Sonic 4: What’s In A Name?

Sonic 4: What’s In A Name?

The following is the opinion of a man who is conflicted and about a company that chose the wrong name.  If you don’t want to read any negativity about Sonic 4 (or you don’t like to read), turn back now.  If you’re going to read on, you’re going to read parts that you might agree with and parts that you might not agree with.  So is the nature of opinion.

My first Sonic forum was Sonic Fan Games HQ and it is where I rose to the community status that I have today.  My first administration job was there and it is also where I met a lot of people to get me in the position that I’m in today.  SFGHQ is where I began development on Sonic Nexus, a project that I began because I did not think SEGA would provide another classic romp ever again.  When college allows me to work on it, Nexus is my only gateway to an “all-new adventure.”

SFGHQ is also the home of many “Sonic 4” fangames that have come and gone over the years.  People have always dreamed of making the direct sequel to Sonic 3 & Knuckles and have either given up, lost interest, or have changed the name of their game to rid themselves of the high expectations that they have set for themselves.

SEGA is now guilty of setting their own bar too high.

I kid you not, there is a Sonic Retro wiki article for every pixel of this screenshot.

 

Before you stop reading the article to comment on how 3-seconds of gameplay cannot justify an opinion as critical as mine, I’ll remind you that classic Sonic fans only need a little to break down anything and everything within a single frame.  Sites like Sonic Retro, SFGHQ, and Zone:0 exist for a reason.  We have perfected analyzing every pixel, color, and motion in the classic Sonic games.  If anybody’s going to not fall prey to the hype monster… it’s us.

You might say that we’re ungrateful for not being completely sold or hating what we have seen thus far of a project that Ken Ballough, SEGA’s brand manager, said is finally intended for us.  In reality, are we really unappreciative for dogging on it?

The game is called Sonic the Hedgehog 4, a direct sequel to a trilogy made famous on perfection.  We do not have ridiculously high expectations.  When you name the game Sonic 4, it has to be perfection.  If it’s not, you might as well piss all over my Genesis.  SEGA PR giving reasons as to why I’m not pleased is making excuses for something undeserving of a title that they gave it.  It’s not us… it’s them.

Isn't "concept art" supposed to help conceive new ideas? I saw this spinning flower 19 years ago.

 

The original games are also built on creativity.  Where one game came up short, the other expanded upon and surprised you with more.  Sonic 2 introduced a spindash, another character, and Super Sonic.  Sonic 3 had a “tropical green  trope” zone to begin the game, but broke precedent and set it on fire almost immediately. Sonic & Knuckles introduced a playable Knuckles and lock-on technology, which even breathed new life into Sonic 2.  The bar was raised whether you were prepared for it or not.  With 3-seconds of a Green Hill rip-off and an Emerald Hill corkscrew, along with old badniks, Green Hill palmtrees and flowers, Sonic 4 currently does not surprise or rise above the three games before it.

The blatant rehashing of old materials is fangame quality at best.  Even the story admits that this game will be bringing back “Eggman’s finest creations.”

Yes, “official fangame” is an oxymoron, but that’s what Sonic 4 looks like thus far: an average bit of fan-service that ultimately does not live up to its choice of name.  Aside from the aforementioned “fangame n00b mistake” of a name, the game is rehashing old stuff and updating their looks to make it all seem “new.”  For most of fangame creators, that is all we really do to make level art and badniks, since we lack the skill to sprite original things ourselves.  Observe:

The art style of the classics is there in the trailer, but we saw Green Hill nearly two decades ago.

With the talk of art style also comes Sonic’s appearance and where the train really comes off the tracks.  The pudgy, short-spined, black-eyed original doesn’t return.  What a sequel to the Genesis games gets is the lanky, floppy-spined wannabe that has been romping around King Arthur’s court as a werehog with Shadow, Cream, Marine, Silver and the ruffles.  I do not care about confusing the children and being consistent with Sonic’s modern design.  The Sonic I knew has a spirit attached to him that no other character can match.  Even a re-design of Sonic would have sufficed because, hey, we are rebooting, right? If the game was called something else, modern Sonic wouldn’t be an issue.  However, the game is called “Sonic 4.”

The face of failure... or someone who just farted.

 

“Modern” Sonic’s appearance hit me the hardest.  SEGA had lied to us.

They invoked the winged ring back on 9.9.09.  They made a whole forum skin around the Genesis sprites. The “Hedgehog Day” flash ditty was classic Sonic coming out of a hole.  Classic Sonic was coming back.  Even the trailer had a classic Sonic retrospective!  My hopes were dashed when the face of an underwhelming decade faded up at the end of the trailer.  SEGA’s commitment to finally pleasing its original fanbase after sixteen years was a front.

Ken Ballough said it himself: Sonic 4 is our game.  When a new Sonic game came out with 10 new characters and laser guns, we clamored for a return to form and SEGA has finally obliged.  The kids have had their games and they were mediocre at best, most being the butt of jokes across gaming websites.

If Capcom can commit to classic Mega Man to the point of fully embracing its past by making awesomely bad box-art, then so can you, SEGA.

Here's a fan's altered "Sonic 4" model. Looks like a winner to me.

 

Last week, I had chastised a few people at SFGHQ for an absurd amount of complaining over the Needlemouse contests and the eventual recycling of old badniks.  My posts were along the lines of, “Shut up, you guys.  Classic Sonic is returning.  This is what we want!  Can’t you be happy?”

Unfortunately, now I’m the one doing the complaining.  What Sonic 4 appears to be isn’t what I want.

SEGA, you owe it to your legions of 20-something and older fans to make a change.  Our commitment to you when we were still wetting beds in tacky windbreakers is why you are still around today.   We defended you on the playground against those Mario-loving, Super Nintendo owning sons of bitches.  We followed you to consoles that were complete failures.

Either change the name and respect what are still Sonic’s best games or fix what I saw in that trailer.  I will not settle for anything less than perfection.  We’ve been settling for a decade now.  Provide throwbacks while expanding and innovating.

The time is now.  The choice is yours, SEGA.

You might think I’m overreacting (hell, I think I am, too), but that is just how close the name “Sonic 4” is to me.  Again, if the name wasn’t “Sonic 4,” I would be completely sunshine smiles right now, but that’s not the case.  There is a weight so heavy tied to “Sonic 4” that I doubt anybody will ever be able to pick it up.

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I’m prepared for the flaming below.  Let me have it, fellas.  I’m aware that this is probably not the time nor place for such an article, but with a subject so close to me, I had to get my two cents out there.  You’re entitled to your own opinion, too.

Published by

Brad

Brad, also known as "Slingerland," is a staff writer and editor for both The Sonic Stadium and Sonic Retro. His area of emphasis is the inner-workings of the games and laughing at everything. Follow him on Twitter. - @bradflick55

119 Comments

  1. Hell, I agree with this.

    I have to be honest when I say, I wasn’t expecting what you want out of this. I was expecting basically what we got. But, I was praying Sega would show me I was wrong about them. Maybe I will be proven wrong in the coming weeks when the new trailer hits. I really, really hope we are both proven wrong. If not, I guess we will just have to make do. That’s going to hurt the hardest to be truthful.

  2. I don’t know why you so apologetic in the article. You are absolutely right! You highlighted a lot of the concerns I have with Sonic 4, most importantly the character design in the game. If SEGA was so keen on pleasing the classic fans after years of severe disappointment and tons of hype with Sonic 4, the last thing they should do is to use the modern Sonic design which is instantly associated with their failed games. This was a terrible move on their parts, and just shows that Sega cannot deliver on what they are promising. What’s the point of them showing us classic concept art of enemies and level when the main character himself is not returning to his classic form? Everything, from the plastic-y look of the level to the bland 3D character model of Sonic, indicate that SEGA STILL cannot get it right. And that should be obvious to the Sonic fanbase by now, because if they had any clue on what makes Sonic great, they would not have waited a decade to make a game which (supposedly) returns to its roots.

  3. @Hawkz: Don’t settle. Ever.
    @IHateSEGA: I’m apologetic because I am aware of the mindset of my reader-base. My opinion is usually opposite to a vast majority of the visitors here. I’m going to get flamed and be called a whiner, but I really don’t care.

  4. Always good to get both sides of the coin out there, but I disagree that this is one huge disappointment. We’ve barely seen any of it, and I don’t see the ragging on ‘modern look’ Sonic at all. Long as the gameplay’s there (and all signs are pointing to ‘yes’) I really don’t think it matters.

    Sega may have set the bar too high for themselves, but I don’t think this trailer is proof that they’re anywhere near launching off on the wrong foot.

  5. good article brad.
    i disagree with you but your arguments were good and there were no GREAN EYES!!!1! in this article.
    This is just a complain but no ranting.

  6. @Dread: SEGA promised a retro reboot and didn’t entirely commit. Seeing the Sonic from ten straight years of mediocrity grace the logo sends me the message that they’re not entirely on board with old-school.

