Proving that children have absolutely no taste whatsoever, my 4-year-old son, who just happens to be a huge Sonic the Hedgehog fan would rather play some weird ROBLOX version of the blue blur rather than Sonic Frontiers. Me, being the naive parent I am, thought I could sit him down in front of Sonic Frontiers and watch him be amazed…all the while I could hang out with my virtual ‘boy’ in Midgard.
Alas, it was not to be. My son grew tired of Sonic Frontiers faster than I did of Death Stranding. He was unimpressed with the open world, choosing either to get stuck up against a rock or constantly falling off into the ocean instead of exploring. He wasn’t really enamoured with the new enemies or the Kocos asking me every five seconds; “Daddy, where’s Knuckles? Where’s Tails?”
The visuals, the music, the speed…none of it satisfied my son and after only 10 minutes he asked me if he could play the “real” Sonic game. Knowing what this meant, I resigned myself to my fate and sighed the sigh of 1000 dads.
You see, the “real” Sonic in my son’s eyes is some awful ROBLOX “game” which I’m not even sure is official. You play as your little ROBLOX and gradually unlock Sonic characters as you progress. Progression is a generous description of what you do in this quote/unquote game. The only real objective is to run around. The further you run, the faster you get, very slowly, over a long time. There aren’t really any levels and there doesn’t seem to be much of an objective. There’s some vague bullshit about trying to find Sonic and collect various objects hidden throughout the world. There also seem to be races of some description but I’ve not yet bothered to try them as the controls are abysmal.
It’s not just the controls and the cheapness of ROBLOX that puts me off though. It’s how I associate it and with whom. See, as far as I can tell, ROBLOX is observed exclusively for internet turds like LankyBox. Being a 4-year-old and growing up with an iPad, my son is pretty internet savvy and spends a huge amount of time on YouTube. As far as I can tell, YouTube is a horrific place filled with bizarre weirdos playing even worse games and turning them into something children obsess over. Which is exactly what’s happened here.
My son’s favourite things all come from YouTube; LanyBox, Sonic.exe, Siren Head, Huggy Wuggy…each one more appalling than the last. I wanted to raise a gamer, instead, I raised an internet baby and to be forced to play ROBLOX with him instead of a legit Sonic game seems to be a cosmic punishment for my hubris.
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, and the promise of chilli dogs (not those from Harry’s Cafe) my son would not budge and thus, I was forced to play ROBLOX Sonic instead of Sonic Frontiers. That being said, you have to give it credit for homing in on exactly what makes a Sonic game: speed. There aren’t any fruity objectives or weird as fuck cutscenes to skip watch. Each and every one of Sonic’s annoying friends is silent and only communicates via text AND the main aim of the game is to go as fast as possible.
I’d still rather play Sonic Frontiers any day. Fuck, I’d rather play Sonic Unleashed than ROBLOX but there is some small part of me that appreciates my son’s choice, terrible as it is. At least he knows what he likes and is unashamed of it, even if he should be.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is two-fold.
- If you’re complaining about Sonic Frontiers, know that it could be much, much worse
- Children are idiots.
Sonic Frontiers is available now.