SEGA Uploads Clean Version of Sonic Superstars’ Opening Animation

SEGA has uploaded a clean version of that Sonic Superstars opening animation that we recorded during our Summer Game Fest coverage last month. With this, we also get our first taste of the game’s soundtrack! It seems Tee Lopes has confirmed that this particular track was produced by both him and Jun Senoue.

You can check it out at the Sonic the Hedgehog Youtube channel, or in the embed below:

Sonic Superstars is expected to launch sometime this fall. 

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Jakks Pacific To Livestream SDCC 2023 Panel

Jakks Pacific, the prolific manufacturers of various Sonic toys, will have a panel at this years San Diego Comic Con. The panel will take place July 21 at 9PM EST. The panel will be livestreamed on their Instagram at /jakkspacific.toys, though we will also have someone on the ground to provide coverage!

New reveals can be expected this panel, though chances are at least some of them will be ones that have already been leaked, such as their upcoming Blaze figure. Nevertheless, we should at least get time frames for upcoming waves!

via Twitter

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ESRB Gives Sonic Superstars a “E” For Everyone Rating

The ESRB has given Sonic Superstars its US content rating, and yes, it’s what you’d expect: E for Everyone. Obviously, this isn’t especially surprising, since every Sonic game has been rated E or E10, even the one where Shadow goes out of his way to curse and murder Dr. Eggman.

Sonic Superstars’ received its E rating for “mild fantasy violence.” The rating also mentions in-game purchases, and lists the following as the game’s rating summary:

This is an action platformer in which players assume the roles of Sonic and his friends as they zoom around colorful zones and attempt to defeat Dr. Robotnik. As players speed through whimsical environments, they can jump on enemies’ heads, causing them to transform into small creatures; Sonic and friends react to damage by losing coin-like rings and falling off-screen when defeated. Boss battles can depict more protracted combat, with cartoony explosions.

Sonic Superstars is expected to release sometime this Fall, with a leaked release date of October 17.

via ESRB

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YouTube Goes After Balena Production’s Sonic Animations, Marking Them “Made For Kids”

It’s no secret that Youtube isn’t exactly the best place for animators these days. From radical shifts in the algorithm to unfriendly policy changes, animation channels have had it rough. Youtube’s latest method of making things difficult for animators stems from its habit of forcing random animated videos to be marked as “Made for Kids,” seemingly only because the video in question features animation and children-friendly characters.

Amongst the channels they’ve seemingly targeted in order to force this designation is the Sonic animation channel Balena Productions. They’ve been going after Balena since last year, marking several of their videos as “made for kids.” Balena’s latest video, their “Sonic in Scared Stupid: The Final Chapter” preview video, was hit by this not long after it was uploaded. You can check it out below, but be forewarned, this “kids” video features a werehog zombie with its flesh falling off:

So, why is this such a big deal? Videos hit by this designation have their ability to do well in Youtube’s algorithm neutered, while also having their comments disabled, and existing comments deleted. And as a side effect, videos that clearly aren’t made with kids in mind end up finding their way into Youtube’s supposedly kid-friendly app, effectively defeating the purpose of the whole thing.

To give you an idea of how targeted towards animation this is, even our own Youtube has been affected by this, with most of our uploads focusing on animation from the games forcibly being marked “Made for Kids.” The latest video of ours to be hit by this was our off-screen recording of Sonic Superstars’ animated opening. Our other off-screen recordings of the game remain untouched.

What Made for Kids does to a video’s metrics.

But what is a minor annoyance for us can be apocalyptic for channels like Balena Productions, which relies on their channel’s ad revenue to fund their animations. Since MFK videos do very poorly in Youtube’s algorithm, that limits a video’s views, and thus its ability to generate revenue, affecting a channel’s ability to survive. Of course, when a video is marked MFK, it can be appealed, both through Youtube’s built-in appeal system and through Twitter, but these appeals are often rejected, sometimes within minutes of the appeal being made. Anyone who follows Balena on Twitter is probably familiar with how this typically goes with Team Youtube at this point. They’ve sometimes managed to get the designation removed from a video, but it’s always a fight.

What’s especially strange about all this is that it even goes against Youtube’s own policies, as Balena has pointed out. Specifically, videos made for “everyone” aren’t required to bear this designation. Balena’s videos are not usually brimming with cursing and gore, but they are very much something made for general audiences, something many of their videos note at their start (though this doesn’t always save them.)

Another video that got hit with MFK earlier this year.

So…what can be done about this? Well, you can check out the marked videos for one, like the ones we embedded above. You can also watch older videos and like, comment, and subscribe on the affected channels. You can see what Steven Page had to say about this at his Sonic Revolution panel here.

In the meantime, Youtube’s policy adds even more uncertainty and stress to animation Youtubers who are typically already dealing with a lot. On Twitter, Page has increasingly indicated that, due to Youtube’s policies, continuing to make these animations is becoming untenable. He may be near the end of his rope, “For the past week since the teaser was flagged, I’ve had a migraine and mild panic attacks. I also haven’t been sleeping much, and I feel numbness traveling through my body. It’s a ton of pressure to even stand up to these creeps, and it’s not worth it anymore.”

Hopefully, YouTube will eventually change this strange policy. The whole point of Youtube Kids is to make Youtube compliant to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (or COPPA). Something tells me that forcing videos featuring zombified hedgehogs and a violent video game death to be made for kids doesn’t exactly make them COPPA compliant. Youtube’s community of animators deserve better than this.

