So this week saw the announcement of a new Sonic game and animated series, Sonic Boom, coming out for the Wii U and televisions everywhere. The Sonic franchise is one that has been with the gaming industry since SEGA’s conception as a company, and the mascot has since gone on to define high-speed gameplay with precision movements. However, since creating that definition, the Sonic franchise has been known to deviate from its speedy origins and try new things, some of them successful (Sonic Adventure) and some of them not (Sonic Unleashed).
This latest video game announcement has been met with a strong opinion, but it is not one that many could see as positive. Some of the hate has been directed towards the fact that the game will be coming out on the Wii U, but, really, most of the hate has been going towards Sonic’s new look.
Sonic’s new look is one that is kind of familiar to the Sonic design, yet also completely different to what we’ve seen. This is particularly true in the case of the side-characters in the Sonic franchise. What’s interesting is that all of the characters are dressed in a manner that makes them seem like they’re half MMA fighter, and half Steampunk. What gives us this impression is that each character appears to be wearing arm and leg wrappings similar to what you’d see an MMA fighter wearing, but also, they seem to also have scarves other things that give it a Steampunk kind of feeling.
One of the biggest points of controversy on this is that the character, Knuckles, now has bigger and stronger arms. But if you look carefully, all of the characters are now slightly exaggerated based on their leading characteristics. For example, Sonic now has longer legs, designed for running it would seem. While, once again with Knuckles, the bigger arms are better for punching, which he does so well. This could make sense in the universe that the game is set in. Perhaps here the Sonic cast are much older, and as a result of that, all their years of training have perceptively altered their appearance.
Of course, there is also a certain level of artistic license involved. It could just be that whomever was in charge of character designs thought the characters could better present what they do within the game? It doesn’t really matter for the reason behind the new look, what does is that it is different. However, it’s not like it’s some kind of massive alteration on any of the core characters, it’s just some minor enhancements to better reflect their skills.
We personally love the new looks given to the Sonic cast. It helps us, as gamers that have skipped a few Sonic games since the transition to 3D (Adventure Battle II, Generations and Colours were all really good though), to better understand the characters at a glance. When looking at these characters, we straight away know that Sonic is going to be using his legs, Knuckles is going to be using his arms, Tails is going to be fixing stuff and etc. Even more, because of their new clothing types, we know that they’re going to be getting dirty, and maybe even fighting a little.
So yes, the new look works. We didn’t ask a question about this, but we’ve answered it anyway. The new characters designs work and they look good. The only people we can see not liking them are people that fetishise the Sonic characters and the changes make their boners go limp.
Gotta go fast!