Sonic Joins Nickelodeon and the NFL in Cowboys-49ers Game

Nickelodeon had a bit of a brand-takeover during yesterday’s NFL wildcard game between the the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers, with Spongebob, Ninja Turtles, and, of course, Paramount’s Sonic and Tails, appearing periodically to liven the game up in a family-friendly way. And slime. A lot of slime.

While Sonic played a small part in the festivities, the entire thing was off-the-wall nonsense, with Nickelodeon color schemes and CG overlays throughout, including these clips of the Cowboys scoring a touchdown as CG cannons drench the the endzone in green goo, a giant slime monster spawning on the field, or replaying a touchdown but with all the players as Ninja Turtles.

I might actually be inclined to watch sports if I knew that the stadium ground would swell into a gelatinous kaiju.

2021 Was the Year of Weird Mobile Crossovers

Sonic is no stranger to the FOMO demon that is mobile game limited time events. He’s hung out with PAC-MAN, he jammed with Taiko no Tatsujin, and Puyo Puyo Quest… is also a thing. That happened. And I really, really wish didn’t.

Pictured above: A mistake.

Anyhow, SEGA went mad with Sonic guesting in mobile games left and right. Here’s the breakdown:

Ulala: Idle Adventure

Ulala is an idling RPG where you and three other pre-historic adventurers team up to travel many lands, grinding experience and taking on bosses in automated battle. You’ll incrementally upgrade your fighter with equipment, abilities, and animal friends. This was one of the few games I legitimately enjoyed my time with and continued to play regularly for six months. You get some pretty significant benefits chipping in about $5 a month. If you’re after event cosmetics, the cost is miserable, but if you just want to play the game, it’s pretty generous.

During the Sonic event, the blue boy himself has been thrown into this world by a portal, and he’ll need you to recharge enough energy to send him home by playing a very basic Sonic Dash-like minigame, and then inflicting as much damage to Eggman as possible. Your reward for completing tasks (and/or spending heaps of premium currency) is Sonic and Eggman cosmetics, the coolest of which is Eggman’s mustache, which lets your character pilot the hovercraft between encounters.

Fist of the North Star LEGENDS ReVIVE

I’m a bit of a Shonen Jump fan, and my heart leapt at the thought of just how profoundly asinine this would be. I was not disappointed.

Legends Revive is a gashapon (or gacha) character collecting RPG following the events of the Fist of the North Star manga and anime, where expert martial artist Kenshiro walks the wasteland of the post-apocalypse and punches brawny Mad-Max rejects until they explode into viscera. So yeah, perfect game to add Sonic to. There’s no context to why Sonic’s there. He just is, bringing along a bunch of music that either doesn’t quite fit the tone of the game, or fits it perfectly.

The game itself is a mess of a design. The RPG part is simple, just tap your characters in the order you want to attack, do it at the right time to maintain a combo, and occasionally pop off super moves. But there are so many menus and modes and stores and daily missions stacked on top of it. The menu is awash in icons, it’s barely navigable and incredibly disorienting.

It’s not a good game, not in the slightest, but it had me hooked for a solid month on the novelty of running through the story and watching an extremely overpowered Sonic go super with his 1980’s beefcake anime buddies as Live and Learn blares out my tablet speakers.

Dx2 Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation

I’ve seen that game’s title arranged about five different ways, so I don’t know what word order is supposed to be the most accurate anymore.

Sonic as a demon in an SMT Digital Devil-style world is conceptually funny, but the game just couldn’t hold my attention very long. Your avatar is conscripted into a war between two factions of fighters, each battling SMT style with digital demons on your phones. Much like the series proper, you’ll be recruiting, fusing, and building elemental combos with various demons, though this edition lets you recruit via gacha.

It isn’t bad. The visual style is very SMT, the characters can get a little wild, and boy is there plenty of story. But I think my hesitance just comes down to my lack of experience with the primary series. If you’re an SMT fanatic and don’t mind juggling your standard free-to-play complications, it seems like it has a touch more depth than you might expect from a mobile RPG.

