Last night, Sega held a 25th anniversary party for their famous brand character, Sonic the Hedgehog, as part of their presence at San Diego Comic-con. During the event, they had promised to make several reveals about the future of the character and share those reveals with the world at large; many had suspected that Sega would announce a new game in the Sonic series. To everyone’s surprise, however, Sega didn’t announce one new Sonic game—they announced two. Now, we’ve got trailers to show off, so buckle in and get ready to go fast, because the blue blur is coming in at top speed.
The first game announced was Sonic Mania, a surprise treat for the Sonic faithful. It’s no secret that in the past decade, Sonic’s name and brand have been tarnished due to fairly low quality product. His transition from 2D to 3D space was fine, at first, but somewhere along the line the enjoy-ability of his games had hit rock bottom. Fingers for this start of darkness are usually pointed at Sonic 2006 and Shadow the Hedgehog. Thing had started to look up with Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, two games released in 2010 and 2012, as they were well regarded and received positive critique. However, their follow up Sonic Lost World was considered mediocre at best—and then Sonic BOOM received quite a bit of press for how downright awful (and unfinished) it clearly was. It was to a point where Sega publicly apologized for the state of the character. This has led to many a fan clamoring for Sonic to return to his roots; thankfully, Sega gave us just that.
As one can see in the trailer above, Sonic Mania is a new two dimensional, sprite-art based entry in the Sonic franchise. Looking to bring back the classic gameplay (with a few new twists), the game is a love letter to the blue hedgehog, with remixed stages of old and brand new stages that fit in with the feel of games like Sonic 3 and Sonic CD. Fans can also decide whether if they want to play any of the three ‘original’ protagonists: Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles ‘Tails’ Prower, or Knuckles the Echidna. As if that trailer bomb wasn’t enough, we were also given a bigger, but more teaser-ish announcement, at the very end of the party.
The aptly, temporarily titled Project Sonic 2017 may not have much substance to it’s cinematic trailer, but it has given fans something to get excited about: a possible return to the form of Sonic Generations. That game allowed players to plays as both ‘modern’ and ‘classic’ versions of the character, giving them the opportunity to play every stage twice in completely different forms: old school 2D style (with 3D visuals), or modern Sonic Adventure style. Not only was the game, as mentioned, highly regarded, it seems that the team who made it (and Sonic Colors) is back for development, meaning that we may get the same high quality experience for this new title.
Funny enough, one of the platforms the game is announced for is Nintendo‘s mysterious NX console, which a Mario game hasn’t even been announced for yet! Perhaps the old saying is coming true once again, “Sega does what Nintendon’t.”