The Spin: Happy Birthday Sonic the Hedgehog Oh Six

Today marks the tenth anniversary of a videogame. So myself and a few other staff members have stolen an idea from Sonic Retro to give you our mini retrospectives on said electronic digital media product. A game which had such an impact on the games industry that it’s still talked about to this day, except on the Sonic Stadium forums because all discussion on it is banned apart from one topic for reasons we don’t understand. That game, is Sonic the Hedgehog, in Sonic the Hedgehog Episode 2006, you play as Sonic, Shadow and Cannabis Plant Head Guy, who is a magician.

Why did this game have such an impact, well… it was a game which looked very pretty, I can still remember seeing the leaked footage from when the game was called ‘Sonic 360‘ in which Sonic apparently died, then like Sonic Jesus he rose again and burned in the flames as the camera zooms into his ass and out of his face! (seriously that’s how the trailer ends).

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k59_cHorjNk

Everybody knew that this game would be amazing, because all the videogame magazines said it would be amazing. The only people who didn’t think it would be amazing are those who owned a Wii, because it was not on the Wii, therefore it would be terrible. They were wrong. It would be terrible regardless.

The hype levels for this game were insane, what you need to understand is that, back in 2005-2006, not many people had HD TV’s, yet we were about to all get HD consoles, everytime some new screenshots or clips of the game appeared, you couldn’t deny it looked really nice back then.

Many of us older fans were angsty teenagers back in 2005, by god when we saw the gritty super serious nature of the game by it was what we wanted! if only Sonic had a gun then boy oh boy we would be waiting in line for days before release!

“Everything about this picture is creepy.”

Alas the game came out, and we learnt the horrible truth that Sonic Adventure Penguins wasn’t very good, instead of a game with original ideas or building on previous entries, we borrowed half baked ideas from past games and other games slapped them on a disk and threw our arms in the air screaming “it’s no use” as we waited for the game to load a single dialogue cut scene or driving a car around that shot guns!

Glitches, level design, not very good, it was not the Sonic Adventure 5 that we wanted, but being the direct sequel to Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog people wanted it.

Being on the internet, we know what video-game is, and a Sonic.

Did you know that this game has a pigeon in it!?

sonic-06-pigeon

Look! It’s a pigeon named Hatsun that you can talk to! It’s just like the original Sonic Adventure! Only with birds instead of people!

However, one thing that Sonic 0 + 6 = 06 did for many fans, is that it united us, for the best part of a decade we have shared a common game to laugh and mock, we’ve had so many jokes and laughs at conventions over this game, and nothing is going to take that from us, not even Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.

 VEDJ-F

I am in a minority of fans when it comes to the reception of Realistic Sonic Adventure. I didn’t pay it much heed at the time of release as I wasn’t into the next gen scene then and by the time I was it was 2008 and Hedgedog’s World Travels was the hot new release. I bought it for £15 alongside it, but it stayed on the shelf a while while I sank my teeth into the new Werehog gameplay.

"It's either me or Big the Cat in Sonic Adventure 1. Take you pick."

When I did play it…it was nothing to write home about. While I could tell it wasn’t up to par with the big games that had come before it. I didn’t particularly find glitches or struggle too much with anything else. More than anything, it was mundane, which is why I stopped playing it before I could complete the story campaigns. Overall, Realistic Sonic Adventure is a game I don’t particularly find too memorable, but I’ll take a 24 hour marathon of it over playing Sonic and the Arabian Control Nightmare ever again.

Plot twist; Controversy? Controversy.

Brad

I’ll never get over the crushing feeling of disappointment Sonic Adventure 3 gave me when I was a kid. Fooled into believing hyped up trailers confidently displaying a put together, complete, and accomplished next generation launch title, I asked for a PlayStation 3 bundled with the game for Christmas. It only took one level for me to understand exactly what I’d been hoodwinked into. It was the first time I really remember struggling to play a Sonic title, and not for lack of trying – I definitely put the time in to try and finish it. But time and time again I’d be met with frustration, resentment, and bewilderment.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX5tfRdkoY0

“DO YOU SEE THE LIGHT!?”