  7. ure fukin right u oldschools have waited 16 years and this is what u get dissapointed a lot and believe me im 14 and i love the classics more (played them via emulator) and seeing modern sonic on that shit just makes me remember of huge failures cough”Sonic 06″cough the classic sonic should be the main thing here and maybe add modern sonic as a DLC/unlockable/or even an option but classic sonic should be the main thing here fuk u sega as for the running animation dont worry sonic wasnt in full speed in that trailer though still the physics are all wrong and the grass looks like Play-Doh modeled rather than plastic(that everybody have been saying)

  8. I didn’t love the old games for their black-eyed, chubby Sonics and the like. I love them because they’re fun. This isn’t fucking Megaman 9, get over it already.

    And damn it, we’ve seen only 3 badniks for Iblis’ sake. And they say that Eggman is bringing back his best creations, but who’s to say we won’t see any new badniks anyway?

    Call me a troll if you want, but in my opinion this article is just a whine-fest.

  9. @Brad: Everything else looks to be on-point though. It’s just the Sonic model you appear you appear to be having issue with. Besides the modern Sonic model, I see no evidence that this will just be another Sonic Rush.

  10. Sega is throwing us a bone with the title alone, just take it, it’s not the end of the world if this one happens to suck aswell (we’ll always have S3&K)

  11. Jackskellinghog: It’s not labeled as ‘news’. It’s called an ‘Article’. An opinion piece. It’s clearly identified as such. Stop being a pillock.

  12. A nice heartfilled read, but one that I can’t really agree with. The pleading for old Sonic is the most trivial thing I have seen. The modern design is just fine. I would understand if it was a drastic change into something radically different ( WindWaker anyone? ) … I can say this is a major over reaction, but I can understand the concern for a series you hold dear to you.

  13. I agree with hyliaman. I do understand your problem, since it’s probably something you grew up with, so it’s not like I don’t respect it or something.

  14. I should add that I do agree that we need more than just nostalgia to fuel this game. New badniks and Zone themes please, but at the same time throwbacks are appreciated.

  15. I’m sorry Brad, I truly am, but I’ll have to disagree on you that they said that Sonic 4 was our game (for us nostalgic Sonic fans). Ben never specifally said that it would be EXACTLY like the first 5 Sonic games (Sonic 1, 2, CD, 3, and S&K), or have something totally new and unexpected, like how the previous 5 games did. When I read the article, he just said that we were clamoring for a 2D Sonic game. He never said that Sega actually was going to bring back classic Sonic stuff for us. And the Sonic 4 logo does look like the silhouette, except skinnier. The Hedgehog Day thing-don’t know what that was about, but it did get us more convinced it would be a classic Sonic. Sure, I was surprised when SA Sonic popped up, instead of classic Sonic. but I guess that Sonic 4 is a compromise for nostalgic and modern Sonic fans. And don’t get me wrong-I’m a nostalgic Sonic fan. I’ve been with Sonic since Sonic 2.

  16. Exactly, hyliaman. We need throwbacks and NEW surprises. If the game is a direct sequel, it needs to add something more than just recycling the past. Like I said, Angel Island got set on fire. That was an unexpected turn that I’ll never forget.

    Classic Sonic, classic gameplay, but new content.

  17. What i dont like is they tried to get back in their roots, and they did it about half way. dont you think sonic looks slow in this game!?! and yes, i too would like new levels and not the same old green hill we see every year now. i agree! and so does everyone else it appears.

  18. I see where you are coming from, but I neither completely agree or disagree with this article.
    Just the fact that we’re getting another 2D Sonic is enough to get me excited. The Advance and Rush series have showed us that you can’t go wrong with 2D Sonic.
    And I like actually like the new design of Sonic being in this game. Think of that as one of your surprises for this game. New Sonic going through these classic environments makes the game feel new for me.
    That being said, I also agree that it is VITAL that there are some new gimmicks and surprises added, and also a higher number of zones than Sonic 3&K, to make the game even more expansive.
    Whatever the outcome, I’ll be buying this game either way. I never thought I’d be able to say the name Sonic 4!

  19. I don’t see a problem with Sonic’s design at all, in fact, I prefer it far more.
    But if I wanted classic Sonic in the game, I’d want assface. screw that ugly Japanese one.

  20. Brilliant article! This is the problem with us old school Sonic fans, we’re far too hardcore and sincere for our own good, we’ve stuck with Sonic through his modern evolution, through thick and thin, through the good games and bad games, some of us have spent silly amounts of time creating our own fangame versions of Sonic while others have dedicated their time to finding every miniscule secret of those old games we loved so much. We’ve stayed through many things that haven’t been to our taste, but somehow, after all these years, the true old school Sonic fans still haven’t given up… and never will by the looks of it.

    Though looking at what we’ve seen of Project Needlemouse so far just as a new Sonic game, it’s fine, but looking at it from an old school fan’s perspective (which is what I am), SEGA royally set themselves up with this one. Even though they never actually said the words, they strongly implied that this would be 100% classic styled. September’s teaser trailer showed a sillhouette of the Sonic 1 title image, complete with the shape of the classic style Sonic, so for FIVE MONTHS, we’ve “known” that this game would feature a classic looking Sonic, and although the colour of Sonic’s eyes aren’t going to make any difference to how the game plays, any Sonic fan who grew up during the 16-bit era will know, there was just something magical about Sonic’s original look, a certain charm you don’t see in his modern design, he never used to have that cocky teenager “attitude” look. So that’s a bit of a slap in the face to old school fans expecting Sonic’s classic look.

    And I agree with the naming thing. I admit, I didn’t think SEGA were daft enough to use that name, as it’s something many old school fans have dreamed of since finishing Sonic & Knuckles, it’s a name that implies this game is specifically being made for the old school fans, so SEGA HAD to match old school fan expectations perfectly with no modern twists like the homing attack or a new school Sonic, which wouldn’t matter if they gave it a different title, Sonic the Hedgehog 2D HD or something would have been a sufficient title. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the homing attack, I don’t mind them updating Sonic’s look for modern styled Sonic games because times change and you have to update, I liked the Sonic Advance and Sonic Rush series. Hell, I myself even created a Sonic Fangame with grinding in it, but the name Sonic the Hedgehog 4 itself specifically tells us this is (or should be) 100% old school styled, and should entirely satisfy that old dream.

    More positively though, once I got over the initial shock, I found I’m massively looking forward to the game(s), I’m not keen on this episodic business, but I could easily forgive SEGA if all the episodes can be locked together to make one uber game, Sonic 3 & Knuckles style or if each episode feels like a full length game by classic Sonic standards, or if they manage both, it would be “epic win”. I expected the fist zone to have a few Green Hill Zone squares here and there, but I didn’t think they’d make the whole ground design with them. But still, though they didn’t quite go 100% old school, there is a lot of old school look to this game, and I can’t wait to play it.

    Now this is my third Stadium post in a row and I’m starting to feel a bit misplaced from my SFGHQ home.

  21. Considering all the crap we’ve had to put up with in recent years that fact that SEGA are doing anything like this at all is good enough for me. I’m positivley bursting for more information and am more excited about this game than any other for a very long time. No it’s not a total retro throw back like Mega Man 9 but I could care less. After princess kissing, werehog transformations, storybook adventures and sporting endeveours the fact that SEGA are finally making another 2D Sonic game with all the old bells and whistles has me excited for a Sonic game like no other.

  22. I may be wasting time but anything to try to change the sonic fans into sonic fans *flame shield* Why must everyone judge it already? So what if Sonic is in 3D? So what if they give him a homing attack? As he said, sega added something new to each game so they are doing the same here as well. 3 seconds is not going to show everything that will be in the game (my apologies to the sites that work long and hard at analizing “a single frame” to determine how a game will play). My only complaint, honestly, is the greenhill looking stage. I hope its changed a bit more, but then again Greenhill, Emeraldhill, and Angel island (act 1) were extremely similar in looks as well. If they make the gameplay the same other than the homing attack and keep his original speed, wont it be EXACTLY like the old games all in all? I believe ill have fun playing it whether it be in sprites or not.

  23. If I’m honest, the classic Sonic games aren’t all that there’re cracked up to be.
    Blah blah blah, There’re amazing, blah blah blah, New Sonic Sucks, blah blah blah, Bring back classics. That’s all anyone seems to do these days but whenever I play classic Sonic, I find it to be boring and uninteresting. So please, stop saying stuff about “perfection”; the classics were nothing near perfection. For me, they were/still are boring. So how on earth can they be as good as everyone seems to think?

    It seems to me that we have all forced this idea that the classics were the best thing since sliced bread. When really, if you sit down, and truely look at them now. What’s so special? The only reason they were so popular back then was because it was new, fast, and no-one had done it before. Against todays standards they don’t really hold up much in my books.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited as this as anyone. But one of the main reasons I’m so excited is because it looks very similar to New Super Mario. Classic Gameplay with a modern twist. Great!

    Look, you classic fans have got what you wanted. A classic Sonic Game. Why are you still complaining that it looks different? Can you ever be pleased?

    Sorry if I seem a bit harsh but it’s not like you haven’t been asking for thing since S3&K.

