Chances are if you’ve been playing videogames since the heyday of the “mascot off” that occurred back in the early 90’s between Nintendo and Sega, you either fell on the Mario or Sonic side of the fence. And while assuming you fell on the Sonic side, there’s a good chance you’ve been losing a bit ( a rather large if not colossal bit)of faith in the folks at Sega. Why can’t they make a Sonic only game on a console? Surely, it is possible. So, why won’t they do it already? Fans all over call for it, yet it remains a down right mystery. What made Sonic the Hedgehog great “back in the day” has for lack of a better term been abandoned. Speed intertwined with great platform design is all that made Sonic special. So I ask, WTF Sega?
As Xbox Live Arcades “Summer of Arcade” approaches again smack dab in the middle of it is ‘Splosion Man. Developed by The Maw creators Twisted Pixel Games, could ‘Splosion Man be the type of game Sonic fans are looking for? A game with one central character. A game where speed is most definitely a part of the equation. A game that’s not flustered in trying to figure out what it is by tasking you with “adventure” elements.
The illustrious history of Sonic the Hedgehog was built on simple mechanics, but as usual it never stays that way. The most recent release on the Xbox 360 Sonic Unleashed seemingly had a world of promise. It was returning back to its 2D roots albeit all rendered in 3D (much the same as Street Fighter IV). Unfortunately, that’s when the party gets trashed by the “Werehog”. Again, WTF Sega? No one is going to say variety is a bad thing, yet, I’ll go out on a limb and say no one was asking for a brawler in the middle of a “I wanna go fast” game.
So, where does this leave us? It leaves us with a game not coming from Sega, but from a tiny developer known as Twisted Pixel. Sure, there’s no telling what lays in the future for ‘Splosion Man. You’ll get ‘Splosion and only ‘Splosion Man when it releases if you decide to purchase it. The same can’t be said for the once great Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. There’s no supporting animal cruelty here, but Amy Rose, Big the Cat, Knuckles, and every other character that’s shown themselves since Sonic 1 and 2 need to be taken out back and shot. There won’t be any Old Yeller moments, I’m sure.