Sonic mania awakens! Sonic Mania has defied the Sonic Cycle thus far and snagged great reception across the board, from blunt critic to jaded gamer all. I'm diggin' it quite bountifully. Beyond a mere nostalgia trip, the game employs skillful design in a bevy of lush levels - yet also, it *does* employ nostalgia most adroitly. For my part, I've yo-yoed between Sonic releases this past decade, being a decent fan of about half the 3D releases and a shade more of the 2D titles. Mania's a welcome stronger entry. Sonic's my game, and speed is his name, yet snappy platforming enriches much of his higher pedigree. What interests me most about the general reception, however, is a revival of decades-old Sonic fandom in the players who'd strayed since S&K far back on 16-bit. Many are those who'd left behind Sonic "for good," yet this polished title rekindled their favor. It's a course of action and a mindset I've contemplated before: what compels each of us to leave a series of video games behind?
In our heart of hearts, we'd love to cherish each of our video game series for all time, without ceasing. Disappointment's a fact of life, however, and expectations can easily run higher than their eventual realities. Much of the time, we simply chalk the disappointment up to aberration and move onward. Anyone can plop forth a clunker now and again. It's like rolling through town, and a meal tastes sour, or a troupe flames out - unfavorably memorable, yet unremarkable of itself. No, I'm talking about the willingness to cast away an interest altogether, particularly when it comes to a series of games which formerly enthralled. In this instance, we leave the city behind, ne'er to set foot within again. Something wholly unpalatable drove us to flee for good. I can't really say it's happened with me in terms of a massive dip in quality in one or two particular video games in a series. A couple of platformers and RPGs now and than have sorely irked me, yet I offered their subsequent entries future chances to various success. No, ultimately, most of the series which I may've discarded for certain wound up crashing and concluding unilaterally of their own accord. Command & Conquer really blew it after 3, and lo and behold, it's no more. Thief 4 likewise utterly lacked to me, and it's looking as though it's dead to rights once again. Would I have left those series behind? Mmm. It's truly unlikely. However, it wouldn't be so farfetched if I had, nor anyone else. This is what should amaze about Sonic Mania - and yet, upon deeper reflection, doesn't. Those who relished the original Genesis titles have little reason to spurn the exceptionally faithful Mania. Newer fans likewise meet few concerns that might deter them. An overwhelmingly solid game, from foot to finish, can catch a host of ears and win back a plethora of eyes. A great game's a great game regardless of creator or base concept, and in this instance, it's exactly what a vast array of earnest gamers wanted. Not everyone will like it, but not everyone will hold out in resistance either. Swapping disbelief for hope, they'll sojourn home...back, back to the start, where joy began...back to the place they'd sworn off for seeking...back to the left-behind city.
Has that happened to you? Have you abandoned a game series with nary an ember to feel? Have you cycled back homeward upon the arrival of magical moments again? Did you drop out of a string of shooters, adventures, racers, fighters, or anything else beneath the eclipsical sun? Lemme know in the comments, as recaps seek shelter below this obsequious pale.
* - Why does Nintendo so brashly restrict supply? What if they don't? iam16bit investigated the Big N's history of manufacturing and unveiled some telling data regarding their withdrawal from reliance upon the oft-chastised Foxconn which may very well explain much of their current inability to meet soaring demand for the Switch and SNES Classic, to say nothing of the bygone NES Classic. (It does seem Nintendo would regardless face production shortages amidst Japan's dense urban layout; broadening the geography of their facilities could help to alleviate the pinch.) It's admittedly unsubstantiated but highly plausible, a major credit to the legwork involved in compiling the data and impartially analyzing it. Great job, iam16bit!
S - Jiraya simply cannot be stopped. The man on a mission to acquire every video game known to mankind, and even a few beyond us, proudly displays and explains the history of his early-gens SEGA collection. One of my personal favorites, the trusty SEGA Master System, receives first billing; afterward, Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega CD, and 32X top the sundae off. He's right on the nose about Phantasy Star, Popful Mail, Ristar, and several others. Plus, the classic Rocket Knight appears! Well worth your read in this post-eclipse society.
P - TheMangoViking posts Just Another Castle podcast #110, wherein, as always, all manner of Nintendo dealings are discussed by deliberate design. Splatoon 2 unsurprisingly retains much of the spotlight. Gotta say, for my part, I hardly ever expected FFXV on Switch in any form! Methinks the Chocobros should become actual Chocobos. Yes. Make that a reality, Square. Pretty please...?
My face when I realize Yakuza Kiwami drops in under a week. I need it now, and I need it overflowingly.
C - Awhile back, the hardy Fuzunga founded Installation 04, then later The Players Republic, which we now know as Twinfinite. Put simply, the man's got a long and storied history of video game blogging and coverage, with countless tales to tell related to the function and pursuit. (Might I recommend his "Who am I?" blog for maximum insight.) Now, he's launched The Megalodon with fellow Dtoiders Titannel and SuperMonk4Ever. His passion for video gaming knows no boundaries, and he's quite an active and respected Dtoider to boot, so why not give his latest endeavor a shot? It's literally brand-new, with only two articles to date, so feedback and response really are most welcomed!
T - Robert2boy7genius returns with a surfeit of scattershot musings regarding the Sonic franchise, beyond what the Larxism referenced. I've never been one to subscribe to the Sonic Cycle; I merely cherry-pick the games that look decent or better to my blinking eyes. Generations, Advance 3, Rush, and even Shadow played well enough for me. Secret Rings and Chronicles...did not. Oh, heavens, did they not.
Groove Coaster has become the very first smartphone game to ensnare me. Two factors explain. One, it's a great rhythm game. Two, I've prior played its spectacular arcade cabinet, which is a treasure I would purchase for myself under sudden affluence.
Now that the Great American Eclipse has passed, it's safe to stare at the sun again! (Please do not do that.)
Happens every time. I've stuck to the diet...most days. Slipped up, ehh, once, maybe twice? Thrice? Quatrice? Rice sounds savory right now...
Larx out, homeslice~
Never let your troubles twist your stay.
Today's title track: Torinoko City (Left-Behind City)
Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku