Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

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This article is about the the 2006 reboot. You may be looking for the the 1991 Sega Genesis game, the 8-bit counterpart of the Genesis game, the arcade game of a similar name, or a 2008 Didj game.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic-the-Hedgehog-2006-X360.jpg
"It's no use!"
— Silver the Hedgehog
Protagonist(s): Sonic the Hedgehog
Shadow the Hedgehog
Silver the Hedgehog
Genre(s): Action-adventure
Platform
Rating(s): ESRB: E10+
PEGI: 12+
CERO: A
OFLC: PG
USK: 6+
Platform(s): Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Release: Xbox 360
NA: November 14, 2006
EU: November 24, 2006
JP: December 21, 2006

PlayStation 3
JP: December 21, 2006
NA: January 30, 2007
EU: March 23, 2007
Engine: RenderWare
Havok (physics)
Developer(s): Sonic Team
Publisher(s): Sega
Country: Japan
Series: Sonic the Hedgehog
Predecessor: Shadow the Hedgehog
Successor: Sonic Unleashed

"Glitches are not the main problem with this game. I need you all to know that. I need you to start spreading that as gospel to anyone you know. It's not glitches that ruin this game... it is terribly designed!'"

ClementJ642

"Sonic '06 is a game that could’ve been great. It had the potential to be a huge success with its huge variety of characters, great music, and even interesting gameplay design. But instead, what we were given, was an insanely unpolished and unoptimized experience, and was one of the biggest letdowns of all time. That... is no use."

Nathaniel Bandy

"You know what? I've played worse. This at least qualifies as a game. But the problem was, it needed to be a masterpiece because it was a Sonic the Hedgehog game, and not just any Sonic game, but it was THE Sonic game for a new console and a new generation. This would be like if Zelda: Twilight Princess sucked. They even had the balls to call it Sonic the Hedgehog. Not Sonic: Revival 3D or something. No, just plain Sonic The Hedgehog, as if this was the only Sonic game you need to know. If you never played one before, just start with this one. Everyone calls it Sonic '06 but I call it Sonic O-F**king Piece of Shit! This is anal sauce! It's so bad it's a work of art! It's a fine, delicately-crafted sculpture of shit! And I'm impressed. You know, this is another one worthy of the collection. I don't mean this collection. I mean the collection."

The Angry Video Game Nerd

"With glitchy graphics, stupid plot, and just the lack of sanity, it is the very model of a modern game calamity"

Joshscorcher

Sonic the Hedgehog (commonly referred to as Sonic '06) is a 2006 action-adventure platform video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, released as a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the series. Intended to be a reboot of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, it was developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It was released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; ports intended for the Wii and Microsoft Windows were also in development, but the PC port was scrapped due to its development cycle, while the Wii port became Sonic and the Secret Rings due to the Wii's hardware limitations.

Plot

Dr. Eggman plans to revive an evil demon known as Iblis by kidnapping Princess Elise of Soleanna. However, in the future, Iblis has caused the end of the world, causing a hedgehog known as Silver to go back in time, believing Sonic is responsible for awakening Iblis. What no one knows is that they are all pawns of another demon known as Mephiles, who plans to unite with Iblis as both Iblis and Mephiles were once a single entity known as Solaris, the God of Time.

Gameplay

The game features three main playable characters (Sonic, Shadow, and Sliver) along with a plethora of playable side characters in a set of 3D platforming levels with a linear layout that are very similar to those from Sonic Adventure and it's sequel, Sonic Adventure 2, with some of them having different gimmicks like snowboarding and bike-riding in a few levels. There are also several hub-worlds with various missions that are meant to access some of the levels important to the game's story. All of the characters have their powers and abilities that are associated with them and are meant to be useful for taking out enemies and accessing areas in some levels more easily for players.

Why the Game Was Rushed

After the game was announced, the development faced serious problems, starting with Yuji Naka's resignation as head of Sonic Team to form his own company, Prope, as he became unhappy with his job as a manager in recent years and wanted to go back into programming games again. With his departure, "the heart and soul of Sonic" was gone, according to former Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske. Sonic the Hedgehog was originally intended for release on all major seventh-generation consoles as well as Microsoft Windows, but when presented with development kits for Nintendo's less powerful Wii console, the team was split in two. Nakamura led one team to finish Sonic the Hedgehog for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 while producer Yojiro Ogawa led the other half to begin work on Sonic and the Secret Rings for the Wii. The split left an unusually small development team to work on Sonic the Hedgehog. So, Sega began pressuring the team to release the game by Christmas 2006, so with the deadline quickly approaching, Sonic Team rushed the final stages of development, ignoring existing bugs and design issues. Various planned features were dropped, such as a time of day and night mechanic similar to the one later implemented in Sonic Unleashed, and additional multiplayer components.

In retrospect, Ogawa noted that the final period proved to be a large challenge for the team. Not only was the Xbox 360 release imminent but the PlayStation 3 launch was scheduled not that long afterward. This put tremendous pressure on the team to develop both systems. Similarly, series producer Takashi Iizuka recalled, "We didn't have any time to polish and we were just churning out content as quick as we could."

