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YMMV: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Your Mileage May Vary on Sonic 2006, but... Uh-oh! Gotta speed up!
  • 8.8: Play magazine initially gave the game a 9.5 out of 10, then dropped down to 8.5 in the next issue; the reviewer said that he had been told flaws in his copy would be removed in the finished product. The PS3 version received a 5.5, with the same reviewer expressing disgust that nothing changed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, thing dips to 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.
  • 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: Silver. Ensemble Darkhorse with an interesting ability, deep plot, and unique characterization, or The Scrappy Jerkass who is also a huge idiot?
  • 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 wanted to try and essentially eliminate Time itself, as well as the fact that he killed Sonic the Hedgehog for little reason than to make Elise cry so he could merge with Iblis and thus destroy time itself. Although Sonic got better, it's still quite the Moral Event Horizon. Its also implied that he was part of the reason why Shadow ended up sealed away by humanity as well as an unwilling Omega carrying out the deed (he had some resemblance to Shadow thanks to absorbing his shadow, so its not unreasonable that he would have done deeds that the populace will blame Shadow with), and he manipulated Silver into attempting to kill Sonic with the implied intention of destroying the past. If that's not enough, he also enjoyed the carnage he inflicted. He currently ranks highest in regards to being the most evil character in the series not only because of his motives simply being to wreck and destroy anything and everything he can for no reason other than For the Evulz at best (even Black Doom at least desired to rule over the Galaxy, and Eggman Nega also had somewhat of an excuse for his behavior: He was often ostracized and not taken seriously specifically because he was the descendant of Eggman, due to the latter's comical and bumbling nature), but also at how frighteningly close he came to succeeding in his goal to destroy everything, heavily damaging the time-space continuum.
  • 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.
  • Cult Classic: Despite the game being critically panned, it has developed a highly devoted fanbase who considers it anything from a good game to the best Sonic game ever.
  • 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.
  • 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. Be prepared to wait several 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.
  • 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 the 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 dictate that anybody who wants to let's play a game must wait six months (at the time, it's three now) before a game can be played on their forums. 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. In fact, it was the game's negative reception that motivated pokecapn to play it in the first place.
    • 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.
  • Moment Of Awesome: Plenty.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
  • 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.
  • Porting Disaster: 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.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: One of the few good things about this game is Shadow's characterization. With all the Wangst throw out of the window in Shadow the Hedgehog, 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 idiocy for listening to a Devil in Plain Sight.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Princess Elise, mainly due to her overt Neutral Female tendencies and her feelings for Sonic.
    • Silver the Hedgehog, due to his poor attitude, constantly getting Elise kidnapped (thus forcing Sonic to keep chasing her) and for That One Boss Battle with him in Sonic's story.
    • The police guards in the town. They are completely useless and sometimes stop 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 is 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 (for playing like Sonic). And even then, Sonic's playsytle 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 MacGuffin Girl 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 eachother as Solaris, Sonic spends his entire storyline repeatedly saving Elise, who gets captured at least five times. 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.
  • 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.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: 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, Sonic barely has any role despite being the title character.
  • 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).
      • 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.
  • 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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