Quit Arguing Over The Length Of Sonic’s Hair In Sonic Frontiers

Sonic the Hedgehog fans love to fight over the most trivial bullshit. Whether it's about character shipping, Shadow the Hedgehog getting Flanderized beyond recognition, Sonic Forces being a great Sonic game (it's not), or if Sega should return to the Adventure formula in future Sonic games, there's always a huge social media debate over the state of the Sonic franchise. Now a new debate has erupted like an underwater volcano: Sonic's hair length in Sonic Frontiers.

We received a new trailer for Sonic Frontiers at The Game Awards over a month ago, and judging by the open-world environment of Starfall Islands, the game's plot written by Ian Flynn of IDW Sonic comic book fame, and Roger Craig Smith and others reprising their roles, it's gearing up to be a better Sonic game than its predecessors of the last decade. Sonic's model in the trailer looks fantastic, but his in-game model is making fans pull their hair out — literally. Fans on both Twitter and Reddit have noticed that the character model for the Blue Blur in Frontiers bears some resemblance to his model in Sonic Forces, where his quills are a centimeter shorter than normal and the shade of his blue fur is just as light as Classic Sonic's, if not close to that. They hoped that the Forces model shown in the trailer and on the game's official website would be a placeholder since the game is still in the early stages of development, as did I. Then I realized is Sonic Team is really reusing the Forces model in Frontiers. It wouldn't be the first time a new game has reused old assets from a previous game, therefore it shouldn't matter how long Sonic's quills are.

Related: How Does Sonic Stay On Top While All His Games Sink To The Bottom?When Shadow the Hedgehog was released in 2005, Sonic Team reused the character models from Sonic Heroes. Although the cinematic cutscenes were done by Blur Studio, the character models used in the game were the same as they were in Heroes as both games were developed in the RenderWare engine, which limited the enhancement of graphics to avoid overwhelming the consoles they were made for at the time. Even if the graphics were enhanced just a smidge, Sonic's hair in that game, and by extension Shadow's hair, wasn't any longer or shorter than it was in Heroes or the Adventure games. Shadow the Hedgehog was made as a direct sequel to Heroes anyhow, so hair length wasn't as big an issue as Sega switching to the 4Kids voice cast.

Sonic's character model supposedly being used in Sonic Frontiers is an entirely different story. The reason fans are fighting over the legitimacy of the Forces model in Frontiers is that Forces was notorious for giving Sonic a haircut and styling it to look as short as his Classic counter, despite how thick it is, and giving him a lighter shade of blue to match. Making things worse, is his quills look wider from the back. And to top it off, Sonic had minimal facial animation. To better clarify this — and I probably should've mentioned it the last time I gave my two cents about Forces — Sonic's facial expressions did not properly match his emotions in every situation, from him being locked up aboard Dr. Eggman's spaceship to finding out that the Shadow he was fighting was a fake created by Infinite using the Phantom Ruby.

Some fans saw absolutely nothing wrong with Sonic's Forces model being reused in Frontiers, saying that their peers' feelings over the abysmal performance of Forces are clouding their judgment and that there isn't much of a difference in Sonic's hair length compared to past games. Other fans disapprove of Sonic Team reusing the Forces model, saying that a model similar to that of Generations or Unleashed would suffice. Where do I stand? Here's a little quote from my friend Peter Griffin.

For the love of all that is holy, stop arguing over how long Sonic's hair actually is in Frontiers. If Sonic Team is actually reusing his Forces model, it could be for budgetary reasons. It's common for game devs to reuse character models and other assets from previous games to save money. That's why all the Pokemon Trainers in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are all chibis and the boss animations are static. If Frontiers really is the Hail Mary pass for the Sonic franchise, they could be fine-tuning Sonic's model — the game got delayed for quality assurance purposes after all. Whatever the case may be, Sega and Sonic Team haven't confirmed which model they're using for Sonic, and they won't say anything until they give us more information about Frontiers in the foreseeable future. Until then, put your pettiness aside and just be patient.

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