While the Sonic Mania + Team Sonic Racing pack is dated for October 26th, 2020 on Amazon for $39.99 USD, there’s no firm date yet for the Sonic Forces + Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD pack. However GameFly lists both for a placeholder October 31st, 2020 date. Perhaps both will release on the same day, possibly also for $39.99 USD?
Once again, when more shows up, we’ll let you know!
The opinions expressed in this article are those of Jason Berry and dot not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TSS staff.
Guilty pleasures. Fan favorites. Cult classics. Names used for a variety of entertainment from movies to music and of course, video games. Usually, it refers to something that is flawed, but nonetheless, enjoyable.
The same can be said for a lot, and I mean a LOT of Sonic games out there. Games that are seriously flawed, but still have some fans who enjoy them. I’m still baffled by some people who say that they loved Sonic ‘06 but hey, don’t let me tell you what not to enjoy. Heck, I kinda like Rise of Lyric and that game is in an even more unfinished state than ‘06. But what I want to talk about are Sonic games that were poorly reviewed by critics, but still enjoyed by fans or vice-versa. Games that are on the cusp of greatness, but some element holds it back. Games that make you say “yeah, it’s not the best, but I like it.” Games that are polished in their design, but their design is ultimately flawed. These are my five Sonic games just shy of greatness.
Sonic and the Black Knight
This is low on the list because it’s genuinely a bad game in the design department, but it has two elements that really shine. Sonic and the Black Knight was the second in the short-lived storybook series just after the arguably better Sonic and the Secret Rings. So why is this one on the list and not Secret Rings? While I didn’t care much for the constant stop-and-slash gameplay of Black Knight, there were two things that really stood out for me.
One, the story is actually one of my favorites in the series. Sonic is back in a storybook world, only this time, he has the knowledge from the previous game to know that his friends are not the same ones from his world and only look the same in appearance. Also, Sonic’s smart enough to realize that something’s off with the titular villain and the surprise twist reveal is something I didn’t see coming. It also includes a moral that, well… you don’t see very often.
Two, the music! Crush 40 is back along with a great, guitar-heavy soundtrack by Jun Sunoe and other talented composers including Tommy Talarico. There are also a few remixes of previous Sonic music, but overall a rockin’ soundtrack to a sub-par game.
Sonic Lost World
Boy did everyone love this game when it made the early rounds at preview shows like E3 and Comic-Con. Most people gave this new and very different entry in the Sonic series a lot of love… until it came out. It’s not that changing the formula for once wasn’t a good idea. I love the boost formula but could’ve used a break. However, once again as most games you see on this list, the biggest flaw is the game design.
Sonic Lost World was doing it’s best to rip off Mario Galaxy and it just didn’t work. The level design, for the most part, was very good. It was the controls themselves that fell apart. Sonic with a run button just felt wrong. Not allowing a more analog run control was a mistake in my opinion, but the other problem was the game’s newest gimmick, the parkour control. Basically, Sonic could climb and run alongside walls in a parkour-style to traverse certain levels. However, it was very hit and miss. Sonic would start to slide off the wall very quickly and it was hard to bounce from wall to wall. It took a more advanced level of skill than normally required from a platformer. Surprisingly, the 3DS port had the opposite problem. The parkour controls worked very well and should have been implemented in the console game, while the level design was pure torture. Had we had gotten both solid, parkour controls along with good level design, Sonic Lost Word could have been a hit.
Sonic Forces COULD have been a great game under the right circumstances. It’s using the Hedgehog Engine 2, Classic Sonic is back, you have your classic 2-D and boost gameplay just like Generations. You can even design your original character (do not steal), making every Sonic fanfic writer’s dream come true. In fact, it did okay with critics or at least critics who weren’t that familiar with Sonic. But as a fan of Sonic, you played the game and realized right away that something was off. It looked like Generations, but it didn’t quite play like it.
I think the main problem lies in that a good amount of the team from Sonic Colors worked on this game including the director, Morio Kishimoto. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Sonic Colors. But that game has very different platform physics than Generations or Unleashed. However, this game seems to have the engine of Generations, but with the jumping physics of Colors. Casual game players might not notice, but if you’re a Sonic fan, it’ll throw you off a bit. Like riding a bicycle, only now the bicycle controls like a unicycle.
What also doesn’t help is the terrible writing once again from Pontac and Graff. I’ll admit, I loved the story in Colors and laughed at Eggman’s PSA’s but those two are comedy writers, and every time they attempt drama in Sonic games, it falls flat. Sonic was supposed to be captured by Eggman and tortured for months, but when we see him, he’s the same ol’ Sonic he’s always been. Crackin’ jokes with (not) Zavoc.
