Another Anniversary, Another Failure?

It’s 30 years this year since we first got Sonic the Hedgehog added to the pop culture of the world and today SEGA have proven again how lacklustre they can be when celebrating their flagship blue blur. 

The 30th live stream presentation today started off by telling us about the upcoming Sonic Symphony virtual event coming up on June 23rd, which is FREE and also pretty cool. Then there was mention of the various Sonic things rammed into other games as a token celebration (such as a Sonic costume for your avatar in Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Sonic themed items in Two Point Hospital and the addition of Sonic the Fighters in the arcades of Last Will when that releases).

The hype train will have started for some with the announcement of Sonic Colours Ultimate but as someone who never played the previous release, my excitement was low for this. I’ll pick it up at some stage but I’m not super hyped for it. Although I am intrigued to see what was added to consider it “Ultimate” and I’m keen on the little extras that were shown.

We then got shown a snippet of the upcoming animation Sonic Colours – Rise of the Wisps. I’m always game for new animations.

Sonics 1 through CD are also being rereleased in their own Sonic Origins collection.  Hopefully this will mean we finally get the best version of 3&K on console as well as mobile now.  There was also mention of Sonic Team Racing and Sonic Mania now being on Amazon Luna (if anyone uses that) and that those two and Sonic Forces are set to hit PlayStation Now from June 1st (my birthday, woo!). We were also shown off some new additions to the mobile games with the Werehog being added to Dash and Forces alongside some other bits and peices. Team Sonic Racing on Apple Arcade is also getting Classic themed racers, stages and music.

Following the Apple Arcade update came the Apple styled “one more thing” and my brain went into fanboy overhype mode expecting Mania 2 or Adventure rereleased in HD or rebuilt. 

No. 

A few seconds-long clip of what looks like a young Sonic running through a forest, a slowdown of his foot hitting the floor and then fading to a blue screen with 2022 on it. 

I really didn’t want to be one of those butthurt fanboys but here we are. Mostly because of the disappointment that the new game is launching next year but it’s the 30th this year. 

There were a few bits that interested me and some of the merch I’m likely to pick up (specifically the Death Egg Robot set and the “Encyclo-speed-ia”) but I just felt so let down.  Mostly as that end tease was so empty of any real content and it’s coming when Sonic hits 31..

I’m a near 35 year old man. I shouldn’t be so bummed about a franchise aimed at kids but anyone who knows me knows I’ve grown up with Sonic being my main fandom. I know they’d have disappointed people no matter what happened but I was hoping it wasn’t going to be me. 

I genuinely feel like SEGA have missed a big opportunity for the 30th with rereleasing the classic games for what feels like the 30th time (and yes, I own Sonic 2 in about 7 different ways so I feel I’ve earned the right to gripe about it coming out again), making the big game an HD port of Sonic Colours and only teasing what’s to come. I think the “one more thing” ending would probably have had less of a sting if it weren’t such an anticlimax. A full trailer or just more than what we got would have made it a much bigger payoff for me.

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