While many were happy that Sonic Mania developer Headcannon was involved in Sonic Origins, it seems that their contribution was in the Sonic 3 & Knuckles remaster work itself and not the overall package. In fact, their part in remaking the game appears to have been contracted entirely separately from the context of Sonic Origins. In a thread, the studio’s official Twitter clarifies:
But as was previously announced, Origins has features beyond the original Retro Engine remakes, such as its story mode, the coin system, mirror mode, the Museum, and… whatever classic mode is (be it the emulated originals or just letterboxed). Even Mission Mode, which features scenarios outside of the original games (like modified level designs and Knuckles in S3K Death Egg Zone), was developed by a team in SEGA as Headcannon further explains:
There are a couple of consequences to this separation of development. It does imply that SEGA has a team that has done work within the Retro Engine, developing small level and gameplay modifications, as well as hooks from these modifications to the external launcher (I.E. replacing lives with spendable coins). It also suggest that the versions of the games are otherwise the same Retro Engine versions previously released (hence no Knuckles in Sonic CD).
It’s a weird time to be a person who engages in…any sort of media. From reboots, to unprecedented crossovers, to entire works of media built around meta commentary, the modern media landscape is unlike anything humankind has experienced before.
That of course, means that Movie Sonic’s original design popping up in a Disney movie reboot of Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers that’s also got meta comedy and also acts as a spiritual successor to Roger Rabbit is a thing that just happened that’s surprising, but not that surprising. “Ugly Sonic,” as he is apparently called, has been confirmed by multiple reviews of Rescue Rangers. The character, which will be voiced by Tim Robinson, will be more than a background cameo, and has at least some dialogue in the movie. According to one reviewer, Ugly Sonic works the convention circuit, and says to Dale “The internet saw my human teeth and burned the place down.” Well…he isn’t wrong!
The movie will hit Disney+ later this week on May 20.
And yes, this means Sonic has four separate voice actors right now.
UPDATE: We now have confirmation that this video is 100% official, and was posted on the official Korean Sonic the Hedgehog Facebook page.
While we don’t quite know this video’s origin, we do know this Korean language version gameplay video shows off some significant features in Sonic Origins the reveal trailer didn’t share:
We are marking this as rumor purely because it isn’t through official or confirmable sources at this time, but every other aspect of this looks pretty authentic. Treat this as we have high confidence but not 100% confidence in this. The button layout in the videos use ABXY, so the footage itself was taken from a Switch, an Xbox, or a PC.
While those who have played the other Retro/Star Engine ports will be quite familiar with some of these features, this gives a very brief overview of ones not present in the original 16-bit releases, including the Drop Dash and Super Sonic in Sonic 1, Tails as Knuckles’ sidekick in Sonic 2, and the prototype Hidden Palace stage connected to Mystic Cave.
Further, the video shows off a bit of the game’s interface, including Missions. In one, the player has to collect 50 rings in 50 seconds as Tails in Palmtree Panic, and another puts Super Sonic in Metropolis with a similar goal (but with the challenge of your rings being slowly depleted). In both cases, the stages are modified from their original 16-bit versions, changing formations of platforms, rings, and blocks. The rank letter in the top corner (shown in previous official screenshots) updates in real time, letting you know how well you’re performing.
If those bonus missions or getting to team Knuckles with Tails on a console platform gets you excited, Sonic Origins releases June 23 with these and many other announced features.
SEGA Sammy has reported that the Sonic the Hedgehog game series has sold a total of 5.8 million units worldwide in the past fiscal year (ending March 2022), an increase of 30% over 2021 on the back of new release Sonic Colors: Ultimate.
Today’s the day, IDW Sonic fans! Modern Sonic is back for Free Comic Book Day 2022 with a brand new story meant to serve as part of the lead up to issue 50. The story features Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in a new adventure!
Both US and international fans can find participating comic book stores here. The comic features writing by Ian Flynn and art by Adam Bryce Thomas.
For those of you who can’t make it, don’t worry: a digital copy should be officially available in a few weeks on Amazon via Comixology! This was the case last year, anyway.
We’ve got the cover and synopsis below, but first, a brief PSA: although the comics are free, stores do need to pay for them. So if you can, try to buy something while your there! Maybe a comic, graphic novel, or manga. Lumberjanes, Atomic Robo and Mamo are personal favorites of mine! Invincible is also great if you don’t mind a lot of gore.
Anyway, on to the cover and synopsis:
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! Exclusive Original Material Rating: All Ages
Today, in an announcement that the event will be partnering with IMAX, Summer Game Fest released a brief compilation trailer featuring a number of upcoming and released games. Among them was Sonic Frontiers, but before anybody gets too excited, no, it isn’t new footage:
At this time, we don’t exactly know if this is being shown as a confirmation of some games that will be there or to highlight games previously part of the Game Awards/Summer Game Fest ecosystem, so for the time being, we’re reporting this as rumor until we hear explicitly that it will be present. Other games shown in it include the already-released Elden Ring and Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, as well as the yet-unreleased One Piece Odyssey.
The event is scheduled for Thursday, June 9 at 11 AM PT, 2 PM ET, and 6PM GMT, and will be available streaming and in IMAX theaters in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada.
This is the second time Frontiers has been given a significant spotlight within the broad Keighley-sphere. Late in 2021, The Game Awards premiered a teaser trailer that partially revealed the open world nature of the game alongside a trailer for Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2. SEGA’s remained tight-lipped on the game (despite a handful of leaks), and we’ve yet to see any actual gameplay footage of the Holiday 2022 title. Sonic’s presence at Summer Game Fest should hopefully clear up a few more lingering questions about the title.
This morning, Netflix After School released a new sizzle reel for upcoming animated kids and family shows, with a brief (very brief) bit at the end featuring Sonic Prime:
The scene shows off Sonic running in Green Hills (featuring rings and Sonic running in his figure-8 style). He mugs to the camera, delivers a line about how cool he is, and… that’s kind of it for now.
It’s not a lot to go on for now, but the performance sounds Roger Craig Smith-like in voice, but with a little bit of Ben Schwartz delivery. It plays up Sonic’s ego a bit (which isn’t a facet they play up much in the games, but shows itself prominently in Sonic Boom and the movie), but this is inferring a lot based on a single line. Hopefully this means that we’ll be getting a full trailer in the near future.
