Ecco the Dolphin is an action-adventure game developed by Novotrade International and published by Sega in 1992. Starring the titular Ecco, a bottlenosed dolphin with a strange constellation-shaped birthmark on his forehead, the game was unique at the time for exploring the vast depths of the ocean.
“It’s dolphins, right?” was the common refrain of most parents purchasing Ecco games for their children. Nothing could be bad about some nice, adorable, friendly dolphins! Even discarding the fact that real life dolphins are brutal and carnivorous, it was still a flawed premise from the start to assume that every animal protagonist would be as friendly as Sonic the Hedgehog… which was still a game with its own problems, but that’s for another article.
Needless to say, this didn’t pan out well for the children who received these gracious gifts. Just like Ecco himself, we’ll learn to experience true fear after the jump.
Why the hell did they decide to make Sonic the Hedgehog the star of an educational game for children? Who allowed this to happen? We want names. Who, somewhere in the leadership of Sega, let this happen? Who?
In the mid-1990s, Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the hottest video game characters out there. His too-cool attitude and the blisteringly fast gameplay of his games made him the slick alternative to the stuffy Mario. And with how popular he was, this meant there was a bounty of Sonic the Hedgehog branded everything: Sonic the Hedgehog toys, Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, Sonic the Hedgehog canned pasta… The list goes on. It only makes sense that Sega would want a Sonic the Hedgehog game for elementary schoolers, right?
In comes Sonic’s Schoolhouse, a tale of bad branding decisions and corporate failure.
This is the first article in our new series, Retrospectacles, where we look back at beloved pop cultural sensations and break them down for the utterly cringeworthy things about them. From Sonic to the Catholic church, nothing is sacred from the eyes of dogmatic opinions and random development factoids. Speaking of Sonic, the poor blue hedgehog just happens to be our first target!
Sonic 3D Blast, also known as Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island, was a 1996 platformer developed by Traveller’s Tales and Sonic Team. Published for the Sega Genesis a year before the console’s discontinuation, at one of the worst points of Sonic the Hedgehog’s lifespan as a franchise, there were a lot of things to go wrong here.
After the jump, we’ll delve into the history of the band-aid Sega used to cover up the gaping wound that Sonic X-treme left, touch upon the timeline of Sonic in 3D, find out about birds, and take a trip to Hell!