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The Reception of Sonic Mania Will Help Sega “Figure Out the Direction of Future Titles”

The worldwide release of Sonic Mania, Sega’s latest throwback attempt at recapturing the magic of the original games within the series, is rapidly approaching.

Many fans have been excited that the game is an honest-to-goodness, 2D entry in the series – with no 3D sequences whatsoever. Due to the ambitious nature of the title, many are curious how it will perform against the modern era Sonic title: Sonic Forces. To go a step further, fans have endlessly speculated just what Sega is planning for the franchise overall.

Now, we’ve gotten some insight into what the future of the series could hold, via Sonic Team boss Takeshi Iizuka.

“In the past two decades Sonic games have been trying to target a broader audience from kids to adults,” Iizuka said to Metro. “And Forces has that same idea, so that means a wider range of characters that we know children like. Even if other fans may not be quite as keen.

“But for Mania it’s kind of like a new approach. To target specifically 2D fans. So we don’t know whether it’ll be accepted positively in the market. We’ll find out after the game’s released, and we can figure out the direction of future titles after seeing the reaction.”

So there you have it – if you want more classic-styled Sonic the Hedgehog games, you should each probably buy like nine copies of Sonic Mania. Totally. I’m not being paid by Sega to say that I swear!

Sonic Mania is launching across for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch on August 15th.

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Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic



49 comments
  1. JellyfishMonarch
    JellyfishMonarch
    July 10, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Hopefully they’ll continue with both. I greatly prefer the feel of the 2d sonics but the 3d ones are sometimes hammy fun.

  2. OldPalpy
    OldPalpy
    July 10, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    What a fucking idiot
    “But for Mania it’s kind of like a new approach. To target specifically
    2D fans. So we don’t know whether it’ll be accepted positively in the
    market.”
    In his world New Super Mario Bros. probably doesn’t exist along with all the other highly successful new 2D games, also I suppose Sonic 4 despite that game being a miserable failure it showed there was a market demand for new 2D Sonic. He refuses to admit that his game are niche compared to Mania.

  3. Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    July 10, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Personally, I’m a bit bothered by all the attention Sega has been giving to mania while neglecting Forces. The way I see it, Forces should be the game Sega should be pushing more. I have nothing against the old school 2D titles, but, while it’s obvious that it’s gonna sell, it’s not something I’m terribly interested in. I grew up with the “Gamecube era” games, so what I like about Sonic, aside from the gameplay, is the characters and stories, that goes double after I started reading the Comics (‘Character’ is the reason why Sonic managed to stay relevant even through his darkest years and the reason why I like him more than Mario), Mania obviously doesn’t care about story and it boils down to basically gameplay and nothing else (which I find way less interesting than if there was a story behind it. even a simplistic one would make it better) and the idea that it might influence future Sonic games to go in that direction scares me (the Pontaff written games are already a step in that direction, being childish and comedic cringe instead of more Epic adventures like all the games prior or the comics. Forces Seems to be going back to those roots but Sega is so scarce with it’s advertisement compared to Mania.)

  4. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    July 10, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I wouldn’t mind if they split the series into both classic and modern Sonic. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mania outsells Forces.

  5. orbo
    orbo
    July 10, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Even when they do make a “””2D””” game it’s sonic 4 which is half assed 2.5d, like nsmb, and is also given the B team treatment like nsmb games.
    In this sense nintendo and sega are alike.
    “Now is the time for 3D!”
    Even though literally every old school sonic fan has been asking for a proper follow up to the original genesis trio for over twenty years.
    But clearly the audience doesn’t know what it wants.

    They just don’t want to make a 2d game.
    Mania vs forces is gonna blow up in their faces and shareholders are gonna force them to make more games like mania.

  6. RichardGristle
    RichardGristle
    July 10, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    I just want Sonic to die off altogether, but if I can’t get that then I guess the 2D games are what I’d like to see them make.