For the beta elements for Sonic 06, go to Sonic News Network.

For more information about the development cycle, go here. (Archive)

Why It’s No Use!

  1. As stated above, the game was heavily rushed and had a terrible development cycle. Sonic Team didn't finish the game, instead, they took an untested alpha build. This predictably caused a great number of issues listed below. The manual lists items and features that aren't even in the game (Like an Xbox Live mode that never comes out in the game) and half of the achievements have grammatical errors. For example:
    • You can't even jump on enemies to defeat them. You know, one of the most classic features in the entire franchise!
    • This game also suffered from executive meddling.
    • One of the main complaints about this game is that has lots of glitches and bugs, thanks to being rushed; many gimmicks are buggy, it's easy to glitch through walls, and sometimes the character model can disappear, you can get stuck on the rails, there are some areas without collision, etc.
  2. Poor controls and terrible cameras make the game frustratingly bad and more difficult, making it hard to jump through rings or drive a vehicle. It also makes the game unfairly difficult. Bad controls can cause cheap deaths. For example, in the first zone, there is a bridge below an item box that Sonic can get stuck on and die if you aren't moving the left stick after going on the ramp just before the bridge.
    • Just a slight tilt of the analog stick is more than enough to turn your character 90 degrees.
  3. Due to improper physics implementation, moving on an incline doesn't feel any different from moving on a flat surface, characters come to an immediate stop upon release of the joystick, characters can stand upside-down on the ceilings of loops, and jumping feels very floaty. To add insult to injury, the game uses the Havok physics engine, which is known for awesome physics capabilities and was used in lots of awesome games like Half-Life 2, Far Cry 2 and F.E.A.R.
  4. Bad level design that tries too hard to imitate the levels from the Adventure duology and fails due to the rushed development, as some of them have open areas that are cheaply made and most of them are way too linear and boxed-in with tight corners that the camera wasn't designed for, and some platforms are poorly put together and some areas in the games are filled with far too much objects and obstacles that harm the player for the worse, and also have awful gimmicks tacked on that ruin the game as a whole, which makes the game even more frustrating than it already is in general.
  5. The game also suffers from a terrible framerate; there are plenty of moments where the game drops into single-digit frames, almost of slideshow quality. It's pretty bad on Xbox 360, and even worse on PS3 (see WINUTSP#35).
  6. The voice acting from the 4Kids Entertainment cast ranges from bad to terrible. Some of it doesn't match with the in-game dialogue textboxes and most of the characters have annoying catchphrases (especially Silver with his "IT'S NO USE" phrase) and some actors like Dan Green as Mephiles the Dark, feel watered-down at best.
  7. The story is convoluted, messy, and downright riddled with plot holes, to the point it's basically an older cousin of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The reason for all of this is that this game was meant to be a series reboot; if that was the case, it would be fine, but for some strange reason, Sonic Generations treats it as canon with the rest of the series (albeit with a better stage and rival battle with Silver) (In fact, it introduced a huge continuity hole to the Modern Era timeline), so the massive retcons, inconsistencies, and plotholes can't be excused anymore and also introduces plot holes in the rest of the lore. Some examples include (but are not limited to):
    • Sonic and his friends can time travel with the Chaos Emeralds. Why don't they just go back in time and extinguish The Flame Of Hope (aka Solaris) right away to prevent the end of the world?!
    • Mephiles' plan doesn't make sense either. Why won't he just go back in time and merge with Iblis right away?
    • In the scene where Shadow is sealing Mephiles in the staff, Mephiles says that one day he will escape and kill Shadow, which could explain how Mephiles knows Shadow when they first meet because Shadow was meant to stop Mephiles. However, Shadow was still sealed in the capsule in Prison Island at that time, so there was no way he could have stopped Mephiles in the first place.
    • The aforementioned ability to time travel at will has no limitations or consequences. This game exemplifies why time travel is such a risky plot device because of how easy it is to cock up.
    • During the scene when Shadow meets Mephiles, he introduces himself to him, however, when he meets Mephiles again, Shadow asks Mephiles how he knew his name. Does Shadow still have amnesia?
    • Why did Shadow leave the Sceptre of Darkness behind? Even Silver questions this decision, mind you!
    • Shadow works for G.U.N, which was the same organization that tried to kill him in the last game (the game's Expert Mode contains some dialogue that helps fill this in, but it's quite a far fetch).
    • Before the Duke (Elise's father) dies, he seals Iblis inside Elise (who is unconscious) and tells Elise to always be happy and that if she ever cries, Iblis will be free. While this makes her backstory more impactful, it makes one wonder how was Elise able to not cry for ten years, especially after her father died.
    • Before Shadow and Silver go back to the present, Silver gives the young and unconscious Elise the Blue Chaos Emerald, which could explain how Elise has the Chaos Emerald at the beginning of the game, but that's in Silver's story. In Shadow's story, if you look very closely at Silver's right hand as he heads into the portal, you can see the Blue Chaos Emerald is still in his hand. Oops!
