Henry: Before Super Mario 64, the people developing 3D platformers had no clue what they were doing. Mario invented so many of the rules for 3D gameplay, and his titles innovate with every sequel. Conversely, Sonic struggles with 3D gameplay to this day. Last year’s Sonic Generations remained filled with missed jumps, bad camera angles, and demoralizing deaths. After so many games, will Sonic Team ever be able to grasp the third dimension?
Justin: Sonic's first experiment with 3D platforming (his Christmas NiGHTS appearance doesn't count) was the “Sonic World” bit of Sonic Jam. The slower speed (about right compared to 2D Sonic's platforming) was perfectly weighted and controlled just fine. A game built around that would have rocked, but instead we got Sonic Adventure. Which, while admittedly dodgy control-wise, at least had more gameplay variation than any Mario game. Platforming, pinball, bumper car racing, exploration, fishing, shooting, flying… even an entire virtual pet-raising minigame.