Celebrating Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary with 25 great underrated moments

sonic 25 headerSEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise turns 25 today, and while we’ve celebrated franchise milestone years in the past, there is something really special about this one. A quarter of a century is a long time, and it is a testament to SEGA’s perseverance and the devotion of the Sonic fanbase that the franchise is still going strong. Sonic Lost World and the Sonic Boom franchise – particularly the games – are often pinpointed as the franchise’s recent weak points and signs that the franchise as a whole needs to be put down or at the very least take a long break. While I am not here to debate the merits of Sonic Lost World and Sonic Boom, I will say that to end a series or take a long break because of either is both incredibly shortsighted and far too extreme a reaction. I would also argue that Sonic is about much more than just the main series games, as fans like to label the major titles, and that there has always been great Sonic things happening even during the franchise’s darkest years.

In celebration of 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, join me in looking back year-by-year as I shine the light on great moments in Sonic history that more people need to be talking about.

The History of Sega Japan R&D, Part 4: The Current Sega

A NEW STRUCTURE, A NEW SEGA

The executive team, Hideki Okamura (Left), Hisao Oguchi (Middle) and Takayuki Kawagoe (Right). These men have been responsible for risque games such as Segagaga, Jet Set Radio and also Sega Saturn and Dreamcast marketing in Japan. With these man, the unique corporate culuture of Sega would continue.

The executive team, Hideki Okamura (Left), Hisao Oguchi (Middle) and Takayuki Kawagoe (Right).

In 2005, Sega was back in the black in all areas for the first time in a long time. The Sega Sammy structure was completed, and the next generation home consoles were ahead. Like in the formation of twelve new R&D studios in 1998, executive management had a reset. Long time executives Hideki Sato and Hisashi Suzuki retired from Sega, after their thirty – or even in Suzuki’s case – forty years of service.

Masano Maeda & Naoya Tsurumi
Masano Maeda & Naoya Tsurumi

As mentioned in Part 3, Hisao Oguchi would atain the highest executive position which he held until 2008 where he received even wider responsibilities as Chief Creative Officer of Sega Sammy.

Then there is Masano Maeda, who joined in 1991. Madea was responsible for building a new Western management team that made crucial partnerships and buyouts of Western companies, like Creative Assembly, Sports Interactive and Secret Level On a side note: the amount of games developed for Xbox 360 amount to roughly forty games, and on PC to about sixty games. On the Dreamcast, the amount comes to fourteen, and old PC releases amount to sixteen.

Developer Retrospective: A look back at the games of SEGA’s WOW Entertainment

WOW

When SEGA WOW Month began, we took a look back at the games of SEGA’s Overworks. While Overworks existed for only a short span of time before merging with WOW Entertainment, this month has made it very clear that Skies of Arcadia made a major impact on SEGA fans. But what of WOW Entertainment? Unlike Overworks, WOW managed to release a large number of games spanning different genres on different pieces of hardware. From sequels to classic franchises like The House of the Dead and Columns, to new franchises like SEGA GT and arcade oddities like The Typing of the Dead, a collaboration with Namco, and a dog walking simulator. While WOW Entertainment can’t be pinned down to one iconic title, they more than made up for this with an amazing library of games!

Join us now for part two of our SEGA WOW retrospective, in which we take a look at the many games of WOW Entertainment.

SEGA Channel Retro: SEGA Multiplayer Showcase & Knuckles’ Chaotix

Last weekend saw an extravaganza of rarely seen footage of more multiplayer madness with SEGA featuring me and some of my friends. Last time we went through several Sonic games from the Game Boy Advance line-up rummaging for chao, racing to the finish, exchanging fists and more. This time we’ve not only gone back to Sonic Advance 3 with a full house of four players, we also got to check out the multiplayer mode of the Game Boy Advance conversion of Jet Set Radio from the developers behind the GBA version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. Finally our last surprise was us racing in the future with San Francisco Rush 2049 on SEGA Dreamcast.

Also appearing only on Twitch is a silent longplay of Knuckles’ Chaotix running at 60 frames per second as part of SEGAbits’ 32X month. If you missed out on these liveshowings, be sure to subscribe to us on Twitch or YouTube for updates when we go live again or to catch up on our previous showings.

SEGA Channel Retro: Sonic GBA Multiplayer Live Stream


Bartman3010 brings some friends over to play Sonic multiplayer games on Game Boy Advance. No link cables required! Thanks to my friends Captain Kangaroo and Noname for participating in the stream!

If you missed the livestream, you can check out the archived stream below on both Twitch and YouTube. You can also watch the main livestream uncut on Twitch here. Or check after the break for the complete list