They Grow up so Fast



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For the continuation of the History section, we will be looking at the Sonic games after Sega stopped making consoles and started making games for Nintendo (N), Sony (S), and Microsoft (M). Some of the fans will notice none of the handheld Sonic games are in either of these sections. The main focus here is the console games, and some of the newer games might not make it in. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sonic Heroes (N, S, M, 2004): This is where Sonic games start getting a little... interesting. There is still some positive moments, but it's here where some people will start finding the games either silly or bad. It feels like one main problem is how Shadow. Rouge finds him will investigating one of Eggman's old bases, where she finds him in a capsule. Sadly, he is suffering from amnesia, which ends up ignoring the development he had in the previous game. At this time, Shadow is attacked by E-123 Omega, left behind and out to destroy all of Eggman's robots. Rouge ends up getting them together as they head off to visit the doctor as team Dark. Meanwhile, Sonic is informed by Tails that Eggman plans to take over the world in 3 days. Teamed up with Knuckles, Team Sonic head off to stop his evil plans. Amy returns, as well as Big and Cream the Rabbit, a returning character from the Gameboy Advance game, Sonic Advanced 2, making her first debut on a console. As Team Rose, Amy is persuing Sonic as Big hopes to find Froggy once again and Cream searches for the brother of her pet Chao Cheese, Chocola. Making their first appearance along Sonic is Team Chaotix. First staring in Knuckles Chaotix for the Sega 32X, Vector the Crocodile has taken leadership after Knuckles left. Hyperactive and often deemed annoying Charmy Bee enters with an assignment by an unknown client. Despite the promise of a worthy reward, team's Ninja Espio the Chameleon has his suspicions, but has no choice to follow his team. Sadly for the fans of Knuckles Chaotix, there is no Mighty the Armidillo.

As shown in the previous paragraph, Sonic Heroes consists of 12 characters, 3 for each of the 4 teams. Unlike the Sonic Adventure games, the gameplay is pretty much the same for all stories, with some modifications, and the variety depends on the team leader. Sonic, Shadow, Amy, and Espio count as Speed leaders, focused on moving fast, wall jumping, bursting, and forming a tornado that can remove shields or trigger certain speed-based events like swinging on a pole. Sonic and Shadow can Light Dash across rings, Amy can use her hammer to hover for a short time, and Espio's Tornado can make him invisible, allowing him to use his shurikens, which require him to have no teammates near him when attempting to burst. Tails, Rouge, Cream, and Charmy are flying leaders, focused on reaching high places, covering large gaps, and shooting teammates at enemies, item balloons, or objects required to advance. Flying is best suited for beginners if there is concern of falling off, as they move slow enough to be ready for what's coming and they can make a quick save when accidently running off a ledge. Charmy is the only one who can use flowers to warp. With no teammates, Tails and Rouge can throw bombs that are disguised as rings, Cream can shoot Cheese, although it takes a while to fire, and Charmy get's a short dash attack. Knuckles, Omega, Big, and Vector are Power leaders, focused on combat, gliding over air vents, and breaking obstacles. Knuckles gets a multi-punch attack when stationarry while attacking and Big and Vector get a slam attack and are able to shoot their teammates while on the ground.

There are orbs in the game that allow the appropriate leader to level up, starting at 0 going up to 3. Checkpoints will level up the assigned leader. Upon leveling up, their damage will increase, speed leaders will be able to use a homing attack with equivilent effect of a tornado at level 3, flying leaders get a better flight reach, and power leaders get a third attack. Knuckles gets a shockwave, fire wave, and a mini volcano, Omega spins with machineguns, flamethrower, then missile launcher, Big swings an object with his fishing rod, and Vector spins and shoots music notes, fire, then exploding bubble gum. Levels will revert to 0 upon entering a different act or losing a life. Earning points through rings, destroying enemies, and style moves will increase the team blast guage, which will unleash a super attack to damage all enemies within range. Sonic replaces his tornado with his "Blast Away" attack when an enemy is near until the guage finishes depleting, Team Dark freezes enemies due to the effect of Chaos Control, Team rose get's lvel up for everyone, a shield, and invincibility, and Team Chaotix gets the effect of a random ring box for each enemy destroyed.

