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It had to come to this. We’ve been discussing the worst games of Gen 7, and we wanted to make sure that Sonic wasn’t left out. It was E3 in 2005 that the game Sonic the Hedgehog was announced to fans as part of the 15th anniversary of the Sonic series. The main aim of this game was to show Sonic to a new generation and show off what the Havok engine could do, and it really didn’t help Sonic’s image …

On paper the game plays as a standard 3D Sonic game with multiple playable stories, and when you finish all of them, then a final story unlocks to round it all out. You have Sonic sections where you go fast, Shadow sections where you go fast but there is also a bit more of a focus on combat, and Silver’s sections where you use his telekinesis to solve puzzles. You hear that and what is there not to love? Right?

There was plenty wrong with this game, and most of it stems from bad decisions made during development. After the game was initially showed off the first bad sign came from the resignation of Yuji Naka as the head of Sonic Team. After that, with a deadline looming, the Team made the most logical choice and split in half. One half of the team would continue working on Sonic the Hedgehog, while the other half would go on to develop Sonic and the Secret Rings for the Nintendo Wii. In order to get the game “done” and out in time for the December holiday rush of games, Sonic Team was also reported to have completely ignore any bug reports from their QA team.

Some of the problems that resulted from this lack of QA really shine through in the final game, and it has made Sonic ’06 one of those games that everyone loves to hate. There are long loading times, weird physics glitches, and even ways to skip segments of the game. One of my favorite glitches isn’t so much about breaking a sequence or accidentally staying with Sonic instead of swapping to Tails but is the box glitch. It’s a fun way to completely break the game and head to the heavens.

Of course, if I’m running off a list of some weird things from Sonic ’06, then we have to talk about Eggman. With new access to better hardware, the first thing Sonic Team wants to do is make their characters look more realistic. There isn’t much you can do with an anthropomorphic hedgehog, so Sonic actually doesn’t look too bad, but trying to make Eggman look more like a human leaves a scary image. Other human characters, that are more in proportion, like Princess Elise, actually don’t look bad for a game released in 2006.

Sonic Elise Kiss

The infamous kiss between human princess and hedgehog …

Aside from all of the glitches, the story itself is bogged down in complicated time travel and introduces lore about the gods of Soleanna, a city that has only appeared in Sonic ’06 and has never since appeared again. The story is full of events occurring in one timeline that affect another and in some cases time travel is used to deus ex machina out of situations that didn’t even have to happen. It all culminates in a final fight where Sonic is seemingly dead and it’s only with the Chaos Emeralds and a kiss from Princess Elise that he’s able to rise up and take on Solaris, to go back in time one final time and literally wipe Solaris from existence. It’s a game that completely retcons itself in the end so that Sonic and Elise don’t even know each other by the end of the game.

What do you think of Sonic ’06? Would you recommend it to your friends? What was your experience with the game?

Andrew Stretch

Events Coordinator

I have been playing all kinds of games for as long as I can remember with a particular interest in action adventure and platforming titles. While I am primarily an Xbox gamer I also spend a fair bit of time on the PS4 and on my PC in VR.

  • OneClassyBloke

    “Sonic Team also reported to completely ignore any bug reports from their QA team.”

    Can confirm, I was working at Sega’s QA at the time this game was passing through. Wasn’t assigned to the project though. Also, is that a typo there?

  • Zepherdog

    The only sensible comment regarding sonic 06.

  • Robert Grosso

    Was that normal from Sega at the time? Why did they do that?

  • Andrew Stretch

    Thanks for that, I fixed it 😀
    You’re the best

  • Galbador

    I have the game and every time I pop it in gives me a smile on my face how funny and goofy the game is.

    The story feels like a real fan-fiction. Instead of Princess Elise, I would had choose to bring back Tiara Boobowski and her father Professor Gazebo Boobowski from the cancelled game Sonic X-Treme, because a human and an anthropomorphic toon hedgehog like Sonic does not really fit together.

    Aside this, the control was horrible, like a cube of ice, that slipped on a wet surface. About the glitches, I saw some on Youtube, but never had any when I played the game so far, just like for Sonic Boom, but that game is a deal for another time.

    I have to say, that aside of all those matters, the game was not that bad, but there were places to be fixed. Sadly, Sega never tried to fix it and left it in this broken state, but then again, it is no longer relevant, since the days of PS3 and Xbox 360 are gone and over. Seeing a game with so much premise, especially for Silver, which showed so much potential in his gameplay, is really a sting in my heart. I only hope that Silver gets a new chance to redeem himself in a new game whenever Sega decides to make a new Sonic game, that is playable and with not so many glitches 😉


  • Galbador

    Not really, they rushed the game to be on date with the upcoming consoles, PS3 and Xbox360. Earlier games (minus Sonic Labyrinth) were pretty well made and had high standards. But this game was sadly badly produced and never revisited for fixes. Pretty said, I must say, for it had a lot of potential.

  • King of Zeroes

    Dear gods, I remember this piece of trash. I remember the ridiculous load times, and Sanic hurling himself into the fucking void if I tapped my control stick wrong, or running into goddamn obstacles over and over and over again while fleeing a giant lava tornado because the game thought it was fucking funny to shove the camera right into my face rather than let me see where I was going.

    This is the point where Sanic died for me. All my hopes and dreams were crushed by Sanic 06. “Maybe the next one will be good” I would say to myself, as I rocked back and forth, crying in the corner of my darkened bedroom.

    And from the speakers of my faintly glowing television, I heard those horrible words.

    “It’s no use.”