YMMV / Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Your Mileage May Vary on Sonic 2006, but... Uh-oh! Gotta speed up!
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The Duke of Soleanna: A caring father concerned for his people, or a selfish, vile man who caused the events of the game?
    • Mephiles (and by extension Solaris): Angry at the whole world for daring to experiment on him, or destructive Mad God who inherently wanted to destroy everything?
    • Do the guards just not care about Elise's well-being? Their Knights and Knaves puzzle seems to say so.
    • Is Silver an Idiot Hero who believed Mephiles because he had no common sense, or was he so desperate to save the future, and so tired of constantly fighting Iblis over and over again, that he started grasping for straws (even if said "straw" was the Big Bad)?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • For a god of light and time, Solaris is fairly easy to defeat. Doubles as a Breather Boss, considering what you have to go through getting to it.
    • Both fights against Mephiles are surprisingly easy considering you can just spam the attack button after you fill up and activate Shadow's Chaos Boost.
  • Ass Pull: Mephiles proves at the start of the final episode that he can summon all of the Chaos Emeralds to him whenever he wants. This is rather incredible, considering the trouble people normally have to go through to get them, even if he is half of a Physical God. Unfortunately, like many things, this dips into his Complexity Addiction on why he didn't do that in Silver's time, with Iblis right out there.
  • Awesome Boss:
    • The final fight with Solaris is generally agreed upon to be the best fight in the game, despite being very easy overall.
    • The three boss fights against Robotnik's machines (Egg Cerebus, Egg Genesis, and Egg Wyvern) are the best-handled parts of the game. Egg Wyvern is a nice throwback to the Egg Viper fight.
  • Awesome Music: The one thing that most people genuinely enjoy about this game is the soundtrack, which, in true Sonic tradition, is awesome. Some highlights include Wave Ocean, Aquatic Base, Kingdom Valley, Flame Core, and White Acropolis.
    • Most of the character themes are pretty great too, but the one that stands out is Silver's theme, Dreams of an Absolution. The original song is great, but the remix on the Several Wills vocal album is something else, especially with Jun Senoue's wonderful guitar work.
    • Solaris Phase 2, an epic remix of Sonic's theme (His World).
  • Awesome: Video Game Levels: Those who did play the game tend to agree that Crisis City stands out greatly among the other levels. So much so, that it was the level to represent this game in Sonic Generations.
    • Any stage in which either Sonic carries Elise or when Blaze is playable, mostly due to their unique and fun gameplay styles being largely emphasized and supported by said stages.
    • Blaze's Wave Ocean: a short, well-designed level with arguably the easiest character in the game to control.
  • Base Breaker:
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Sonic's test of love; Does Sonic love Amy Rose or Princess Elise? The answer has no bearing on the rest of the game.
  • Broken Base: There's also fans who consider this the closest thing to a "Sonic Adventure 3" due to the similarities it contains in the past Adventure titles while other fans don't consider it as such due to how the game turned out.
  • Character Rerailment: One of the few saving graces of the game is that it finally gets Shadow's character back on track after several games of nonstop Wangst.
  • Complete Monster: Mephiles the Dark is the malignant conscience of Solaris taken physical form and the one responsible for arranging most of the events of the game. Accidentally created during the Solaris Project alongside Iblis, the raw physical strength of Solaris, Mephiles was sealed within a scepter that landed in the hands of Dr. Eggman. Upon breaking out, Mephiles orchestrated a gambit which involved inflicting pain and suffering on Princess Elise, causing her to cry, release the Flames of Disaster, and in doing so would reunite him with Iblis to become Solaris, allowing him to destroy everything in existence. To do this, Mephiles manipulates Silver into attempting to kill Sonic, and later cold-bloodedly kills Sonic himself—temporarily— to goad Elise into crying over him. Mephiles manipulates everyone he can for the purpose of his ultimate goal and takes a sadistic glee in watching people suffer; unlike the mindless Iblis, Mephiles is fully aware of the scale of his atrocities and does them for no other reason than to see the world decay around him. A being that craved destruction alone, Mephiles's actions heavily damaged the space-time continuum and brought a darkness to the franchise seldom seen prior.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Silver can be seen as one. Especially since you have to play him in both Sonic's and Shadow's story, as well as his own story.
    • Though his characterization was fixed, Shadow can be this as well since the game's core story centers around him while the other characters largely run around and act like idiots.
  • Creepy Awesome: Mephiles.
