Sonic The Card Game – Release Date, Price, and Details Revealed

After last month’s announcement of Sonic: The Card Game, Steamforge Games has revealed further details about the game and its box art. The boxed product is expected to launch in September, 2021 at a suggested price of $19.95, £14.99, and €17.95.

The 20-30 minute game allows 2-6 players to play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, or Blaze, as the deck produces a level for the characters to race through. While no specific mechanics have been revealed, Steamforge implies there will be some form of press-your-luck element, stating, “Each time a new card is placed, they must decide whether to keep racing to try and grab a bigger pot of rings, or to retire and collect their share of the rings and bonus cards on the table. If players keep racing, they risk running into enemies and losing lives, but the chance to win more rings and bonus cards could be tempting enough to keep racing on.”

Steamforge Games‘ previously published works include board game versions of Dark Souls, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Resident Evil 2, PAC-MAN, and Ni no Kuni II. Expect a detailed review when the game launches later this year.

Source: Press release via Cision PR Newswire

Green Hills Movie Set Includes Mean Bean Coffee House

EDIT: The town featured here is actually Fort Langley, and not the location of Ladysmith used in the first movie. Thanks for the update Reggie!

IDW Sonic Comic artist Reggie Graham popped over to the little town of Ladysmith in British Colombia, Canada, to check out the set dressing for the Green Hills high street, currently being used for filming of the second Sonic the Hedgehog movie!

Posting on Twitter, Graham found amongst the many pieces displaying the Green Hills town name is a Coffee Shop named “The Mean Bean Coffee Co.”, a reference to the 1993 title Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.

Great to see these little nods to Sonic’s past will continue in the next movie!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is due for release on April 8th, 2022.

RUMOR: Sonic Colors Remaster Incoming, UPDATE; Price & Platforms Also Leaked

UPDATE: Thanks to Ali Ahmed in the comments, we now know of another source that’s leaked info. French online game retailer Sogamely has Sonic Colors listed for Switch, PS4 and Xbox One for €35 each. Given how game prices tend to work that’d translate to $35 USD. The games are called “Sonic Colors Ultimate – Limited Edition.” If accurate, this would appear to suggest that the remaster would getting some sort of physical release as well.

Unfortunately, linking to it directly doesn’t seem to work, but you can find it yourself by going to the Sogamely link we provided and searching “Sonic Colors.”

Original Article:

German dubbing studio iksample has potentially leaked a Sonic game: a remaster of Sonic Colors. The company lists it among their upcoming projects (albeit with a Sonic Boom graphic). This would be a pretty odd thing to list by mistake, but as always: this isn’t a confirmed project, so treat it as such.

If true, this suggests the game is getting a German dub, something the original game didn’t have. A “remaster” can mean a variety of things in today’s game industry, but the creation of a new dub suggests something a bit better than “Sonic Colors but in HD.” Though it hardly points towards a completely remade game either.

If this is real, we’ll likely be hearing about it soon. Stay tuned for further updates!

via iksample

Fans Seek to Continue Sonic Boom Themselves Through Project M2

A bunch of Sonic fans have gotten together to resurrect Sonic Boom as a YouTube series. Called “Project M2,” the fan show is already well underway, with locations, character riggings, and storyboards in the process of being made.

They’ve announced the project alongside a Patreon, which will allow them to cover costs already incurred. Anyone who pledges $20 or more will gain access to work-in-progress assets, such as the aforementioned locations, character riggings, and storyboards, of which more than 20 are already available. According to the people behind the project, the Patreon funds are only meant to cover the cost of production, and the completed episodes will be made available for free to everyone on YouTube.

While they largely seek to stay true to the show, they will be integrating their own ideas into a few things, mostly in the set design.