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New Info Uncovered On Canned Sister Sonic Game

Back in the early 90s, Sonic was so big that SEGA was ready to put him on everything. That includes a remake of Nihon Falcom’s popular PC88 sidescrolling action-RPG “Popful Mail.” For decades, it was thought that the game was once going to be localized in the West as “Sister Sonic,” before being mysteriously canceled in favor of a straight-up localization of Popful Mail. As it turns out, that isn’t the full story. The people at Did You Know Gaming have discovered that Sister Sonic wasn’t just a western localization of the game, but it was going to be the SEGA CD version of said game, with an altered story to suit the new character.

This revelation comes from DYKG’s latest Sonic video. In it, they reveal that they dug through various Japanese language primary sources, discovering in an interview that Sister Sonic was to be one of five initial games developed under SEGA Falcom, a joint venture between SEGA and Falcom meant to remake Falcom games for SEGA hardware.

In an interview from the November 1992 issue of BEEP! Megadrive, which DYKG used as a source, SEGA Falcom’s director said that they chose this direction because “it makes more sense for us to use Sonic, who’s already popular all around the world.” He also confirmed that, despite the name, the game wasn’t about “Sonic’s sister” but instead a female relative. She was to be the first female Sonic character, She would still be a bounty hunter, like Popful Mail, but she would be a “more mature girl” with a “flirtatious and sexy charm.”

At the time of the interview, Sister Sonic was one of five SEGA Falcom games in development, and also the furthest along. It was expected to release in Japan and overseas with Japanese subtitles at nearly the same time. Ultimately, a letter writing campaign from Popful Mail fans would cause SEGA to rethink its plans, leading to Sister Sonic’s cancellation.

Popful Mail would eventually launch for the MEGA CD in April 1994, followed by an American release in February of ‘95. These days, Popful Mail is considered a SEGA CD classic and one of the best games on the platform, though the US localization is generally considered a downgrade due to its difficulty being increased during localization. Thankfully, there is a fan patch out there. These days, the game is quite rare, and typically goes for a pretty penny.

You can find the full Did You Know Gaming video here.

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Photo of New 4” Blaze the Cat Figure From Jakks Pacific Leaked

The first image of Jakks Pacific’s upcoming Blaze the Cat figure, which had its listing leaked earlier this year, has been…leaked. In addition to Blaze, photos the entirety of the fourteenth wave of Jakks Pacific 4” figures, which she is a part of, has also been leaked. Interestingly, we have brand new figures of Modern Knuckles and a new variant of modern Sonic. The final figure, Shadow, is a simple re-release.

This leak comes courtesy of Sonic Merch News, whom posted the images to their Twitter earlier today. Check out the toys in the gallery below.

It is currently unknown when these toys will release, though since we now have images, they are probably coming later this year.

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AEGIS-CWA Wins Election, SEGA of America Has Officially Unionized

The results of an election that would determine whether or not SEGA of America workers will unionize are in, and it’s official: they are now unionized. This makes SoA’s union, AEGIS-CWA, the largest multi-department union in the game industry. The results weren’t especially close, at 91 for, 26 against. AEGIS must now go to the bargaining table with SEGA management to hammer out a union contract.

You can read all about what led to the union forming here. This election comes months after AEGIS announced its formation and requested voluntary recognition from SEGA management. When SEGA refused to grant it, an election date for the union was chosen near the end of May. A few weeks later AEGIS accused SEGA management of interfering with their right to organize ahead of the election. AEGIS said SEGA management “initiated an anti-union campaign.”

So, where do things go from here? Well, I’m no expert on unions, but I’ve followed unions enough that I think I can give you a broad idea. For one, SEGA and AEGIS representatives will need to meet to work out the details of a union contract. This contract will cover a certain number of years, and guarantee SEGA employees certain benefits. This tweet likely gives us an idea of what AEGIS will be trying to get.

Once union leaders have a tentative contract with SEGA management, they will take it to their union members for a vote. If a plurality of members vote for the contract, it becomes official. If SEGA and AEGIS are unable to agree on a contract that can win a vote from members, a strike becomes a possibility. A union may authorize a strike ahead of or during negotiations. If a contract can’t be agreed upon, AEGIS members will be able to strike, which will allow them to refuse to work until a contract is signed. We are a long way from a strike, however. AEGIS hasn’t given us any sort of time table for when a contract will be agreed to, but we’ll know more in the coming weeks and months.

via Twitter

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Did You Know Gaming Reveals Sonic Chronicles 2 Plot Details

Sonic’s only foray into the RPG genre, Sonic Chronicles, famously ended on a cliffhanger, one developer Bioware had plans to resolve in a sequel. Nearly 13 years later, that sequel seems extremely unlikely to happen, but we at leas finally have some idea of how it’s plot would have played out, thanks to research done by Did You Know Gaming.

In a new video released earlier today, DYKG dished on the canned sequels plot. The previous game ended with the defeat of Ix, the Nocturnes echidna clan chief, in the Twilight Cage pocket dimension. Upon returning to Earth, Sonic and friends found that their world had been conquered by Eggman. Sonic Chronicles 2 would start with Sonic’s friends being separated and forming separate parties in different parts of the world. The world has now been remade in Dr. Eggman’s image: people have been rounded up and enslaved, with world landmarks like the Pyramids of Giza and the Eiffel Tower remade in Dr. Eggman’s image.


This all came from DYKG’s interview with Sonic Chronicles Lead Designer Miles Holmes. In the video, Holmes compares the game to Terminator’s future on a few occasions, saying Eggman’s machines have created a very dystopic “Terminator future.” Eventually, the aforementioned different parties will start freeing populations from around the world, so that they can “build a multinational army to storm Eggman’s base and restore world order.”

Just before Eggman’s defeat, a God alluded to in the previous game, Argus, shows up, forcing Sonic and Eggman to team up to defeat him. Even Super Sonic isn’t enough to defeat Argus. During what is presumably the game’s final boss fight, Eggman has to fire Super Sonic out his “mega death laser” to even beat the boss’s first phase. This weakens Argus enough to allow all of the races imprisoned by Argus to escape, and engage in a climactic final battle to defeat the god.