  • Critical Backlash: A surprisingly large portion of the hate surrounding this game has been met with adamant defenders, with both sides bickering over whether or not it's at least enjoyable.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Princess Elise, who manages to get kidnapped more times in one game than a good number of video game princesses do over the course of their entire franchises. Another thing your millage may vary on: whether Silver being the cause of half those kidnappings is making things better or worse.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The eyeball-like spheres in the final level, which will spawn in the most inconvenient places and have two variations: one that sucks you towards them for an instant death, and one that throws objects at you at extremely high velocities. They are single-handedly responsible for the majority of game overs in the last level.
    • The red Eggman Walkers for their tendency to fire homing lasers that are both very fast and hard to avoid, which can quickly turn players into sitting ducks even when they're in the middle of attacking. While they otherwise tend to be rather rare, they are infamous for their ability to easily take the lives of players at least once during The Test Of Courage.
  • Die for Our Ship: Elise for SonAmy shippers.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Of the characters introduced in the game, Mephiles was incredibly well received.
    • Silver, for those who don't see him as The Scrappy, for his interesting gameplay style, design, and background story.
    • Blaze is this in terms of gameplay with people claiming that she handles way better than everyone and that she runs much faster than Sonic. Unfortunately, you only get to take control of her three times.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • A somewhat popular fan theory is that the world Blaze seals herself in is her world from Sonic Rush. A few other fan theories say the Reset Button didn't touch her there. However, this has since been deconfirmed by Takashi Iizuka - Blaze has always been from her dimension seen in the Rush games, not from the future of Sonic's world.
    • The writers managed to have Silver be the only one who ever acknowledges Blaze's existence in any cutscene, leading to a theory that she only exists in his head.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Such that despite also being Canon Discontinuity (its events were erased via Cosmic Retcon at the game's end), the appearance of content from it in Sonic Generations received flak, despite fixing what was criticized about them, for acknowledging it ever existed.
  • Game Breaker:
    • Sonic's Red Gem and Purple Gem custom actions. The former slows down enemies (and the timer), while the latter turns him small and allows him to jump forever. And the best part? The meter that Sonic has at the bottom of the screen doesn't work at all, meaning that you can use the Red Gem and the Purple Gem as many times as you want.
    • The Sky Gem is this as well. See Sequence Breaking on the Video Game page for more information.
  • Goddamned Bats: Burrowing worms, especially the stronger purple variety.
  • Goddamned Boss: Iblis Phase 2. You have to hit a purple ball to light it up, provoking Iblis to jump at it and expose his weak spot. However, the platforms the balls float over are far away from where you start, separated by lava. You must wait until Iblis drops stalactites for you to cross the lava, but Iblis can take his sweet time dragging this out. After hitting him, Sonic/Shadow will bounce an unnecessarily long distance away, looping the fight back to be beginning. On top of that, occasionally Iblis will just ignore the ball after you've lit it up. Be prepared to wait several unnecessary minutes for the battle to go anywhere.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The Havok physics engine is so poorly implemented that a great deal of fun can be had by playing around with it: Silver's telekinetic powers, flying crates and boulders, etc.
    • The player can glitch through the final door in Silver's version of Dusty Desert by jumping on a box and hovering it towards the door, completely bypassing the infamous Egyptian billiard ball puzzle.
    • The gauge for Sonic's gem powers never decreases, meaning you can slow time constantly and use constant Metroid-esque Space Jumps to bypass any obstacle.
    • Some bugs allow you to finish Flame Core as Knuckles, Crisis City as Blaze, and White Acropolis as Tails. The Rank Screen still appears, which is notable with Knuckles, who never gets to finish a level otherwise.
    • Omega can float upwards if you hit corners just right.
      • Failing at that you can still rapidly tap the button, turning his gliding power into infinite hovering.
    • Certain exploits in Silver's and Blaze's movesets allow you to hop through and ignore otherwise lethal water and quicksand areas, provided the player manages to master the timing.
    • ROCK LAUNCH
    • A car randomly bouncing 30 feet into the air.
    • Believe it or not, there are bugs that let you warp to the credits.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog is often considered the worst game of the series, being that Sega rushed the product too soon for the Sonic's anniversary, surely they'll learn to do better next time....Right?
    • Sonic's death scene was intended to build up to his Came Back Strong moment in the climax, but instead served as a metaphor for what fans thought what became of the series.
  • Hell Is That Noise: From Silver's boss fight: "It's no use! TAAAAKE THIS!"
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Eggman's goal is to use Solaris to conquer time itself. While it's not the same Eldritch Abomination, he definitely achieved something close to it with the Time Eater.
