Old allegiances die hard. Most gamers gave up on Sonic the Hedgehog a long time ago—granted, his first three games on the Sega Genesis are all but universally acknowledged as classics, themselves arguments for the merits of the Genesis over the Super Nintendo. As a middle-to-high schooler who only had a Genesis and not a Super Nintendo, I looked for any reason I could to favor my system of choice over the one that all my friends seemed to like. “Blast processing” was a sufficiently impressive-sounding (not to mention ambiguous) argument that Sega had something in their arsenal that Nintendo didn’t. To this day, I thank the marketing minds behind Sega for coming up with that two-token buzzword.
Obviously, the more recent incarnations of Sonic, without the fate of a console on his shoulders, hasn’t fared as well. Perhaps he no longer feels the pressure that he once did, and feels content to coast on the strength of his name alone; regardless of the reasons, though, we’ve been “treated” to debacles like the Xbox 360 / PS3 Sonic the Hedgehog, not to mention forced to spend more than 50% of games with “Sonic” in the name as characters who are very much not Sonic. Who’s here to save the day but Bioware, the heroes of such well-regarded games as Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect taking Sonic into the realm of Western-style role playing, on the DS no less. It’s called Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, and if you’re into the whole role-playing thing, it actually looks pretty solid.
The early returns on the game have been mixed, but if anyone can pull the blue-haired wonder from the depths of mediocrity, Bioware can. As such, my own hopes are guardedly high.
Also showing up this week on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is Silent Hill: Homecoming, the latest entry in the well-established (and some would say best) survival horror series. Hey, have you noticed that survival horror, once a genre threatening to burst at the seams with knockoffs and sequels, seems awfully sparse lately? The Silent Hill and Resident Evil series are still out there and doing just fine, but the second-tier entries just don’t seem to be garnering the sales or the recognition that they once did. It’s not that I miss it, it’s just that it almost seems weird that the release of a survival horror game, any survival horror game, feels like a notable event.
The Wii has We Cheer, a cheerleading game that uses two Wiimotes as pom-poms, which has been (somewhat unfairly, if you asked me) largely mocked in the gaming press. I say any game that has the musical knowledge to include two tracks from The Go! Team in a cheerleading game is worth supporting. Plus, my (and your) daughter will probably dig it. The more literary-inclined puzzle-solvers among you may enjoy some Hardy Boys action on the PC, a game that may well have been greenlighted in the recognition that Nancy Drew‘s business has been just fine in the PC puzzle arena.
As always, I ask you—did I miss anything? What are you looking forward to this week? Contemplate the question (and go ahead and comment!) as you look over this week’s release list and a trailer for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood after the hop.