That's the problem with the word "ambition," it's such a subjective criteria that it can be applied to anything short of, I guess, a New Super Mario Bros-style stagnation where a series just releases the same game over and over again. (And actually, maybe the Classic era wasn't even seen as ambitious by people who weren't growing up with it, given reviews like this. Older gamers in the 90s seemed to get burnt out on the series doing the same thing over and over again after Sonic 1 or 2, and early online fandom spent a lot of effort pushing back on the idea that Sonic had gotten stale. Heck, maybe one reason we came to agree that Sonic 3 was the best was because we spent so much time on the defensive about it, and found so much to appreciate ABOUT it through that process, haha.) I digress! Ambition is great, but it can be a tremendous detriment to a dev team that doesn't have the time or budget to actually follow through on their ideas, and in my book, that's been the problem with this series since, uh... longer than I even know, probably. And given that, it's easy to construct an argument that ANY Sonic game was ambitious and creative regardless of how it turned out. SA2 wanted to tell a more epic story, Sonic 06 tried to reinvent the series, Unleashed modernized the gameplay, Lost World featured a parkour system, Forces wanted to more cohesively weave storytelling into moment-to-moment gameplay. You could say that any of these ideas were creative and ambitious, but on paper, they were just POTENTIAL. That doesn't say anything about how well they were executed, and THAT they could be considered ambitious shouldn't be used to paper over or excuse problems, but to imagine what the devs were trying to accomplish and postulate how it might've been done better.