I’m mad that I like this game. It doesn’t deserve praise, but darn it, it has really solid production values, fun characters, and entertaining writing. It’s also EVERY irritating mobile game design wrapped into a single package. Not only is it a town-building timer-waiting resource-tapping slog, but it’s also a gacha-collecting RPG-incrementing money-dumping grind.

The Sonic content was pretty entertaining, but it was designed for players at a much higher level than you could likely get to in the brief time the event ran. You could get adorable cookie version of both Sonic and Tails, but only by exchanging rings for pulls from a specialty limited-quantity gacha. If you got seven Chaos Emeralds from it, you could unlock one of the two heroes, but it sure seems like that seventh emerald was rigged to be the VERY LAST item you’d nab from the lot.

The production value of the Sonic content itself is great, with Smith and O’Shaughnessey doing voicework for the duo. With the event’s town-building decor, you can fill your town with Green Hill palm trees and chili dog stands. The cookies are cute, and they can do anything that any of the other characters can… but if you wanted them to get you past the third stage of their special Green Hill Eggman Battle stages, you’ll be out of luck. The power requirement jump between each Sonic RPG stage was huge. But don’t worry, for only $20, you could get the big pack that might net you 60% of a Sonic. Or one of the dozens upon dozens of subscriptions and packs in their store. I’d legitimately love to see the story to its conclusion, but I just don’t think I have the patience, persistence, and fortitude to do so.

It was beyond unusual to get a continuous stream of Sonic mobile game guest appearances, but I predominantly have three takeaways:

First, the best crossovers are the ones that are just completely nonsensical and provoke the strongest dissonance possible.

Second, trying to grapple with three Japanese/Korean gacha RPGs across three months is both expensive and spiritually draining.

And finally, Puyo Puyo Quest currently has somewhere in the realm of 2500 characters and character variants, and many of them are deeply upsetting. The Sonic event from a previous year returned, and I got Ringo cosplaying as Shadow. The game is a worse version of Puzzle and Dragon. I’m ending this article with a picture of Arle dressed as Eva Unit 001:

Happy New Year, I guess?

LEGO Ideas Sonic Set Pictures Leaked, We Break Down the Differences

Earlier this year, LEGO and SEGA officially revealed that Toastergrl’s Sonic Mania-themed LEGO Ideas set had been approved for production. Now, a number of Twitter accounts are posting leaked images of what is believed to be the final version of the set:

You probably noticed right away that the design has changed a fair bit from what was originally pitched on LEGO Ideas:

It’s quite common for a set to go through significant revisions between the Ideas version and the final released version. Often times, it is to follow the license holder’s suggestions or requirements, to fit within what is reasonable for LEGO to manufacture, or to ensure the design can be made and sold at a reasonable price. The LEGO Ideas Sesame Street set is a good example of this:

Left: Original Ideas pitch, 2945 pieces; Right: Final release, 1367 pieces

In the case of the Sonic Mania set, the most immediate difference is that it has dropped the Sonic Mania connection in favor of more generalized Sonic 1 branding, however it looks like several other tangible designs have been changed:

  • The retail version actually uses MORE bricks than the original pitch. Toastergrl’s design touts about 700 pieces, while the box states 1125 pieces.
  • Toastergrl’s design has slight dimensionality to it, but the retail design emulates the 2D level design of classic Sonic games. You can even see a Lives icon in the bottom left of the model.
  • There are no longer any Hard Boiled Heavy figures, flickys or the giant Eggman Robot.
  • There are, however, floating rings, the Eggman hovercraft, a Crabmeat, and a checkpoint post.
  • The Phantom Ruby is gone, but you do get a full set of Chaos Emeralds.
  • The Green Hill checkerboard pattern has been scaled down. The Ideas design builds each square 2-bricks wide, but the retail set reduces it to 1-brick wide (and possibly made of 1×1 tiles?). It also appears that the tall sides of the loop are either printed or stickered pieces.
  • The item boxes are slightly chunkier now, using 2×2 tiles to show the screen instead of printing it on 1×2 bricks.
  • The places where the grass transitions into the walls now do so using specially printed 1×4 tiles and quarter-circle tiles.
  • Instead of using pin-connected technic pieces, the bridge is now much more flat and solid. The log design is made of 1×1 round plates. The water underneath is now made of transparent bricks.
  • The spring has been made flatter. The back of the box seems to imply there’s still a mechanism to make it bounce though.
  • The sunflower has been redesigned with a little more detail.
  • Sonic’s minifig Looks much more like his LEGO Dimensions version, but without the green eyes. He has full-sized legs instead of the Toastergrl design’s short legs. He also appears to have a more traditional bright blue, instead of the slightly muted blue SEGA uses to differentiate classic and modern Sonic.
  • Motobug’s face is rather similar to the original design, but its body is now bigger with more round components and details. It also seems to have a secondary face to make it look angry.
  • Eggman’s body looks mostly unchanged, though his face has been altered in kind of a weird way. It uses plates sticking out at diagonals with wedges to make his mustache, and a nose sticking out front. This change makes it look a bit awkward, but it’s always possible LEGO doesn’t have a great process to print his nose on a 2×1 plate with handle bars like in the original design.

What hasn’t changed is that the set still appears to be modular, per the pins sticking out on the right side. While LEGO very rarely expands Ideas sets into full-blown themes, the ability to connect it to other sets does seem to suggest they may have further plans for Sonic. There’s no indication on the box that this set in itself breaks apart into level chunks.

Further stoking the speculation, rumors have surfaced this year that LEGO may be launching special “Gaming” branding for certain themes, such as their Overwatch line or the recently leaked Horizon: Zero Dawn Tallneck. They also continue to update their Minecraft and Super Mario themes, with new sets of each planned for early next year.

Thanks to many submitters, but particularly VisionaryofSUPER on our Discord News Tips channel.

After 13 Years, Sonic Chronicles’ Intro Animation Released to the Public

Did you know BioWare’s DS Sonic RPG, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, was originally meant to have an intro animation? I sure didn’t! Well, it did, and that intro animation has now been released by video game animation expert and author Jonathan Cooper. Check it out in his tweet below:

According to Cooper, SEGA cut the animation from the final release, leading to the compilation of game play footage for intro used in the final game. Cooper’s account has some other footage related to Sonic Chronicles, including pencil tests of the intro and in-game animation. We’ve got tweets containing those videos below:

Thanks goes to Discord user visionaryofSuper, who let us know about this!

New “Rock ‘N’ Sonic” Merchandise Available for Preorder

Sonic Channel have announced a new rock-themed Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise line and campaign, in conjunction with the release of new arrangements of some of the best-loved songs from the series.

Rock ‘N’ Sonic the Hedgehog Sessions! a new EP featuring new Sonic the Hedgehog artwork and containing new arrangements of Live and Learn, Escape from the City, and more tracks to be confirmed, is set for a February 2022 release.

In addition, a merchandise line including a T-shirt, face towel, acrylic stand, and badge set, will be released simultaneously.

The merchandise can be ordered via the dedicated storefront, which allows shipping worldwide.

Sonic Returns to Free Comic Book Day in 2022 With New Story

It has been confirmed by FCBD and IDW that Sonic will be getting a comic featuring an original story for next year’s Free Comic Book Day, which will be on May 7. Earlier this year, Sonic returned to the event after a multi-year absence, and this announcement confirms that that wasn’t a one-off.

Unlike Sonic’s previous FCBD outing, however, this one will take place in IDW’s primary Sonic universe. It will feature writing from Ian Flynn, cover and interior art by Adam Bryce Thomas. The story will directly tie into the comic’s larger ongoing story leading into issue 50.

