Hello, my name is John Eckes, and I have a secret.
I am a Sonic fan.
Played the games? Sure did and I still own and replay many of them do this day while rocking out to Crush 40. Watched the cartoons? I can sing the entire SatAM theme song by heart. Read the comics? The first comic I can remember buying for myself was the first issue of the original Archie Comics mini-series and I still grab one once a blue moon just to see if anything of interest is going on.
Now that my credentials as a true blue Sonic fan out of the way, I want to make the next point very clear… I am a REALISTIC Sonic fan! I’m not going to tell you the Game Gear games were any good. I’m not going to try and convince anyone Sonic ’06 is some misunderstood masterpiece or that Sonic Underground was actually pretty clever. I’m not about to lie to your face and say the Sonic BOOM games are anything but utter garbage (but the cartoon is okay).
Yes, Sonic BOOM, the games haven’t even been out a full month and the internet has exploded with content every glitchy, poorly designed moment of the two titles. On the one hand this is great, people protecting other people from crap games, the way that content has been presented online however is a toxic one that in the end helps no one. What is Sega’s motivation to make a good game? Think about it, unless you already liked Sonic games did you buy or play the last three Sonic games? Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations, and Sonic Lost World all received good to mixed reviews, but they did little to buy back the outside world’s trust in the franchise.
Then Sonic BOOM hits and all of a sudden Sonic and friends are everywhere again. The internet at large breathes a sigh of relief as its long proven baseless assumption that ANYTHING Sonic related has to be bad gets to live another day while the great Sonic Crusaders swoop in to defend the property no matter what obvious faults the latest incarnation may have. Sega only has one major franchise to its name and the only way to keep the company rolling is to constantly churn out Sonic games. If it rolls out the occasional turkey, so what, their failure will most likely go viral, giving them a bunch of press which they can use to stay afloat.
Now before everybody jumps on me for blaming the audience let me clarify something, I don’t blame the internet for this state of affairs, I blame Sega. The internet is a cruel mistress, willing to beat down all who make a easy target of themselves as long as they continue to feed the machine, and that is exactly what Sega does now. They feed the machine.
The internet is going to do what it will, that doesn’t mean you go and work to be an active target for our ire! They’ve taken this pathetic form of life-support for their company and made it their business plan, and that pisses me off! If they had enough balls or brains they could fix this downward spiral, but that would involve a sense of pride the willingness to fail, and I mean fail on that company closing kind of level instead of living off internet hate and childhood nostalgia. Hell, many people think since Nintendo has done more than anybody to keep Sega alive and since Sega steals their ideas from whatever new Super Mario game that came out last year that Nintendo should just up and buy them. Why Sega isn’t actively campaigning for this on Nintendo’s front lawn is beyond me.
So what can we do since Sega can’t seem to be bothered to save themselves? We can change the conversation. Instead of bashing Sega for making failures, let’s bash Sega for not living up to our expectations. Instead of ramming their face in whatever turd they’ve made so we can feel better about ourselves, let’s rub their noses in what they have done right and shame them for not giving us more of the same. Demand Sega respect you as well as themselves and deliver good games. It is a small change in perspective, but it would cause great change. Let us stop enabling failure, breathe new life and creativity in Sonic games everyone can enjoy, and use the fiery rage of the internet to do something constructive for a change.