All of this was announced via a YouTube video. The guy explaining the info does a remarkably good Roger Craig Smith Sonic impression, so it’s probably safe to assume he’ll be doing the voice for the show! Check out their Patreon here, and their announcement video below:

Classic Sonic Ornaments From Hallmark Incoming

If you’ve been wanting to add some extra Sonic pizazz to your holiday celebrations, your in luck: Classic Sonic ornaments have been revealed as part of Hallmark’s 2021 catalog.

There are two ornaments in total: one with Sonic & Tails, and another with Knuckles. Both ornaments were designed by Matt Johnson, and will be priced at $19.99 and $17.99 respectively. Neither ornament has a release date yet, though the Knuckles one will be made in limited quantities.

Check them out below!

Not much else is known about these ornamented at the moment, though you can find their sizes in the source below.

via Digital Dream Book

GFUEL Makes a Chili Dog Flavored Energy Drink, Because Irony Is Dead & Nothing Matters Anymore

We may live in a capitalist dystopia, but at least we have a meat and chili dog-flavored GFUEL energy drink…inspired by Sanic. Yes, the badly drawn Sonic meme.

I’m not even sure how to report on this, because when I first saw it, I thought it was a joke. But then I read the tweet, and discovered that not only is this not a joke, but it’s a thing that a company invested R&D into, will be manufacturing, and distributing to actual, real people, who will have the privilege(?) of drinking it.

They gave no release date, though they are giving away free bundles of the stuff to anyone who retweets the below tweet with the hashtag “GFUELSanic.” So if you want to actually try this stuff, or add it to your collection, that’s one way to do it.

And yes, the tone of this article is different, on purpose, because this doesn’t deserve my usual dry, fact-filled reporting style. Also, we have nothing planned for April Fools Day this year, so this is the closest you all are getting!

Preview Released for Sonic the Hedgehog #38

The full preview has been released for Sonic the Hedgehog #38, and it’s getting a bit topsy-turvy in here. Sonic, Tails and Amy have managed to find an Eggman Base inside the mysterious tower, but this is no cake walk! Logic goes out the window as the heroes encounter illusions and obstacles with every new room explored. Can they traverse the place in one piece? Meanwhile, Tangle and Belle have also found their way to the base, but they get the behind-the-curtain view as they run into trouble from the robots controlling things and more tower trickery! This is “Test Run”; part 2.

(W) Evan Stanley (A) Adam Bryce Thomas (CA) Matt Herms
Houston, there appears to be two hedgehogs and a fox floating through space…
Sonic, Amy, and Tails are stuck in a mysterious new Eggman base. Each room holds a challenging surprise and the hallways don’t make any sense! Can they find out how to escape unharmed? Meanwhile, Tangle and Belle sneak in to find the bots running the show and stumble into some trouble!
In Shops: Mar 24, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Sonic the Hedgehog is out at all good comic retailers tomorrow, March 24th. Tricks and traps await you when you tag along for this one!

Source: Previews World

Solicitation for Sonic the Hedgehog #42 Revealed, More 30th Anniversary Comic Information

IDW have released their solicits for June, which means more exciting news on upcoming Sonic comics! First, Sonic the Hedgehog #42 sees Zavok having brought the Deadly Six back together, and planning to make a move that will undoubtedly not go down well for the heroes! Jewel has called on Sonic, Tails and the Chaotix to interfere with whatever they have brewing, but will their team-up be enough to stop the Zeti? This is “Zeti Hunt”; part 2.

Sonic the Hedgehog #42—Cover A: Priscilla Tramontano
Ian Flynn (w) • Adam Bryce Thomas (a) • Priscilla Tramontano (c)
“Zeti Hunt,” part two! Now that Zavok has his pack, it’s time for them to make a big move. But Jewel the Beetle, newly appointed Restoration leader, has called on Sonic, Tails, and the Chaotix to run interference. Will they be able to stop the Zeti and make it home in time for spaghetti!?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Sonic the Hedgehog #42—Cover B: Abby Bulmer
Ian Flynn (w) • Adam Bryce Thomas (a) • Abby Bulmer (c)
*Retailer incentives:
Order 10 copies and get one free variant cover by Nathalie Fourdraine!