    Beggers can’t be choosers guys…

  24. Well, if you think that’s weird, then just play Sonic Rebirth (Sonic 1 Fan Remake, with the Modern Sonic), or check out Amy’s flashback of how she was saved by Sonic, and how they got away from Metal Sonic! Was she depicted in her classic look, with the Green shirt and orange skirt? NO! This is called a ret-con!

  25. “I guess we can’t be heroes all the time”– Sonic
    Totally respect your opinion. However, we asked for newer-oldie Sonic, and this is what we got.

  26. “I would have never expected to see you over here, Jamie. Thanks for that surprise!”

    I’ve kind of been drawn here a lot recently with all the Sega All Stars Racing and Needlemouse info coming out (and leaking out, for that matter) and for some reason, in my unwell state, I seem to have begun posting here too, although it looks like my “reply” up there is practically an article in itself and I’m now realising this one is more of a forum chat type post, guess I can’t do anything right, LOL. 😛

    Even if we do nitpick when SEGA tries to please us, classic Sonic fans = Absolute, bloody legends. I chose my favourite internet community well!

  27. I don’t see what people’s beef is with the “anorexic” Sonic character design. It’s not bad, It’s just different from what you immature nostalgia people are used to. Ever since we were little kids, we’ve been told to accept change, so why don’t you guys catch up after what… seven years? and just accept this design, plus I might be crazy, but the build of Sonic in this game looks like “Unleashed Sonic” but shorter, which looks like an attempt by SEGA to get even closer to 1991.

  28. You’ve brought up a point I failed to grasp in my fan-boyish joys at a new 2-D game, they have set the bar quite high. I can’t say I agree about that whole thing with using the new sonic style being a catastrophe, the way I see it it shouldn’t be problem so long as the style the choose blends well with the other aesthetic choices made for the game (though, going by those few seconds it seems a bit funky). Overall my worries are on SEGA meeting the expectations the set with game play, setting, and level design. They have set the bar quite high as they mentioned and it will ultimately be very disappointing if they can’t live up to it and add something to the old trilogy that drags it down. But, in another way I welcome them to set the bar high so long as they aim to meet it because if they can at least come close we will have quite a game to look forward to this summer. Only time will tell so cross your fingers the summer of 2010.

  29. I have to disagree with this, mainly the Sonic design part. Honeslty, there are still a ton of people who like his modern design more (including me). Simply leaving him out because “he’s the face of an underwhelming decade” is bullshit. Including modern Sonic isn’t going to suddenly going to make the game worse, just like how including classic Sonic wouldn’t have made the game any better.

    And SEGA NEVER said this was gonna be a reboot. You must be mistaking that whole Alton Towers thing for an offical confirmation, which it’s not. It was most likely just a communication error, since SEGA has pretty much confirmed that this isn’t a reboot.

  30. A good argument there, I was disappointed with the plastic look of the graphics and i do agree that there should be more to it than rehashed Badniks, I don’t mind the corkscrew making a return at all though =)

    however the way I see it, Sonic is developing, what’s to say that he can’t grow taller from the Genesis era to the Adventure era, with this game as sort of a mid point for his design changing; it would have been nice to see a hybrid of the two designs which would show that development.

    I personally have no problem with the new design, he looks much more athletic and capable of running.

  31. Damn. I really have to agree, the message I was getting this whole time was that Classic Sonic was making a come back. I really don’t mind seeing the new Sonic, but I can’t help but feel like there’s a very tongue in cheek element of internal trolling at hand here toward fans using the new style.

    I really do hope we get some DLC or the option to play as Classic Sonic in the final build, as you put it, it does feel more like a “fan game” than Sonic 4 when I look at it from your perspective.

    It’s up to SEGA though what they want to do, and I doubt they’re willing to change back their prime mascot. Shame too, I was hoping for a redesign similar to his Classic look.

  32. In all honesty all I have to say to this is that it seems that Sega is just trying to not completly leave out the modern gamers. they know that the new Sonic model is whats more recognizable to the newer generation and that classic gamers truly just want the old gameplay back. what im truly worried about is wheather classic Sonic’s characterized attitude makes a return, after all true character is what’s inside. I mean Mario didnt really have blue eyes back then, and he was even a little shorter and stouter just like Sonic (not as drastic I guess), but his personality (nonexistent nevertheless) remained the same which kept Nostalgia at his side. Im not saying this post is total B.S. but even if the main trilogy were to have continued way back when, Sonic’s model would have obviously changed gradually over time and his model in the trailer looks very similar to classic Sonic anyways, O but with GREEN EYES?!?! THATS NOOOO GOOOD!?!? Sega’s got bigger things to worry about

  33. Sonic’s original design impliead a totally different personality (Just take a look at this awesome picture in the end of the article, damn that’s awesome!), Sonic looked like a hero rather than a badass funky dude. But then, I wouldn’t expect a Megaman 9 style game, that’s not what I want.

    It’s like poeple said here, we just want a game that plays well, that gives us trhilling moments running through the stages and beating the crap out of robotnik. I agree with you when it comes to the stages, I want new things, say, crystal palaces, new flying machines,the “lava world”, new adventures to play on. That’s what I liked about the classic games, a perfect game style (which I think can get even better with homing attack, seriously) that leads to intense adventure in different locations.

    It’s a game made in 2010, using the best of technology to create models and characters and scenery. Ain’t that cool? I mean, (I shouldn’t be writing that much), as long as the game plays like the old games did (or even better, homing attack again! :] ) I will love playing it over and over again!

  34. I think a simple “add Classic Sonic as alternate skin” would fix all this. The only reason i dont have a big problem with the new model is because new sonic was born via Sonic Adventure which was the last true sonic game. If they take the essence of the sonic character from Adventure and mix it with the classic’s sonic concepts than i think we will be fine.
    My only real concern right now is the running animation. Someone make a poll to vote for the Wheel running animation please!

  35. @SOS

    If I’m right SEGA has already stated that there’s a different running animation, that the one is the teaser is not his “fullspeed” animation

  36. I feel that as time goes on and technology evolves, other things should evolve around them. I like the new look Sonic, I think he’s better proportioned, and fits in well with the new 3D worlds that were created in Sonic Adventure 1 and 2. To return to the older Sonic would be a step BACK rather than a step forward, which is what this game is all about.

  37. GREAT article!

    To all the people talking about how “gameplay is all that matters”. You’re the kind of people that end up dating fat, ugly ditchpigs and settling for uncooked steak.

    And that will never do.

    Not in my world, and if you don’t like it you can suck my big blue classic cock!

  38. Then think of it as New Super Sonic Bros. instead, because that’s what this is. Should we be angry at Nintendo for including the triple jump in NSMB? Or not being able to take Yoshi with you in NSMBW? Get over it. I’ll take a Sonic Rush/Sonic 1 hybrid style 2D platformer hopefully in the realms of Sonic3K physics over Sonic Adventure 3 or Sonic Unleashed 2 anyday.

  39. Of course they can’t please everyone, Ryan!

    Lesson fucking one in business is don’t try and be all things to all people because you simply can’t be! And they shouldn’t have tried here. To think that both sides of the fanbase can play together nicely in the same sandbox is an outrage!

    The focus for the past 10 years has been on pleasing little kiddies with more pocket money than sense who incidentally don’t know shit from clay. I can’t remember one instance in those 10 years when they’ve tried to please us classic fans who let’s face it put them where they are now.

  40. Face it, guys. Nothing SEGA does will ever please you at this rate. Not even the fact that you’re overanalyzing a few seconds of a game; that’s how desperate you are to get ANY info so you can run your mouth off about it being RUINED FOREVER. Do you [i]really[/i] think it’s so simple as reskinning Sonic to look fat and with stubby? You really think you’ll be satisfied? Horseshit, of course you won’t. Chances are nothing will.

    You’re no better than Richard Kuta, Brad. You did overreact, and you’re bordering on obsessive spoiled brat.

    Sonic isn’t “yours”. It’s everyones.

  41. I think you’re overreacting a bit, Brad. Granted, you became a Sonic fan during the classic games and I did after Sonic Heroes (I was a bit too young to fully enjoy the classics), but just seeing three seconds of footage from the first zone isn’t enough to start hating on the game yet. I’m as big of a Sonic fan as anyone else here and I’m psyched for a new 2D take after enjoying Rush but getting upset that Sonic isn’t fat or doesn’t have black eyes is kinda pathetic. Modern Sonic has the same feel as the classic Sonic, only he looks a bit more in shape. The “attitude” you’re complaining about is probably from Sonic’s dialoge from the 3D games. I understand that when you’re a die-hard fan of something you might get upset over those little details but it’s those feelings that hold back new things and sometimes make them fail when they probably shouldn’t.

  42. The argument about the name “Sonic 4” is respectable. I actually didn’t think about it that way until now– That name surely does carry alot of weight. 2 Decades of weight to be exact.

    But the comments about Sonic’s appearance was kinda pathetic. No offense. Green eyed “Lanky” Sonic is who he is now. Asking to get rid of him after almost ten years is kind of selfish. The Sonic we have now is kiiind of what created the Sonic fan-base we have today. Now that can be a good thing or bad thing– but I don’t think Sonic could have come this far without that hip, teenage look of his.