The aftermath would apparently re-establish the status quo (echidnas aside), with Dr. Eggman running off again. DYKG also says that Shade and Knuckles will be able to “continue Knuckles’ bloodline.” The game would end with a final teaser that would set up future plot points: the reason Argus imprisoned races in the Twilight Cage to begin with. An oracle told Argus that one day, he would die at the hands of a mortal, so Argus trapped the universe’s most powerful races in the Twilight Cage.

In reality, however, the oracle was tricking Argus into building a team that would eventually destroy him. The identity and motivation of this oracle, or as Holmes calls them, a “trickster god,” was something that could be explored further in future games. Any future games would not have been made by BioWare, however, since they considered their obligations finished after the first game.



The video also reveals that Takashi Iizuka expressed interest in using Shade and Argus in other games, meaning that Chronicles could have had a larger impact on the franchise had it been allowed to continue. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t really give us any new insights on why a sequel never happened, though they speculate that it might have been due to the Ken Penders lawsuits. They interview both Penders and Holmes on the lawsuit, but we aren’t really given any new insights.

You can find the full video here. The video also reveals new info on Sister Sonic and Sonic Day, which we will cover later!

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Yuji Naka Sentenced, Fined Millions, Likely to Avoid Jail Time

Yuji Naka, the man best known as the co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, NiGHTS into Dreams, and his work on Phantasy Star, has been been sentenced to two and a half years of prison, but that sentence has been suspended for four year, during which time he’ll be on probation. Provided he has no trouble with the law, he’ll never serve time in prison. He has also fined two separate times for ¥20 million and ¥170 million, or a total of roughly $1.25 million USD.

This comes after a seven-month-long legal battle where Naka attempted to, among other things, blame his secretary for giving him information he wasn’t supposed to have in an attempt to get a lighter sentence.

via Twitter

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TSS (Mini) Review: Sonic Prime Season 2’s Debut Episode Brings in Shadow and Ups the Action

Sonic Prime Season 2’s debut episode is almost everything I was hoping it would be…up until the final moments. Shadow, who was only scantly featured in the show’s first 8 episode batch, features in a big way here, and he’s the best he’s been in any official media in literal years. 

The episode begins right where the previous season left off, with Sonic encountering Shadow after being blasted out of the pirate world. This begins an extended exposition sequence as Sonic learns about the void between shatterspaces, Shadow’s predicament, and most importantly: the fate of Green Hill and how it can be restored.

Shadow is a true highlight through all this. His characterization has been…controversial amongst some fans over the last several years, and while I find it all overblown, it’s still hard for me to disagree. SEGA has long seemed content to leave Shadow as a flat, cardboard caricature of a character, one who likes no one, needs nothing, and is one-hundred-percent pure-uncut grade-A angst. 

It’s subtle, but Prime’s Shadow is emotive and motivated in ways he hasn’t really been allowed to be since the Archie Sonic days. This is largely thanks to a combination of Ian Hanlin’s stellar voice work, the effectively animated acting, and the solid script. This gives Shadow’s characterization some depth, making him feel less like Angsty McAngsterson and more like Sonic’s more serious, scolding older brother. 

Shadow’s clearly angry over Sonic’s careless actions, distraught over what’s happened to Green Hill and its denizens, and genuinely appears to care about what’s going on. One big issue i’ve long had with Shadow over the last 15 years is that it’s never really been clear to me what motivates him to do good. Was it duty to GUN? An obligation to Maria? Since it hasn’t really felt like he actually cares about anyone, why fight Eggman? 

In Sonic Prime, the answer seems to be that Shadow genuinely does care about people, even if he remains pretty standoffish about it. Like I said: it’s subtle, but it’s definitely evident here, and that makes a world of difference when it comes to Shadow as a character. Hopefully this is a sign that SEGA is loosening its grip on Shadow, but even if it isn’t, I’m just glad Prime got to do this with him.

Shadow’s scolding of Sonic eventually leads to fisticuffs between him and the blue blur, and that’s when we get to the episode’s other highlight: the action. The action sequences of Prime were a highlight in the initial 8 episodes, but the fight between Sonic and Shadow is truly something special. This is the sort of Sonic action I’ve been waiting decades for.

Sonic and Shadow’s fight is fast and exciting, full of dynamic camera angles, superb choreography, and the sort combat you could only hope to get from a properly animated Sonic versus Shadow fight. This, more than anything else, really makes me hope Sonic Prime can exist beyond its initial season, and maybe explore other story arcs and corners of Sonic’s world. Just imagine the possibilities if they were able to bring characters like Surge into this show!

Unfortunately, by the end of the episode, it’s clear this isn’t about to become a Sonic and Shadow adventure. Shadow is still locked out of the shatterspaces, thus also locking him out of most of the plot. I admit, I hoped Shadow would join the show’s main cast with this episode, since an adventure focused around Sonic and Shadow having to work together simply sounds fun. Alas, that is not to be, at least not for now. Maybe in the final batch of the show’s 24 episodes?

Nevertheless, Sonic Prime’s second batch of episodes looks to be expanding on the shatterverse crossovers that started happening at the end of season 1. I am definitely looking forward to seeing the various versions of each character interact.

Sonic Prime’s second season is set to debut on Netflix July 13.

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Sonic Frontiers Charts As the 18th Best Selling Game of 2023 in US

Sonic Frontiers may be a 2022 release, but it’s still managing to chart, as a top selling game in 2023! As of May, Sonic Frontiers amongst the year’s 20 best selling games, hanging on at the 18th spot, the same place it held back in April. This comes despite the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which instantly took the number two spot on the chart.