    • In 2008, there was an "AVGN Reviews Sonic Next-Gen" YouTube Poop (although it has probably since been deleted before YouTube's transition change). Then, in December 2013, Mike Matei gives James a chance to play the game for himself, and he ends up finding it every bit as sad as Mike and the other fans felt. Mike even points out the bad voice acting (and in the poop, the "Jason alarm" clip from the Friday the 13th review was used when Sonic would say certain lines in gameplay).
  • Hype Backlash: Surprisingly, yes. The game didn't get the the best press upon release, but before the game came out, Sega really hyped up the game. They promised a lot that was never delivered on. The E3 trailers alone shows features that were never implemented, or cut before release. Even if the game did manage to deliver everything it promised, it's safe to say that the game still wouldn't have been able to live up to the hype—partly due to the Broken Base, but also due to Sega hyping it as the best Sonic game ever created.
  • Idiot Plot: The entire story depends on the characters taking every single bit of information given by known villains at face value, a completely helpless princess getting repeatedly snatched away by the same exact villain within minuscule time intervals, and everybody completely failing to comprehend the potential applications of their ability to time travel at will.
  • Internet Backdraft: Everything about this game, but especially Sonic and Elise's romance.
  • Mis-blamed: Several Sonic 2006 defenders insist that pokecapn's Let's Play is partly to blame for the expansion of this game's bad reputation. First and foremost, Something Awful's forum rules on Let's Plays dictated at the time that anybody who wanted to LP a game had to wait six months after its release. The reality is that the game had been out for well over a year before pokecapn played it, and in that time it had sold over a million copies and earned a highly negative critical and fan reception on its own. In fact, it was the game's negative reception that motivated pokecapn to play it in the first place, the opening post of the LP explaining that pokecapn started the LP because he had heard the exact same complaints about every other 3D Sonic game before and figured it couldn't have been that bad.
    • Also Fan Myopia: even if the total views of multiple video hosting sites are combined, it can be assumed that fewer than 100,000 people have seen this Let's Play, and the game had sold well over a million units before the Let's Play even began.
    • Maddie Blaustein was frequently criticised for her stiff and nasally take on E-123 Omega, which was a far cry from the intimidating deep voice John St Jon gave him. During an interview on Serebii forums, she stated the different take on Omega was according to SEGA's voice direction, with her second take on Omega in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series sounding much more like the original.
  • Moment of Awesome: Plenty.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • IT'S NO UUUSE! TAAAKE THIS! THIS WILL END IT!
    • "NOT! Nooooooow."
    • "GOTTA SPEED UP!"
    • "Unh!"
  • Memetic Mutation: HO BOY, let's start with:
    • IT'S NO USE!! TAKE THIS!! HOW ABOUT THIS!! THIS WILL END IT!!
    • Nearly all the glitches. The Knuckles wall-climbing glitch, featured on Game Grumps, may be the most infamous.
    • Shadow's death scream: NOOOOOOO!!!!
    • The most famous, also due to Game Grumps, is the audio clip that plays each time you speak to a male character in Soleanna, being: "EEEEEY", sounding like a certain catchphrase, just not so extended.
    • Elise and Sonic's kiss.
    • NOW LOADING...Explanation 
    • "Silver be a bird!" or "Silver be free to be the bird you always wanted to be!" Explanation 
  • Never Live It Down: The fanbase's feelings towards Sonic Team in regards to Elise's kiss. To this day, Sonic-related articles, even in professional media, tend to use snarky lines like "hopefully this time Sonic won't be trading saliva with human females!", just to make sure no one forgives and forgets.
    • The game itself for the entire Sonic franchise, giving the franchise and Sonic Team a black mark for its infamous glitches and faulty designs that simply refuses to fade away for some people.
      • Put it this way: When you have seven titles that were made with the obvious intent to do the impossible task of "Getting back to Sonic's roots", you know a franchise is trying to repair its PR by any means possible.
  • Older Than They Think: A human love interest was an early concept for Sonic 1. The only reason it was scrapped was because it would have been too similar to Super Mario Bros.
  • Porting Disaster: Both systems of the game suffer from this.
    • The PS3 version ended up making the (already long) load times even worse, with slowdown issues not present in the Xbox 360 version and a small but noticeable degradation in graphics.