Netflix also appears to have updated its website with some more details. As you can see from the screenshot above, the new voice of Sonic is Deven Mack. A range of new voice actors are also listed, none of which appear to be connected to the current video game acting cast.
More details as we get it. Thanks to Lemanic for the news tip!
For as polished as Sonic Unleashed’s graphics are, its biggest visual flaw is its framerate. The Xbox 360 version played at a mostly steady 24-30 (capped) FPS, while the PS3 version was worse for wear despite an uncapped framerate that would bring the game up to 48FPS on occasion, but dropping to 24FPS or below ruining the flow of the game.
In many ways, the game’s graphic-intensive “Hedgehog Engine” was a bit too ahead of its time. It couldn’t keep a steady 30 FPS on the most powerful system of that era. It would take 2011’s Sonic Generations to iron the kinks out. While the Werehog levels weren’t affected too much by the framerate, several daytime Sonic levels dropped frames horribly. Jungle Joyride became a slideshow at times. Now, in 2022, Sonic Unleashed’s full potential has been unlocked thanks to the Boost Mode on the Xbox Series S/X, bringing the game to a steady 60 FPS.
To me, this brought the game from a guilty pleasure to a legitimately good Sonic title. Sonic’s daytime levels run as smooth as silk, giving you better handling and control. Even the Werehog levels feel less cumbersome as Sonic now feels faster and more responsive. There seems to be less blur as well. The high framerate allows for a faster response time. I can honestly say I was actually enjoying the Werehog levels for a change.
That doesn’t mean the game’s old flaws aren’t still present. Medal collecting near the end game is still soul-crushing, the Werehog levels are still a bit too long, and having the camera suddenly change position when you’re balancing across a steel beam is still as irritating as ever. That said, if you love this style of Sonic gameplay, it’s never looked or played better than it does on Series S/X.
The Series S/X boost mode also improves other Sonic titles as well. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed gets a 60 FPS boost, and Sonic Generations runs at both 4K resolution and 60FPS.
To see Sonic Unleashed in action on the Series S/X, check out our gameplay video below.
Sonic 2 has officially surpassed its predecessor at the global box office, logging an estimated $323 Million by the end of Sunday. Of that amount, $160 million is from the US box office, meaning that Sonic 2 has also beaten Sonic 1’s record-setting $149 million and become the highest grossing video game movie ever in the US.
In the context of the overall 2021 box office, Sonic 2 now sits at number 5 globally, after falling behind Fantastic Beasts 3, which now sits at $329 million. This largely comes down to a lack of release for Sonic 2 in China, where FB3 has made $17.5 million, as well an overall stronger performance internationally. In the US box office, Sonic 2 now sits in second place, after surpassing Uncharted, leaving it second only to The Batman, which sits at $369 million.
So what’s next for Sonic 2 at the box office? That’s going to depend on a few factors, including: how well it can weather the release of Dr. Strange 2, how well its Japanese release does this summer, and whether or not it can secure a release in China. Dr. Strange 2 ought to be huge, as the year’s first MCU movie and the first summer blockbuster, so its quite likely it will at least lead to a reduction in the number of screens showing Sonic 2. Sonic has never been all that big in Japan, the first movie only made $1.5 million there (albeit in the immediate aftermath of the global COVID-19 lockdowns), and Sonic 2 is getting a very late release there. Finally, China has been far less open to western movies compared to two years ago.
On the whole, $350 million is looking like a plausible final tally for Sonic 2, a really good number but one that falls well short of the current global video game box office record holder, Warcraft and its $439 million. Though without China, which made up more then half that number, that was always going to be a difficult number for Sonic 2 to beat.
Since 2020, I’ve played (to my knowledge) every Sonic crossover collaboration in a mobile game. I beat up Mad Max rejects as Super Sonic in Fist of the North Star, I summoned Sonic as a demon in Shin Megami Tensei, and had an epic battle with my wallet in Cookie Run: Kingdom. However, of all the mobile games I dipped my foot into, only two ever took hold for more than a month: Ulala Idle Adventure, and KartRider Rush+. KartRider’s Sonic content has been broader and more involved than any of the other games I just mentioned, but if you want to get started with it, knowing where to find all the Sonic content is tricky (and potentially expensive) business.
[UPDATE] As of May 5, Tails and Chao are now available via the Monthly Pass, and the Dr. Eggman event has started. At this time, there are no future Sonic collaboration content updates we are aware of. However, if any do happen, we will update this article.
What is KartRider Rush+?
KartRider Rush+ is a mobile version of a very popular Korean kart racing game by Nexon (who you might know as the publisher of MapleStory). It features a cartoony style, a variety of game modes, a lengthy story mode with English-dubbed voice acting, and is free to play without timer restrictions. However, as it is a free to play game, many cosmetics, including many of the Sonic cosmetics, are only available if you pay for them. The game has gacha systems for certain cosmetics, but not for any of the Sonic content.
This is not an exhaustive tutorial of the game, but this guide will cover how to access the Sonic content, and how much it will cost.
What can I get for free?
Until May 10, you can redeem this code for Tails Headgear (a Tails face that hovers over your head, a Tails license plate, and a Chao license plate. To enter it, go to Settings (gear icon) > Account > Voucher Code. Passwords are region-specific.
EXPIRED: Until May 3, you can redeem this code for a free Sonic backback and “headgear” (a Sonic face that hovers over your head). To access code entry, go to Settings (gear icon) > Account > Voucher Code. Passwords are region-specific.
Until May 31, you can complete missions to collect “Sonic Letter Shards.” These shards can be exchanged for a Sonic aura, a Sonic Skateboard, a Ring Headgear, a Sonic Driftmoji (special effects that appear when you drift), Sonic Balloons (which are consumable when you equip them in item races, so be aware), and Ring decorations for your character’s home. The missions are daily, so you will need to play multiple days and complete them multiple times to collect every item.
The missions can be accessed from Events > Sonic Collection. The rewards can be accessed from Banquet > Sonic Collection.