This info comes courtesy of Circana Group, formerly NPD Group, which has long tracked US video game sales. The chart below was released by NPD analyst Matt Piscatella on his Twitter.

While Sonic Frontiers has managed to stay in the top 20 for 2023, it did not manage to chart in May-only sales.

via Twitter

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Sonic SatAM Juices Back To DVD With New Complete Series Set

DiC’s Sonic the Hedgehog, AKA Sonic SatAM, is finally returning to DVD with a new box set from NCircle. A pre-order listing for the DVD has appeared on Amazon, with a price of $19.99 and a release date of September 19, 2023. The series will be printed on two DVDs, and has new box art. The listing and the box art do not mention this containing any of the extras from the old Shout! Factory box set, which unfortunately may mean it won’t have them.

Check out the DVD’s box art below:

Sonic SatAM was among the last Sonic cartoons to still be out of print, with Sonic X, Sonic Underground, Sonic Boom, and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog all receiving complete series releases over the last few years. NCircle has been responsible for the bulk of these releases.

You can pre-order the DVD here.

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SEGA Files a Trademark for Sonic & Friends

SEGA has filed a trademark for what appears to be another Sonic game, “Sonic & Friends.” The trademark was published today in the Japanese trademark website “Chizai Watch,” where it was filed on June 23rd. Some cursory research suggests this is almost definitely a game, as it shares many many of the same categories including Machines and Appliances, Toys, Clothing, Paper, and perhaps most importantly, Education and Entertainment. Toys, paper and clothing likely apply to merchandise, as Frontiers’ trademark possessed both of these categories in addition to “leather.”

The trademark also makes mention of “commodity service programs for home-use television game machines.” As is typical of game trademarks, a variety of potential media and other things are also mentioned, including magnetic tape and magnetic disks. But most importantly, ROM cartridges and optical disks are also mentioned. The trademark does mention games for mobile phones, but Frontiers did as well, so that is not necessarily relevant to the platform.

For a look at the full trademark, translated on the website by Google, take a look at the screenshot below:

So, this being a game seems to be extremely likely, but what could this be, exactly? We’ve known for some time that a new mobile game from SEGA Hardlight is in development. I attempted to compare this to a mobile game trademark from SEGA, but the only one I was able to find was 404 Game RE:SET, which more or less utilizes the same game related categories as this and Frontiers. So it could certainly be a mobile title.

Alternatively, it could be some sort of spin-off. Perhaps a party game? Well, whatever it is, we’ll probably find out about it in the coming months. You can find a link to the trademark here, though as of this article’s publication the page appears to be having issues loading.

Please note that the Sonic & Friends logo used for the feature image is not the logo the game itself will use. Special thanks to Twitter user Dejimon11 for the news tip!

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More Cities Revealed for Sonic Symphony World Tour

The Sonic Symphony World Tour’s larger touring schedule has finally been unveiled! In addition to the previously revealed cities of London and Los Angeles, which the tour will go to in September, the symphony will also go to Paris, Sao Paulo, Boston and Chicago by the end of October.

Beginning in February, the tour will also head to Asia, kicking off in Tokyo. For a full list of confirmed cities, check out the image below. More cities will be revealed in the future.

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Sonic Central Debuts New Sonic Prime Trailer

Sonic Prime got a nice little trailer at today’s Sonic Central, which dished some new info on the upcoming episodes.

Shadow explained to Sonic that in order to restore their world, they needed to gather the pieces of the paradox prism, which has one piece in each shatterspace. Sounds like Sonic and Shadow will be working together, at least for a bit! We also get to see a little more of that phantom Green Hill that was used in the footage released yesterday, including a ghost Big.

The worlds and characters of each Shatter Space also appear to be merging, with buildings from New Yoke City growing out of the ground in Boscage Maze. Finally, the trailer ends with the debut of….some sort of new robot Sonic?

Check out a gallery of stills taken from the trailer below:

Sonic Prime is set to debut July 13. You can watch the full trailer in the embed below:

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Amy Rose Starring In Her Very Own 30th Anniversary One-Shot Comic

It’s really happening: Classic Amy is getting her own one-shot comic from IDW in celebration of her 30th anniversary. This will be in keeping with the Classic Sonic and Tails 30th anniversay one-shots, which have practically made these Classic Sonic comics an annual tradition.

The comic will be written by Ian Flynn, with art by Aaron Hammerstrom and Reggie Graham. The issue will release in September for $5.99. Check out the full solicit with the plot summary below:

Cool, sweet, and pink! All words that describe our absolute favorite hedgehog. That’s right, step aside, Sonic, and have no fear, because Amy Rose is here!

Ian Flynn, Aaron Hammerstrom, and Reggie Graham are back for another Classic Sonic special! And this time, Amy’s doing the saving!

After Metal Sonic interrupts her picnic, Amy uses her Fortune Cards as a guide to free her friends and stop Doctor Eggman. Can she save the day and still get back in time for tea?!

The comic has three covers, with Cover A done by Aarom Hammerstrom, Cover B being done by Mauro Fonseca, and the retail incentive cover being done by Jennifer Hernandez. Check them out below:

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Sonic Origins Plus DLC Officially Out

The Sonic Origins Plus DLC has officially rolled out on all platforms as of midnight EST. Playstation, Xbox, and Switch players can all play it, and Steam users can…well, buy it, at least, for a slight mark-up.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, the Sonic Origins 2.0 patch with all the fixes and DLC content has yet to become available on Steam, meaning Steam players are locked out of the DLC even if they buy it. This will hopefully resolve soon, but anyone on Steam hoping to play the game at midnight will need to hold off.

