In this week of Sonic, I have embarked on quite the journey with the most iconic character that Sega has ever developed, and one of the most recognizable and lovable video game characters to ever grace video games. Sonic went head-to-head with arguably the king of all video game mascots, Mario, for years and even held dominance in sales over the portly plumber at one time. Sonic is an icon, a legend and a hall of famer. He has had quite the turbulent past, a roller coasted of ups and downs - the good, the bad and the ugly.
Ultimately, Sonic has had quite the existence, as his games have ranged from exciting and thrilling, to mundane and flat out boring. He's been a system seller at one point in his career, and a mere add-on character to another company's mascot mash-up game.
Regardless of his significance in the current landscape of gaming, or whether or not he is still a major player in the game, Sonic the Hedgehog will always be important to not only games, but gamers as well. And as proof of that, I had to play the newest Sonic game, which calls back the traditional Sonic speed but incorporates a very familiar style of gameplay.
Upon first look, the speed in which the game plays immediately takes you back to classic Sonic the Hedgehog titles. Sure, it's a lot better looking of a game than those old 2D platformers, but still, it feels like a Sonic game. And if there is one important aspect about a Sonic game that needs to be spot-on, it is the feel of the game. Now don't get me wrong, it's not perfect when it comes to how it is handled or how it feels while being played, but it's close enough to not remove you from the experience.
While his speed is prevalent in the game, you can also choose to slow down to a walking pace and explore the terrain at your own leisure, which isn't exactly Sonic-esque, but it allows you to explore the worlds freely without the constant demand of precise timing while traveling at excessive speeds. Needless to say, it makes the game more approachable for gamers who may not like the extreme speed of Sonic in his natural state, who feel like slowing down enough to smell the roses is just as good as flying by those same rose bushes at the speed of sound. You know, supersonic speed.
(Thankfully, this will be the last post with bad Sonic puns. You all can thank me later.)
In regards to the level design and overall gaming experience, well, this Sonic game is extremely familiar. Not familiar in the sense that I've played this kind of Sonic game before, but rather played this type of game before ... as Mario. In short, this game is a either a blatant knock-off or a respectful tribute to two of the most amazing and groundbreaking Mario games ever made, Mario Galaxy 1 & 2, Because Sonic Lost World is exclusive to Nintendo systems (Wii U and the 3DS), I'm going to go with my hunch and guess that Nintendo didn't see the game as a rip-off, but simply Sega just wanting to acknowledge that the Galaxy games are special pieces of gaming history. If Sega was able to capture even a small amount of the magic that the Galaxy titles had, they would be on the right track to finally developing a new, refreshing type of Sonic game.
Well, after playing it, I have to say that they did capture some of the magic. The levels were fun and innovative at times, and when travelling at normal Sonic speed, they can be incredibly challenging. And while the overall aspect of the game is worth playing, to be honest, all it really made me want to do was play Super Mario Galaxy. Truth is, that's all I have really gotten from this week. The more I play as Sonic, the more I just want to go back and play as Mario.
I guess that this week has been inevitable my entire life. And so was the outcome.
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Games played for project : 365