The release of each new episode of Sonic the Hedgehog feels like flipping a coin. You either get a game that serves as a breath of fresh air and gets rave reviews from critics and fans alike, or you get a game that doesn't quite live up to the potential of one of the game's most iconic characters. Of course, it's not as if the franchise has always had the reputation it has today; Loved to this day, the classic Sonic games combine gameplay and designs that evoke a sense of speed and cool air with stories driven by subtle but important messages of activism and rebellion, or characters that bring the anthropomorphic . creatures to life.
But Sonic's forays into other media have had a much higher success rate. Sonic comics with their crazy, crazy stories andincredible depth of knowledge, a cast of characters whoWar Two ThronesThey seem small, and plots that have events as bizarre as two pranksters becoming powerful demigods have always worked. After the teeth were thrown off, the film franchise took off with both audiences and critics. Sonic's appearances in animation are also well-received by fans; He manages to successfully capture the essence of the character, and does so in a medium that can make the most of his cartoonish looks and speed. So, when Netflix announced it was producingfirst soundI was more than a little excited. Here was my chance to dip back into the world of Blue Blur and see what new fast-paced action could be squeezed out of the franchise.
And it was good, it was actually pretty good. And the biggest reason is becausefirst soundwould have been aRIGHTgood sound game
first soundIt is by no means a complicated story. The series, created in a co-production between Sega, Man of Action Entertainment and WildBrain Studios and animated by Netflix Animation, assumes that whoever watches it will be familiar with the general characteristics of the franchise. Season 1 begins with Sonic and his gang fighting Eggman over the final McGuffin he will take over the world with: the Paradox Prism, a stone of unknown power. Pretty standard setup, right? Sonic thinks so too, so in classic Hedgehog fashion he runs off and joins the fight, ignoring his friends' warnings. Why shouldn't it? He's Sonic the Hedgehog! But this hubris leads to the destruction of the Paradox Prism and a main event that becomes multiversal.
Sending Sonic into the multiverse allows the creative team to take iconography, imagery and audio from all eras of Sonic and twist and turn them in different ways to create a familiar yet unfamiliar feel. every world insideBetterIt's a twist on the Green Hill area, built-up, overgrown, or flooded, but a few key pieces remain, like the iconic Green Hills racetrack or the palm trees that line the ground of the franchise's first level. The premise also gives Sonic a chance to deal firsthand with the consequences of his actions, in worlds where Eggman has won or his friends have broken up and fought without his influence to guide them. Rather than simply allowing you to race to victory, each new multiversal zone forces you to slow down for a change and see the world around you and your part in it. It's exactly the kind of message-based storytelling that's in all the great Sonic games, be itSonic the Hedgehog 2no Sega Genesis, ohacoustic adventuresPlay on the Sega Dreamcast or even the few well-received Modern Stories, liketimbresand the classic throwbacksonic mania.
Whenever Sonic travels to one of these new worlds within the Shatterverse, his shoes and gloves are switched to provide an advantage in each world, in a selection that reflects updates we've seen in games likeKlangabenteuer 2. In the overgrown Green Hill they are claws for climbing and chopping down trees, in the flooded world they are hoverboots like Shadow to overcome and deal with Sonic's fear of water. The twists give each new world a self-contained story and a variety of designs that make you really appreciate the differences in each version of Green Hill.
In contrast, modern Sonic games have fallen into the trap of feeling too familiar, unlike the show that offers a unique, alternative look and feel to iconic Sonic visuals - these games tend to take you through zones that Fans from all over the world like extremely familiar. Green Hill has appeared in no fewer than 26 games since the series began, many of which merge with the same blurry background. During 2D play, the stages offered multi-level layouts so you could speed through the upper sections or focus on the slower, puzzle-based section below. These design elements remainedacoustic adventuremiadventure 2, which offered multiple paths or gameplay options so each level felt new and offered something different to appeal to a wider range of players; However, over time, the franchise removed these more diverse options, so mostly you're running for the same thing. some areas every two years.
But the problem goes beyond level design. Sonic has been moving away from his past since 2011.sound generation,in which the game is a loving homage to the history of the franchise: it combines modern and classic Sonic in a story that takes you through some of the most iconic stages in the franchise's long history. Since then, every game has featured some sort of throwback to the classic era. 2013Sound lost worldsbrought the wisps fromtimbres(for many people the best modern sound game),sonic maniaIt was basically a sequel toSonic und Knuckles.the next gamesound forces, brought back Classic Era Sonic, its gameplay fromgenerations, o Irrlichter,miboundsonic mania. these yearssonic limitsfeatures small ensembles from the past that have modern Sonics moves similar to thatgenerations, but they go by so quickly that they strive to be fun as you spend more time in Frontiers' open world. Don't get me wrong, Sonic has always been a great franchise, but you can only do so many callbacks before it just becomes a scrapbook of better tunes.first soundIt's a good opportunity for developers Sonic Team to continue honoring the past and looking to the future.
first sounddoesn't give up on what worked in the games; From an aesthetic point of view, the use of the franchise's iconic graphics, audio and designs borrows heavily from the classic games with a modern finish. The voice acting and script result in characters who don't have nearly a single note, as later Sonic installments often become, and the trimmed cast means Sonic manages to keep his ensemble together, but not so many that he shuts himself out feels. . Shadow in particular has progressed from being one of the boldest characters in western media to a more focused and mature person who is constantly annoyed by his blue counterpart's antics. And as the team explores the multiverse, we see different versions of these characters, most prominently a nihilistic and slightly tougher version of Tails, who acts as a constant reminder not only of Sonic's influence but of his own as well.
With the Shatterverse, anything in Sonic's universe seems possible. There's a lot of potential to become a multi-year epic. I will be watching with interest, but also with some sadness. It seems it's screaming out to be the video game that will finally make Sonic the game greats again. To be the game that finally allows Sega and Sonic Team to try something new while keeping things familiar, all wrapped up in the first story in over a decade that really got me interested in these characters again. It's everything I've ever wanted in a Sonic game. I only wish there was one.