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Your Mileage May Vary on Sonic '06, but... Uh-oh! Gotta speed up!


  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The Duke of Soleanna: A caring father concerned for his people, or a selfish and thoughtless man who caused the events of the game? The fact that he was involved in experimenting on Solaris for rather vaguely defined reasonsnote  can lend itself to either interpretation.
      • For what its worth, the Sonic Encyclo-speed-ia would later confirm the "trying to resurrect his wife" hypothesis.
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    • Mephiles (and by extension Solaris): Angry at the whole world for daring to experiment on him, or destructive Mad God who always wanted to destroy everything? A third possibility discussed in this video is that Mephiles is a Tragic Villain who wasn't evil until Shadow put him under And I Must Scream for 10 years in a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment.
    • Do the guards and priests just not care about Elise's well-being? The fact that their infamous Knights and Knaves puzzle and multi-staged test happens during a Race Against the Clock and takes up so much time that the heroes arrive just in time to see Elise crash and burn aboard the Egg Carrier 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:
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    • For a god of light and time, Solaris is fairly easy to defeat.
    • 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.
    • In Silver's story, the battle against Sonic is this, as you can spend the entire match running around, preventing him from using his ridiculously telegraphed Homing Attack, and throwing chairs at him. Very ironic, considering that the battle against Silver in Sonic's story is anything but.
    • Despite being listed as That One Boss below, Silver's boss fight is laughably easy if you know what you're doing. You can attack him very quickly during his fight then run away from him, and you're able to interrupt his attacks if you attack him during his "What about this?" voice clip, then once again running away to avoid getting hit with his infamous "IT'S NO USE!" attack.
  • Ass Pull:
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    • In the Last Story, after Iblis is released from Elise, Mephiles summons all of the Chaos Emeralds to him to help him fuse back with Iblis to become Solaris. The game doesn't foreshadow this ability, nor is it explained why he didn't do this in the first place, since throughout the story, he's hunting down the emeralds one by one like everyone else.
    • While well regarded in the end of his story mode, Shadow using the rings in his wrists as power inhibitors (an idea taken from Sonic X) is never established in the story or the previous games before it happens.
  • Author's Saving Throw: A bizarre case in that after the game was released, Sega effectively denied the developers any leeway for patching the game and trying to fix its bugs, in an attempt to wash their hands of the whole affair. In the paid Downloadable Content of the Team Attack Amigo pack, however, they secretly inserted some minor patches into the game to slip this past both the Executive Meddling, and then-limitations on patches instated by Microsoft for Xbox games. It doesn't really fix the game in significant ways, but there was an attempt at least.
  • Awesome Bosses:
    • 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 Eggman's giant mechs (Egg Cerebus, Egg Genesis, and Egg Wyvern) are the best-handled parts of the game. The Egg Wyvern in particular is a nice throwback to the Egg Viper fight.
  • Awesome Music: This is the one thing that most people genuinely enjoy about this game, 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).
    • The first phase deserves mention too, especially with its chilling Ominous Latin Chanting.
    • Egg Cerberus is an excellent boss theme: dramatic and fast-paced with a driving beat.
  • 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.
    • There's a reason why Sonic's version of Kingdom Valley was shown off more than any other level in every publicly shown trailer and demo from throughout the game's development... The visuals in it (particularly in the super speed section) are quite impressive by 2006 standards and the various set pieces it contains are arguably still quite the spectacle.
    • 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.
  • Better as a Let's Play: Watching others play the game in rage and break the game to oblivion is considered to be far more entertaining than to actually play it. For this reason, the game is a popular one amongst let's players.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Silver. Either seen as one of the saving graces of the game with an interesting ability, deep plot, and unique characterization, or seen as one of many the wrong things with it for being an idiot Jerkass with broken gameplay.