    • Blaze and Silver can call themselves "best friends", but there's a problem, Blaze completely forgot Sonic (you know, she learned friendship from him in Sonic Rush). Also, there's no explanation for how Blaze met Silver and became friends.
      • Speaking of Blaze, she doesn't do anything useful throughout Silver's story, as she is shoehorned. While she supposedly acts as Silver's mentor, in terms of story contribution? Well aside from sacrificing herself to seal Iblis, she does very little to aid Silver on his quest and has very little input on anything. There are cutscenes where Silver is conversing with someone with Blaze just standing in the background looking pretty. The funniest part is that neither Silver nor the character he is talking to even acknowledge her presence.
      • Also despite knowing Sonic, Blaze also never knew for the whole game to tell Silver that Sonic is not the bad guy.
  8. Speaking of the storyline, the game retcons itself at the end. This infuriated players because they had to endure this game for approximately 12 hours, only to be told it was all for nothing, most likely due to Sonic Team being aware that the game was unfinished.
  9. Next to no speed in a game franchise that is supposed to be fast-paced and full of fast characters. Even Sonic himself (you know, the fastest thing alive) runs relatively slow compared to the other entries in the series, and the stages where Sonic does run fast are nearly impossible to control.
    • Those sections where Sonic runs fast are the Mach speed sections, sections where Sonic moves at lightning speed and must be controlled to avoid obstacles. The moving controls are inconsistent and oversensitive, Sonic normally moves forward by himself, but when he hits an item box in the air you suddenly need to move the left stick for him to move forward. It is also very difficult to avoid obstacles as the stage throws way too many things at you. Jumping in these sections is also extremely dangerous since it locks Sonic's movement while in the air. The Light Dash is more of a hindrance at times during these segments it can lead Sonic to run into hazards; you're better off not using it.
  10. A lot of puzzles in this game are rather broken and poorly designed. The two most infamous examples include:
    • The billiard puzzle at the end of Silver's run through Dusty Desert, in which he needs to guide a large ball through an L-shaped corridor and into a hole at the end. The problem here is the physics; since nothing in the game has proper weight implementation, the ball will bounce uncontrollably with each hit, and the metal crates that are supposed to stop it from falling into the wrong holes are ineffective. Compounded by the fact that Silver can only bitch-slap or pull a Will Smith on the ball through the hallway (instead of, you know, grabbing it with psychokinesis) 9 times before it eventually explodes, and the fact that the ball itself is also on a time limit. It says a lot about this game when most players bypass this puzzle by exploiting the shoddy coding to glitch through the door using one of the boxes.
      • In Shadow's Kingdom Valley level, Rouge tells you that you need three keys to open a door, similar to the hunting stages in the Adventure games. Only this time, you don't have a radar to help you find them and there are no hints, leaving you completely blind when looking for these keys (thankfully there's a glitch, which bypasses the entire puzzle).
  11. The Skill Gem power-ups were supposed to be timer-based, but due to incorrect naming in the code, the timers never run out, meaning you can use them indefinitely.
    • All seven gems themselves are very broken, and they are:
      • The blue gem gives you a burst of speed, which can be spammed infinitely to speed through levels.
      • The red gem can be used to slow down time. This includes the level timer, making it easier to get high ranks.
      • The green gem creates a tornado around Sonic, damaging everything close to him.
      • The white gem allows Sonic to perform a more powerful and controllable homing attack.
      • The sky blue gem makes Sonic throw a small gem, and wherever it lands, Sonic will zip toward that location. However its range is not unlimited, and it can accidentally launch Sonic off the stage.
      • The yellow gem creates a yellow-colored thunder shield around Sonic, similar to the lightning/magnetic shield from older games. While it can only take one hit, nothing is preventing the player from simply making another one right after he gets hit.
      • The purple emerald shrinks you down and gives you infinite jumps. Because the emerald powerups last forever, Sonic can skip huge chunks of his levels by jumping infinitely. This makes it the most broken emerald in the game.
  12. Speaking of upgrades, Shadow and Silver only get a fraction of the upgrades Sonic has:
    • Shadow gets the Light Dash, and three Chaos powers, the Chaos Snap, Chaos Lance, and Chaos Blast, none of which are really that useful.
    • Silver gets a pathetic Dash move that covers very little distance, a wider pickup radius, a Throw-All move that's self-explanatory, and a slam attack that stuns all enemies within range.
  13. While not as much as Shadow the Hedgehog, this game tries way too hard to take itself seriously. Some examples include:
    • In the last story, Sonic gets killed by the main villain (albeit temporarily).
    • Crisis City, most notably being horribly out-of-place in Sonic universe due to its dark and gritty tone.
      • Speaking of Crisis City, the Mach speed section at the end of the stage is the worst one of the lot; there are so many obstacles that are hard to avoid, plus you have to deal with debris being thrown at you from behind as well, with no indication of where it comes from. There are also moments where the camera spins around in front of Sonic, but the controls don't change to compensate for this new angle, making it feel disorienting.
