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).
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!?
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.