“What goes up, must come down…” Much like the quality of gameplay in Sonic Heroes. Now, Sonic Heroes is definitely one of my “guilty pleasures”. It has a lot going for it that I like. It offers the 3-D gameplay similar to the last Sonic Adventure games, but stripped down to a level-by-level structure, much like the 2-D classics. The new gimmick in this one is that you control three characters at once. One for speed (Sonic, Shadow, Amy, Espio), one for power (Knuckles, Omega, Big, Vector), and one for flight (Tails, Rouge, Cream, Charmy). Four teams with four stories of their own. Sonic Heroes did a lot right. It brought back the Chaotix, introduced Omega, and had probably Jun Sunoe’s and Crush 40’s best tracks in any of their games. “What I’m made of” is unironically a damn good song and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise (not really). For the most part, the “three at a time” formula works and helps keep the platforming gameplay moving at a fairly fast pace. It even did fairly well by critics (for a Sonic game of that era). Seaside Hill is still a joy to play. So what’s keeping it from being one of the best? Level design. That’s the biggest problem. Sometimes it works great (like the aforementioned Seaside Hill) while others are a disaster. Casino Park and Bingo Highway still infuriate me to this day. The game’s difficulty constantly spikes. You can be having a great time of it only to have one of the most frustrating experiences on the very next level. It also doesn’t help that this was the first Sonic game to introduce a massive amount of annoying talking during gameplay. I just want to reach into my screen and choke Tails every time he says “Look at all those Eggman’s robots!”.For a child with a high IQ, he sure has poor grammar.
Now, if you’re a big fan of Sonic Heroes, I understand. There’s a lot to love here. But it’s definitely not without its faults. Speaking of a very faulty Sonic game that I love…
I friggin’ LOVE Sonic Unleashed! But it’s definitely got its flaws.
It starts out soooo good! That Marza animated intro is the best Sonic…. Anything! (Speaking of, when’s that “Lupin the 3rd: The First” movie hitting the western markets?) We then meet Chip and… yeah, his mileage may vary depending on if he grows on you or not. We then meet humans and OMG!! They actually fit well in Sonic’s world for once! Giving them a cartoon appearance works perfectly. Then, after some story introductions and a training level, we are introduced to our first full level in Apotos, “Windmill Isle Act 2” and OMG is it amazing!! Sonic’s running at incredible speeds through narrow streets that blur by. Dodging buildings left and right, grinding rails and smashing through Badniks. It was the first Sonic game to introduce the 3-D boost mechanics that are still present in the latest games. It all feels sooo good and it’s over too soon. And then it happens. The Werehog. The thing both critics and fans felt was a bad idea and frankly, still is. Now, don’t get me wrong. The gameplay of the Werehog is actually not that bad! You’re running, jumping, getting into brawls and shimmying on ledges and it works out okay. It just doesn’t feel like that kind of gameplay belongs in a Sonic game. Also, each level is about a half-hour long or more. Compare that to the Sonic daytime levels that clock in at about five minutes. I’m bored ten minutes into the Werehog levels. The one thing the Wii did right was to break them up into smaller levels so you could take a break from them. The Wii version also didn’t have the frustrating medal hunt. Don’t have enough sun medals for the next Sonic daytime level? Too bad. Back to the old Werehog levels to hunt them down.
With all, it’s faults I’d still be lying if I didn’t say that Sonic Unleashed was one of my favorite 3-D Sonic games. The Werehog isn’t gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are far worse Sonic gameplay options out there (I’m looking at you, Big in Sonic Adventure.)
So what flawed Sonic game do you enjoy? Are there any you think I should have put on the list? Let me know in the comments below.
If you’re looking to complete your Sonic collection on 3DS or Switch, Sega has you covered.
From May 17th to the 26th, a huge library of Sonic games are on sale on the Nintendo eShop. The games include the following…
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – $39.99
Sonic Forces – $9.99
Sonic Mania (Standard) – $9.99
Team Sonic Racing – $19.99
SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog – $5.99
SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $5.99
Sonic Generations – $9.99
Sonic Lost World – $9.99
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal – $9.99
Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice – $9.99
3D Sonic the Hedgehog – $2.99
3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $2.99
Infinite fans rejoice! Infinite fans? I mean, you have to exist somewhere, don’t you? Anyhow, if you are a fan of Sonic Force’s helmet-clad antagonist, Great Eastern Entertainment has you covered with a teaser for everyone’s favorite jackal returning in plush form this August.
Per their twitter:
"I can taste your terror, child. All that anxiety and doubt… It's delicious.”
GE Entertainment, also known as GE Animation, is a long standing licensed anime merch manufacturer, and has worked with such licenses as Sanrio, Shonen Jump, and Bandai. The company sports a history of quality Sonic plush, and this diamond dog will join the likes of Super Shadow, regular Shadow, Metal Sonic, and other plush rogues and Rouges. If previous releases serve as an example, Infinite’s price could fall somewhere between $20 and $36 USD depending on size and complexity.
