Why You Should Play The Worst Game Sonic the Hedgehog

Some games in extensive Sonic canon is fairly reviled as a 2006 reboot. Designed to be a breakthrough breakthrough to seventh generation consoles for its blue blur and motley gang, Sonic the Hedgehogas known as sonic ’06, instead threatening to destroy the franchise’s credibility for an entirely new generation of players. Poorly written, completely counterintuitive and seems rushed before it’s finished, sonic ’06 not the kind of release many now look back on with fond memories.

It seems odd, then, that such a hated game would return in 2022. The game has been re-added by Sega on the Xbox 360 digital store. Although it was briefly delisted in 2010, sonic ’06 has risen from the ashes to once again be available to Xbox users, even if the reasons for doing so remain unclear. Whatever Sega’s motivation behind the move, there are a few things that make entry capture the worst Sonic canon (for about $5) worth the investment.

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sonic ’06 not, by any means, a good game. A nadir for the series, the mid-noughties title features some surprising dialogue and voice acting in a story that, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t feel like being in a story. Sonic game at all. When Doctor Eggman kidnaps Princess Elise from Soleanna during an official ceremony, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles must track down the wily antagonist by traveling back and forth in time to prevent the kidnapping from happening. Not only is the story completely implausible, but the game is also further hobbled by a poor camera system, sloppy, useless interface, and insanely long loading times.

However, even the most despicable titles can sometimes boast some major redeeming features. For one thing, the tiny $5 outlay allows players to experience a piece of gaming history — a game with such a bad reputation that its publishers actually tried to hide it from existence for over 10 years. Playing legendary titles is all well and good, but there’s a certain pleasure in digging into the things the industry is most famous for, be it Wrestling The Simpsons, Big Rig or Ninja Bread Man, to see how bad a game is. After all, it makes one appreciate the best playing after toiling through some of the worst.

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There’s certainly a lot of unintentional humor to be found in Sega’s disastrous 2006 release. The dialogue, for example, is horrific, hampered by the clunky delivery of the core heroes. Sentences like “I feel Sonic’s presence here. Call it my childish intuition,” and “Killing someone to save the world. Is that really the right thing to do?” so cringe-inducing and over-expository that they are practically worth the price of admission alone.

The ludicrous nature of the story reaches a famous climax when Sonic shares an incredibly embarrassing and bizarre kiss with Princess Elise – a moment that now lives in disrepute among Sonic fans. Whatever emotional string Sega is trying to achieve in sonic ’06failed miserably.

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There is also, to be aware of, a clearly less ironic reason to give sonic ’06 an opportunity. Those who played games in the mid-2000s will find plenty to indulge in purely for nostalgia’s sake, as any game or piece of art is considered fun if it serves as a reminder of a more innocent time in one’s life. The soundtrack, meanwhile, is a thrilling highlight, and there’s certainly ambition for a more open game structure and challenging level design. It never really comes together, but some elements exist that hint at a level of potency.

sonic ’06 is a video game disaster, but not completely devoid of value or charm. For all the game’s myriad flops, there’s none of the cynicism or naked profiteering that often causes outrage in modern releases. The game only suffers from conflicting visions colliding with some unfinished game mechanics. If Team Sonic had a little more time to add some much-needed polish, maybe sonic ’06 will not carry the reputation it is currently forced to endure.

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