When people look at Nintendo, the comparisons to Sega are always there in the forefront of the discussion. Naturally, the rivalry and competition that the two companies had in they heyday of the Sonic/Mario rivalry is the obvious go-to connection for comparison. However, there is another comparison that gets thrown around quite a bit these days, and that's only due to speculation and negativity.
As you probably already know, the Sega company ceased production on hardware after the Dreamcast system. Since then, Sega has focused solely on making software, which was really weird when Sega games started showing up on non-Sega game consoles. Well, some people these days think that everything Nintendo does now is a failure, and they immediately point to the underwhelming sales of the Wii U as evidence of the supposed decline of Nintendo as a company and lack of viability in the industry. They say that Nintendo is no longer relevant to the industry they all but built and established, and the common argument and suggestion is that they should just go the route of Sega and stop making consoles and only focus on their software and intellectual properties and franchises that they own.
Granted, I don't fall under the same umbrella of beliefs, as I think there are still a lot of positives about the Wii U, and for Nintendo to just give that up and release their highly regarded and special franchises on Sony or Microsoft consoles, well ... that would be a travesty to the gaming industry.
But I'm not here to argue about Nintendo, and instead talk about Sega doing their fans, especially the long-term ones, a service by going back to their roots and bringing back the beloved Sonic the Hedgehog in his truest form to date. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (and later 2) was released by Sega a few years ago. They just couldn't do it on their one platforms, obviously.
And yes, even to this day, it's still weird to see Sonic on Nintendo consoles.
Anyway, Sonic 4 took the Hedgehog back to where it all started, essentially rebooting the franchise and character after many - and I mean many - failed and disappointing attempts to feature him in different styles and genres/categories of games. They went back to the traditional 2D platformer formula, with all the same moves and capabilities as before. The game itself is fun and feels fairly accurate of the old school Sonic games, but it's also still Sonic. If you weren't a huge fan of Sonic before this game, it probably won't win over new fans. For me, I always saw the Sonic games as too fast paced and hard to control, while the collector in me freaks out every time I loose the rings I worked so hard to collect in the first place. But for what it is, it's nice to see and play it and be reminded just how important those classic Sonic games were to the industry.
Competition breeds creativity and innovation. Just too bad Sega was king of the mountain for the time that they were. Complacency mighty have been the downfall for that company. We should all hope that Nintendo never decides follow in Sega's footprints again.
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