I just want to say I love this blog, and the stupid Sonic stuff totally gives me awkward teenager flashbacks. Good job!
Sonic's one of my favorite series to look at, partly because he's a great through-line of the actual industry. Like Mario, he's been around for most of it and so you can learn a lot about how games were at the time, but unlike Mario Sonic isn't entirely good.
When you look at Mario you see everything done right; great care is taken with Mario, you see them dealing with small starts, hardware constraints, generational jumps, adapting to new mechanics, dimensions and genres with such skill that you'd think it isn't very hard.
Then you look at Sonic. Every possible thing that could have gone poorly during game development since the nineties has, at some point, happened to Sonic. Bungled efforts into another genre like Sonic Chronicles, weird and poorly thought-out spinoffs like Knuckles Chaotix and Shadow the Hedgehog, overwrought stories like Sonic Adventure, just outright shit like Sonic 2006; between the end results of questionable titles and poor developments, freak accidents leading to lackluster (or nonexistent) titles, and Sega somehow leaking development ROMs like a goddamn sieve, Sonic teaches so much about what can happen in game development.
the Goldeneye articles were great. I had no idea there was THAT much cut content still there
Goldeneye is just a fascinating game in general, because I don't think a lot of people around the development expected it to be any good at all, let alone the classic it became. It was a licensed game in a genre that just hadn't worked on consoles, so it should have been shit, and it didn't get nearly the amount of care that went into other Rare titles. I like to imagine Goldeneye development was just a bunch of people that, resolute in the knowledge that their effort didn't entirely matter, just went fucking nuts seeing what they could pull off while technically making a rail shooter, until somebody at some point took the rails off (this actually did happen in development) and they slowly realized they had accidentally made a great game.
Still, it means that a lot of the care that went into other games at the time, like Banjo-Kazooie and Diddy Kong Racing, just wasn't taken. And it shows, with the amount of loose threads visible if you're observant.we're not even done with Goldeneye somehow