The synopsis is as follows:

Sonic’s racing into a brand-new adventure with his best buds (and co-stars of the hit new movie) Tails and Knuckles by his side! But Sonic’s not the only super-speedster in town… Get caught up with everything you need to know about Sonic’s evil counterpart Surge before she and Sonic go head-to-head in the epic issue #50, a story years in the making!

Check out the cover below:

Sonic Colors Ultimate’s Second Patch is Out, With Bug Fixes, OST Toggle and New Sonic Customizations

The second patch SEGA promised for Sonic Colors Ultimate is officially out on all platforms. Before you ask, no, we do not know which glitches were fixed yet. We will be running a stream of the game on PS5 later today to look into that. What we do have, however, are the full patch notes. Check them out below:

First of all, the game now has new customization options for Sonic. Called the “Celebration Pack,” it includes the following:

  • Burst Shoes
  • Burst Gloves
  • Fireworks Boost
  • Fireworks Aura

The patch also adds numerous quality of life updates, including:

  • Ultimate Remix/Original Music soundtrack toggle
  • Full screen boost blur effect on/off toggle
  • Tails navigation on/off toggle
  • Full screen movie playback from options satellite
  • Improved visibly of cyan wisp targeting line

The patch also has:

  • Improved stability for all platforms
  • Updates to specific enemy attack speed
  • Improved Green Hover Wisp light speed dash functionality
  • Improved visibly of Big Chaser attacks in Switch version
  • Various bug fixes throughout the game.

If you want to see if this addresses your specific pet peeve, stay tuned to our Youtube channel, where we will be doing a live stream later. It is currently unknown if another patch is in development. If you want to download this patch, it should be available now.

Tangle & Fang Plushies Incoming from Great Eastern Entertainment

The past few years have been something of a golden age for Sonic plushies, with increasingly obscure characters finally getting their own stuffed toys thanks to Great Eastern Entertainment. That trend continues with GEE’s latest plushies: Tangle the Lemur and Fang the Sniper.

Tangle was revealed by GEE on their Twitter just a few moments ago, and is available now on their website for $23.99. The plush is 10 inches tall, and I must say, it looks pretty good:

Tangle is the second IDW character to get a plush, after GEE released Whisper last year. Unfortunately, Whisper is currently sold out on their website, but she will be getting a restock in Q1 2022.

In addition to Tangle, Fang the Sniper also appears to be getting his own plush. Though not officially announced as of this writing, the plush was leaked via Ali Express and confirmed by Sonic Merch News.

Because this is a leak, this is technically a rumor. But GEE itself has more or less confirmed that the leak is real.

Below, we have the tweet from Sonic Merch News, as well as the images from the leak:

Soon, Teslas Will Be Able To Play Sonic 1 For Some Reason

Today, famous (or infamous) self-driving electric car maker Tesla announced that Sonic 1 will join Cuphead and Stardew Valley as playable on the Tesla Arcade platform built into Tesla vehicles.

Get ready, Sonic fans! SEGA has just announced a partnership with Tesla to bring Sonic the Hedgehog 1, the game that started it all, to Tesla’s in-car gaming console for both existing and new models. Passengers turn into players as they race at lightning speed across classic zones to defeat enemies on a mission to save the world from the evil Dr. Eggman, all in the comfort of their own car! SEGA is excited to partner with Tesla to bring this iconic Sonic title to their extensive gaming library. Sonic the Hedgehog 1 will be available in all Tesla models around the world via the built-in display screen in conjunction with a handheld controller connected through the car’s USB ports. Now no matter where you travel, Sonic can come along with you!

Press Release

It is worth noting that the majority of games on Tesla’s service require the car to be parked in order to play, and that will likely be the case for Sonic. Select games on the service that control via the touch screen can be played while driving; however, this is currently being assessed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U.S.

This is certainly not the first time SEGA has aligned itself with controversial technology groups; earlier this year, they announced partnership with a Japanese NFT game developer to produce and sell NFTs as collectables and gameplay elements for future games.

All that said, obviously don’t play games while driving, and if you need to play games in a recharging car, just play on Switch, a phone, or one of those handheld PCs. You know, devices that can also run games outside the context of being in a car. You can play Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Stardew Valley, and many other games without needing to hook a USB controller up to a car that’s 2-5 times more expensive than any vehicle I’ve ever owned.

Sonic Movie 2 Director Jeff Fowler Says Idris Elba “Absolutely Nailed” Voicing Knuckles

Knuckles’ reveal in the new Sonic Movie 2 trailer was, for many, one of the best moments seen in the trailer. There were very few complaints about how Knuckles looked, acted, and sounded. And thanks to director Jeff Fowler in a new interview, now we know why Sonic Movie’s interpretation of Knuckles ended up this way.

Continue reading Sonic Movie 2 Director Jeff Fowler Says Idris Elba “Absolutely Nailed” Voicing Knuckles

Tyson Hesse Returns to Work on the Sonic 2 Movie

Tyson Hesse has revealed that he has been working on Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as a character design lead and storyboard supervisor. He announced it alongside an epic looking piece of art, posted below.

Hesse, notably, was brought in to work on the first Sonic movie, where he redesigned Sonic himself and also developed the design for other characters such as Tails and the echidnas.

Sonic Frontiers officially revealed; out Holiday 2022, To Be Written by Ian Flynn [U]

As all but confirmed, the newest Sonic game, now officially titled Sonic Frontiers, had its first proper reveal at The Game Awards. It showcased both CG footage of Sonic running from mysterious robotic enemies, and some seemingly in-game environmental shots which definitely take things to a far more realistic art-style again.

Continue reading Sonic Frontiers officially revealed; out Holiday 2022, To Be Written by Ian Flynn [U]

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Trailer Debuts at The Game Awards

Nearly seven months since it wrapped filming, Sonic 2’s trailer has finally arrived, debuting at The Game Awards. The 2-minute-18-second trailer gives us our first taste of what’s in store for Sonic’s big screen debut.

The trailer has got a lot to offer. There are plenty of references to the games, such as Sonic Adventure. The Master Emerald and its shrine is here, along with the Tornado, Tails, and of course, our first look at Knuckles the Echidna.

Watch it below!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 features Ben Schwartz as Sonic, Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Tails, Idris Elba as Knuckles, and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. It will debut in the US on April 8, 2022.

Watch The Game Awards With Us, Starting at 7:30 EST!

If you’ve been paying attention to our streaming schedule you already know about this, but we will be running a react stream for The Game Awards announcements tonight! Join GX and Nuckles87 as they patiently wait for the Sonic announcements!

It will run on our Twitch channel until sometime after both Sonic trailers have debuted. It will also be shown on both our front page and on SSMB. If you’d prefer to watch The Game Awards without our heavenly voices, you can do so here.

Colleen O’Shaughnessey To Reprise Her Role as Tails in Sonic 2 Movie

Tails is going to be getting something that is very rare in Hollywood video game adaptations: the same voice he has in the games. Instead of Tom Holland or Chris Pratt, Tails will instead be voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey, who has been playing the character in the games since 2014. This was just confirmed by O’Shaughnessey herself via her Twitter account.

Technically, O’Shaughnessey’s has already voiced the character on the big screen, via the first movie’s after credits scene. It was unknown if she would be asked to reprise her role, since it’s not uncommon for Hollywood productions to recast actors when their character is upgraded to a larger role in a subsequent movie. Now that she’s been confirmed, O’Shaughnessey now has the rare distinction of voicing a Sonic character across video games, movies, and television thanks to her role in Sonic Boom.

A trailer for the Sonic 2 movie is widely expected to debut soon. Stay tuned to Sonic Stadium for that, and all the latest news!