Friday, December 23, 2022

The Top 10 Worst Sonic Games

Sonic's the best right? Well yeah but there are some games out there that have been really bad. Would you believe it? Not Sonic Unleashed, though. That game was a masterpiece. But there are others that have been not so great. Sometimes SEGA pretend that they don't exist, but we know they do.
This list may or may not be in order, but it probably is.

I had a few friends recommend me to do this article for Emerald Rangers and I thought it would be a great idea.

#10. Sonic And The Black Knight (2009)

Released as a Nintendo Wii exclusive title (remember those?!) back in March 2009 (surprisingly enough unlike the modern November releases we get now), Sonic gets transported into a world of Swords and Knights in Shining Armour. There's King Arthur and his sword Excalibur. It is pretty much a standalone sequel to Sonic & The Secret Rings, set in the storybook phase. Now this game isn't all that bad. What we can say is, that at least it tried. It's Zelda-esque like Sword swinging action felt unique for a Sonic game and felt great on the Wii remote. Imagine the Joycon Drift the Switch would have if it tried to run this! Released later in the Wii's lifespan, noticably the graphics are better and the game also has a return of the fan-favourite Sonic band Crush 40. Although they seem to be rather a dead band now, who haven't recorded any new music since 2019, and certainly haven't played on a Sonic game for a while, they provided a great quality soundtrack. One thing that's great about the Sonic games is that even if the game sucks, the Soundtrack is pretty good. However, I don't think S&TBK really sucks. It wasn't very good mostly but I think it's still fun to revisit every once in a while, and it is very unique to the Sonic series..That's why I put it at number 10 on this list. Plus it was one of the last Sonic games ever to have local multiplayer. 
Sadly while S&TBK tried its best a lot of the fans felt like it was rubbish. I don't think it deserved that much hate. Yes the story was super cringe but they got Marty Friedman on the Soundtrack to do the final boss theme. Marty frickin' Friedman! Of Megadeth fame! Soloing with All Ends vocalists Emma and Tina. The lyrics may be shit but gosh darn, those solos are great.

#9. Team Sonic Racing (2019)

After Sumo Digital announced (kind of) that they were working on a thrid installment to the Sonic Racing franchise , a lot of the Sonic fans got really excited. Including myself. I loved the first two Sonic & All Star Racing games from the Wii & Wii U. However what we go was this mess. So instead of having Sonic & Sega characters, we only got Sonic characters. That's fine to me. But a lot of people were annoyed about it. Fair enough. They wanted diversity. It provided more content. Hell yeah. But wait. There was a really dumb reason as to why Sumo Digital only chose to use Sonic characters and no one else. It's because of the Story mode. Yes. There was a story mode in Team Sonic Racing. But guess what! IT WAS OPTIONAL. You DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THE STORY MODE AT ALL. You didn't benefit from story mode. It was just a story. There weren't even any cutscenes. It was just pictures of them and text with their voices talking. There was no movement or transitions. It was boring. They added Chaos back in the game which was cool as their own karts, they also had Sand Hilll return from Sonic Adventure and made the track it's own new stage, which was great. But after you beat the game once which only took me about 45 minutes or an hour at best, there was nothing else to do. There was no replay value. You couldn't really do anything. Though the Soundtrack is the saving grace for this game, with a epic return of Crush 40 providing the theme song 'Green Light Ride' and Jun Senoue back at the helm of composing the in-game tracks, that are absolutely fantastic by the way, there's no other main reason for me to come back to it other than nostalgia. 
The arcade feel is fun, I enjoy arcade-style racing games, but I hated the team combat in it. If your team sucks and you are coming first you still come last. I find single player more enjoyable but then there's no real point of the 'Team' aspect then, isn't it.

#8. Sonic Labyrinth (1995)

Gotta go slow. In one of the strangest Sonic games ever made for the Game Gear back in 1995, Dr. Robotnik steals Sonic's speed powers and makes him slow. He traps Sonic into a giant labyrinth of awkwkardness and yes it's as frustrating as it sounds. However, the concept for this game is incredibly unique. There hasn't really been a Sonic story like this for a game since. The idea may have sounded great on paper, but in reality the game itself was lacking the Sonic Speed that we all know and love.  But, I don't think it's the worst Sonic game ever made. Sure it has a reputation but the story seemed to be actually really interesting. Other than that it's not really worth calling 'the best game ever'.

