Sonic the Hedgehog just celebrated its 30th anniversary in June, and fans have had time to sit back and reflect on the franchise as a whole. Through games, comics, television shows, and even a feature film, Sonic has enjoyed a colorful history since first debuting on the SEGA Genesis. And despite the mixed reception that Sonic has come to be known for, its fanbase is undoubtedly loyal.
Opinions within the Sonic fandom can be just as divisive as the games themselves, and nowhere is that demonstrated better than on Reddit, home of the internet’s least popular opinions. From individual characters and games to even localization, fans have debated on just about everything to do with Sonic.
10 The Sonic Games Are Better In The West
Sonic the Hedgehog may be a Japanese franchise, but it’s often considered to be much more successful in the West than its home country. After watching the original Japanese storyline for Sonic Adventure, one fan on Reddit, HawlSera, concluded that Sonic itself is better in the West. They refer to Sonic’s Japanese characterization as “nothing but an expository goody-good for much of the game,” comparing him to a generic anime protagonist.
But many of the fans responded negatively to the OP discrediting the Japanese version of Sonic, pointing out that creator Yuji Naka always intended Sonic to be full of attitude, and the differences don’t come from translation changes but from inconsistent writing.
9 Dark Sonic Is Overrated
One episode of Sonic X briefly showcased a dark version of Sonic that appeared after he absorbed negative energy from artificial Chaos Emeralds. While most fans have gone wild with theories and content featuring Dark Sonic, NoEnd91111 shared the very cynical view that “the only reason people like him is for those DBZ newgrounds animations.”
While the Redditor claimed Dark Sonic to be overall pointless, fans in the comments countered that Sonic, as a series, is predicated on what’s known as “the rule of cool.” It’s a fun concept not despite how “dumb” it is, but because it’s dumb and hokey.
8 Classic Sonic Is Overused
Sonic Generations introduced the idea of the classic 2D Sonic being a different character from Sonic’s modern incarnation. While Classic Sonic has made major appearances in games ever since, Redditor GalantPride showed disapproval of the very concept. From their point of view, “Modern Sonic is Classic Sonic” and there’s no point in separating him into two characters.
While most fans agreed with the general sentiment of the post, they also pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with Classic Sonic himself. While they wouldn’t like to see Classic Sonic appear in more modern titles, most fans don’t mind the use of Classic Sonic to market more throwback titles or in cartoons featuring the older character designs.
7 Sonic’s Friends Are Underused
From fan-favorites such as Knuckles and Tails to more obscure Sonic characters, like Fang, Bark, and Bean, the series has boasted quite a diverse cast over the years. In recent years, SEGA has responded to criticism around the franchise making Sonic the only playable character. Not all fans have enjoyed the minimalist approach, and Commander_PonyShep claims that the cast’s “range of different weapon, armor, and skill proficiencies” is what makes them special.
Commenters mocked this fan’s argument, pointing out that characters like Big the Cat are overall superfluous additions. Despite the backlash, the OP’s post makes a valid argument that better utilization of the expanded cast may result in more gameplay options.
6 Parkour Sonic Is A Good Concept
Sonic Lost World introduced parkour gameplay, allowing Sonic to run on walls and other unconventional types of terrain. Many fans were disappointed by how poorly utilized the parkour was, with most believing that it would be wasted as a one-off mechanic. But AlternativeQuality2 saw great potential in Sonic doing parkour, theorizing that retooling it could lead to “a faster, smoother pace through acrobatics and speedy wall running and jumping.”
Confused fans responded that technically speaking, Sonic already had parkour in previous games and it wasn’t as novel or ground-breaking as the OP claimed. In previous games, Sonic was perfectly capable of running on walls and jumping between them, as it was an integral part of the series’ speed-based gameplay.
5 Shadow The Hedgehog Was Better Than Sonic Heroes
One Redditor known as SplatFelix claimed that Shadow The Hedgehog was a far superior game to the beloved Sonic Heroes. They present their reasoning in great detail, from Shadow’s arsenal of guns being “better implemented than SH’s team mechanic” to the soundtrack and songs still being beloved by Sonic fans.
While most of the commenters were respectful towards SplatFelix’s opinions, others pointed out that Sonic Heroes was the game that aged better, with a diverse variety of missions and gameplay options. Everyone agreed, however, that Shadow the Hedgehog furthered the story from Heroes and contributed depth to Shadow’s character arc.
4 Gamma Is The Worst Sonic Adventure Character
Sonic Adventure made its debut on the Dreamcast, one of Sega’s best consoles ever made. Fans were drawn to the story of E-102 Gamma, a robot built by Eggman that breaks away from its programming and seeks to save its fellow drones. Mittens110 claimed that Gamma was “the most buggy character to play as” and ranked him as the worst character to play as in Sonic Adventure.
But Gamma’s specific skill set, which involves locking onto targets similar to FPS games, is a stark difference from the usual platforming gameplay afforded to most Sonic characters. Still, most Sonic Adventure fans seem to either have a good hold on how to control Gamma or look past its gameplay to appreciate its story arc.
3 The TV Shows Are Better Than The Games
The Sonic franchise has produced several of the best video game-based television shows, from the anime Sonic X to comedic cartoons like Sonic Boom. Redditor Panthila, however, went as far as to say that the shows were better than the games, partially because they “want to see these characters do more than just battle Eggman and cheer Sonic on.”
A good number of commenters agreed, citing that the shows have gotten better over the years and allowed for creative freedom. At the same time, however, many argued that Sonic isn’t about the characters, but the gameplay. Without the games, fans would not have spin-off shows to enjoy.
2 Infinite Is A Great Character
Introduced in Sonic Forces, Infinite is a mysterious villain who has managed to win his own dedicated fanbase from those who wish to see the character included in upcoming projects, like Sonic Prime. Despite his popularity, however, Infinite has proved to be quite divisive, with other fans mocking some of his edgier moments. One Redditor, h24848, came to Infinite’s defense, proclaiming his backstory “reeks of missed potential.”
Commenters disagreed for a variety of reasons, from fans enjoying Infinite because of how cheesy he is to others pointing out that potential only goes so far. In Infinite’s case, it was his poor execution that led to his overly cartoonish characterization.
1 The Sonic ’06 Kiss Is Good
Upon release, Sonic 2006 was highly criticized by fans for its broken gameplay and a baffling scene where a human princess kisses Sonic. Pkmntrainerao, however, revealed they weren’t as disgusted by the kiss, because Sonic is “shaped like a human” and therefore not really a hedgehog.
Most commenters identified this post as bait, pointing out that just because Sonic is anthropomorphic doesn’t mean he’s any less of a hedgehog. They also rebutted that Elise was a flat character, and her creepily realistic design was incompatible with Sonic. Overall, Elise and Sonic’s kiss is a moment best forgotten by the fanbase, as well as the characters themselves.