SBox Quickie: Custom Characters in Sonic Forces (Yay or Nay?)

Look guys! It’s a post about something than Marvel. Haven’t seen one of those in a while. It’s been too long since I’ve discussed anything video game related, so what better time is there for a brief change of pace before this unofficial “Marvel May” continues? After all, we have some Sonic news to attend to!

While many would agree that Sonic’s 20th Anniversary last year was nothing really to sneeze at, Sega and Sonic Team are making up for it and then some in 2017. Two Sonic games are on the way — one in the Summer and one during the Holidays — both holding a ton of potential in their own right. Sonic Mania promises an epic return to the series’ 16-bit roots and is already fast approaching. Meanwhile, Sonic Forces (formerly known as Project Sonic 2017) appears to be a successor to Sonic Generations with maybe a bit of Sonic ’06 thrown in (hopefully a very tiny amount).

Honestly, we don’t know all that much about Sonic Forces. We haven’t seen too much gameplay, we have no real premise, and we barely know whether this game is truly a successor to Generations or is it’s own thing altogether. However, we do know one more thing about this game that makes this stand out from the other Sonic games. It turns out that the third playable character outside of Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic isn’t “Adventure Sonic” as many had thought. Oh no! The third character is actually a fully customizable character with multiple variations to it.

That’s right! For the first time in a Sonic game, you will be able to create your own character from scratch. This news was totally unexpected for many people, including me, and is an understandably polarizing decision. (Granted, what isn’t polarizing when it comes to Sonic? Huh? Huh?… Sorry).

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that while the idea sounds cool, there are also many ways this can go wrong. See, on top of you being able to give your custom character a cool, edgy, weird, even fucked up look, you also have numerous gameplay styles to pick from based on the animal type you choose. Which sounds cool, until you remember that alternate, non-speedy play styles aren’t Sonic Team’s strong suit. Need we forget the numerous attempts at introducing new gameplay styles: Sonic Labrynth, Shadow the Hedgehog, Silver from Sonic ’06, the Wherehog from Sonic Unleashed, and I can go on.

Basically, this idea hasn’t exactly gone well for a Sonic game, which is a little worrying. Although, that’s not to say that this idea is really dead in the water. At least not yet. That’s why I’m willing to give this idea the chance it deserves.

For one, the failure of past games to not properly implement a viable, alternative style to the Sonic series doesn’t automatically disqualify a future attempt. Besides, from the very little we’ve seen of this we don’t know everything about it yet, nor do we see anything outright offensive about it. I personally anticipate that it’s not going to be for everybody, and, depending on how involved this custom character is in completing the game, it may turn some people off to the game as a whole; mostly due to having to slow down for certain actions to occur (namely the flamethrower). However, it also may become some players’ preferred method for the game.

It’s not hard to see the appeal either. Considering how many Sonic recolors and doodles exist on places like DeviantArt, this is a Godsend to online artists who can, again, bring to life their creative and/or oddball creations. I specifically like how it doesn’t have to be a hedgehog, but also a cat or bird or other animal. You know that people will have a field day with things like free patches that expand the number of animal types there are. I can see it now. Thousands of gorilla characters all named Harambe. It’s gonna be great!

So, in the end, my personal reaction to this news is interested but somewhat skeptical. This can and should be a great thing if the feature is handled correctly, and history isn’t exactly on its side. I think I’ll have a much more solid opinion, though, when I see more… in fact, that goes for the entire game. I mean, come on! Why does all the gameplay footage last 30 seconds or Green Hill Zone. Give me something more, please!

Anyway, let me know on the comments what you think of Sonic Forces adding custom characters! Do you agree? Disagree? Not Care? Whatever the case, let me know!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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