Until June 16, you can unlock Sonic himself as a Kart (and a Sonic face mask) by completing special missions that will reward you with “Nitro Shards.” The mission screen then lets you convert a small number of Nitro Shards into a larger number of Ring Shards (yeah, I know, it’s bizarrely indirect). And as you collect more Ring Shards, more rewards unlock. Some missions repeat daily, and some repeat weekly.
At this point, I want to bring up that many collectables in this game are time-limited. I was annoyed by this at the beginning, but the game will throw a lot of time limited karts and clothes at you, so don’t take the limitation too seriously. By the time one free kart expires, you’ll have a different cool free kart to play with. Items list the number of days they’re available, or “Perm” if they permanently stay in your inventory.
Three tiers of unlocking Sonic are 30 days, 90 days, and permanent. If all you want is to dip into the game for free, try it out, play as Sonic, and then drop it, then 30 days might be good enough. Only you yourself know if it’s worth coming back every day to creep towards unlocking Sonic permanently.
This Sonic event can be accessed from the Sonic the Hedgehog icon on the main menu.
Until May 31, you can earn Dr. Eggman (Racer) as part of the “[Dr. Eggman] Secret Base” event. By completing missions, you’ll be able to flip over up to two of the cards on the grid and get rewards, including a Knuckles License Plate, Shadow/Tails/Sonic/Chao decals, Sonic balloons, and a 30-day unlock of Dr. Eggman himself. If you flip over all 20 cards, you’ll permanently unlock Dr. Eggman.
You can access the event via Banquet > [Dr. Eggman] Secret Base from the main menu.
Until May 31, you can earn Chao (Pet) as part of the free monthly Activity Pass. By completing weekly quests, you’ll earn Pass Points that increase your Pass Level (100 points per level), and unlock new rewards at each tier (up to Lv. 80). You can earn a 7 day unlock for Chao at Lvs. 2, 40, and 60. At Lv. 80, Chao unlocks permanently. At Lvs. 5, 25, 45, 65, and 77, you’ll earn Tails Balloons.
You can also earn a time-limited version of Tails (kart) at Lvs. 10, 30, 50, and 70, each adding 7 days and letting you play as Tails for free up to 28 days. You will need to purchase the Honor Pass in order to unlock him permanently (more below).
To access the Pass and Quests, go to the Pass icon on the main menu.
What do I have to pay for?
As of May 1, unlocking all available Sonic content costs a flat sum of $39, and requires actively completing missions and quests throughout the month.
If you want to unlock Tails (kart) permanently, he is available via the monthly Glory pass for $2.99. Once you pay, you immediately get a 7-day Tails unlock. As mentioned above, you need to complete weekly quests to gain Pass Points, gaining one level for every 100 points. Once you get your pass to Lv. 80, Tails will unlock permanently.
To access the Pass and Quests, go to the Pass icon on the main menu.
Things get a bit more involved from here on out:
Until May 31, you can unlock Knuckles and several other cosmetics via Red Star Ring Packs, which have a set price. The packs can be accessed from Banquet > Red Star Ring Pack.
Pack A is $8.99 and contains a different Sonic aura,Shadow balloons, some items, and a single Red Star Ring.
Pack B is $8.99 and contains a Dr. Eggman mask, a Shadow license plate and decals, some items, and another Red Star Ring.
Pack C is $17.99 and contains Knuckles (who is a driver, not a kart), Knuckles balloons and decals, and one last Red Star Ring.
To unlock Shadow (Kart), you’ll need the Red Star Rings from all three packs above. This puts Shadow’s price at about $36, though you’ll also get Knuckles and all the other Red Star Ring accessories and items.
Until May 31, you can unlock Dr. Eggman’s Egg Booster (Kart) by collecting ALL the other characters (which adds it to that $36 price tag to get Shadow and Knuckles, the temporary versions of Sonic, Tails, Chao, and Dr. Eggman are enough to unlock their part of the list). You can also earn 1up balloons, a Sonic avatar frame, a Knuckles glove on a wand, and a Sonic Team title on the path to completion.
The Egg Booster event can be accessed from the Final Battle vs. Dr. Eggman icon on the main menu.
I’ve personally spent more time in this game than I spend with many other full priced games I’ve purchased, and in that sense, I’ve felt justified in buying the Sonic cosmetics. However, I know not everyone is willing or able to simply spend $36+ on a mobile game. Hopefully this guide has helped anyone interested in the collaboration understand the costs involved, what you can get for free, and if the economics of this game are worth it to you at all.
For those who are interested in looking at the content but not buying or playing it, Sonic Stadium will have coverage of all these collaboration items on our YouTube channel as the event progresses. We’ve already started with Knuckles, Shadow, and the driver cosmetics:
Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka has spoken out against publisher Square Enix over the release of Balan Wonderworld, claiming he was removed from the project as director months before the game’s launch – which led him to sue the Final Fantasy company.
If you wanted any of those older digital releases of Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knckles, and CD, you might want to get them soon, because most of them are getting delisted on May 20. This news comes via a press release from SEGA, which confirmed the delisting of these games across all platforms outside of the Nintendo Switch and mobile.
Specifically, every individually released version of Sonic 1, 2, 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic CD are all getting delisted from Steam, Xbox, Playstation 3 and Playstation Now. The SEGA AGES releases of Sonic 1 and 2 on Switch will remain, as will Sonic 1, 2 and CD on iOS and Android. The 3DS releases have yet to be specified, but with that digital service ending next year they likely aren’t bothering with it.
Sonic Channel released a somewhat more detailed list of what was being delisted, though while they say Sonic CD will be among the games getting delisted, it’s not on the list. This is likely just an oversight. You can find that here.
Another week is in the books for Sonic 2, and it looks like it’ll be adding another $53 million to its box office total. This includes an estimated $15.2 million at this weekend’s US box office, though the current Sunday numbers are an estimate and could shift. Despite earlier estimates showing Sonic 2 retaking the top spot in the US, that has instead gone to Dreamwork’s The Bad Guys, which made $24 million. Sonic 2 took the second spot, putting it ahead of Fantastic Beasts 3, which made $14 million.