The game consists of 7 zones per team, each with 2 acts and a boss fight, and the last story. The zones are pretty much the same, with some modifications based on the team of choice. Team Sonic focuses on going fast, Team Dark has harder enemies and more obsticles, Team Rose gets shorter, easier stages, and Team Chaotix varies, based on the mission given by the client. for secondary missions, Team Sonic focuses on speed runs, Team Dark is about destroying enemies, Team Rose is based around collecting enough rings, and Team Chaotix has advanced versions of the original mission. The boss pattern includes one of Eggman's machines, a rival team, and an endurance round against a group of normal enemies. There are keys found in each level, which will disappear after losing rings or falling off the level. Finishing act 1 with a key will include a mini game to obtain extra lives by speeding through a tunnel before time runs out, collecting spheres to increase the boost guage. Act 2 involces the same principle, only you are going after the chaos emerald. It doesn't matter which team gets it, but the emerald must be obtained in each zone to unlock the Final story.

In the end, Team Sonic successfully does enough damage to Eggman's fleet, stopping the invasion, Omega assumes his defeat while Rouge stumbles upon a chamber containing multiple copies of Shadow, leaving her to question if the one with her is the real one, Team Rose obtain Froggy and Chocola as Amy proceeds to chase Sonic, and Team Chaotix find out their client was an imprisoned Dr. Eggman, hinted in a few segments of their story. Beginning the last story, he begins to reveal who locked him, as the teams begin to gather and encounter Metal Sonic, hinted when he makes his short appearance in Team Sonic and Dark's stories. He has been collecting data to become the most powerful being to exist. This version is often referred to as Neo Metal Sonic, but the form lasts short as he fuses with parts of the main air ship to become the Metal Madness. Here, Team Sonic takes time to power up with the Chaos Emeralds while the others stall for time. As Metal Sonic becomes Metal Overlord, Team Sonic becomes Team Super Sonic, supposedly finishing him off once and for all. This is assumed from how he hasn't made an actual appearance in years. Recently, Sonic Generations has been released and it includes Metal Sonic, but this focuses on the Sonic CD timeline.


Shadow The Hedgehog (N, S, M, 2005): This game has been infamous for several things in the Sonic history. The first notible one is Shadow using a gun. While Eggman has used a gun before and Tails used an energy cannon in Sonic Battle, it was not expected for a character like Sonic or even Shadow to use real bullets. My personal problem is that with Shadow becoming dependent on a gun in this game, it feels as though he has gotten weaker, considering he was able to take on foes pretty well with his original form of combat. The next infamous moment for fans is the fact that this is the first game in which 4Kids took over for voices. Based on the reactions, one would assume that they also would be working on the game itself. After a few years, while I do miss the old voices from the previous games, these voices aren't as bad as people make it out to be. Some might not be as good as the older ones, but it's decent for the most part. Although this game does have some of the most infamous lines that have been often parodied on Youtube, including "Find the computer room!" and "You know what they say, the more the merrier!". The third thing, which has been constantly made fun of, is how frequent Shadow says Damn, and considering how 4Kids tends to do some censoring, it feels as though damn is no longer considered a swear once this game was released.

The final big thing is the story, involving an ailian race called the Black Arms, led by Black Doom, coming down from a comet that passes every 50 years to collect the Chaos Emeralds and take over the world. This has been seen as racist as the GUN soldiers are all white, although the Black Arms are how they are because they share a similar pallet design to Shadow, black and crimson as Doom mentions. This is because it is mentioned in the game that Doom helped Gerald Robotnik in creating Shadow so that Gerald could have his ultimate lifeform and Doom would use him to collect the Chaos Emeralds when they returned. Throughout the game, you chose between hero, dark, or neutral missions, deciding which level will be next and how the story unfolds. The main issue is how some of it contradicts with the story in Sonic Adventure 2, considering Shadow is suffering amnesia since Sonic Heroes. Eggman also takes place as he enters this war with his army of robots and Shadow Androids, causing a story path that leads Shadow to believe he is a clone of the original Shadow. The main problem with this story line is that it is possible to avoid any contact with Eggman and make Shadow believe he is an Android created by him.
Despite the different probabilities, it seems the main story leaves Shadow with all 7 Chaos Emeralds with the city Westopolis in ruins while the president is taking shelter inside the GUN base. It turns out that Black Doom needed the Emeralds to warp the comet past Earth's atmosphere, allowing them to connect and for the comet to extract energy from the earth. Shadow then decides to go after Doom and stop him. However, since he's a part of Doom, he is unable to get through his control over him. Meanwhile, Team Chaotix have been hacking in the Arc's database, which causes a message from Gerald to broadcast everywhere, requesting Shadow to stop Doom. This gives Shadow the strength to take control of himself, leaving Doom to retreat and become Devil Doom as Shadow turns into what looks more like Super Shadow than Hyper Shadow. Upon defeating Doom once and for all, Shadow warps the Comet in front of the Arc, destroying it with the Eclipse Cannon. Peace is restored, the General who blamed Shadow for the death of his family and Maria forgives him, and Shadow let's go of his past.