  14. On that topic, the game's art direction received mixed reactions from fans since the more realistic people and settings clash with Sonic and the company's more cartoony aesthetics. It's very inconsistent, and while it was a running theme in other Sonic games like Sonic Adventure, and its sequel, Shadow the Hedgehog, and later Sonic Unleashed, those games at least had a cartoony appearance. In this game, however, it is very glaring with its mediocre models and more realistic environments.
    • Eggman's realistic design was heavily panned for being incredibly disturbing and falling straight into the depths of Uncanny Valley since he was never meant to look realistic in the first place. Elise's design was also noted for being too pale and looking like a poor man's version of a character designed by Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts character designer, Tetsuya Nomura.
  15. Constant scripted events and autopilot sections in the levels. Often you can find yourself not pressing any button for over 20 seconds while the game plays itself (for example, you can beat the Shadow hang gliding sections without even touching a single button). Sonic's version of Tropical Jungle works the same way for the first 20 seconds of the stage.
  16. Nothing happens in Sonic's story. All of the important backstories of Princess Elise and Solaris are told in Shadow and Silver's stories. With Sonic (you know, the main character in the entire series), it's just the completely pointless scuffle with Dr. Eggman complete with Elise getting kidnapped five times. As such, they all have countless flaws with their characterization, mainly due to bad writing and retcons (as discussed above).
    • Sonic's personality shifts from a cool hero with an attitude into most of the time a serious one with no humor. Also, Blaze and Knuckles both act out of character and don't serve any real purpose.
    • Elise is by far one of the biggest "damsel in distress" characters in video game history (surpassing even Princess Peach of the Super Mario Bros. franchise, which is quite the accomplishment), since she gets kidnapped so often, it's ridiculous, which makes her feel like the Sonic embodiment of Don Bluth’s version of Thumbelina. She has the power of Iblis inside her, which is extremely powerful yet she rarely uses it (as it only triggers if she sheds a single tear, which in itself is incredibly stupid); making her a poor man's version of Jean Grey (only without becoming a strong female lead). That being said, the player can use the "Iblis Shield" in the levels that have Sonic carrying her around.
    • Silver himself, while not as bad as Elise and still a good character, can be naive most of the time to the point where he gets duped by Mephiles quickly
    • Speaking of the mad doctor himself, this incarnation of Dr. Eggman is easily one of the worst incarnations of Eggman ever executed. His personality was completely watered down by taking away his iconic, comedic, and villainous charm and being reduced into a straightforward, typical, and predictably fallible antagonist because of being depicted as a very "serious" character (alongside Sonic) who doesn't do much in the story despite being an antagonist, all because of the game's clustered writing. He has little to nothing exactly enjoyable or notable to say about this incarnation of Eggman, which is carried to the point where his excessive levels of seriousness make Eggman rather boring, forgettable, unremarkable, bland, and generic than you'd expect.
  17. Painfully long and frequent loading times. The worst instance of this is when you do a side mission. First, you accept the mission, it loads, then the NPC explains what you must do, and it loads again, you finish the mission, it loads, the NPC praises/criticizes you, it loads. It takes four loading screens to do a side quest, sometimes the load screens will last longer than the side quests. The worst offender has to be "The Mathematician's Training", where Shadow has to answer math problems, of which there are six in total, and every single question has its loading screen, so that's eight loading screen you have to sit through for the mission.
    • What's even worse is that there is a side quest in Shadow's story where you help a G.U.N. soldier, and it has only one loading screen. Why can't all of the levels be like this?
    • It appears the primary reason for all the loading is that the overworld maps are modeled as finite-state machines: in other words, to change anything in a map, the game has to dump everything out of RAM, reload the base state of the map, then apply a state transition to it to create a specific state. This method is the most quick-and-dirty method of creating a functional loader and is probably a result of rushed development.
    • In the Let's Play of the PS3 version for the Something Awful forums by pokecan, out of a 20:16:32 full runtime, 2:24:31 was loading screens. This amounts to almost 12% of the total playtime.
  18. The three main hedgehogs (Sonic, Shadow, and Silver) are buggy due to their controls and odd design choices for their gameplay:
    • Sonic plays just as he did in previous games, but he doesn't run as fast, as he runs slower than Omega and Blaze, his Homing Attack has a pause between attacks, he can't jump while using the Spin Dash, and his Homing Attack has strange tracking, sometimes slinging past enemies instead of hitting them.
    • Shadow's gameplay is similar to Sonic's, except he lacks the Spin Dash and his Homing Attack is more combat-based which is a bit polarizing, as you're just tapping the jump button until the enemy dies. He also has some Chaos powers which, while cool, are bland and can sometimes break.