This puts Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at $288 million globally, making it the fourth highest grossing movie of 2022 so far, putting it just ahead of Fantastic Beasts 3 ($280 million) and well behind Sony’s Uncharted ($392 million). Both of these movies benefit from significantly higher grosses in international markets, including a release in China (something Sonic 2 doesn’t appear to be getting).
In the US alone, Sonic 2 is now effectively tied with Uncharted, and will almost certainly pass it on Monday. Sonic 2 has made $146 million in the US, putting it just $3 million behind the original’s total US box office.
In fact, it now seems quite likely that Sonic 2 will at least match the $319 million box office of the original, if not surpass it. As I’ve said before, a lot of this will depend on how well its able to retain theater goers from week to week. It has been losing between 40-60% of audience from week to week, which is about on par with the first movie. Sonic 2 had a bigger opening though, and its unlikely to suddenly have its time at the theaters cut-off by another global lockdown like Sonic 1 did.
Sonic 2’s greatest obstacle may simply be theaters dropping it in favor of upcoming summer blockbusters, like Doctor Strange 2, which opens May 6. It is already down 449 theaters from its peak in the US. That number will get lower in the coming weeks.
Be sure to check back here for the final Sunday box office numbers. We’ll update the headline numbers accordingly!
*** SPOILER WARNING:THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS PLOT DETAILS FROM THE END OF SONIC 2 ***
I am a Knuckles fan. His name is my online handle, which I’ve been using consistently since the early days of the SEGA forums. I love his moves, his lore, and even his weird comic series. So, naturally, I was excited when Paramount announced a Knuckles-centric TV series a few months ago, starring the red, dreadlocked knucklehead. It wasn’t long before my worry over Sonic 2 fumbling things tempered that excitement with anxiety, but now that I’ve seen the movie that anxiety has given way to enthusiasm. Knuckles was the best thing in that movie and I am ready for a show about him.
But…what exactly will the Knuckles series be? All we know about it is that it’ll be a live action series on Paramount Plus. I can’t imagine something like that being done without a sizable budget akin to Disney+’s MCU and Star Wars offerings. That is an assumption I will be running with for this article. What do I want from the Knuckles series? A lot, but I’d like to think my hopes are at least somewhat realistic (yes, including this first one.)
It’s Time to Go Off-World
The Sonic movies have been consistently teasing us with a larger universe. We’ve been given brief glimpses of Sonic’s home and the mushroom planet, Tails has talked about a “village,” and Knuckles’ introduction was even preceded by strange masked aliens, initially introduced in the Sonic 2 Pre-Quill comic.
It’s high time the Sonic Movie Universe make good on those teases and actually take us somewhere. A planet hopping space adventure would be the perfect backdrop for a TV show. Likewise, a TV show is a great place to flesh out multiple locations beyond Earth in the Sonic Movie Universe. I wouldn’t expect most of these locations to be especially fantastical or grand for purely budgetary reasons, but I will definitely take “generic desert planet” and “rusty cheap-looking backwater planet” over “Knuckles goes to New Jersey.”
Make it Knuckles, Sonic and Tails’ First Adventure Together
Yes, this is a Knuckles show, but that doesn’t mean Sonic and Tails can’t get in on the action! Sonic 2 served as an origin for the trio coming together as friends, but there is no better medium for their first proper adventure than a TV show. Explore their chemistry. Let them talk and explore their interactions outside of the context of a movie climax. Let Sonic be the fish out of water as he’s taken to places Knuckles is more familiar with.
As fun as Knuckles is, I think he was at his best when he had Sonic and Tails to bounce off of, so it’d be a shame to separate them for his small screen debut. Let Knuckles have the main plot and the spotlight, but allow Sonic and Tails to tag along for the ride.
Bring Back Knuckles’ People…and Make Them the Bad Guys
Look: I don’t care what Knuckles said, Longclaw didn’t wipe out his entire tribe. They are alive, and if they are meant to be dead, undead them, because they would make the perfect villains for this series. It is already firmly established in these movies that the echidnas are the power-hungry aggressors. They were the ones who created the Master Emerald, they were the ones who used it for war, and they were the ones who hunted down the owls and attempted to take Sonic’s power. They can certainly be three dimensional villains. Giving them a reason to be so power hungry would only make them more interesting. But ultimately, Knuckles needs to come down against them.
So how could this work? Have them abandon Knuckles. When they went after Longclaw and failed to capture Sonic, they began searching the universe relentlessly for him and the map to the Master Emerald rather than return to him. This would not only demonstrate how far his people have fallen that they would rather hunt for power than go back for one of their own, it would also allow the SMU to explore a different kind of familial loss, and the differences between family by blood and family by love, and why one is more meaningful.
Heck, Tikal could even be introduced as an unwilling pawn of her people. When the Master Emerald is used at the end of Sonic 2, the echidnas learn that Knuckles has it. Tikal is sent under the lie that she’s looking for their people. Knuckles, upon discovering they are alive, agrees to help her find them. Sonic and Tails won’t let him go alone. This gives us the motivation for the planet-hopping adventure as they go from planet to planet, searching for clues, Tikal subtly pointing them in the right direction. This was, in reality, done to separate the Master Emerald from its protectors.
Some version of this, where the story potential for Knuckles’ people is utilized, and Knuckles is made to see the truth about them, feels like the perfect place to take this. It wraps up standing plot points, gives Knuckles a unique group of villains who are personal to him, strengthens his newfound bonds, and gives our tri-colored trio their first test as the Master Emerald’s guardians.
If You’re Going to Focus on Humans, Focus on the Wachowskis
I am going to say something potentially controversial: Tom and Maddie Wachowski are the only decent human characters in the Sonic movies. Everyone else is an annoying cartoon caricature of a human, Jim Carrey worst of all. But even if I liked Carrey, he shouldn’t be here, as Knuckles ought to have his own villain. So since a live action Sonic tv series will inevitably need to spend time with humans on Earth for budgetary reasons, they might as well flesh out the best ones.
Their plot? Well, jumping off my previous point: have them be the ones protecting the Master Emerald while the furballs are out in space. Maybe a few different parties, one of whom were hired by the echidnas, are after the gemstone and they need to go on their own adventure to keep it away from them. They can be hunted by those weird masked bird people from Sonic 2, some random humanoid aliens in make-up, and maybe eventually a certain…bat jewel thief.
