The moment we’d been waiting for with a blend of anticipation and skin-crawling dread finally arrived on Valentine’s Day as Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr Robotnik arrived on the big screen. The mixed reviews are exactly what we have come to expect from game-based movies. The game-oriented press has been generally kind, describing it as one of the better adaptations. The mainstream press is, as usual, looking down its collective nose and wearing its ignorance of gaming in general and the source material in particular as a badge of pride.
Of course, the opinions of the professional reviewers are less relevant that those of the fans. These have been far more positive, and the movie exceeded all expectations at the box office. The timing to coincide with Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day and school half term in the UK surely helped. But ultimately, it’s doing well because it has more hits than misses, and Jim Carey’s Dr Robotnik character is a particular delight.
A 90s-tastic start to the decade
The Sonic movie is only one aspect of a general Sega-themed revival that looks set to be an important theme for 2020. If there’s one game that can be considered on a par with Sonic from those early days of the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, it is Street Fighter. The new slots version of the game that is set for release later this year is an intriguing blend of the retro and the new.
Plenty has changed in the gaming landscape since the first Street Fighter. In part it’s down to innovative technology, but changing attitudes and laws have also played a role. Since the introduction of legal online gambling in certain states, online casino games have become a hot topic and a huge growth area. Given that so many casino gamers grew up in the Sega era, a Street Fighter slot is certain to attract plenty of players. Netent are promising an overall feel that sticks to the 90s original – but with the added incentive of a chance to win financially!
Sonic the Musical?
Given that we’re all feeling so nostalgic for 80s classics, the question has naturally come up as to whether Sonic might make some other form of reappearance after his big screen adventures. There have been the usual rumors concerning a re-release of the original game,
and although we’ve heard this before, the success of the movie and the 30-year anniversary of the original release give these new whispers added credence.
However, the more bizarre story to hit the web has been of a Sonic music event that will take place in Japan towards the end of this year. MP3s have been leaked to a Sonic fan site indicating a “major Sonic Adventure concert” is in the pipeline, and it will feature Eizo Sakamoto singing Open Your Heart, more than 20 years after he originally recorded the piece for the 1998 game. It might sound like just another rumor, but that’s what we were all saying about a Sonic Movie a year or two ago, so watch this space.