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The Top 7… modern Sonic games that don't suck

2 – Sonic Rush (2005)


By 2005 everyone who was a fan of the ‘90s games had given up on the new stuff entirely. Oh the modern games sold well and a rather large audience swore that they were as fun as ever, but it seemed like anyone over the age of 16 was ready to not just move on and ignore Sonic, but also openly deride each new game as inferior to the 16-bit classics. That’s when Sonic Rush blasted onto the scene, kicked all the naysayers in the nuts and proved this formula still worked, and that a wayward franchise could still squeeze out a quality sequel.

Rush was little more than a throwback to the series’ glory days, but in a time when most of us assumed the franchise had dug itself a hole too deep to recover from, playing another screaming-fast platformer with dizzying level design and a thumping, high-energy soundtrack was like traveling back in time to 1991. Even with all the dumbass characters in tow plus cheap deaths due to perfectly placed, unavoidable enemies, it was precisely what Sonic needed at the exact right time. Stay of execution, little guy.


Above: Standout music from Hideki Naganuma of Jet Set Radio fame

Rush was a return to form in the best possible way, but it wasn’t exactly the first time we’d seen a solid 2D entry since the Genesis days. That honor lies with the number one entry.

Stupidness that managed to find its way in:

I couldn’t find any images or useful YouTube clips for this, but in general, once again the dialog between the characters is some of the dumbest shit you’ll ever read. Tails takes forever to get to the damn point and there’s more technobabble than you’ll find in a typical episode of Star Trek. Simplify!


1 – Sonic Advance (2002)


Probably not too surprising. After all, if everyone agrees the series was at its best when Sonic was on a 2D path with a bit of exploration, then the best modern game has to be the one that closely adheres to the formula that made Sonic enticing from the start.

Sonic Rush is the flashier game by far, but it’s riddled with bottomless pits and levels that demand pure memorization. Advance is a bit more like Sonic 2 – that is, there are still plenty of cheap shots, but the levels are far more forgiving and feel just like the classic stuff, just with a bit better animation and more playable characters. And, even though it contains Amy Rose, Chaos and the updated arty style of the Adventure series, the guts are 100% old-school, making this the perfect balance of old and new.


Above: Naturally this led to MORE Sonic Advance

Sonic took off in the ‘90s for a simple reason – he was heavily marketed as the anti-Mario, a charismatic, no-nonsense speedster that was just plain cool. Once that effect wore off, Sega slipped through the Saturn years with nothing, then failed to regain momentum with the Dreamcast. Sonic Advance was the first surefire sign that our childhood faith was not misplaced, that our nostalgia wasn’t responsible for our continued affection for a series that’d struggled to remain relevant. In short, it let us breathe a generational sigh of relief and look forward to the day when Sega would finally figure out this whole 3D thing and bring Sonic up to date properly.

For now, we just have to hope that Sonic the Hedgehog 4 lives up to the standards that both Advance and Rush have set. Fingers crossed…

May 3, 2010




The Top 7... games that don’t deserve nostalgia
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The rise, fall and deafening crash of Sonic
A teary-eyed examination of gaming’s greatest casualty



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Scrap Brain Zone by Masato Nakamura

Topics

Top 7

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50 comments

  • Techno59 - August 27, 2013 5:27 p.m.

    Honestly I like every Sonic game.
  • schtotelheim-reinbach - July 6, 2013 5:58 a.m.

    I love all the modern sonic games except for 06. Shadow the hedgehog was probably my favorite. http://www.sonicxgames.org/
  • near01 - June 2, 2010 2:20 a.m.

    Err, and I kinda like Sonic Heroes. Don't judge me! o.o
  • near01 - June 2, 2010 2:19 a.m.

    Waaah, superhorn!!!:D
  • GameManiac - May 8, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    I've only played (and finished) Sonic Rush and Sonic Advance. I considered Sonic Chronicles, and now my mind is made up. I wonder why Sonic Battle wasn't in this list... Oh well.
  • zigs - May 7, 2010 1:32 a.m.

    EW EW EW EW EW This article contains an x360a screengrab EW!
  • LuckyBachi - May 6, 2010 11:47 a.m.