Alternatively, if Knuckles and co need a human companion, Maddie can go with them and get some much-needed screen time, and Tom can get paired with Rachel and they’re made to hash their whole thing out.
Bring in Rouge
So if you ignored this article’s spoiler warnings, chances are you already know that Sonic 3 will have Shadow, effectively setting it up to be an adaptation of Sonic Adventure 2. You know who you can’t leave out of any version of SA2? Rouge. Problem is, with Sonic 3 set up to be a story about Shadow, Rouge will almost certainly take a backseat, much like Tails did in Sonic 2. That’s why Rouge absolutely needs to be in the Knuckles series.
There are multiple reasons to introduce Rouge here: she is the closest thing Knuckles has to his own adversary and rival in the games. They are both treasure hunters, and both have an interest in the Master Emerald. So bringing her in as a villain for Knuckles to eventually deal with only makes sense. With the Master Emerald and GUN now present in the SMU, Rouge also has something to do in regards to her own plotline. She has a jewel to hunt and a faction that can employ her skills for covert ops on Earth.
Bare minimum, the Knuckles series ought to lay the groundwork for Rouge’s role in Sonic 3.
Heck, Bring In Some Other Sonic Characters Too
The great thing about TV shows is that you can give a character or group of characters a complete story in a single episode’s run time. The Knuckles series isn’t just a good place to set up some stuff for Sonic 3, it’s a great place to set up stuff for the franchise as a whole going forward.
You know what would be cool? An episode where Knuckles just had to work with the Chaotix. While Sonic, Tails, and whoever else is with them go off to explore a planet or check out its local cuisine (mostly off-screen), Knuckles hires the bumbling detectives to find the next clue for finding his people or whatever he’s doing. Hijinks, of course, ensue.
A few episodes just establishing characters while Knuckles is on his adventure is a stellar way to bring new Sonic characters into the franchise.
Let the IDW Creative Team Work on an Episode or Two
You know who’s been consistently producing the best Sonic stories for the past four years? IDW. Yes, they’re busy people. Ian Flynn is working on a friggin game. I don’t care. Flynn has experience working in TV, Evan Stanley’s been doing great work at IDW for years, bring one or both of them in for an episode or two. I’m sure you all can work it out.
Nothing would make the fandom more excited for the series than their involvement, and they’re input would be nothing but a net benefit for the show. Please make this happen!
Dive Into the History of the Chaos Emeralds
Sonic 2 remained fairly vague on the details regarding the history of the Master Emerald and the Chaos Emeralds. Since Knuckles is the character most directly connected to the gemstones, a series about him ought to dive deeper into their history. How did the echidnas get their hands on the chaos emeralds? How did they create the Master Emerald? What other sorts of conflicts were the emeralds involved in? Heck, where did the Chaos Emeralds come from? SEGA has always been cagey about the Chaos Emerald’s origins, but that’s no reason for the movies to not touch on that in some way.
Whether its Tikal, Knuckles’ people, or a plot exposition fairy, the Knuckles series is the perfect opportunity to dive deeper. And if this does happen, Chaos and the chao ought to also be brought in, at least in some capacity. Chaos was the original Master Emerald guardian after all, and we know he wasn’t inside the Master Emerald in this universe. Maybe when the echidnas took the emeralds, he was imprisoned somewhere or something?
Basically, Make This a Weird Sonic Adventure Adaptation Set in Outer Space
I mean, this is basically what this whole article has been leading to, hasn’t it? Sonic Adventure was, in many ways, basically Knuckles’ story. His people, home, and the Master Emerald all sit at the center of the game’s events. It is the perfect game to mine for Knuckles-centric plot elements, and the many changes the SMU has made to the echidnas makes the game’s plot elements all the more enticing for a Knuckles TV series.
As I’ve been writing this, I’ve expected that Paramount already knows what it wants from a Knuckles series. So far, their Sonic writers have had a decent idea of what to take from the games. They’ve already grabbed bits and pieces from Sonic Adventure. I just hope they go back to that well again for this.
Headcannon has returned to Sonic to remaster Sonic 3 & Knuckles for Sonic Origins. The developer, which in the past worked on the widescreen mobile remasters for Sonic 1 and 2 and co-developed Sonic Mania, confirmed on their Twitter that they also developed the enhanced, widescreen version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles. This would also appear to confirm that the other versions are indeed ports of the Christian Whitehead remasters.
For Stealth, who started Headcannon, this is the completion of something he has wanted to do for some time. He had this to say on Twitter, “Hey! Remember how I repeatedly said “If Sega wants me to remake Sonic 3 (& Knuckles) I’ll do it”? Well, needing this game to complete their planned #SonicOrigins collection of remakes, Sega asked me to take on this huge task, and I recruited some of my Headcannon buddies to help!”
Headcannon also confirmed that SEGA developed Origins’ menus, integration, and overall presentation.
After the past few days of leaks around the edges, the official Sonic YouTube channel has revealed the trailer for Sonic Origins. The game will be released on June 23, and will hit all major platforms (Switch/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Series X|S/Epic/Steam). Gematsu reports the game to launch at $39.99 for the standard edition, and $44.99 for Digital Deluxe (more on that below).
UPDATE: The game’s official website states that Spain, France, Germany, and Italy will be getting the game on the 12th whenever you change the language. Seems that all dates have been changed to June 23rd now. Thanks to alexizaki for the news tip!
The trailer features gorgeous animation in a similar style to the Sonic Mania animated sequences and explicitly promising even more animation. The trailer also confirms the replacement of Lives with a “Medallion” system in the game’s Anniversary mode (as you’ll notice in the UI).
The game will include features both within and beyond previous HD remakes of the games, such as the ability to play as Tails and Knuckles in other games (with the exception that Knuckles won’t be in CD, per Famitsu), and the Hidden Palace boss from the Sonic 2 iOS/Android remake.
