2022! A Great Year to be a Sonic the Hedgehog Fan!

An overview of peoples’ expectations on “Sonic Frontiers”, and the latest news with the upcoming Netflix cartoon, “Sonic Prime”.

Johnny Chirayil, Social Media Editor

With the success of the movie “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” the blue blur stands back up on his own two feet once again! There’s a lot to come for the Sonic franchise this year with two upcoming games: “Sonic Origins” and “Sonic Frontiers,” and a Netflix animated series: “Sonic Prime.”

SEGA and Sonic Team’s “Sonic Frontiers” is expected to release this holiday season, and I couldn’t be more excited. Since the release of “Sonic Forces” back in 2017, we haven’t had a new mainline Sonic game. Aside from spinoff titles, each mainline game would often release every two to three years.

“Sonic Forces” didn’t perform too well due to its short gameplay, poorly-written story, and clunky control mechanics. This led to many fans going back to the older titles, such as the Adventure series, “Sonic the Hedgehog” (2006), and “Sonic Unleashed.” These games weren’t given a positive response, which is why SEGA and Sonic Team keeps changing their formula. I never played Sonic Forces myself, but I won’t likely have the urge to play due to its reception.

“Sonic Frontiers” looks to be an entirely different experience from previous games. From IGN’s revealed gameplay footage, people can infer that “Frontiers” does not play like any other Sonic game in the past, and I can agree. It does have a similar formula to the boost-style games, but the combat is something new. Instead of going from Point A to Point B, like usual, you’ll be spending most of your time in a vast open zone. Sonic has never done an open-world game in the past, so it’s likely the fans won’t be pleased.

I know that open-world games are popular right now and this isn’t the first time Sonic has tried to keep up with whatever’s trending. Back in 2005, third-person shooters were popular and that led SEGA to create “Shadow the Hedgehog,” where Shadow was allowed to use a gun and many fans weren’t happy with the result. The same thing happened again in 2008, when “Sonic Unleashed” was released. That game gave Sonic the ability to transform into a completely different character with a God of War-like playstyle. Many fans didn’t like that either. Now I’m starting to believe that if SEGA just kept making Sonic games that play similar to the Adventure series, they wouldn’t have this problem. Moreover, I don’t see Sonic as the “open-world” type.

After the gameplay was revealed, many people commented on how soulless the game looked or how it looks like a rushed tech demo. One thing I believe fans should understand is this: It’s only just the beginning. I knew that this would be the kind of gameplay “Sonic Frontiers” would offer after Sonic Team released the announcement trailer. The expectations are way too high. “Sonic Frontiers” isn’t the first game to go through this situation. Many fans had high hopes for “Sonic Forces,” and look how that turned out.

One thing that has always annoyed me is how overly toxic Sonic fans can be. They’ll always have different expectations on how a Sonic game should be played. They should understand that the way they respond is the core reason why Sonic games are continuously changing their formula. Nowadays, people say that today’s Sonic games are mediocre and boring.

However, I believe that “Sonic Frontiers” will be something extraordinary once it makes its full release, and there’ll be more to come afterward if the game becomes a success.

Aside from that, “Sonic Prime” will be arriving on Netflix, which is expected to release in late 2022. So far, we’ve had a sneak peek of the first episode, along with two famous past characters: Big the Cat and Shadow the Hedgehog. No further details have been provided.

I always wondered if Sonic would do another cartoon. The last show we had was “Sonic Boom,” which aired on Cartoon Network from 2014 to 2017. That show focused more on being a comedy than an action show, but it was still fun to watch. Before the sneak peeks, there was leaked concept art from mid-2021 that shows “Sonic Prime” will have a dark and brooding atmosphere, which is something I’m hoping for once the show makes its release.

Overall, I can’t wait to see what both “Sonic Frontiers” and “Sonic Prime” has to offer, and I’m glad to see SEGA is finally giving Sonic his spotlight once again. I know 2022 will be a phenomenal year for our favorite blue hedgehog!