In terms of gameplay, Shadow has a significant change from previous Sonic games. Without a weapon, Shadow is able to do punches and kicks, although not as powerful. he is also able to toss objects with a blue light on one end as well as pick up and throw certain items. There are two bars on the sides, depending on your actions, the red or blue bar will increase. full blue allows Shadow to become Hero Shadow, using Chaos Control to fly through the level on normal stages and slow time in boss fights, and full red forms Dark Shadow, using Chaos Blast for a large field of damage and break objects that can only be destroyed by this attack. Both of them allow infinite ammo, making it a very broken power if in the right situation. There are also 5 keys per stage and collecting them will open a secret path that will help make one of the missions easier in some way. While there are some difficult platform sections, one thing that makes this game easy is that Shadow will only lose up to 10 rings. Surviving's not too hard, but on your first time, you might get lost if you're not doing a goal ring mission. There is also a 2 player battle mode with 2 variations of 3 characters, Shadow, and 2 forms of Metal Shadows, Machine Gun and Rocket Launcher. Depending on the map, a Machine Gun Metal Shadow can instantly win the match by just shooting if the other player doesn't dash out of the way quick enough, but it's not too often.
For graphics in this game, they vary. for starters, this is perhaps the darkest game in the series, which perhaps aided in jokes about Shadow being emo. the atmosphere at times makes it actually possible to consider this the Tim Burton of Sonic games. The Black Arms have a good design on them ranging between an appearance as alians, monsters, and even demons. However, one major problem is that they used too much bright effect on Hero/Dark/Super Shadow and the Cyber world Egg Breaker, making it look a little choppy. This one isn't so much graphics, but there are a few glitches that end up ignoring structure at times. One I have found most common is in the Arc levels, when a door opens, the area will start of blank, and if you don't wait for the room to appear, you will fall to your death. I think it happens there because the doors in that level open to quickly for the game to handle.


Sonic The Hedgehog (S, M, 2006): any one familiar with Sonic History will know how infamous this game is. Better known as Sonic 06, this game has been viewed as the worst Sonic game and even the worst Xbox 360 game at it's release. The main problem is that Sega rushed to get this game out, resulting in many glitches in the game. This game had potential, and if they delayed the game to finish things, I wouldn't have minded calling it Sonic 07 or even 08. This game isn't 100% bad, but sadly, the cons still outweigh the pros.
Asside from glitches, the most infamous problem people seem to have is the story, which takes place in a land called Soliana and is filled with some confusion in timelines. You start with Sonic but later unlock a story for Shadow and a new entry, Silver the Hedgehog. Sonic's story has been viewed as a Mario ripoff, as he is trying to rescue princess Elise, who is constantly captured by Eggman because she has a connection with what is known as the flames of disaster, created by the failed Solaris project from 10 years ago. Along with the standards, Sonic can purchase gems with the abilities to make him fly where it lands when thrown, bounce, turn small with a jump similar to Samus' Screw attack from Metroid Prime, slow time, produce a whirlrind, gain an instant boost, and create a ring magnet. Sonic also get's help from Tails, who combines his mechanics from Sonic Adventure and solo attack from Sonic Heroes, and Knuckles, who playes like the Sonic Adventure games, but is a bit harder to use in combat. Sonic is inturrupted by Silver a couple of times, but Silver later turns to aid Sonic. They fail as Eggman's ship crashes, but with Silver's help, he goes back in time to board the ship. After making one last stand against Eggman, he narrowly escapes the ship with Elise safe. While there is some mentioning, it feels like Sonic's story doesn't go far enough in the important part of the story.

