The legacy of Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog is almost unquestioned. Between the speed and the fun alone, the first three games in the series changed gaming forever. But did it hurt more than it helped? What about the classic FPS GoldenEye?

Richard Ham believes so. One of the design leads on PS1 classic Syphon Filter and someone thoroughly involved in classics the likes of Fable, The Sims, Tony Hawk sees those landmark experiences as special ones, but opportunities for other games to really change things up.

Sonic the Hedgehog really set the entire industry back by five years,” Ham said in The Minds Behind PlayStation Games. “Obviously, it had a really great hook and really great technology and it was very sharp and very flashy, but it was so brain dead simple at the heart of its game has just moved from left to right. It was such a step back from where the design was at that point. Compared to Metroid or your Master Blaster or Fester’s Quest or all these other games that defined what an adventure game was and I think that Sonic the Hedgehog, is just going from left to right, or beginning to end. That’s what most games are; that’s what Half-Life is. Every once in a while You’d have a special boss encounter. That wasn’t good enough for me. GoldenEye inspired me and said, ‘Well, we could be doing more here.’ But here’s the problem with GoldenEye. Every time I play, I just get this list at the beginning of the mission and I just have to do them. I know what it is.

“And I thought that’s so not the way action movies work. That level of engagement is what makes Syphon Filter special. It’s one of the reasons Syphon Filter is so clearly emblazoned in so many young players’ minds because we all loved movie games. I think Syphon Filter did in a real way before it became the norm for the industry.”

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Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (319 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com