    • Is Mephiles the series' shining Knight of Cerebus and an entertaining Chessmaster villain who uses the game's creepy graphics to good effect, or a flat villain whose plot made no sense and only gets as far as he does because everyone else was holding the Idiot Ball? And is his killing of Sonic an effective showcase of how evil he is, or a cheap, out-of-nowhere twist done for shock value?
    • Doctor Eggman's incarnation. Unlike other games, the character was redesigned so he doesn't clash with the realistic humans of Soleanna, but by doing so he no longer resembles a human egg, and is portrayed as serious and without his comical atributes. While many fans understandably hate him alongside the game he is part of, the game's incarnation has some fans, with his design in particular finding his way in the fan art section of Sonic and the Black Knight. The fans who liked the realistic design wished he was called Robotnik instead of Eggman, though.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Sonic's test of love; Does Sonic love Amy Rose or Princess Elise? You pass the trial, no matter who you choose, and the answer has no bearing on the rest of the game.
  • Bile Fascination: It's easily considered one of, if not, the most infamous Sonic game ever for a reason, being the one entry that caused massive, long-lasting damage to the franchise that it has yet to fully recover from. People who play this game today play it to see if it really is that bad, usually by focusing on the myriad of glitches and highly questionable plot decisions.
  • Breather Level: The final of the three Soleanna Trials. The first one is an annoying trial-and-error puzzle that often takes longer than it ought to due the game not always making things clear, the second is an utter nightmare where you have to defeat a swarm of enemies with no rings, and the third...you pick one of two characters to talk to and win, regardless of choice. After all the lives the player inevitably blows through on the second trial, it very much feels like Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking.
  • Broken Base:
    • There are fans who consider this game to be the closest thing to a "Sonic Adventure 3" due to the similarities it contains with the Adventure titles, while others disagree due to how the game turned out.
    • Whether or not SEGA should consider remaking this game. Those who say yes argue that the game has a lot of good ideas and potential that was underutilized and that it would be a shame to let it go to waste. Those who say no argue that the game has already done its damage to the franchise and that it would be better for SEGA to focus on new projects instead.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Sonic vs Silver is That One Boss. Silver vs Sonic on the other hand... you get to act out that Curb-Stomp Battle yourself.
    • Many players who were irritated by Silver's antics can tell you that Shadow kicking him in the head was satisfying, and it's often viewed as one of the game's best moments in general.
  • Character Rerailment: One of the few saving graces of the game is that it finally gets Shadow's character back on track after two games of nonstop Wangst. Having Shiro Maekawa, who wrote the scenarios for Adventure 2 and Heroes, return is a plus.
  • "Common Knowledge":
    • The game is believed to have been taken out of the continuity at the end of the story. In reality, the game suffered a Cosmic Retcon that deleted the events of the story to have happened, including Silver getting a new origin story in the Sonic Rivals series. 2006 is still referenced in future games.
    • Many articles talking about Blaze the cat believe 06 is her actual debut in the series, and that she and Silver come from the same dimension. While the confusion is understandable, Blaze debuted a year before in Sonic Rush, and 06 is her debut in a main console game; and ignoring this specific game, she and Silver come from different planes of existence.
  • 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.
  • Creepy Awesome: To some, Mephiles. He manages to kill Sonic after all; that's as much villain cred as one can get.
  • 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 decent or enjoyable.
  • Critic-Proof: The final product not only failed to live up to expectations, but became an industry joke due to its crippling bugs, unbalanced difficulty, and infamous romance angle. To say nothing of the needlessly-convoluted Idiot Plot. Still, the game sold well enough to be inducted into the Xbox 360's Platinum Hits line.
  • 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 mileage may vary on: whether Silver being the cause of half those kidnappings is making things better or worse, and every time that Sonic isn't looking at her, she gets captured. At one point, she doesn't even need to be captured, but she surrenders herself.
  • 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. And if too many of them spawn, space-time collapses and you die instantly, so you have to periodically hit switches that despawn them. 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. Curiously enough, the game itself lets the player choose a pairing for Sonic, if only as a Breather Level Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. It has no effect on the plot itself, not even the most minor case of Multiple Endings.