Silver is more puzzle-based as he uses Psychokinesis to form platforms and openings, as well as throw objects at enemies. teamed up with Blaze the Cat, makeing her console Debut after Sonic Rush, being apretty fast and agile character, they live 100 years in the future as they try to stop Iblis, the flames of disaster that left the world in ruins. Silver is lead to believe that Iblis was caused by a trigger and that it was Sonic by Mephiles the Dark, who will be explained later. Mephiles is able to send Silver and Blaze back in time, separating them in the process. There, Silver meets Amy, who confused him for Sonic. Amy has her hammer, but her best move in the game is the ability to go invisible, which helps for sneak attacks and speed runs. She quickly leaves when she learns Silver was chasing Sonic, and Silver begins to question his actions. He almost has Sonic a second time until Shadow stops him, following the Sonic cliche of Hedgehog identity crisis as he thinks he's Mephiles. Using the Chaos Emeralds, the end up 10 years in the past, where Silver is steered straight. Upon returning to the preasent time, Silver aids Sonic and then returns to the future to settle things with the Iblis of his time. Elise's dad helped seal the past Iblis by sealing him inside Elise, so with the Chaos Emeralds, he tries to seal Iblis inside of him. Blaze takes over because he can't keep hold of him and she already had flames within her, and Silver sends her off to another dimention so Iblis would be removed from the world.

For Shadow's story, he is working for GUN, which now is pronounced G-U-N instead of just gun. His punches and kicks are improved from the last game, being able to perform an air combo. He does not use actual guns, but he now has armed vehicles, including a jeep and a hang glider. His Darkshadow appearance returns as Chaos boost, required for certain situations and improved in combat. He was sent to rescue Rouge, who plays like Knuckles but able to toss a stream of bombs, making her combat easier than Knuckles, and was in Eggman's base to obtain an artifact called the Dark Scepter. During a quarrel with Eggman, it breaks, releasing Mephiles, who takes form through Shadow's Shadow. My first thoughts on seeing this character literally was "The position of Darkshadow has already been taken." He then sends Shadow and Rouge to Silver's time, where they group up with Sonic's Team who got sent there by Eggman when tricked to go to his base to rescue Elise. There, they obtain the Chaos Emeralds needed to return to their time. However, Shadow stays to face off against Mephiles. It is believed Shadow is blamed for the flames of disaster and sealed away, hinted when Mephiles convinces Shadow to join. During the battle, Omega, who was ordered by Rouge to shut down for 100 years so he could aid Shadow, joins in. Omega is built with a boost with a pretty broken hover by pressing repeatedly instead of holding, a missle wave attack that's good for crowd control, and a powerful shot attack. Returning to the preasent, Shadow continues his search and meets up with Silver and Sonic. Entering the pass, Elise's dad gives Shadow the dark Scepter to seal Mephiles. Leaving Mephiles in the past, Shadow returns to the preasent to research the material for the Dark Scepter and hunt down Mephiles. At this time, there is an editing error, in which the voice actor says "Head to the Wave Ocean" where he is then corrected that it's just Wave Ocean, and he repeats the comment. After finding Mephiles again, he points out that it is Omega who seals Shadow in the future. Despite all this information, Shadow is still determined to fight against Mephiles, as they chase him down for the final showdown. Attempting to seal him, Mephiles reveals he gained an immunity by taking Shadow's form as he then forms copies of himself with the Emeralds he Posseses. Shadow's story ends in a cliffhanger as he removes his rings and Team Dark dashes into the Mephiles Army.

For the last story, Mephiles stands has one Emerald left, apparently defeated by Shadow. Using it, he is able to distract Sonic and Elise as he kills Sonic. When I first saw the Laugh Mephiles made after this, it was out of context, so I started calling it the Gameover laugh. It seems either in her death or through her death can Iblis break free from Elise, and the death of Sonic gives him that moment. At this time, Mephiles fuses with him, causing time to distort as everyone, including Silver and Eggman, are brought together, where the fabric of time itself is slowly being destroyed. Somehow, Elise is able to detect that Sonic isn't completely dead, and that there is still time to revive him with the Chados Emeralds, which have been scattered through alterations of the stages. Upon collecting them, Elise does the final touch by kissing Sonic, which upsets fans who accuse this of promoting beastiality. I think it's either because it's a Sonic game why this is brought up, or they're using the concept as an excuse to complain how it interferes with their couple system, a fanbase that can get a little overboard. Returning to life, Sonic is now super, as Shadow becomes Hyper Shadow and even Silver joins the Super Party, as they take on the 2 phased Solaris. Upon defeating him, Sonic and Elise end up in an empty void that inhabits the flame of Solaris. By blowing out the flame, it made all the events in the game never happened. This feels ambiguous however, as Sonic is still there when the ceremony from the beginning restarts. Perhaps Sonic and perhaps Elise were the only ones who remember, but she is never referred to again, so it remains uncertain.


