Hardcore Gamer: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega’s blue, spiny mascot, has been running for a long time. And while he never has found the fame enjoyed by his mustachioed rival-turned-athletic-partner, Sonic has built and maintained a substantial fanbase over his 22 year career. However, the developers at Sonic Team have been anything but consistent in their production of quality Sonic experiences in the last few years, leaving fans more than a little frustrated. The last release, Sonic Lost World, looked immensely promising in early gameplay videos and demos, but ended up being another great idea with poor execution. With such a stark contrast between the Sonic of Genesis days and our modern-day Sonic, it’s time we examined what exactly combines to create a great Sonic game.