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Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary - Retrospective

RK128

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Hello everyone! Sonic is having a bright future, so here is my collection of every Sonic-related topic or game I covered in the past. The Sonic Retrospective has been such a successful project, that this great community really deserves a big thanks. I am so honored and humbled that you all enjoyed my content with Sonic. I hope you continue enjoying the series and the content I produce. Now, we have a lot more to cover, with Retrospectives on not just the announced games but fan games to cover too! Keep an eye out on this thread, as we have much more Sonic content to cover :D!



I love this series a lot and want to honor its legacy in a big way :).

Classic Series:
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic Spinball
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
Sonic CD
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
Knuckles Chaotix
Sonic 3D Blast
Extra: Sonic Before/After the Sequel

Game Gear:
Sonic 1 & 2 Master System/Game Gear
Sonic Drift 1 & 2
Sonic & Tails Series (Chaos and Triple Trouble)
Sonic Side Stories (Blast and Labyrinth)
Tail's Adventures (Sky Patrol and Adventures)

Sega Saturn/Arcade Era:
Sonic the Fighters
Sonic R
Sonic Jam

Dreamcast Era:
Sonic Adventure
Sonic Adventure 2
Sonic Pocket Adventure
Sonic Shuffle
Sonic Heroes
Sonic Advance
Sonic Advance 2
Sonic Advance 3
Sonic Pinball Party
Sonic Battle
Sonic Riders & Zero Gravity
Shadow the Hedgehog - NeoGaf Member Village is helping with this one!
Sonic Genesis
Sonic Rush

Modern Era:
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Sonic & The Secret Rings
Sonic Rivals 1 & 2
Sonic Rush Adventure
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
Sonic Unleashed
Sonic & The Black Knight
Sonic All Stars Series (Tennis, All Stars Racing, Racing Transformed) - NeoGaf Member Village is helping out with this one!
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episodes I & II
Sonic Colors Wii & DS
Sonic Lost World Wii U & 3DS - NeoGaf Member Yoshi is helping out with this one! (Wii U version)
Sonic Boom Wii U & 3DS - NeoGaf Members Yoshi & Village are helping out with this one! (Wii U version)
Sonic Generations HD and 3DS

New Era of Sonic:
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice
Quick Look: Lego Sonic in LEGO Dimensions
Sonic Mania
Sonic: Project 2017

Fan Games & Sonic Hacking Community:
Sonic Before the Sequel

Special Articles for Sonic:
Celebrating an Anniversary - Sonic the Hedgehog Part I
Celebrating an Anniversary - Sonic the Hedgehog Part II
Celebrating an Anniversary - Sonic the Hedgehog Part III
Celebrating An Anniversary - Sonic the Hedgehog Part IV / Part V / Part VI / Part VII
A New Era - The Bright Future for Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic in the Gaming Press - The Spin Cycle of the Blue Blur

Fun Side Projects:
Sonic Anniversary Party Podcast - Part I (Predictions)
Sonic Anniversary Party Podcast - Part II (Reactions)
Hero of Legend's Sonic Discussions Podcast Ep. 1 - IGN's Game Scoop Sonic Video Reactions
Hero of Legend's Sonic Discussions Podcast Ep. 2 - IGN's Game Scoop Sonic Video Reactions w/th Donnie/SSF1991

Extra Threads/Major Posts:
Extra: Sonic Boom Shattered Crystal (3DS) Thoughts & Impressions
Extra: Sonic Lost World 3DS Quick Look
Extra: Sonic Lost World 3DS Thoughts and Impressions
Extra: Big's Big Fishing Adventure 3 Trail - April Fools Game
Extra: Freedom Planet

Sonic Team Titles:
Nights into Dreams
Ristar
Burning Rangers
Samba De Amigo
Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg

A fellow Gaffer covered the Sonic series in the past, so give this a look and check out Boogiepop's thoughts on the series :D!
 

Femto.

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I love Sonic!

Why SEGA chose to go the opposite direction after Sonic Generations is beyond me. Last great Sonic game.
 

RK128

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I love Sonic!

Why SEGA chose to go the opposite direction after Sonic Generations is beyond me. Last great Sonic game.

They went the other way after Generations due to trying to find a gameplay style that is cheaper to produce.

Making the Modern Sonic levels is very, very expensive and time consuming. The ONLY reason we got that many zones for Generations was because of asset re-usage from the Modern Era (06, Unleashed, PC Kits of Colors) and maybe the All Stars Racing series (All Stars Racing).

