Well, you can’t say Sega doesn’t know their audience.
This year’s “well, I guess maybe it could be okay, maybe” Sonic game, Sonic Forces, looked incredibly bland from its reveal trailer, especially next to the deliciously retro Sonic Mania. As someone who’s been burned by the Sonic Cycle more than once, I knew I’d be safe in passing on another “modern” outing by the blue blur.
Then they crammed DeviantArt into the game and suddenly I’m on board. I don’t know why either and it makes me so mad.
I’ve been a Sonic fan since I got my Genesis in 1993 with Sonic 2 bundled in. Even when the character became a joke to the gaming community at large I still had a soft spot in my heart for the world’s fastest hedgehog. Despite getting burned on games like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic 4 I wasn’t going to let my memories get tarnished; I was a Genesis Kid through and through back in the day and part of me will never give up that fight. Sonic was my BOY.
I’ve been stoked for Sonic Mania for a long time. I won’t go too into what Sonic Mania is all about, because this is about Sonic Forces, dang it, but I preordered the big limited edition for a downloadable game because I love classic Sonic that much.
Even with all that Sonic affection flowing through my veins I was never into the whole Sonic fandom. I like Sonic a lot, but there are people out there who really, really like Sonic. I’m not one to judge, but it’s enough to deter someone from dipping their toe into that pool.
There’s an internet game where you google your name and “the Hedgehog” to see how many Sonic OCs (that’s “original character” to you normies) have your name. Here’s what happens when I google “Joe the Hedgehog”. Click for full size:
I really like that there’s just a normal dude in there for some reason. And look, Viewtiful Joe! Wait, is that a bowl of Caesar salad or drugs? Anyway, yeah, the Sonic fandom is a creative bunch.
Putting a character creator in Sonic Forces is genius specifically for this reason. Anyone who ever wrote fanfiction or drew themselves as a hedgehog is gonna flip their lid. They can finally put Original Character Do Not Steal the Echidna into a real video game. I think that’s actually really neat and I’m completely sincere.
I mean, the Sonic fandom is huge. Say what you want about them but they really like the franchise and have certainly put in the work to make their mark on things. Now they get to bring their multicolored creations to life and have them go on an adventure with not one but TWO Sonics! If I was 12 I’d probably be having an aneurysm.
As for me I’m just a big fan of character creators in games. It’s fun to have a main character that feels uniquely yours, even if it does often come at the expense of story or character development.
The character creator in Sonic Forces actually looks surprisingly robust to boot. From the very brief glimpse of the interface we get in the trailer it looks like there’s several different clothing options, including headgear, shoes and whatnot and a variety of animals and colors to choose from. It’s really dumb but also kinda cool.
I mentioned sincerity earlier in the post, and I think that’s why this is appealing to me so much. Even though I’m not in the greater Sonic fandom, they’re very sincere with their love for the franchise and I think it’s really rad that this is gonna be there for them. Even if this wasn’t made for them (which is one HELL of a coincidence) I know that it’s gonna make a ton of people very happy.
So yeah, it definitely triggered all the “Sonic fans are weird LOL” jokes from everyone when this trailer went up, but I’m glad they got this, and I’m excited to try it out for myself.
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