On June 23rd, 1991, the 2D platform game Sonic the Hedgehog was released on the Sega Genesis video game console, in which the character assumes the role of the title character Sonic who runs through various levels to defeat the villain Dr. Robotnik (playthrough shown below).
Three sequels titled Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic&Knuckles were released on the Sega Genesis in 1992 and 1994 which introduced the playable characters Tails the Fox and Knuckles the Echidna (reviewed below, left). In November 1996, the 3D game Sonic 3D Blast was released for the Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn, which featured an isometric 3D perspective (playthrough shown below, right).
Following Sega's withdrawal from the console market, many Sonic games made their way on to other systems. On the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube, Sega released several Sonic ports, including Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut (shown below, left) and the spin off Shadow the Hedgehog (shown below, right).
In 2010, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 was released for iOS, WiiWare, PlayStation, Xbox, Windows and Android (shown below, left). The game was a return to 2D game play, with level designs based of the original games. In 2012, Sonic the Hedgehog: Episode 2 was released (shown below, right).
Sonic ’06 was the first Sonic the Hedgehog next gen console video game developed by Sonic Team and published by SEGA for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was first announced in a trailer from E3 in May, 2005 (shown below, left). Both versions have received almost exclusively negative reviews and it is known as one of the worst video game ever made. On November 1st, 2012, Game Grumps uploaded the first episode of a 108-part playthrough of Sonic '06 (shown below right).
Sonic the Hedgehog OVA / Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie (1996)
On January 26, 1996, the first episode of Sonic the Hedgehog (OVA), which was produced by Studio Pierrot, Sega Enterprises, and General Entertainment under the direction of Sonic Team, was released on VHS in Japan. The second episode was released on March 22, 1996. It was later licensed by ADV Films for the English dub release on September 7, 1999, which combined both OVA episodes as Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
On February 9th, 2016, Sega Sammy President Hajime Satomi announced in an interview with business web site Worldfolio that a live-action/animation hybrid Sonic film was in production, slated for a 2018 release. Fan reception was mixed, with many excited that Sonic was receiving his first full-length film, but many also worried that the hybrid style would not do justice to the adaptation. In response to the news, the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account trolled its followers by tweeting "Exclusive Leaked Footage of the new Sonic movie" with a link to a clip from the 1993 film adaptation of Mario Brothers. The tweet received 1,605 retweets and 2,547 likes. A post about the film in the /r/movies subreddit received 2,847 points (86% upvoted), and with many fans commenting with their own theories about the film's possible plots, characters, and style.
On December 10th, 2018, video game news websites IGN published the first teaser poster for the Sonic The Hedgehog live-action film on Instagram.  The poster included light animations, creating a muscular silhouette of the character. The post received on 27,000 likes and 147,000 views in 24 hours.
Online, fans reacted to the poster by joking about the new design of the character. Additionally, they compared the image of Sonic's new silhouette to various fanart and other Sonic adaptations (shown below).
Sonic Mania and Project Sonic 2017
On July 22nd, 2016, Sonic Mania was announced alongside Project Sonic 2017 (speculated to be Sonic Generations 2) during a 25th anniversary party held by Sega at the San Diego Comic-Con. The same day, the Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube channel uploaded the trailer for both Sonic Mania (shown below, left) and Project Sonic 2017 (shown below, right).
Sonic Mania boasts a return to the 2D style of early Sonic games, allowing players to use Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles as they play through both remixed versions of classic levels like Green Zone, and new, original levels. The game also introduces a new mechanic, the "drop dash," which allows players to instantly dash into a roll after landing from a jump. The Sonic team hired Christian Whitehead, an Australian independent video game developer known for his updated ports of classic Sonic games to mobile devices, to collaborate on creating a modern 2D sonic.
For fans of Sonic The Hedgehog disappointed in 3D Sonic games, Sonic Mania represents cause for optimism. Sonic Mania is scheduled for release on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows in Spring 2017.
Sonic Boom Franchise
On February 6th, 2014, SEGA announced the launch of the Sonic Boom franchise, which would include the release of new Wii U and Nintendo 3DS titles (shown below, left), a new toy line and a CG-animated television program (shown below, right). The television series will debut on the Cartoon Network in the United States during the 2014 season, consisting of 52 episodes that are 11 minutes in length.
On the same day, several Twitter users mocked the new character designs, including the length of Sonic's legs, his white handwraps and Knuckle's increase in size. Meanwhile, the video game news blog Kotaku published a round-up of Twitter reactions to the new franchise.
There sure is something different about you today Sonic : pic.twitter.com/ThNxx16hAX— GamesRadar.com (@GamesRadar) February 6, 2014
Hewwo it me Sonic time for a weboot Sonic BOOM ha ha WEE pic.twitter.com/5Q7Dwshkqb
— Shmorky (@sashmorky) February 6, 2014
Knuckles in sonic boom, more like… pic.twitter.com/Okd8tzJwpn
— Nohma – Human (@phantasm_nohma) February 6, 2014
Sonic Central 30th Anniversary Event
On May 27th, 2021, Sega held their "Sonic Central" live stream in honor of Sonic's 30th anniversary (shown below).
The roughly 15-minute long event saw the announcement of a number of new Sonic projects, including the premier of a teaser for a brand new game from Sonic Team and a remastered version of 2010's Sonic Colors, titled Sonic Colors: Ultimate (trailers shown below, left and right).
Archie Sonic Comics
Archie Sonic Comics are comic series about Sonic the Hedgehog made by Archie, most notably Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Boom, and Sonic Universe. Other Sonic comic series which have been discontinued include Knuckles the Echidna and Sonic X.
Sonic the Hedgehog comics have gained a notable niche audience on YouTube, including videos of the comics with voice-overs of all the characters, online video reviews of the comics, and videos showing panels of the comics.
Gotta Go Fast
Gotta Go Fast is a catchphrase commonly associated with a poorly-drawn illustration of Sonic the Hedgehog. The phrase itself was taken from main theme for the english dub of the Japanese animated series Sonic X .
Sonichu is a fan-comic series that was written and drawn by vlogger Christian Weston Chandler. The comic's main character Sonichu is a hybrid character of Sonic the Hedgehog and Pikachu from the Nintendo video game series Pokemon.
You're Too Slow!
Green Hill Zone remixes
Green Hill Zone Remixes are remixes of the song from the first level of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game on the Sega Genesis. YTPMV and musical tributes of the background theme can also be found on YouTube.
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