Ten years on, that resentment has subsided. I look back at the game almost with nostalgia now, with pop culture suitably adapting all its lows into comedy gold in a world of Let’s Plays and glitch exploit videos on YouTube. We’ve even come to the point where people try to see merit in what Sonic Adventure 3 attempted to do, ignoring its unquestionably inexcusable faults on a basic design level. It’s an utter failure on so many levels, it becomes a fantastic conversation piece not only within the community, but for game design in general.

This game’s infamous legacy will definitely stand the test of time – and I’m actually pretty ok with that.

Hatsun

“Coo!”

19 Comments

  1. Ah… i remeber the good ol days.
    AKA me playing it today abd falling through the floor. Gooooood times

  2. Taught me a valuable lesson. Never again I bought a game without waiting for other customer reviews first. Nowadays there’s even youtube.

    Basically I got me an X360 (on a 27″ CRT TV) to play this game. Luckily there were other great games I enjoyed that fall. Couple years later Sega somehow redeemed themselves with Unleashed.

  3. Next to my first game in the series which is Sonic Heroes, this is a game that I remember being hyped for back when I had no idea what hype was. I was 6 so didn’t know HD consoles were about to be a thing, but I remember that it was the best looking thing I’d seen in terms of just about any game funny enough. I didn’t get to play this game until 2012 when I got an X360 towards the end of its lifespan, and yet I’m so glad I got to play this game.

    I suppose I agree most with VEDJ F and Brad on this one. I’m probably the most optimistic commenter you’ll ever see on this site but I know that to most people’s standards, it’s a bad game. Granted I don’t think I’d heard the word glitch til I read people’s opinion about the game years later, I didn’t encounter any real glitches unless I activated them via the guidance of Darkspinessonic (cool guy). Other than that I enjoyed what the game had to offer and looking back now, I really do see that it had potential.

    Maybe me not being fully grown has something to do with it but it’s not within me to look at things in too much of a negative light, the game happened we played it, we came to our opinion on it and left it behind. It unites people for different reasons, many people just hate it and assume it is the reason Sonic’s not a legitimate threat in the gaming industry which is cool, some found it okay and see it as an incomplete game… fine, a select few like to see the development cycle of the game and the test shots to see how ambitious it was. My point, Sonic’s worst point while being one of a few things that divides this fanbase is also the one thing that brought us together as a community. We don’t have to like each other but we should respect each other at least cause I assume we all want the same thing… for sonic to do well.

    I do appreciate this game, it makes me want to do games design more now than seeing a well polished game tends to do. I’m a poor judge of fictional character and story but I understand gameplay. It’s the game that kind of makes me hopeful for project 2017. Sonic Team has stumbled and lost it’s direction, most series do, only a few major 90’s series have stood the test of time and even then are only just making a resurgence. Sonic still being in the game at this point in time is a massive feat, and the new direction that Sega as a whole is taking makes me believe that the heart and soul that I saw put in to the originals and the 2000’s will make a return, just this time, it’ll be something we can all come to enjoy no matter what got us into this series.

    Anyways, I apologise for my preaching, most people will skim over this anyway but yeah, this game has it’s place in my memory and I’ll always remember what it was, the people involved, and what it could have been.

    Keep on running everyone and I guess happy birthday Sonic the Hedgehog 2006.

    1. That’s pretty much exactly how I feel about how I took it when I got the game. I didn’t have much experience in games (still don’t), and I rather enjoyed my play-through. I didn’t run into glitches at all, and like you mentioned, only when I intentionally caused them with the help of DSS. Yeah, to me, it just looks like an incomplete game. The only thing inherently “bad” about it that I saw when I was young was the weird love plot they made for Sonic……
      It’s hard for me to imagine how the game would play if the development team had the time to add physics to the game, along with spin jumps doing damage.

      1. I like your perspective here. A lot of people like to jump on the bandwagon with this game and as I said it’s not a problem if people don’t like it, it’s important to be consistent in games development and I understand why people have their issues with it. At the same time, there are a number of games with glitches similar to this game and some worse. The recent tomb raider reboots are cinematic games with some adventure in them, but they’re scripted to the point where if you do something you’re not supposed to, you can clip through geometry at some points, which can take away from the experience for some, I’ve never been affected by this though. It’s a game at the end of the day.

