The Opinion Zone: Sonic’s 2016 In Review

As The Opinion Zone crew went for a quiet hibernation since Christmas, we only just realised we never did a year in review. Considering 2016 was the year of Sonic’s 25th Anniversary and considering we love to argue about opinions, it seemed odd that we let this slip past us!

The gang discuss everything from Sonic Runners closing its doors to all the chaos of the Project 2017 announcement. Of course we do it with a selection of strong language so please be warned!

What was your highlight of 2016 and do you think it met your expectations for an anniversary year? Let us know in the comments!

 

The Top 15 TSS Articles of 2016

So last year we decided to look at the sites top articles of 2015, and this year is no different!

Throughout the year our site monitors and keeps tracks of various statistics and we’re able to run various reports based on that data. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what were the top 15 news/articles of 2015 on TSS according to total views, I have discounted individual images or hub pages like the Home page.

The date period is 31/12/15 – 31/12/16.

Lets go!

Number 15

I’m honestly surprised that this is so low on the list, however it’s probably because it came during the night of a thousand announcements and when you have to compete with Dancing Sonic and #Totino’s it was always going to be a tough battle for clicks.

Number 14

Well here is our first big surprise! Sonic Boom Season 2 was an article written in October 2015, yet between December 31st 2015 and today it had more hits than Sonic Mania did! What say you now BooMoaners?

Fun fact, this was number 15 on last years list.

Number 13

First bit of Archie news makes the list, and a well deserved one, Sonic: Mega Drive is one of the best Sonic comics in years, surprising fans of the series and bringing back fans who had left the comic book, beautifully drawn and brilliantly funny.

Number 12

You know in Toy Story, when they’re around the baby monitor and Rex yells ‘It’s a what!? What is it!?’ that best summarises the reaction to this news. Coming from Japan with dodgy fan translations all over the internet, nobody really knew what had happened until several hours later.

But our first clue at a big new Sonic game, of course we got excited.

Number 11

There was a time when 25th Anniversary news was popping up on a near daily level, many places reported that Sega had big plans for large scale events and parties, oddly, despite some of this news coming direct from Sega themselves, some of these events never materialised.

Number 10

We were one of the first places to break this rumour, and not only did it turn out to be true, but it ended up being one of the best Sonic games in years. Sonic in Lego Dimensions ended up being a fantastic game and has already had fans chanting for an official Sonic Lego kit to be made. One for 2017’s Christmas List I think.

Number 9

The end of 2016 saw a bunch of surprise fan projects, but the one which makes our list is Sonic Utopia, a fun little ‘what if’ kind of fan game, not perfect, but a great effort and kept a large number of you entertained for several hours.

Not tried it yet? Go give it a bash.

Number 8

One of the biggest surprises of 2016 was the discovery of an unknown arcade game SegaSonic Bros. a puzzle based game in which you line up coloured blocks. Starring Sonic, Ketchup and Mustard the Hedgehog, hey if we get official names, I’ll gladly stop calling them that.

Number 7

It’s really not surprising this one got as high as it did, I’d be quite surprised if it didn’t make it on next years list? Why? Well for one thing people usually search for ‘Sonic *insert year here*’ when trying to find news on stuff, so the fact this has Sonic 2017 in it means it’s going to be high on the list.

So anyway, the odd announcement from the end of the big party in America was Sonic Project 2017, which has a lot of fans going ‘erm… I’m not sure how to feel’. Well we’ll soon know how to feel as there is expected to be an information blowout of the game following Mania’s release next year.

Number 6

One of the first articles of the year, and what an article it was, another one of those weird interviews which promised a lot of stuff but didn’t quite deliver what was said, news of several new Sonic games which ended up being announcements if you don’t count Lego Dimensions.

Number 5

Sonic Runners should go down as a case study for mobile game developers as an incredible example of how a game died barely a year after it’s global release.

Sonic Runners soft launch was met with near universal acclaim, however following it’s worldwide launch players suddenly found their ability to progress restricted, banned for getting legitimate high scores, micro-transactions forced on them as well as more seriously sending hundreds of contact requests to advert providers and filling up device memory when players of the game discovered that the game was not deleting old data.

Sonic Runners, Not OK.

Number 4:

Is anyone really surprised this article is up here? News of a new character and the keyword ‘Sonic 2017’ will get people coming. Expect a lot articles from all over the Sonic community next year as sources claim things and news gradually leaks out.

Number 3

Sega’s fan event in Japan earlier this year saw not only the announcement of Sonic Project 2017, but also the reveal of a ton of concept art for Sonic and friends. Some of the designs different greatly to the final version, such as Shadow being blind in one eye and Cream being a completely different species.

Number 2

This news beat out Sonic Mania, it beat Sonic 2017 and Lego Dimensions news, think about that for just a moment.

It’s really… not that much of a surprise. The fact that GlamGlow is mentioned in the article is the reason why this article did as well as it did, see a lot of fans of beauty products search for limited products so it’s really no surprise that this article did as well as it this year, add onto that Sonic Merch Collectors, not that hard to see why it scored as high as it did.

The only really sad part about this is that Sega didn’t really announce this, it was discovered accidentally by fans and instantly put into the hands of ‘Instagram celebs’ who barely talked about it, if only they had made the product obtainable to the general public.

Number 1:

11 days into the year, that’s all it took for the first major 25th Anniversary news to break, the fact that this is our most viewed article of 2016 is proof enough that the thirst was real.

Hinting at new style guides, huge branded events and a major celebration, it was the first hint that Sega would be taking the 25th anniversary seriously and had big plans for it.

Honourable Mention: BIG NEWS

April 1st 2016 saw the return of Big News! Big the Cat took over the TSS main page as well as the Twitter and Facebook accounts, posting informative articles such as the best games which feature fish and a review of Bigs Big Fishing Adventure 3 Well… Big News’ central hub was actually number 16 on the list. But because it got taken down shortly after April 1st, it hasn’t had the pleasure of a whole years worth of exposure, odds are if it had remained accessible it would have been in the top 15.

The lesson here, never underestimate Big the Cat.

See you in 2017.

Sonic Mania Announced!

Just announced at Sonic’s 25th party, a new 2D game for the PS4, PC & Xbox One.

Christian Whitehead is behind the project along with Takashi Iizuka. The game is due Spring 2017.

Sonic, Tails & Knuckles are playable.

More details as we get it!

Edit: Because this is going live, we will update this with more information once we get time to go through everything.

Sonic Themed Honda Civic To Debut at Comic Con

Why is Sonic a car!? Because it’s awesome!

A few months ago we brought you news that Sega was planning a special car for Sonic’s 25th, well… looks like this is it!

It’s a Honda Civic! I have no idea if that’s a good thing or not but, look at the paint job! Now lets get it on Top Gear and see if it can go around the track… in the fastest possible time…. Actually, can we get this as DLC for ASRT?

The car will be around Comic Con for Sonic’s 25th party, if you see it, check it out, maybe ask for a test drive.

Source: Motor1

Summer of Sonic Announces Tons of Events & Tickets Still Available!

Summer of Sonic 2016 is almost upon us, the biggest party for Sonic fans is back again for one more run and it feels that almost daily that a new announcement is made, so let’s go through all of the recent ones.

Cosplay Contest!

SOS cosplay

There has truly been some amazing costumes over the years, so of course this is making a return. For those interested in going to Summer of Sonic in costume this year, here are some important bits of information for you to know.

There will be a signup booth close to the entrance of the venue, you’ll need to register here if you want in the contest.

There will likely be a preliminary judging panel for finalists, this is due to the shere volume of people who come to the vent in costume. However if only a few people turn up (unlikely) this might change.

There will be a changing room and cloakrooms! So if you don’t want to wear your costume on the tube or walk through the streets as Eggman (as awesome as that sounds) you can get changed at the venue.

More details on how to enter the contest as well as details about the event can be found on the Summer of Sonic website.

Richard Burton & Deborah Tate Confirmed!

deborahtaterichardburton

Sonic the Comic editors Richard Burton and Deborah Tate are coming to the event, Richard Burton has the honour of being essentially the creator of the comic and Deborah is responsible for making Amy a much more proactive and positive role model for female readers of the comic.

Both will be present to meet and greet fans of the comic and new fans alike.

More details here.

T-Shirts Revealed!

Those who backed for a Summer of Sonic T-Shirt might be interested to see the finished design.

sosshirt

The merch collector in me is drooling, sporting the Summer of Sonic logo on the front, the reverse has the official 25th Anniversary Logo, yes that’s right, it has been approved by Sega, it’s an official piece of 25th Anniversary merchandise exclusively for SOS Kickstarter backers.

LiveStream Link!

As with previous Summer of Sonic events, this years fun and games will be live streamed for those of you who can’t make it.

Or if you’d rather have just audio, Radio Sega has also got you covered: https://www.radiosega.net/listen/

Tyson Hesse Confirmed!

tysonhesse

Archie comic artists Tyson Hesse is coming over for some fun too! Tyson has recently worked on the Mega Drive Sonic comic as well as the main Archie Sonic comic series, Boom and Universe. But one of his most notorious works is the infamous Boxer Hockey Sonic!

More details here.

Art Contest!

Another contest is returning, for all you budding artists out there there will be pens and paper on hand for your best scribbles and doodles, but feel free to bring your own stationary if you like!

There will be two competition brackets 15 & Under and 16 & over.

To enter your artwork must be drawn from scratch at the event and not prepared in advance, more information will be available on the day as well as the deadline to submit your artwork.

More details here.

History of Summer of Sonic Panel

sospanel

Think you know the history of Summer of Sonic? Think again, a special one off panel will be held at the event in which Kevin “AAUK” Eva, Svend “Dreadknux” Joscelyne & Adam “T-Bird” Tuff will be talking about how Summer of Sonic went from an idea in a tearoom to a major convention.

“A Sonic convention!? The only people who will turn up to that will be the drunks over the road!”

There will be limited space to this panel and it will operate on a strictly first come first serve basis.

Full details can be found at the SOS Website.

Crush 40 Performance!

SoS10 - Crush 40 - Jun and Johnny

You knew it was coming didn’t you? Crush 40 will be back at Summer of Sonic and will be performing to close the days events, what better way to end than to rock out with Jun and Johnny?

More details here.

Community Spotlight Live!

communityspotlightpanel

Join Pete “TitansCreed” Nethercote as he speaks to Svend “Dreadknux” Joscelyne and Adam “T-Bird” Tuff, Jamie Egge Mann & Tanner Bachnick of The Sonic Show, Matt Mannheimer of Tails Channel and Tyson Hesse about how the Sonic community has changed over the years, as well as taking questions from the crowd.

Someone ask Svend what Tails’ Superstar move from Sega Superstars Tennis is.

Full details can be found here.

Nevermind the Buzzbombers is back!

nevermindthebuzzbombers

Another staple event of Summer of Sonic, Nevermind the Buzzbombers returns for it’s 6th instalment, two teams will play some games and answer some questions to prove who knows the most about Sonic.

As before, there will be surprise guests on each team and audience members will be invited to take part in order to win some prizes!

If you want to be in with a chance to get picked, be sure you’re at the main stage for the start of the event, and make sure the Captains know you are the one to pick! Feel free to hold up signs, hire a sky writer, or invade the venue with a badnik army – the most stand out guests in the audience are the most likely to get picked!

And as before the event will be hosted by… *looks around* me!

Full details can be found here.

Tickets Still Available!

sos2016

Yes you read that right! If you missed out, tickets are still available if you want them.

There’s a small number still up for grabs, if you want them they cost £20 each and you can get them via the Summer of Sonic website, this is the link you need if you want to join us for one awesome day!

A Little Look at the Sonic Boom 2016 Style Guide

Style guides are odd little things, the idea behind them is to unify all items in a particular brand so that they are easily recognisable and that the brand is being accurately represented. What’s fun about them is that sometimes they have some odd little bits of information in them which is unknown, other times they have mock-ups of products which don’t actually exist, but could exist based on the mock up imagery in the books.

Continue reading A Little Look at the Sonic Boom 2016 Style Guide

Take a Look Inside Sega’s 2016 Vegas Licensing Expo Booth

Las Vegas is hosting the annual Licensing Expo, as usual Sega are in attendance and someone actually took photos of the booth for once!

It’s certainly a different design to the usual, we’ve had a close look at the photos but we don’t see any clues or hints at anything new game wise, there might be the odd one or two new pieces of merch in there somewhere.

Anyway, enjoy the pics in their full size in the gallery.

Source: First4Figures Facebook

Sonic Boom Fire & Ice Delayed Until Fall 2016

Sonic Boom Fire Ice 2016

Well it took a while, but pics from Tomy’s booth at the New York Toy Fair have finally leaked out and they contain some news which nobody was expecting.

Some of this information I do not believe is correct at all, however here it is because it’s the most official thing we’ve got.

First of all, the most unlikely bit of news, that being the two game launches in 2016, I doubt these will be the only ones, but yeah there it is.

However the other bit of news is that Boom Fire & Ice appears to have been delayed to the end of 2016! That’s… a lot later than many predicted, but thinking about it, it makes sense given the lack of information about it since it was first announced.

Those expecting an early 2016 release, looks like it’ll now be a Christmas release.

Source: Idle Hands