  7. OldPalpy
    OldPalpy
    July 10, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    “Now is the time for 3D!”
    Ah, I see you’re a man of culture as well! I’s very true with Sonic Team they won’t make a 2D game unless it has elements from their beloved 3D games like homing attacks and automation out the ass, Forces will even automate jumping for you as they have hidden springs in the ground whenever you should be expected to hit the jump button. I don’t even know if Sonic Team could be forced to make a game that was like Mania they’d likely just reuse Classic Sonic from Forces/Generations, not improve anything about the physics and level design and call it a day. My solution would be to send Sonic Team to mobile game hell and give the Mania a bigger budget to do whatever they want without Iizuka bossing em around, let them build the image and gameplay identify of Sonic back up to the mainstream then maybe start think of ways to expand that are divorced from what Sonic Team was doing since ’98.

    You know I wouldn’t be surprised if the audience doesn’t know what it wants meme was started by Sega’s viral marketers in 2010, while it might be confusing with regards to what audience of 3D Sonic as that’s a giant tangled mess at this point it’s always been clear what the audience that’s always wanted more old school Genesis Sonic actually want. People like Jim Sterling parroted the meme to white knight Sonic 4 while not understanding that 4 was a case study in what that audience didn’t want.

  8. OldPalpy
    OldPalpy
    July 11, 2017 at 12:27 am

    The swift in stories happened for a reason, and that reason is cringe, Sonic Team’s love and idea of epic adventure melodrama is part of what made the series a laughing stock after 2006 requiring a shift in tone that would make would only have some fans angry while everyone else would either be amused or wouldn’t care which is a massive net positive for their brand image.

    Mania will have as much story Sonic 3&K and will feature in game cutscenes and level transitions similar to it and I think that’s the perfect way to tell a story for a 2D platformer, you try to do more than that and you end up with something like Freedom Planet’s pure cringe voice acted cutscenes or even worse nonstop dialogue during gameplay by poorly directed voice actors that used to plagued Sonic games and Generations’ final bo-LOOKS LIKE A HOMING SHOT and for some reason is being brought back for Forces.

  9. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    July 11, 2017 at 1:21 am

    It’ll never outsell forces since Forces will get a shitload of “my kid likes games so I’ll get him the latest sonic for his birthday/christmas/so he’ll shut the fuck up” sales that Mania can’t get since it doesn’t have a physical release.

    That said it’ll probably be way, way more highly reviewed, and I can’t imagine it won’t sell more than enough for Sega to be satisfied.

  10. Iturea
    Iturea
    July 11, 2017 at 1:34 am

    Iizuka isn’t. Far as I have heard, Pagoda Games has had near complete freedom. They know Whitehead knows what he is doing and they know their engine. Given Studio Yatta also seems to be making some cutscenes-why would they do that? How would they know about some indie American animation studio best known for Smash Bros fanimation?

    Take a deep breath, fellow.

  11. JellyfishMonarch
    JellyfishMonarch
    July 11, 2017 at 1:54 am

    I’m interested in both (and paid attention to tje comic. Anyway

    Never personally had a problem with pontaff but i feel he would do better if someone wrote the main story and he went in and edited some dialog here and there. Not changing major plot points but a good one liner goes a long way.

    I also dislike 100% serious sonic universe. Unleashed (was epic though) and shadow the edgehog were terrible.

  12. Professor_Icepick
    Professor_Icepick
    July 11, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Honestly, I’d hope this means less for the future of the Sonic series and more about potential similar projects in other dormant Sega franchises. I’d love to see Streets of Rage 4 done by the SOR Remake guys, not to mention a whole plethora of different old-school games see revivals.

  13. OldPalpy
    OldPalpy
    July 11, 2017 at 3:27 am

    No he has a level of control over it and is constantly giving them feedback on what to change and the idea of reusing Genesis levels was his.