Steam users are also currently being charged a dollar more for for the DLC, for some reason. We have reached out to SEGA for comment.

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Sonic and Shadow are Fighting Again in New Sonic Prime Clip

These hedgehogs just can’t get along, huh?

Sonic and Shadow are duking it out in a new clip released by Netflix Malaysia as part of their “What’s New in July” video compilation. The clip sees them fighting as Shadow seemingly attempts to steal Sonic’s “tech.” Interestingly, the battle takes place in a weird, off-color version of Green Hill. It seems the new batch of episodes may shed more light on what exactly happened to Sonic’s original friends and home. You can check out the clip below:

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Classic Amy’s Modern Skin Revealed

The Sonic Superstars website has been updated with an image of classic Amy’s modern Amy skin, which will be given away to anyone who subscribes to the website’s newsletter by January 31, 2024.

It doesn’t completely change Amy’s look, only altering her clothes while leaving her classic spikes intact. Check it out below. You can subscribe to the newsletter here. You can only sign up for one platform per email, and Steam does not appear to be selectable right now.

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Christopher Lloyd, Four Other Cast Members Revealed for Knuckles Series

The Knuckles series cast list just got a little bit longer! Variety has revealed that five new actors have joined the cast, including Christopher Lloyd. Lloyd may be best known for his roles as “Doc” in Back to the Future and for murdering cartoon characters in as “Judge Doom” in Who Frame Roger Rabbit. He’ll be joined by Stockard Channing (West Wing, Six Degrees of Separation), Cary Elwes (Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Princess Bride), Rob Huebel (Children’s Hospital, Bob’s Burgers) and Paul Scheer (The Greatest Event in Television History, Veep).

Paramount+’s Knuckles is expected to debut later this year. According to Kid Cudi, filming has already wrapped and it’s set to release this fall.

via Variety

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Iizuka Confirms Name of Sonic Superstars’ New Character

When Sonic Superstars was announced, SEGA was quick to reveal that the game would feature a new character designed by Sonic co-creator Naoto Ohshima. We got our first look at the character yesterday, and today we now have a name: Trip. The name seems to be based on the fact that the character trips…a lot. Both in the game’s opening animation, and even in the one cutscene we have from the game:

Iizuka confirmed this in an interview IGN released today, which you can check out here. There’s still much we don’t know about this character, including their name (though their tail looks like a raccoon….or a Zigzagoon). Be sure to stay tuned for further details on Trip and Sonic Superstars!

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Sonic Superstars Level Select Screen Suggests Time Attack Mode, Amy-Exclusive Act

The past few days have been filled with Sonic Superstars news, and we aren’t done yet! The video game journalist group Easy Allies was talking about the game on their Twitch stream while utilizing footage posted earlier today by IGN Japan. Towards the end of their discussion, and where the IGN Japan footage cut out, the footage they were showing instead transitioned to a level select screen.

This level select screen mostly just shows some unnamed zones and acts, but it contains two very interesting details. First, it lists a “time attack” option off to the side, meaning that this game likely has a time attack feature. What’s even more interesting than that, however, is one of the levels it lists: an act of Zone 5 meant specifically for Amy Rose.

What this appears to suggest is that this game will have acts meant for specific characters! Of course, this isn’t a confirmation, and could very well be a cut feature or something meant for DLC, but this has some curious implications nevertheless.

Check out a screenshot of the level select screen below:

You can find Easy Allies’ Twitch stream here.

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IGN Japan Sonic Superstars Footage Reveals In-Game Look of Fang, New Character, Game Play Details

While we’ve uploaded a significant amount of off-screen snippets of Sonic Superstars, IGN Japan has uploaded an HD quality video containing both acts of one of the game’s levels, “Speed Jungle.” You can find the video here, but we’ve decided to take the time to highlight some interesting details from the video below:

The level has a grappling hook gimmick, which can be activated by hitting a yellow switch floating above it. It is then possible to run up it! There are also some badniks that disguise themselves as ring boxes, and fly when you get close.

Later on in the level, we see a few more gameplay elements. There’s a holographic pulley that the player needs to hold onto while a timer counts down to earn rings. There are four pulley, meaning up to four players can use it at once. We also see a spinning blue portal above a checkpoint post, which likely leads to some sort of bonus stage. Finally, there’s a part of the game level where you can see Tails running in the background. In footage our own Jason Berry took of this level, we saw Sonic running in the background at one point while someone played Amy. So maybe these moments are meant to convey other characters participating in the adventure during single player?

Next up, we see the first of those “ginormous creatures” mentioned in the PR materials: a fat flicky! He appears in a cutscene introducing Speed Jungle’s first mini boss, which utilizes a grappling hook similar to what was used in the level earlier. Sonic must spindash up it in order to hit the boss. Afterwards, the flabby flicky celebrates with Sonic at the end of the level.

Act 2 introduces a new gimmick, where Sonic must use a glowing butterfly to illuminate a darkened area of the level. We also get our first look at Sonic’s edge-of-the-platform animation!

Next up, we get to see how physics work on the games grinding vines! Rather than being automated segments with automatic momentum, or something you can fall through if you lose speed, Sonic will instead simply walk when he loses momentum. This is demonstrated when a frog badnik slows Sonic down and he has to regain his speed to grind again.


The final boss attacks Sonic with a extendo arm that goes through the ground, and missiles. Rather than attack the boss directly, Sonic has to avoid the arm until it eventually strikes the boss on its own, and can also damage the boss by knocking blue missiles into it.

Finally, we got a look at an end level cutscene! We got to see this game’s version of an animal capsule, as well as the in-game models of Fang and a mysterious new character (almost certainly the one that was designed by Naoto Ohshima). Fang and the newbie got a humorous little cutscene that also calls back to a trap utilized by Eggman in the first episode of Sonic Mania Adventures!

