Being poor sucks. Being a poor gamer makes it hard to partake in all the discussions surrounding the newest games. As a result, I've been re-evaluating my backlog and passed over the proverbial Demon Souls and Madworlds in favour of something a little more familiar.
Despite having yet to complete Persona 3 (even though I beat Persona 4), put Demon Souls in my PS3, or get further than the first episode of the Wii release of Sam and Max, I went to my roots.
I was the kid who grew up in a multi-console world, so I never had the whole fanboy thing going on in my family. I was in a family of three kids who each got their own Gameboy (I remember playing Pokemon on the big grey brick while my friends were trading Vulpix's on the just-released Gameboy Colour) and we each had our own Gamegears. However, there was only one of each console.
My mother, hardly what I'd call a gamer despite loving her black DS and Super Princess Peach, has long held a love of Mario games. I'm not kidding when I say that she got farther into Super Mario World than I could ever dream. Then again, between her Mario marathons and the occasional bout of Mystical Ninja co-op with my brother and father (the only game my dad ever played was Mystical Ninja and he was really good at it), I didn't get much use with the SNES. To make up for it, I spent time with the Genesis.
My family was far from rich (don't ask me how we could afford the Gameboys and Gamegears), so until Goodwill and yard sales were flooded with old gaming carts, I had to make do with what we had. And what we had was excellence. There was Mickey Mouse's Castle of Illusions, Quackshot, some licensed games I don't remember, and the Sonic series.
Thus we get into the meat of this blog. Sonic became Sega's mascot for a reason: the games were incredibly popular. The reason they were popular? The games were good. They're still really good, even without retrogoggles.
The one-button control scheme was revolutionary and made the games easy to control whereas others at the time couldn't figure out how to properly make a game for a controller that lacked shoulder buttons. Of course, it wasn't until last year that I learned about the one-button mechanic because my 7-year-old brain mapped out different buttons for different actions, but I digress.
I'll admit here and now that the last Sonic game I played was Sonic 3 plugged into the Sonic and Knuckles cartridge. There was a stint with the Sonic Unleashed demo which I found really fun, but I'm never played a final, retail copy of a Sonic game since 1994. Unless you want to count Knuckles Chaotix for the 32X, but that was more an experiment than anything else. Still, it was fun.
I was too young to watch all of the Nintendo cartoons out, so my biggest memories of video game-related cartoons were the Sonic games. Unless you want to count Tiny Toons and Animaniacs, which were given amazing game adaptations by Konami which still hold up well in this day and age.
Being raised a strict viewer of Fox on Saturday mornings, I got the amazing Marvel cartoons to carry me through my childhood. I didn't catch too many episodes of Sonic SatAM until this year (which is quite a shame, as it's still really good), but some of my fondest memories were staying home from school sick to watch The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sailor Moon.
I never watched Sonic Underground. After struggling to watch some on Netflix in the last month, I'm actually glad I didn't. Jaleel White may make the perfect Sonic, but he isn't very good at distinguishing himself in the other two roles he had on the series. And the overarching plot was only likeable during the opening sequence. As for Sonic X? The voice actors for the Sonic characters (aside from Cream) actually aren't that bad. The humans make me cringe sometimes, but the plot held enough coherence to make me have a recent marathon of the first 50 episodes and somewhat enjoy it. It was better than the other stuff out at the time, anyway.
Still, after having watched all of the Sonic cartoons (even the god awful movie), I have to say that SatAM has held up the best, and if Bioware does make another Sonic RPG I damn well better see Princess Sally and Antoine in it in order for them to get a day one purchase from me. And Bunnie, because you don't need to be a furry to find a bipedal, half-roboticized, ass-kicking rabbit with a southern accent hot... I hope.