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Sonic 25th Anniversary round-up: Sonic hit a dab and we watched



Sonic is 25 years old, and although he hasn’t had the greatest of runs it’s clear people still like him. Nowhere was this more evident than the Sega Anniversary party hosted at the appropriately named House of Blues in San Diego. We saw horrors, unintentional comedy, and a few game announcements. Here’s a quick recap in case you missed it.

First, we need to talk about the production quality itself, which was something out of a broadcast nightmare. Frequent audio issues, unstable camera work, and nonsensical editing made the entire event both hilarious and frustrating to watch. Likely being there in person was a lot better, but not everyone has the option and the official Twitch stream was nothing short of embarrassing. There’s a good chance a lot of people tuned out before the big announcements, between 40 minutes of static overpowering all the audio, or the absolutely cringe-worthy interview segments backstage. Regardless I soldiered on to bring you this.

As the title implies, the show started with a “celebration” of Sonic featuring a man in a Sonic suit dancing to the Hyper Potions. This was blessedly short and we moved into the show proper, hosted by Aaron Webber, better known as the Sonic Twitter Guy. Despite everything else, Webber did a great job as a host and it became clear watching him work in person, that he’s a man completely and acutely aware of Sonic and his fan base.

in a way, we're all at fault for this.

in a way, we’re all at fault for this.

The first big drop of the night was the announcement of Sonic Mania, a new 2d platformer very much inspired by the original three games. Mania looks great and in many ways, it’s the Sonic game we’ve been wanting for some time, with the old Sega games re-done with new levels. For the first time in a Sonic 2d platformer you’ll have your choice of playing as Sonic, Tails or Knuckles, likely with the special abilities of all three. A solid release wasn’t said, but it is slated for 2017. Here’s the trailer for your viewing pleasure.

After the reveal, we were treated to an extended show by long-time Sonic musical composer Jun Senoue. This was definitely the highlight of the event, mostly because the audio was stable and the camera work decent. Senoue started with a few Sonic classics, then invited the singer from his band Crush40 to rock out to several themes from different sonic games. It was pretty fun to watch and a high-point in an otherwise terrible show.

After that was a short talk about Sonic Dash, the mobile game. To celebrate 200 million downloads Dash is going to be getting a re-worked version of the iconic Green Hill Zone added, as well as Classic Sonic as a new playable character. Both updates are for free and available now, along with a new trailer.

We were then treated to a short Q&A with some of the men behind Sonic. Nothing really of note, only that there are no plans for a new Sonic Adventure title, although they’re not discounting the possibility yet. Also, when asked what influenced Sonic Mania the team responded by saying it was basically all the old games that inspired them to make it, so that’s nice assurance for anyone looking forward to the upcomong release.

Then things started to get hazy and weird. First was the announcement of a crossover between Sonic and Hello Kitty. There isn’t a new game yet, but there is a bunch of new merchandise mashing the two characters together. Also Sonic is now on Instagram.


Then there was a talk about Totinos? Like, new Totinos flavours launching in September. This is pretty much where the Twitch Stream and the actual party started to diverge into terrible because it looks like the live show got to witness an original sketch voiced by the actors from the Sonic Boom show. It progressively got worse as we watched a man who should never be allowed near a camera stumble through eating Totinos and talking about Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice.

Finally, order was restored and we returned to Webber and the stage show with a quick Q&A with the aforementioned show cast, as well as an announcement that season 1 of the show is on Hulu and a quick teaser for season 2. Good news for fans of the show, whoever they are.

because nothing goes better with nightmares then nightmares.

because nothing goes better with nightmares then nightmares.

In rapid-fire success, we got a look first at Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice followed by Sonic joining Lego Dimensions. Fire and Ice is a new 3DS game using the same licence as the ill-fated WiiU game of 2014 and features a combination of 2d and 3d levels where you use ice and fire powers to solve puzzles. It seriously can’t be worse than the last game, so here’s hoping for the best.

Then we saw Sonic in Lego Dimensions, as well as the new Sonic mini-fig. While Sonic doesn’t quite translate to Lego well, the gameplay looks like your standard Lego game affair. Along with Sonic as a new character is the Green Hill Zone, and as with any character in Lego Dimensions you can play as the Blue Blur in any other level, should you so desire. Here’s the trailer for that.

Finally, fans were treated to the big reveal of the night. Sega had stated that there would be a new Sonic game in 2017  but revealed that Sonic Mania was not that game. Currently titled Sonic 2017, the upcoming game, which only has a trailer right now, looks like a successor to the popular Sonic Generations game. The trailer featured giant robots as well as at least two different versions of Sonic, along with informing us that it’s being made by the team behind Generations as well as Sonic Colours. Unfortunately, no further details are available at this time only that it’s coming out for PC, PS4, X1, and curiously Nintendo NX.

It was a weird, horrifying mess of a stream, that’s for sure. And yet, in a lot of ways, it’s the stream Sonic deserves. Regardless, there’s still a lot of love for the franchise, and the new games actually look pretty great. Maybe it’s not time to kill Sonic off just yet.


Andrew Vandersteen has been watching movies and playing games since before he could do basic math, and it shows. But what he lacks in being good at things, he makes up for with opinions on everything nerd culture. A self described and self medicated audiophile and lover of anything and everything really, really terrible, he's on a constant quest to find the worst things humanity has ever published. He's seen every episode of The Legend of Zelda, twice, and thinks the Super Mario Movie was a war crime. When he's not playing games or writing about them, he's messing around with audio or fixing computers. Perpetually one paycheck short of breaking even, and always angry about something.