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Where would Sonic the Hedgehog play into this? Some characters do make use of their animal characteristics, like Sonic and his curling into a ball and Vector the Crocodile and his strong bite, but many other characters have randomly assigned species, like Blaze the Cat (can start and control fires with her hands and feet) and Jet the Hawk (very good on hoverboards; cannot fly). Inversely, Amy Rose is a hedgehog but cannot curl into a ball (in most games anyway).
It feels like whether a character's species is relevant to the story or gameplay seems to come down to that species (Espio the Chameleon would be wasted as a character if he didn't change colors) and whatever the character design team feels like at the moment. There's no consistency whatsoever.
I'm sorry, but can I add a pun pothole to the "what's the point of a spoon" remark at the start?
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How well does it match the trope?