Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 3, 2017

Email: Physical Releases and Sonic the Hedgehog

Hey Master Malstrom,

Much like Nintendo has been doing with the New Super Mario Bros series, Sonic has had it’s fair share of superficial attempts to go back to it’s golden age that are really just bait-and-switches to their modern crap, completely half-baked/unplayable, or both. Someone over there had the self-awareness to realize that the developers they had just aren’t cut out to make a real Sonic game, so they did something Nintendo never would have, swallowed their pride, and hired fans to make an actual sequel to the Genesis games. That’s what Sonic Mania is: the game is engineered chiefly by Christian Whitehead, a former fangame coder who single-handedly made the official modern ports of Sonic 1/2/CD and has a true engineer’s understanding of those games. You can tell this is a real labor of love from a team that really loves and isn’t ashamed of the classics, unlike seemingly every AAA developer these days who finds the origins of any classic series to be quaint at best and in dire need of a erasing and disastrous retconning at worst (fuck the downfall timeline, Aonuma!),

What really sucks, though, is that SEGA themselves still only see this as quaint. In an interview, I don’t remember the exact quotation, but they said that Sonic Mania is only for the most core fans, and the new AAA 3D game, Sonic Forces, is meant for everyone. If you don’t know about Sonic Forces, be you Malstrom or the reader, don’t google it. The game is a DeviantArt furry fanfic simulator, as if the series couldn’t get any lower. The game isn’t even out and it already reeks of the 2006 game where Sonic kisses a dead human girl at the climax of the game. That is the full-priced Sonic game that will be getting a physical release. Sonic Mania, a real 2D platformer and with any luck the first good Sonic game in a decade (or two depending on who you ask) will be relegated to being eShop only and the so-called collector’s edition comes with a fancy printed out digital download code. I’m thankful that unlike Nintendo and NSMB SEGA didn’t cripple the game itself, but based on the way that they’re marketing it as just throwing a bone to us retro jerks while Sonic Forces is the Really For Real True Actual Game That You Should Actually Buy, it’s pretty clear that there are some petty folks over at Sonic Team and SoJ who don’t want this to be successful. Sonic is the one series that the hardcore aren’t afraid to call out for the absolute turd it has become, and you’d think the shame alone would be enough to make SEGA to want to shove this down our throats. With any luck Mania will outsell Forces by orders of magnitudes and the old guard over in Japan will get shown up by a small team of glorified hobbyists, but I’m not holding my breath, because to many no cart means no buy, and who can blame them?


That’s right. No cart, no buy.



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