  43. (cracks knuckles) Well, here’s goes nothin’…

    Mr. Flick, I haven’t agreed with you all the time. Sometimes I have, sometimes I haven’t. This time, though, it seems the straw has finally broken this camel’s back.

    YOU are the one that has been asking for a new oldschool Sonic. YOU are the one that totally had an absolute fit whenever Sonic and the Black Knight was released (not that I’m blaming you…). YOU, among legions of others, have basically called Sega a bunch of idiots for not making what you want. Do you have a right to? Perhaps, since the distributor is supposed to make the consumer happy.

    But what happens when Sega tries to make you and every other retrobag happy? “It’s not good enough. Make me happy.”

    What the heck do you expect them to do? “I don’t care if it appeals to children.” Well, if Sega didn’t care either, then 75% of sales would fall flat. Maybe you are having trouble accepting the fact that Sonic is a VIDEO GAME. It is made for children. I’m not going to go and say no adults in the world play games (too many glaring examples of that), but I am saying that no matter what people think or say, video games are, for the most part, marketed for children.

    I honestly can’t believe that I’m reading when I click on this article. It seems that some of the people that I used to read and respect have turned into a bunch of ungrateful players. It’s SONIC 4. I’m so sick and tired of people saying that Sonic isn’t good enough for them anymore, no matter what he does.

    Here’s an idea: if you don’t like the games, don’t play them.

    Retire from TSS and go back to Retro, because I’m pretty sure this site is a fan site. If you want to think wistfully about the good ol’ days and play Genesis 24/7, then go rant on Retro. TSS is well above that sort of thing, and I don’t think it’s right to drag it down with stuff like this.

    BTW: MY OPINION. Please, no one kill me or anything, alright?

  44. I’m afraid I don’t agree with the article.

    I’m only 13 years old so I wasn’t around when the series was at its highest (hell, I started on Sonic Heroes) but I’ve played the originals to death and I must admit that it doesn’t bother me what Sonic LOOKS like. I understand that this bears a lot of weight, but this design IS Sonic. I do have to agree with you on the fact that Green Hill is being totally recycled, but that’s more a case of Sega getting the wrong end of the stick: they think they’re doing wonderful fanservice by bringing us straight BACK to the games that most people say they want, rather than giving us something on par.

  45. I won’t, Hypo Prower. It’s your opinion. I’ve got people in support of points and others not. That’s how opinion works.

    Dread and I don’t necessarily agree, but we’re still cool. He has published a counter-point. Go read it.

  46. @Tom
    How about you think next time you write a post. Using foul language and making fun of people is never going to get a point across. In fact, it will make people see your opinion as something to not care about.

    I think that worrying about the looks and living up to expectations is something that never really happens. If this was going to be a perfect Sonic 4, then they would have to please only one part of the fans. What about the people who like the 3D games now-a-days? They would have to cater to the fans and they would have to listen to every detail. Besides, i think if how much ranting has gone on with barely any footage of the game itself, I think that SEGA should stop production on this game and make a squeal to Sonic ’06 because people are assuming things from what we know, could be the greatest game ever made. But now, SEGA just might make this game even WORSE than Sonic ’06 because they can’t have any freedom with Sonic at ALL. Seriously, I’ve played the classics, the 3D games, the GBA and DS games and what I can see is that the 3D games are for new age players and are too different from game to game to be coming from ideas from just the team themselves. The GBA and DS games are 2D and are great games and good games that have feelings of the classics. Yet, no one cares about those games as it seems. I see the appeal of the older games and I like them, but they are not my favorite because they are older games that don’t have the same game play feel of the GBA and DS games. The feeling of the crisp backgrounds makes me feel like I am actually in that area. This is just my opinion, but I just needed to get it out somewhere.

  47. Anyone talking about how short the video was is missing a lot of details. First, 3 seconds of an act like green hill zone moving at the highest possible clip? You are talking a tenth of an act. And if you are like Slingerland or myself, you saw something significant during that tenth of an act… a flow. And that flow came right out of Sonic Rush.

    In the end, the quality of a Sonic game isn’t going to be determined by his eye color or the length of his quills, but by the capacity it has to overwhelm you with it’s elaborate pathing (and that means so much more than simple divergence of routes) and what obstacles it throws at you and how you have to get around those obstacles.

    And the fact of the matter is that it’s unlikely that we are actually going to see much of that in this game. Everything that we do have is hand picked from old games. The reality of the matter is that we may see very little new content in this game. And if thats the case, the best it can hope to achieve is a decent grade platformer which banks heavily on nostalgia.

    There is nothing about this so far which indicates that it is sequel to Sonic and Knuckles. A sequel to Sonic and Knuckles would have come out swinging with innovation while at the same time building right out of the old engine (which isn’t necessary, but it provides a framework for what they should be doing). A sequel also wouldn’t have turned down the number of characters to reduce the feature set. No one thought of Sonic and Knuckles with its 2 characters or Sonic 3 and Knuckles with its 3 characters as deficient for those reasons. In fact, I’d dare say that a sequel would introduce a new character to the mix if not two. The fact that they have stated that this is a Sonic only affair indicates that they aren’t building at all out of the legacy of the games. They are going purely on what they’ve been reading in journalistic complaints like all of those horrendous “worst five attributes of Sonic” lists.

    So really, it’s not going to be Sonic 4. It’s going to be a Sonic the Hedgehog remix. And as much as thats not bad at all… Sonic 4 would be catastrophically mind-blowing.

  48. I think that when people read the Sega was coming back with classic adventure, they expected a Sonic with 16 bits graphic, 16 bits music, maybe they we’re expecting a GENESIS game.

    When I read they were coming back with the classic adventure, I was expecting a totally new game BASED on the old ones, that feels like an old one, that PLAYS like an old one. Just this. And I’m a player of the series since Sonic 1.

    I don’t care if they put homing attack instead of Insta-Shield, we never, EVER, complained about it when they released Sonic 3. “Sonic 2 didn’t have Insta-shield, so why they had to put this crap here”, I never saw anyone saying that. If the homing attack is made good and right, I don’t see WHY it should be left out of the game, since it can add good things to the game too (like alternative paths, etc).

    I don’t care it they use a new or old style artwork, what I care is if the game feels and plays like the old ones. “Oh, he have green eyes, when he should have black eyes…”. Seriously, WTF!? I’ll not even comment on this, because it’s too much childish.

    “Eggman should be called Robotinik”. JUST CALL HIM Robotinik. Even now, when SEGA america has decided to use this name for the newer games, I still call him Robotinik. Hell, we still even don’t know if the game will have voices (probably NOT), this does not affect the gameplay after all.

    I don’t want to play with a FAT Old-School Sonic. If I wanted that, I would play through the old ones. But I don’t care if they have an option to play with an old and the newer Sonic on the game, it would please everyone, and that’s one of the best suggestions right now. I think SEGA is already considering this.

    About the Sonic animation running, SEGA already said thats not the final animation, so let’s wait to see first. Yeah, by just those 3 seconds, it’s really stiff, but there’s still space to make it better, they can add the “screech” animation later, etc. Anyway, I like how he runs on Advance and Rush series, but they said alread that his legs will spin on his fatest speed, so rest assured.

    About physics of the game, I just don’t know, Never played through it yet. That’s the only point that really needs attention.

    Well, that’s about it.
    Just to add something: Mario have the best fanbase I’ve saw in my life. They never complained about the new moves they added to Mario in New Super Mario Bros series (Triple Jump, Wall Jump and Ground Pond), neither the new Mario Sprite and that game is still one of the best in the series, while still maintaining the old school feel. Just my two cents.

  49. @Brad Flick

    YES!!! SOMEONE FINALLY GETS IT! This article really spoke to me and invoked the same disappointment I experienced when that ugly modernized Sonic popped out of the traditional winged emblem. Sure I may have recently sparked some controversy on youtube with my enraged rants. Sure I was a bit overbearing, but it doesn’t make sense why people on jumping on my case when there’s people like you that understands the anger behind us older fans. As I mentioned in my latest apology video, Im assuming now that this is game is Sega’s attempt to unite both young and old fans by compromising everything. However, as a fan that grew up on the original games, Sonic 4 to me is a farce unless Sega does correct their mistakes, especially by using the classic Sonic in the classic series. That’s what we expected, and we expect Sega to deliver. By the way, thanks for using my altered photoshopped Sonic 4 logo =)

  50. Oh, hey, thanks for understand, Brad. I’m glad that everyone here (almost…) is at least mature enough to handle this.

    By the way, I didn’t mean to say that I hated you before. In fact, I envy the fact that you can just go out and say what you think, and not really care what anyone else says. It’s a very refreshing change.

  51. @E105Zeta

    I agree with your point there dude. SEGA can’t just satisfy ONE portion of the fanbase, they gotta cater to everyone else. I’m also a little miffed that people overlook the 2D handheld games; they were all great games, but everyone sort of overlooks that and focuses more on the 3D games, saying whatever.