  • Disappointing Last Level: End of the World, this game's version of Cannon's Core. It may be among the most loathed parts of the game, with the instant death black holes, ridiculous length, and more loading screens than ever (since you switch between levels and characters at each section).
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Something of a mixed example. While the game's story is critized the same way the gameplay is, Shadow and Silver's story modes have a cult following.
  • Epic Riff: The game's theme song, "His World", features one, and it's sure put to good use (see Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack below).
  • 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. This was confirmed by Shiro Maekawa to be the case, while Takashi Iizuka (who wrote the Sonic Rivals games but had no involvement with 06) denies this, stating Blaze was always from the Sol Dimension.
    • 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. It doesn't help that she frequently and inexplicably disappears and reappears offscreen, and knows Silver went back to the past with Shadow despite not being around to see him do so.
    • Yet another fan theory is that Silver and Blaze already knew Mephiles, hence why they were so trusting of him. They point to the fact that he never introduces himself to them and the fact that they know his name despite him never being shown telling them to support this.
  • Evil Is Cool: This may be one of the most despised games in the franchise, but Mephiles the Dark is one of the most popular villains within certain circles of the fanbase. To his fans, he steals the show in every scene he is in with his uncanny design, sinister theme and the Faux Affably Evil voice given to him by Dan Green. There’s also the fact that he’s the only villain in the videogames to actually successfully kill Sonic, something not even Eggman could ever do. Yes, Sonic is revived but it didn’t take away the impact of Mephiles’s deed.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • The game was known as Sonic Nextgen or Sonic 360 amongst fans for quite some time before the official title was announced at E3 2006. Nowadays, it's usually known by Sonic '06.
    • Some people think it should be called Sonic Adventure 3, considering the multitude of elements it borrows from those games, and how it tries to up the ante from Adventure 2.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: It is considered one of the worst games of all time for a reason. To put it simply, this game is practically a Brutally Honest deconstruction of Christmas Rushed. Luckily for fans, it's very easy to pretend the game never happened since the ending itself wipes the story's events out of existence, which has caused many to joke that even the game wishes to forget it ever happened.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Debates about if it was a good idea to redesign Dr. Eggman to look like a realistic human aside, the change of his jacket's buttons from flat squares to protruding circles has been often mocked as their placement makes it look like he has giant golden nipples.
  • Game-Breaker: Sonic's energy meter is bugged and doesn't deplete, which completely destroys the balancing of his Gems. The Gems were clearly not meant to be used unrestricted (e.g. the Purple Gem, which lets Sonic jump indefinitely as long as he has meter), allowing you to cheese or outright break stages to get S Ranks if used correctly.
  • Goddamned Bats: Burrowing worms, especially the stronger purple variety.
  • Goddamned Boss: Iblis Phase 2. While it's not a particularly difficult boss battle, it's a frustratingly slow one. 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 the 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, as explained in this compilation of some of the game's bugs. 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.
    • Several of these are used and abused for the game's speedruns. For instance, in the first loop of Wave Ocean in Sonic's story, the homing attack can be used to confuse the game's physics and send Sonic flying about one-third of the way across the level.
    • In an ironic way, you can fix Silver's telekinesis against other characters through a glitch (specifically by pausing the game).
      • There are also other glitches involving Silver's telekinesis and pausing, as this video shows.
    • Helper characters can spontaneously die in the hub areas.
  • Ham and Cheese: Dan Green's gloriously over-the-top performance as Mephiles the Dark is easily the most enjoyable part of the game.
  • 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 one cutscene, Mephiles is seen making the infinity symbol with two chaos emeralds (seen here). Fast forward 11 years later, and well...
    • The plot has quite a bit in common with the Future Trunks arc from Dragon Ball Super which came out ten years after this game's release.