#7. Sonic Origins (2022)

What an absolute hot mess this is. In probably one of the biggest insults of 2022, which is Sonic's COMEBACK YEAR, we've had a fantastic new movie, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, we've had Sonic Frontiers, a fantastic game, and we've also had Sonic Prime, a fantastic new TV Series on Netflix. But whatever the crap this is. Sonic Origins. A collection of Sonic 1, 2, 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic CD. In proper WIDESCREEN FORMAT! I got excited about this in the beginning. But sadly, the game runs on new emulation. Developed by Headcannon for whatever reason instead of Sonic Team, they outsourced developers for remasters again (have they learned nothing from Sonic Colours Ultimate?)  but sadly, the game is separated. The new emulation modes and classic modes are different entirely. The classic 4:3 modes is just the widescreen mode stretched down to 4:3 so it looks weird. The widescreen editions are based off the mobile ports. The game's soundtrack is poor quality rips from 2011's Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2 Soundtrack converted in mono. In fact the whole game audio is in Mono. Don't get me started on those really bad new tracks for Sonic 3 that they had to redo, because they don't have the Michael Jackson rights (we all know he composed part of the music to Sonic 3 it's the worst kept secret of Sonic history). Sorry Jun, you don't work well with 2D game music. 
When the game was released, it was discovered to be in an unfinished state, full of glitches and bugs. It was so bad, that Headcannon publicly criticized the game on Twitter, and calling out Sega's mishandling of the ports. In response Sega promised to update the collection. However, sadly after many months, we only got 2 small updates of the game. 1 was to fix a couple of mislabeled titles of the songs in the in-game museum, and the other was to fix a broken jumping Tails glitch. Still, despite the many flaws of the collection and still present glitches and errors, Sega have seemed to forget about this title alltogether and refuse to update any more major patches. Maybe Headcannon should have kept quiet about criticizing the ports on  Twitter.

#6 Sonic The Hedgehog 4 - Episode 1 (2010)

Sonic 4! What could go wrong about Sonic 4! 
Everything apparently.
To start off, some idiot thought up of this great idea to release this wonderful experience through Episodic games instead of, um, 1 full game. Episode 1 was flawed with many issues, but eventually, 2012's 'Episode 2' would be far superior, an amazing improvement. I got Sonic 4 episode 1 on the Wii back in the day and when I played it I was moreso disappointed. The public reception for the game as well was also heavily criticized, due to it feeling awkward with clunky controls. The designs of the characters looked weird especially in the 2D & 3D environment. Sonic ran awkardly and the soundtrack composed by Jun Senoue felt very lack luster and unenjoyable. For whatever reason Jun doesn't perform well with these kind of games. Stick to the 3D Sonics. There were only about 4 levels with 2 acts and a boss at the end plus a final zone. Then you had to wait for episode 2. It just feels annoying how Sonic 4 should have been released as a full game in the first place. 
Sonic 4 Episode 2 was much better with the addition of Tails, better graphics and better levels (including better music!) Jun's music for 2D games had improved at this point. But, sadly - Sonic 4 Episode 3 was going to be developed in about 2013 by SEGA Studios Australia. But what happened to them?! They got shut down by SEGA! Wow , brilliant thinking guys. Now they couldn't make any more episodes of the Sonic 4 adventure. All future games in this series was cancelled. The game ended in a unresolved cliffhanger. Metal Sonic was planned to appear in the 3rd game. It never happened. 

#5. Sonic Free Riders (2010)

Released on the Xbox 360 in 2010. Sonic Free Riders was going to be the thrid and final installment of the Sonic Riders series. The first two were pretty great. but sadly Sonic Free Riders failed  to live up to the hype. The main reason is because of it being made exclusively for Xbox's failed Kinekt. It was very awkward to play, especially on your own. What's worse is that this game introduced the modern Sonic voice cast consisting of Roger Craig Smith & co. that we still get today. I'm sick of these guys and they all sound awful. Except for Mike Pollock. He can voice Eggman until the end of time for all I care. But I hate Roger Craig Smith as Sonic. He sucks. He makes Sonic sound cranky and emotionless and off aged. I hope one day the Sonic Prime cast take over. Deven Mack is a fantastic voice actor and it would be great if they all could one day voice the game characters. But anyway. Sonic Free Riders sucks.

#4. Sonic Boom Rise Of Lyric (2014)

Rebooting Sonic was not really a great idea. But they allowed it to happen anyway for some reason. What we got was the Sonic Boom series. Now, the 2 3DS games, Shattered Crystal and Fire and Ice were fantastic. Don't get me wrong. That's why they're not on this list. But the Wii U game, Rise of Lyric, is the biggest offender. It would have been cool to see a rebooted Sonic but sadly what we got was a big mess of nothing. The 4 playable characters at once was pretty cool. It was like Sonic Heroes on crack. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy. It looked like Knuckles had too much crack also, and gained 20 pounds, for whatever reason. The amount of times Sonic says "Hey look a bounce pad" is incredibly frustrating. The open levels are cool, and the music is nice sometimes. The island music especially is quite relaxing. Composed by Richard Jacques of Sonic R fame. 
But Sonic Boom Rise Of Lyric runs at a really slow pace. Sonic goes slow too. There are lots of speed boosts where you run around in sometimes but they don't last long enough. Sometimes the in game dialogue can be funny. I really do like some of the climbing and flying aspects of the game, and how , like Heroes, every different character can have their own abillities. It actually isn't that bad but sadly so many people just hate this game, that's why I put it at a high spot on the list.
Also it has a problem with Frame Rate issues. It's one of the only Wii U games to run on the CriWare engine. The big open worlds are pretty cool, but there are alot of graphical glitches and bugs. In the trailer the game was originally running on a PC engine but the release was rushed. If they had a few more months the game could have been better. I don't mind coming back to it every once in a while. But the combat felt boring and repetitive. 
At least it tried.

