The Top 7... series run into the ground

Sonic the Hedgehog

We know it's stupid to have high expectations for a series that's aimed at 10 year old kids. At the same time, it's not unrealistic to expect that Sega could churn out a 3D Sonic game that's as good as - not better, mind you, but simply as good as - the eight-year-old Sonic Adventure. That sure as shit didn't happen last year, when Sonic the Hedgehog stunk up the 360.

On top of that, there was a GBA port of the original that was so bad we just pretended it didn't happen. Last year didn't just bring the pain on 360 and GBA; we also got the flawed Rivals and Riders. The last truly good Sonic game?Sonic Rush, in 2005.

What's the problem? How does one of the most innovative and stylish series - the one that stole success from Mario, if you can believe it anymore - turn into such a farce? The best new games are retreads of games we've played before. We long for the days when Shadow the Hedgehog was even worth laughing at. We can only hope that Sonic and the Secret Rings uses the power of the Wii to turn things around.