WHat do you think of the nerds angry about the new Mario game going on about "they're making the same mistake with mario that sonic team made with sonic 2006!" i.e. putting a colorful mario in an urban street with normal people.
I can’t imagine anyone actually, seriously having that kind of opinion. If they do, they’re being ridiculous. The difference here is intent:
Sonic Team put Sonic in a world full of humans because Sonic Team has (or maybe had) a weird vision for who Sonic the Hedgehog was. Remember: the original pitch for Sonic the Hedgehog was an edgy rockstar that had a human girlfriend with giant boobs. They thought this was “cool.” Sega of America stepped in and told them it was weird (because it was) and made them change it to something a little more friendly. But in the back of somebody’s mind at Sonic Team, those ideas stuck around. When Sega of America stopped being able to boss Sonic Team around, we got Station Square in Sonic Adventure and Princess Elise in Sonic 2006.
And everything Sega of America told Sonic Team back in 1990 ended up true: having Sonic take place on earth was a little weird, and it was DEFINITELY SUPER-ULTRA-WEIRD to give him a human girlfriend.
By the very next game (Sonic Unleashed), the terminology changed: nobody was allowed to say the planet’s name anymore. Was it Mobius? Was it earth? All the characters simply referred to it as “this world” or “the world” or in Eggman’s case, he bizarrely refers to it as “Sonic’s world” as if he’s not even from it.
And the next game after that (Sonic Colors) removed all traces of human life entirely, outside of Eggman himself. Eggman is now the Sonic franchise’s sole homo sapien entirely. It’s a move very clearly done to get as far away from games like Sonic 2006 and the idea that “yeah, Sonic takes place on earth.”
Now, going back to Super Mario Odyssey, we have a completely different context entirely: There is no notion that Mario has always taken place on earth. Lifelike humans are not suddenly appearing under the guise of “they’ve always been there, you just haven’t seen them.” Lifelike humans in Mario being weird is the point. That’s why they’re there. To be weird. To have a three foot tall cartoon character run past a 6 foot tall man in a business suit. It’s Roger Rabbit. Look at this:
Does this look like a place that’s trying to actually be a realistic representation of a world? It’s two square blocks suspended in an endless void. It’s not trying to tell an “epic” or “serious” story, it’s just “hey look at this weird place.” It’s exactly the same as showing Mario in some kind of bizarre rock candy world, where the ruling entities appear to be sentient dinner forks wearing chef hats and scarves.
Anyone saying Mario is actually fully committing to aping Sonic Adventure is either dumb or intentionally being outlandish in their speculation in order to get clicks for their website. Because, if anything, New Donk City exists to parody games like Sonic Adventure.