  14. Fabio
    Fabio
    July 11, 2017 at 3:30 am

    But…they are making a legit 2D game…… That’s the point, they are trying exactly what the fans want and seeing how it turns out

  15. OldPalpy
    OldPalpy
    July 11, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Eh I don’t see that being the force it use to be, the only Sonic game on 3DS to push past a million units was Generations and that system has to be the reigning king currently for the sales you’re talking about. Positive word of mouth and the fact it’s getting people who were driven away by the series previously excited will make up for it being digital only, for what’s it worth the collectors edition across all 4 platforms was constantly topping Amazon’s charts, if Sega doesn’t give in to demand and make a physical release I expect them to at least start selling it in gift card form for retail stores as they’re already having to print cards for the CE.

  16. Mechonis
    Mechonis
    July 11, 2017 at 6:32 am

    “We’re going to decide our future based on how the nostalgia bait game compares to the mediocre shit we’ve regurgitating in 3D for the past 11 years.”

  17. chaoguy
    chaoguy
    July 11, 2017 at 6:35 am

    With Crash Bandicoot drawing people back into classic platforming and retro difficulty, it might help boost some sales.

    But I do have to agree with you. Even if Mania sells well, Iizuka probably still has enough pull at the company to convince people to let him stay.

  18. goodbyejojo
    goodbyejojo
    July 11, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Generations 2 and new racing game!

  19. Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    July 11, 2017 at 7:46 am

    While I agree that the stories shouldn’t be 100% serious, they were getting it right before suddenly shifting the tone. Unleashed and Black Knight both had the perfect balance, with a good sense of scope and a real threat while still having light hearted and funny moments here and there. (Also, the comic was proving many times over that the series can work with epic stories) the Pontaff games, while praised for the gameplay, each had a worst story than the last (Colors wasn’t too bad, Generations everyone agree that was disappointing for an anniversary tittle, and Lost World story is the worst piece of garbage I ever had the displeasure of sitting through).

    Oh, I didn’t know Mania was gonna be like that, Sonic3&K is my favorite out of the classics so I might give it a chance now.

    As for the in-game dialogue, I wouldn’t compare what was shown in Forces to the final Boss of Generations. Generations had an annoying tutorial randomly repeated over and over and Forces seems to have actual story progression and character interaction (through the dialogue we knew that Sonic was looking for Shadow, and look and behold, the stage ends when we find him) which is worlds better and actually helps telling the story in a way only a game could.

  20. Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    July 11, 2017 at 7:55 am

    I started haivng a problem with Pontaff in Generations and started hating them in Lost Wold, which was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Regardless of the gameplay being ok, the story is so awful, everyone is so out of character, and the Villains are so pathetic that it’s the one sonic game I refuse to ever get. The fact that we have Roger Craig Smith at his worst doesn’t help either. I hate his ‘Sonic Voice’.

    The way I see it, Sonic is sort of like a Shonen Anime. It should have an epic adventure with real stakes and villains that actually feel like a threat (just compare Adventure 1 and 2 Eggman to colors and generations eggman. The first sent a missile to blow up the city, held Amy at gun point and tried to kill Sonic by flinging him into space, held the planet hostage and destroyed the moon as a warning shot. And the second is Baldy McNose-hair) but also fun light hearted moments to balance it out.

    I think the best examples would be the adventure series, the storybook series, heroes, and Unleashed.

  21. Captain Vidya
    Captain Vidya
    July 11, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Hey, if that racing game is like All-Stars Transformed, I’d be down. That shit was great.

  22. orbo
    orbo
    July 11, 2017 at 9:38 am

    No.
    Their FANS are making a legit 2d game.

  23. Bitterbear
    Bitterbear
    July 11, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Maybe they should try and uh, sell a Sonic Maker game? And maybe even share those levels regardless of the platform?

  24. goodbyejojo
    goodbyejojo
    July 11, 2017 at 11:52 am

    yeah, i enjoyed more that racing game, then any other modern sonic installment

  25. Anon
    Anon
    July 11, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Are you sure you have the right hobby? Maybe the comics and shonen anime you seem to like are more your speed if story takes such precedent to gameplay in your mind.

  26. randr01d
    randr01d
    July 11, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Give it time. Mania releases considerably before Forces. Once Mania is out, I’m sure they’ll step up the marketing for Forces.

