SEGA really knows how to spoil their fans!
It's hard to believe that the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise was born twenty-five years ago. In celebration of this momentous occasion, SEGA threw an epic Sonic 25th Anniversary Party at the House of Blues during San Diego Comic-Con.
I know that the series has garnered quite a few fans, but I certainly didn't expect the party entry line to literally wrap around the entire block. Some people had to wait over an hour just to get in the front door! Now that's dedication. In addition, the majority of attendees adorned themselves in Sonic hats, shirts, and other accouterments and smiled with anticipation of the night's festivities.
Everyone who attended was given a sweet swag bag when they entered that contained a wide variety of cool items like a Sonic plush toy, Sonic ball cap, special metal coin, branded flash drive, and an exclusive Sonic Mega Drive comic #1. As if that weren't enough, there were several well-known people, including the aforementioned comic's artists, members of the Sonic team, and Sonic voice actors, all of whom were signing everything that fans placed in front of them. Crush 40, a band known for creating the music for many Sonic games, added their stylish brand of video game rock to the atmosphere by playing a live set, and there were even dancing Sonic characters scattered throughout the party.
Two new Sonic games were announced at the party, and each one brought deafening cheers of adulation from the crowd. The first game, titled Sonic Mania, is a nostalgic re-imagining of the original 2D Sonic game style that retains the original pixel art style and classic gameplay. It incorporates acts and zones from Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, and 3, as well as from Sonic CD, and adds completely new zones and acts. Head of the Sonic Team Takashi Lizuka stated, “Sonic Mania was born of our fans' love of the classic 2D platform games...we hope everyone will be both surprised and delighted by this title.”
Near the end of the party, an original Sonic game was revealed that has yet to be titled. It's created by the Sonic team responsible for Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, but few additional details were revealed. This title will be available at retail and digital stores for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo NX during the Holiday Season of 2017.
Additionally it was revealed that the hit mobile game Sonic Dash has been downloaded over 200 million times. To celebrate Sonic's anniversary, Sonic Dash has a special in-game event that includes the Green Hill Zone and Classic Sonic as a playable character. The event will last one week in which players can unlock the Green Hill Zone and Classic Sonic to continue to play with after the event is over. The game is free to play with optional in-app purchases and is available on the App Store, Google Play, Amazon Underground, and Windows Phones.
Lastly, Sonic Boom, the hit animated television series, now airing in over 100 countries, was announced for season two. Attendees at the event were treated to a sneak peek at what's to come for this celebrated action/comedy series. More information about the non-stop adventures starring Sonic and his friends will be announced at a later time. Fans of the show won't have to wait too long for Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice, the Nintendo 3DS game based off it. The game will be launching on September 27th in the US and on September 30th in Europe.
As you can see, Sonic the Hedgehog is aging well and still going strong after twenty-five years. The speedy furball keeps picking up momentum, just like in his his video games, and there's no end to his antics in sight. I, for one, cannot wait to play the final version of Sonic Dash because just seeing it in action brings back memories of the good ol' days of 2d gaming. It will also be a great introduction to the series for newcomers and youngsters.