Making The Case That Sonic The Hedgehog Is Way Overrated

Making The Case That Sonic The Hedgehog Is Way Overrated

All that love for the early Sonic The Hedgehog games may be very misplaced, according to some gentlemen who recently revisited them. They even go so far to say that they’re fundamentally flawed.

This episode of Red Letter Media’s Previously Recorded webseries takes aim at the first few Sonic titles, picking apart the origins of Sega’s mascot and how, in the opinion of hosts Jack Packard and Rich Evans, the gameplay fails to live up to the hype. “Sonic will never be great because he never was great.” Harsh.


  • Well, a couple of people on the internet said the games are shit, I’d better re-evaluate my childhood memories and also the fun I’ve had playing them in recent years as well.

    Really Kotaku, are you going to write an article based around every single opinion you find on the internet?

    • Only the right ones!
      *digs into family home’s wardrobe to grab Nintendo Magazine System back-issues*

      • haha I’m inclined to agree with them to some degree. I mean, having grown up through the whole nintendo vs sega era, I totally get why Sonic is such a widely loved character, and I understand how it ended up being a ‘classic’ game (and I’m not unhappy that it has,) but personally, I thought the games themselves were.. missing something? I still loved the games, and I can’t imagine life being quite the same had I not experienced it, but that part where they talk about speed has a lot to do with it I think. I don’t want to say they didn’t have the creativity that went in to the likes of Super Mario, as creativity is not the right word, but it’s the only thing I can think of that comes close enough to what I want to say… 😉
        Like it’s fairly obvious they wanted to make something to compete with mario, over and above alex the kidd, and they had to set it apart somehow, and did so by adding speed. In my experience, most people I know who played the game, spent more time rushing through the game just because they could, and didn’t take the time to soak up the atmosphere. Sure there are people who did do that, but that was my general experience during the era.

      • Console wars these days have nothing on the olden days. Kids don’t know how good they’ve got it

        • Heh. Yeah. You just don’t see the internet full of mascots murdering each other like in the good ol’ magazine days.

    • No! Games, just like any other entertainment medium (e.g. television, movies, music, theatre etc) are only good if they present a degree of innovation and complexity compared to everything that came before it. Whether or not you actual enjoyed it, or if infact it was at all entertaining, is completely irrelevant.

      In all seriousness though, people will always pick at things like this, its just what some people need to stay busy.

  • “Sonic will never be great because he never was great.” Better tell that to Sega who used the character as their mascot and is immediately recognised as a Sega “product”, even today.
    I understand this is only posted to generate comment but really, if these people are going to bash an icon, I’d appreciate some form of credibility, rather than these 2 guys.
    Sonic is entrenched in the lives of gamers of my generation, its as part of growing up as Mario ever was.
    As cufcfan616 posted, shit, I’d better re-evaluate my childhood memories and also the fun I’ve had playing them in recent years as well.

    Smacks of Nintendo bias to me.

    • Did you actually watch the video? They go into a lot of detail and do actually point out that he was Sega’s mascot, but he was only created to be a mascot…a marketing thing to compete with Mario, and that the games themselves were flawed because Sonic was marketed as being super fast but the game design seemed like it encouraged you to play the game slower.

      • They over ruled what I think was a classic rule of the Era, which was because Video Game.

        Why did Robotnik use animals in his Robots?*

        Why would a plumber fight a Dragon?

        I only went 3 minutes in and decided that this was going to piss me off so I should just avoid it. But you can’t make fun of a Because Video game rule in Sonic and than not apply it to other games of the Era.

        * I believe it was explained in the Cartoons that the Body of the Animal powered the robot and the Brain was used as Processor. Hey the living Body power supply worked in the Matrix.

        • Yeah the animals in robots thing was dumb, but they actually went on to make legitimate points about the actual gameplay after that.

  • wait… the Mega Drive Sonic games were bad… i have to change my whole perspective on the series now because i can no longer love that game.

    but i guess the fact that they chose a pic that makes them both look a little mentally challenged for the title of the video says it all.

  • I recently replayed Sonic 3 & Knuckles and had a blast. (played on Steam, used game saves to retry special stages if I messed them up >_>)

    The old sonic games are great, but the only good modern ones are the 2D ones.

