The Esquire Gamer Zone is a safe space. So let’s talk. Pop culture has Sonic fever right now, with the recent debut of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in theaters. An overwhelming need to go fast, collect rings, and style our ‘staches like Doctor Eggman. But for us gamers, the ones who have supported Sonic all these years through thick and thin, what can we do to really show him love?
We can win furry, Sonic-themed Xbox controllers of course. Yes, this is a real thing. Microsoft teamed up with the Sonic peeps to create an Xbox Series S with a classic gold ring around the fan and a decal of Sonic and Knuckles duking it out from the new movie. It all comes nicely packed in a ring container, which holds the star of the show: the mammal controllers. Red for the echidna Knuckles, and blue for our favorite hedgehog, Sonic. The controllers are only hairy on the front, but rest assured, that is still plenty of fur. Sadly, you can’t purchase these bad boys. You’ll have to count your lucky rings and hope the hedgehog gods smile upon you, by entering Xbox’s official competition to win the kit here.
But is it practical to game with these shagged contraptions, or is a pure gimmick? I decided to find out and re-review my favorite titles with the Sonic furry controllers. Let’s find out how they withstand the life of a gamer.
Chapter One: Dive Into the Heart
First things first. I booted up the Xbox and went through my library to decide where to land. Now, at the risk of receiving many Xbox is better! responses, I am normally a PlayStation and Nintendo gamer. Just the way I grew up. I still love Xbox. That’s all to say—sometimes I need to look at the buttons. This is where we run into what will be a theme here. Fur covers the buttons and I get confused. Do not attack me, because this was hard to admit, and I can still 1-v-1 you in any game, furry controls or not, you pwn, so watch it. Anyway. Navigating the menu was a little tricky. I decided to start with a game I grew up with, hoping that would help acclimate myself to the controllers: Kingdom Hearts. This is when I realized the second issue with the controllers. The joysticks meet some resistance (you know, due to the hair), making it a little hard to snap controls. I realized that I needed to take a step back and become one with sonic. The answer became clear.
Kingdom Hearts: 6/10
Chapter Two: Life and Art
Turns out, the problem was that I didn’t let the controllers—which are art, to be clear—find their souls. So we took a trip together to Sonic & Knuckles, another game I grew up with. Immediately, I felt a power surge, like a chaos emerald hitting just right. I was powerful and these were my tools. I could go fast, climb walls, and so much more. Sure, it didn’t change the build of the controller, but that clearly wasn’t the problem in the first place. I was in tune with the retro runner and the blue blur was in tune with me. I was gripping Sonic in my hand, and he was loving it.
(Editor’s Note: Esquire is not the place to find this kind of writing. You can look literally anywhere else.)
Sonic & Knuckles: 11/10
Chapter Three: The Original Sin (Snack Time)
Now, this wouldn’t be a complete hardware review without some gamer treats. Doritos and pizza—the fuel we need to annihilate noobs. Now, I’ve been eating pretty healthily, so I won’t lie to you. This was more of an excuse to eat pizza as an occupational hazard, but I did it for you gamers.
Stop reading here if you want to remain the same.
These controllers aren’t conducive to snack time. The Dorito dust and pizza grease lives in the fur. I was killing them. With my snacks.
Sonic and Knuckles were dying.
I was their killer.
Gamer Snack Sesh: 0/10
Chapter 4: The Sea of Red
After my fuzzy controllers underwent hell, I decided to return to the sea. My home, my place, and my family: Sea of Thieves. While majority of my haired playthrough of Sea of Thieves was great, I had what might be the unluckiest run of my pirate life. A large Skeleton ship, Kraken, and Reaper ship all trying to get my little sloop full of treasure. Screaming, shouting, begging for a friend to come help, I killed the Kraken, sunk the Reaper ship, and yes, outran the Ghost ship. I had done it—no, we had done it. Sonic and Knuckles were my crew and I was their captain. Together, we prevailed on the sea of thieves.
Until the reckoning. While I had made it away from danger, my ship was in bad shape. Even though I was all but out of wood, I tried to rush to an outpost. I got very close, and then bam! Another player’s ship came and put the single nail in the coffin. Not only killing me, Sonic, and Knuckles, but killing a dream. A dream that despite all odds, we could make a pro gamer out of a carpeted controller yet.
To you, whomever you are: I hope you know what you’ve done, and the progress you’ve killed.
Sea of Thieves: 7/10
Chapter Five: The Void
What happened over those few days is hard to explain. I’m even not sure a book deal would give me enough wordpower to show you what happened. There are secrets hidden in these controllers and I’ve only just begun to uncover them.
Do I recommend a furry controller? Yes. Well, you can’t eat with them, they make the actual game-playing more difficult, and they’re extremely warm. But yes, yes I do. Whether you need a challenge, or a friend, these hairy pieces of technology are the only gaming companion that gave me both. Godspeed Sonic, and godfury Knuckles. I’ll see you in the Chaos Realm soon enough, my friends.
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