    Geez, everyone always says the newer games are crap. I completely disagree with them all. okay so some of them are very good storylines, but the majority of them are. I love Sonic heroes, shadow the hedgehog, sonic unleashed. they are all fantastic. And of course, they can't please bloody everyone. yer when i was a kid, i had it on megadrive, loved it. but i still love the newer ones too, i have grown up with sonic, and love him to bits! And no matter whet anyone says, i will always love most of sonic games, because they are not crap. i really hope they make some more 3D ones as well as the old style ones, so all i can say is, Sega, keep up the good work, and i Love Sonic!!! <3 (okay, but i do hate the fact they added that elise or whatever her name is, into sonic 06)
  • lymanzaar - May 6, 2010 2:37 a.m.

    I have very fond memories of Sonic Battle 2. Whenever i'd go to my friends house, we would always battle robots and race. I won a lot, and he complained because "Metal Sonic is faster then regular Sonic" I never got the Choa idea, but it was pretty interesting, alogn with the multitude of game modes. I perfectly agree with this article.
  • steven8932 - May 5, 2010 7:44 p.m.

    ill be honest, i loved sonic battle.
  • Druupwnz - May 5, 2010 2:34 a.m.

    I'm still trying to figure out what was so wrong with Adventure 2 Battle. I honestly thought that it was a fun game, despite a few crap-shot camera angles like you guys mentioned. Why the hate?
  • VideoGameKing - May 4, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    sonic and the black knight was epic,and as for those bad reviews for DX,those rateings suck,ignore them,but the no.1 worse game is sonic and the secret rings,if they remake it for PS3 or even 360,ill try it,i hate it because of the controls
  • Crabhand - May 4, 2010 10:10 p.m.

    I loved Sonic Adventure 2, even if it wasn't the best it could be it provided me with many hours of fun. Sonic Advance was just pure greatness. Of course, my favorite part of both games was the Chao garden, so >_>
  • Wolverine08 - May 4, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    Shadow rocks, though he's achingly generic
  • philipshaw - May 4, 2010 1:53 p.m.

    Great top 7 Brett. Also I forgot where the WAH! Super Horn! came from, thanks for reminding me
  • IIIIIACEIIIII - May 4, 2010 11:18 a.m.

    What's everyone's problem with Shadow? I hate what Sega does to him as a character, like having him use guns and ride vehicles and shit, but as a person he is really unique and not the 'dark Sonic' at all. Although the games sucked, I enjoyed watching him evolve from a confused and hateful villain intending to destroy Earth to becoming an agent for GUN, the same people who killed Maria, the person who directly influences his actions despite being dead; he acts depending on what he can currently remember her saying to him all those years ago, as he suffers from amnesia. Interesting story arc if you ask me, especially compared to Sonic whom, although I like him better, is nothing but a ridiculously perfect hero with no faults. Like a Paladin or something. I'm not saying a disagree with this Top 7, you nailed everything on the head, it's just that I've never understood what everyone's problem is with Shadow.
  • verydopey - May 4, 2010 9:12 a.m.

    I Completely disagree with this! firstly... not sure there is 7 that dont suck! But Sonic Adventure 1+2 are actually really good. And are far better than rush/advance with their impossible speed that kills you. they should have come above advance/rush, and Rivals was terrible... as much as i hate Heroes, it was far superior to that! Wheres the actual sonic compilation games? like sonic gems (maybe not) or sonic mega collection? and Sonic rush 2 was really enjoyable (just remove those water sections)
  • JDMDrifter - May 3, 2010 11:16 p.m.

    So this is the top seven that will be in talk radar 100 it seems. There could have been better top sevens but it isn't to bad.
  • Cyberninja - May 3, 2010 10:09 p.m.

    the best 3d one was the first sonic adventure for dreamcast and i dont care what any else has to say about it and rush was fun too bad my friend lost it =(
  • Nucleotyde - May 3, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    I think you should have kicked the compilation off and put Sonic Heroes in. I think that, overall, it holds up much better than Battle. The only levels I ever replay in Battle are the Sonic and Shadow ones and a few Tails and Eggman levels, but Sonic Heroes is much more solid. Plus it doesn't have a weird, over ambitious plot with military conspiracies. Sonic Advance is awesome. I loved the way that the characters were just different enough to add replay value without messing with the flow of the game. That's exactly what Sega should shoot for IMO. BTW, real men use Amy.
  • MediocreDinosaur - May 3, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    In that promotional video for Sonic All Stars Racing, I kept expecting the guy to pop out and say DOLCE & GABBANA, HELLO?! But he never did. And lo, I was dissapoint.

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