In addition to this, there’s more information on the Sonic 30th Anniversary Comic celebration, with a special being released in time for his birthday! Have you wanted to see longtime Sonic comic writer Ian Flynn show the classic heroes together on a quest for the Chaos Emeralds? Does the idea of Eggman celebrating his birthday from ‘The Babysitters Club’ author Gale Gilligan interest you? Did you desire for a story from the McElroy Brothers about Sonic learning to drive? All topped off with art from a slew of excellent artists, and covers by the likes of Sonic Team and Tyson Hesse? As oddly specific as some of those are, this one-shot special has you covered!

Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special—Cover A: Sonic Team—Gem of the Month
Ian Flynn; Gale Galligan; Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy (w) •Aaron Hammerstrom & Reggie Graham, Mauro Fosenca, Thomas Rothlisberger (a) • Sonic Team (c)
After 30 years of going fast, it’s time for fans to celebrate the speediest hedgehog of all time! It’s an unbelievable birthday celebration for Sonic the Hedgehog with his first Classic Sonic special!
First, in “Seasons of Chaos” by longtime Sonic scribe Ian Flynn and artists Aaron Hammerstrom & Reggie Graham, Sonic goes on an adventure from pleasant spring valleys to wintry wonderlands in search of the Chaos Emeralds. But Sonic’s not alone, with a little help from his friends Miles “Tails” Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, Amy Rose, Mighty the Armadillo, and Ray the Flying Squirrel, they’ll race, fight, and fly their way to victory against the baddest of baddies!
Then, in “Dr. Eggman’s Birthday,” the vile, villainous Dr. Eggman takes center stage in a story written by New York Times bestseller Gale Galligan (The Babysitters Club)! And how does the bad doctor celebrate the occasion? Only his Badniks know for sure…
Finally, in “Sonic Learns to Drive,” Sonic’s up against a tough challenge: Driving! When the fastest thing alive can outrun any car, will Sonic have the patience to learn… or will he finally get left in the dust? Written by the hosts of My Brother, My Brother, and Me, The Adventure Zone, and New York Times bestsellers, the McElroy Brothers!
Grab a slice of chili dog cake and don’t get left in the dust on the most way past cool book of the year!
FC • 80 pages • $8.99
Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special—Cover B: Christina-Antoinette Neofotistou—Gem of the Month
Ian Flynn; Gale Galligan; Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy (w) •Aaron Hammerstrom & Reggie Graham, Mauro Fosenca, Thomas Rothlisberger (a) • Christina-Antoinette Neofotistou (c)
*Retailer incentives:
Order 10 copies and get one free variant cover by Patrick Spaziante!
Order 25 copies and get one free variant cover by Tyson Hesse!

Please note that this is not the same as the deluxe edition coming out in October, we covered that one last week.

Sonic’s birthday is certainly shaping up to be jam-packed, with both of these issues slated for June. As always, we will have more info on them closer to their release, so stay tuned to see what’s in store for the big 3-0!

Source: Bleeding Cool

Ian Flynn’s First Sonic Comic Turns 15 Today

This year is a year of anniversaries for Sonic in more ways then one, because not only is the franchise itself turning 30, but Ian Flynn’s first published Sonic work, Archie Sonic #160, turns 15. This means that Flynn has now been writing comics for roughly half of the franchise’s entire lifespan, and the time between his first comic, and his next IDW story arc starting later this year, is roughly the same amount of time as between Sonic 1 and Sonic 2006. Yes, that makes folks like myself who remember when they picked up #160 feel rather old!

Since his debut, Ian Flynn has written well over 200 Sonic comics across five ongoing series, alongside a selection of mini-series and one-shots, as well as a couple of Sonic Boom episodes. This gives him the largest body of work of any Sonic writer.

