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2022 - Amazing Year For Sonic


MetalSkulkBane

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We've been feasting so good that I'm checking the kitchen cabinet for poison, it's been suspiciously great this year. Even Origins with it's problems is still decent for what it is (especially with the new cutscenes) so I'd say this was the actual 30th anniversary year, lol.

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It’s been such a good year that I’m actually feeling a bit down over next year not being able to deliver as much 😅 though we will have the rest of Prime at some point (or at several points) in 2023 and the Frontiers DLC and the comics so that’s good at least. I think it will be missing much of the hype of 2022 though.

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4 minutes ago, Indigo Rush said:

We've been feasting so good that I'm checking the kitchen cabinet for poison, it's been suspiciously great this year. Even Origins with it's problems is still decent for what it is (especially with the new cutscenes) so I'd say this was the actual 30th anniversary year, lol.

Ironically, it probably ended up being such a good year since SEGA were prevented from rushing things to yet another anniversary date.

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Heck, individual characters have had a stellar year as well:

 

Tails:

  • Major role in Movie 2
  • Tails 30th anniversary comic
  • Alternate self Nine is one of the major plot-important characters in Prime
  • Starred in his own informational short series, TailsTube

Knuckles

  • Pretty much the co-star of Movie 2
  • Starred in the Frontiers prequel short, Divergence

Eggman

  • Got a super form in Movie 2
  • Had an excellent showing in IDW 50, defeating Starline
  • Character development by becoming Sage's father in Frontiers
  • Chaos Council in Prime giving us five Eggmans as the villains.

It's been a strong year for Sonic and most of his main cast. 

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1 hour ago, caitash said:

It’s been such a good year that I’m actually feeling a bit down over next year not being able to deliver as much 😅 though we will have the rest of Prime at some point (or at several points) in 2023 and the Frontiers DLC and the comics so that’s good at least. I think it will be missing much of the hype of 2022 though.

Look at it this way, everything will have a little "second helping".

Movie-verse will give us the Knuckles TV Show
Frontiers will have DLC
Prime will have the next seasons
and IDW will, well, continue (presumably Tails Tube as well).
 

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a mess of half-baked ideas and pandering that's funnily enough, still tracking below most major releases on RT and Metacritic, despite everyone counting it as some kind of win. Sonic Origins is still riddled with bugs even though it's the only official way to play the classics on most modern consoles. It's also arbitrarily missing features that the Sonic CD port that they delisted had. Sonic Frontiers was mechanically a hot mess of half baked ideas that shipped without a back half and left me feeling cold despite the "positive" buzz. The only real highlight for me was the Surge arc finally reaching a satisfying crescendo in the comic. I haven't gotten around to Sonic Prime yet, because Sonic has already left enough of a bad taste in my mouth this year. Maybe when it's done. 

It was alright. A lot of major releases but not a whole lot to write home about. I would take one thing that was cool over a lot of mediocre things. 

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Don’t really care what the “objective scale” of quality these products are determined by myself (even still none of them were outright badly recieved anyway), I only care about my own personal enjoyment for the most part. Sonic 2 I had a real fun time watching, Prime was pretty good, IDW still going strong, 2D animated stuff in Origins and the Frontiers prequel killed, and Frontiers itself was a decent package with very solid promises of more to come. I only haven’t played Origins because part of me is holding out for physical, plus any patches and price lowering that could occur. Overall it’s been a year I definitely was more engaged in this franchise then I have been in years 

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There's definitely been more stuff from Sonic than usual, but I can't say I'm too happy with the quality of what they've put out. Movie 2 was passable if you just want your Sonic fix but doesn't offer much beyond that, Origins is ultimately just the same games I've already played to exhaustion and has enough issues that it fails to feel definitive, IDW Sonic is moving along well enough but never really feels worth getting excited about, and I really don't like much of anything about Frontiers. Prime's my pick for best Sonic thing this year, and even it is just a pretty good cartoon so far, clearly aimed at kids but with enough going on to keep my interest as a Sonic fan, not some huge win for the series.

It's far from the worst year Sonic's had, but i definitely wouldn't call it anywhere near amazing.

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Hmm. I could take the cynical route or the optimistic route. I'll take the third option and say this was an above-average year. Only thing I can say I really enjoyed though with no caveats is the IDW comics and even then I fee like they still haven't quite reached their full potential, same with Prime.  Origins is a worse version of games I've played already and Frontiers is just passable in my book. The Movie is also merely passable. 

