Sonic Central Recap!

Hey! It’s Ryan for another round of Games with Coffee. You rarely see posts on Thursdays, but today is a special occasion: the Sonic Central broadcast! And though it was way past fast, were the announcements way past cool? Without much preamble, let’s dive in and talk about the direct in detail!


Symphony Orchestra!

Right off the bat, the broadcast starts off with an announcement of a Symphony Orchestra performance, happening on Sonic’s Birthday for free! Guest stars include Crush 40 and Tomoya Ohtani, the latter of which has produced some of the series’ best music in the last 15 years! It’s gonna be so epic to listen to this! I will honestly cry if there is a symphonic rendition of Windmill Isle Day, just saying.

Sonic In Tokyo 2020?!

Or just the ability to dress like him, at least. Tokyo 2020 really is leaning hard into custom avatars, so including the ability to dress like Sonic for these events is almost a no-brainer at this point.

The hilarious part about this is that it’s an adult-sized mascot costume and I can already hear the memes being created because of this haha.

Sonic in Two Point Hospital!

Speaking of memes, this photo of a Sonic-dressed character sitting behind a desk and consulting patients is on-point. I can feel the memes being generated as we speak…

“Good news! You’re perfectly – ah wait, wrong chart, sorry!”

Like with Tokyo 2020, Sega is putting it’s mascot in another popular series, Two Point Hospital. The new add-ons include costumes that your staff can wear as well as new decorations. I’ve never played Two Point Hospital – reminds me a lot of Roller Coaster Tycoon, but instead running a healthcare facility instead of a theme park.

Kinda wish my hospital had an arcade in it…

…I kinda want to try it out though, haha.

Sonic the Fighters Makes A Return! …Sorta?

It seems that games within games is becoming a huge thing nowadays, as in Lost Judgement – from the makers of Yakuza – there will be an arcade machine featuring a fully playable copy of Sonic the Fighters!

Fighters is a way past cool fighting game that I streamed recently through the Sonic Gems Collection.

To end this section, it seems that there will be more collaborations happening in the future, including what looks like.. Minecraft?!

What the?

Sonic Colours Ultimate!!!

Now for the (second) biggest news of the day – a remastered Sonic Colours! Colours is one of the few Sonic games that I haven’t played and so hearing that this was going to be officially released was welcome (if not expected) news. It’s nice to see that we finally get official confirmation of stuff being released, as opposed to relying on leaks and rumors about Sonic news… 

Anyways, Sonic Colours Ultimate is a revised version of the Wii exclusive game that apparently includes some new stuff, like a Jade Ghost Wisp, a rival race against Metal Sonic and other things.

Not only that, but Roger Craig Smith (the previously-former-but-now-current VA for Sonic – it’s confusing, alright?) took the time to speak about a brand new short animation based on Sonic Colours called Sonic Colours: Rise of the Wisps.

Honestly, the animation looks like it’s on point! The fact that it’s fully voiced by the Sonic VA cast is icing on the cake. Definitely looking forward to watching this in Summer.

And yes, I’ll be pre-ordering Sonic Colours Ultimate. I mean, c’mon, I was expecting a game to be released this year, so I prepared in advance! 

New Sonic Collection for Modern Consoles!

Can I say “called it?” Sorta?

A new Sonic Collection called Sonic Origins, featuring Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Knuckles and Sonic CD, is coming out! Apparently, it’s supposed to include some added content and features.

And while there are a few (MANY) omissions, at least the classic Sonic experience continues onward! I wonder if these additions and features will have something to do with the Christian Whitehead editions of the Sonic Mobile ports, which contained some new and improved content for both Sonic 1 and 2? We’ll have to see later next year on what that entails…

Though I’m a bit disappointed that they still neglected Knuckles’ Chaotix. It’s also a missed opportunity to release some classic portable titles as well. And yes, it’s confirmed that Sonic 3 and Knuckles will support widescreen format.

