When you’re bereft of ideas to write about, you can always pick on Sonic.
It’s pretty much no secret almost two decades after Sonic’s first 3-D outing when they were shoved in our faces that everyone hates his friends. Not only were they annoying as hell, but their gameplay generally sucked as well, taking away effort that could have been spent on making Sonic control better in the process. I mean did anyone who liked those Adventure series in the past ever replay those games as anyone else? Maybe Tails in Adventure 1 before Sega killed his controls, but that’s it. It wasn’t until that abysmal 2006 game that made us switch to them for no good reason (amongst its other problems) that Sonic Team finally got the hint that most people wanted their Sonic games to be about Sonic, but by then, the damage had been done.
So here’s my contribution to the mix. A top ten list regarding who I think are Sonic’s worst friends with a few ground rules. First off, I’m only going by the ones introduced in the console releases, so no TV show/comic book characters like Antoine or Chris Thorndyke, and no Fang the Weasel because he only appeared in one Game Gear game and one arcade game, neither of which people remember. Second, I need to actually have seen this character. For example, I’ve never played Sonic Unleashed or watched any Youtube videos on it, so I don’t know who Chip is even though people have assured me he’s awful. Third, I was going to put the Black Doom from Shadow the Hedgehog on this list since before he inevitably becomes the final boss of that game, he can function as a companion (who does jack but speak horribles lines). However, he’s more Shadow’s friend and has no interaction with Sonic, so I ultimately disqualified him.
10. Knuckles the Echidna
I know some people are going to cry foul over this, but even back when his personality wasn’t ruined, I never really liked Knuckles. His gameplay in Sonic 3 and Knuckles came off as terribly unfair due to it just being the same game on “hard mode” and it got even worse when he shifted into 3D with those terrible emerald collecting stages and his role in Sonic Heroes. And as a character, he was just an easily manipulated hard-ass in the old days, and now he’s a fucking idiot. His ability to glide and climb on walls had its moments, but overall I wouldn’t miss Knuckles if he chose to stay out of the franchise forever (which he won’t).
9. Jet the Hawk
My brother bought Sonic Riders for our Gamecube and I honestly have no idea why he did that. It was a shitty game with horrible controls, and I hated the story, mostly due to this idiot. I honestly can’t remember too much about Jet since it’s been more than a decade since I’ve played this game – hence why he’s relatively low on this list – but I do recall that he was everything people hated about Sonic personified into an annoying parrot (and he’s supposed to be a hawk) that couldn’t have functioned as a decent contrast to the blue blur if he tried. Just grating the whole way through.
8. Shadow the Hedgehog
This one isn’t really a surprise since everyone hates him (or at least hated what Sega did to him after his “death” in Sonic Adventure 2). Me personally, in addition to all the usual complaints directed at him, Shadow gets on this list because I actually bought his game willingly even though I saw all the bad reviews because it looked like a Sonic game where you could only play as the one hedgehog and Shadow’s style isn’t too different from Sonic’s, even with the addition of guns and such. But oh my GOD, that game was padded to hell and the objectives that weren’t simply getting to the goal ring were atrocious. I beat the thing within the span of a few days and never touched it again afterwards. Why couldn’t that game have been lost along with all my other ones when someone misplaced my Gamecube disc packet?
7. Amy Rose
I’m not sure about her portrayal in Sonic CD since I never played that game, but ever since I first saw Amy, she has been nothing but useless (except in the Battle 2 multiplayer where she was a game breaker). Her controls were fucking terrible, her hammer attacks did jack shit, her contribution to the story has always been virtually nil, and…well…she’s a total bitch. Remember in Sonic Heroes how she tried to get Sonic to marry her by trying to beat him up? Yeah, that’s someone you want as a girlfriend.
6. Silver the Hedgehog
“IT’S NO USE! HOW ABOUT THIS?! The Iblis Trigger.” – lines Silver says over and over and OVER again throughout the entirety of Sonic 2006.
Which might have been excusable if his gameplay hadn’t been shit.
5. Big the Cat
I’ll give Big some credit in that his theme song is kind of cute in a funny laid-back way, but why was he ever a playable character to begin with? And why did they make him sound like Lennie from Of Mice and Men? And why is he so unimportant to the story in any game he’s in? Was it really worth playing through all those stupid fishing levels just to get that stupid frog subplot into the Adventure story line? Thankfully, Sega seems to agree with us that this character was shit, because he hasn’t made an appearance in over a decade.
4. Rouge the Bat
I’m not a furry. As such, I find Rouge’s blatant sex appeal awkward, and it doesn’t help that her voice acting really sucks, even by the usual standards of voice-acting in these games.
3. Charmy the Bee
Honestly, I pretty much hate all the Team Chaotix guys. I found their gameplay in Sonic Heroes to suck and their personalities to suck even harder. But even by those low standards, Charmy the Bee really fucking sucked, mostly because he was supposed to be the kiddy one of the group and I generally hate those sorts of characters. He was supposed to be the comic relief of a group that’s already the comic relief in concept, and when you combine that with his annoying voice and childish behavior, you’ll start to realize that even though he hasn’t aged well, Mackaulay Culkin isn’t that bad. Even Sonic X realized how much he sucked, so they cut his introduction short whilst his two buddies monologued about who they were in their debut episode. Why the fuck did he ever return in Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Generations, let alone his slightly more likable comrades? What fan likes the Chaotix team?
2. Cream the Rabbit
Speaking of kiddy ones in a group, Cream was pretty much this for the Sonic franchise in general. And boy did she suck hard. Admittedly, most of my experience with her is from the cartoon since I never played the Advance series, but in the few console games she appeared in, she was just as useless as she was in Sonic X. In fact, she’s more useless, because I seem to recall in Sonic X that she and her Chao buddy, Cheese (great naming by the way, Sega), beat up a robot that was giving Sonic, Knuckles, and Rouge a hard time to the point that he exploded. Anyways, the main reason I hate Cream is because she just reeks of kiddy pandering desperation to the nth degree whilst adding absolutely nothing interesting to the Sonic canon in return. Her voice sucked. Her name and design sucked. Cream just sucks.
1. Princess Elise
Is it really a wonder that Sega pretends this character doesn’t exist now? The only good thing I can say about Elise is that her voice acting is actually pretty decent (if you can’t tell by now, the voice-acting in Sonic games is generally painful to listen to, and that’s discounting the awful dialogue) because I think they hired someone who had experience in the field to do her voice. Otherwise, Elise was just such a terrible character right down to her very concept. An underage human female in love who looks like she belongs in a Square Enix game in love with an anthromorphic blue hedgehog whose art style clashes with hers? Even if you ignore that kiss scene that’s either awful or hilariously awful depending on who you ask, she never does anything. She gets kidnapped like five times throughout the game and her power to help Sonic when he carries her could easily have been replaced by more bounce pads. She can’t cry, because doing so would release a Sun God, even though the chances of a kid her age not crying once in her life is lower than winning the Powerball Lottery (especially when they lose their father). Oh, and did I mention that she’s a human female in love with a blue hedgehog?
Yeah, even if Sonic 2006 had all its bugs fixed, the story still would have sucked a major fat one, making the entire product doomed from the start. And considering the reasons for said suckage all revolve around her, that makes Elise the worst Sonic friend to ever grace my eyes.