Famitsu reports further special features in the game, such as a Boss Rush mode, a “Mirror Mode” that flips the entire stage left to right, a “story mode” (unclear if this just refers to the animation sequences, or if it actually connects the four games), a mission mode, a museum collection, and leaderboards. We don’t know much about the Mission mode yet, however screenshots of it show off a menu with the Veg-O-Fortress from Sonic Spinball, and a screenshot of Knuckles in S&K’s Death Egg Zone (which he normally does not appear in) with a unique level layout, a timer, and a letter grade.
Following Sega’s recent releases, Origins will have a “Digital Deluxe” version, which is set to include an additional 11 “hard” missions, 73 extra music tracks in the museum from other Genesis and 32X games, bonus menu animations, 10 Classic mode backgrounds for the letterbox, and an “Island Camera.”
Gematsu confirms these Digital Deluxe features will also be available as DLC under the “Premium Fun Pack” at $3.99, with further music tracks available via the “Premium & Classic Sound Pack” for $3.99. Pre-orders will also get a “Start Dash Pack” unlocking Mirror mode, a Mega Drive background for Classic mode, and 100 coins.
Be sure to stay with us as further details unfold.
It really feels like we’re close to a release date for Sonic Origins, the classic game compilation designed to celebrate Sonic’s 30th Anniversary. Overnight, details on the title were published (and subsequently leaked) on the Australian PlayStation Store, confirming some key information about how the 16-Bit games will be treated – including new animations, new areas to explore and missions to complete!
Sonic 2’s box office take continued to grow at a brisk pace over the last week, as the movie blew past $200 million globally, settling at $235 million as of the end of Monday. This number includes more than $123 million at the US box office, and $112 million overseas. Unlike last time, Sonic 2 didn’t manage to maintain its top box office spot globally, falling behind Fantastic Beasts 3. In the US, it made $29.3 million over its second weekend, taking second place behind FB3’s $42.2 million, and falling 60% from its opening weekend.
Interestingly, while Sonic 2 lost the weekend, it did apparently have a very good Easter Monday in the US, where it regained its top spot and even beat its returns from the previous Monday. It made $4.5 million on that day versus FB3’s $3.7 million. That’s not only 4% higher then what Sonic 2 made on its first Monday, that’s 275% higher than what Sonic 1 made on its second Monday.
Right now, Sonic 2 appears to be on track to surpass its predecessor, though exactly how well it will do still depends on whether or not it has legs. With Dreamworks’ The Bad Guys and Marvel’s Doctor Strange 2 debuting over the next few weeks, Sonic 2’s box office competition is going to become a lot more fierce.
Continue to stay tuned to Sonic Stadium for all the latest news on Sonic 2!
UPDATE: GBAtemp on Twitter found the game’s key art and logo on the Playstation Network backend:
Sonic Origins may finally be pushing closer to a full announcement soon, as it has now been internationally rated, as reported by VGC. The Game Rating and Administration Committee of South Korea has granted the PC version of Sonic Origins an All Ages rating.
After its tease in the May 2021 Sonic Central presentation, Sonic Origins seemed to go completely dark. The collection announcement touted five 16-bit Sonic platformers (Sonic 1/2/3/K/CD), three of which were previously rebuilt in the Retro/Star Engine. We know very few details about this collection, except that Iizuka previously confirmed it would not be built off of emulation.
The promise of this collection and its subsequent disappearance are a big deal to classic Sonic fans, as this represents the first time Sonic 1, Sonic 2, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles have all officially appeared on consoles in a 16:9 widescreen HD format. Some of these titles have appeared on mobile platforms and can be played in widescreen via community developed tools, but those looking to have that experience on consoles alongside Sonic Mania and the 2011 Sonic CD remake were out of luck.
We, among many, will be keeping a keen eye in the upcoming weeks to see if further details regarding this collection begin to rise.
*** SPOILER WARNING:THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS PLOT DETAILS AND SCREENSHOTS FROM THE END OF SONIC 2 ***
When I went into the first Sonic movie more than two years ago, I wasn’t expecting much. I was incredibly cynical about the whole affair, in fact. “Sure,” I thought, “they made the design better. But plenty of terrible movies can still look nice.” Then, the Paramount and SEGA logos rolled, and the movie spent the next 13 minutes winning me over, before one moment finally sealed it. It demonstrated this movie was going to be more than pop culture references and Jim Carrey being Jim Carrey. This was a movie about a lonely kid that, shockingly, had a heart. Here, SEGA’s cool blue mascot was in a bad place, and desperately needed to find a way to move forward.
By the end of it he did, and it all started at a baseball field.
After giving the audience a tour of his adopted home, Green Hills, Sonic goes to a baseball game. A team wins, and they celebrate together, something Sonic is clearly envious of. Later, after nightfall, Sonic takes to the field and uses his speed to pretend to be an entire team. As a scene, there is a lot to like here: it features a creative use of Sonic’s speed, it shows what he’s capable of, and it also gives more screen time to establishing his character. The personalities Sonic gives his “teammates” are cute, and Ben Schwartz does a superb job bringing the whole thing to life. But then Sonic hits the ball, fails to catch it, “wins” the game by a hair, readies himself for the same sort of adulation he saw earlier only to experience…nothing. Because he’s alone.
For a moment, his cheerful façade cracks, and Sonic does something he never does in the games: he loses his cool. Overwhelmed by his loneliness, he unleashes all his pent-up frustrations by running laps around the field. This leads to a power outage across the entire Pacific Northwest, which naturally gets the attention of the US government and leads to Sonic getting discovered. More importantly, it also starts Sonic on a two-movie-long journey to finally experience what he saw on that field.
Two years later, Sonic was playing baseball again, but this time he wasn’t alone. He had an entire family to play with, celebrate with, and go off for ice cream with. As a scene, it acts as a very effective bookend to Sonic’s journey to end his loneliness and find his place in the world. Years after losing one family, he’s found another.
The through line these scenes book end ultimately make up the emotional core of these otherwise fairly trivial popcorn flicks, which makes them probably the most important ones of the entire film series so far. As cool as any of the action sequences are, and as effective as the characterization is for Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails, it would all mean next-to-nothing without that emotional core. Enjoyable movies aren’t built on action, pop culture jokes, weird Jim Carrey antics and Olive Garden gift cards. They are built on character, more specifically making audiences care about those characters.