    • Silver's gameplay is using his psychokinesis. Think of the Stasis Field in Gravity Rush in that he can grab objects in the environment and fling them at enemies, only it's not very accurate, he can't aim his projectiles, they can simply bounce off the enemies about 40% of the time, and he can accidentally throw stuff into another one of the objects he's holding due to the poor spread. He can also grab enemy projectiles and throw those, and enemies themselves; however, Silver needs to stun them first by pimp-slapping them. Silver doesn't have any other means of attack in this game; he is completely dependent on his psychokinesis for defense. He is also much slower than Sonic, Shadow, and even Amy, so he can't avoid obstacles or enemies as easily.
  19. There are also six playable side characters (two for each hedgehog), but they are rarely used and are just as buggy as the main characters, if not worse. Knuckles and Rouge are arguably the buggiest characters in the game.
    • Tails' gameplay is similar to that of Sonic Heroes (when he is on his own). He can fly, but his flight has too much forward momentum and he'll drop like a brick after a short period. He can attack enemies with Dummy Ring Bombs, which are slow, but effective against enemies. However, they create fake rings upon exploding, and if you take damage, there is no way to tell the difference between real and fake rings. Tails are also agonizingly slow on the ground to the point where one has to wonder how he can hover when he is moving that slowly.
    • Rouge doesn't use hand-to-hand combat as she did in Sonic Adventure 2. Instead, she uses bombs, similar to Tails. She can throw 5 bombs at once making stronger enemies look like low-level mooks, but she can get stuck on walls when climbing.
    • For E-123 Omega, he only has a pea shooter and homing missiles that sometimes work. His attacks also lack the impact that they had in Sonic Heroes. He also has a hover ability that can be easily exploited by mashing the jump button to skip certain parts of levels, and he is surprisingly fast for a robot.
    • Knuckles is slow, has unnaturally heavy gliding, is hard to use, and has terrible combat with such poor hit detection that it's impossible to kill enemies quickly. Like Rouge, Knuckles can also get stuck on walls when climbing.
    • Amy has reverted to her Sonic Adventure play style, which wasn't that good but it's much worse here; terrible ground speed, a delayed hammer swing, a double jump that gives extra height but kills forward momentum, and she can inexplicably turn invisible for some reason. She also can't even perform air attacks anymore.
    • Blaze's gameplay style is similar to what she did in Sonic Rush, she runs faster than Sonic, her Homing Attack is quicker and flowing-free and her double jump is more functional than Amy's double jump, making her the most functional character in the entire game. However, she is only used three times, as she only has two playable segments and one full stage to herself and she has very little-to-no impact on the storyline whatsoever.
    • Speaking of Elise, both Elise (mostly severe) and Silver (although not as severe as Elise) were poorly received. After Sonic '06, Elise has never been seen in any future Sonic games. Silver, on the other hand, had gained more popularity than Elise, becoming a side character in the franchise, appearing in the Sonic Rivals games, and having minor roles in the Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games series, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Sonic Generations, Sonic Forces and Team Sonic Racing. Silver usually gives people Sonic '06 flashbacks, which might be why he doesn't appear often.
  20. The NPCs look like uglier versions of the character models in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and they also have Sonic Adventure level animations. Also, they have fewer models compared to San Andreas, making NPC clumping a very common phenomenon
  21. Like in Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow can use vehicles at various points, but save for the few sections where they are mandatory like in White Acropolis, Kingdom Valley, and Radical Train, they aren't necessary and you can bypass using them with no penalty. It doesn't help that the vehicles (except for the Glider) control very poorly.
    • The buggy is slow and handling is somewhat clunky, and you need it to complete White Acropolis by blowing up the searchlight towers.
    • The bike is required to beat Radical Train, but the handling feels loose, and changing direction feels very haphazard.
    • The Hovercraft is the most used vehicle, and is the worst one of the bunch; it feels very slippery to handle, and is used in the worst environments for it, those being:
      • Kingdom Valley, where Shadow can be blindsided by collapsing pillars that will kill him on impact.
      • Dusty Desert, where Shadow has to pass through rising gates to gain entrance to the ruins, but there's no reason to do this it just over-complicates things, and the terrain makes it easy to flip the Hovercraft over, which results in death.
      • Wave Ocean is the tamest, due to calm waters and a straightforward path to the exit from the moment you mount the Hovercraft.
    • The Glider functions as it should, but it is only used three times in short 30-second sections of stages.
  22. Most of the boss fights are poorly designed, with the three most infamous ones being Silver and Iblis' second phase. Silver can grab and throw you into a wall while saying his most infamous quotes: "It's no use!" followed by "Take this!" or "This will end it!" along with "How about this!?" in another form. This boss fight is also infamous due to a glitch where he can repeatedly throw you against a wall, without giving you any time to recover. When this happens, you keep unintentionally picking up at least one ring, so you're left stuck in an endless loop. Iblis' second phase is not as bad as Silver, but it's also infamous for being little more than a waiting game. You have to fight both bosses twice, once with Sonic, and again with Shadow.
    • Silver doesn't fare any better; because he's slower, it is harder for him to avoid Sonic and Shadow's Homing Attacks. Sometimes, they'll hit Silver from the other end of the arena, and he can't grab them as easily since they'll immediately break free as if nothing happened, which is so bad because it doesn't work the other way around!
