If I'm to be real, Sonic should've never done the "classic" and "modern" split in ideals/canon, nor taken so closely to fans who believed it had to be one way or the other in great specifics. It's led to some undoubtedly good things like Mania but uhh. Yeesh. While key defining traits of any great series are it's greatest strengths that keep the ball rolling for years to come (literally, for Sonic..), Sonic fell too hard from grace and in turn got scrutinized to hell and back, making itself a responsibility to call back to old ideals constantly or make games for specific niches of the fanbase without holding an identity forward for the future, nor knowing why those things worked in the first place. It feels like the series' only goal is to ourosboros it's past efforts at this point.. That's of course not to say it's wrong for people to side with what they like from the series or even ask for consistency, of course, but Sega I believe has taken the wrong angle the past several years with this path; while everyone kind of fell into place further feeding it instead of having any self-awareness. Elitism now exists for basically every era of the series (not just classic anymore lol), and while Sega's own decisions fanned the flames we kind of having to acknowledge the fanbase not checking itself before, erm, wrecking itself. I'm not even sure where my ramble is going at this point, but it's def been a subject on my mind for a minute.