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The Past And Present Of Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog has had a wild ride in his eighteen years of badnik-bashing action.  From his start as the company's best hope for mindshare against Nintendo's Mario, he grew into a blast processing powerhouse before flailing in the mid-1990s with poorly planned releases and imploding management.  He rallied back for the Sega Dreamcast era, but eventually went multi-platform in a series of games that have drawn critical diminishing returns.  Julian Hazeldine over at Noise To Signal has crafted an extensive ten part series of articles that trace Sonic's path through the gaming industry and pop culture itself.

Over the years of following Sonic’s exploits, I’ve built up a reasonable level of knowledge of the character, and I occasionally inflict a variety of bits & bobs of trivia about him on those that know me. This habit has lead to a bit of gentle persuasion from NTS’s editorial team, and so over the next few weeks, the site will be presenting the complete history of Sonic The Hedgehog in TOO MUCH DETAIL. My aim is to cover all aspects of the character’s evolution, including the games, the creative direction adopted by Sega, and the licensed products produced, including TV shows, comics, novels- the works. All the opinions that follow are my own. This may sound a rather odd disclaimer, but basically if I don’t pass comment on something I mention, then I haven’t played/watched/eaten it. I have first hand knowledge of most of the character’s history, but there are occasional gaps.

This is one of the better Sonic retrospectives I've read over the years that covers the character's evolution rather than just the technical nuances behind the games.  You'll learn about Sonic's rise to stardom, Sega's poor management of the character on a global scale, the baffling animated productions based on the games, why the Sonic brand took multiple hits in the 32-bit era, how much was riding on his rebirth for Sonic Adventures, why Sonic Heroes favored a teamwork mechanic, and much more.  Clear an hour and speed through all ten installments.

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