The Limits of One’s Patience

There’s something quite baffling about how, when we are younger, we can so often sit through the most dreary of games and play them through to completion.  At least, I know that’s how I was.  There are many old games I could play again and again that I can’t stand the sight of today.  Many of us cite a lack of time as one reason why we become a bit pickier with what games we choose to spend our precious time with as we get older, but I also just wonder if we just had a greater tolerance back then.  (How else do you think I beat Donkey Kong 64 so many times?)

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was one of those games, though I admit that it’s not the perfect example, as it hasn’t been with me for nearly as long as some of those dismal, old games I used to play.  But at one point in time, I was able to play through the whole thing and generally appreciate it despite its many flaws.  Somehow, I did.  Now, you may be familiar with the fact that this game is considered by many to be one of the worst games ever made.  I was strangely proud to have owned a game so infamous, to be honest, and I remember having some fun with it back in the day, so I kept it.

Not that long ago, I decided to play it again.  I wanted to record my second playthrough for UWG’s Youtube channel, and I thought the game would at least be good for some laughs.  Things started off quite well when Sonic began walking around completely without my input.  I had promised our viewers glitches, bad animation (you should just see those dolphins in Wave Ocean!), and lagging framerates, and already, it seemed they were going to get it.  An hour or so in, however, I quickly began to notice things about the game I had previously forgotten.

For one thing, the cut scenes were a bit more awkward than I realized.  It was really hard watching an almost romantic scene between a human and a hedgehog.  It was just…creepy.  One scene in particular just dragged on and on, and the longer I watched in growing repulsion, the more I thought…I just…can’t do this.  I can’t see myself sitting through another 20 hours of this…not to mention subjecting our viewers to it.  ‘Twoud be a crime, I say!

Plus, the pace was just so darn slow.  If I had been allowed to actually complete one stage after another, I think I could have tolerated it better.  I didn’t realize just how much extra wandering and side questing they make you do.  Some extra objectives are optional, while others are completely required.  It was during one of these extra segments of wandering around that I, well, I kind of lost it a little.  I was looking for the newer section of town, you see, and I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I started yelling a bit more than I probably should have, and I even took to the rooftops to see if a higher vantage point would help me.

After that, I had to look online to find out what I was supposed to be doing.  Once I located the person I was meant to talk to, I then had to complete a pointless little mini game where I was told to guess which guy was the real captain of the guard or some such thing.  After all, it’s definitely that sort of thing you think of when you start playing a game with the world’s fastest hedgehog, no?  After that, I still wasn’t allowed to continue the game because I had to go find Knuckles.  At that point, I turned the game off and gave up.  I have a couple hours of footage, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to complete it.  If you guys are interested, I might be able to figure out a good way to show the, um, highlights of my short-lived gameplay attempt.  Maybe someone will get a kick out of Sonic running in circles after I put the controller down or hanging upside down at the top of a loop.  Maybe.

I guess maybe the longer we’ve been gamers, the more good games we accumulate, making all the flaws in bad games all the more clear.  Sonic ’06 just doesn’t make the cut anymore.  It was just a weird experience, with the awkward relationship between Sonic and Elise, the excruciatingly slow pace, and even the rather terrifying looking human characters you see around town (they are like something out of a nightmare).  I’ve played a lot of bad games in my time, but I guess my past self just had a lot more patience than I do now.  I might still keep the game, though.  Sometimes bad games are important, as they make me appreciate all the good ones that don’t make me scream.  You know that when you start yelling like an enraged lunatic that it’s probably time to play something else.

2006 Ducks

13 Comments Add yours

  1. I hear you – we used to play (and replay) some pretty bad games when we were kids, often because of the characters that were tied in.

    Case in point – replaying the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the NES/home computer one, not the later, better 4-player arcade game) countless times, despite it being a generally poor, frustrating platformer.

