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Sonic the Hedgehog Can’t be Saved With a Movie

The 1991 Sega cash chow franchise Sonic The Hedgehog will finally be hitting the big screen in 2018, according to Sega CEO Hajime Satomi. However, with fan reception of the Sonic series beginning to dwindle, a film may not be the best way to salvage a franchise some are considering is on its last leg.

According to Satomi, “Sega Sammy Group is currently planning with Sony Pictures to create a live-action and animation hybrid ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ movie scheduled for release in 2018. Like with this CG animation production, we would like to expand our business into other entertainment areas beyond what we are currently involved.”

This won’t be the first time Sonic has been on screens, having 2 cartoon series in the 90’s that, while still holding a nostalgic value for some, have not exactly withstood the test of time. Let’s just say it was obviously made to sell more copies of Sonic and not actually make a good cartoon.

The transition to a story-telling medium has never been kind to Sonic in the first place. In addition to the cartoons, we’ve seen games in the franchise try to flesh out the world of Sonic and give it a more complicated plot and story. When this happens, however, we get games like the universally hated Sonic ’06 and Sonic Boom. The problem is that Sonic started out as a game just about running, collecting rings and smashing robots. It was simple, but it kept kids coming back. It felt fun to go fast, and no other game had that kind of rush and adrenaline up until that point. It wasn’t super involved, but by keeping it simple it kept Sonic as a character from getting too annoying too quickly.

Sonic didn’t talk very much, and was meant more to just be a cool and simple design for the gameplay, which was always the emphasis of the early games. Of course, video games have to evolve. Sonic would have never survived if all the games were like the first and never gave us anything interesting, but an emphasis on plot had drifted the series away from its core.

Kids would much rather play a game where they just get to run around, go fast and collect things rather than go through missions and quests. The fact that the original Sonic game was only running, whereas 2014’s Sonic Boom only had running in a few parts of the game illustrates that the core of the series has gotten away from what it once was.

Since complicated plot seems to be the destroyer of Sonic games, a movie is the worst medium to take Sonic to next, especially a live action/animation hybrid movie. Not only does this mean that Sonic is going to be some weird CG creature (which will put his lovable design to the test) but he’s going to have to find a way to be fun and simple with a plot for an hour and a half. It’s hard for a Sonic product to hold a complicated plot and still feel faithful to the original series, because having to make Sonic slow down and do specific tasks takes away from the fast-paced and action packed gameplay that made people like him. No one played Sonic to get a game with an amazing plot and story, they just wanted to have fun. If the past Sonic games show anything about the way the series is headed, a movie may not be the way to make up for the poor sales and bad reception the series has gotten in the past years.

About Shelby Watson

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10 comments

  1. You’re stupid. Sonic 06 is hated because it’s a broken game. The story plot has little to nothing to do with the hate it receives. Aside from the human kissing a hedgehog fiasco.
    I believe a Sonic movie could work if done right.

    • I don’t even know why people think Sonic is done for? One game like Rise of Lyric can’t compare to controversial games like Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic 06, and an uncontrollable game like Sonic and the Secret Rings or Sonic Free Riders… I’m willing to bet this article writer has never played a Sonic game

    • he’s right sonic 06 suck because it glitches a lot

  2. Oh fuck off! Why are people thinking Sonic is doomed! Sonic Boom was only one fucking game! Rise of Lyric wasn’t even that bad anyway. Why do people think that’ll kill the Sonic series. Does Sonic 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog not count for anything? And who plays a Sonic game for the plot?! Sonic Generations had a very thin plot and it was the most successful game in years. The plot theory is out the window… Why don’t you go and actually play a game instead of spouting bullshit?!

  3. Fan working with Sega might actually save Sonic the Hedgehog of course with bad sales recently it is because they’re putting too much time on voice acting the reason why Sonic the Hedgehog adventure or Sonic Adventure was so good is because they put a lot of research they spent a lot of time developing the voice acting was not that great but it was the game play that made it all worthwhile and it is something Sega of America and Sega of Japan are kind of lacking especially the Sonic Team they need to get their things together there’s a hack or I think it is a fan-made game called Sonic the Hedgehog overture which is supposed to take place before the first game putting a lot of time it is proving to be a 17 bit video game which actually feels like a official Sonic game because a lot of time effort and love was put into sonic overture and say can you get back to that time back to the early 90s of course I’m not saying going back to the hole 16 bit systems I’m talking like putting a lot of love and care into Sonic

  4. 2000s Sonic games > Classic Sonic games

    I bet no one expected me to say that. But in all seriousness, I believe that a Sonic game can have good gameplay AND a good story.