      • Both arcs deal with a hero from a Bad Future (Trunks/Silver) who is of the same species (Saiyans/hedgehogs) as the main hero (Goku/Sonic) and his rival (Vegeta/Shadow). The climactic battle also has the hero from the bad future accessing a Super Mode identical or similar to the ones the hero and the rival have.
      • One of the villains (Goku Black/Mephilles) has a black color motif and has taken on the form similar or identical to one of the heroes.
      • The climactic battle involves battling the two villains who have fused into an Eldritch Abomination that threatens all of time and space.
      • The future hero's timeline is erased in the final battle and replaced with a newer and happier one.
  • Idiot Plot: Sonic's and Silver's campaigns depend on the characters making dumb decisions, because otherwise there wouldn't be a story to tell. Add this with the time travel plot holes and what Mephiles' entire plan ultimately culminates to, and it makes a very confusing and frustrating story.
    • Sonic's campaign is about the titular 'hog saving Elise from Eggman. This normally might not be so bad... if Elise weren't constantly getting recaptured because neither Sonic nor his compadres ever thought of a plan to keep her safe from Eggman, who captures her again and again the minute Sonic is distracted. The climax of the story relies on Eggman holding the Idiot Ball with him and Elise dying due to a malfunction in the Egg Carrier, even though he could just escape with either his overly-dramatic Egg Wyvern or the Egg Mobile.
    • Silver's story relies on both him and Blaze taking the word of Mephiles The Dark at face value, and not even questioning Mephiles' motives. Silver would rather question if it's justifiable to kill someone for the greater good rather than if the person who can travel through time is trustworthy. Blaze tries to pass this off as Silver's character flaw due to being naïve, but she herself is no better as she never questioned Mephiles either, because "she agreed to save the world at any price".
    • And to top it all off, the gist of the story amounts to Mephiles trying to set up his fusion with Iblis, requiring Elise to cry over Sonic's death from her feelings for him, and the seven Chaos Emeralds. The entirety of all three character's stories work hard to set all of this up, but the story doesn't even bother to divulge if Elise crying from anything else would break the Iblis seal, and Mephiles just anti-climatically warps all of the Chaos Emeralds to him inexplicably anyway. As a result, the whole game's story is nothing more than one gigantic and completely unexplained Complexity Addiction that only exists to justify the entire rest of the game and thus the rest of the idiocy.
  • It Was His Sled: Besides the fact that it's an Obvious Beta, the only thing people are likely to know about the game's plot is that Sonic dies in the last story, then comes back by being kissed by a human princess.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Aside from Bile Fascination there are legitimate reasons why fans still go back to play this game. Shadow's Episode has had appreciation ever since its debut, due to following Shadow's Character Development from the previous titles and making him more admirable as a character. The story is also liked for the usage of Rouge and Omega, lacking notable idiotic elements unlike the other episodes, as well as it being the story that most prominently features Mephiles the Dark.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Sonic is impaled through the heart by Mephiles in the last story and is presumed dead, but everyone who played the game knew they wouldn't kill the main hero of the franchise in such an abrupt way. Sure enough, he's brought back with the power of the Chaos Emeralds.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • NOW LOADING...Explanation 
    • "Silver be a bird!" or "Silver be free to be the bird you always wanted to be!" Explanation 
    • Silver's head quills resembling a marijuana leaf. One LP group took note of it.
    Lewis: I am Pothead the Porcupine!
    Clement: (as Silver) After I smoke a J, I will destroy you!
    • "Hahaha! One!"Explanation 
    • The Cosmic Retcon that occurs at the very end. Given the game's reputation, this led to jokes about how the game was self-aware enough to render itself Canon Discontinuty before it even ended.
    • "IT'S NO USE!" Explanation 
  • 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 probably wasn't that bad this time, either.
      • Ditto with Game Grumps, who played through the game (and many others in the franchise) long after it gained its negative reception. So no, Let's Players are not guilty for the game's poor reputation; the game's own poor quality is what led to its poor reputation.
