But I hadn't even considered any other games. As far as I was concerned, this might be the last game I ever played. Just based on all the things I had seen and heard, how could it be anything less than perfect? Would I need to justify the asking price with other games, when this could quite possibly be the only one I would need for the rest of my life? When I told my friends I had bought one I heard echoes of "The Orange Box" and "Halo" and "Call of Duty 4" and "Bioshock." BORING was all I could think. I had what I needed. I was ready to go.
And then I played it. Or rather, my friend who mentioned the game to me in the first place played it. That sniveling bastard started the game up without me and played through the opening scenes. We had a big argument when I came back about "How could you do this to me?" and "You're a guest here, this isn't your home" and blah blah blah... It's funny to think that there was a point in my life when one of my best friendships hung in the balance because of Sonic 2006. Not my proudest moment.
Anyway, I sat down and played the game. I had expected the abundant loading screens because of admonishing YouTube users. I had expected the glitches because I had read reviews. All of that stuff was inconvenient, yes, but because I saw it all coming I was able to write it off. But what no words or opinions can express to the nearest degree with littlest margin of error is the level of just how un-fun something can be.
Many people (myself included) enjoy bad movies. Some (also including myself) find bad movies more entertaining than good movies. I think the reason we're able to appreciate it for its total lack of quality is because we've seen enough good movies, and we've seen enough of the tropes and methods that work in these movies, that when we are faced with a bad movie, we get a kick out of identifying the individual aspects that work together to make the movie not work together. It helps when the filmmakers take the production very seriously--The Room, for instance--Tommy Wiseau really believed he was making a poignant piece. Each element of the movie therefore, was crafted with a specific purpose and idea behind it. This attention to dysfunctional detail is commendable, and makes it all the more fun for the viewers.
This is where the bad differs from the mediocre. Watching a mediocre movie or playing a mediocre game is like watching an Olympic runner celebrate his victory too early, just to get passed by the harder-working guy in second place right at the end. You want to say "Focus!" The runner clearly knows what he is doing! After all, he's in the Olympics, and leading at first place at that. But his hubris gets to him and there's nothing anyone can do about it. The same goes with mediocre entertainment. You can see where it's going and its heart may be in the right place, but it just won't get there and it ultimately hurts to watch.
Take this feeling and ramp it up to eleven to imagine my disappointment at Sonic 2006. I wanted so desperately to like it... I tricked myself to think I did... I depressed myself to think I did... I wanted to hold onto the idea that this game was everything I thought it might be. Maybe it was guilt, considering $240 total had been dumped into GameStop just for me to play this one game. Maybe I felt a small amount of betrayal. But when I ultimately admitted to myself that I just didn't like it, I felt a lot better about myself. I was able to kick my sudden buyer's remorse and experience more games to, as my mom put it, "justify the purchase."
And you know what? Even though that game did put me into a brief, but shockingly deep depression, I'm glad I played it and I'm glad I put out the money for it. My stubbornness pushed me into a folly, but I picked myself back up and--Oh my!--I still had a fully-functional HD console with plenty of other games to try out. I did end up getting all those other games my friend had suggested, and loving them. Over the years I've enjoyed some excellent experiences on my 360, including Bioshock, Oblivion, Deadly Premonition, Alan Wake, Prototype, Halo 3, Fallout, and so much more.
So yeah. Sonic 2006 is about as big as failures get. But without it, I wouldn't be the person I am today. Because when I accepted Sonic 2006 was a bad game, I started to adopt the motto "You win some, you lose some." Is it always worth it to risk it for the hypothetical biscuit? Perhaps not, but even if you don't necessarily win, you can always take your failure and make your own silver lining out of it.
LOOK WHO CAME: