Take off, at the speed of sound. Bright lights, articles all around. I'm typing wild, living slow but free. Got some regrets inside of me (but they're not important right now). Occasionally looking back, rarely giving up, letting go when my hands hurt, I'll keep on editing! I'm gonna reach for the rank of admin! Although it looks like a hard goal! I'm gonna find my own way! And take a chance on my time here! The wiki with pages so bright! The colors feel so right! Got my hands off the table, I'll keep on typing! The wiki with pages so bright! The colors feel so right! Just take my hand, we're gonna reach for the rank of admin tonight! I have been a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog ever since I was nine. Unfortunately, I wouldn't get my first game system until I was nine and a half, so I watched the 4kids dub of Sonic X. Because I was nine, I somehow managed to convince myself that it was good. I managed to convince myself of a lot of things back then that I find wildly ridiculous now, like the idea of Sonic eventually coming around to Amy and making her his girlfriend, or giving Shadow guns and tanks making him cooler. I played Sonic Advance 3 on my Game Boy Advance SP when I was nine and a half and tried to play it at various later points in my life, but never managed to get past Chaos Angel, let alone collect all of the Chao and Special Stage Spring Keys. I usually just messed around as Cream and Amy on early-to-mid-game stages, which, looking back, is one of the worst teams in the game. I intermittently played various other Sonic games, such as ports of Sonic 1, 2, and 3 along with Sonic and Knuckles on ports like Sonic Mega Collection Plus, the PlayStation 3 port of Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2 in its Nintendo Gamecube Sonic Adventure 2 Battle form, Sonic Heroes on the PlayStation 2 (I tried to play the Gamecube version once before I knew how to properly play video games, and ended up just dragging Team Rose around in circles on the tutorial stage), both the PlayStation 2 and Gamecube versions of Shadow the Hedgehog, the Xbox 360 version of Sonic 2006 (and I use the term "play" loosely because of how broken it is), Sonic and the Secret Rings, the Wii version of Sonic Colors (my favorite Sonic game), the PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Generations, Sonic Riders (again, barely, though I'm not sure if it's because I'm bad at controlling racing games or because the game itself just had bad controls), Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine on emulators (learning too late that it's played like Tetris), and the first two Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games games on Wii. I think that the Sonic franchise is one of the best examples of when less is more. The first three Sonic games and Sonic and Knuckles were great because of their simple premise- hedgehog, fox, or echidna runs around saving baby animals from egg-shaped mad inventor-scientist and his animalistic robots. Unfortunately, Sega became so desperate to beat Nintendo in the console wars that they made a bunch of unnecessary add-ons to the Genesis like the Sega CD and the 32X and made their handheld system, the Game Gear, larger and more powerful than the Game Boy and in full color, but at the expense of both the game quality and the system's battery life. It slowly forced Sega out of the hardware business and required them to resell two of their Dreamcast titles as Gamecube titles as if they were completely new, which might've been easier if they released Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut before Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. Most Sonic games in the mid-2000s were overstuffed with characters and storylines, and poorly written storylines no less. The Shadow Trilogy, which consisted of Shadow's storylines in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes, along with the entirety of the game Shadow the Hedgehog, was an unnecessarily contrived attempt at making Sonic darker. For the rest of the 2000s, Sega and Sonic Team seemed to put more effort into making good video game music than actually good video games, with most games having really weird gimmicks, like hoverboard racing, sending Sonic back to the anicent Arabia, and Sonic becoming a werewolf, and even weirder characters, like the Babylon Rouges, who, despite being a hawk, swallow, and albatross, need flight boards to go anywhere. Sonic 2006, as we should all know by now, was a failure by design that tried a little too hard to make us not support Sonamy by expecting us to see Sonic and a human as soulmates. Sonic 4: Episodes 1 and 2, while not poorly designed games, as far as I've heard, showed a hypocrisy in the Sonic fanbase desiring a return to classic sidescrolling when those same fans criticized those episodic games for not being more like the modern games. Fortunately, in 2010, Sonic Colors appeared to be a return to form for Sonic. They replaced all of the 4kids voice actors except Mike Pollock as Eggman, who I think is probably the one that needed to be changed the most, but whatever, and used a gimmick that was actually pretty good in the form of the Wisps, in addition to using humorous, self-referential writing. Unfortunately, that return to form wasn't to last. The last good Sonic game was Sonic Generations, and from there came Sonic Lost World, which seemed to be trying too hard to be Super Mario Galaxy with Sonic, from what I've heard, and the Sonic Boom games, which, as far as I'm concerned, aren't even real Sonic games. They weren't made by Sonic Team, but rather by RedButton Gaming, and were made to promote a TV show, that, while still not very good, was at least better than the 4kids dub of Sonic X. Despite strong dislike by both critics and older vocal fans, the intended 6-11 demographic liked it enough to convince RedButton Gaming to release a sequel (or maybe they would've done this whether or not the Sonic Boom games were well-received and had this planned). I never really cared for the Sonic comic series because I always preferred Sonic as a fun-loving rebel that fought Eggman for the fun of it rather than as a Freedom Fighter with a sense of duty to save Mobius from Eggman and other evils, so that's why I focus my attention on the games. Is there hope for the Sonic series? Maybe. If Sega and Sonic Team learn to trust the fans and make games that both old and young fans can enjoy (the rating is E for Everyone for a reason), or at least try an experiment similar to the Sonic 4 experiment, and the older fanbase tries to not be hypocritical and knows what it wants from its Sonic games, then we can guide Sonic to a great 25th anniversary next year. Thank you for reading, and never stop reaching for the stars like Sonic.