You want box office and Rotten Tomato statistics? A wholly unnecessary return of LCD games from the 90s? A jacket stitched with three wildly different fonts!? We’ve got all that, and we’ll even remind you that all your favorite video game events are cancelled on this month’s Sonic Talk!
To celebrate the release of the Sonic movie, both Steam and Humble Bundle are offering Sonic games at a steep discount through the next week.
Steam is offering a “Sonic the Hedgehog Ultimate Bundle” an over $250 value, at less than $60, or 76 percent off. The bundle includes the following games:
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
Sonic 3D Blast
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
Sonic Adventure 2 (plus Battle DLC)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Sonic Lost World
Sonic Generations with Casino Night DLC
Sonic Mania with Encore DLC
Team Sonic Racing
Sonic Forces’ mobile counterpart by SEGA’s Hardlight Studios is very much alive and well, and we’re about to see a new level added to the roster: Golden Bay Zone… but hang on, is this based off of Sonic Adventure 2, or the Sonic Movie?
Nintendo is holding a special New Years eShop sale from today until January 16. Included in the sale are nearly a dozen Sonic titles across both the Switch and 3DS. For the titles on sale and their discounted US prices, check out the list below:
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – $33.99 (was $59.99)
Team Sonic Racing – $19.99 (was $39.99)
SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog – $5.99 (was $7.99)
Sonic Forces – $9.99 (was $19.99)
Sonic Mania – $9.99 (was $19.99)
Sonic Generations – $9.99 (was $19.99)
Sonic Lost World – $9.99 (was $19.99)
3D Sonic the Hedgehog – $2.99 (was $5.99)
3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $2.99 (was $5.99)
Sonic Boom Shattered Crystal – $9.99 (was $19.99)
Sonic Boom Fire & Ice – $9.99 (was $19.99)
The sale also includes other SEGA titles, such as the rest of their SEGA AGES line and Valkyrie Chronicles.
In addition to Nintendo’s eShop sale, Sonic Mania is also currently on sale for $9.99 on Sony’s PlayStation Network.
Well, that was a decade and a half wasn’t it? So much has changed in the last ten years, it’s difficult to wrap it all up in a very succinct way. But don’t worry, The Sonic Stadium is here to help you remember. Let us take your hand and chuck you down this hellish warp zone we call a Retrospective, and blitz past all the crazy stuff that’s happened since 2010. Continue reading Sonic Decade in Review 2010 – 2019: The Games
What’s hedgehog-shaped, utterly heartless and absolutely terrifying? Metal Sonic dressed up like the Grim Reaper, of course. And boy, does he look more menacing than ever. This version of Sonic’s robotic doppelgänger is now available to unlock in SEGA Hardlight’s Sonic Forces mobile app, as part of the game’s ‘Grim Gala’ festivities. Continue reading Sonic Forces ‘Grim Gala’ Begins, Reaper Metal Sonic Up For Grabs
Video game art dealer Cook & Becker have announced that the next reprint of the Official Sonic the Hedgehog Art & Design Book will feature 32 pages of new content from Sonic Mania, Sonic Forces, and Team Sonic Racing. First released in 2016 as part of Sonic’s 25th anniversary, the book originally only went as far as releases from that year.
Cook & Becker hinted at this last week, leaving many to speculate that Sonic Mania would be receiving its own art book. However, according to the company’s twitter account, there would not have been enough content from the game to fill out its own art book, so they decided to update their 25th anniversary art book instead.
The updated book can be pre-ordered off of their website for $39.99 (plus $12.50 for shipping), and is currently scheduled to ship sometime in November.
They released some samples of the new pages, which you can check out in the gallery below:
Whether you’re feeling charitable this holiday season, or just want a bunch of Sonic games for super cheap, Humble Bundle has an offer for Sonic fans: the Humble Sonic Bundle. The money given to this bundle will go to Extra Life, Save the Children, the Willow Foundation, and Access Sport. Alternatively, your money can also be given to any charity in Humble Bundle’s database.
Anyone who’s able to give at least $1 to charity will receive the following games on Windows through Steam:
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
Sonic Adventure DX
Sonic Adventure 2 (with Battle DLC)
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
For those who have a little more to spend, the following games can be had for the current donation average of $7.20:
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Collection
Sonic Lost World
Sonic Generation Collection
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2
And finally, for anyone who wants to more than double their donation to $15, they can get the latest games, including:
The bundle will be available from now until the end of the year. You can check it out here.