Flynn had been applying for years to the Sonic comic before he was finally brought on. Both he and artist Tracy Yardley! were given a chance to work on the comic by then-editor of the book, Mike Pellerito. Yardley debuted a bit earlier than Flynn in Sonic X #5. Their first story, “See Ya Later Chao,” was written and drawn in 2005, though wouldn’t make it into the book until years later. Though initially not brought on in that capacity, Ian Flynn soon became the head writer of the Archie Sonic book, writing the bulk of the stories from his debut issue on.

Flynn and Yardley!’s debut story, “Birthday Bash,” was a two-part storyline that turned “Evil Sonic” into Scourge the Hedgehog, briefly brought back old school Archie badniks Octobot and Crocbot as a strange fused monstrosity, and also introduced fan favorites Bean the Duck and Bark the Polar Bear as money-grubbing mercs for hire. This duo’s opening chapter would be the first of many, as Yardley became a fairly consistent presence in the Archie books for years. Both Flynn and Yardley would hone their craft over time, introducing bigger and better stories with better art.

On a more personal note, 160 was my big jumping-back-on point for the comics, after dropping them twice in the past. I never dropped them again after this. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Flynn and Yardley significantly redefined how the comics looked and read for the rest of their run. As someone who loved their work, and thought they only got better with time, I was quite content with that.

What are your experiences with Ian Flynn and Tracy Yardley!’s work? Did you pick up #160? Have you ever read that or any other part of Flynn’s Archie run? Let us know in the comments!

I’ve got at least one article in the work about Ian Flynn’s Archie run, in commemoration of this anniversary, so stay tuned for that!

Unfortunately, it does not appear that issue #160 has been reprinted in any capacity, but other Flynn stories from #162 onward were reprinted in the Sonic Sagas collection, which can still be found on Amazon.

Special Note: Tracy Yardley!’s pen name ends with an exclamation point. I thought it fitting to include it here.

IDW Releasing Classic Sonic Hardcover Graphic Novel This October!

Hot on the heels of the reveal of Classic Sonic’s Free Comic Book Day comic, IDW has revealed that they are releasing a 96 page hard cover graphic novel featuring the classic version of the blue blur! Called “Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Celebration: The Deluxe Edition,” the graphic novel will feature writing from longtime Sonic scribe Ian Flynn, as well as Gale Galligan. It will also feature art from Aaron Hammerstrom and Reggie Graham.

The graphic novel’s main story, “Seasons of Chaos,” will be written by Ian Flynn. It centers around Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Mighty the Armadillo, and Ray the Flying Squirrel as they venture through season-inspired zones in search of the the Chaos Emeralds. The story will also feature other unnamed “special guests.”

The graphic novel will also feature “bonus stories” from some of Sonic’s “biggest fans,” as well as loads of bonus content.


The graphic novel will be released on October 5th for $19.99. Check out the official synopsis and cover, provided by Penguin Random House, below:

Celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s way past cool 30th birthday!

The classic character comes to life in all-new adventures inspired by the original 2D games and he’s not alone! Join Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles “Tails” Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, Amy Rose, Mighty the Armadillo, Ray the Flying Squirrel, and even more special guests as they travel through zones inspired by the seasons in search of Chaos Emeralds! It’s a hilarious and hectic race against the clock in “Seasons of Chaos” by longtime Sonic writer Ian Flynn! Plus bonus stories by some of Sonic the Hedgehog’s biggest fans and tons of bonus content celebrating the blue blur!

This special anniversary collection is the perfect piece of pop culture memorabilia for all Sonic fans

IDW Celebrates Sonic’s 30th Anniversary For This Year’s Free Comic Book Day

Sonic has had a presence at Free Comic Day for well over a decade now, but this year IDW will be using the occasion to celebrate Sonic’s 30th anniversary with a comic featuring Classic Sonic!

Revealed today as part of this year’s complete FCBD line-up, the issue’s cover features classic Sonic characters. Whether this is a wholly original story or just a free version of the upcoming Classic Sonic mini series is currently unknown. Instead of its usual “first Saturday of May” date, this year’s FCBD is scheduled for August 14. For a list of participating comic stores and featured comics, check out the FCBD website here.

Check out the full cover below:

At the moment, the FCBD website gives no further information on the issue, including who is writing it and who drew the cover. Stay tuned to Sonic Stadium for all the latest!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Officially Begins Filming Today

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 director Jeffrey Fowler announced via twitter that the movie was officially moving into production today. Back in January Fowler confirmed that the movie would begin filming this month. Filming will be taking place in both Vancouver and Hawaii. You can check out Fowler’s tweet below:

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is due for release in theaters on April 8, 2022.

Save the Date! SAGE 2021 Starts August 21

This year’s Sonic Amateur Gaming Expo will be coming a bit earlier than it has in recent years: it’ll be running from August 21 to August 27. In addition to the start date, SAGE also revealed their new logo and tagline for the year, which you can check out in the tweet below:

SAGE is a long running Sonic fan game expo that celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. You can check out our coverage of last year’s SAGE here.

Sonic Movie Will Feature in Paramount Plus Streaming Service

If you live in the US and need a reason to subscribe to yet another entertainment streaming service, you might be tempted by Paramount’s new platform as the Sonic the Hedgehog movie will soon be available on Paramount Plus.

Continue reading Sonic Movie Will Feature in Paramount Plus Streaming Service

Sonic 30th Anniversary Concert Revealed in Licensing Magazine

It seems that SEGA is preparing to organise a special music concert to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th Anniversary, according to a recent report in a licensing trade magazine.

Continue reading Sonic 30th Anniversary Concert Revealed in Licensing Magazine

Colleen O’Shaughnessey Isn’t Done With Tails Yet

Earlier today on Twitter, Tails voice actor Collen O’Shaugnessey was showing off her new flocked Tails Funko Pop that she got from Target, when she broke some surprising news in the comments.

As we reported earlier this month, Colleen is one of several voice actors not returning to their previous roles in the upcoming Sonic Netflix show, Sonic Prime. However, as one fan mentioned how much they are going to miss her, Colleen surprised everyone with the following…

So what does this mean for Colleen in the role of Tails? Well, she’s completely out of Sonic Prime. “Still not Canadian, so still not doing prime” she replied to one fan. Whether she’ll be back for the Sonic 2 movie, or if she’s returning to the games, she definitely won’t be leaving Tails and the Sonic franchise behind just yet.

Both Sonic Prime and the Sonic 2 movie will be out next year.

5 Things the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie Needs (And 3 Things It Doesn’t)

So, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie is about a year old now. Like many, I was absolutely surprised to see that it wasn’t a train wreck. I actually rather enjoyed it! With a sequel on the horizon, there are many things I’d like to see, as well as a few things I hope I don’t.

Continue reading 5 Things the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie Needs (And 3 Things It Doesn’t)

Ian Flynn Returning to the Main IDW Sonic Comic for Four Issue Arc

Ian Flynn may no longer be the lead writer of IDW’s Sonic comic, but that doesn’t mean he’s going anywhere! Flynn is set to return for a four issue arc, “Zeti Hunt,” which will see the Chaotix racing to track down the Zeti before their leader, Zavok, can find them. This reveal comes mere months after the completion of Flynn’s “Sonic Bad Guys” mini series.

When asked why he used the Zeti so frequently, Flynn had this to say: “I like mining untapped potential. Plus they’re a lingering plot point from Metal Virus. Need to clean up after myself.”

His return isn’t surprising. Flynn revealed last year that while Evan Stanley was now the lead writer, he still had some stories lined up in the main book. 

“Zeti Hunt” is set to begin with Issue #41, after Stanley’s upcoming arc “Test Run,” set to start next week

Check out the cover and solicitation below:

Cover A: Adam Bryce Thomas | Ian Flynn (w) • Adam Bryce Thomas (a & c)

Ian Flynn returns for a four-part arc “Zeti Hunt”!