So with Lost World, they tried to blend Adventure X Modern gameplay but it lead to mixed results.
 

kunnikuman

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It's one of the worst series ever. How I wish that Sega would just let it go and put an end to its misery.
 

DeVeAn

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Great Job! Huge fan here. I wish Sonic had Pokemon level support for his anniversary. The video game world wouldn't be the same if not for the introduction of Sonic the Hedgehog.
 

RK128

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Great Job! Huge fan here. I wish Sonic had Pokemon level support for his anniversary. The video game world wouldn't be the same if not for the introduction of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic appears to be getting a lot of support this year for the anniversary:
-Archie Classic-styled series called 'Mega Drive'
-Rumored anniversary game in the works
-Lots of Anniversary events happening this year (one being a panel wither Naka, Izuka and the voice actors will be present for questions/comments)
-A good amount of games announced for the year (Dash 2, Mario & Sonic, Rumored Anniversary game, Sonic Boom Fire & Ice)
-Possibility of ports/collections on current gen consoles (Classic or Modern Era games)
 

RK128

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So you are going through all the games listed? I hope you have fun.

Yep :). The ones with no links will be filled in as I cover more and more games.

Want to make 2-3 threads per week (as to not spam Gaf with Sonic threads), so while it may take a while, will have all of those games covered by.....mid March hopefully :).
 

Femto.

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They went the other way after Generations due to trying to find a gameplay style that is cheaper to produce.

Making the Modern Sonic levels is very, very expensive and time consuming. The ONLY reason we got that many zones for Generations was because of asset re-usage from the Modern Era (06, Unleashed, PC Kits of Colors) and maybe the All Stars Racing series (All Stars Racing).

So with Lost World, they tried to blend Adventure X Modern gameplay but it lead to mixed results.

Did not know this, such a shame. Makes me wonder how much modern era Mario games cost to make.
 

RK128

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Did not know this, such a shame. Makes me wonder how much modern era Mario games cost to make.

I don't think they cost that much. Mario 3D Levels are built like 'parts'; Nintendo makes the parts first, then assembles them in the best fashion that would lead to fun levels and platforming.

This was clearly the case with the 3D Land and World games but Galaxy did this too with the different planets to hop from.

Modern Sonic's levels are built using miles and miles of assets/land, so that is the reason why there is 2D sections in those levels; easier for Sonic Team to construct levels when they can focus 30% of it on a platforming 2D Section then the other 70% is he hard work on the 3D sections.
 

RK128

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Really intrigued to see what the 25th Anniversary game is going to be. Have there been anymore rumours or hints about what it might be?

Rumors point to it being either of the following:
-Two games this year from Sonic Team (Classic and Modern Game)
-New Classic Styled game coming from Sonic Team
-New Modern game (put into full production after Lost World finished development)

I am leaning on us getting a Classic Sonic Collection and a new Modern Sonic game but who knows what will happen :).
 

Spinluck

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Nice try Evilore!
They went the other way after Generations due to trying to find a gameplay style that is cheaper to produce.

Making the Modern Sonic levels is very, very expensive and time consuming. The ONLY reason we got that many zones for Generations was because of asset re-usage from the Modern Era (06, Unleashed, PC Kits of Colors) and maybe the All Stars Racing series (All Stars Racing).

So with Lost World, they tried to blend Adventure X Modern gameplay but it lead to mixed results.

Lost World's issues are mainly in level design, that can be fixed. It controlled better than any other Sonic game on a 3D plain, and brought in some interesting ideas. I just wish I knew what the fuck they were thinking on some of those later levels.

Some tweaks here and there, and they've got something good on their hands.
 

RK128

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Missing Sonic Chaos and Sonic Blast in the Game Gear/ Master System section, also you gotta play Pocket Adventure! One of the best imo.

I'm going to cover every game listed in the OP :). Going to clarify that now but will explain this here.

Every game in the OP is going to be covered, but I didn't finish the retrospective yet. So, that means not every game in the OP is covered now. I made this thread to house links to all the different Retrospective Threads, so that way its easy for people to find the game they want to look for.

Will add that information in the OP but just wanted to clarify that with you all now :).
 

LewieP

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Been waiting for another good game since 1994, and I've mostly given up now, but maybe they'll throw me a bone with a proper remake of the classic games for the 25th anniversary.
 

Jonneh3003

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Been waiting for another good game since 1994, and I've mostly given up now, but maybe they'll throw me a bone with a proper remake of the classic games for the 25th anniversary.

