Once again the cycle renews, filling its disciples with hope that their saviour will once again return. Thus is the Sonic Cycle.
I’m going to put my hands up and identify myself as one of those people. Y’know, every time a new Sonic the Hedgehog title gets announced and the comments on the news articles are filled with people expressing their shock that people still buy these games. Yeah, me. I’m one of the people keeping the nightmare alive. I’m aware that Sonic the Hedgehog is probably a series that should just give up the ghost and leave it be, but when it comes to video game nostalgia, Sonic the Hedgehog is so rooted deeply to my core that I can’t help but woop in excitement when a new Sonic game gets announced, never mind two.
The old trope goes that, as a new Sonic game is announced; the fans will get hype and will be ultimately disappointed. Maybe that will be the case that time too, but I get the feeling that Sonic Team are, at least, actually aware of how their games get received in recent years. Sonic team is weirdly one of the most self-aware developers out there right now, between their social media presence and their very frank discussion of their own products. There have been good Sonic titles in the modern era, Sonic Colours being the constant first example by most. Personally, I adored Sonic Generations and happily call it my favourite game in the series since the Sonic 3 and Knuckles.
With the first announcement I picked up, it seems like the next “big” Sonic game is on the horizon. Only called Project Sonic 2017 right now, the game seems to have taken a lot of queues from Sonic Generations, in its use of “Classic Sonic” again alongside the modern version, as well as a piece of the video that is akin to gameplay at the 50 second mark of this trailer for a couple of seconds. Personally, Sonic Generations was exactly the type of game I wanted from the franchise, nothing too groundbreaking, just a rush through a nice looking environment with some intermittent platforming.
While I am looking forward to whatever this game eventually becomes, the greater internet seemed much more interested in the other trailer that dropped.
Sonic Mania, a game equivalent of Sonic Team basically saying “Fuck it, let’s make Sonic CD again.” Bringing together a bunch of different retro experts and indie game developers who have styled their craft after the original Sonic the Hedgehog, and telling them to go make a classic Sonic game. The result is Sonic Mania. There is defiantly more to see for this project so far, and I’ll admit that I’m pretty excited for it. The music, the logo, the graphical style, it’s pretty much a nostalgia bat to the gut.
I’m hoping that Sonic Team branching out and letting Big Red Button make the Sonic Boom games, has given them enough breathing room to really think about what they need to do with the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and just get it right. I’ll be keeping a very close eye out for any more news on these games. I’m just real that that there are some more proper Sonic games on the horizon, haters be damned.