How Sega Can Really Make Sonic The Hedgehog an “Entertainment Icon”

I read a story yesterday about Sega wanting to make Sonic an entertainment icon and my first thought was immediately, HOW? Just how are you going to make sonic a master across multimedia when you can’t even seem to get his core mechanics and current dominate platform in video games right?

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Sonic Cartoons and Other Media

I’m not saying all of this put down Sega for its ambition, but honestly they need to get their priorities straight. Before you do anything you need to get the games right. Sonic has had some lofty hits in the past like the original Sonic games on Sega Genesis and my personal favorite, the Sonic Adventure series but following that Sonic games have all been pretty mediocre or just plain unplayable (Shoutout to Sonic 06!). Outside of gaming Sonic had some hits on TV with a couple of awesome TV series and one very very bad one that I will not even mention by name because doing so gives it power. The best of these in my opinion is Sonic SATam. It featured a stellar plot and managed to make Dr Robotnik scary and at times relatable. Point is, there have been times that Sega has gotten Sonic right.

sonic-boom

The Sonic Boom Generation

Recently Sonic got a refresh with a brand new TV show and game called Sonic Boom and both are very mediocre. They gave sonic a neck bandana, some bandages and absolutely no soul. The show and the game both feel unfinished and lacking. If this is how you plan on making Sonic an icon, you’ve got a lot of work to do. I read a quote in the article that said the producers of the new games are making an emphasis on quality for Sonic from now on and my thought is, Shouldn’t that have always been the case? Gamers have been complaining about Sonic properties for years, why are you just now making sure the vehicle that got him started is handled right?  A lot of fans have written Sonic off and just look at him about as fondly as they do Bubsy and that’s a shame because Sonic really does deserve to be an icon.

mario 64

How Sonic the Hedgehog Can Become an Icon: Be Like Mario

So how can Sega achieve their goal to get Sonic superstar status? It’s easy. MAKE GREAT GAMES. FOCUS ON THE GAMES FIRST AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW. Super Mario had a terrible movie, a pair of bad run of the mill cartoons and yet his star shines brighter than ever. Even if you don’t play video games you know and love Super Mario.  Nintendo achieved this by making a quality foundation for their character. 90% of the games that feature Mario are amazing, challenging, fun and work to cement his status in our hearts and minds. Sonic can follow this formula and he too will finally get the respect we know he deserves.

Good luck Sega!  I’m rooting for you. 

-Chris 

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Voice Acting in Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Confirmed ? – Opinion [UPDATED]

Zelda Breath of the Wild Voice Acting?

Watching Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild debut at E3 2016 was almost a spiritual experience but nothing made me more excited while watching this game in motion than hearing a real human voice speak to Link. It wasn’t the usual sound effects Nintendo is infamous for but a real (possibly) human voice saying complete sentences.

The beauty of the scene gave me chills but it also gave me a sense that Nintendo is learning. Nintendo seems to be finally listening to us and giving us a Zelda game on scale with others such as Gears of War. That may be wishful thinking but frankly let me dream. Nintendo does a great job of setting themselves apart and I’d like to see them on par with the rest of the class. But I’m getting off topic.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Voice Acting
 Zelda Breath of Wild the Will Feature  Voice Acting

Will Link have a voice?

The one disappointing thing is that Link himself did not talk, nor did any of the villagers he encountered but the voice over we hear throughout the game still gives me hope. The fact that this voice also called Link by name, saying to me that he’s no longer a proxy for the gamer but rather his own man, which gives us a whole new way to think about how we will be playing this game and if it possibly changes the world of Zelda (Hyrule) forever.

[Update] 6/23/2016

According to an article on Polygon released today, not only is voice acting confirmed for this game but according to one of the games producers, Link is confirmed to be remaining mute!

“It’s really difficult to leave an impression on players with just text,” Breath of the Wild producer Eiji Aonuma told Polygon. “It’s not that I made everything voiced. But I have these moments where I want to leave impressions on users. I add voice there.”

Aonuma recalled a moment early in the new game’s development where he first heard a character with “actual human voice.” According to the long-time Zelda developer, that moment “touched [his] heart” and “was really striking emotions.”

However, Aonuma reiterated that the series’ protagonist, Link, will be remaining voiceless for the foreseeable future.

That’s some excited news and frankly I know I’m in the minority but I do wish Link had a voice. Voice acting in Zelda Breath of the Wild would only bring it a new level and in my opinion if done right improve the franchise.  If new games can get this right there’s no reason Nintendo and and the Legend of Zelda franchise can’t.

-Chris

[Source] Polygon