    • 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 Jon St. John gave him. During an interview on Serebii forums, she stated the different take on Omega was according to SEGA's voice direction. She even noted she had problems keeping to their wanted depiction because it was too emotionless, with her second take on Omega in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series sounding much more like the original. note 
  • Moral Event Horizon: Mephiles/Solaris crosses it through his Evil Plan to destroy everything and his way of doing it is by killing Sonic sadistically and then laughing at Elise's cries.
  • Narm: See here.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The very hammy performances of Dan Green as Mephiles and Jason Griffith as Shadow don't ruin their scenes at all. Quite the contrary, they make them a good bit cooler.
    • Silver admiring the desert. Despite the shoddy quality of the cutscenes, there is heart in the script involving Silver's characterization in this one scene, with him admiring the peace his home doesn't have.
    • The final scene with Silver and Blaze, where she sacrifices herself to seal Iblis in another dimension. There is some geniune heart in acting and script in the scene.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Silver has been portrayed to a stronger reception since this game, but his later appearances are still overshadowed by his contentious introduction and unanimously panned boss fight.
    • Sonic and Elise's kiss. The future of the series has been plagued with people jokingly wondering if Sonic will kiss any humans again. As for Elise, she's pretty much only remembered for this moment and her overall romance with a hedgehog.
  • No Yay: Very few people seriously support Sonic/Elise, be it because of Shipping, Elise being The Scrappy, or just general disgust.
  • 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.. And another case of Sonic having a human (Or at least human-like) love interest could be seen with Sara in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, with her crush on Sonic being very much apparent, albeit not going as far as a liplocked kiss like with Elise.
    • Many players found it jarring to see a cartoon hedgehog in a realistic world. However, Sonic's setting has been "the real world" since Sonic Adventure, with levels like City Escape being a recreation of real-life San Francisco. (And indeed, Sonic has been at home in cities ever since Star Light Zone in the very first game.) Perhaps the graphical limitations of the time made this fact less obvious.
    • A character saying "it's no use" has been uttered by other characters before, such as Dr. Eggman (which he even says that phrase at least twice in this game) and Metal Sonic.
    • Many players thought that Tails' dummy ring capsule attack was made up out of thin air or was actually just a placeholder attack for something else. The attack actually calls back to Sonic Heroes; if Tails is the only active character while playing as Team Sonic, he'll throw a couple of dummy rings at enemies as a last resort attack. Rouge also had a similar attack in that game, but it was replaced with her throwing bombs in this one.
  • Padding: You have to play all ten stages for every character's story, regardless if it has any bearing on the plot or not. However, one particularly crazy example is a part of Sonic's story where you have to play Wave Ocean a second time, only with Tails. You could easily cut it out of the game with zero impact on the plot, and nobody would even guess there was supposed to be something there.
  • Porting Disaster: The PS3 version, released later with several extra months of development time to boot, 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. This is the result of having to deal with the PlayStation 3's complex architecture while trying to rush the game out the door.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Shadow's characterization is one of the game's highlights. With all the Wangst in Shadow the Hedgehog thrown 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." It helps that, unlike Sonic, his plot and Silver's actually delve into the real conflict of the story. Shadow and Sonic also interact without being at each other's throats, even teaming up to use Chaos Control in one scene and the former saving the latter in another.
  • The Scrappy: Princess Elise is generally disliked, 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.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Sonic's Super Speed sections, which are essentially Turbo Tunnel: Sonic Edition. Because you're constantly moving forward, you have very little time to react to enemies and even the landscape, which can result in some unavoidable collisions. If you jump at the wrong angle, you may just end up jumping off the map. Sometimes the camera suddenly switches to focus on what Sonic's running from, denying you the ability to see where to steer him to. Also, the controls are ridiculously stiff, and you have absolutely no air control, so you're going to jump to places where you don't want to go a lot.