I kind of get why this year has been celebrated so thoroughly given its the most public attention the series has gotten in decades...that isn't negative. But at the same time, I wish the products we were getting were much better than what they are. 

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The best win in Sonic's book is that his reputation is on quite a high rise. Nothing was outright negative and was overall set towards positive. Not to say his reputation was really as low as it was back in the mid 2000s, but this year reminded the gaming community as a whole, why he's a mainstay.

And even taking some critical scores in mind, personal enjoyment was definitely there and in full swing.

The "worst" of the bunch was Origins, but even that's still a good collection. Everything else has been getting tons of praise, the likes of which Sonic hasn't had in a while. And Origins was still a relatively solid experience, especially with the new cutscenes and doing it's part in helping to solidify the narrative and continuity of the series.

As funny an obvious backtracking as it was, this year for Sonic was apparently good enough that IGN decided to walk back the "Sonic was never good narrative".

The movies have both gone a great length in washing away the stigma of bad video game movies (and ironically,  even "Ugly Sonic" found his own calling lol). Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in particular was a fantastic step up for video game adaptation standards,  with promises of a keen series and an even bigger sequel in the works.

The comics have been strong as ever with great showings for the characters.

And then came Frontiers. A game that allowed us to see the potential Sonic Team can really start to crank out without being rushed by SEGA. Good on Iizuka for holding the line against them. Frontiers brought back a lot if what Adventure fans had been missing, what current fans had been asking for, and throwing in some new stuff, to give a great experience. One that's betting them an immense amount of sales, making Frontiers one of the best received, and fastest selling games.

Frontiers also had the honor of having a huge follower base and hosting a Soundtrack so grand,  it charted in the Top 10 on Spotify,  both in the US and Globally!

The surprises would only continue with the revelation of DLC to come for the game, providing even the likes of a new story campaign and playable characters in mainline game.

Capping off this year was Sonic Prime. Like Frontiers, it had had something of an iffy first impression,  but with a successful launch, as Prime has also cracked Number 3 on Top Netflix shows Worldwide with it being Number 1 in the kids section.

It's been pretty great for Sonic on a unified tree with all the branches of his franchise succeeding.

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3 minutes ago, Jovahexeon Jax Joranvexeon said:

As funny an obvious backtracking as it was, this year for Sonic was apparently good enough that IGN decided to walk back the "Sonic was never good narrative".

It is important to remember that this was one guy, not IGN as a whole. The site has given very good reviews to plenty of Sonic games before and after that one-off comment.

The whole "gaming press has it out for Sonic" thing has always been overblown, but it is still nice to see them humorously acknowledge it in their own way.

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11 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

It is important to remember that this was one guy, not IGN as a whole. The site has given very good reviews to plenty of Sonic games before and after that one-off comment.

The whole "gaming press has it out for Sonic" thing has always been overblown, but it is still nice to see them humorously acknowledge it in their own way.

Pretty much. IGN had been more tongue-in-cheek with it, hence why I mentioned it being funny.

But still, they were good sports about it, and it should be put to bed now.

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I agree that 2022 was a really good year for Sonic.  For one thing, they had a major movie (Sonic the Hedgehog 2) that performed very well in theaters.  Then, they had their first major game in years (Sonic Frontiers) that received a more positive reception than the previous Sonic the Hedgehog games and actually made an impact in Japan.  Then, the IDW comics reached issue 50 and is still going on strong.  Then, they made a brand-new TV series (Sonic Prime) that so far has been received positively and then they released a new origins game (Sonic Origins) that's actually trying to bring continuity back to the franchise.  Also, the secondary characters like Knuckles and Tails actually got a lot more attention this year than they did in the previous years.

Were there some problems with Sonic this year? Sure. Like, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had some pacing issues and I wished that they written Tails a bit better in the movie.  Both Sonic Frontiers and Sonic Origins still had some problems with the gameplay that's been plaguing the franchise for years.  Sonic Prime can be a bit all over the place with its plot and the IDW comics has the controversy with how Sonic himself is being written.

But overall, I say that this was one of the best years for Sonic the Hedgehog in a while and I hope that they continue to improve upon this franchise in the near future.

