Like many fans of the Blue Blur, I tuned into the 30th anniversary Sonic Central stream ready to be whelmed. Sonic fans have been burned too many times to expect greatness, but surely some neat piece of merch would be revealed and beg to take a spot on my shelf. I also had the benefit of leaks to temper my expectations. Knowing that Sonic Colors Ultimate would probably be the big announcement made it easier to accept the vague teaser for a 2022 game. Even so, the event managed to deliver one very welcome surprise: a free Sonic concert featuring Crush 40.
Little was actually said about Sonic Symphony, other than it will be an online concert taking place on June 23. Preview footage showed a traditional orchestra playing some of the classic Genesis-era tunes as the price of “free” was revealed. Then came the announcement that made the stream for me – Crush 40 will be bringing their legendary butt rock to Sonic Symphony. And that’s all I needed to know to shift into hype mode.
Were I forced to revisit the Sonic Adventures, Heroes, or (Iblis forbid) ‘06, I know I’d find them lacking. Just seeing Heroes replayed on Game Grumps was enough to remind me of the way 3D Sonic games love to send you flying off the edge of a stage for no reason. And I don’t have the strength to get thrown around by Silver as he screams “It’s no use!” Yet, despite their monumental crappiness, the 2000s Sonic games hold a special place in my heart next to Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Mass Effect 2.
A huge part of my love for that period of Sonic, aside from my unironic appreciation for Shadow, is the music. The fervor Crush 40 puts into their performances, even when singing about hailing super-powered hedgehogs and fleeing from a city, is infectious. Seriously, “Escape From The City” never fails to pump me up. My Sonic playlist has gotten me in the zone for everything from gym sessions to job interviews, and it has survived multiple MP3 players and iPhone models. When I look fondly back on Sonic, it’s usually those tunes that run through my mind.
Would it have been cool to get a new Sonic game in 2021 to celebrate his actual 30th year? Sure. Is Sega leaving money on the table by not releasing a Sonic Adventure remaster? Absolutely. But when you look at the legacy of Sonic, the music is just as important as the gameplay. I’d argue it’s even more important, as it’s had more of a positive impact than Shadow’s gunplay, the Werehog, and every other weird design decision the games have struggled with. So bring on the Sonic Symphony, Sega, I’m ready to celebrate with Crush 40.
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