Posted on November 2, 2007, Jonathan Why Nintendo Should've Held Off a Little Longer On Announcing Sonic in Smash Bros. Brawl
By now, Smash Bros. Brawl fans have all heard the news that Sonic the Hedgehog, one of video games’ more venerable, classic characters, will be appearing as a playable character in the game. As exciting as this news is, it was a pretty obvious attempt by Nintendo to soften the blow that the game would be delayed until February of next year. That’s not a bad motive for revealing the big secret when they did, but I can think of one very good reason that Nintendo maybe should’ve kept the lid on that bit of information just a little while longer. Seven words: Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.
When Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games was first announced, it caused a huge stir for one simple reason: Mario and Sonic finally in a game together. It was something fans of both characters had been requesting for years. It didn’t matter that it would be based around the upcoming Olympics, which has shown a history of not making good game material. At best, it looks like another Wii Sports; at worst, it’s another collection of mini-games on the Wii. But still, gamers the world over would be willing to shell out the money just for the simple fact that Sonic and Mario were finally together under one title.
Now, why bother? If you hold out for just a few more months, you can own what’s sure to be one of the best games for the Wii, with Sonic as just icing on the cake. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is already facing enough competition just from its November 6 release date, which has Call of Duty 4 dropping at the same time. It’s not even the only Wii game being released that day, since Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, and The Bee Movie Game are all hitting store shelves around that time. Now though, it’s competing against itself being “that other game with Mario and Sonic.” Of course, the game is being published by Sega, but I doubt Nintendo would want to intentionally hurt a Wii-exclusive title.
The game may still turn out to sell fairly well, but I’d wager not as much as it would if no one knew that Sonic was definitely going to be in Smash Bros. Brawl. The main thing it had going for it was the novelty of two of gaming history’s most iconic characters bundled in the same package. With Sonic appearing in Brawl though, that novelty has worn off. Why play a game putting Sonic through some random sporting events, when you can have him actually using his powers in another game? Mostly, I just now realized how little I care about this game now that Sonic is joining the Smash Bros. group.