a game is asking too much. How many review sites finished Grand Theft Auto IV before reviewing it? I doubt that any of them did. Most times, if you’ve seen first half of a game, the second half is bound to be similar. Does IGN’s Matt Casamassina have to play the final moments of Black Knight? Would the game’s true ending redeem all of the game’s shortcomings? I highly doubt it.
A much more prominent argument of the TSF is the necessity to call people out on their preference to the classic titles, going as far as stating that the Genesis Sonic titles “suck.” It’s always amusing to read that comment, as it lacks any context whatsoever. Without Sonic’s successful Genesis days, which were popular for their innovations to platform gaming and contrasting attitude to Mario, the new-generation Sonic wouldn’t exist. By referring to those games as “absolute crap,” one basically erases Sonic’s current lineage of games. Sonic would be lost in the 16-bit generation, like Bubsy, Sparkster, and other attitudinal, platforming mascots.
What’s funny about the TSF’s cries for respect to the new-generation is that us editorial folk have to love every Sonic game. When the TSFs preach that to us and follow up with “the Genesis games suck,” they’re contradicting themselves.
The “classic backlash” from the TSFs could also be attributed to the perspective of the authors of the Sonic-related articles and reviews. The people who are articulate enough to write for these “important” websites are in their late teens and beyond. Most of us are in our twenties. As a result, we grew up with this character. It’s something that has to be understood by the chronic complainers. When they’ve reached a point in their life when they’re old enough to have a firm grasp on their respective languages, they can write articles about how Sonic Unleashed was a triumph of this generation for TSS, IGN, or some other video game website. Secondly, the “too old for Sonic” argument doesn’t really work. The charm of the character is supposed to appeal to everyone, regardless if you’re 12 or 40 or whether or not the game is “designed for kids.”
Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. If IGN does not like the game, that’s their prerogative. If you like the game, then that’s your prerogative. Telling a site how to do its business is an exercise in futility.
Not everybody is going to be happy with Sonic all the time. One cannot coarse a fanbase so large to think uniformily. So, if you like Black Knight, then good for you. Don’t go looking to pick fights with the opposite viewpoint, because nobody wants to see that.
Better yet, nobody cares.
Brad wrote this review not in defense for IGN or review sites, but for the sake of peace and sanity. Picture credit goes to “Sonic-Fan-Rater” at DeviantArt.