The Werehog is especially egregious because it shows how badly Sonic Team missed the point of (any well-placed) criticism of the additional characters. Like you said, the compartmentalization of the characters into entirely separate games that happened to be stapled onto the core Sonic game was the problem. And their solution was to keep the compartmentalization of separate games stapled together, but have Sonic do them both. Honestly, I don't even think having separate games within the core Sonic game is the problem, it's how how mandatory they are. A rotating pachinko maze and an over-the-shoulder racing type game don't have much to do with a sidescrolling platformer, but that's okay because these optional pace-breaking side games are just that: optional, and on the side. They can be played if you want to play them, but they're not mandatory for progression. If Unleashed had Sonic turn into the Werehog during optional bonus stages that I only needed to complete to get the True Ending™, for instance, it would be a relative non-issue.