I think I’m a fair bit younger than the average age of forum users here so my Sonic Experience was somewhat different. I first played Sonic 1? on one of those flash game websites as a kid, my friends and I could often get to the 2nd level but never much further than that. Sonic games weren’t super popular when I was growing up (2000’s) but I definitely knew of him and the series before I played an official game.
In 2004 I had a Sonic LCD game from McDonalds where you played as the Robot (from Adventure or Heroes?) in an Ice hockey game. In the same year my familty went on a holiday to England to visit our cousins. My cousin had a PS2 with Sonic Heroes, we played versus, one of us picked Shadow’s team, I remember thinking he was cool.
The first Sonic game I owned was Sonic Riders, I remember choosing it at The Warehouse and my dad bought it for me. Seeing the pre-rendered opening scene of the game was probably the first time I was wowed by graphics in a game. Unlocking Shadow with rollerblades was a pretty big moment too. This game is still a favourite of mine and I finished off all the missions a year or two ago to finally unlock the last characters (Ulala, AiAi, Knights). I was really into this game and even drew an OC with thier own board, I think they just looked like Knuckles but had some blue tips on thier hair/spikes. (Fun Fact: level 4 of this game uses a couple of the same samples as Tetris Effect.
A friend of mine got an Xbox 360 relatively early (07?) and had Sonic 06, we played this game quite a bit but only in versus on crisis city. He would always choose Silver and I would be left with Sonic or Shadow. Silver could levitate and thus sequence break the early parts of the level. The one time we played a different level, I got stuck behind a locked door.
The second Sonic game I owned was the PS2 version of Sonic Unleashed, I got it as a Christmas present one year. I didn’t know the 360/PS3 version existed until I watched GameGrumps play it in 2013/14, I was pretty shocked to see the towns being 3D environments and not the 2D sections I was used to. I found the daytime levels pretty hard and never really understood what was going on in the werehog levels. I haven’t beaten this game but I did get to Eggman land. The opening cutscene was cool though.
Around this time the supermarket sold a small selection of videogames, among those I clearly remember Shadow the Hedgehog being apart of them. I always wanted it, my friend eventually got it but we never played it because it was single player. We played a lot of Ratchet and Clank 3 multiplayer, and a demo of The Italian Job (Wahlberg) instead.
The third Sonic game I owned was Sonic Rush I got it in 2009 and played it on my DS lite. I think I was randomly given it by my dad before we flew down to the South Island to see my sister who was doing her last year of high school in Wanaka. I remember playing the first few levels on the plane and having a really hard time on the first boss. I eventually figured out that I needed to hold down A to jump higher. Once you beat that boss you unlock Blaze, this along with the characters page in the manual set my expectations very high thinking I would be able to unlock Knuckles. I only beat the final boss of this game a few years ago, I bought the sequel but didn’t play much, the artstyle was all wrong.
I haven’t had much Sonic Experience since these games, mania never interested me, I watched someone play forces. I’ve listened to the Sonic R ost quite a bit, I’ve also listened to Sonic Rush ost quite a bit, they give me energy and focus. Raisin’ Me Up is my favourite but it doesn’t sound quite right not coming from the DS speakers.