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Even if not everything that released this year regarding Sonic was "perfect", it was still a pretty great year for him. Especially compared to the past, what, decade?

Frontiers released, did extremely well and surprised a lot of people that it was actually a decent-to-good Sonic game for once (objectively, sure it could be a mess. But as far as your average casual cares, it was a good game warts and all). Plus with even more content coming throughout 2023 thanks to its success, Sonic Team seems to finally have a winning formula on their hands. Don't screw this up, ST.

Movie 2 released, which was just more of the same with Movie 1 so your enjoyment of it kind of hinges on how much you liked the first one. Mainly beneficial in getting kids interested in Sonic, since after seeing the movie I'm sure some of them want to research more about the funny blue animal that just watched on screen. I feel so sorry for the inevitable group of kids that find their way to archie before the other sonic medias when searching "sonic story."

Origins released, which while not perfect by any means, are more than acceptable ways to play the classic games. It has its problems and faults, sure, but a lot of those are just nitpicks that your average kid/newfan who buys the game after watching Sonic in theaters won't even notice. The people who have asked me where to start with Sonic after they got their interest peaked with the movies/frontiers, I always point them to Origins. They haven't played these games their entire lives like most of the people here have, so most of the "problems" we have with the game probably won't even get noticed by them.

Then you've got still important but slightly-less ground shattering stuff such as IDW or Prime as supplementary material, keeping those branches of the fanbase happy and once more serving to introduce people to this franchise.

 

Sonic 2022 may not be the perfect pinnacle for Sonic, and that's okay. This year seemed to really focus on building (or rebuilding, depending on how you want to look at it) the fanbase with both new and old fans. Games like Origins and Frontiers giving people great starting points, media like Prime or Movie 2 to satisfy the tv/movie-goers crowd. And even your readers can be satisfied through the likes of IDW. Sonic has definitely returned to his multi-media empire this year, and I love to see it.

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I said before that 2022 was gonna be a success if it simply didn't fuck anything up majorly, and it didn't. Nothing perfect happened, but nothing was a disaster, and that's honestly what the series needed for a year so saturated with Sonic content. I have no doubt 2023 and maybe even 2024 will be relatively quiet years for the series, but I've been left optimistic. Hell, if Frontiers is setting the standard, maybe 2026 will be the first anniversary ending in a 5 to have a really good game attached to it.

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1 hour ago, Shaddy Zaphod said:

I said before that 2022 was gonna be a success if it simply didn't fuck anything up majorly, and it didn't. Nothing perfect happened, but nothing was a disaster, and that's honestly what the series needed for a year so saturated with Sonic content. I have no doubt 2023 and maybe even 2024 will be relatively quiet years for the series, but I've been left optimistic. Hell, if Frontiers is setting the standard, maybe 2026 will be the first anniversary ending in a 5 to have a really good game attached to it.

Well, between the Frontiers updates and DLC, the comics and the Knuckles Series apparently coming next year, plus more "seasons" of Prime, I'd say that they're at least keeping the momentum up enough at a good enough pace across 2023.

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9 minutes ago, Shaddy Zaphod said:

We don't have any real information about any of that stuff, though. I'm not making any judgements until I see it.

As has been advertised (or inferred in Prime's case) though, it's set to come out on 2023 (not sure on ALL of the DLC, but we're at least supposed to get some of it next year if not all; depends on how much work it'll all take).

Now, obviously, how good they'll be, we'll have to wait and see, but as far as we know, it's not like 2023 is set to be a dry year for Sonic.

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Well, it was certainly a big year for Sonic, that's for sure. A lot of things came out at once. A movie, a show, a major game, a collection of the classics, the comics had a milestone, and we even got some animated shorts. If you're a fan of new Sonic things happening, then this was probably the best year for you in ages. And if you're a fan of the lore, there's now a franchise-wide attempt at unifying it, as the cherry on top.

Personally, would I say it was a "good" year though?

...You know, I guess it was decent. I do not like the movies at all, Origins was a mess and Frontiers was very underwhelming in a lot of ways. But IDW's doing pretty good for itself, Origins's cutscenes and the Frontiers Knuckles short are fantastic, the Tails 30th Anniversary comic is adorable, and Prime (despite it's faults) seems a pretty pleasant surprise. And while I have some problems with it's execution, I'm very happy about Sonic attempting to establish a brand identity / continuity, especially after the movies just kinda ran off with it's own Sonic.

