I am actually pretty excited for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the second film starring the Blue Blur, currently scheduled to hit theaters on April 8, 2022. The first film was pretty enjoyable, and this one adds Idris Elba as Knuckles in addition to Jim Carrey’s Dr. “Eggman” Robotnik now sporting a more game-accurate look, complete with signature bald head and enormous frizzy mustache.
What I’m not excited for, however, are the utterly inexplicable Xbox controllers being released as a tie-in to the film. While the limited edition Xbox Series S console itself, which features a gold ring-inspired design and a graphic of Sonic and Knuckles facing off, is pretty cool looking, the included controllers are simply…unsettling. One blue for Sonic, one red for Knuckles, each controller features a healthy coating of shag carpet designed to emulate the characters’ fur.
Gaming with these controllers, which are being awarded as a sweepstakes prize, feels like it would be a thoroughly uncomfortable, unpleasant experience. So, without further ado, here are ten things I would gladly touch before I so much as lay a single finger on the furry Sonic-themed Xbox controllers.
10. Actual Sonic – Even The Original Movie Version
The original concept for the film version of everyone’s favorite speedy hedgehog was…unsettling, to say the least. Initial art of Sonic showed him with small eyes, pointy teeth, and disturbingly human-like limbs and proportions. Fortunately, the filmmakers listened to audience feedback and redesigned Sonic to be much closer to his game counterpart…but, that being said, I would still spend time with his concept version before I’d spend time with his tie-in controller.
Yup, that’s right. I’d rather go outside and stop playing video games than have to play a game using these awful excuses for controllers. I’d even do it now, in the middle of pollen season, without taking my allergy meds first. And I wouldn’t even bring my Switch/smartphone/3DS/handheld gaming device or choice with me.
OK, this one may seem like a bit of a stretch, because ‘touching grace’ in Elden Ring is generally a good thing – it means accessing a safe place where you can rest and replenish your health and materials. However, touching grace ALSO means that you have to temporarily pause that sweet sweet boss-baiting and level-grinding, which are basically the point of Elden Ring, so…it counts.
7. Any Centaur – Fallout
OK, confession time: I’ve never actually played a Fallout game (I will, someday, I promise!). So when my lovely editor Jess suggested ‘centaur’ for this list, I was momentarily confused. After all, who wouldn’t want to pet a cool horse-human hybrid? But nope, turns out that ‘centaurs’ in the Fallout series are actually weird mutated Human Centipede rejects with way too many limbs in places there shouldn’t be limbs. The only way I’d ever come within ten feet of one is if the other option was the shag-carpeted horror of the Sonic controller.
6. Fia – Elden Ring
There are lots of monsters and especially bosses in Elden Ring that aren’t exactly cute and cuddly, but I went with Fia for this list because this poor Companion’s hugs literally debuff you. As in, I would rather sacrifice my precious vigor than use one of these cursed controllers. Oh, or maybe Fia could use the controllers, and drain the life out of them so they cease existing? That might just work…
5. Geralt of Rivia’s Bathwater
I would chug an entire bathtub full of lukewarm water unpleasantly seasoned with Witcher sweat, horsehair, monster guts, and just a hint of lilac-and-gooseberry perfume before I would willingly play a single game using a carpeted controller. Enough said.
4. A Like Like
Touching a Like Like in any Legend of Zelda game is generally a terrible idea. These huge sea sponge-looking creatures like to take your equipment and eat it, depriving Link of weapons and armor at crucial moments while dungeon crawling. I have many less than fond memories of losing my Master Sword or Hylian Shield to a Like Like in Ocarina of Time… but I’d rather sacrifice any piece of Link’s kit to a hungry Like Like than have to play with the furry controllers.
3. Duriel – Diablo II
You should probably not touch anything that likes to refer to itself by the title “Lord of Pain.” Add to that the fact that Duriel is a gross, maggoty-looking guy who lives in a sand-filled tomb, and spending any time in his presence would leave you experiencing the dual unpleasant sensations of being both gritty and slimy. Imagine rolling in raw egg yolk and then covering yourself in flour…and then make it about one hundred times worse. That’s the result of a cuddle with everyone’s favorite Lord of Pain. Still better than those cursed controllers, though.
2. TIE: Alolan Muk & Gigantamax Garbodor
Picking the Pokemon I’d least want to touch to include on this list was no easy task. There are lots of good options; the constantly upchucking Pyukumuku, the shocking Stunfisk, Lickilicky and its uncomfortably massive tongue were just a few I considered. But ultimately, I went with a tie between Gigantamax Garbodor – a literal massive, steaming pile of trash – and Alolan Muk – a toxic waste creature that is not just gross, but quite likely fatal to the touch. And any of these Pokemon are still better than the Sonic controller.
1. A Copy of ET: The Extra Terrestrial For the Atari 2600
I would reach into the possibly apocryphal garbage-filled landfill in the middle of the desert, withdraw a single copy of ET: The Extra Terrestrial (widely regarded as one of the worst video games of all time; possibly responsible for the downfall of the Atari console), and take it home with me. I would play it, start to finish, game-crashing bugs notwithstanding. I would even record my footage for a Let’s Play and write a glowing review of the game where I highly recommend it to all gamers.
Just so long as I don’t have to play it using a gross fur-covered controller.
What are your thoughts on the furry Sonic and Knuckles tie-in Xbox controllers? What gross video game characters, moments, and concepts would you add to this list? Comment below and let us know!