Forces, Mania and Team Sonic Racing on Other Streaming Platforms

Sonic Forces, Sonic Mania and Team Sonic Racing are slated to be released on Amazon’s Luna and Sony’s PlaystationNow streaming services. You can pick up Sonic Mania and Team Sonic Racing right now if you have the Luna service, while the three pack will be released for PlaystationNow in June. Sounds way past cool for those who have either of those services!

Events in the Sonic Mobile World!

Now, I don’t play much mobile games, but I do like Sonic Dash. This month, players can unlock Pirate themed costumes for Sonic and Shadow (Of which instantly memeable content has been brought forward haha), plus some other birthday stuff.

“Oh, do what you want, cuz a pirate is free! YOU ARE A PIRATE!”

On top of that, Super Sonic is coming to Sonic Forces (the mobile game). Funny how Super Sonic makes an appearance, considering that he apparently never made one in the console version of Forces… Plus too, a Party Mode is going to be added, where you can race against your friends, which seems pretty exciting! I’ve played this mobile game before and it’s pretty fun. I might get back into it just to get Super Sonic haha.

Later this year for Halloween, Werehog Sonic makes a return to the fore! He’ll be playable in Sonic Forces and in Sonic Dash and it’s nice to see that the controversial transformation hasn’t been totally neglected (though it’s been mocked constantly).

*Jazz music intensifies*

Finally, for Sonic Racing on the Apple Arcade service, Classic Sonic will be playable, along with three new tracks situated in Green Hill Zone.

News about Sonic Prime

Next, we heard from Joe Kelly from Man of Action, one of the show runners for the newly announced Sonic Prime Netflix series. Now, Man of Action has been responsible for quite a few animated series, like Ben10, so hopefully that means Sonic’s in good hands?  

Kelly has touted that this is a series unlike anything seen by Sonic fans and that it takes place within a realm known as the Shatterverse (Shadowverse?)… What that means is anyone’s guess, but it sounds like this 24 episode series will be set in some form of a multiverse (alternate Sonics!?). Also, that new Eggman logo looks pretty dope. 

MERCH!

OH MY GOD I WANT IT ALL!

Ahem, sorry about that. But seriously, this stuff looks awesome! A playset recreating the final battle of Sonic 2, my all-time favourite Sonic game?! Oh man, I already don’t have any space to begin with, where the heck am I gonna put that!?

“Yes this will definitely be purchased for my kid and not for me. Seriously. You gotta believe me.”

I’m not that into hip-hop culture… but I still want one of those Sonic necklaces from King Ice. I was hoping for a ring, but I’ll take the necklace nonetheless.

DOPE A F.

I’ve already pre-ordered the deluxe version of the Encyclo-Speed-ia haha. Thanks to everyone on Twitter who pointed that out to me, by the way!

There’s also a commemorative 30th Anniversary Coin that looks pretty sweet.

Shiny!

And there seems to be an official 30th Anniversary site with more information about merch and other stuff, though it’s not available to access as of yet… I’m sure that’ll change within the day or so.

One Last Thing

Finally, they saved the best (?) for last: the biggest news of the day – A New Sonic Title.

Oooh pixel-ly!

We see Sonic running in a forest. Before long, his body emits what looks like some sorta strange energy before going into a Sonic Boost. He then circles around a grove of trees and the scene changes to a stone background with ancient writing. A thick, bright blue line traces some symbols on the stone and they look to be the letters Z, A and P…

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN????

Could the upcoming title be known as Sonic ZAP? I doubt it… but let the speculation commence, I suppose!? The new title is slated to be released in 2022. 

As for my take, I can’t say too much about it because of how little the tiny teaser reveals… but I hope though that we’re seeing a resurgence of Sonic Adventure-esque storytelling. However, my biggest concerns are as follows:

What’s changed gameplay-wise?

What’s stayed the same?

What’s improved?

What are we gonna see in terms of the story?