  23. Cheap enemy placements that give several enemies a chance to pop up out of nowhere and ambush you.
  24. The tenth and final stage (The End of the World) is one of the worst levels in the game, and one of the worst final levels in the entire franchise. It's painfully long, has seven separate loading screens that each lasting over 20 seconds, doesn't let you play as Sonic or Blaze (they are already dead in this segment keep in mind), forces players to deal with every other character's problems at once, is filled with poorly placed wormholes that are instant kills and starts you off with six lives. It's difficult to get more and if you get a game over, you have to do the whole level all over again! If you get hit by an enemy when next to these things you are left vulnerable, and to top it off, invincibility frames do not protect you from them!
  25. No autosave feature. For example, if you forget to save manually and get a game over on the first level, you have to start the whole game all over again from the opening cutscene as demonstrated by James Rolfe.
    • The only upside to this is that unlike another game that relies on manual saves, this game at least prompts players to save after finishing a level.
  26. The PS3 version didn't get anything exclusive like the Xbox 360 version.
    • The Xbox 360 version got the Team Attack Amigo, the Very Hard Missions DLC for all three Amigo characters (Tails, Omega, and Blaze) & boss attacks DLC for all three hedgehogs, while the PS3 version only has the Very Hard DLC in North America. Sadly, other DLCs for PS3 were only released in Europe and Asia.
    • Background themes based on the game were released for the Xbox 360, but not the PS3.
  27. The PS3 version is slightly inferior to the Xbox 360 version despite having extra development time since it has slightly longer load times (25 seconds while the Xbox 360 version loads in 20 seconds) and has a worse framerate than the 360 version. There's also no way to install the game onto the hard drive to reduce those problems.
  28. The gameplay is extremely repetitive and boring, as some parts of the game are automated during mach-speed sections and nearly all of the levels are the same with many segments being repeated and overreliance on awful combat, which can make completing the game very tiring and monotonous after 3 hours when you've already reached the final boss and it's made worse by the lack of replay value mentioned below in WINU#35.
  29. You collect medals that are similar to the emblems in previous 3D Sonic games, only this time you get absolutely nothing when you get them all, once again, due to the game being rushed. All you can get from them is an achievement in the 360 version.
  30. The game has a co-op mode where two players can race each other toward the end of a level of their choice, but it's extremely unbalanced because Sonic is much faster than Shadow and Silver. Silver is too slow, but he can freeze the other player infinitely, which allows the Silver player to curb-stomp the other player.
  31. The cutscenes look extremely awkward and choppy due to the awful character animations and poor lip-syncing since the mouths of the characters rarely move and the characters' movements feel like they are recorded in low-budget motion capture similar to Foodfight!, an infamous animated movie, which looks jarring and is out of place for the cartoony nature of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise since the series is known for having great cutscenes with expressive animations and beautiful graphics (even Rise of Lyric had amazing cutscenes despite the terrible graphics), something that this game is lacking, making the cutscenes uncomfortable to watch and ugly at best.
  32. As previously mentioned in WINU#27, the achievements are poorly written because they don't offer enough information on their requirements and have improper grammar. For example, to unlock the Blue Phantom achievement, you have to get all of the Skill Gems as Sonic. The description says "Super Sonic: Obtain the all moves".
  33. Worst case of all, while this has never been revealed, neither Sega nor Sonic Team has issued a traditional apology for the game, it's clear they're also okay with joking about the game's execution with fans. Even more so, they have clearly never bothered to release a single patch for both consoles, despite making changes and fixes with the DLC missions and even the re-release on the Greatest Hits collection which adds to how bizarre this whole game is. No patches were likely made because most of the game's problems were baked into its core concept.
  34. The title of the game can be confusing for newcomers, whether it's a remake or reboot.
  35. Little to no replay value. Unlike the previous Sonic games (yes even including Shadow the Hedgehog) where it has great replay value due to the levels being fun to repeat, this game doesn't live up to that value because of how unplayable it is and how forgettable is it due to the problems above.
  36. Many of the enemies and bosses have way too much health and it takes very long to drain their health bar when damaging them, and since many of them act like bullet sponges and are hard to take down as said above in WINU#22 and WINU#23, it makes the player feel underpowered and quite weak as the characters are unable to take advantage of the enemies and bosses with their attacks that are too weak to take them down, which makes the game feel even more annoying and frustrating than it already is.
  37. Many of the missions in the hub-worlds are extremely tedious and tend to be extremely annoying at best since they are often way too complicated and complex with zero objectives and some of them seem to drag on for too long, making some of them almost impossible due to most of them being badly-designed or just suffer from bad programming.