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Knuckles Wraps: Kid Cudi Confirms End of Filming, Fall Release for Paramount+ Show

The release date for Paramount Plus’ Knuckles has been casually revealed by one of its cast members on Twitter. Kid Cudi, who plays an unknown character on the show, has confirmed that filming on the show has wrapped, and that it will be out this fall. Knuckles officially began filming in London less than two months ago.

This is the first time anyone connected to the production has given us an updated timeframe beyond “2023.” Paramount itself will, of course, reveal a more exact release date at some point in the future.

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New Sonic Indoor Games and Outdoor Toys Will Be on the Way From KessCo Next Year

In a press release today, Los Angeles-based toy and game company KessCo has announced a licensing partnership with SEGA of America for new Sonic products hitting in 2024. The line is expected to include “tabletop games, card games and outdoor play items.” Though no products have been announced yet, the release does note that SEGA will be at the Licensing Expo next week in Las Vegas.

KessCo boasts a surprisingly diverse lineup of toys, including hobbyist board games, puzzles, and outdoor novelties. While their website immediately shows off bright and colorful hula hoops, sprinklers, foam balls, and jump ropes, they also publish other branded items aimed at an older crowd, like board games based on Contra and Mega Man, and anime puzzles featuring Jujutsu Kaisen and Haikyu. CEO Alex Kessler notes that Sonic will be part of their first releases of licensed outdoor toys, stating, “our customers have been asking for Sonic-branded products from us for years. We look forward to continuing to grow our games category through this recent license acquisition, while introducing licensing to our popular outdoor range for the first time.”

Since 2019, Sonic’s appearance in the tabletop gaming scene has boomed for both kids and hobbyists, from 2018’s Sonic Crash Course published by IDW, through to the recent “Chaos Control Game” published by Lisciani in Italy. With KessCo serving such a broad audience, it’s hard to say whether they hope to focus on the young, old, or both, but if you’re itching to get Sonic back to the table, next year seems promising.

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New Knuckles Series Logo Found on Paramount+ Press Site

The Knuckles series for Paramount+ officially entered production last month, and now we seem to have a new official logo. The new logo, which utilizes the app’s trademark white and blue color scheme, is just the series name with Knuckles’ iconic spiked fist in the C, and may not be representative of the final logo, which should be revealed closer to the series’ release.

Check it out below:

Source: Via Twitter & Paramount Express

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SEGA Unleashes Sonic Waffle Maker Upon the Masses, Bringing it to Major Retailers

SEGA is finally bringing their Sonic Mini Waffle Maker to major retailers, after releasing it exclusively to Dave & Busters as a prize earlier this year. The Sonic-themed kitchen appliance is produced by Uncanny Brands, and is available from that company’s website, as well as Walmart, Target, Amazon and other major retailers for $27.99 (as of this writing, these listings don’t seem to be live). This waffle-making apparatus isn’t just covered in Sonic iconography, but will also brand each and every one of its waffle with Sonic’s face. If you’ve ever wanted to put Sonic’s face on your food, now you can.

According to SEGA, the wafflemaker is making its way to retailers because of fan reception to its initial unveiling as a Dave and Buster prize. “When we first partnered with Uncanny Brands to bring the Sonic the Hedgehog™ waffle maker to Dave & Busters, we saw such a positive reception from fans, that we were eager to roll it out a mini option for purchase at major retailers,” said Maida Chan, Licensing Specialist, “We can’t wait to see the Sonic breakfast creations that come about from these waffle makers.”

The isn’t the first time people have had the opportunity to stick Sonic’s face on a breakfast item, as there was a Sonic-branded toaster some years ago. How about a Sonic head-shaped muffin pan, SEGA? Or Sonic-shaped cast iron for cornbread Sonic heads?

Check out images of the Sonic waffle maker below. It does boast some cosmetic differences from the Dave & Busters version:

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Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit’s Final Update, Android & Mac Versions Out NOW

After nearly 10 months of work, Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit has received its final update, as well as its long-awaited Android and Mac ports, marking the end of a fan project that began more than a half-decade ago. In a video on his Youtube channel, STT16 director and programmer Noah Copeland revealed everything that the final update would add, before revealing the it and the ports were all being shadowdropped today.

The final update makes some notable changes: it adds a new special stage, a new boss for Knuckles’ campaign, additional cutscene material for the Sonic campaign’s true ending, speed gates for speed runners, and various quality of life improvements.

  • The new special stage was cut from the initial release, and has the player launching their character into the air in order to collect blue rings while bouncing off black spheres and avoiding the canons that will launch you out of the stage. Collecting 100 blue rings will net the player a life.
  • Eggman and Metal Sonic become a part of Knuckles’ end game boss rush, with a boss battle specifically built around his climbing and gliding abilities.
  • The “speed gates” are a new togglable feature that opens special hidden shortcuts in each Act 2. They were specifically added for speed runners, and need to be reached within a certain amount of time or else they’ll close.
  • Quality of life improvements include the ability to shorten or skip the snowboard mini game, skip the credits and vs mode cutscenes, four checkpoints during Atomic Destroyer’s elevator ride, and an option for continuous play in the Free Play mode.

Copeland also confirmed that Android mobile players will have both touchscreen controls and external controls as options. It is not possible to move the placement of the touchscreen controls, but it’s at least possible to move the placement of the life counter.

Finally, the game’s stellar soundtrack has finally been given an official release! You can download it at the game’s website, which has also received a big update, here. You can download the final update and the ports from the game’s Game Jolt page here.

Copeland also alluded to his future plans: a brand new original game! Be sure to stay tuned to his Youtube channel and Twitter for more news on that project.