    • For many players, Silver's entire play style. Unlike Sonic's Homing Attack and spin kick or extra Gems for various attacks, and Shadow's combat-centric gameplay, Silver is meant to be overpowered by catching and lifting just about anything with his telekinesis, even enemy projectiles - but lacks any worthwhile means of direct attacks. His psychic wave at point blank is basically useless unless you're pixels away from damage, and his ground slam that stuns enemies for grabbing sometimes does not work. This is only made worse by the fact that, short of tapping his hover to abuse it much like Omega's, he's one of the slowest characters in the entire game and his dash that is meant to compensate for this goes only five feet and is near-totally useless as well. And even with all of this in mind, that telekinesis is still a glitchy crapshoot since it relies on the physics engine cooperating.
    • 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).
    • Shadow's vehicles. They only seem to exist to get him from point A to point B, but one can't even say it's in style because they handle atrociously, take Collision Damage from virtually everything they brush against to the point of being able to detonate from buggy physics collisions that you can't even see, and in most cases move slower than Shadow does on foot. They make the vehicles in his own game look functional by comparison.
    • The police guards in the town. They are completely useless and sometimes actively hinder the player's progress by making them play trivial "sidequests" that amount to nothing more than a couple loading screens and dialogue boxes.
    • Tails's dummy rings attack. The first attack works perfectly well on its own, but the dummy ring explodes on contact with anything... which includes previously thrown dummy rings. It effectively makes spamming the attack impossible.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Mephiles killing Sonic in the Last Story mode. Mephiles' laugh has been used in parody videos like Mr. Krabs' Unquenchable Blood Lust due to how remarkable it is.
    • Elise kissing Sonic to bring him to life is often cited as one of the most infamous scenes in the franchise.
    • The fight against Silver (IT'S NO USE).
    • Shadow using Chaos Control to slow time and then kicking Silver in the back of his head.
  • Shocking Moments: At the start of the last story, Mephiles appears out of nowhere and instantly kills Sonic by impaling him through the back with a laser beam. Even though Sonic does come back to life eventually, it still happened.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The game has glitches that are hilariously broken and lots of features that were left unfinished, to the point that a lot of fun can be had playing around with them. It shouldn't be a surprise that the game is a popular speedrun as a result. Its story, voice acting, and cutscenes are so unintentionally funny that one can derive entertainment just from watching 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 realistic human, kissed a dead cartoon hedgehog. This moment still leaves a bad taste in people's mouths and put a severe damper on the Interspecies Romance trope for a while. It doesn't help that she's rendered in a realistic style and Sonic in his normal cartoony style. They don't even look like they belong in the same game.
    • A harder-to-find example from Sonic's story occurs when you play as Tails in the hub world. One adult woman on the pier opposite to the entrance to Wave Ocean tells Tails— who is an eight-year-old boy, mind you— to not just "keep it all bottled up inside" and that he can "always trust [her]". Whereas Sonic and Elise's relationship could have the justification of them being close enough in age and Sonic technically having as much cognizance and agency as a human, this comes off as not only even more uncomfortable in concept, but also very rapey.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Sonic and Elise was an attempt at a romantic plot for the series. However, many didn't find it to be very convincing, due to romance, especially one with a human, going against Sonic's free-spirited personality. It makes the scenes where he reciprocates Elise's love for him very awkward as a result for fans of the series, and that isn't getting into the kiss she gives him near the end. Even the handful of fans who like Elise think their relationship would've been better if kept as platonic.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
  • 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 erases the entire story from the main timeline.