    • One example is the mission where the captain of Soleanna Royal Guards, Pietro, wants the player to guess which one of the guards is the captain as a request for Sonic to enter Soleanna New City, but the main issue with this mission is that it's completely luck-based since when talking to the other guards, they have no clue who the captain is, which forces the player to talk to Pietro many more times and repeat talking to the other guards again, only for Pietro to reveal that he was the captain the whole time, which was not a good move on the developers part and nearly makes the game unbeatable and make this mission come off as a very badly-made prank from Sonic Team themselves.
  38. Overall, it's a disgrace to the franchise and nearly ruined the reputation of Sonic in general, since every game after this would receive mixed to negative reviews while there were games like Sonic Colors, Sonic Unleashed, and Sonic Mania were beloved by the fandom and praised by critics, it wasn't enough to recover from the damage caused by this game and it almost caused the franchise to go on hiatus due to the negative reception only for the game to sell well and Sega made more games in the series after that. Sega themselves actually hate the game itself and desperately try to ignore it in every way possible because of how infamous it is within the gaming community and Sonic fandom, and since the game has only been acknowledged in one level within Sonic Generations and in one episode of the recent Knuckles TV Show, and even made fun of it with Twitter accounts and even Lego Dimensions, which shows that this game has no impact upon the series and only has put a curse on the series that still hasn't gone away even to this day, which shows how incompetent Sega has become with the series nowadays thanks to this mess and explains why Sonic has become so hated these days.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Amazing music, especially the main theme, "His World" (probably one of the best video game themes ever made), and Silver's theme, "Dreams of an Absolution". Other standout tracks include the second half of Wave Ocean (A.K.A. The Inlet), the first halves of Radical Train and Flame Core, along Aquatic Base 1. Crush 40's cover of "All Hail Shadow" is also great too.
  2. Despite not aging well, the graphics look very nice (even though it looks way too realistic and out of place).
  3. Despite also feeling out-of-place, the opening cutscene is pretty awesome to watch along with the other CGI animation scenes.
  4. There still are a few good bosses here and there. The Egg Wyvern boss is a nice call back to the Egg Viper boss from Sonic Adventure.
    1. The Final Boss Solaris is good and is considered one of the best final bosses in any Sonic Game
  5. Speaking of which, the game has a lot of callbacks to SA1, one being the Whale Chase scene from Emerald Coast.
  6. The story does have funny moments here and there: the possibly unintentionally hilarious scene where Shadow uses the power of Chaos Control to kick Silver in the back of the head is a stand-out example, along with the revelation that Eggman/Robotnik has robot glasses that always know where the Chaos Emeralds are.
  7. While the story is nonsensical, the writing can sometimes get better, with great lines like:
    • "My, that's a pretty snazzy performance there!"
    • "Even if you believe everyone in the world will be against you... Know that I'll always remain by your side."
    • "If the world chooses to become my enemy... I will fight like I always have!"
    • "The present day... The here and now that you've stolen... Time to take it back!"
  8. Despite what's mentioned in BQ#8, Blaze has good chemistry with Silver. Plus the ending where she sacrifices herself to get rid of Iblis once and for all is nothing short of saddening, despite her sacrifice being retconned due to the game's story erasing itself at the end.
  9. Some glitches in this game are very fun to use and watch; especially the floating box glitch.
    • Some of the glitches can also be fun for some laughs.
  10. Your mileage may vary, but the gold medals can offer some degree of replay value; you get one for completing the stage as you would, one for completing the Hard mode, one for S ranking each difficulty, and one more for collecting 10 silver medals in each stage. Each story has three extra gold medals; one for finding 30 silver medals in the hub worlds in each story, one for S ranking all ACT stages, and one for S ranking all town missions. This can help you practice the stage and potentially discover new secrets you may have missed in the main route.
  11. Shadow, Knuckles, and Tails are still likable characters and have some of the best portrayals in this game, and unlike other characters, they weren't flanderized at all and still feel like the same characters they were in previous games
  12. Mike Pollock's performance as Dr. Eggman is still fantastic and easily one of the best parts of the entire game, as he still had a great time voicing the character and does a great job at playing the character and feels like he's trying with his performance, unlike the other actors.
  13. Mephiles is a decent villain who is different from other villains in the franchise, he does not show his plans unlike Robotnik (aka Eggman) or others, he manipulates people as it suits him, and he does not care about anything, and he just wants destruction and wants to destroy everything out of sheer hatred towards humanity. He was also the only villain to kill Sonic (albeit temporarily).
  14. Blaze is the ONLY Functional Playable Character and is the Best to Play as.
  15. It spawned a fan remaster which has the goal to correct as many flaws as possible, named Sonic P-06.
  16. The concept of this game is at least cool, despite the atrocious execution.
    • If Sega had the time to finish the game and probably delayed the game to 2007, it would be a lot better (though it most likely would end up being in the "Average games" category).

