As anyone who knows me will tell you without hesitation, Sonic The Hedgehog is probably the biggest most influential video game series in my life. The original on the Sega Master System was the first video game I ever played, and I've completed every Sonic game released every since, no matter how obscure. Well, almost. I've never quite managed to get to Japan to try Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car, but anyway...
When I picked up an Xbox 360 way back in 2007, the only Sonic game that was available for the console at the time was the much hated, much panned, universally considered terrible Sonic The Hedgehog, or "Sonic '06" as it is known, to avoid confusion with the actually good 1991 cartridge release. I'd just come off the back of a Sonic Adventure 1, 2 and Heroes marathon, and felt like I wanted more. Sonic 06 was the only option.
It was unobjectionably terrible. The constant, never ending loading screens at the start, end, and often even in the middle of cutscenes. The horrific glitches with physics that often caused you to fall out of bounds, through floors, or fly off into enemies. The sheer unfinished nature of some of the features, especially the bracelet gems that could literally allow you to out of bounds any area. The storyline. Oh, the storyline...
Yet I sunk a lot of time into it. I've completed it at least twice, I don't know why, and played the levels a few times more. I even played through the DLC, yes, this game somehow got a DLC release.
Call it Stockholm syndrome, but in a weird way, I actually like the game. In a weird way. In the same way I enjoy Tommy Wiseau's masterpiece of a movie The Room. It's awful in every respect - yet, I dunno, I still love it, partly because it's broken unfinished quirks are hilarious at times.
I'm glad to see I am not alone, then, as one crazy game creator has decided to port the entire thing to the Unity engine, and has even released a demo for PC.
As you can see from my hands on with the demo above, it's pretty much 1:1 accurate in appearance, at least. I couldn't help but feel like the physics were different. I don't have confirmation of this but I spent SO much time with that game, and I feel like my muscle memory wasn't quite working the way it should have done. Ramps that I felt like I should have automatically been directed onto were throwing me off to the side.
The thing is though - this is a good thing. The physics weren't broken anymore. It took me a bit to get used to this as you can see, but once I did, it felt better. The Mach Speed sections were no longer unplayable. Tails' section in Wave Ocean wasn't annoying anymore. It worked.
I'm super excited to see where this one goes - if the full game ever was released by these guys, it'd probably be the definitive version of the game, and maybe, just maybe, some more people will see it in the same light I do - a game with so much potential that fell way, way short.