  • That One Boss: The fights against Silver, with Sonic and Shadow, are surprisingly difficult, and for all 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. You have to maneuver a ball through a long hallway with a 90-degree turn using Silver's very imprecise psychic push move, with bottomless pits everywhere. What makes this hard is that the ball has a timer on it, and the timer decreases by a number if you push the ball. So not only do you have to push the ball down the hallway very precisely, you also have to do it in an allotted time and with as few moves as possible. Many players have been stuck on this puzzle for (sometimes literally) hours trying to get past it, for something that should have been nothing more than a very quick piece of gameplay. 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:
    • In terms of levels, Sonic's got the best of the bunch besides the debate over Blaze's quality by comparison. In terms of story, Sonic is Trapped by Mountain Lions, revolving entirely around saving Elise repeatedly from Eggman, a brief trip to the Bad Future where he witnesses Mephiles recruiting Silver and Blaze with no context, and then more Elise saving. While Sonic does get to learn why Iblis is such a big deal, he completely misses out on the Mephiles side of the plot and doesn't even interact with the real Big Bad besides his death scene, in which he never talks to or even looks at Mephiles. All of this and Sonic generally lacking most of his usual characterization to be more of a generic hero besides the opening and final ending of the game, and the very protagonist of the franchise ends up feeling almost like an afterthought in the overall design of the game.
    • Blaze's 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. Her story role leaves much to be desired too, as even when ignoring the Retcon with her backstory, she keeps disappearing and reappearing for no reason.
    • Out of all members of the playable cast, Knuckles has the worst to offer in story department. Knuckles simply appears for no particular reason in Soleanna to deliver a message from Eggman, and from that point on he becomes a Butt-Monkey with no story significance. By comparison, Team Dark got their own little sub-plot going on for them, Amy has a friendship with Silver and Elise, and even Blaze has a role with her relationship with Silver. Knuckles by comparison only has a minor argument with Rouge in one scene. Shouldn't he be guarding the Master Emerald?
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Blaze is the new living seal of Iblis, and now she's gone to another dimension. As the princess of another dimension, this had potential… then the reset button got pushed.
    • The idea of Elise herself. The Duke of Soleanna sealed Iblis inside of her when she was just a little girl and told her that she shouldn't ever cry or else the world will be destroyed. Although her character arc involves her opening up and being more expressive, it's never shown how much this act of bottling up her sadness and likely her other emotions affected her; instead, the plot focuses on her being a Living MacGuffin and having an apparent crush on Sonic.
    • Mephiles' motives for his goal are incredibly vague aside from a very off-hand comment from Shadow, and Mephiles himself doesn't get a Motive Rant or any dialogue that reveals exactly why he wants to destroy all of reality. When Silver asks him why Iblis wants to destroy the world, he simply remarks "Why does that matter to you?" And even though his backstory of being experimented on and abused by scientists is revealed, no real connection is ever made between that and his current goals.
  • 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 a way to save the future.
  • Unintentional Uncanny Valley:
    • The rather realistic-looking humans look 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, her legs almost twice the length of her upper body, and a face that just seems wrong. Even Eggman was redesigned to look consistent with the humans, although some appreciated that they got rid of the doctor's long, toothpick 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 toothpick legs and his appearance from Sonic Adventure on).
    • Eggman's design. In the transition to a realistic look, his original cartoonish appearance really isn't altered very much outside of being given far more detail. This means he's essentially stuck between two very different styles, with the end result regularly being cited as unnatural and incredibly ugly. Making matters worse is that nobody else in the game looks anything like him at all, making him appear downright odd next to the talking animals and even more so next to his own species.
    • 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.
  • Unfortunate Character Design:
    • Silver the Hedgehog's head spikes, meant to possibly resemble a crown due to the European influences on his creation, instead resembles a marijuana leaf. This led to him being called Pothead the Porcupine in some places. Not helping matters is the fact that his friend happens to be named Blaze...
    • Eggman's redesign decided to give him four very prominent buttons on his clothes. As Real-Time Fandub put it, they resemble some nipples.
      Eggman: Why hello there, young princess. You like my outfit? My four nipples?
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The CG cutscenes, especially the festival in the introduction, look amazing.
  • 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). The person recruited to produce this new version of the song was the controversial Senegalese-American R&B star Akon.

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