Sonic Pocket Adventure, Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Advance, Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations are all wonderful games and there's been a handful of above average titles like Sonic Heroes, Sonic Rush and Lost World.
 

RK128

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Hello, just wanted to let you all know that I edited the Unleashed OP to cover more about the game (which I did throughout the thread) and will do this with every thread I cover.

But I did that with Unleashed first to try and highlight the #Unleashed4PC movement, which would help spread the word on people wanting PC version of the game.

Going back to the Sonic CD, Adventure 2 and Sonic 06 threads to edit somethings and add on latter posts I made throughout each thread.
 

Warxard

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Been waiting for another good game since 1994, and I've mostly given up now, but maybe they'll throw me a bone with a proper remake of the classic games for the 25th anniversary.

Cool, just give up sonic then if you're that disinterested in the titles today
 

Azoo

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Sonic's been a big series of ups and downs, but it's best games still remain as my favorites. Sonic 3 & Knuckles is probably my GOAT and Sonic CD definitely isn't far behind.

Putting up with the nostalgia circlejerk about the classic era all over the internet is kind of irritating though, even if it is justified. Things like going back to 2D, no stories, no characters, Eggman renamed to Robotnik, black-eyed Sonic only, Green Hill Destination won't fix a single thing about the series, never has and never will. Nostalgia doesn't fix anything, as nice as it sometimes is.

Well designed games do though, and the biggest faults in games like the Adventures and Unleashed (titles that are mostly really good despite their problems) are because they wasted time making alternate gameplay styles and adding gratuitous amounts of padding that noone needed.

Cut the excess fat from that and you'd have great games, but cut too much (like story, depth and extra content) and then there's just a shell of a game left.. kind of like Colors and Generations. Which were still good games, mind, but I felt they got overpraised for the wrong reasons (nostalgia).

Meanwhile Lost World wasn't even that good at all, so who knows where we're going next. And what's a Boom, anyways?
 

RK128

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Sonic's been a big series of ups and downs, but it's best games still remain as my favorites. Sonic 3 & Knuckles is probably my GOAT and Sonic CD definitely isn't far behind.

Putting up with the nostalgia circlejerk about the classic era all over the internet is kind of irritating though, even if it is justified. Things like going back to 2D, no stories, no characters, Eggman renamed to Robotnik, black-eyed Sonic only, Green Hill Destination won't fix a single thing about the series, never has and never will. Nostalgia doesn't fix anything, as nice as it sometimes is.

Well designed games do though, and the biggest faults in games like the Adventures and Unleashed (titles that are mostly really good despite their problems) are because they wasted time making alternate gameplay styles and adding gratuitous amounts of padding that noone needed.

Cut the excess fat from that and you'd have great games, but cut too much (like story, depth and extra content) and then there's just a shell of a game left.. kind of like Colors and Generations. Which were still good games, mind, but I felt they got overpraised for the wrong reasons (nostalgia).

Meanwhile Lost World wasn't even that good at all, so who knows where we're going next. And what's a Boom, anyways?

Sonic Boom is a sub-series made by Sega of America Early 2014, with the focus on bringing Sonic into the TV Realm again after Sonic X.

They had a lot of control over Sonic in this regard, so Sega of Japan allowed them to fund two games, which were part of the Nintendo Deal, based off of the Boom IP.



The Wii U game was made by Big Red Button (composed of former Naughty Dog, Insomniac Games, Heavy Iron Studios, Santa Monica Studios and SuperBot Entertainment developers) and the 3DS game was made by Sanzaru Games (developers of the Sly Cooper Collection and latter on Sly 4: Thieves in Time).

They had great track records......but both underwhelmed, to put it lightly.

Never played the Wii U game due to not owning one (and not having interest in getting one) but Its up their with Sonic 06 in terms of critical reception. The 3DS game is more positive, with it just being decent instead of horrible.

Having played the demo of the 3DS game, I can safely say I will enjoy the final game when I get to covering it for the retrospective.

The TV show has been successful and the toys have been selling well. There is a reason we are getting Sonic Boom Fire & Ice this year on 3DS; the show is doing well enough to warrant more games based off the IP.
 

Azoo

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That was more of a sarcastic quip from me. Believe me, I know of Boom :v

Actually I'd rather forget Boom happened altogether. It was a huge mistake from Sega's higher ups to let it happen, Sonic Team actively didn't want it to happen / had nothing to do with it, and Big Red Button's team got really cocky about it before collectively losing their minds when said higher ups forced them to shove it into a Wii U exclusive release.