    • yeah cause i just wanna rush off to watch these opinionated douche bags after watching this! lol

      • Not sure if you’re joking or not. D:

        If you haven’t heard of RLM they have a fantastic series where they critique the new Star Wars movies, the reviews are almost as long as the movies themselves and deconstruct them so well you’d think you were going easy on them before hand! All their stuff is good really 🙂

  • I love Red Letter Media but really dislike the video game segments. They hate soooo much (generally because it’s too hard for them)

    • I had a lot of problems with their Titanfall review. They really didn’t understand how the game worked (they didn’t even figure out jumping, for goodness sake!) and… a brown game? Really? Lagoon is brown to them?

      I think Pre:Rec is interesting as a look into the perspective of a couple of guys who enjoying gaming but aren’t necessarily hardcore about it.

      As a serious review show? Not so much. They’re much better at movies.

  • Sonic 2 is brilliant and I have loved it for a good two thirds of my life. I will be dead before I let these two unfunny balding, fat bell-ends tell me otherwise.

    They look like they hang outside primary schools with bags of Werthers Original.

    • The Master System versions are excellent, but would be wasted on the likes of these two wannabe experts…

  • The entire, global, retro community knows otherwise.

    The Sonic series is a pinnacle in 2D game design – always has been, and always will be.

  • Also; on the subject of “Robotnik taking over the world.” What is really is, is a simple analogy of the natural world being replaced by machines. And for trivia’s sake, the machine is controlling the animals – not the other way around.

    And the “I can’t play it so it’s crap” subject of the video is laughable and will just come off as Amateur in the retro community…

    Checkout for people who know what they’re talking about, and is a great place to start if you wanna get back into classic games and don’t know where to start.

    • I couldn’t beat the Death Egg in Sonic 2, just too hard for me as a kid, but the rest of the game I could do.

  • Wow, I read all of these comments and was like “this video must be super biased and these guys must be jerks”….. nope, I reckon their opinion is spot on.

    They objectively go through and talk about why the gameplay is “fundamentally flawed” and that Sonic being created as a mascot first and game second has a lot to do with that reason. They even say that they have fun playing the game but it’s too hard to ignore the counterintuism about it.

    I think their hate is about 20% over warranted but I think the hypothesis that it’s the most overrated game in history is probably correct, I can’t think of any other contenders.

    • Not every game is for everyone. I played and loved Sonic. I think millions of people the world over did too. People don’t all have the same tastes.

      • It’s not about taste though, it’s looking at the fundamental mechanics of the game and breaking down why they are hindered.

        … I liked the games but I agree with what they’re saying.

      • I think you’re looking at this like this was a review, but this was more a deconstruction of the game design and its flaws. I loved Sonic as a kid, but I agree with @fenix, the criticism is spot on.

  • I kinda agree that it was a marketing tool etc. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good/ a classic.

    Edit: Also, it’s really unprofessional to have the game play dialogue so much louder than the other dialogue and it was annoying for me, cause I had to keep adjusting my sound level. I know that’s being picky, but still, come on!

    Edit: Fk this. I stayed to the end. They bash Crash too! (No pun intended) I could say one character bashing is interesting… But now they just seem jaded.

  • Absolute bull**** I loved crash bandicoot when I was a kid I even whipped out the game the other day to reminisce and I still enjoyed it. Yeah sure compared to today’s games its a very basic plat-former but it kept me entertained.

  • Seriously? This isn’t news. I still play sonic games and get a lot of enjoyment out of them. Latest video in a long line of idiotic pandering to the days of old.

  • It’s a shame everyone is reacting to this like its an unfair review, but actually its an exercise in deconstructing media. It doesn’t matter if you love Sonic of old (I do), it’s valid criticism of the game design and marketing.

  • Man, seriously, did they never play this game before?

    You try not to run without rolling. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 added a spinning start and whenever you go too fast you press down to roll so as to not be vulnerable (and, you know, kill mind-contrlling robot exoskeletons using forest creatures as a source of biopower). That is, incidentally, what the loops and so on are for: to keep up speed once you are fast enough to become a spinning blade.

    The springs, the danger of slowing down, all of those are obstacles precisely because they keep Sonic from rolling. And the game literally shows you the importance of spinning the very first time you jump (Greenhill zone 1, first screen, a bee in the air). All of this just tells me these guys are bashing a game they never took serious enough to play it if not for the sole purpose of bashing it.

  • At 16+ minutes I think their estimation of being able to sustain my interest in their review was vastly over-rated.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!