Finally, has the last five years since Forces was released been enough for Sonic Team to really and truly nail the speed-based gameplay that fans desired?

Maybe we’ll see more at E3, which is happening in just a couple of weeks time, but this snippet isn’t enough to go by right now. In short, WE NEED ANSWERS, DAMNIT!


And that’s it for Sonic Central wrap-up! They did say within the broadcast that more of these will be coming, which is welcome news after the radio silence we’ve endured since the beginning of March 2020.

So, did you see the broadcast this afternoon? What are your thoughts on this? Was this a Sonic Boom? Or a total bust? Let me know in the comments below!

This has been Ryan from Games with Coffee, reminding you to Believe in Yourself, Live with No Regrets and Chase the Impossible! See you next time!

Sonic’s 30th Anniversary Is Coming!

Happy Saturday! It’s Ryan here, for another round of Games with Coffee. Hope everyone had a way past cool week! I know I did – got my jab, the writing’s going well, streaming is way past awesome and work is ramping up with new challenges in front of me, which I’m pretty excited about taking on. 

Speaking of exciting, this Sunday marks one more month until the 30th Anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog series! I know, I aired my grievances on my last post to SEGA and Sonic Team on their lack of merchandise up here in Canada, but I’m still hoping that the 30th Anniversary celebration merch will make up for that. 

Not only that, with SEGA announcing that they’ll be in attendance at several trade shows this summer, coupled with hints about how bright Sonic’s future appears to be, I’m sure we’ll hear some game announcements for the series.

To that end, I want to share what I think we’ll see ahead of the 30th Anniversary celebrations and put together a wishlist of items I definitely want. And we start off with the obvious:


Game Announcements

What’s a celebration of a world-famous hedgehog without info on new games, eh? I do hope that SEGA does announce something, rather than just tease us and say “Hey, we’re doing something, can’t tell you what tho!”

I’ll tell you this – I really and truly hope we see something ground-breaking for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, and I’m talking “Breath of the Wild” level ground-breaking here. Modern Sonic games have been hit or miss (with more misses than hits, really) and it would be good to see a good Modern Sonic game for a change, like Sonic Generations for example. It would be interesting to see an open-world Sonic, but I can’t imagine how that would look or how it would work? It’s just too foreign in my mind right now. However, I hope they bring back and improve on the parkour mechanics from Sonic Lost World. While the idea was solid, the execution needed some polish and I think a new title has potential to showcase a fluidly moving Sonic to the masses.

With Classic Sonic, I think the right direction here would be to keep him and Modern completely separate. Apparently, putting him in Sonic Forces ended up being a bad move in terms of optics. I understand that SEGA really wanted to force Classic Sonic in for the 25th anniversary, but maybe putting him in Forces wasn’t the best move. Mind you, I haven’t played Forces (A surprise, huh!?), so I can’t say too much on that. As I was saying though, making a Classic Sonic game separate from Modern Sonic would be a great way to both celebrate the classic series and diversify the franchise portfolio at the same time. Maybe we’ll see a Sonic Mania 2 announcement? Or something else altogether?

As far as remakes go though, I doubt we’ll see any mention of Sonic Adventure. However, if the rumors are true, then we may see a remaster of Sonic Colours, which would be way past cool! A rerelease of the Sonic Advance series of games or even other classic portable Sonic games would also be welcome.

Oh, bump that! An Anniversary Collection! Every single classic Sonic title, including portable and obscure adventures, available in one, convenient package! That would mean a re-release of Sonic 3 and Knuckles, as well as Knuckles’ Chaotix! That would be a sweet deal in my eyes!

Merchandise!

Going into merchandise, I want, want, WANT the Anniversary Collection threads available on the SEGA Europe shop! Honestly, the stuff looks so dope! The blue T-Shirt featuring all the different iterations of Sonic’s design over the years has to be my favourite of the bunch. 

I also want this 30th Anniversary Mug, the design is so great!