    @Brad
    In all honesty, I think being patient and waiting to see what’s gonna happen with this game will be the best bet, but that’s just my opinion. We won’t know what the future holds until it comes. Sure, three seconds may be enough to provide pages of criticism about looks and perfection, but to me, a fan growing up with Sonic as a character and an idol, honestly, that shouldn’t be such a big deal.

    To me, Sonic will always be Sonic, no matter how he looks. As long as his attitude and his beliefs remain the same as they were all those years ago, I’ll still keep believing in him. I wouldn’t care about his looks, as long as he’s still Sonic, that’s really all that matters to me.

    Once again, this is just my opinion. Take it with a grain of salt. However, I enjoyed your point of view about the game and the expectations that comes with the name “Sonic 4.” It made me think that this game has to be as epic as the name itself if it wants to win us over, you know?

    ~Warrior-STH~

  52. @A Knothole Resident:

    Why are you complaining about Sonic having green eyes when he has green eyes in your fan movie, you’re being a big hypocrite dude.

  53. @Jetronic I can understand your concern with this argument, but the difference between the fan film and Sonic 4, is that I NEVER mislead anyone about Sonic’s character model. I flat out said, I was using classic Sonic with green eyes to appease both sides and even posted screenshots and character drawings to verify my claims.

    Sega on the other hand, posted cryptic images of the classic Sonic on their forum banners along with other media and strung us along thinking we were getting something to the nature of the Genesis games. But no, they blind sided us by using the modern Sonic. The signs were everywhere implying that Sega was going to use the classic Sonic, be it 16-bit or 3D. While I was truthful about my fan film, Sega basically lied to us on what we were going to expect.

  54. @A Knothole Resident
    Don’t count me on. I didn’t expected anything so different from what we saw already.

  55. @ A Knothole Resident:

    I, along with 2 other people, thought that it was representing a number (although I realized this later when I saw the banner had 4 sonic’s on it), I never was really expecting a Sonic’s art style to look any different or old. All I knew is that the game was going to play like a 2D Sonic would play, no matter how it looked.

    Plus whether this game was 3D or sprites, Modern or old looking Sonic, the game is still gonna play the same as it is when we play it this summer.

    I’m not really against you or anything, but I never really bothered with art style unless it was used over and over again. I mean just look at Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Knuckles Chaotix, each game looked better than the next, in some ways, yet the game play was consistent. (Although people didn’t like the way the tag team was in Chaotix).

  56. @Jetronic This is true. Each Genesis Sonic game improved on his design with subtle upgrades, but at least those games maintained the same character style. Short, pudgy with black eyes. Sonic 4 just throws off the consistency using the modern model.

  57. This is ridiciouls first everyone is exicted for the up-rising of sonic the hedgehog 4, than you all turn your back on it based off 3 seconds of gameplay footage? some of you dare call yourself a sonic fan? Give sega a break for the love of god, you ask for a game with just sonic in it, and they give you a platform with sonic in it. Now that you have nothing to complain about you start attacking sega once again for not using classic sonic? jesus chirst, Like it or not modern sonic is here to stay.

  58. i think.. he should be happy with it and deal with it.. its much better than geting a sonic heros two xD

    But yeah, im glad sega listened to the old school fans biggest request. Besides…this is only PART 1! you never know.. they could make some new badniks for 2.

    that modded and idle looks horrible, honest.

  59. I’m only 14 but I remember the days I spent playing the genesis games with my older brother, and I still think they are far superior. Regarding the new design, I don’t really care about the green eyes (i kinda like ’em), but the problem is the he is anorexic thin and his head is so big he shouldn’t be able to even stand up. It would be great if they changed the design to the altered emblem above, but I’m trying to focus on the most important thing; gameplay.

  60. So let me get this straight most people wanted old school style gameplay when visual weren’t the issue and now that we have old school gameplay the visuals become a big deal? Seriously? O_o

  61. Heya, I’m one of the ones pissed off at all the complainers… but I have to say I totally agree with one thing in this article. Sega should NOT have called this game Sonic 4. It sets the bar waaay too high and I’m not sure if Sega can deliver.

    I’m fine with the new model, I’m fine with homing attack and I like what I see so far, but calling it Sonic 4 could turn out to be Sega’s biggest mistake ever.

  62. Not to be rude, but this article is stupid. All I see heare is the guy bitching about the name being Sonic 4. And using stupid examples such as Sonic’s modern appearence, and the homing attack being there. I mean, it’s just a title. I don’t think the title is worth moaning over if you ask me. Why did I read this article again?

  63. Oh, and one more thing to point out. Since when was 100% classic gameplay required to make the game good? Game such as Sonic Adventure were fairly good, and it didn’t have a black-eyed Sonic with no buckles on his shoes. Not to mention the game had voices and it was still good. Just because the game will be a direct sequel to S3&K doesn’t mean it has to be a clone of it. Take NSMB Wii for example, that game had wall jumping, and no one complained, new power ups, and no one complained, a triple jump, and no one complained. Yet for Sonic 4 there is automatic moaning about it. I don’t see why there should be complaining (Hell, even PRAISING.) when there was roughly few seconds of gameplay. It’s not like ANY of us know how thw homing attack will work in this game, ’cause it’s never been shown yet. Man, I doubt people are reading beyond this point because of the wall of text.

  64. When sonic first came out I was practically a baby, but I played them constantly, in fact i grew up drawing sonic and am as good of an artist as I am because of him. I am on the verge of producing my first movie which is going to be pitched this summer, I would have to say I owe a lot to the hero I grew up with. it just disturbs me when i read a lot about the complaints about sonic because Sega is just doing there job, the only reason sonic changes is because of growth, he looked the way he did back in the genesis days because that’s as far as that technology took them, sonics style changes all the time even between the originals sonics shoes changed from pointy to rounded between all three games.i just don’t see why people cant just grow along with him, i hope that if my movie becomes a hit or cult classic future fans don’t skewer my future originality like they do sonics, seriously guys, sonic might be our childhood hero, but if you choose to force your opinions of who sonic should be, your creating your own disappointment. i say this because its obvious that sega wants us to be happy about this game and buy they’re product, because whether you like it, sonic is segas, not yours, we should be loving the pleasure and pain along with brief trips of nostalgia, because i guarantee you, the next generation will view this new sonic with the same nostalgia and fun you have with the originals. p.s sorry for any typos i was in a hurry.

  65. SEGA didn’t “lie” to us. They haven’t let us down. Even the level that everyone’s pissing and moaning about could be more than what it seems from that trailer. I’m not saying that they WON’T let us down, or that the level WILL be something fresh, but we don’t know dick about the game. There will be Special Stages, Sonic has his Spin Dash and Homing Attack, and he has his newer, green-eyed design. If that’s enough to pout about, then I guess I’m just one seriously tolerant guy.

    My first video game was Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I’m as much an oldschool fan as anybody else. I haven’t truly enjoyed any Sonic game released after the fall of the Dreamcast. I doubt this game will be nearly as wonderful as Sonic 1-3, Sonic & Knuckles or Sonic CD, but I’m still excited.

  66. Brad. I agree with you. I brought up many complaints on the Sega blog, so I won’t post any old ones here.

    But I will say its a complete cop out from Sega to have to send out a message saying

    “Oh no! The extremely slow running animation that you see in the trailer isnt Sonics fastest running animation! Uh…there is a faster one! You’ll see! Just wait!”

    Really now? Sounds to me like they read all the feedback and went “Shoot, we are going to have to change so much…just calm the fans down ruby eclipse! Now!”

  67. That screenshot of Green Hill look like something right out of Sonic 3D Blast….. With things looking like plastic. lol

  68. So far it does seem like Sonic fans who wanted a classic “looking” and “feeling” game have been jipped in more ways than one. lol

  69. While looks may not be what I care about most, seriously, I have to agree with the posts that Brad made in this article.

    For one, if you’re gonna do a direct continuation of the Genesis games, then use the old school design. Modern Sonic Schmodern Sonic. Fuck that shit.

    Secondly, don’t reuse what you just subjected fans to almost 20 years ago. Maybe a little originality would work, eh?

    And lastly, if this shit don’t run at 60 fpses like the Genesis games did, then fuck you, Sega. Nostalgia Schmalgia. Fuck this piece of shit.

  70. Well, as long as it’s gonna be good, It’s still worth something, if it could only be turned in the right direction.

  71. You also have to take into consideration the fact that when they made that trailer, they were trying to impress. They actually thought that showing that running animation, a Green Hill rip-off with plastic grass and Emerald Hill corkscrew would impress us.

    Wow.

    Yes, they’re changing the running animation, but why did they not put it in there to begin with if what they showed wasn’t the “real one”? They realized they fucked up and they’re fixing it. This is a good sign though but let’s see to what extent SEGA will take feedback seriously.

    Despite what Dread says, it’s a god damn Green Hill rip-off. Sure you can say Emerald Hill is a Green Hill rip-off, but this is too obvious.

