Remember when Sonic The Hedgehog was great? We grew up with the wise-cracking speedster and he holds a special place in our hearts. But after a series of rubbish Sonic titles from Sega, the memories are tarnished. So what can be done to fix it?
In an open letter to Sega, a Sydney animator and game designer dissects exactly what’s wrong with the Sonic franchise and constructive suggestions on how to fix it. Honestly, his proposal is brilliant, and it’s a Sonic game I’d play the living hell out of.
The whole video is based on the theory that you can’t criticise something if you don’t have a constructive solution for how it can be fixed. Using that theory, a radical redesign of Sonic is proposed.
Sonic would go from a three-dimensional, shiny shoe-wearing, wise-cracking, glossy hedgehog to an innocent-looking 2D adventurer drawn in an almost cartoonish art style. Voice acting would be dropped too, and all the character development would occur through animation and suggestion.
With no voice acting, the story would be kept simple: the list of characters would be short, the motive would be easy to understand and the cutscenes would be easy to digest.
Along with a redesigned Sonic and simple story, the gameplay needs to be redesigned too. The gamers who fell in love with Sonic back on the Sega Genesis are being alienated by today’s Sonic games that are pitched at young gamers who have no affinity for the franchise.
As a result, the control system would change so that creative button combinations are required for Sonic to execute his signature spin and slam moves. The gamer would have to be fast and skilful to control Sonic’s moves in the new game.
Sonic’s design saviour also recommends a new way to deal with the iconic rings in the game. Instead of using rings for points, they could be used to access power-ups that Sonic keeps in his backpack. By using these power-ups, gameplay is enhanced and more challenging puzzles are brought into the game world.
As if you wouldn’t play this Sonic game if it was released?! Check the video for more great suggestions.