I remember and still adore the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and it’s known for having quite a lot of characters. But if there’s one problem I have the with the series, is that it doesn’t seem to be using a whole lot of the characters anymore. Granted, some of the characters were bad or downright useless, but plenty of them were classics. Among them, my two favourites: Knuckles the Echidna and Shadow the Hedgehog.
Knuckles the Echidna was my favourite character as a kid, and still is alongside Shadow, mainly because he was strong, he was red, he had honor, and he hunted for treasure. I kinda looked up to him for these reasons, even if he got doped by Dr. Eggman, the central villain of the series. So it’s kinda sad to me that every game in the series since Sonic Unleashed started downplaying his role to the point that he’s pretty much not there at all.
Then you Shadow the Hedgehog, who has got to be one of the coolest characters in video games. He’s black with red stripes, he’s super fast, and has many kinds of superhuman abilities. I also liked him as a kid, since I played Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. He even got his own game, which was cool for many reasons. But after Sonic ’06 (widely regarded as the worst in the series and one of the worst games ever made), Shadow didn’t really show up in a game anymore. Added to that, it seems the Sonic Adventure style has pretty much given way to lighter and kid-friendlier take on the franchise, as displayed by every game in the main series since Sonic Unleashed.
The only game so far where Knuckles and Shadow got a mention in was Sonic Generations. Tails is still around, Eggman never fails to show up, and Amy (surprise surprise) still appears, but the other characters are disappearing.
I strongly feel that Knuckles should be given a solid role again, not just as one of the characters you can play as in some goddamned Mario and Sonic at the Olympics game. He’s not just some filler. He’s a classic, and he always was ever since Sonic 3. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to have him go treasure hunting like in the Sonic Adventure series.
I also strongly think that Shadow should be given his own spin-off series, since the new line of games in the main series is simply not his style. Ideally it should be something like the Shadow the Hedgehog game but different. It would be sweet not just to play as Shadow in a game again, but also with him doing all the cool stuff he did in the games he appeared in.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Sonic too, and he’s still one of the coolest characters in gaming (I still base some of my alter ego’s personality, abilities, and style on Sonic, as well as Knuckles and Shadow), but I feel Knuckles and Shadow are being increasingly overlooked and not being given as much attention and respect as they should, given how great these classic characters are.
I hope Sonic Team will consider these ideas they’re reading this.