    Once again though, think about why they put that footage in that trailer. Think about the reaction they were expecting from it. How depressing. The game can end up good, but for now “Sonic 4” to me are fangames like Retro Sonic XG and Sonic Nexus.

  72. Hmmm, I played the original Sonic The Hedgehog waaay back in 199, but even I learned to put my childhood behind and not look with the narrow views of the Nostalgia filter. In fact, I have often attributed such behavior with people who long for happier days of youth now that they realized their adult lives are sad, pathetic and meaningless 😛

    Now before I start challenging Brad’s opinion, I want all you sheep to listen; I never wish to cause confrontation, but that is what we all are, sheep to the slaughter.

    Bitch all you want, because in the end….SEGA. DOES. NOT. CARE!!!

    You’re not gonna change the opinions of a multi-million dollar corporation by crying, moaning about little details or giving out pathetic petitions demanding changes because frankly they DON’T GIVE A DAMN. [b]THEY. JUST. WANT. YOUR. MONEY!!![/b]

    This is NOT The SEGA that you grew up with. That SEGA died with The Dreamcast. The current, software only, Sammy owned, mediocre SEGA is more interested in making new IPs (Like Bayoneta, Madworld, End of Eternity) and reaching new audiences than respecting their original franchises and the fanbases that goes with them.

    Perhaps whatever developers are in charge (like Sumo Studios, Dimps, AM2, etc) and maybe a few employees can sympathize with us. Those may be genuine fans of the material. But SEGA, the company in charge of deciding if Sonic games are even made in the first place, they don’t believe in fans: they believe in revenue and statistics.

    There are no rewards for loyalty or appreciation, you are a simply a cog that contributes to their functionality….and can be easily replaced by a newer cog. Your only reward is that you will counted in whatever focus group testing for what cockamainy idea Sonic Team wanted next. See the fans really ARE the reason why the games since SA has been shitty, but don’t personally offended: they don’t care about you as a person, they just value your opinions in the hopes it makes them money.

    And if you think all of a sudden that you can just STOP buying Sonic games and that’ll skrew them over, then I TAUNT IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION! Because as long as there are people who buy the Sonic comics, the Sonic toys, the Sonic underwear

    The fact that the game is called Sonic The Hedgehog 4, is a 2D platformer and it plays like the Genesis, is not proof that “they finally got their act together” or “THEY WEALLY WUV US AFTAH ALL :-)”. No…they are doing this because this is the most efficient way to earn money these days, and coincidently, your little plans match up with theirs. In fact, if the opinion was ever reversed: If Sonic 4 was THE LAST THING ANYONE EVER WANTED, They STILL would have done it anyways… because ya’know it’s what popular now a days.

    We’re in the middle of a Nostalgia Wave concerning properties of the 80’s and 90’s. Now people recycling old ideas have happened since the dawn of time, but it is more evident now in geek culture: movies, television shows, comic books, and video games. The little tykes that grew up with SNES and Genesis are now miserable adults with fat wads of cash and they rather spend it on old and neo retro downloadable titles rather than on new titles at retail price. Thus for old companies like Capcom, Nintendo, Konami and SEGA, who has numerous franchises they can use to pull our heartstrings in order to “relieve us of the burden of our money”. Some companies, like Nintendo and Capcom, still has those people and traditions that made their games so good, while others like SEGA…and also Capcom are simply cashing in on your childhood memories to make a quick buck.

    To bring this back to the topic at hand, I too know what Brad feels first hand. This happened to me as well, when I heard about Street Fighter 4 and instead of the follow-up to the aclaimed SF3:3rd Strike that fans waited for 10 YEARS to happen, we got….Super SF2.5 Turbo HD Remix Gold plus Alpha. It hurts, and I eventually learned that Capcom never meant to make a REAL SFIV since they fired the team responsible for the last game; they simply wanted to re-introduced Street Fighter to a new gen. while cashing in on the nostolgia for their most profitable entry in the series. Once i came to the realization that long time fans like me where not really part of the equation, the game really wasn’t so bad. In fact, I think SuperSF4 looks better than the original, but I digress. This is a very similar situation that is happening and two fold: Not only do people assume it’s a slap in the face of the legacy games, but there are some who feel this is a slap in the face of modern Sonic; like a parent coddling a child, assuring that the newer games where nothing but a bad dream. Let’s hope it’s not like that.

    I’ll be honest, I was not really looking towards this game: I mean a “NEW SONIC 2D ADVENTURE BUILT FROM THE GOUND UP”? Then what was The Advance and Rush games about? Then I waited like a loon for the trailer and…yeah for like 3 seconds, it’s nothing to write home…so it’s also nothing to make an entire blog about either. And at what point did SEGA ever mention that this was gonna be a full on retro game? What is it about Sonic that everyone starts confusing with MEGA MAN? Did anyone ever asume that maybe SEGA would…*gasp* copy Mario, like theyve done since the beggining. Maybe this is not really Sonic 4 as it is New Sonic The Hedgehog PSWii60 😛

    At it’s best, it’ll be another good 2D Sonic: people will buy it, SEGA will get their cash, faith is restored in Sonic, everyone’s happy. If not, then it shows that Sonic Team is completely imcompitent or that SEGA really hates all of you and wants you to shut up and accept that you’re not the target audience anymore and just hope that Sonic lives through the next game.

    Like I said, I played Sonic since 91 and while I will continue to love Sonic (only because it’s a drug I cannot kick), I find it’s utterly useless to kick and scream about a cartoon hedgehog owned by a video game company that I have no control over. Sonic will continue as long SEGA is alive, with or without my help. You may now transfer all your hatred from Brad to me as I prepare for the eventual flaming. You may fire, when ready Grizzly.

  73. @ Joe Higashi
    Woah, great history lesson there man.
    Anyhow, this is a great article. And I do respect you for your opinion, but some times, you just have to let go man. I know the name “Sonic 4” shouldn’t be jusified as a digital download game either, but maybe I can say the same for MM9. Bottom line, what you envision will never be reality. Our minds will always make it much greater then what can be realized. Also, you shouldn’t be penalized for what you write, this is the point of journalism, not everyone will like what you write.

  74. I’m not too bothered at the “digital download” aspect of the game. I like when I can just download something. Plus, it’s something I think SEGA can take advantage of: use the retail games for modern Sonic and the download services for classic Sonic.

    And yeah, writing stuff blows, especially when you know 80% of your readership is going to flip.

  75. I laugh at the people who care about EYE COLOR! “Oh noes, the classic Sonic had black eyes, not this green-eyed shit!” BUT, Super Sonic in Sonic 3 had *GASP!* GREEN-EYES!

  76. Ok, here’s my 2 bits.

    1) This game ISN’T for the Hardcore retro fans who are over at Sonic Retro throwing fits because they don’t like its looks. This game is for all those people who played the old games, remember them fondly, but never got into the new games. This game is for my friends who hate 3D Sonic but love the old Genesis games, this game is for my grandmother who own’s every single Sonic Game for the Genesis, and jumped with joy when I downloaded them on our Wii, this is for my younger brother who claims he “hates Sonic” but goes around humming Hill Top Zone. This is for those causal gamers who fell by the wayside in the 3D transition and are now excited for a New/Old Sonic game.

    2) I loved Sonic’s unleashed model, so I’m fine with this one. And I didn’t see anyone complain when NSMB Wii had 3D models. Quite frankly, seeing Sonic 4 and the excitement it brought far outweighed the disappointment of seeing New Sonic.

  77. i see the reallity of both sides. joe is right. sega only cares for what makes them money because thats buisness. i see the fact that a name is very significant and maby sega should have chainged it to something else. i hope i havent offended anybody or do offened anyone. when someone disregardes a game because of something like look and a 2.5d game play it compleatly baffels me. like most im a really hard core gammer and im not majoring in programing to sit there and make microsoft pathches for word. the sonic searies inspiered me to become a programer. to be honest though you cant disregard it because they named it sonic 4 yet the look is more in line with the current time. they didnt say it would be 1 day after the death egg saga so there could be a big elapse of time. i emplore all people to give it at least a try and make a fair judgment of the game based on its play because thats what games are for. playing. perhapse sega will make a sonic re-genisis(because if they dont i will [some day]) a compleat retro game expearience that brings the best known sonic or a correct inbetween game ark with knotholes sonic designe( or very close to it). the fact is that we must be fair with what we say because if was a good game then sega did a good job, if its horrible (dare i say sonic 06 of 2010) then sega failed once more. we just need to give it time.
    ps@knothole, sorry if i ofended you it wasnt my intention.

