I never thought I would write the following words: Super Sonic is DLC.
Okay, so before we go in to this, we need context on both Super Sonic, and Sanic.
Sanic is a meme. Honestly I would love to just leave it there and have it expunged from the game entirely, but the series has decided to embrace the crudely drawn MS Paint rendition of Sonic, dubbed “Sanic”, in ways that move beyond just the TV Show as a reference (Alongside the fan-fiction of all things) and a nod in LEGO Dimensions.
Sanic is available, for free, in all copies of the game, as a t-shirt design for your custom character. Okay, at least it’s free. I mean I would honestly prefer it if the series was a little more….delicate? about being self-aware, rather than just opening the door and saying “Yes, all this mockery online is entirely just”. We all know how the mockery of a fan base can actually impact people mentally, it’s not a very smart thing to do, just let folks enjoy what they enjoy, you know?
I think there is a fine balance between being self-aware and poking fun, and straight up embracing what was a joke meant to demean the franchise and it’s titles (Because many have been lacklustre prior to 2010, and a couple since) feels like…almost giving up. Like the series has no integrity anymore. On one hand yes, nice joke, and in some loose ways it does fit the avatar creation side of things.
On the other hand, you put a reference to a meme used to demean the franchise…in Sonic Forces.
This is a game that is hardly “Good”, instead treading the fine line of mediocre to plain boring, it has obvious development problems, clear instances of things being scrapped and restarted, insanely short levels and not very fulfilling gameplay, and what do they do? Put some DLC in the game used to mock the franchise. Did they actually not see how amazingly self-fulfilling that is?
But anyway, on to Super Sonic. This little feature has been a part of the games since 1992 in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, usually as a reward for certain tasks, like clearing the Special Stages, or for the unlockable final boss throughout the mid-2000s.
Super Sonic did return to fully playable status in 2010 with Sonic 4 and Sonic Colours (The first time ever in 3D), and this has remained the case for Generations, Lost World, and Mania. Super Sonic has been there as a reward for completing the game, or certain milestones.
So Sonic Forces came along and in the PC version they found inaccessible (Though later accessed and fully playable not long after the game came out) code for Super Sonic. It’s in the game, fully playable. I assumed it was just dummied out. I wish it was.
So again, for 25 years Super Sonic has been a part of the franchise as your reward. An in-game thing meant to reward you (Or beat up a final boss in some cases). In Sonic Forces however, it’s in the game, but you can’t access it. Unless you pay up for some DLC of course.
Yes, for the first time ever, this feature of the series for over two decades, is now on-disc DLC. I am absolutely dumbfounded and also surprised. It’s free for around a month, but as of late January, cough up some dough for Super Sonic.
This is honestly a problem that goes further than the Sanic DLC, as this is removal of a series staple and put behind on-disc paywalls. It’s very egregious, and frankly one thing it does have in common with the Sanic DLC is the feeling that it’s just rubbing salt in the wound.
We had it so good, heck Sonic Mania was months ago, and this game comes along, from the team that brought us Colours and Generations, two highly loved games, and it falls flat in so many ways. To rub it in how unfinished the game feels, we get to wear a mockery of the series made official, and pay up for things that used to be standard.
At the same time though, as we have talked about here before many times, this feels like it is becoming the norm. Things you used to be able to just do are now locked behind cash, and the games mock you in the same way trolls on the internet do.
I don’t know what is worse really: Seeing Super Sonic become on-disc DLC, or having to see a meme people have almost weaponised in a game so utterly mediocre it surpasses parody and enters the realm of “Oh we know”.
I guess we can rest easy knowing Mania 2 will be a thing?