SEGA of America, get this stuff over here so I can order it for myself!!! Please, for the love of all that is holy in this world, that’s all I wish for, y’know?

I pre-ordered the deluxe edition of the Sonic Encyclo-Speed-ia (of course haha). Just recently, I got this incredibly corny children’s story book about Sonic for my son. I’ve read it twice now to him and he LOVES it. Plus, the stickers on the back look so great! I want to see more Sonic reading material though, so that I can keep reading it to my kid.

Though Volume 1 of the IDW comic series is coming out very soon (which I’m also getting), I want to hear news about any additional volumes so I can catch up with the series! It sounds really good and I can’t wait to start reading it for myself. Will elements from the IDW comics be seen in future Mobius VII works? Maybe? I’ll need to read the comics and see.

I’m looking for a new Sonic hat for streaming. No, the old Sonic hat will not be retired, don’t worry about that, but a new hat to commemorate the milestone is definitely on my wish list. Again, SEGA Europe has a pretty nice looking one.

Speaking of wishlists, I entered a contest about 10 years ago at The Sonic Stadium, where winners were chosen for suggesting the most interesting toy ideas. My suggestion was a transformable Tornado, based on the design from Sonic Adventure. My heart would soar (and my wallet would be threadbare) if something like that were announced, just saying.

Finally, I think enough time has passed from the Sonic Movie’s release for Puma and SEGA to team up again and release a shoe based off of the one in the movies. I know that one model was made, but it wasn’t available to the public. In short – give us shoes like Sonic’s damnit! I have a mighty need for it!

Give us these shoes!!!!!

So, there you have it; the things I expect in terms of game announcements and the things I want for myself to celebrate! What about you guys? Any predictions of what to expect for games? What merch are you looking forward to getting for yourself? And what would be on your wishlist? Let me know in the comments!

With that, and obsessively refreshing my feeds for any breaking Sonic news, this has been Ryan from Games with Coffee, reminding you to Believe in Yourself, Live with No Regrets and Chase After the Impossible! See you again soon!

An Open Letter to Sonic Team and SEGA, By a Disgruntled, Canadian Sonic Fan

Hey guys, it’s Ryan from Games with Coffee.

If you can’t tell from the title, today, I’m addressing this post to the people responsible for all things Sonic the Hedgehog. I’m also cc’ing Sonic’s social media team (@sonic_hedgehog) and whatever merchandising team from SEGA is in charge. I doubt any of them will read this, but after the last year or so, especially the last few months, I have words for these guys and it’s not about the games, or the lack of announcements regarding them. While I understand that they probably have no control over when a new game will be released, if even announced, I do believe they have some control over one specific thing:

Merchandise.

I hope SEGA reads this. I hope that they come back with some answers. I doubt it on both accounts, but hey, can’t hurt to try, right?


To the folks at SEGA, Sonic Team, Sonic’s Social Media Team and SEGA’s Merchandising Department,

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I’m writing to you all because I want to bring to your attention the glaring merchandise inequities that exists between American and Canadian Sonic fans.

If you dive through social media, or even do a search for Sonic merchandise, you’ll find that those in the United States have greater opportunities to purchase licensed Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise than those in Canada, where I live. And even if one such as myself wanted to purchase some sweet Sonic loot for themselves, they face many barriers in order to do so. The first of several examples being the official Sonic store on the Sega Store website.

Now, I know your store holds a lot of great Sonic merchandise; much of which I would love to get my hands on. My only problem is that, after incorporating shipping costs AND converting it all into USD, getting a hold of said stuff as a Canadian means I would have to probably sell an arm, a leg and possibly my left kidney in order to afford it. I understand that there’s exchange rates, tariffs and shipping logistics that all have to be accounted for, but still, it’s very prohibitive for me to buy these things.