Reception

AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
👆
This game/console belongs to the "High Level of Shit Contamination" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

The game at first was hyped and fans had very high hopes for the game, with most of them expecting it to repair the damage Shadow the Hedgehog had done to the franchise. However, due to pressure from the Christmas rush and the PlayStation 3 launching, the game was released as a high-unplayable alpha build with little testing.

The game was a massive disappointment to fans and critics alike and is often considered the point at which the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise hit rock bottom. It is not only considered to be one of the worst Sonic games but also one of the worst video games of all time in general.

Somecallmejohnny played the game a lot of times, and he said that he did enjoy the game a bit. He even said that it's even more enjoyable than Shadow the Hedgehog.

ClementJ64 refused to make a Let's Play of it as it is his number one worst game he ever played, despite getting numerous requests from his fans, and instead, made a 7-part review criticizing the game in every single way possible as he and the game get worse in each part.

Sega delisted the game from retailers in 2010, following its decision to remove all Sonic games with below-average Metacritic scores to increase the value of the brand. Since the game was poorly received by critics and fans, the game was removed from the Xbox Marketplace and the PlayStation Store. Only the DLC remains in the stores. Despite this, Microsoft relisted the game on the Xbox 360 Marketplace on 24 May 2022 with no prior warning.

Legacy

A fan project is aiming to develop a build of the game for PC with all (or at least a significant number of) the gameplay problems and bugs fixed. ChaosX released the Sonic the Hedgehog P-06 demo (Project 06) on April 19, 2019. The video received 3,000 likes within one week.

Trivia

  • Sometimes during the Egg Wyvern boss, after playing for a couple of minutes, the boss suddenly stops and the screen goes to black, skipping the entire boss. You can get an easy S rank because of this.
  • Sonic '06 is one of the few games that the port version released earlier than the original version. In this case, the Xbox 360 version, which is a port, despite being released earlier than the PlayStation 3 version. This is because Sega made a contract with Microsoft.
  • Silver the Hedgehog's "It's no use" line became a meme.
  • SEGA rushed the production of the game to release the game alongside Christmas and the 15th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
  • The development team was split halfway during the development, as one team worked on this game and the other team worked on the game Sonic and the Secret Rings for the Nintendo Wii.
  • In 2010, SEGA delisted the game as a downloadable title from the Xbox Live Marketplace because they felt the game was harming the Sonic brand by being available for purchase, but was later relisted likely by complete accident on May 24, 2022, for a mere $5 (either that or Sega wanted to make a quick buck off those who either wanted to see how bad the game was or liked it ironically), where it's currently meeting a decent number of sales by Xbox 360 owners and the Sonic fanbase as we speak.
  • A port of the game for PC was announced but was never released due to the terrible reception of the game.
  • A Wii version was in development but due to the Wii's limitations, it was reworked into Sonic and The Secret Rings.
  • Silver's Theme Song "Dreams of an Absolution" is an unintentional remix of Green Hill Zone's theme music, and the songwriter said he didn't realize he had mixed the music into the song.
  • There was a plan to allow players to obtain a gem and allow a player to be Super Sonic in regular gameplay stages, but the idea was dropped due to time constraints.
  • This was the last game in the franchise to be produced by the franchise conceiver, Yuji Naka, who left midway through the project and was not credited for his involvement in the game's development. Immediately after leaving Sega and Sonic Team, he founded his own independent development company Prope, where he made games like Let's Tap, Ivy the Kiwi and Rodea the Sky Soldier. In 2018, he went on to join Square Enix where he directed the critical and financial disappointment that was Balan Wonderworld, and shortly after the release of Balan Wonderworld, he departed from Square Enix and returned to Prope, which was reduced to one employee, this time to work on simple smartphone games using the Unity engine, but it was then revealed by Naka himself that he was fired from the company before the game was released, resulting in him filling a lawsuit against them.
    • There is constant debate over which game is worse, this (Sonic 06) or Balan Wonderworld.
  • Like Sonic Adventure 2, SnapCube's fandub made this game popular for a little bit, while introducing more memes, such as Ke$ha: Die Young (marching band arrangement), "Ha ha, ha ONE!", "Tilted Towers", "Speak for yourself, motherf**ker!", "I'm not in the sky, dicknips!", "Welcome to my Gamer Pad!", "Prepare for my ultimate grand slam!", "Finally god, Take me!", "The audacites of this bitch..." and "Downloading weed.exe".
  • Mephiles the Dark is the only villain in the entire series who successfully killed Sonic, albeit temporarily, since he was resurrected before the final boss with Solaris.
  • This is the only main series Sonic game to have its story erased from history, due to Elise blowing out the Flame of Hope, erasing Solaris, Mephiles, and Iblis from existence and preventing the events of the game from ever happening, meaning the canonical timeline goes straight from Shadow the Hedgehog to Sonic Unleashed.
  • The game traumatized SEGA even today, as they refuse to be connected to the game in any way, and even in certain mobile games you can't name your character Sonic 06 and if you did, the game will consider it a racial slur. The game is so infamous that they even banned you from naming your character after it in certain mobile games.

Galleries

Videos

Game Grumps' Sonic '06 Playthrough playlist

Clement Reviews Sonic '06 For 3 Hours!

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