    Hyped for both!

  27. TheOnceAndFutureKing
    TheOnceAndFutureKing
    July 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Its simple, just make fun games without any stupid gimmicks or any of the pointless autistic furry characters from the Dreamcast era and up.

  28. Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    July 11, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I’m not saying gameplay isn’t important, but to me, a good story can make or break a game (and there’s some types of Naratives that can ONLY work in a game, Yoko Taro’s games are a great example of that, they are all amazing games even though the gameplay is kinda janky). It’s the reason why I absolutely love NieR Automata and Persona 5 but thought Zelda Breath of the Wild was severly overhyped.

    Of course, not all games need a super deep story for me to like it. I like Rayman Legends, Shantae, and play Smash bros on 3DS pretty much every day. I’m hyped for Mario Odyssey and I bet is not gonna go any further than “Bowser is now Marrying Peach”.

    That being said, to me at least, Story was always a very important part of Sonic. He is a cool character and I enjoyed following his adventures, even if Shadow the Hedgehog (which I still like despite all it’s flaws) went a bit to far on the Edgy Spectrum and 06 was just a mess, all the games pre-Colors delivered on fun gameplay held together by an entertaining enough Plot which makes me wanna go back and play them again and try to get the A Ranks (I like the gameplay, but the story simply elevates the game a lot more). As for Colors and Generations, I did finish them 100% but since I don’t care about the story of those 2, I don’t feel any need to go back to those after achieving all there was to achieve.

  29. Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    July 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Well, Hopefully both will do well! (and maybe Iizuka will finally separate the Classic and Modern Sonic games for good. Nothing against Classic, but he’s so damn out of place in Forces)

  30. MetalGear Lamia
    MetalGear Lamia
    July 11, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Yup

  31. randr01d
    randr01d
    July 11, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Agreed. There should have been a divide since the Adventure series came out. I guess you can stack the handheld titles that way, but they always tried to mimic the 3D titles in theme and presentation.

    Keeping Classic as its own brand apart from Modern is definitely preferable no matter what the actual game appearance is (3D/2D). The themes for each are completely different. And you’re right, It made sense to bring them together once (Generations), but yeah in Forces it looks, well… forced.

  32. Lea Pastillaroja
    Lea Pastillaroja
    July 11, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Mania will outself Forces hands down no contest
    the trailer for Forces made me cringe

  33. randr01d
    randr01d
    July 11, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Yeah I’m hoping this results in a permanent split. Modern keeps straying further away from what Classic was that it’ll be convenient to have Classic preserved in its own series, instead of being brought back in pieces the way Sonic 4 and Generations did.

    Forces seems like the perfect all-in-one game. It simultaneously acknowledges that Classic is its own identity that doesn’t really belong in the Modern space, and also recognizes that the abundance of talking animal characters is the hallmark of the Modern series, punctuating this sentiment by letting you create as many new animal characters as you’d like.

    If they split them for good, then the whole thing looks pretty genius all in all. Let’s see if they make the right moves once all the dust settles from both Mania’s and Forces’ releases.

    Chances are they won’t though and Generations 2 (or unofficially 3) will be released as the next Sonic game.

  34. randr01d
    randr01d
    July 11, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    It might have made you cringe, but there’s an audience for it. I have a feeling the custom character feature is going to pull in a lot more people that would otherwise be on the fence.

    Mania being cheaper in price is what will give it a chance to outsell Forces in terms of number of units.

    Honestly, I was one of those “On the fence” people, but after hearing the theme song for the customer character, I’m all in. It’s off the wall cheese dialed to 11 and if you’re going to make a batshit crazy game, then let loose. Forces looks like it’s not going to be holding back, so it’s got me.

  35. LNK1123
    LNK1123
    July 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve quoted that exact same line on another website for a similar reason:
    Sonic 1, 2, 3&K and CD are NOT the only 2D Sonic games!

    Also, besides Sonic 4, there is Sonic Advance 1, 2 and 3 which are 2D, and Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure which are mostly 2D.