The show's the only redeeming part of it but that's not saying much. It's just silly Saturday morning fodder and not really anything huge or extremely well done. Don't mind it existing, don't mind it not existing.
 

Aostia

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Werent we supposed to see something related to the 35 anniversary in February?
 

RK128

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That was more of a sarcastic quip from me. Believe me, I know of Boom :v

Actually I'd rather forget Boom happened altogether. It was a huge mistake from Sega's higher ups to let it happen, Sonic Team actively didn't want it to happen / had nothing to do with it, and Big Red Button's team got really cocky about it before collectively losing their minds when said higher ups forced them to shove it into a Wii U exclusive release.

The show's the only redeeming part of it but that's not saying much. It's just silly Saturday morning fodder and not really anything huge or extremely well done. Don't mind it existing, don't mind it not existing.

Well, sorry for the information dumb then XD.

I like the Cartoon myself, so I am a bit kinder to the concept of Boom. But I agree it was not needed and it did more harm then good to the Sonic Brand as a whole.

Werent we supposed to see something related to the 25 anniversary in February?

I think that was supposed to be in March, not this month.
 

Village

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I like the Cartoon myself, so I am a bit kinder to the concept of Boom. But I agree it was not needed and it did more harm then good to the Sonic Brand as a whole..

I think boom was needed, or rather what boom was going to be, if that makes sense. A sonic boom, whatever it was going to be called, was going to come regardless. Because what I think sonic boom is trying to do even now is something that sega has probably wanted to monetize on for a while just push it under an entirely different thing.
 

RK128

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That's one animal who needs to be euthanized.

Well, that's two 'Sonic should be dead' posts in here so far, lets see if we get more ;).

Could you at least say why you hate the series? I understand the series has a few problems, so would be interested to see where you are coming from :D.
 

RK128

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Hey RK, what's your opinion on the Sonic Advance trilogy? I played 1 a lot as a kid, it's my favorite Sonic.

Making threads covering each game on their own but going to sum them up this way:
Advance 1 - The Real Sonic the Hedgehog 4, so I feel its a great action/platformer
Advance 2 - Very enjoyable game that is great for single playthrough's but fully 100% the game (getting the good ending) completely ruins the game (will cover that a lot more latter on)
Advance 3 - Enjoyable Sonic platformer but it has a lot of problems (annoying level design, stupid method to unlocking special stages, some of the team combinations aren't that fun). It has my favorite version of Green Hill Zone though, so its a winner in my book despite its issues :).
 

ss_lemonade

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Loved the original Sonic Adventure. I think I played the Dreamcast demo way too many times because it felt like such a big jump in visual quality over the stuff we had on th n64.

Speaking of Sonic games, wasn't there an arcade title that had an isometric view similar to 3d blast and had Sonic running, escaping traps?
 

RK128

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Loved the original Sonic Adventure. I think I played the Dreamcast demo way too many times because it felt like such a big jump in visual quality over the stuff we had on th n64.

Speaking of Sonic games, wasn't there an arcade title that had an isometric view similar to 3d blast and had Sonic running, escaping traps?

Yes, it was called SegaSonic the Hedgehog and it had playable Sonic, Mighty and Ray. The problem is.....I have no way to play it :(. So like what I plan to do is that when I get to Sonic Jam, going to use that as an excuse to cover the following:
-Sonic World
-Emulation Quality of Sonic 1-3&K
-Sonic Xtreme
-SegaSonic the Hedgehog
-Ads and Fan Made Remixes from the Classic Era
-Introduction to Sonic Adventure

Will be a celebration and last hurrah of Classic Sonic before rocking out to Sonic Adventure :).

I plan on doing what I plan with Sonic Jam with Sonic Lost World (covering the 3DS Version (the one I can play) and the Wii U version (one I cannot play due to not owning a Wii U) and Sonic Boom (similar case as Lost World).

Might consider covering the Sonic iOS/Mobile games too (Jump, Dash 1 & 2, Runners) but still thinking about that......
 

RK128

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But I would actually really like to play another good Sonic game.