  5. Personally, as far as I’m concerned, they jumped the gun with this announcement. Sonic will be around regardless, he’s actually doing much better than he did in the 00’s which was essentially the “dark age” of Sonic. Pretty much anything after Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Colors, and anything after they replaced the voice actors with the ones from that terrible, terrible anime. Roger Craig Smith is the best Sonic since Jaleel White, he’s got a lot of personality, while he is unabashedly cheesy, he delivers each line with confidence and without the excessive exaggeration of Griffith or Drummond.
    Sonic Lost World, despite it’s flaws was a major step in the right direction in a very, very important area of the game, aesthetic. Moving away from the realistic, overly edgy modern landscapes and unnecessarily “deep” plots, it moved back to a simple, charming, brightly colored world, with the most competent gameplay Sonic has seen in years. When I was a kid, I wasn’t into Mario all that much, Sonic was my absolute favorite video game character, and still remains one of my favorites to this day, especially “Classic Sonic”. Sonic 2 and 3 are easily in my top 20 video games of all time, and they were true masterworks. Beyond speed, they had momentum, terrain usage, flow and every single attribute in physics and enemy placement was meticulously designed to feel fast, but also allowing you 100% control of every slight movement you made, something that was lost when Sonic transitioned to 3D with Sonic Adventure; and something that never came back, not even in the Sonic Advance side scrollers or Rush.

    As far as I’m concerned, in the mid-00’s, calling Sonic a “doomed franchise” was legitimate, it was not only limited in the demographics it could appeal to, but it had broken gameplay and a loss of the soul it had at the start. These days, not so much, hell; when you consider Sonic Boom as the separate iteration that it is, it actually isn’t that sorry of a state as a whole. The show is well written and funny for a kid’s show, you can tell all the actors really enjoy playing their parts, it feels sort of akin to The Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog honestly. Plus, for Fire and Ice, they got rid of Big Red Button, apologized to their fans for how awful they’ve been *which they absolutely and undeniably have, and Generations, Colors and Lost World combined did not even come close to compensating for how much they’ve driven the soul of the franchise into the ground*, NOTE: They have NEVER apologized for anything until now. Just saying, they even delayed Fire and Ice for quality control. If Fire and Ice is a good game, then Sonic Boom is redeemed imo, a good TV series and a good game? Nice.

    Plus, Sonic’s PR guy is an absolute master of the internet, whoever they are; they’re hilarious and they really inspire confidence in fan interaction with a significant amount of self-awareness. Soon there will be a game announcement, which I predict considering the hype and the direction of the franchise as of late may be the last chance Sonic has to actually regain mass appeal. I truly hope so.

    One last aside, there were a couple of good Sonic games in the 00’s, the only problem with those is that they were entirely directed toward early teens and pre-teens. Sonic was “cool” for those demographics, but lost the cross-demographic appeal he did as a silent protagonist akin to Mickey Mouse or Felix the Cat.

    The “objectively good” Sonic games are as follows.
    1. Anything released between 1991-1994 on the Genesis, and some game gear titles.
    2. Sonic Advance/Rush Series
    3. Sonic Generations
    4. Sonic Adventure 2
    5. Sonic Colors
    6. Sonic Lost World
    7. Sonic Heroes

    The objectively and subjectively questionable Sonic games are as follows.
    1. Sonic 06
    2. Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric/Shattered Crystal
    3. Sonic Unleashed
    4. Shadow The Hedgehog

    Now, this does not mean you can’t like these games, and honestly you shouldn’t be insulted if you do; but acknowledging the loss of cross-demographic appeal as well as the broken gameplay and forced “coolness” is a good idea if you don’t want to get flamed and give Sonic fans a worse rep than they already have.

    A lot of it is nostalgia, I absolutely LOVE the first Sonic Adventure, I hated Sonic Adventure 2, but Sonic Adventure 2 is a much better game than the first one objectively. It was paced better, didn’t have fishing segments, had a better story and had generally better and more polished gameplay.

    It bums me out when people say Sonic is either dead or needs to be saved, Sonic just needs to get his bearings and stay with them for long enough for SEGA to gain enough money to release enough games regularly after having learned their lesson. Classic, Modern, and Boom Sonic should coexist, they should all have their own games appealing to their own playerbases, because they are completely different characters.

    I am done ranting now. Here’s to 2016 for Sonic!

    • I somewhat agree bloodshots. I personally like every Sonic game I’ve played apart from Sonic 06. That’s the only one that pissed me off me than gave me fun. I royally hate that people say Sonic is dead because of Sonic Lost World and the Boom games not being better than Sonic Generations… It’s only 2 main console games. Do the games from 2004 to 2008 not speak for themselves?

      Rise of Lyric wasn’t the worst game in the world, and I think, with Sonic Boom, people are just jumping the gun and assuming everything was bad. The TV Show is good, and Fire and Ice… it’s not been released yet. We’ve got no right to say it’s bad.

      As a 20 year long Sonic fan, I’ve got good faith in Sonic. I’m a lifelong lover of Sonic. I can’t turn on him now.

  6. Nonsense, Sonic’s Archie comic books are pretty good! They also been around since forever.

  7. the only reason why people don’t like shadow the hedgehog video game was because of the cursing and guns. The gameplay in my opinion was actually pretty good. Also a sonic movie can help sonic because the mario movie was terrible so if the sonic movie comes out great sonic can catch up to mario.