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      Quite true. During my younger years, I was often tempted to buy certain games just because a character I liked was in it. Or buy games based off of movies I liked. I can’t even remember how many times I played the game for the second Harry Potter movie for the GameCube. I never even enjoyed it that much, and yet I played it anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can identify with this. I think it might be for several reasons, though of course the time and patience we had as children we’ve now lost. We’ve also lost the childlike sense of wonder and magic of simply playing a video game. Now we play video games for other reasons than to just be entertained, well such as writing reviews or creating videos about them.

    Yet another reason might be because our taste has changed as adults and we prefer things of higher quality than we did as children. A toddler can be content to bang pots and pans together. A kid can enjoy a whole afternoon climbing a tree. But pots and trees don’t have the same kind of “grab” anymore for us.

    I recently had to force myself though Little Nemo on the NES, and I know I had no problem playing that when I was much younger.

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      You make a good point, kids can definitely enjoy things of lower quality than adults can. Children are often delighted by TV shows that anyone older simply can’t stand or love a certain candy that tastes terrible when they try it again as an adult. It’s amazing that there are a lot of games that I still like from my childhood, but those are only the quality ones (such as Majora’s Mask and Donkey Kong Country 2, which I can appreciate in a whole new way now that I’m older). Similar to your Little Nemo example, a little less than a year ago I struggled through Donkey Kong 64, which used to be one of my favorite games years ago. Now I don’t think I could ever play it again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh no! Donkey Kong 64… it’s on my to-play list… sitting on my bookshelf. I haven’t played through it before but a little bird told me I wouldn’t enjoy it. Sometimes we just gotta muscle through some of these, eh? For the sake of journalism!

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      2. duckofindeed says:

        Whenever I miss Rareware and the days they used to make games for Nintendo, I then remind myself of DK64 and decide that maybe it’s not such a bad thing that they work for Microsoft now, after all. Shudder. If I ever play DK64 again, it will likely only be to record it, if only to spare others the fate of having to play through it themselves. Sometimes gaming is not for the faint of heart.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hatm0nster says:

    I think it’s a combination of having more experience as a gamer and less time to spend playing games. More and more we want to spend that time well, so if something isn’t fun or isn’t working, we’re much less forgiving of it.

    Also, I’m one of those who beat Sonic ’06 back in the day too. I don’t have it anymore, but I do remember it. I mostly remember being lost and getting angry at how nothing seemed to work, even the sonic stages. In particular the bit were you had to run in the tube of water and the part where you had to dodge debris forever on that ruined highway. I wonder how I ever managed to finish that game.

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      It’s funny because I, too, was wondering how I ever managed to complete this game. Around the time I tried to record this game, I was playing through random stages just for the “fun” of it, and I don’t think I was able to complete any of them. It’s not because the game is challenging, it’s just broken. I remember playing as Silver and tossing things at enemies over and over again, and nothing I tried would do any damage, so I gave up.

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      1. Hatm0nster says:

        I remember a stage that had to be navigated with Shadow in a hover craft. There was absolutely no indication of where to go or how to get there. Managed to finish somehow though. In fact, I think all of his stages were like that.

        Man that game was bad! 😀

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      2. duckofindeed says:

        One stage that always bugged me was this one where you play as Rouge and have to seek out…keys or something. The area you must navigate is very confusing, and often times, I have her glide over to a wall in order to climb around on it, and she gets stuck. I keep pressing the jump button, over and over again, and she acts like she’s going to jump off the wall, only to get stuck again. It drives me crazy!

        At least some glitches were amusing. I heard of one where you can ride a crate high into the sky. I want to try that someday, if I can bring myself to return to the game, that is.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hatm0nster says:

        You should check out the GameGrumps series for this game. They have a lot of fun with the glitches.

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      4. duckofindeed says:

        Ooh, that sounds fun. I have watched their videos for Sonic Boom, which was pretty amusing, but I haven’t seen their videos for this game yet. Sonic ’06 is just one of those games that is more fun to watch others play.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hatm0nster says:

        Agreed. It’s actually one of their older series, but I think it’s also one of their best. The game just gave them so much to work with.

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