Sonic And the Secret Rings (N, 2007): Originally supposed to be called Sonic Wildfire, while the 360 and PS3 got Sonic 06, the Wii got this game. Sonic and the Secret Rings changes the gameplay some, utilizing the gimmick of the Wii by tilting the remote to turn and shaking for homing attack. This game takes some getting used to, since unlike normal Sonic games, there's no spin dash and you move automatically, reducing the ability to explore, unless you press 1 to stand in place or 2 to charge a jump. The levels have an interesting change as there is an initial list of levels and completing certain missions will unlock others. This is also the first Sonic game to have an actual level system to set skills for 4 different rings to fit the situation.

Despite the Wii's lack of an achievement system, this game comes close as you are required to obtain medals and fire souls in each mission in order to unlock abilities, extras, and unlock Shadow, Silver, Cream, and Blaze for the mini game area. Completeing certain conditions in the Mini game area is also required to unlock everything. Like in Sonic Adventure 2, Big makes a couple of camios in certain levels, only this time, when you find him, the scene will be in the extras section.

The story is based around the tales of Arabian Nights. A Genie of the ring named Shara visits Sonic one night, asking for his help to stop Erazor Djinn from destroying the world of the Arabian Nights. Being a Genie, Sonic is granted 3 wishes, the first one being wasted on a tissue paper since Sonic has a bit of a cold in the beginning. Upon entering the book, Erazor puts a curse on Sonic, in which when time runs out, indicated by a flame on his chest, he will die, to make him obtain the 7 Rings. First time though, it will not be possible to obtain all of them until you defeat Erazor Djinn for the first time, unlocking a few of the required missions. Progressing through the missions, you will meet characters who take form of Sonic's firends, including Alibaba who takes the form of Tails and Sinbad who appears as Knuckles. Even Sonic see's them as his friends.
In one mission, Sonic will gain the abilities of Speed Break, a powerful speed attack which apparently seems to speed up time when used so it's not the best for Speed runs, and Time Break, which slows everything down to aid in timing. The breaks require soul energy which is obtained through orbs, defeating enemies, or certain abilities. The abilities include standard upgrades, wind abilities, which focus on making Sonic move faster, fire abilities, which help in defeating enemies, and dark abilities, which focus on helping power up the breaks and acts as a more defensive play. each ability requires skill points earned by leveling up from expeience gained from completing missions and they can either aid or harm a mission, which includes reaching goal, not getting hit, avoiding enemies, rings, or orbs, or various ones based on the area.

Upon obtaining all the rings, it is revealed Shara was forced to work for Erazor. Using his second wish, Sonic gives her the freedom to make her own decisions. As Erazor tries to strike him down, Shara takes the hit, sacrificing herself. The rings turn Djinn into Alfa Layla Wa Layla and Sonic into a variation of Super Sonic, Darkspines Sonic, possibly based on Dark Super Sonic from the Sonic X anime. upon defeating him, Sonic realizes he had Erazor's lamp, which he uses to restore the stories, Shara, and seal him back in his lamp.
Compared to Sonic 06, the story is a little weaker and some of the missions are more aggavating, such as locating Dinosaur eggs and placing them in in the right nest. However, the multiplayer is more fun, although racing each other in a main level is pretty cool, and despite the different controls, the game is not as glitchy, meaning less cheap deaths, and the infinite lives makes any a little easier to swallow to begin with. It kinda sucks that the main game doesn't have as much variety in gameplay, but it does mean it's easier to get a grip on.

Summery

Name IGN Score Personal Opinion
Sonic Heroes 6.9 (S), 8 (N), 7.2 (M) Not as good as some of the older ones, but a decent start for Sega no longer making consoles.
Shadow the Hedgehog 4.7 (S), ? (N), 4.9 (M). The game has it's faults, but I think IGN was a little picky with this one.
Sonic 06 4.2 (S), 4.8 (M) I thought there would be a bigger rating gap between this and Shadow. I guess it's based around experiences. Once you learn which glitches are where, there may be less problems. There's still the excessive load times though
Sonic and the Secret Rings 6.9 debatable whether or not this game really is better than Sonic 06. It has its fun moments, and the bosses are pretty enjoyable, but it also has its aggravating moments, as any normal game does.

There are some newer games, but we wanted to make sure you knew some of the older material. We hope you enjoyed the tour.