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Mario who? Why nobody loves the console mascots anymore

Nate Ralph | June 14, 2013
While seeing a demo of Sonic Lost World for Nintendo Wii, Nate Ralph wonders whatever happened to the close connections between mascots like Sonic and Mario and gaming consoles.

Of course that's just my own theory. You're welcome to posit your own. Either way, there wasn't and isn't much room for the humble mascot.

Sonic flies through the air with the greatest of ease, even if he doesn't quite reach the heights of his heyday.

In Sonic's defense, his latest adventure is shaping up pretty well. My E3 demo with Sonic Lost World was brief— so much so I actually hesitate to call it a demo. I was passing by Sonic's fairly cozy booth, and walked up to an empty station on lark. The game couples 2D side-scrolling levels with the 3D over-the-shoulder perspective Sonic adopted way back in Sonic Adventure. The 2D bits felt a bit sluggish, as Sonic's usual breathless pace was broken up by rotating candy-coated platforms and alternate paths with hidden objects. This was deliberate and actually a great touch: The last few Sonic games focused a bit too heavily on speed, and much of the gorgeous visuals (and any semblance of control) vanish when you're moving too quickly. The 3D level I sampled was also pretty cool: perspectives shift as Sonic scurried across a beam and then skydived past what I assume were aircraft.

But as I stood there, clutching a Nintendo Wii U gamepad and guiding Sonic the Hedgehog through perilous tunnels, my heart sank a bit. Sonic, on a Nintendo console? A new Sonic game at E3, and I was only playing it because I had some time to kill? And then I left before finishing the demo levels. No offense, Sonic, but while I was genuinely enjoying myself with Sonic's Lost World, I really wanted to find a few quirky gems on the E3 show floor before my next meeting with game makers.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.


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