Sonic’s been etched into my character through my childhood and beyond. I’m impatient, always looking for another adventure, and my birthstone is even an emerald. To some varying degree, I’ve always kept an interest in the series, though my interest waned and stuck with the classics and Adventure series during the quality game drought (Unleashed, Shadow the Hedgehog, the dreaded ’06 game). The handheld games during this time were acceptable, but people wanted the console feel back. Personally, I believe that Generations was when that prayer was finally answered.
However, something came along that has angered many of the classic fans of the series: Sonic Boom. To a degree, I can’t blame the fan base, as I was originally one of the haters. I still haven’t fully embraced it, but it’s dawned on me what the series actually is… it’s a series for a new generation of Sonic fans. Times have changed, humor has changed, and so has the children who this series appears to be aimed at. Many of the fans seem to think that Sonic is supposed to be entirely serious, but that’s not the case. When I was in grade school, the Sonic SatAM cartoon was long-lost until I rediscovered it on YouTube. During those days, I learned about the sister cartoon, “The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog”, which is mainly comedic.
Slapstick humor like this was (and still is) quality stuff to me, though time was worn the show down a bit.
How did we go from the original Sonic, to the Adventure Sonic, to Boom Sonic? I believe that Adventure Sonic was what many series have attempted to do with their original loyal fan base…the fans were getting older, so they matured the character and the themes involved to suit them. As Sonic changed, Sega decided to focus on the new generation. The new generation of fans have been soaked in the internet almost their entire lives, and the memes and discussions that go with it. Hence.. the birth of Boom Sonic. It tends to show itself through Sonic’s more pronounced carefree attitude and his “frenemy” relationship with Eggman nowadays (which, strangely enough, makes sense given their history together). For those of us who prefer the mature themes, Sega has kept us in mind with games such as Project Sonic 2017 and the upcoming Sonic Mania games.
I don’t think Sonic’s going anywhere, at least not in the foreseeable future. Along with the games, we also have the rarely mentioned Archie Sonic series, which in my opinion doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves, and continues to evolve itself. In short, our Blue Blur changed along with us, and like any relationship, that can have consequences as time goes on.