  78. to clarify i am still sticking to my guns, difference in apearence shouldnt be a complaint nor inhanced graphics

  79. @ ethan in your statment you said “don’t reuse what you just subjected fans to almost 20 years ago” yet earlyer you said “For one, if you’re gonna do a direct continuation of the Genesis games, then use the old school design. Modern Sonic Schmodern Sonic. Fuck that shit.”. you controdicted yourself and my point is that its in the middle of s3&k and SA1 so a game with a blend of those is good. as far as charecter designe goes NSMB wii went back and they used the newer mario model, if thats the case it screws up the entier timeline of other games that came out with similer mario style. plus 4 people on a screen. smb only hade one, smb delux hade alternate player luigie (by pressing select). that means that the charecters are all out of place which scews up the timeline even more. then you have added powers and suits that were never there plus new additions to the levels that hadnt exsisted before. marios time line was officially screwed over in that game yet their fan base is content and happy. therfore continuity in looks is nothing big compaired to mario’s new game. as far as homing attack, makes the game easy (to easy) but sonic had to learn the move somewhere down the line (persinally i think it came from a particular scean in sonic OVA but i can only guess). so again, just enjoy the game for what it is and dont over react too much.

  80. The one thing I don’t get with this “oh no it’s a new design therefore it sucks” crap is that they changed Sonic’s design for Sonic 3 and no one cried about it back then.

    Hell if you’re talking about the old Mega Drive games, it’s time for a new design. Sonic 1 and 2 shared a design, and Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles shared one and now the various episodes of Sonic 4 will.

    And as mildly well written as this article was, it does just sound like a fanboy complaining.

  81. I think Sonic fans should realize that discussing this topic is perhaps unnecessary and unproductive, but it’s certainly not unreasonable.

    I personally don’t care about the new Sonic look versus the old Sonic look. I was always a fan of Pat Spaz’s take on the character, which was more akin to his modern look anyway. However, I realize this guy’s opinion is not coming from a deep seeded ignorance or lack of will to adapt. If he’s like me, when he was growing up everything with Sonic’s face on it was cool, and so when we are reminded of those times, it really IS that old school Sonic’s face that we see. Personally, I think the differences between the two versions are nominal, but from what I read in this article, it’s not so much what the differences are, but really what they represent. I don’t feel that the new look will destroy the quality of this game, but I do feel it’s fair to criticize Sega on this point. If this game is designed to bring conservative fans back to the franchise, then why not stick to a conservative Sonic?

    I read someone in a previous comment say that “This isn’t Megaman 9.” Well, actually, it is. If Sega’s latest attempt to rally its fanbase, new and old, fails, then the blue blur might be in a lot of trouble this time. For the sake of all the Sonic fans, I hope heavily that this IS Megaman 9!

  82. @ FTA
    I concur, I also recall people (over)reacting to Sonic’s running animation moreso than apearance. Just thank Naka that it wasn’t long Sonic who appeard in that trailer XD
    P.S. Ben, if that’s a lanky Sonic then my pingas is a foot around and three feet long

  83. @ FTA
    Sonic has a new sprite/ look in nearly every Sonic game thus far. The point that’s trying to be made isn’t the model. It’s the fact that this game might not live up to the expectations of the title “Sonic 4”. These guys have been trying to replicate the perfect “Sonic 4” envisionment and this isn’t it, in their eyes. He’s/They’re entitled to his/their opinion. I felt the same when brawl hit and I wrote blogs about it. Some opinions are justified being that they could be fact with the right info. But, as fans we must take what we can get, or do it yourself.

  84. There is not much need to look deeper than slight disappointment and a chace to vent by the author, you specifically has stated he is having a whinge and knows half his statement is illogical. But, thats how some of us might have felt. Good on him for having a shake of the sauce bottle and having his say.

    Reason why I was downed?

    3 Seconds. I would have liked something a bit more from the trailer. It was the same trailer as before with some 90’s sprite animation an 3-5 seconds of admittedly beta stage gameplay. It’s petty and fucking low of me, I know. But thats the way I currently feel. I guarantee, just like with 06 and Unleashed, I will find something to love about this game and keep playing it for those reasons, but at the moment, I’m aprehensive. Bugger you all if you hold it against me.

  85. Interesting article, I’ll hand you that. I see a lot of your points, and I think I understand where you’re coming from, though I don’t agree with you.

    To me the old games were great, awesome, fun… But they weren’t perfection. They had they’re own glitchy problems just like other games. Now basing Sonic 4 off them to this extent (let’s face it, that run style was trying to invoke Sonic 1 feel) sure seems like a lack of creativity that’s leading us to a rehash game, but honestly… for 10 years all I’ve heard is fans yelling “Where is my GREEN HILL Zone?”

    And then when it happens most fans react negatively. Your reaction is well constructed and I applaud you for it, but the majority are not reacting the same.

    Onto Modern Sonic, I like the consistency of keeping modern Sonic. Because the change in art shows that Sonic has aged with us, but if this game goes right, it’ll prove he can still do his old tricks while maturing as a character with us the fan base. There’s no need for him to stay a little chubby hedgehog. He has a right to grow, most characters have changed from their original appearances in some form. Technology restraints/fans required that then, but we must remember that this game is also trying to appeal to and draw in new fans. (Not that I don’t like Classic Sonic style. It is fun to draw and I still play the old games tons, it’s just I don’t feel reverting back to that style would help.)

    Also the “Capcom” argument is my one blunt disagreement with you. The fact is, Capcom already went and did the complete retro thing. And while it was a success, following in step would put Sega/Sonic Team/(Whoever is working on him These days) in the majorities view of “They just ripped off Capcom.” Let’s face it, lots of fans will do that because that is our fanbase.

    I’m still waiting on fans to say they’re ripping off Mario by combining old school gameplay with new school graphics/appearances.

    Where I do agree with you though is on Character inclusion. The whole “Sonic must be solo” thing is getting old. I wouldn’t mind some optional characters to play as and do their side of things as long as they brought innovative and fun ways of playing.

  86. Well I agree with the article.

    Though I’m not in the “either Classic Sonic, or no buy” train, I do think Classic Sonic should’ve been used in a game which has classic EVERYTHING else. And I’m not talking about 16-bit sprites. Sure that would’ve been amazing, but it never crossed my mind that SEGA would go that far (from the minute they mentioned HD).

    I’m not gonna lie, something along my deepest feelings are screaming this http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/039/f/f/90__s_Sonic_snaps_by_Diegichigo.jpg

    But I’m also hyped as hell for this game whether it uses classic Sonic or not. It’s still a sequel to Sonic 3&K, a game so fantastic, I’ve beaten over 50 times.

    Now I do feel a bit bitter over both sides of the fandom who say things such as:
    “SEGA U SUCK! GIMME 16-BIT GAME, I BOYCOTT!” (because they’re being dicks)

    and

    “SEGA, don’t listen to the retrofags, because they always have something to whine about! Just give us new Sonic!” (because they’re brushing off every Classic Sonic fan as a whiner, when in reality most of them have valid points, and aren’t trolls like the example above).

    An option to play as Classic Sonic would be the right thing to do. And I’m hopeful, but as I mentioned, it’s not determining my purchase.

    Homing Attack, I’m not really as mad as I thought I was regarding this. Some people reminded me that the Homing Attack worked like a charm in the amazing SONIC MEGAMIX, so I’ve regained my faith in it.

  87. I really miss seeing black-eyed from the Anime movie, old games, and pre-Sonic Adventure Archie comics. There was style, 90s charisma, and sincere coolness oozing from him.

    Not this trying-too-hard-to-be-cool that the new Sonic has.

  88. To all Sonic 4 naysayers…

    ARE YOU ALL OUT OF YOUR EVER-LOVING MINDS!?!?

    What happened to the loving community I saw back when everyone was trying to guess which character would stay? What happened to the fervor of Badnik art I’ve seen?? What happened to the tiny glimmer of hope we all had when SEGA kept on pissing at us for the last decade after the Dreamcast days???

    Now when we finally have our platformer with only Sonic in it…

    You guys are now making a big whooping deal out of green eyes vs. black eyes.

    What the hell guys? I’ve been a Sonic fan when Sonic ’06 bombed. I’ve been there when Sonic closed Sonic Heroes with that god-awful line I dare not to repeat. I was there still when it turns out that Bioware and Masahio Sakurai’s Smash Brawl have done more justice to our blue-spiked hero than SEGA ever did in the last decade.

    And believe me, there were times that I would quit before it got bad. But I held on because, like the little fairy called Hope that came last out of Pandora’s box, I still think Sonic will come around and give me back the energy and child-like wonder I had when my older siblings would play the Sonic Genesis games while I watched them play.

    So when I read the comments here whining about the significance of Sonic’s eye color, it disgusts me that you small minority of critical-fags dare to call yourselves Sonic fans.

    I’m out of time here, but I’ll come back regularly to read what BS I’ll get because I’m either a ‘retrofag’ or a ‘modernfag’.

    Have fun complaining about 3 freaking seconds of gameplay, you fools.

  89. Well, I DO agree with the part about sonic’s appearance. But, who knows, they might make a patch that replaces all current character models with their classic counterparts. There is still hope

  90. @hsvelocity My thoughts exactly. Maybe they’ll have that option! Let’s hold on. In here *points to head* and in here *points to heart* XD lol

  91. @hsvelocity
    Yeah, that’d be sweet… I just really get the feeling that they won’t.

    I really want to love this game, I really do… But I feel sort of like Brad here. It´s not Sonic 4 when they go about it like this, and I don’t really see the reason for the homing attack to be implemented if this is “going back to it´s roots”.