Still, not really great. To the less cynical person, this is maybe a good start. And I'd agree somewhat to that. But the series as a whole is still far from earning my trust back. And with the only thing in the known future roadmap to be "more Sonic movies" and "more Frontiers content" I can't say that's all that ensuring, to me. But ah well.

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4 hours ago, azoo said:

Well, it was certainly a big year for Sonic, that's for sure. A lot of things came out at once. A movie, a show, a major game, a collection of the classics, the comics had a milestone, and we even got some animated shorts. If you're a fan of new Sonic things happening, then this was probably the best year for you in ages. And if you're a fan of the lore, there's now a franchise-wide attempt at unifying it, as the cherry on top.

Personally, would I say it was a "good" year though?

...You know, I guess it was decent. I do not like the movies at all, Origins was a mess and Frontiers was very underwhelming in a lot of ways. But IDW's doing pretty good for itself, Origins's cutscenes and the Frontiers Knuckles short are fantastic, the Tails 30th Anniversary comic is adorable, and Prime (despite it's faults) seems a pretty pleasant surprise. And while I have some problems with it's execution, I'm very happy about Sonic attempting to establish a brand identity / continuity, especially after the movies just kinda ran off with it's own Sonic.

Still, not really great. To the less cynical person, this is maybe a good start. And I'd agree somewhat to that. But the series as a whole is still far from earning my trust back. And with the only thing in the known future roadmap to be "more Sonic movies" and "more Frontiers content" I can't say that's all that ensuring, to me. But ah well.

This is more or less exactly where I'm at too. It's been an eventful year for Sonic and the products that we've gotten are certainly on better side of average.

  • I happen to have really enjoyed both movies more than I ever expected to, so that's nice. The second movie was a decent time. 
  • Origins was a sloppy mess that really makes me lament the fact that SEGA hasn't changed, but it's still the best official way to play the Classics. If I wasn't an avid Sonic fan and therefore was unaware of the multitude of ways that Origins fell short, I'd rank it highly.
  • Frontiers is the first good 3D Sonic game since Generations. That's not high praise though, and I personally see it going the way of Colours in the future. Frontiers disappoints me immensely because of just how much it doesn't fix from previous games.
  • The 2D new animations this year were top notch. 
  • Prime is pretty good too. It's got its highs and lows, but its almost exclusively on the positive side. 
  • Sonic Speed Simulator is something I'll never touch with a 20-foot pole. It's a very effective way of getting the brand out there to a new audience though, I guess? 

Sonic feels relevant this year in a way that it hasn't for a very, very long time. I'm glad about that. But the series is still failing to meet standards where it counts, particularly when it comes to the games. And frankly, I don't know how anyone can say otherwise. Origins and Frontiers were not slam-dunk wins. And with Frontiers specifically, the average critic scores land around the low 70s with consistently wide variation. Neither the high- nor low scores are outliers. You might like Frontiers, you might think it's one of your favourite games of all time but... It's far from a general consensus. My only hope is that the impressive sales figures result in more investment in future games. 

I've drifted into talking about Frontiers here. Regardless of everything else, the SEGA-produced games are the central pillar of the franchise. And they're just alright. I can't be too full of praise when there's so much I'll not happy with. Painting it as just pessimism or cynicism isn't really right either. I wish that Sonic could come remotely close to the standards of other gaming franchises. At the very least, I wish the games would stop making the same mistakes. How am I supposed to be optimistic when so little has changed? 

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1 hour ago, Blue Blood said:

. You might like Frontiers, you might think it's one of your favourite games of all time but... It's far from a general consensus.

Eh, that's debatable. If we're really going off of just what critics say....maybe, But player reactions have generally been positive. So, in that case, the consensus is positive. Obviously, there's still room for improvement, but no, really the high talks around the game have been positive throughout the gaming community.

And it's not the first time critical dissonance has been an occurence at that as well.

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Frontiers definitely isn't loved by all but I think overall reception is enough of a net win to say that people are actively interested in future 3D games again, which definitely wasn't the case with games like Lost World or Forces. That's mostly what matters here, even if I do wish that Frontiers by itself came out a bit less sloppy.

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