    So, from the looks of it, Sonic Mania will only feature re-used levels from a small subset (not even one half of them) from all 2D Sonic games.

  36. Lea Pastillaroja
    Lea Pastillaroja
    July 11, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    custom sonic characters…
    considering the autistic webcomics, fan art and furry porn that came outta Sonic’s more autistic fans i cringe even more thinking about Forces and what the character creation will be used for

  37. Jorge Calvo
    Jorge Calvo
    July 12, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Preorder Mania for the switch in a heartbeat, god dammit SEGA what took you so long to make a Proper Sonic and knuckles sequel. Sonic 4 made by Dimps was a #$%3 steam pile of caca!!!!!!

  38. Jorge Calvo
    Jorge Calvo
    July 12, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Asides from the above comment I left, I’m seriously concerned about Forces release for the winter. Sega has a notorious bad habit of leaving unfinished games right before the X-mas season.
    All those bugs, framerate drops, unpolished level designs will bite them from behind. And all for a quick buck. They just don’t learn

  39. Jorge Calvo
    Jorge Calvo
    July 12, 2017 at 1:48 am

    The custom character design!!!!
    Quick!!! Somebody call Chris Chan!!!! LOL
    I can see it, Sonichu!!!!!! XD

  40. Jorge Calvo
    Jorge Calvo
    July 12, 2017 at 1:50 am

    Sonichu!!!! –> Chris Chans wet dream come true!!!!
    kek

  41. OldPalpy
    OldPalpy
    July 12, 2017 at 2:50 am

    The tutorial dialogue can be turned off in Generations and Colors so that’s not a valid point (and makes it questionable if you’re replying in good faith as anyone who’s played those games knows about those options) and I don’t expect you’ll be able to shut the friends up in Forces unless they mercifully tie it to a similar tutorial option or include a voice sound setting, what you are talking about is the same annoying neverending stream of dialogue that plagued the worst era of Sonic games so I don’t see how this can improve the game in the least unless you have Stockholm’s syndrome over the cancerous elements of this franchise.

    Ask yourself this what do you think is going to sell more copies of a Sonic game: a actual solid playing game or a “epic” story that most people see as a joke and are turned off by? Colors performed better than many of of Sonic Team’s games that attempted more detailed stories, the Wii market gobbled Colors up while ignoring Black Knight. The only people buying these games for character interactions of Amy rambling nonstop about seeing Shadow who’s waiting at the end of the stage are insignificant and should not be considered in attempts to make Sonic a mainstream market success

  42. OldPalpy
    OldPalpy
    July 12, 2017 at 3:00 am

    That’s because as talked about in the replies he doesn’t want to admit that 2D Sonic is highly viable and important for the future of the series because that is a a direct threat to him and his 3D games.

    And Mania has no real reason to include Advance 2-3 and the Rush games as they differ far too much from the Genesis formula it would be like including a level from Chaotix, too much work would be required to rework them and by that point they’d lose the essence of their source so only those from the first Advance would work.

  43. Fabio
    Fabio
    July 12, 2017 at 4:20 am

    What. Sega employed them. I suspect most Sega employees are Sega fans…

  44. Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    July 12, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I don’t see how mid stage dialogue is “cancerous” when so many other games do it and no one bats an eye. And the demo for Forces seemed to be doing it right, the writting and voice acting where not cringy it the least (unless you’re one of those people that imediatelt wrote it off as annoying for the simple fact that it’s there, which I find extremely close-minded).

    Also, despite having a simple story, it’s obvious by reviews that reason Colors sold so well was due to its gameplay and not it’s story. As much as I personally like Black Knight, I can see the gameplay isn’t as solid. So now I ask you: Is it too much to ask that a game have a good gameplay and a good dtory?
    Also you’d be surprised with how many people hate the current writters Ns want the games to go back to the writting style of the adventure era. That’s now a whole generation grew up with those games so I’d hardly call them insignificant.

