A Look Back at the Horror that was Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
When a game is bad, it’s generally because they screwed up 1 or 2 key aspects that would’ve made it playable. It’s very rare that a game screws up EVERY SINGLE ASPECT, but by god, Sonic 2006 accomplished the impossible. But let’s start at the beginning. When I was a youngin’, I had what we called a Sega Genesis and the best game on it-bar none-was Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Sure, Sonic 1 was classic, and yes Sonic 3 is OK if you can get past wanting to murder whoever it was that invented the barrels in the Circus Zone. I want to drag them into the woods and disembowel them with a wooden cooking spoon. But I digress, even Sonic & Knuckles is pretty decent but none matched up to Sonic 2. Sonic 2 was THE game to play. The stages, the music, the bosses. EVERYTHING was perfect. Shoot, even the spin off games like Sonic 3D Blast & Sonic Spinball were great for what they were.
And so, since those humble beginnings, Sonic has continued his console jumping. When the Dreamcast came out, so did a new generation of Sonic games. Sonic Shuffle-which is mildly entertaining for being the table top card game it is-and the classic Sonic Adventure & Sonic Adventure 2. Then the Gamecube came out which updated those last 2 and to this day, Sonic Adventure 2 is one of the best games ever made, I’d say. Even better than Sonic 2. Then for a while, there really wasn’t much. Sonic Heroes or Shadow The Hedgehog. Something small here and there. Until the Xbox 360. When that came around, so did Sonics newest adventure. As his 15th anniversary neared, Sega and Sonic Team decided to release a new, awesome Sonic game meant for next gen systems. Thus, Sonic 2006 was born. But this wasn’t a healthy baby that was born, no. No this was a baby that was mildly retarded due to its mothers excessive drug use during pregnancy, and because later on down its life, it was dropped down the stairs on its head. Then also set on fire. Now I pride myself on hunting down bad games and playing them, ala MST3K. The worse, generally the more entertaining in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way. Bulletwitch, Deadly Premonition (which if you can get past the ps1 era graphics it’s actually not too terrible) or Turok for the 360. But Sonic 2006 is none of these. Sonic 2006 is, without a doubt, the single worst piece of entertainment ever created by mankind. It’s like Sega asked 7 year old fans to come up with ideas and level designs, and it’s like those fans were also mentally challenged. Sonic 2006 is so flawed beyond comprehension, that if I’m ever in a room involved with any of the people who had a hand in it, you can bet it will not end well. Let’s discuss some of its fatal flaws.
First off, you cannot-under any possible circumstances, even by using black magic, voodoo or promising your soul to Satan, who may or may not have had something to do with this games creation honestly-control Sonic. AT ALL. And when you’re running at uncontrollable top speeds, the game then runs you directly into things that YOU’RE TRYING TO AVOID. Explain that to me, Sonic Team.
“Hey you know that set of spikes up there? Yeah, even though you’re on the ground, you’re gonna those. Screw you.”
The thing that ruined this game more than anything else was the attempt to make it a hybrid RPG, ala Sonic Adventure. However, in Sonic Adventure, it had a good enough story, great gameplay and oh also this rare thing called FUN. Now if you try and play 06 as classic Sonic and just run, it’s mildly tolerable at best. If you can get past the game running you directly into spikes, directly off of cliffs and occasionally right into the 9th circle of Hell. Not to mention that the game is called “SONIC the Hedgehog” and yet the most playable campaign belongs to Silver! And Shadow is basically unplayable no matter what, with his Shadow the Hedgehog route of guns and cars. Also, the camera at certain points will deliberately shift off you to show something in the background. Because of this, you will fall off ledges and die because you CAN’T SEE WHERE YOU’RE GOING. And on top of all THAT, when you start a town trial, you get a loading screen, then a 2 second in-game cutscene explaining what you JUST HEARD about the trial you’ve chosen, and then ANOTHER loading screen that takes about 5 minutes to actually load. The game does have beautiful cutscenes, but they’re pre-rendered cinematics. The music is probably the best and only worthy thing here, and even it is barely passable. I completed Sonic Generations which was fantastic because it played like a classic Sonic game. Which brings me to a major point. I am sick and tired of the mentality of gamers that you need to reinvent the wheel every single time. No. Some stuff is PERFECT the way it is. Look at Halo. They keep reinventing the wheel and every game has been significantly worse. I cut Halo 3 some slack because there was no way to live up to the hype that was Halo 2 (kind of like Uncharted 3) but ODST was terrible and Reach was moderately bad. Halo Wars is fun, but it isn’t a Bungie game, which means that a company that didn’t create the franchise can make a better game than the company that did. What’s THAT telling you?
Sonic Generations was classic run and jump. Perfect. Sonic 2006? Hybrid RPG. Not working. Sonic Generations made me feel like I’m walking on rainbows with a gorgeous naked redhead on a Unicorn.
Sonic 2006 feels like I’ve just been told that I have an inoperable tumor at the base of my spine. And Cancer. And that my Cancer has a tumor.
Should you play Sonic 2006? NO. In fact, if you’re ever in stores and see it, treat it like you would at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Terrorists should be forced to play this game when capture. Do whatever is possible to stay the hell away from Sonic 2006. I beg of you. And if you ever find yourself in a position where you’re forced to interact with it…may God have mercy on your soul.