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Jeff Tozai Headshot

Sonic The Hedgehog: 20 years Of (Near) Failure

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20 years ago, where were you? I know where I was: lying on the floor of my seedy Harajuku apartment, getting to know the world's most famous hedgehog. I think my daughter was born about then, too. But my memory of her is sketchy.

And now Sonic the Hedgehog is 20 years old. Cue fanfare! Games! Nostalgia! But take off those rose-tinted goggles, and don your long-distance lenses. The Sonic series, aside from Tails's Sky Patrol, has been one unrelenting mistake. Sorry fanboys (and girl(s)), but it's the reason why the Saturn plummeted from orbit and the Dreamcast sleepwalked into a nightmare of insolvency.

So why did the Sonic series falter? Can we do anything about it? Yes, dear reader - we can. I'm going to take you through the rapid fire solutions for Sonic the Hedgehog: the gaming series that lost its way.

Speed

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Okay, we get it it. Sonic runs fast. But what are you running from, little hedgehog? Your problems? They can't be solved by running away, buddy. So, slow down Sonic. Give us a slice of your time and maybe, for a second, we'll connect.

Tails

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Bluntly, Tails has always been a tough call. Too camp for a Western audience, yet not quite camp enough for an Eastern Audience. So, beef him up. Maybe a Wii game, where you play his personal trainer - or perhaps an Xbox 360 game where he teams up with Amy Rose to tackle international arms dealing. Come to think of it, let's just have more Amy Rose. She's ace.

Age

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Sonic is 36 years old. What about his kids? Think about it: The Sonic Family Adventures.

Whilst our hero battles with Robotnik, he struggles to keep up with his lightning-sharp kinder-hogs. There's the acerbic, witty teen girl, and the marathon-a-minute, heart-o'-gold boy wonder, a real chip off the old block. Great kids. And where's the mom? Well, when she's not winning the Pulitzer prize, she's cooking a damn fine chilli dog - oh, and collecting the Chaos Emeralds! It's mature, age-appropriate fun... with heart.

So there you have it: three simple remedies for a Sonic filled future. And Sega - if you're reading, don't worry. This advice is on me.

JT.