Art by RianaD of DeviantArt.
The man behind SEGA’s Needlemouse contests and announcements was asked to weigh in on the on-going “classic vs. modern” debate on the official SEGA forums. His opinion sways in neither direction, as he makes a case for both, but he ultimately assures us that the final verdict will come down to gameplay and not the design of the character.
First, he talked about the image and memories that classic Sonic evokes:
To many fans, Classic Sonic represents a golden era for both Sonic and for SEGA. He symbolizes quality games and memories that, even though slightly rose tinted with age, were still times many of us can look back fondly on.
Modern Sonic, with green eyes, is more largely associated with Sonic Adventure and the games following. To fans of purely Classic Sonic, green eyes represent the advent of Big the Cat and other characters, gameplay that differed from the norm, etc.
That was my issue upon seeing the modern Sonic design (like, I don’t give a damn about the green eyes… just everything else). Most people, including myself, saw modern Sonic and associated it with the last decade of gameplay that strayed away from Sonic and introduced a slew of new characters in some unfavorable games. It has the ability to give off what the final product of “Sonic 4” might be like, regardless of the “3 seconds of footage” counter-argument. Again, it’ s just a knee-jerk reaction that happens when you’ve been waiting for “Sonic 4” for 16 years.
Ruby also commented on the “anti-green eyes” movement that one-half of the fanbase is standing behind. He mentions that it’s not the color of the eyes that we remember, but the well-aged gameplay of the originals:
The color of Sonic’s eyes may be important, especially to some, but far more important to me is the gameplay itself.
We don’t remember the old games as classics because Sonic’s eyes were black and he happened to be a little chubbier. We remember them because they were good games, first and foremost. That’s the truth for me, at least.
With his neutral stance on his preference and indifference for eye color, he makes a point that this game’s legacy will be cemented on gameplay and not design. While he fails to mention the other differing aspects between the two Sonic designs that probably irk most classic Sonic supporters more than eye color (track-star design, huge quills), his statement still holds true and was correct even before articles, forum posts, and blog rants came about a few days ago.
Another post by forum member “Catboy” brought up a “cigarette mentality” that the classic crowd is going through. One that I can say that I am feeling:
To put it simply, if a fan abhors the look of a character of which they’re forced to use, that inherent hate can bog down the general enjoyment of a game.
It’s like a cigarette + state of mind.
RubyEclipse responded to this comment and asked fans on both sides of the fence to keep voicing their opinions. He acknowledged that SEGA is doing a better job of reading into their fans on their forums and fansites such as this one:
Yep, I totally hear you Catboy.
Know that we are still listening. The feedback that fans have – be it for classic or modern – is something we will continue to compile and send upwards internally.
So, whichever type of Sonic you prefer – or even if you really don’t care – make sure to post at least once, somewhere, about it. You may not see the results immediately, but then again, you rarely will with things that matter most.
While RubyEclipse does not work on the project himself, he is a go between for the fans. Both the want for classic and modern Sonic is being taken into account and he will send it to the “Sonic 4” team.
What the ultimate point of this community blog post is a matter of respect. RubyEclipse, a SEGA employee, came out and participated in a discussion that has been the hot topic of every Sonic website since the trailers launch. While company participation in fan issues is important due to its rarity within this fanbase, his respect for both sides of the debate should be noticed and taken with everybody as they weigh in on message boards and comment walls.
He didn’t come out and brush off anybody’s opinion, name-call, or harass just because somebody’s opinion was different than his own. It was something that I saw few and far between in each of our articles that we posted a few days ago (Dread’s was slanted positively; mine was the obvious negative… we disagree, but we’re still best buds aka “broniks”). The same thing occurred when reviews came out for games like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic & the Black Knight.
Reviews and articles that slammed those games (or Sonic 4 in this instance) were just outright ignored by hot-heads and authors were being called things like “biased,” “idiots,” “babies,” “unpleaseable” (which isn’t a word) and “complete fucking morons who aren’t intelligent at all.” Some people didn’t even choose to read the whole thing. Dread and I didn’t cut each other or any reader of a different opinion down and yet, people were going off.
Why does that have to happen? Nobody’s going to think or feel the same way. This wild difference in opinion isn’t exclusive to the Sonic fandom either. It’s everywhere in the world.
I might have read too far into RubyEclipse’s posts, but that’s okay. By doing so, I felt better about the situation unfolding across the blue-hedgehog-forum universe. So, complaining about complainers or cut others down? It doesn’t help. It makes everything worse (complaining about complaining is still complaining). As RubyEclipse said, those that voice against you have a right to their opinion, too, and it might even be taken into consideration by those in charge.
Unless that opinion is whether a scientifically-proven illness is “real” or “fake.” Then, you can just get the hell out. 😉
Hey, here’s a bonus. How about a fun “compromise?” Aaaayyyyy?