The original Sonic the Hedgehog for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive first launched in Japan on 23rd June 1991 – 30 years ago today.
Sonic himself is actually a couple of years older. Like the Nintendo mascot he was engineered to replicate, Sonic first popped up elsewhere – in 1991 Sega arcade racer Rad Mobile – before getting his own game.
But it’s that 1991 side-scrolling classic which defined Sonic’s appeal, as well as the series’ gameplay, design and villain Doctor “Eggman” Robotnik.
The franchise has had a few ups and downs over the years, from beloved entries such as Sonic Mania to… less beloved entries like Shadow the Hedgehog. Still, it feels like things are currently back on the up.
Just last month, Sega held its first ever Nintendo Direct-style livestream for the franchise, which confirmed a remastered Sonic Colors Ultimate for launch on 7th September and a retro collection of classics named Sonic Origins.
A two-part animated Sonic short, titled Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, launches this summer starring Roger Craig Smith, the newly-reinstated voice of Sonic. There’s also a live-action Sonic movie sequel, again with Jim Carrey, on the way in April next year.
And then there’s the next big Sonic game, coming to Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation and Xbox in 2022, which appears to be named Sonic Rangers.
Three decades on and he still hasn’t slowed down. What are your memories of Sonic?