For a look at the update, check out Copeland’s announcement video embedded below:

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F4F’s Sonic Adventure Statue Priced, Up For Pre-Order

First4Figures’ latest Sonic PVC statue, based on Sonic’s iconic Adventure 1 box art pose, is finally priced and up for pre-order. The statue comes in three variants including basic, collectible, and definitive, though only the latter two are currently available on F4F’s website. This is notable, since the website won’t charge you the full price immediately, and also allows for installation payments. F4F’s website gives the statues a broad Q4 release date, while Entertainment Earth says they will be released in November, and SEGA Shop Europe gives them an October date.

Details on the statues, including photos, pricing, and pre-order links are below:

Basic

The cheapest statue, it lacks any sort of the bells and whistles of the other editions, including the circular base. It’s dimensions are H: 8.3″ (21cm) x W: 6.3″ (16cm) x D: 5.6″ (14.2cm). Not available on F4F’s website.

Can be bought at Entertainment Earth for $89.99 here. Europeans can obtain a statue from SEGA Europe’s shop for £79.99 here.

Collector’s Edition

This statue includes a circular base illuminated by an LED. The lighting can either be static or animated. It’s dimensions are H: 9.1″ (23cm) x W: 6.5″ (16.5cm) x D: 6.9″ (17.5cm), and it’s priced at $119.99/£99.99.

You can get it from F4F’s website here. You can get it from SEGA Shop Europe here.

Definitive Edition

This edition adds a resin ring around Sonic, illuminated by LEDs. The LEDs can either be static or animated. The speed of the animation can be adjusted with a dial on the back. Only a limited number of these statues will be produced, and each statue will receive its own number and authentication card. It’s dimensions are H: 10.8″ (27.5cm) x W: 10.6″ (27cm) x D: 7″ (18cm). The statue currently has an early bird price of $279.99 on F4F, which will last until June 26. After that, the statue will be priced at $299.99. It’s £259.99 at SEGA Shop Europe.

You can pre-order it from F4F’s shop here, or from SEGA Europe here.

Finally, if you want to see these statues in motion, you can check out the Youtube video below:

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Sonic Underground Returns to DVDs With Complete Series Release From NCircle

We are increasingly living in a golden age of Sonic television media. We not only have two TV shows in production, but nearly every Sonic TV show is now back in print with new Complete Series releases! The latest show to get this treatment is DiC’s final Sonic show, Sonic Underground. This releases marks the show’s first appearance on physical media since 2017, and the first time it has ever received a Complete Series release in a single volume.

The show will span 4 DVDs, and has an MSRP of $24.99. It is scheduled to release on July 25, 2023. You can find the original listing we used for this report here. If you want to read up on Sonic Underground, we have a helpful guide on Sonic’s many forays into TV here.

Check out the DVD box art below:

With this release, only a few Sonic TV releases remain out of print: Sonic Christmas Blast, and more frustratingly, Sonic the Hedgehog SatAM and the Sonic the Hedgehog OVA. Here’s hoping this is rectified soon!

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Sonic the Comic’s Nigel Kitching Among Writers Confirmed for Sonic’s 900th Adventure One-Shot

It’s starting to feel like a little Sonic the Comic reunion! Nigel Kitching, a writer known for his work on Fleetway’s UK-exclusive Sonic the Comic series, has been confirmed as one of the six writers who will be working on the Sonic’s 900th Adventure one-shot. He will be joining fellow Sonic the Comic alumni Richard Elson, who was confirmed as one of the comic’s cover artists last week. Elson has not yet been announced as one of the comic’s interior artists. The other members of the writing team include the comic’s current headwriter, Evan Stanley, longtime Sonic writer Ian Flynn, Scrapnik Island author Daniel Barnes, as well as Caleb Goellner and Aaron Hammerstrom.

The comic has also been confirmed for an August 16 release date, roughly two week ahead of IDW’s “Endless Summer” Sonic one-shot, which’ll be arriving August 30. The comic’s story will center around Sonic and friends playing “hot potato” with the warp topaz, trying to keep it from warping the world into oblivion.

via PreviewsWorld

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Sonic Symphony Goes on a World Adventure This Fall, Going into 2024

SEGA has revealed some dates for the Sonic Symphony’s upcoming world tour. The show will be debuting in London on September 16 at the Barbican Hall, followed by a showing in Los Angeles on September 30 at the Dolby Theatre. Further showtimes will be revealed in the future, and the world tour will continue to run into 2024.

As for ticket pre-orders, Sonic Symphony newsletter subscribers will get to pre-order their tickets at 10AM local time for the venue on May 25. The general public will get to pre-order a day later on May 26, at 10 AM local time for the venue. In order to buy tickets (and sign up for the newsletter), you’ll need to head over to the Sonic Symphony website.

The symphony will include a wide range of songs from across Sonic’s 30+ year history, including symphonic renditions of classic 8-bit/16-bit tracks, EDM and rock. The press release only confirms that the rock music will be played “by a rock band,” but certain shows will have special guest stars, to be confirmed at a later date. The exact songs to be featured at these shows have not been confirmed at this time, though it will presumably share many picks from the original streamed show from 2021.

Stay tuned to Sonic Stadium for future details!

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First4Figures Lifts Curtain on Sonic Adventure Statue With Full Reveal

First4Figures has been on a roll with their line of Sonic statues lately, and this latest one appears to be no exception. After an initial tease last year and a confirmation of pre-order dates last week, the company has finally revealed its upcoming Sonic Adventure PVC statue.

As you can see, the statue looks incredibly faithful to the iconic Dreamcast Sonic cover pose, and comes complete with the Sonic Adventure logo and base. F4F posted a brief video teasing the product further on social media, alongside a reminder of the May 25 pre-order date.