Tomoya Ohtani, a veteran composer of video game music who worked on Sonic Forces, revealed on Twitter that the game’s soundtrack has been made available on various streaming services just in time for the game’s first anniversary. Anyone with a subscription to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited or Google Play will now have access to all three and half hours of music from the game.
Wayô Records revealed on their Instagram page earlier today that they would be making a new set of 12” vinyl records featuring 19 tracks from Sonic Forces, including the game’s theme song, Fist Bump.
The vinyl is set to be made available for pre-order here on June 23 and will begin shipping to customers sometime in July. Check out the complete list of tracks, as well as a gallery showing off the record, below:
01. Fist Bump
03. Fighting Onward - Space Port
04. Nowhere to Run - Prison Hall
01. Justice - Park Avenue
02. Moonlight Battlefield - Aqua Road
03. Virtual Enemies - Capital City
04. Set in Motion - Guardian Rock
05. Fist Bump - SXSW ver.
01. Sunset Heights
02. Ghost Town
03. Battle with Infinite - First Bout
04. Battle with Metal Sonic [US ver. Remix]
05. Eggman's Facility [Rhythm and Balance Remix]
06. Battle with Mega Death Egg Robot - Final Phase
01. Fading World - Imperial Tower
02. The Light of Hope
03. This Is Our World
04. Fist Bump - Piano ver.
Shh. What’s that rumbling sound? That’s the sound of stomping feet, from all the Sonic fans dashing to download the latest update in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle! Why? Because everybody’s favourite lazy purple fisherman, Big the Cat, is now available as a playable character in the mobile racer. Continue reading Big the Cat Now Playable in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle
About a year ago, we brought you news that Sega was experimenting with Sonic in Virtual Reality and were looking to create a VR themed roller coaster.
Well it seems that experiments with Sonic and VR were not just limited to theme park attractions. Based on files found in the PC version of Sonic Forces, it looks like there was a VR mode/demo in the game.
The Cutting Room floor discovered a single splash screen in the files for the PC version of the game. The file in question is located within “vr_stage.pac“.
This is all that appears to be left over, so for those of you hoping for footage of this mode, we’ll just have to use our imaginations on that.
Also as an interesting side note, the game really was at one point entitled ‘Sonic 2017’.
Last month, the long-awaited inclusion of Super Sonic had finally come to pass for Sonic Forces, but there was a nasty catch: the Chaos Emerald-powered hedgehog would have only remained free for a limited time.
A series staple since Sonic the Hedgehog 2 over twenty-five years ago right up to the recent Sonic Mania, either earning the seven Chaos Emeralds or clearing the game’s story often yielded the highly coveted reward of Super transformation. From there, simply collect fifty rings mid-stage, transform, and blast off with ring-fueled invincibility and faster speeds.
While oddly absent from the game’s initial release over a month ago, Sonic Forces is finally bringing in this long loved franchise staple at long last as free downloadable content… unfortunately, with a catch that is already drawing community backlash.
Sonic Forces has come and gone and the Sonic Talk crew of Jason, Alex, GX and special guest (and occasional header artist) Cory Holmes weigh in on the game. We go in and critique every detail of this new 3-D outing from Sonic Team. Is it as good as we’d hoped or as bad as we feared? Listen in to find out. Continue reading Sonic Talk 49: Unstoppable Forces vs. Immovable Objections
Note: This review qualifies as mostly ‘spoiler free’, but it does contain information on stages, gameplay elements.
It’s odd to think it’s been so long since the last major Sonic the Hedgehog release from Sonic Team. In fact, it’s just over six years since the release of Sonic Generations for the 20th anniversary. I’m sure there were raised eyebrows as the 25th anniversary came and went without an A-list title, but perhaps the majority let this pass as the fandom became gripped amidst ‘Sonic Mania’. Continue reading TSS Review: Sonic Forces
The North American version of the Sonic Forces launch trailer was officially released by SEGA today. Unfortunately, unlike the Italian version we reported on a few weeks ago, this trailer contains some serious spoilers. Not just unannounced levels like the Sonic Mania, but actual footage of the game’s final boss and ending cutscenes.
So if you’ve been trying to dodge spoilers since the game was leaked last week, you might want to avoid the trailer. If not, you can check the trailer out below:
My Nintendo have announced today a tie-in promotion to celebrate the Sonic Forces’ release on Switch. The promotion comes with 50% off offers (that cost gold or platinum coins) on most Sonic titles on Wii U and 3DS, plus a couple of bonuses.
Omega’s in big trouble, Rouge is worried and Shadow’s coming to help and…do I see pictures of Sally Acorn? Nah. Couldn’t be. The third Sonic Forces comic is here! It’s written by Ian Flynn with art by Adam Bryce Thomas. Check it out in the gallery below and check out the first issue here and the second one here.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
3rd Party Cookies
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!