Korrecting Kotaku: Sonic the Fighters

Last time, Kotaku got their report on SEGA’s restructuring all wrong. This time, while their hearts are very much in the right place, they’re miseducating their readers on SEGA’s 1996 3D fighting game Sonic the Fighters. You can check their full article out here. Give it a read and come back for the korrections corrections.

I applaud the writer for delving into Sonic the Fighters connection with Fighting Vipers, but as the article continues incorrect statements begin to crop up:

Sadly, the original arcade version saw only a limited release outside of Japan, so the only way most people in the West have experience with the title is thanks to its re-release as part of 2005’s Sonic Gems Collection, a compendium of older and often rarer Sonic games released on the PS2 and GameCube.

Untrue. Sonic the Fighters received a Western arcade release under the name Sonic Championship. Limited? I don’t think so. I saw Sonic Championship just as much as I saw any other SEGA arcade game. I recall playing it myself back in 1997/1998 at the Minnesota State Fair. I saw it again at another arcade, this time in Florida. More recently, a Sonic Championship cabinet appeared on ebay and I considered buying it, though plans fell through when I found it would be impossible to ship the cabinet as it was “pick up only”. If the writer is going to note that the game did see release outside of Japan, why not share more information? As it is, it makes it sound like the game never really saw a Western release. The writer ends with a note: “To stop you asking, Sonic Battles is worth its own piece. This is just about Sonic The Fighters, OK?”. Again, a geeky correction: the Game Boy Advance game is Sonic BATTLE, not “Sonic Battles”.


20 responses to “Korrecting Kotaku: Sonic the Fighters

  1. Boom says:

    You know, I love Kotaku and indeed the entire Gawker chain of blogs, but they do tend to have a lot of inaccuracies. I think this is a result of people who care less than they could about the games their talking about. What they really need are talented people who actually care about these games, and indeed, people who have cared about the Sonic franchise in all of it’s nasty and beautiful iterations. Maybe you should try to write for Kotaku? Since you seem to notice all the incorrect information they spit out about Sonic.

    • I think it’s just a result of tight deadlines and the need to write a lot of content.

      I am glad they wrote about Sonic the Fighters, but if they do so they really should share ALL the facts and give their article to a fact checker before submitting. The mention of the game’s arcade release wasn’t so much wrong as it was not enough information.

  2. TimmiT says:

    Besides complaints about Kotaku not making a good post on a SEGA blog, seeing the game at two different arcades and once on eBay hardly makes you right. I’m not sure if the game was or wasn’t limited, but your argument isn’t really convincing.

    • My argument is that if other sites, especially sites that pay their writers, are going to make retro posts talking about classic arcade games, they should at the very least share all the information they can and do a bit of research first. Their headline makes it sound as though only one Sonic fighting game exists, and I don’t get why they have to begin the headline with “Um”, as though this fact is a surprise or something.

      As you said, you’re not sure if the game was or wasn’t limited, but the Kotaku article was happy enough to go with saying it was limited and didn’t give any more info than that. I would have loved to see some research into just how many cabinets actually were distributed outside Japan. I wish I had access to that data, but since I don’t, all I can go by is that I’ve seen three cabinets in the US, which is a fair amount given how little I’ve traveled to play arcade games.

      I think sites like Kotaku would actually benefit from reaching out to writers at fansites like Sonic Retro and Sonic Stadium for niche articles like this.

    • TimmiT says:

      Your headline and post in general makes it sound like you are correcting something Kotaku said, not that you think they should share all the information they have. Also, while a Sonic fan knows about Sonic the Fighter’s existence, Kotaku’s target audience aren’t Sonic fans specifically, their audience is gamers in general, to which the game could come as a surprise.

      And again, complaining about Kotaku doesn’t make for a good post. Especially if you’d make a post like this every time they make a dumb or untrue article.

    • But I am correcting them. I pointed out two instances in their post which I found to be inaccurate and/or incorrect. I noted what I thought they should have done. That is a correction.

      I know these two things are small missteps, and perhaps they don’t warrant an editorial, but then again they are paid to write this stuff and they have shown in the past that they like to rush out articles without double checking. I’ll admit, I’ve occasionally given the wrong facts, but I make sure to correct them via edits when readers note it. Kotaku has yet to correct their big SEGA article from a few weeks back, and that one was a biggie in terms of misinterpreted news. Not to mention, they show up when you search news stories, yet fan sites don’t get that.

  3. Orta says:

    Why do you keep linking Kotaku? They are the garbage of video game journalism.

  4. Centrale says:

    Although I like their blog, there’s two things you can count on with Kotaku… one, if you draw Mario on a napkin, they’ll feature your work in an article. And two, Plunkett writes a vaguely insulting article about Sega almost like clockwork every week… because he knows they get more page views than most of his other articles.

    • Don’t forget reporting on homicides in Japan. Because, y’know, somebody being murdered in Japan is video game related.

    • Kakizaki says:

      Haha, the old arcade at the Minnesota State Fair. My first time experiences with a handful of awesome arcade games was at the very same place – I specifically remember my dad and I pumping quarters into Afterburner (it was cockpit version too!). Also caught my first glimpses of Shinobi, Shadow Dancer, and G-Loc at that location. When I was a kid, my parents took us to the state fair every August.

      Barry, are you from Minnesota?

    • Yup! Born in St Louis Park, raised in South Minneapolis and since then I’ve left the state.

      Minnesota State Fair has the best arcade games. I recall seeing the awesome pinball game Funhouse there. There was this (a-hem) “special” adult who hung around the games. He was a nice guy, but he always yelled “YOU GONNA LOSE!” when you were playing.

  5. crackdude says:

    Kotaku is good for articles, but they are hardly ever accurate.

    You could start a parallel blog with nothing but corrections for each post.

  6. ricerictwice says:

    Well I hate Kotaku anyways, full of garbage articles by journalists that wish they were working someplace else, and my username got banned from their site for telling someone to suck it up, yet another commenter implied that I should be raped and wasn’t banned, crazy thinking over there.

  7. Pao says:

    If we keep correcting the bullcrap that popular sites post about SEGA, we won’t finish till the end of time.

    Best to ignore it.

  8. Kidrat529 says:

    Do you people know how to download this thing? p.s I have all the sega games.

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  11. Sega Uranus says:

    While their article does reek of “I just checked Wikipedia 20 seconds ago and it seemed legit”, they are not entirely incorrect about the limited release, you just were lucky more than anything to see the cabinet so many times.

    Like Pao said, if you were planning on making this a series, do not bother. Almost every major video game journalistic sites get SEGA stuff wrong; Just let Kotaku rot away with posts about cosplay and Japanese culture.

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