A while back I wrote something on this blog questioning where the next new Sonic the Hedgehog games was. With a live action movie out and a sequel on the horizon, it seemed mad to me that Sega didn’t anything to say, especially with the franchise’s 30th anniversary happening this year. Like with Sonic Generations coming out for the 20th Anniversary.
I guess Covid put a bit of a block one getting Sega’s plans out and ready in time for the anniversary itself. I’ll admit that I still got my hopes up when I learned that the Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube channel would be having an online event and giving us a clue as to what they have planned for the future of the franchise.
At 12 minutes long, the whole event was… well, it was kind of lacking in luster for me. I’ll put my hands up and admit that I’m still a big Sonic the Hedgehog fan. But these days I’m much more of a fan of the character and the franchise as a whole than the games he shows up in. Let’s be real, they all almost exclusively terrible.
That doesn’t mean I can’t get excited to see what the future has in store. So I’ll just quickly run down what was going on in this video and my reactions to it:
The first thing they showed us were a bunch of events and collaborations with other games published by Sega. They talked about a live orchestral musical event, with performances from Crush 40 and Tomoya Ohtani. Which are always fun, the music of the franchise is always a fan pleaser.
They also announced a bunch of Sonic stuff coming to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics game, including a big mascot costume for athletes to wear. This isn’t anything to do with Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo Olympic games either mind you. That game already game out, like two years ago.
There was also some stuff in Two Point Hospital and Sonic the Fighters being a playable arcade game in the upcoming Lost Judgement from the Yakuza team. These are all curiosities to me and nothing I personally care about all that much.
Cross marketing deals only work for so long before thety feel a little gross.
Sonic Colours Ultimate
This was probably the news of the entire presentation for me. Sonic Colours was one of the few genuinely good 3D Sonic games to come out these past 30 years. Bright, vibrant and complete with an amazing soundtrack. For so long the game was caged in Nintendo jail, being an exclusive to the Nintendo Wii and never getting a re-release on any other platform. Until now.
With some upscaled graphics, this remake of Sonic Colours is not only coming to Nintendo Switch later this September, but it’s also coming to Microsoft and Sony platforms too. It’s something I’m genuinely looking forward to getting back into and playing again after all this time.
After Generations, Colours was my favourite 3D Sonic game.
Oh, recently retired and then rehired Sonic voice actor Roger Craig Smith also showed up to announce some animation project to tie in with the game. Which is cool and all. Probably not something I’ll pursue though.
You wanna know what it’s probably time for? Another retro Sonic the Hedgehog Collection. Because we don’t have enough of those already. Sonic Origins looks like it’s going to bundle the first three Sonic games & Knuckles, as well as Sonic CD too.
I don’t have any easy access to Sonic 3 & Knuckles these days, which has historically been one of my favourite video games of all time. So unless this ends up being £50 or something I’ll most likely grab this one for access to that game alone. Although if they add some extra junk in there like Sonic Mega Collection did on the Gamecube way back when I’ll be happy about that.
Then they went on to talk about a bunch of mobile stuff and the upcoming Sonic series for Netflix: Sonic Prime. Ironically named if you ask me. They still have nothing to show for it, but considering they’re the people behind shows like Ben 10, I feel like that series is going to aimed at a demographic well outside of my age range.
Plus, it seems kind of odd considering Sonic Boom did such a good job making those character much more expressive and entertaining that the video games generally allow them to be.
There was also some merch and stuff.
New Sonic Game
This is really what I showed up for and then ended up being pretty disappointed by it. I mean, yeah, they’ve obviously been working on a new Sonic game. It’s been four years since Sonic Forces and of course there was some new project behind the scenes. But this teaser trailer shows us basically nothing. It’s just a cryptic confirmation that there is a future game coming. I was really hoping they would give us anything in terms of knowing what this game might be.
But nope, not even a title. Instead we just got Sonic running through a realistic looking woodland and a strange symbol showing up on the ground. Honestly Sega, I can’t be doing with your coy ARG marketing here. You’ve not really earned that right in my book.
I’m glad some people in the live stream comments were excited. But then again I feel like you could slide a picture of Sonic under their door and they’d flip their lid. All in all, there was a lot of stuff here, but outside of the Sonic Colours remake, none of it seemed all that remarkable at this stage in my eyes.
What I want from Sonic…
A more expressive, cartoony and a deeper character than we generally see in the games. A character akin to the wise cracking cartoon character we see in the Sonic Boom tv series but one with a little more depth and complexity to him. If you’re going to continue down the road of telling dramatic stories and not just making minimalistic games like Sonic Mania, then take a leaf out of Crash 4’s book or from Ratchet and Clank.
Just because Sonic is a kid’s franchise doesn’t mean you can’t make it so adults can get something out of it too. Like good gameplay for example… Especially considering the character is now celebrating his 30th annoyer. Meaning a lot of the fans out there are that age or older.
I’m going to be keeping my eyes out for any future details, but the announcement that a game is happening just isn’t enough for me right now. I get that Covid might have impacted some aspects of development, but it’s been long enough that I’d really like to know what Sega have in store for Sonic the Hedgehog going forward… Outside of the movies
Man, why is nobody making a Sonic Mania 2…