The Deadly Six are still on the loose and attacking towns. Jewel the Beetle recruits Sonic’s friends the Chaotix to find and stop the Zeti, but Zavok of the Deadly Six is looking for his minions, too—he’s angrier than ever and wants to reunite. The Chaotix will have to act quickly to outsmart the Deadly Six!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99 Sonic the Hedgehog #41

—Cover B: Jonathan Gray

Ian Flynn (w) • Adam Bryce Thomas (a) • Jonathan Gray & Reggie Graham (c)

via Comic Releases

Jakks Pacific to Release Sonic Movie 2 Branded Toys and Costumes in 2022

US toy manufacturer Jakks Pacific has announced a partnership with SEGA and Paramount Pictures to produce official Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie merchandise. This is a global toy rights partnership that covers practically everything from “action figures, playsets, vehicles, plush toys, collectibles” to even Halloween costumes.

Continue reading Jakks Pacific to Release Sonic Movie 2 Branded Toys and Costumes in 2022

Ben Schwartz: ‘Nobody’s Asked Me’ About Voicing Sonic in the Video Games

Since Roger Craig Smith announced his departure as the official voice of Sonic the Hedgehog, many fans have turned to Ben Schwartz, Hollywood comedy star, to ask if he would pick up the mantle. His answer? He’s not quite sure yet.

Continue reading Ben Schwartz: ‘Nobody’s Asked Me’ About Voicing Sonic in the Video Games

RUMOUR: Jason Momoa Offered Role Of Knuckles for 2nd Sonic Movie

It has been reported by The Illuminerdi that Jason Momoa, known for playing DC’s movie incarnation of Aquaman, has been offered the voice acting role to play Knuckles the Echidna in the second the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, due for release in 2022.

While it is currently unknown if Momoa has accepted the role (it was previously rumoured the role had been offered to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) we look forward to seeing if the high profile actor accepts the job.

As always, stay tuned to TSS for more movie updates as they come!

Source: The Illuminerdi

Watch this INCREDIBLE Upscaled Sonic CD Opening!

An incredible cleaned and upscaled version of the Sonic CD opening has been released by Sonic Retro members Tanks and Quazza – you can watch the full remaster below on Youtube!

This consciencious upscaling utilises AI, which while the authors acknowledge is controversial to those communities working on archiving genuine articles, is a wonderful way to get around issues with compression that are intrinsic to versions that have appeared on the likes of Mega Collection.

Quazza has also made an interesting discovery in that a few frames in the OP appear out of order – and here’s his comparison:

We think this is a wonderful piece of work bringing new life to a much-loved piece of Sonic the Hedgehog history.

Source: Sonic Retro

The Sonic Mania LEGO Ideas Design Has Been Officially Approved!

LEGO Ideas has announced that the Sonic Mania – Green Hill design has been approved for development and will become an official LEGO set!

Designed by long-time Sonic fan Toastergrl (who we interviewed almost two years ago), the set reached the required 10,000 votes to be considered by LEGO’s internal review team for production on March 10th 2020. It ended up in the May 2020 round of submissions along with 25 other very impressive designs.

The results for that round were announced in September 2020…except for the Sonic Mania design, which required further review for the team to determine if it could be made or not. This meant an extra four months to wait to find out its fate.

Now the September 2020 results have been announced, and it has also been revealed that the Sonic Mania design has finally been approved! This means that it will go through LEGO’s own designers to see if there are any changes or improvements they want to make to the design before putting it in production, then it will hit store shelves where you can add LEGO Sonic to your collection (especially if you missed out on the LEGO Dimensions level pack way back in 2016).

A huge congratulations to Toastergrl, who I imagine must be chuffed about her idea being made a reality given her history with both Sonic and LEGO. Everyone else might want to leave some money aside to pick this up when this becomes available!

Please note that the final set design may differ from the LEGO Ideas submission. If you want a refresher on the original project, the LEGO Ideas page for it is still up on the site.