Caring about Sonic and wanting to see him find that family he so desperately needs gives those action scenes weight. They make the bad jokes and Jim Carrey antics bearable. They make Sonic feel like a character and not a walking collection of dated references, and they give him a means to connect to characters like Tom, Tails, and Knuckles, creating the most effective and impactful scenes across both movies.
Of course, plenty of movies do the “found family” thing better, with Pixar’s Luca and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy executing it more effectively. The concept is also nothing new for Sonic as a franchise. Tails is Sonic’s little brother in the games, and the Freedom Fighters are basically Sonic’s surrogate family in both SatAM and Archie. Regardless, if someone had told me a few years ago that I’d get a little emotional at a scene in a Sonic movie where Sonic called a human “dad,” I’d call you a damn liar.
These movies had everything going against them from the beginning. From out of touch executives, to the terrible track record of video game adaptations, to how regularly terrible movies with cartoon animal sidekicks usually are! And yet, somehow, Sonic was able to find box office, audience, and (modest) critical success. Twice. Some will put the credit on the redesign and “listening to fans,” but the actual reason is much more fundamental: the movie’s writers were smart enough to give the characters heart, rooted in a game of baseball, that sprang forth into the most successful video game film franchise of all time.
As we move forward into a wider cinematic universe, I can only hope the Sonic Movie Universe’s creatives don’t lose sight of this. That heart is something that must be built upon and expanded, in order to keep audiences invested in these characters and their adventures.
Roblox is no stranger to unlicensed games, worlds, cosmetics, and quite a few parodies that are really, really on the nose, but Sonic is now officially coming to the eccentric user-content platform. Gamefam, a studio that develops games within Roblox, has announced “Sonic Speed Simulator,” an experience where players can race around large Sonic-inspired environments. The announcement trailer shows off Sonic running through a Green Hill environment in full 3D, passing through loops, collecting experience crystals, and continuously building speed.
Gamefam has developed more than two dozen Roblox games, including a licensed Hot Wheels open world experience. Details on the server page for Sonic Speed Simulator highlight that the experience will features racing, multiple worlds, and collectable skins and chao.
The experience currently remains in paid access while in closed beta, and expects to shift to free-to-play at a later date.
Everyone on Sonic Talk has finally seen Sonic 2, and we’ve brought our thoughts to the podcast alongside our guest and boss Dreadknux!
With five different views, good discussion is guaranteed! But of course, with loads of people comes a lengthy discussion, as we dissect and debate the entirety of the movie and its characters in depth. So be sure to grab a snack and drink before hand, or save us for when you’ve got some chores or work to do! Either way, check us out below:
EDIT: Sonic 2’s final box office open numbers were released, and they beat the $71 million estimate, landing at $72 million. We’ve updated the article accordingly.
It’s official: Sonic 2 is a worldwide hit. After making $25.5 million in overseas markets a week ago, the movie has since made an additional $116.5 million as its opened across more countries including the US. This includes an estimated $72.1 million opening in the US, beating its predecessor’s opening by $14 million, giving Sonic 2 the biggest opening weekend of any video game movie in US history. This is also the biggest opening Jim Carrey has ever had.
So far, Sonic 2 has been matching or exceeding its predecessor in most markets, and it has easily beaten off what box office competition it had. What will really determine Sonic 2’s success is whether or not it has legs. The original movie managed to earn $319 million before theaters shut down. Despite that, Sonic 1 managed to become the top grossing video game movie in US history, earning $149 million. Sonic 2 has earned nearly half of that in its opening weekend. In order to become the highest grossing video game movie globally, it’ll need beat Detective Pikachu’s $434 million and Warcraft’s $439 million.
With Secrets of Dumbledore debuting this weekend and expecting a $50 million box office, its unlikely Sonic 2 will stay at #1 for multiple weeks like it did last time, but it doesn’t need to in order to break some records. Only time will tell how far Sonic 2 will go, but we’ll be sure to keep you all updated.
A bunch of the reviews for Sonic 2 are now in, and the results are clear: it’s fresh! With 85 reviews out, it seems pretty certain that Sonic 2’s going to be accomplishing its predecessor’s feat of landing in fresh territory on the review aggregate. Though the score is likely still going to jump around (it was 67% when I first began drafting this article this morning), Sonic 2 is now unlikely to fall into either “rotten” (below 60%) or “certified fresh” (above 75%) territory, but still has a good chance of reviewing better than its predecessor (63%).
Along with the rating, we also have a consensus of the overall critical response, “It isn’t as much fun as the little blue guy’s greatest games, but if you enjoyed the first film, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 serves as a generally acceptable sequel.” Since the number keeps moving around, and movie’s page seems to go back to older versions at random, we’ve gone ahead and included a screen cap of the page below:
This means that Sonic 2 will join the ranks of a handful of other “fresh” rated video game movies, including Angry Birds 2 (73%) and Detective Pikachu (68%). This also makes Sonic the first video game movie franchise to achieve this more than once!
While video adaptations have, overall, been improving over the years, that improvement has mostly been seen in the realm of TV and streaming, where video game shows like The Cuphead Show, Castlevania, Shenmue the Animation, and Arcane have been met with acclaim from fans and critics. Halo, Paramount’s other big video game adaptation, has also managed to achieve a 68% fresh rating, albeit the reception from fans has been significantly more…mixed.
We will be keeping an eye on Sonic 2’s rating, and we may post an update in the coming weeks. We may also post an article summarizing opinions from both critics and the Sonic community. In the mean time, you an check out our own review! You can find the current Rotten Tomatoes rating here.
In a March 31 interview with Access Hollywood, Jim Carrey revealed that he was likely retiring from acting after Sonic 2. When asked what his plans were after Sonic 2, Carrey said “Well, I’m retiring. Yeah, probably. I’m being fairly serious. It depends, if the angels bring some sort of script that’s written in gold ink that says to me that it’s going to be really important for people to see, I might continue down the road, but I’m taking a break.”
So while Carrey does not rule out an eventual return to acting, it appears he’s ready to step away unless a really good script comes his way. He went on to elaborate on his decision, “I really like my quiet life, and I really like putting paint on canvas, and I really love my spiritual life, and I feel like – and this is something you might never hear another celebrity say as long as time exists – I have enough. I’ve done enough. I am enough.”