  45. Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    Loli de 42 Dias de Vida
    July 12, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Well, Sega had at least two years to work on Forces and they delayed it to make sure it wouldn’t be buggy.

  46. Mike Lawrence
    Mike Lawrence
    July 12, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    They were fans that were pretty well known for making android & IOS ports of existing games classic games. Given the go ahead to design a new game, but asked to keep 50% of the levels/stages/zones as remakes of the original ‘classic’ games.
    It’s not sonic team.

  47. Kevin Steigelman
    Kevin Steigelman
    July 12, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    2D games are where it’s at. That is why Sonic Advance sold so well. If they were smart, just remake Sonic 1-3 with the Sonic Mania graphic’s they will get tons of money.

  48. Fabio
    Fabio
    July 12, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    they made official iOS ports under Sega. They are well known in the fan community, but they are just as much Sega employees as all others.
    There are a bunch of Sonic games not made by Sonic team. The only difference is this seems to be a good one

  49. OldPalpy
    OldPalpy
    July 16, 2017 at 4:56 am

    You’re right no one certain never hated games for constant voice acting that won’t shut the fuck up during gameplay or that walk and talk gimmick that infested many games after Gear of Wars it’s just another conspiracy to sully the image of modern Sonic right? You aren’t interested in having a good faith debate here unless you somehow actually nobody has batted an eye at this in other games which is beyond laughable but you’ll probably avoid addressing this just like the last time I caught you doing this .
    This bullshit in Sonic is legendary and is well earned it’s cancerous label the only who won’t admit it are mindless drones who surprise surprise always played their first Sonic game on a Gamecube and are by default close minded about the mountain of faults in these games. Finding it cringy isn’t close-minded it’s called being sane and seeing these things for what they are in the context of Sonic Team’s massive history of fuckups and design fetishes instead of being a sycophant who makes sure to post on every Sonic related vid on Youtube “hey am I only one who actually liked Sonic 06?”. And to go into this a bit more to get at the heart of it, the nonstop dialogue is aural aids here specifically because part of the game’s focus is replaying levels for better score/times that are at max 4-6 minutes long meaning you’ll have every word of this generic drivel burned into your brain more than the actual level music, and surprise this was a hallmark for a majority of terrible Sonic games and is infamous for helping end Generations on a sour note. It’s returned here because Sonic Team are idiots and I suppose anyone responsible for getting it large removed starting with Unleashed has either been fired or their heart was never in the right place to between with as the case study of the Time Eater battle suggests.

    Sure but Sonic Team is incapable of doing so so it remains a pointless endeavor, the time spent on plotting, animating and voice acting of what will always and forever be a bunch generic anime melodrama should be better spent focusing on the things that made Colors sell so well and you know the games that actually made the series relevant in the first place and it ain’t that Shadow game. They blame the current writers because they’re afraid of getting dogpiled if they question dear leader Iizuka or can’t even comprehend that idea , Pontac is a safe target with the spiels against him and the other guy always being the same shit copy pasted shit that always ignores that they localize the stories that are still created by Sonic Team itself meaning the shift in tone was always their creation and a response to past failures, if Flynn was brought in guess what he’d be having to do the same things they do and the results would still suck shit.

    I’ll call them insignificant because Sega sees them as such and they have access to the hard numbers and those numbers tell them that a Sonic Adventure 3 is a waste of time, that they have little reason to get rid of Pontac as it’s the game itself like Lost World that made it such a sales disaster not a lousy story. If they weren’t insignificant Sega would have kept pandering to them for years instead of making a shift that started with Unleashed, the bottomline is they don’t give a fuck about Tumblrinas who want to buy their games for shipping material. If Forces creates a ton of negative memes like 06 and Boom RoL then Sega will act accordingly just like they did with those games, and since Sonic Team had decided to hitch this game’s wagon to the terrible world of fanchars it’s gonna be a goldmine of hilarious memes particularity it comes out that it’s true that the focus of the game has been put on that more than the two Sonics effectively killing the “it’s Generations 2 settle down” narrative.