Yea, I'm just going to say it. I actually don't hate this game. Oh, it's bad. I'm not even going to try to defend the crap it's known for. Still, despite its numerous layers of awfulness, I can't help but see the gems in the rough. There was some real potential here. The main problem was SEGA rushing the game and that IMHO is the defining factor why this game came out so bad.
You can't rush art as they say, and since video games are basically a form of art, it definitely qualifies.
Anyway, I'm just going to say this since I might as well be honest here: I actually find this game better than Sonic Forces. Yea,I know most people are going to argue I'm crazy to feel this way, but I'm going to explain my reasons why.
1: A much better soundtrack.
Sonic 06 maybe an awful game, but its soundtrack is freakin badass. One of the best of the Sonic soundtracks to date as far as I'm concerned. Sonic Forces on the other hand has just a couple of great tracks with the rest forgettable to mediocre.
2: Sonic 06 did a much better job trying to tell a serious and dark plot and storyline.
Say what you will about the plotholes and cringey relationship between Sonic and Elise, but there was actual heart put into this plot. From Silver's story of dealing with a chaotic future, tragically losing Blaze after she sacrificed herself to get rid of Iblis to Shadow's story of dealing with trust issues and Rouge assuring him she'll stand by him to the end, to his epic battle with Mephiles. And who could forget about Sonic, Shadow and Silver's epic finale with Solaris in the Final Story? Yea, the kiss with Elise in it was awful, but the part after it was great.
Seeing Sonic, Shadow and Silver fight together to take down this evil monster for the sake of the world was just to me an amazing part of the story.
Sonic Forces' attempt at a dark storyline was just laughable in comparison. Sonic gets kidnapped and then is no worse for wear when he returns. Eggman has conquered the world and yet our heroes take it back almost anti-climatically. No, scratch that, it WAS anti-climatic since it was all plot convenience with your OC looking better than they should have, everyone else besides Sonic and his classic counterpart utterly useless minus possibly Shadow and Silver' small role. The more I look at it, it was a joke how gutless Sonic Forces' attempt at telling a serious story.
3: You actually get to play as other characters besides Sonic.
*GASP* A Sonic game that let you play as other characters and actually has them contribute? NO! That's utter blasphemy! No one except for Sonic is supposed to be useful! How dare they actual help instead of standing on the sidelines flapping their gums!
But in all seriousness, to think this was the last game besides the Boom ones(which I don't count since they suck) that lets play as someone besides Sonic is just so sad. And again, the OC and Shadow parts don't qualify either since they handle nearly identical to Sonic, so they might as well just be clones as far as I'm concerned.
At least with Sonic 06, most of the characters did control differently than Sonic did and that to me is a good thing. I don't want them all handling the same. Ok, true, the gameplay with them needed some fine tuning, but again, I blame the rushed game on that part since I'm pretty sure they would have handled much better if given the polish it needed.
4: Eggman's robots in Sonic 06 were alot cooler looking and menacing than in Sonic Forces.
I mean, seriously, for all the crap Sonic 06 did, this to me was one of the things it did right. The robots Eggman had here actually looked threatening and weren't just pushovers. In Sonic Forces, they look like pathetic windup toys in comparison. Ok, ok, the Death Egg robots were cool, but they were heavily wasted since you only fight one and it's a quick time event.
Wow, how do you botch that up? Oh right... SEGA being SEGA. I shouldn't be surprised by what they do anymore. -.-
5: A much better and epic final boss
Yea, I wasn't about to let this part go unnoticed. Again, Sonic 06 did alot of things wrong, but if there was one thing it excelled at more than anything, it was the final boss. As I mentioned above, seeing Sonic, Shadow and Silver team up in their super forms to take down Solaris was great. And that music playing in the background while it's happening? Freakin epic!
To me, that was the best part of Sonic 06: that final boss fight. It had great atmosphere, great music and a climax that I dare say was about as good as Sonic Adventure 1 and 2. Sure, the Adventure games had a better climax, but Sonic 06's wasn't that far off. A shame the rest of the game didn't have this much effort put into it. It would have been one of the best as far as I'm concerned.
Sonic Forces' final boss? Heh... do I even need to say it? IT WAS AWFUL! From recycling a boss fight from 2010, to using a quick time event to defeat it... it just reeked of laziness and horrible design.
I know this review seems like one major putdown for Sonic Forces, but truth be told, it was more me defending Sonic 06 and how despite its awful problems, and there are many, it at least tried harder than SEGA's latest farce, and that says alot as far as I'm concerned.
As one reviewer put it to sum up my thoughts, "Sonic 06 is an epic failure while Sonic Forces is just mediocre and forgettable."
I rather have a game fail for trying risky ideas that didn't work out than play it too safe out of fear and laziness. You can always fix bad ambition, but you can't fix gutless and soullessness.
All and all, Sonic 06 is one of the greatest tragedies of a what if scenario. This game definitely had the potential to be one of Sonic's greatest titles, but because SEGA repeating its same garbage from today, it was ranked one of the worst, and it's a real shame too because I think if this game was given the time and effort with some tweaks as well, I would say this game would be a great Sonic Adventure 3 type of game.
Heck, I dare say this game was the closest thing to a Sonic Adventure 3 had it been done right. Alas, it wasn't mean to be. SEGA, shame on you for allowing this to happen and shame on you further for not learning from it.