Sega, stop making Sonic games and stay true to the Sonic movies
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has all the makings of a massive Easter hit. First impressions of the movie were great, reviews backed up that belief, and now that I’ve seen the sequel for myself, I can confirm that Sonic 2 isn’t just as good as the first movie, it’s even better. As my friends have pointed out to me many times, it’s hard to take my glowing remarks about the movie seriously because I have Sonic tattoos on my arm. Yeah, I’m a little biased, but believe me, the new Sonic movie is definitely worth seeing in theaters.
That Sonic 2 is good shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve seen the first movie. What probably surprised a lot of people, and rightly so, is that this first movie was so good that it became one of the highest performing video game movies at the box office. Long before it made its big screen debut, initial promotional material and the film’s very first trailer featured an absolutely awful adaptation of the Blue Blur. So bad that Paramount decided to push back its release date and completely redesign the world’s most famous hedgehog.
Even without this dire revelation, diehard fans would have had every right to be skeptical of a Sonic movie for a number of reasons. Video game adaptations may be all the rage right now, but three years ago that wasn’t the case. Sonic arguably has a lot to do with changing people’s opinions of the genre. Sega hasn’t really gotten out of the park when it comes to Sonic games lately either. Sonic Mania was the last great Sonic game, and that’s only because it was a spiritual successor to the iconic quadrilogy that introduced Sonic and the gang in the first place.
Cards on the table, as a committed Sonic fan, I find Sonic games very difficult to judge. These first four will forever be among my favorite games of all time. That’s why I have absolutely no problem spending money on them every time Sega repackages the games and releases them on a new console. Those early games were so good that I often can’t tell if a later Sonic game is truly bad, or just not up to par with those OG releases. That’s why I, and so many others, loved Sonic Mania. Sonic Forces and Sonic Colors are fine, it’s just not what Sega and Sonic do best.
Back to what we’re here for, and that’s the Sonic movies. While nearly every Sonic game of the last decade or more has been average at best, Sega’s first two movies have been anything but. The first new Sonic content in a very long time that really ignited my love for the series, and the first outside of Sonic Mania to really nag my nostalgia. The Easter eggs and attention to detail, especially in Sonic 2, have been fantastic. If, for some weird reason, the decision to make another Sonic game or focus on a third movie was up to me, it would be a movie all the way. I wouldn’t even need to think about it.
Obviously, no one needs to make this decision. There will always be Sonic games and, as has already been confirmed by Paramount, there will be a third Sonic movie and even a Knuckles TV show. However, it may be a decision that needs to be made at some point. The first two films did more good for Sonic’s reach and brand than anything Sega has dreamed up for its most recognizable IP in over two decades. Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel on making new Sonic games and focus on your newfound strength, making Sonic movies.
Paramount is serious about adding to what it’s already dubbed a sonic cinematic universe. There’s also a Tails movie rumored to be on the way, and no spoilers here if you haven’t seen Sonic 2 yet, but its credits scene opens all sorts of doors for the series’ future. It’s also been confirmed that the movies won’t continue to loosely follow the games timeline. The introduction of Tails and then Knuckles as was the case in Sonic 2 and 3 on Mega Drive. There’s so much to choose from for future projects, and maybe even a chance to breathe new life into some of the older games that didn’t perform as well as the originals.
Sonic’s next foray into gaming will be Frontiers, which could be here before the end of 2022. Sega will obviously want to see how it sells and, more importantly, what Sonic fans think about it. We’ve been reminded how good Sonic can be with those first two movies, so subpar Sonic games aren’t going to cut it anymore. If Frontiers is anything less than the dawn of an exciting new era for Sonic games, then maybe it’s time for Sega to throw in the towel and focus on TV shows and the big screen. He can still repackage the first four games every few years, and maybe remaster or re-release some of the hits that have come since then. Personally, I’d love to replay games like Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Heroes while waiting for new Sonic movies.
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