Should Sonic the Hedgehog be 2D or 3D?

Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most famous video game characters of all time. When Sega unleashed him and his game back in 1991 they likely had no clue the success the character would have. The gaming landscape changed forever after the arrival of Sonic, in about the same way it changed with Pac Man and Mario. The first several games, Sonic 2Dcommercially and in my personal opinion, were all but flawless. Sonic the Hedgehog 1-3,Sonic and Knuckles, and Sonic CD were awesome platformer games that had a good balance of speed and digging for extras. Getting all of the Chaos Emeralds in Sonic 1 is still something that gives me a lot of trouble, so the extras are still fun to pursue to this day. It all worked very well and gamers loved it. The Genesis was seriously boosted by Sonic, selling almost 15 million units from July 1st to August 31st 1991 because of getting a free copy of Sonic the Hedgehog in that time span (in America). If any console at all sells that many units in one month now it’s a massive deal. So you can definitely understand that Sonic is a major character for Sega. Which is why they went to the Next Level. Sega had been working on getting a 3D Sonic game for a while. If Mario was getting a major 3D videogame, Sonic needed to be right there next to him. It’s sensible. Things eventually went from being all 2D to working for the 3D world, and Nintendo and Sega were a major part of that. Their mascots had to make the run into the next world, so to speak, to keep the gamers happy. But this is where things got bad for Sega, at least according to many different people. Sonic’s first major 3D game, Sonic Adventure, was a success. It sold well on the soon-to-die Dreamcast, and it offered a lot of great things for Sega fans to enjoy. It wasn’t Super Mario 64. But it was a good game that was enjoyable, even if it hasn’t aged all that well. Sonic Adventure 2 kept up what Sonic Adventure did right and improved in several ways, such as graphics and different gameplay modes. That’s about where it ended for the good Sonic 3D games according to a lot of gamers. Remember how Sonic’s first game helped the Genesis move 15 million units within a month? That sort of success has never found Sonic again since then, certainly not for the Dreamcast. The new smartphone world has seen a lot of success for Sonic, but “main” game wise it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Sonic in the 3D world. I personally like most of the Sonic games that are 3D. I loved Sonic Heroes, I enjoyed Sonic Unleashed, I loved Sonic Colors, I loved Sonic Generations and also Sonic Lost World. But none of those games saw the sales numbers that the older 2D games had. None of them had the critical mass appeal that the old games had. None of them have sold extremely well, even when the games have been pretty good. That’s the point of the question for the article. Sonic 3DShould Sonic be 2D or 3D? Many gamers are torn on this; some love the 2D and think Sonic should always be roughly the same, while others love the new gameplay of the 3D Sonic games. The gaming industry overall seems to prefer the 2D games, or at least they definitely don’t like the 3D outings. It’s always split it seems lately with Sonic. Lost World, specifically the Wii U version, has been ripped to shreds by the gaming industry. It tried something new that they didn’t like, so it got panned. I love it personally, I think it’s better than the Adventure games. But my opinion doesn’t result in millions of sold games. And the split doesn’t look like it’ll slow anytime soon. Sonic Boom looks like it’ll be a fun exploration game on the Wii U, with all new gameplay compared to past Sonic games. But every time that happens people slam Sonic and complain. I can understand that, but I still don’t recall ever seeing this much hate around 2D Sonic games (outside of the controversial Sonic 4 series). So what do you think? Should Sonic be 2D only? Sonic’s greatest successes have been in the 2D world, at least commercially. That can’t be denied. But it’s always nice to see game developers try new things and reach for new gameplay methods, with hints of the past spread throughout. Some think that Sonic should really only be in 3D until Sega gets a formula that really works, then they can focus on other 2D games. I think they do both; make the Sonic Boom’s of the world while making games in 2D for smartphones. Why not? Their smartphone games are actually really enjoyable, and the 3D games do try to do something new that’s refreshing in itself. What do you think: Should Sonic the Hedgehog be in 2D or 3D?

 

Updated: November 18, 2014 — 1:08 am
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