The funny thing about a major character is its tenacity. No matter how many crap sequels, sticker books, mini-games, or regrettable ad campaigns it ends up in, it will get trotted out to the street corner one more time, trying to turn another buck on its long faded beauty. The sad thing is that it often works.
There’s probably no character that’s been more prostituted than Sonic the Hedgehog. Once bigger than both Mickey Mouse and Mario in the minds of America’s youth, over the last decade Sonic has managed to flounder, never figuring out what his core values are, and introducing a “dark twin”, Shadow, that served only to muddy up the waters even more.
The other problem is the character in the game and in the television versions of the character have diverged radically. His basic premise is that
a) He’s a hedgehog
b) He runs really really fast
The cartoon has remained a cartoon, while the games have repeatedly tried to make the character into the real world, with decidedly unpleasant results.
But all the CG graphics in the world can’t help the fact that the fundamental high-speed platforming gameplay has never managed to transcend its 2D roots and prove that it works in modern environments the Mario 64 reinvented the game back in the late 90s.
They’re trying one more time, with Sonic Unleashed, which looks to be slightly better, by focusing on making the camera work for the trademark high speed action. But the character wil. also transform into a werewolf version with entirely different gameplay. It has more than a whiff of desperation about it…