    I don’t really care so much about how the game LOOKS per sé as how it’ll PLAY, It needs to really FEEL like a sequel to sonic 3, and play just as well. That means being able to turn super in stages, the return of the super emeralds, etc. etc.

    It’s too bad I’m getting the feeling SEGA is just gonna pull this one outta their ass and try to make money with the name only, although they would probably make more money if they would sell these episodes by retail rather then DLC.

    Oh, one last thing, am I the only one who´s REALLY pissed off about the fact that it’s in episodes?
    sry for random capitalisation, easiest way to emphasise on words here. lol

  92. Feel free to get all bent out of shape about graphics not being what they used to be; in the meantime, I’m perfectly happy about this game and you’re making yourself miserable over dumb little details.

  93. OH NO THE GRAPHICS THIS GAME WILL BE HORRIBLE

    Wait for it to come out. The fact that you’re already judging it because of some misplaced sense of devotion to nostalgia rather than, man jesus this is a crazy thought, the gameplay is ridiculous. It would be nice if they had HD Graphics or even just stuck with the old Sonic with the loopy running, but all that is is a fanservice. You attack Sega for basically making fanservices(…based on 3 seconds of video) and yet you ask for them to go further with it? Making a game for the fans doesn’t mean they have to fulfill every single item on your list of things that would make up a Sonic dream game, because not even 15 years of ignoring the fanbase gives you that entitlement.

  94. @Paddy: Well, I was pretty confused too, at first. But then I relized that, in a way, sonic 3/k was like that; Sonic 3 being the first part, and Sonic & Knuckles being the second. Also, Sonic CD and Sonic 2 also appear to be a tad episodic; Sonic CD and Sonic 2 were both sequals to Sonic 1, as you know, But in timeline Sonic CD takes place before Sonic 2, despite having been released a year later. So in a way, Sonic CD is like an “episode 1”, and Sonic 2 is, well, “episode 2”. I COULD go on about how sonic 2 can also be considerd as “episode 1 of 3” In the death egg saga, but you probably already get it.

  95. @hsvelocity

    Actually, that kinda makes sense. Well, I guess we’ll all see what it’s like when it gets here, and since i’m gonna download this game even if it turns out to be crap, it doesn’t really mean anything for me that people think it isn’t “retro” enough. For chrissakes, I sat through StH2k6, I think I can handle something that FOR ONCE, isn’t doomed from the get go.

    That’s a really good analasys by the way, hsvelocity.

  96. I don’t get people’s problem with this. I really don’t, and I’m technically an “old-school” fan myself.

    Guys, Sonic 1,2,3&K have all happened. They have been made. This is little point in making countless sequels if they weren’t ever gonna change anything. I always respected that about the direction Sonic Team have been taking. Bear in mind that whoever it was said that this is an official sequel to 3&K, but it should also be MODERN and relevant to TODAY. It’s 2010 now, for God’s sake. The early 90’s have been and gone, get over it.

    The homing attack is quite a useful thing, if you think about it. Hell, I’m hoping the grind-rails return too. Now before anyone bombs on that suggestion, just think: if they had been introduced in Sonic 3, would you really have cared? Would you have loved those games any less or would you appreciate the series moving forward?

    Also, I think the original designer guy of Sonic left Sega, so they couldn’t use that design anymore anyway. Or something… I don’t know.

  97. Like Luisa A. Balbi above me, I too have been there when Sonic’s had his low moments. There’s a couple of points in Brad’s article I can understand even though I don’t necessarily agree with the whole thing. However, I think, (as usual, it seems in my life,) I am the exception to the rule, because I loved modern Sonic ever since I first saw him in Sonic Adventure. I don’t think of him as another character altogether, regardless of how many mediocre games he’s been associated with. It’s still him, it’s still the same Sonic the Hedgehog. I think the general idea of seeing modern Sonic in the winged-ring is supposed to say technically that’s how he’s always looked, “canonically.” It’s just a matter of different artists after all.

    I’d like to point out that Sonic’s appearance changed every time in the classics too, the only thing classic Sonic and modern Sonic don’t have in common, (apart from eye colour which to me is trivial,) is that Sonic has a leaner, more realistic figure.. and I actually LOVED his in-game model in Sonic 06. To me, that is progressive. He still appeals to me just as much as he always did.

    It seems to me that some people feel Sonic has been awful post Sonic & Knuckles, while others feel he only lost his magic since Sonic Heroes or even later. I probably stand with the latter crowd because I loved Sonic Jam, Sonic R, Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2. It felt as if Sonic was growing up as I was, and then when Sonic Heroes came along and he went all “kiddy” again, I felt ever so slightly abandoned, even if the game was very fun. (Isn’t that what REALLY matters, anyway?) Then we got Shadow’s game, Secret Rings, Black Knight, Unleashed.. THEY were Sonic’s low points for me, not the late 90’s. Sonic 06 was flawed but ultimately enjoyable, if a little out of context, but not NEARLY as much as the 4 games I just mentioned. At least it was a throwback to something I’d enjoyed in the past, (Adventure series.)

    I agree with Brad on the point that the classics did expand upon themselves while still staying true to the nature of the gameplay and that is what Sonic 4 should be doing instead of just being an HD mash-up of the classics, BUT the fact that we’ve only seen a minute amount of gameplay is a perfectly valid response to that. (It’s an odd tendency I see in the Sonic community, that once a particular point has been made a few times, it loses its credibility, when infact it shouldn’t.)

    Remember that any content delivered to us before the game comes out doesn’t come from the design team or the executive producer. It comes from the marketing department. People whose job it is to select, arrange and present something to its target audience. The most likely reason we’re seeing all this classic stuff in these early days is probably just to make a point. A sweet, nostalgic introduction. That this community has analysed this to death within about a week and is now making full judgement whilst clamouring for more kind of shows just how well they’ve done their job, albeit in a backwards kind of way. I personally have faith we’ll see some new things as well that will blend in. If we don’t, then I wave my white flag to the “just a rehash” camp. This marketing department just underestimated how analytical this community is, which isn’t the end of the world.

    I also think the episode 1 subtitle implies the possibility that the episode 1 could be inspired heavily by the first three games, while the yet to come episode 2 would be more progressive. It’s a risky path to take if it’s true, and it’s been done before in Sonic Chronicles, (which wasn’t executed brilliantly to be honest,) but if done right it could be good. The far safer option though is to be inspired by the Genesis games right down to the last detail and blend in new things to expand upon it, throughout episode 1 AND 2.

    No matter where you stand, the fact of the matter is that it is way too early to make a full judgement on this game. Naming it Sonic 4 puts MASSIVE pressure on the game to deliver “perfection” as Brad says, so I’m going to sit here and wait to see what other zones are revealed before passing full judgement. Hope I’ve given some people something to think about, and I mean that in a nice way.

  98. One last point. From what I’ve been reading, it seems as if people are saying if they stay true to their word that Sonic is “going back to his roots” in Sonic 4 and we get everything the classics and only the classics had, then it’s a rehash. If they bring in things from other games or even completely new things to expand upon the classics, then they’re going against their word and betraying the fans.

    Make up your mind, guys. =/

  99. “If they bring in things from other games or even completely new things to expand upon the classics, then they’re going against their word and betraying the fans.”

    What are you talking about? You’ve missed the point by a mile.

    Mega Man 9 went back to the series’ roots. It was classic gameplay with all new content. Nobody was betrayed (unless you like charge shots or sliding). A sequel is supposed to provide a new experience, not tread the same ground as the last three games the entire time. “Back to the roots” doesn’t mean “re-use old stuff.”

  100. they should put classic sonic in it or im not buying the game and will move to the mario series sick of sonic team doing dumb shit

  101. I agree that the game shouldn’t be called Sonic 4. But personally, I’ve always liked Sonic’s new style. Maybe that’s the liberal in me, but some change is good. As long as the game “plays” like the classic Sonics, I’ll be happy as a lark. I don’t really care if it’s in the old style or the new. It’s all about the gameplay. Just look at New Super Mario Bros. Wii. It has an updated look. But it’s as much fun to play as the old games. As long as Sonic 4 has the clever level design that ONLY the Genesis games ever had, I will be happy. But the main thing is; no matter how good of a job Sega does on this game, there will always be a complainer. I’m just going to wait it out and see for myself when the game is released. Then I’ll decided if I should complain or not.

  102. I’m in agreement on some parts. I think that SEGA is setting a very, very high bar for themselves. Almost high enough that anything short of bringing me to childhood nostalgia and fangirly tears of glee isn’t a win. ALMOST.

    I say that since, despite some feeling like they can rip a game apart to bits on very little, I think it’s way too early to call anything on this game. Will the graphics be as sharp and colorful (or moreso) in every level? Will the bosses have the same feel? Will we have fun special stages? Will the challenge be there? What about the codes? How does multi-player work? Is the music as catchy?

    Also, has anyone else noticed the “Episode One” subscript? How will that be played out?

    I’m also hitting this with cautious optimism.

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