As of now, it is unknown when the finalised set will be revealed and released. But as soon as we get word from LEGO, we’ll be sure to let you know!

Cindy Robinson “Loading Out” From The Amy Rose Voice Acting Role

There has been another confirmed departure from the Sonic voice actor cast, the second in just the past week. Cindy Robinson, the voice of Amy Rose, has announced that she is no longer going to be voicing the character.

Continue reading Cindy Robinson “Loading Out” From The Amy Rose Voice Acting Role

The Spin: Roger Craig Smith Was Sonic’s Best Game Voice Actor, and Will Be Missed

I was at E3 2010 when I heard the news that Roger Craig Smith would be taking over as Sonic’s voice actor. As I sat in a corner of the convention center and hurriedly typed out an article about it for Sonic Stadium, I was only feeling one thing: excitement. This, on top of playing Sonic Colors – easily the most promising Sonic game I had experienced in years – really made it feel like SEGA was working hard to revitalize the character. 

Continue reading The Spin: Roger Craig Smith Was Sonic’s Best Game Voice Actor, and Will Be Missed

Sonic Prime: An Opportunity To Unite A Multiverse of Fans

Sonic Prime, the latest Sonic the Hedgehog animation due for release on Netflix in 2022, will descend from a long dynasty of animations that reach all the way back from 1993’s slapstick Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, through to the modern charm of Sonic Mania Adventures. Each show has cultivated its own personality, and legion of Sonic the Hedgehog fanatics to boot. Similarly, there are now a multitude of genre-crossing Sonic the Hedgehog video game titles, that you’d be hard pushed to not find something for everyone in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.

Continue reading Sonic Prime: An Opportunity To Unite A Multiverse of Fans

Sonic Netflix show officially titled ‘Sonic Prime’, due in 2022

After initially being leaked via a quickly deleted tweet by Netflix, today the company has officially announced the upcoming TV show as Sonic Prime, and will be due in 2022 on the streaming service.

Continue reading Sonic Netflix show officially titled ‘Sonic Prime’, due in 2022

Ken Pontac Heavily Implies Being Done With Writing Sonic Games

It’s looking like we’re not done talking about departures from the world of Sonic just yet, although this one has been rumored for a while now. it’s also looking very likely that the next Sonic game is even going to have some new writers.

Continue reading Ken Pontac Heavily Implies Being Done With Writing Sonic Games

TSS IMPRESSIONS: Balan Wonderworld Demo

I came to Balan Wonderworld with a lot of skepticism. The last time a Yuji Naka game really grabbed me was 2003’s Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, and while PROPE developed a handful of cool novelties, the studio’s most significant work ever was a Wii game smuggled inside a Wii U game case. Now with Square Enix, Yuji Naka has been given “one chance” to make a platforming game for the RPG giant, and we have our first taste in today’s new demo.

And having played it, I struggle to be optimistic. At all. Moreso with each platform I played the demo on.

Screenshots and animation taken from Switch version.

Despite the style and story and world and characters that scream “NiGHTS into Dreams,” Balan Wonderworld is a basic-to-a-fault 3D platformer. The male or female protagonist in a bout of emotional strife find themself entering a magical theater. Your character is greeted by the ever energetic and whimsical Balan, given a bird, and told to find his or her heart in a fantasy world of memory and emotion.

The demo presents four levels and a boss: the whole of Chapter 1, as well as individual levels from Chapters 4 and 6. The levels themselves are presented as dreamlike sky islands themed around someone external to the story who is also experiencing difficulties in their life. Chapter 1 focuses on a farmer whose corn crop is ruined by a freak tornado. Its levels are full of giant corncobs, haybails, pumpkins, and picket fences. The chapter eventually pits you against the farmer himself, tainted by his depression and transformed by a mysterious masked being.

Balan Wonderworld’s controls are reduced to standard analog movement and a single action such as jump or attack. The costumes your character can equip are the game’s main gimmick, each with a special ability that replaces your action.