We won’t know the statue’s price until pre-orders open, but it will surely be in the hundreds of dollars/pounds/euros and will almost certainly come in a multitude of variations.

You can register your interest here. Check out a still image and a video of the statue below:

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IDW Releasing Two Sonic One Shots, Plus a Silver-Centric Issue This August

IDW has revealed their line-up of Sonic comics for August, and it’s a doozy: the month will see the release of two jumbo-sized Sonic one-shots, plus the monthly comic’s 64th issue, which’ll be all about Sonic.

First, we have a special issue about Sonic’s “900th” adventure, which appears to be commemorating Sonic’s 900th issue of sequential storytelling, including all the comics and manga released over the decades (which you can read about here, FYI, though I really need to add Sonic Adventures & fix some typ-os). Check out the solicit below:

Saving the world is a piece of cake when you’re a speedy blue hedgehog. And Sonic is about to go on his 900th world-saving adventure! Sonic and his friends are playing a game of hot potato! Only the potato is the Warp Topaz, and it could warp the whole world into oblivion! The gang is passing off the Warp Topaz in a relarace to get rid of it once and for all. 

The story will retail for $5.99 and feature contributions from “various” writers and artists. Amongst the writers, Ian Flynn has confirmed he’s writing the comic’s bookend framing device. Daniel Barnes (Scrapnik Island) and Aaron Hammerstrom have also been confirmed. Aaron Hammerstrom will also be penciling his story, and Mauro Fonseca will also be penciling a story. Nathalie Fourdraine and Reggie Graham have both been confirmed for colors, and Rik Mack will be handling some of the issue’s inks.

The comic will also have seven different covers, all from pretty notable Sonic comic artists. Easily the most surprising (and most familiar, for our older British readers) is legendary Sonic the Comic artist Richard Elson. His cover was not among the ones shown today, unfortunately.

In addition to elson, we’ve got other legendary Sonic artists such as Tracy Yardley!, Jon Gray, Yuji Uekawa, Adam Bryce Thomas, Evan Stanley, and Nathalie Fourdraine. You can check out Uekawa’s (B) ,Thomas’ (D), and Fourdraine’s (retail incentive) covers below:

Next, we have “Sonic the Hedgehog Endless Summer,” which is part of a larger line of IDW one-shots of summer-centered stories featuring other characters including My Little Pony, TMNT, and Dungeons and Dragons.

We’re bringing you an endless summer with everyone’s favorite characters in four unique one-shots! Wave goodbye to the office and say hello to the beach! Sonic drags Jewel on a well-deserved beach day to spend time with her besties, Tangle and Whisper! But when they all settle in for some rest and relaxation…they realize the Babylon Rogues had the same idea… at the same beach. The only way to settle this is with a totally tubular beach showdown!

The issue will feature writing by Gale Galligan and art by Tracy Yardley! and retail for $7.99. It will also feature three covers from Tracy Yardley! (cover A), Jack Lawerence and Reggie Graham (cover B), and Natalie Haines (retail incentive cover). There will also be a coloring book version of Yardley’s cover. You can check out all of these covers below:

Finally, we have issue 64, which’ll be a special Silver-centered issue featuring two stories. The story is part of a larger story arc about the villain Mimic infiltrating the Diamond Cutters. This will, oddly enough, be the second time Silver has attempted to weed out a potential traitor in a Sonic comic.

This issue is all about Silver the Hedgehog! First, he’s incredibly suspicious of the Diamond Cutter’s new member and he jumps to a conclusion that leads him to some hasty accusations. Awkwardness ensues. Then, Blaze comforts Silver as they bond over being away from home and in Sonic’s world.

The comic will retail for $3.99 and feature writing from Evan Stanley, who is writing the comic’s main story, and Ian Flynn, who will be writing the back up. It will also feature interior art by Aarom Hammerstrom and Evan Stanley, as well as three covers from Jack Lawerence (A), Jennifer Hernandez (B), and Nathalie Fourdraine (retail incentive). Check them out below:

Although these comics are all currently scheduled for August, this could change in the future, as IDW has been known to delay comics. Stay tuned for future IDW Sonic updates!

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Sonic Frontiers Sales Surpasses 3.2 Million, Total Sonic Sales Pass 8 Million For FY 2023

It’s that time of year again! SEGA has released their report for fiscal year 2023, and with that, lots of juicy numbers and info. We’ll have a more in-depth look at the report later, but for now we’re going to focus on some of the bigger, Sonic-related numbers!

Like the headline says, Sonic Frontiers has sold 3.2 million units as of the end of March, meaning the same’s sales are still going strong. This puts it ever closer to surpassing Sonic Heroes’ 3.41 million units sold, which would make Frontiers the best selling Sonic game of all time. Given that Sonic Frontiers was at 2.9 million at the end of December, it certainly seems plausible that it will surpass Sonic Heroes by SEGA’s next fiscal report in July.

The Sonic franchise as a whole moved 8.15 million units this fiscal year. That an increase of 1.45 million units from what was reported back in December, eaning that way more than just Sonic Frontiers is selling right now. This is also a significant increase over the 5.8 million units Sonic sold last fiscal year.

In addition to all this, SEGA also outlines their efforts to expand Sonic’s mixed media presence and increase the franchise’s brand awareness. For 2024, SEGA forecasts that the Sonic IP will receive record licensing revenue.

If you want to see the report for yourself, you can find it here. It’s 75 pages and goes into a lot of detail on a lot of things, including multiple pages explaining why SEGA’s buying Rovio (spoiler: they want to increase their foothold in the western mobile gaming space, use Rovio’s mobile expertise on SEGA IP, and also Angry Birds is still very popular).

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