Not only is it difficult to procure your stuff from the official site, it’s also extremely difficult to find any sort of Sonic merchandise in stores here in Canada! Granted, we are in the middle of a pandemic, so, there’s that to consider. Even still, I never see places like Wal-Mart or any other big box stores here in Canada have anything Sonic related in store or online(other than the games). Meanwhile, Target (a big-box store operating within the United States) has these giant Sonic Head plushies on sale. To add insult to injury, even the EB Games store – headed by parent company, GameStop – barely has any Sonic related items for sale, making it that much harder for a fan to celebrate all things Sonic. The sad thing is, if you look up anything Legend of Zelda-related on the EB Games website, you’ll find a plethora of Zelda-related items to purchase. 

At the same time, I’ve been pestering my local hobby shop to ask if they have received any new Sonic merch. The owner (who’s also a big Sonic fan himself) has repeatedly informed me that no, no new merch has arrived yet and I feel terrible for bothering him so much about it. However, whenever I’m able to visit his store (despite pandemic restrictions), his place has tons of Zelda stuff! It’s crazy, y’know?

As a huge Sonic fan living up in the Great North, it really hurts that I can’t find anything to show off my adoration for the Blue Blur. It also hurts that it’s easier to be a Zelda fan than it is to be a Sonic fan. (Full disclosure, I am a pretty big Zelda and Final Fantasy fan, but Sonic’s my #1).

So, what would make things better? I’m not sure, but honestly, I’d like to see more merchandising opportunities up here. Make it easier for Canadian retailers to stock up on merch, perhaps?  The fact that stores are stocking up on the anniversary books, like the Encyclo-Speedia and the IDW Comics Collection Vol.1, is a huge plus for me, but I’d like opportunities to see more clothing merch be available as well. You guys had a great campaign with Old Navy back in 2019/2020, and though I only bought one shirt (since I lost my job around that time), it’s a great shirt. I love that shirt. I stream wearing that shirt on my Sonic Sunday streams. I know that you have some t-shirts available at Hot Topic, but purchasing it online is tough because, again, purchasing is only available in USD. Beyond that, there’s nowhere else that sells official Sonic merch to my knowledge (and readers of this letter can point me in the right direction, if they so please!)

I barely see any Sonic toys available as well! My son is starting to become a fan of the series (his favourite game so far is Sonic CD) and so I want to buy stuff for him to play with, but alas… nothing. No action figures, no plush toys, nothing at all. If toy stores worked with Jakks-Pacific to distribute more product up north, maybe that would be less of a problem… but I can’t control how these stores stock up on merchandise unfortunately. I can only highlight the problem.

Other than that, maybe expand partnerships with local hobby shops or something? Or make it easier for suppliers to push product onto these local stores? I’m not sure, but I know for a fact that there are a lot of Canadian Sonic Fans, both young and old. We, as Canadian Sonic fans, all want Sonic to thrive and be the best he can be. We, as Canadian Sonic Fans, all want to show the rest of the country and the world why we’re such huge fans. And we, as Canadian Sonic Fans, deserve the same opportunities to obtain merchandise as those in the United States. Even though the United States has approximately 10 times the population as us – and thus approximately 10 times as many Sonic fans – doesn’t mean we’re no less important.

I’m not looking for compensation or attention on this, I just want to see some change happen so we as Canadian Sonic Fans can let our fan flags fly happily. Heck, I would love to open a Sonic store catered to the Canadian crowd and be the sole provider of all things Sonic the Hedgehog for the whole country. Problem is, I have no idea where to start and I have doubts that there’d even be demand for it. But hey, it’s a fever dream, right?

(BTW, if you guys want to help me start up a storefront for the sole purpose of supplying Sonic merch for Canadian fans, I am willing to sit down and talk about this in detail.)

Anyways, I hope you read this, consider my propositions (or lack of) and provide equal merchandising opportunities for Canadians to celebrate all things Sonic the Hedgehog. I will conclude this letter this with the words I always say, day in and day out: Live with No Regrets, Believe in Yourself and Chase After the Impossible. I look forward to a reply.

Best regards, Sonic’s #1 Canadian Fan, Ryan.