These special abilities add some variety, but they quickly go from novelty to obligation.  On their own, the protagonist can only jump, but donning the wolf suit turns your jump into a spinning jump that can break blocks or damage enemies. Soon after, you encounter a kangaroo that replaces your jump with a single flutter-jump, akin to the jump in a Yoshi game. You’re never asked to get clever with these costumes; it’s always obvious which you need to use to move forward. Late costumes in the demo include a gear robot that can activate special gear boxes, a bat that can perform Sonic’s homing attack, and a fox that, and I am not joking, will periodically turn you into an invulnerable, uncontrollable box, but when the game decides to, not when the player decides to. The first time I got this costume, I immediately died, as my character became a box whose momentum slowly slid it off the edge of a narrow platform and into the abyss.

That inexplicable box might be the best metaphor for this game. It feels simple, yes, but also sloppy, unrefined, and aimless. As soon as you control your character, you’ll feel an incredible disconnect as their animation shows them sprinting at top speed… as they slowly trod forward at an agonizing pace. No matter what costume you wear, the character’s dismal speed and anemic jump barely change. Enemies appear infrequently, rarely pose a threat, and are dispatched with the most basic head-jump or suit power. Stage design gives some room to explore, but blocky layouts and ledges only give the illusion of scalability and hem you into the places where the game expects you to go. The game sells itself on the themes of expression and choice but doesn’t give the player the tools to accomplish either.

I opted to try the Switch version of the demo first, and was met with muddy textures, no anti-aliasing, and periodic framerate drops. The jaggies are noticeably worse on handheld mode’s 720p screen. I hoped moving to my Xbox One S would resolve this, and some of the lighting does indeed seem slightly better, but the game retains its incredibly cheap and unpolished visuals. Chapter 1’s stage geometry uses an effect that warps the level towards or away from you as if on the inside or outside of a sphere, but the seams where the stage deforms are incredibly noticeable from a distance and may actually be one of the culprits for the jerky framerate. NPCs constantly dancing in unison vanish when you get too close, and props that litter the stage don’t react to your presence or interactions. The whole environment feels static and detached from your character.

The Steam version came with its own complications. Running it on a 2080 at 1080p, anti-aliasing off and graphics set to their lowest, the game struggled to reach above 20 frames per second. The only exception was when I Alt+Tabbed to another window, at which point, the framerate shot up to 60, until I brought the game back into focus.

The back half of the demo shows some promise. It increases the complexity a bit, but the gameplay in this demo fails to grasp the most basic expectations of modern 3D platformers. If it hopes to deliver on a satisfying experience, the game has huge hurdles to overcome.  It’s a $60 game competing with modern benchmarks like Super Mario 3D World, A Hat in Time, and New Super Lucky’s Tale.  Keep an eye on reviews when it launches in March, but if you want to test it out now, you can do so on most major platforms.

Roger Craig Smith Departs from Sonic Voice Acting Role

In sad news, it appears that Roger Craig Smith will depart from the role of Sonic the Hedgehog’s western voice actor after 10 years in the driving seat.

A post made on Smith’s Twitter account on Thursday indicated he is moving on from his long-held position:

If so, we at Sonic Stadium want to thank Roger for all he has done to embellish the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, and we hope he will remain part of our ever-growing community!

Source: Roger Craig Smith via Twitter

Sonic 2 Movie to Film in Vancouver and Hawaii

Actress Tika Sumpter, has confirmed two filming locations for the next Sonic movie: Vancouver and Hawaii. She revealed this during an interview on the talk show “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” During the interview, she talked about how her daughter adored Sonic and wanted to “meet him.” She also confirmed that filming for her will start in March.

It should be noted that principal photography for the first movie was in Vancouver, despite the story largely taking place in Montana and San Francisco, so these shooting locations don’t actually tell us much about the plot beyond the kinds of environments they may need for the movie.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is scheduled for release on April 8, 2022.

Source: Live with Kelly & Ryan via Twitter