    • The Xbox 360 version, however, suffers from an abhorrent amount of glitches and bugs that make the game almost impossible to play. While the graphics are slightly better and the loading times are tolerable, the gameplay itself is much worse.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: One of the few good things about this game is Shadow's characterization. With all the Wangst in Shadow the Hedgehog throw out of the window, he's a much more bearable and overall admirable character. While Mephiles attempts to challenge Shadow into questioning his own existence, Shadow becomes a Stoic Badass. As Shadow puts it, "I determine my own destiny!" and, "If the world chooses to become my enemy, I will fight like I always have." "THIS is who I am!" indeed. It also helps that, unlike Sonic, his plot and Silver's actually delve into the real conflict of the story, and unlike Silver, his plot isn't driven by stupidity for listening to a Devil in Plain Sight. Also, it was good to see Shadow and Sonic interacting without being at each other's throats for once, even teaming up to use Chaos Control in one scene and the former saving the latter in another.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Princess Elise, mainly due to her overt Neutral Female tendencies and her feelings for Sonic, to the point that she claims at the end that she doesn't care what happens to the world if she has to forget about him. Because of the latter, she's frequently compared to Chris Thorndyke from Sonic X, who is hated for similar reasons. She was written out of the series completely due to the botched effort on her character.
    • Silver the Hedgehog, due to his poor attitude, constantly getting Elise kidnapped (thus forcing Sonic to keep chasing her) and for being That One Boss early in Sonic's story. Silver is something of an Unoriginal Marty Stu. He has somewhat been rescued; he's the ONLY new character in this game to return for future games.
    • The police guards in the town. They are completely useless and sometimes actively hinder the player's progress by making him play trivial "sidequests" that amount to nothing more than a couple loading screens and dialogue boxes.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Sonic's Super Speed sections, which are essentially Turbo Tunnel: Sonic Edition.
    • Some of Shadow's vehicle sections qualify, as do Silver's infamous billiard ball puzzles in the Dusty Desert stage.
    • We could very well say every single alternate gameplay style in the whole game aside from Sonic (as he still generally feels like he does in the Adventure games), Shadow and Blaze (both for playing like Sonic). And even then, Sonic's play style is subject to several limitations that he never had before, such as the inability to attack with a simple jump, a nerfed spin dash that you can't cancel out of by jumping, and a comparatively low top speed.
    • Even those who enjoyed the alternate play styles often admitted it got tedious switching between them mid level, especially since so many got their own levels to begin with (Tails not only has his own variation of Wave Ocean but invades Sonic's).
  • So Bad, It's Good: Depending on who you ask, this game could be considered this. The glitches are so hilariously broken and a lot of features are left so unfinished that a lot of fun can be had playing around with them.
  • Squick: A certain cutscene from the Last Episode. In order to resurrect Sonic, Elise gives him an Emerald-powered kiss. This scene was made squicky by the fact that she, a human, kissed a hedgehog, who also happened to be dead. This moment still leaves a bad taste in peoples' mouths and put a severe damper on the Interspecies Romance trope for a while.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: One part of "Town Mission 4" appears to contain a section similar to Mega Man 2's Flashman theme. Additionally, Silver's Image Song, "Dreams of An Absolution", sounds a lot like "Music Sounds Better With You" by Stardust.
    • Many are quick to point out the similar arrangements between Crisis City and Super Mario 64's Bowser stages.
    • Atleast a few keen ears have taken note of the similarities between "His World" and The Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight", especially the chorus.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • If you talk to one of the kids in Soleanna, he'll tell you that he wishes the guards would stop standing around doing nothing and actually try to do their jobs.
    • The famous scene where Shadow slows down time with Chaos Control and promptly kicks Silver in the back of the head.
    • For a more meta example, the fact that the game ends with a Cosmic Retcon that erase's the game from the main timeline.
  • That One Boss: The fights against Silver, with Sonic and Shadow, are surprisingly difficult, and for the wrong reasons. If you approach him while he's not carrying something, he'll pick you up (screaming "IT'S NO USE!" in the meantime), hold you in place for several agonizing seconds, and then toss you straight away from him. In that vein, if you jump above him...he will catch you on the way down, while you're still recovering from being tossed up in the air, completely overriding your Mercy Invincibility.
    • It doesn't help that a quirk in the game's ring-dropping mechanics can result in the fight getting stuck in an infinite loop that's only escapable via restarting.
  • That One Level:
  • That One Puzzle: The billiard ball puzzle in Silver's Dusty Desert. Ironically enough, the Very Hard DLC mission for the stage simply replaces it with a gauntlet of enemies and pits.
    • To make matters worse, immediately after solving it, the game negates your progress and dumps you back in Soleanna without so much as a transition. Yep, that whole awful stage was pointless.
  • They Just Didn't Care:
    • One particularly egregious case: In Shadow's story, an NPC gives him new instructions for the player to follow. The actor flubbed his lines and had to repeat them. The flubbed performance was kept in the game.
    • Especially telling was Sega's decision to fire the entire bug-testing crew before the game was completed to ensure its holiday release. The results certainly speak for themselves....