#3 Sonic Colors (2010)

2010 wasn't really a great year for Sonic. With Sonic 4, Sonic Free Riders , and the Wii Exclusive title Sonic Colors. Sonic Colors brought on an overhype train like no other. Sonic fans absolutely loved it and thought it's the best Sonic game since sliced bread. While Sega themselves marketing it as 'the greatest Sonic game of all time'. But guess what? It isn't. It's just overhyped trash.
In 2008, a year before hand, they made the freakin' fantastic Sonic Unleashed. It was back then, the biggest Sonic game of all time since Sonic Adventure 1 & 2. It was a huge adventure game with loads of things to do. Plus it had hub areas. A normal Sonic and a Werehog Sonic. In 2010 we had Colors. Colors took out half or maybe more of Sonic Unleashed in comparison. Each zone has 6 acts which is a bit overkill. These acts could have been put into at least 1 or 2 bigger acts. More annoyingly, the levels would constantly change from 3D to 2D. The 2D levels would slow the game down entirely and you often had to stop and think of where to get to. The puzzles could be infuriating and time consuming. The music is annoying and the theme song is super cringe. Cash Cash suck. Also there are too many automated running levels. There is so much automation half of the time you're not even playing the actual game. The bosses are just the same 3 bosses over and over. Sonic calls Eggman "Baldy McNosehair" several times over and over and thinks he's funny but he isn't. This game is dumb and doesn't even deserve the praise that it gets. Its 2021 remaster, Sonic Colors Ultimate was also a massive disappointment. A rushed piece of mess and felt worse than the original game.
Sonic Colors is not fun.

#2 Sonic The Hedgehog (2006)

If you're a fan of interspecies affection at an absolutely hardcore style, Sonic 06 is certainly the game for you. Released in 2006 for the 15th anniversary of Sonic. It was planned to be the biggest and best Sonic game in history. It would have been the 'Sonic Adventure 3' we all wanted and hoped for. E3 2005 trailers looked amazing. It promised many things, including a day & night cycle. Sadly upon release we never got any of those. We didn't get anything. We only got whatever this is. Sonic 06 was rushed out for the anniversary and everybody hated it. It got brutalized. Now i've played the game and don't mind it but everybody hates this game. And I can understand why. The game was an absolute glitchy mess. It was so bad that Yuji Naka, who was famously difficult to work with left the project half way through. Well he's arrested now. I can see why. 

#1. Sonic Forces (2017)

2017's Project Sonic aka Sonic Forces, promised to be another blockbuster anniversary title. Instead it was a game that it didn't know what to be. What did we have in the trailer. We had Chaos from Sonic Adventure show up! We had Shadow ! Metal Sonic! WOW! This was gonna be epic!
In the real game. Chaos only shows up in a cutscene for like 10 seconds and gets beaten up. You don't even fight him!
Shadow is a playable character which is pretty cool but only on some levels. 
Sonic Forces feels like it's a 'Don't call this game Sonic Generations 2'. It doesn't really make any sense. So Classic Sonic shows up again for whatever reason I don't really care and Modern Sonic gets confused once again, however this time Eggman has won and taken over the world so Sonic joins a gang of resistance leaders and they have to fight back for the land to defeat Eggman.
Heck yeah.
But the levels in this game were mostly like a minute and a half long. Plus it had nothing but Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant Zone like 20 times. Infinite is a pretty lame villain, who also has an incredibly super cringe theme song, and Eggman hardly does anything in this game. 
It does have a darker tone than most games, but the game itself only took me about 2 hours to beat.Sure, Sonic Frontiers also is Green Hill & Chemical Plant obsessed too, but it has taken me over 10 hours and i'm still on Ares Island. 
Sonic Forces felt like a rushed experience, a quick mess and uninspiring adventure.
Frontiers feels like a massive improvement of Forces, and I think it pretends that Forces did not exist. It does recycle many elements from Forces, but in somewhat better ways.
I felt very let down with Forces upon completion. It was too easy, and too quick.
Gotta go fast.


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