Then give the following a shot:
-Sonic Advance and Pocket Adventure: Two Classic-like platformers that will scratch that Classic Era itch :).
-Sonic Colors and Generations: Really solid and polished 3D games that do good for the series
-Sonic Adventure (Sonic & Tails Story): The closest we got to the Classic games into 3D honestly. Very enjoyable and while there are other stories to play through, Sonic & Tails' stories are the most enjoyable.
-Sonic Heroes (if you can deal with the control issues): I covered this game in great detail (was the first game I covered for the retrospective XD!) and I had a blast replaying it :). The Team Sonic playthrough is great and if you can deal with some wonky controls here and there, you are in for a treat. More so if you enjoyed Sonic Adventure.
-Freedom Planet: Not officially a Sonic game, but it might as well be one. Fun action platformer that originated as a Sonic Fan game. I own it on Steam (thanks to a kind Gaffer!) and I loved playing through it. Highly recommend it (might make a thread covering the game upon a second playthrough latter on....).
 

LewieP

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My conclusion that the Sonic games since 1994 have been bad was based on having played them.

Even Generations, supposedly including remakes of classic era levels seriously fluffed up the controls. I can't fathom why they thought it would be a good idea to give players classic levels without replicating the classic physics/controls.

I don't think any of the Advance games are particularly good, although I never did play Pocket Adventure.

The only 3D Sonic that came close to working for me was Sonic & The Secret Rings, but I think the reason that worked is because they simplified it so much, so issues like awkward controls, level design and camera angles that have plagued every other 3D Sonic were largely mitigated.

Stuff like the homing attack, the boost button mechanic, grinding rails and an increased emphasis on QTEs/cutscenes all feel to me like they are a bandage over lacking control schemes. To me at least, Sonic has always been about tight controls and momentum based gameplay. Sprinkling a few elements that take away control in service of upping the spectacle is totally fine, but the rest of the game has to be solid, and it shouldn't overwhelm the rest of the game.

There is clearly also a degree of nostalgia influencing my views, but I would totally be open to a true modern successor to the classic era games. It's just in my view all of Sega's attempts to do this have been failures.

The closest thing I've played to the classic Sonic games is probably Action Henk, although it's also a pretty different game.
 

RK128

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My conclusion that the Sonic games since 1994 have been bad was based on having played them.

Even Generations, supposedly including remakes of classic era levels seriously fluffed up the controls. I can't fathom why they thought it would be a good idea to give players classic levels without replicating the classic physics/controls.

I don't think any of the Advance games are particularly good, although I never did play Pocket Adventure.

The only 3D Sonic that came close to working for me was Sonic & The Secret Rings, but I think the reason that worked is because they simplified it so much, so issues like awkward controls, level design and camera angles that have plagued every other 3D Sonic were largely mitigated.

Stuff like the homing attack, the boost button mechanic, grinding rails and an increased emphasis on QTEs/cutscenes all feel to me like they are a bandage over lacking control schemes. To me at least, Sonic has always been about tight controls and momentum based gameplay. Sprinkling a few elements that take away control in service of upping the spectacle is totally fine, but the rest of the game has to be solid, and it shouldn't overwhelm the rest of the game.

There is clearly also a degree of nostalgia influencing my views, but I would totally be open to a true modern successor to the classic era games. It's just in my view all of Sega's attempts to do this have been failures.

The closest thing I've played to the classic Sonic games is probably Action Henk, although it's also a pretty different game.

I don't know what to say outside of I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the games and consider giving the 2D Game Gear Sonic's a shot :l.

From what enjoyed from Sonic 1/2 Master System/Game Gear, Triple Trouble and Sonic Chaos, they have good controls and feel close to the classic games.

Edit: Timely that you responded, as I made the thread covering the Sonic & Tails series now :). Give that a read and if you like what you read, consider getting Triple Trouble for your 3DS or something.

Unless you played them already. In that case, ignore my comments about playing the Game Gear games.
 

LewieP

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Yeah that's true, I played them back in the day on the Master System. Definitely lesser games than the Mega Drive ones, but still fun.
 

RK128

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Same, it will be easy for me to make sure I don't miss any of them :)

Happy this thread helps! Wanted everything to be in one place so people have an easy time jumping from game to game.

Also going to edit all the OP's before I get to the Final game (Generations) to ensure they are great and have all issues people pointed out fixed. Did that with my Unleashed thread and plan to do with most of the threads (mainly the Dreamcast/Modern Era games I covered already).
 

RK128

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Thank you guys :D! I updated the Sonic Before/After the Sequel Thread I made last year and its now part of the retrospective!

Will be updating the OP for it more this weekend when I have a lot of time to fly through both games, but for now, hope you all enjoy the thread :).