You can find his answer starting at 4:20 in the interview:
Among other things, this does put his future in the Sonic movie franchise up in the air. Does this mean he won’t be back for Sonic 3? Will he be recast? Or will this end up meaning nothing and he’ll be back for further Sonic movie entries? Will Robotnik as a whole be written out?
It should be noted that, historically, Carrey rarely did sequels, making Sonic 2 something of an anomaly in his career. Whatever the case, Sonic 3 is coming in two years, so we’ll know the answer soon enough.
You’d be forgiven for wondering if the success of the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie was a total fluke. After all, were it not for intense community feedback (and eventually the artistic talents of Tyson Hesse), the blue blur’s big-screen debut would have surely flopped. But with a car crash swiftly avoided, and the fanbase on-side as a result, it would have been easy for Paramount to rest on its laurels and phone it in for the sequel. Especially with the introduction of rival Knuckles the Echidna to automatically guarantee fan support.
With Sonic 2 opening in its first markets in just a week, we have finally gotten the movie’s main theme, “Stars in the Sky” by Kid Cudi.
The music video features lovely spritework and loads of references to other games, including Sonic the Fighters and Sonic Adventure. A trio of sprite artists worked on the sprite graphics for this trailer. One of them posted a special piece of art to celebrate the video’s release. You can check that and their twitter handles out below:
If you hadn’t caught it, the official Sonic YouTube channel teased bringing the Sonic Vtuber models stateside in the form of a Tails “streaming” series, TailsTube. The first episode premiered today, and it came with some answers to a longstanding question in the modern franchise.
Well, we have finally entered that period of time between a movie’s early red carpet debut, and when the rest of us get to see it! We are still a few days away from actual reviews being written, but people in the media who’ve seen the movie have started sharing their thoughts…and they are pretty positive so far!
A few of these impressions also confirm at least one after credits scene, though others seem to indicate more than one. This means you should definitely stick around once the credits role.
Before going into the impressions, a caveat: these are not written reviews. They do not reflect what may be the larger consensus at places like Rotten Tomatoes or within the Sonic fandom. The people posting these tweets may not even be the ones writing the reviews for their outlets! So keep all of that in mind. Reviews will apparently go live
First off, impressions from a guy who writes for IGN.
Next, more in depth impressions from Cinema Blend’s Mike Reyes.
Next up is Nikki Novak, a Fandango correspondent and member of the Critics Choice Awards.
Dorian Park, owner of Geeks of Color, had a lot to say about the movie’s characters and cinematography.
Erik Davis, the “Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango guy,” said Sonic and Tails’ relationship is the best part of the movie.
Ash Crosson, lead content producer and host of Screen Rant, called it a “worthy successor.”
Kevin Polowy, a Yahoo Entertainment correspondent calls it…the Godfather II of Sonic movies? Which I supposes indicates its better than the first.
Chris Killian, who works for Comicbook.co
Finally, Dana who works for, among other organizations, the African American Film Critics Association, posted both a tweet AND a video, which we’ve posted below:
This is the part where I figured I’d post some less publicized negative impressions I was expecting to dig up. No luck yet. So instead, here is the one impression I found from someone who doesn’t work for a media organization:
Sonic 2 will hit the UK April 1, while it’ll be arriving in the US a week later on April 8. Select US theaters will have the movie as early as April 6.
UPDATE: Contest tweet has gone live. We’ve embedded it in the article.
Today, Xbox Wire has announced a contest to win a custom Sonic 2 Movie Sonic vs. Knuckles-styled Xbox Series S along with two truly reprehensible controllers covered entirely in thick blue and red fur.
During an October 2021 investor presentation, WildBrain, the animation company producing Sonic Prime for Netflix, took the opportunity to play up their technical advancements while working on the series. Sonic Paradise picked up on the statement and grabbed a clip from the video presentation:
Sonic has provided an amazing opportunity for us on the 3D side. It has allowed us to sort of reevaluate our 3D pipeline and really examine where the value-add is in that. We’ve added a number of new software packages and methodologies to the pipeline. We’re able to provide a really cinematic look that is honestly making it feel like a Marvel movie when we get into the action sequences.
Calling action sequences Marvel-like is a tall order, but this was specifically aimed at investors, and comparing something to Disney has become easy “it will look good” shorthand for those who aren’t interested in a nuanced discussion of the technical details. However, it does reaffirms a dedication to Sonic Prime being an action series, in contrast to 2014’s Sonic Boom, which played out more sitcom than action-adventure.
Details on the series itself remain tight, including its release window (still expected this year), leading some to worry about its production, schedule, and staffing. This may not alleviate all concerns, but it does give a window into how WildBrain is approaching the series’ technical demands. WildBrain’s current catalog includes many CG animated series across dozens of networks and licensing partnerships, but few CG shows they’ve produced in recent years would qualify as “action.”
After well over a year of build up, we are finally reaching IDW Sonic’s 50th issue. The issue is scheduled to release just a day before Sonic’s 31st anniversary, on June 22. Curiously, while the issue’s listed price is $7.99, double the comics usual price, one of the covers has a list price of $3.99.
Check out the solicit and the two released covers below. The primary cover features art by Yui Karasuno, who has frequently done art for Sonic Team in the past. The retail incentive cover was drawn by Nathalie Fourdraine. A currently-unrevealed third cover will feature art by the comic’s lead writer, Evan Stanley. This issue will be written by Ian Flynn, and feature interior art by Adam Bryce Thomas.
(W) Ian Flynn (A) Adam Bryce Thomas (CA) Sonic Team (Yui Karasuno)
Sonic the Hedgehog #50 is here! To celebrate, this issue features two Sonics! And two Tails! Wait… One of them is green… And the other has tails made out of water?! Imposters! And they’re working with Dr. Starline?! After assembling a squad of bad guys, kidnapping Belle, starting a forest fire, and causing chaos in Central City, Starline is finally ready to unleash his monstrous imposters: Surge and Kit! Will his meticulous planning be enough to defeat Sonic and Dr. Eggman? The throne is only big enough for one!
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