        I do like 06’s story to an extent, I get most people’s perspective with Elise and the supposed “relationship” but having humans in Sonic isn’t anything new really, they’re a part of the world they live in. I remember them advertising Sonic X in Adventure DX funny enough and seeing people spread throughout the areas and cutscenes in the Adventure games. I think it becomes an issue for most when they are integral to the story much like Chris was in X but me being a kid when I played those is what made me like it I suppose much like the Transformers films… what would it be like to have creatures like these in a world like ours, then again to each their own.

        The Sonic and Elise thing didn’t really feel like it was there until the last few missions in Sonic’s story I guess and even then I could tell it was pretty one sided. Sonic’s characterisation in the game was definitely something different, the in game cutscenes were okay at best, this version of his model didn’t have a range of movements like we’ve seen in later games so you had to really self interpret what his body language was saying, the game has a cg rendering engine and the detailed cutscenes from blur studio and these two areas are where Sonic’s character really shone for me though. I don’t think I ever pegged Sonic for being sensitive at any point, most of the awe I get from him is just watching him run and being free and cool, but seeing a butterfly land on his nose and just walking around nature and even giving small words of wisdom was a side of him I’d never seen til that point and he’s technically only 15. I know these games get flack for bad writing but there are select moments that make me like the characters more each time, it’s just a shame they’re associated with games with bad reputations.

        Sonic and friends being what they are is probably what makes it hard for me to see a divide between them and humans. Them being animals yet being more human (or at least exemplifying the positive characteristics of being human) just makes me accept them more, them being colourful and varied in design I can pretty much look past on that notion alone.

        I do believe Sonic has a bright future ahead but I will honestly say that a remaking of this game or a kind of reimagining would be something I’d like to see some time. I’d do it myself but I’m not that good yet. Nice hearing from you though Christian.

  4. You guys did a tremendous service to both your country and humanity as a whole. I thank you.

    I remember getting this game as my first 360 title on Christmas Day. 5 Minutes later, I was already selling Sonic Adventure 3-Way and getting Virtua Fighter 5.

    Sigh….Meemmm-orries, Mem-o-riess…

  5. If a game like Sonic 06 can provide hours of entertainment, then it’s not a bad game in my book!

    I was one of the Wii owners that quickly tried to forget any hope of ever playing this game(I’m poor and can’t afford PS3/360) but it has always bothered me that 06 was a continuation to the previous 3D Sonic formulas where you can:
    1. Explore action stages like in previous 3D entries.
    2. Play as a plethora of characters.
    Meanwhile Wii users got:
    SatSR – where you -just- go forward without any sense of exploration.
    SU – boost to win, empty environments, literally a racing game.
    SatBK – same as SR but with slightly less frustrating controls.

    In short I’m still dying to play this game and can only hope Sega releases it for PC or something.

  6. I agree with Hatsun, but I wish you guys would have given Pele the Beloved Dog some time to speak.

  7. Sega aren’t cool with Sonic dating Sally Acorn, who looks similar in design to him and is everything Princess Peach isn’t, yet they have ZERO qualms with him getting the K of L from someone who looks like she came straight out of Final Fantasy XII.

    I sense a disturbance in the Source.

    1. Probably value differences between the West and Japan. Sonic having a human girlfriend is something that was been toyed with in the early conception stages of Sonic 1 before it was cut, and SoJ have clamped down on the comics since 2006 (both Sonic 2006 and it being the year Ian began on the comics) but especially since 2013, to the point that Sonic nor any other game character will ever get to the point of dating from here on out. So at the very least it’s unlikely that an Elise scenario will happen again.

  8. Ugh, the meme-age in this article is sickening.

    This could’ve been a decent retrospective into exactly how the game failed so spectacularly and its effect on the community, the franchise and the wider industry as a whole, but nope – dem dank memes bruh.

    And people wonder why the franchise is stuck in nostalgia mode.

  9. I’m still wondering what happened with the trailer that we seen it showed promise and we never seen it in the actual game.

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