Sunday, February 14, 2016
25 Years of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG and His Five Most Underrated Games
Sonic the fucking Hedgehog has really been around for 25 fucking years???? Sweet bare-assed baby Jesus, I can't believe it's been that long. It really honestly doesn't seem like it was all that long ago when I first discovered the amazing joys of playing the original Sonic game and running at blazing speeds in 16-bit glory. And now, here we are, 25 years later, and Sonic is still around...well, kinda.
There's a shitload of Sonic games out there, and there's seemingly a new Sonic game every year or so, for better or worse. Sonic has starred in some of the best video games to ever see the light of day (Sonic's 1, 2, 3, and Sonic & Knuckles) to some of the absolute worst games ever made (the 2006 game simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog, and last year's Sonic Boom on the Wii-U). So yeah, he's had good times and bad times, but despite all that, he's still an iconic video game mascot.
So since we all mostly know what Sonic games are good, and which ones are shit, here's a small list of some truly underrated Sonic games that don't get mentioned nearly as often as they should be:
SONIC CD (1993) - Sega CD
One of the handful of games that made a Sega CD worth owning was SONIC CD. This game had the typical kind of Sonic action, but mixed things up with time travel elements to bring new dimensions to the gameplay. This resulted in changing level layouts that gave the game massive replayability. This combined with the fantastic music really made this game stand out. Unfortunately, no one really remembered this game for quite some time. It wasn't until it was eventually re-released on PSN and Xbox Live in 2011 that it started to get the appreciation it really deserves.
KNUCKLES CHAOTIX (1995) - 32X
Yeah I know, Sonic isn't in this, but technically it's still a Sonic game, so blow me. Anyway, you play as Sonic's asshole buddy Knuckles along with a cast of other characters that I don't think have appeared in any Sonic game since. Instead of the speed-based gameplay, this time you are attached to another character using rubber-band physics. This is how you maneuver through the game, and while it takes some time to get used to, it is worthwhile. Sadly because it was on the 32X, no one fucking played it, so the game faded into obscurity. It hasn't been re-released at all either...like at all. I'm hoping that one day Sega remedies that, but it's bloody unlikely.
SONIC ADVANCE 3(2004) - GAMEBOY ADVANCE
While the Sonic games hitting consoles around this time were hit and miss (mostly miss), the Sonic games hitting the GBA were damn good. The first two SONIC ADVANCE games get talked about a lot, but the third doesn't nearly as much as it should. Maybe it's because this installment introduced a team-up dynamic in addition to the amped-up speed gameplay. Either way, this game is a total fucking blast and I still pop it in now and then to this very day.
SONIC COLORS (2010) - WII
I hated SONIC COLORS the first time I played it, just all the other Sonic games that appeared on the Wii. Unlike them however, I warmed to SONIC COLORS. It mixes the 2D and 3D elements of prior Sonic games, and often feels like you're playing a live-action rollercoaster. However, the game actually has seamless mechanics and it looks vibrant and controls super fucking well. Until SONIC GENERATIONS came along and did everything better, I'd actually say that this is the best Sonic game to come out of this era, it just may take a while for you to warm up to it.
SONIC CHRONICLES: THE DARK BROTHERHOOD (2008) - NINTENDO DS
A Sonic RPG? Developed by BioWare (creators of MASS EFFECT, KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC, DRAGON AGE)? On the fucking DS? Are you mad?!?!?!?! Well, such a game exists, and it's actually pretty damn good. Sonic and his whole cast of assholes transition pretty well to the RPG genre surprisingly, There's an engaging combat system and the game is a joy to play. However, it has a cliffhanger ending that will never get resolved, since EA bought BioWare and the game sold like shit to begin with. Still, it's fun and everyone should play it.
So yeah, there's some Sonic games you may have missed out on. If you did, you should go play with. Or go Google search Sonic Rule 34. Thank me later.