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Taking her backstory into account, Princess Elise. The past reveals that the Duke of Soleanna sealed Iblis inside of her when she was just a little girl and told her that she shouldn't cry or else the world will be destroyed. A desperate act (that would be considered pure idiocy if the stakes had been any less dire, considering that she was only a little girl) but it's never shown how much this act of bottling up her sadness and other emotions affected her, instead focusing on her being a Living MacGuffin and having an apparent crush on Sonic.
    • Mephiles as well. While he stands as probably the only consistently well-acted and well-written character in the whole game (other than perhaps Shadow, though YMMV on his acting), his motives for his goal leave too much to the imagination aside from an off-hand comment from Shadow, who believes that he craves destruction. Also, Fridge Brilliance suggests that he does have a reason for screwing around with the protagonists the way he does, but again, it's left completely unexplained. He's kept out of being a Generic Doomsday Villain due to him being an active manipulator, but his unclear reasons just keep him out of being a Magnificent Bastard.
    • And, potentially to some, Sonic himself, as mentioned in Trapped by Mountain Lions below. While Shadow directly confronts the mystery behind Mephiles and Silver eventually tags with him to see the origins of Mephiles' and Iblis' separation from each other as Solaris, Sonic spends his entire storyline repeatedly saving Elise, who gets captured at least five times, often as soon as Sonic turns his back after the last rescue. He only barely learns of Iblis and Elise's connection to it, and otherwise keeps fighting Eggman over and over; although it's certainly a decent conclusion between the two, Sonic essentially did little else besides possibly save the world in a way that isn't quite directly acknowledged. And he doesn't even get much of his attitude or one-liners, either.
    • Then there's Blaze. Her levels are praised as being the most polished and glitch-free in the game, with actual speedy gameplay (Game Grumps described her as "fast Sonic") and some surprisingly cool moves. They're also short and desperately infrequent, and surrounded by lengthy, boring levels of Silver trying to not make the physics engine spontaneously combust.
      • And Blaze's character could have been improved on as well. Taking Sonic Rush into account, maybe Blaze could have transported to Silver's future somehow, become friends with him and want to help him save the world. Then, once she finds out that Sonic is supposedly the cause of the bad future, she could be reluctant to try and kill him. Then, when Team Sonic spot Mephiles, Silver and Blaze talking when they reach the control room, they could be upset that Blaze had betrayed them, and Tails, Knuckles and perhaps Shadow and Rouge could promise to not let them kill Sonic at all costs... which could be a good lead into the cutscene where Shadow comes to Sonic's aid.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Blaze is the new living seal of Iblis! And now she's gone to another dimension! This had potential... then the reset button got pushed.
    • For some who genuinely liked the game, they feel that SEGA had done this when they pushed the Reset Button at the end of the story.
    • The idea of Elise herself. What could have been, attached to a less convoluted plot with more room for down time, a cohesive and evenhanded analysis of Sonic fans or the Furry Fandom in general, instead just becomes completely uncomfortable and kind of vapid.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Sonic barely has any role despite being the title character. Compared to Shadow and Silver, Sonic nigh-constantly having to rescue one princess is rather unimportant compared to Shadow fighting the Knight of Cerebus and instigator of the game's events, and Silver's quest for the truth and to save the future.
  • Uncanny Valley: The rather realistic looking humans looked out of place next to the Felix the Cat-inspired designs of our anthropomorphic heroes. NPCs will wave their limbs and heads around in a pale imitation of natural human movement, and Princess Elise herself looks more like a porcelain doll with the in-game graphics.
    • Even Eggman was redesigned to look consistent with the humans, although some appreciated that they got rid of the doctor's chicken legs.
    • Thankfully, Sonic titles that came after this steered clear out of the valley by designing resident humans to look more cartoony (and with this, the return of Eggman's chicken legs and his appearance from Sonic Adventure on).
      • In preproduction, developers toyed around with the idea of giving the animal characters realistic fur shading. This ended up not being used until the Werehog was conceptualized.
    • The Sonic characters themselves look like lifeless dolls with their faces barely animated as they make incredibly stiff motions as if someone was controlling them like a puppet.
    • Mephiles seems to be a deliberate case, with his ragdoll-esque movements and lack of mouth.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: It's hard to deny that the festival in the introduction looks amazing. Too bad the rest of the game doesn't look as good...
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The credits song for Sonic's story is a new version of "Sweet Sweet Sweet" by Dreams Come Truenote  (which had earlier in the series been used as the ending music for Sonic the Hedgehog 2). Who did they recruit to produce this song? Akon.

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