Sonic Frontiers

Sonic Frontiers

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Sonic Frontiers is an open-world video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise released on November 8th, 2022. It is the first open-world Sonic game. It was officially announced in May 2021 during Sonic Central's 30th-anniversary stream and a gameplay teaser was released in May 2022. The game received mostly positive reception upon release, garnering a 72/100 critic score on Metacritic.


On May 27th, 2021, the "Sonic Central 30th Anniversary" live stream took place, where several new Sonic projects were announced. At the 11:46 minute mark, a new game called Sonic Frontiers was teased in a trailer showing Sonic running through the woods (shown below, left).[1] On December 9th, the Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube[2] channel released a second teaser for the game, gaining over 2.4 million views in six months (shown below, right).

On May 31st, 2022, another teaser for Sonic Frontiers was released on the Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube[3] channel, showcasing gameplay for the first time. The trailer shows Sonic roaming through an open-world and running on a large wheel, seemingly to reveal sections of the map. It also shows Sonic grinding on rails, climbing a large mech and circling around enemies to attack them (shown below). The trailer gained over 1.2 million views in a day.

IGN World Premiere Gameplay

On June 1st, 2022, IGN posted 7-minute long video to YouTube[9] showcasing gameplay from Sonic Frontiers, gaining over 693,000 views in four hours (shown below). The video shows Sonic roaming around the open-world environment, climbing a tower and traversing around the world using setpieces including grind rails and boost rings. The video ends with Sonic solving a puzzle and running in a large wheel.

Story Trailer

On August 23rd, 2022, the Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube[10] channel released a story trailer for the game, showing off new gameplay footage and elements of the game's plot, garnering over 19,000 views in roughly two hours (shown below).

Release / Reception

On November 8th, 2022, Sonic Frontiers was released across consoles. The game received generally positive reviews, with a 72/100 critic score and 8.3/10 user score on Metacritic[11] after its first week. IGN gave the game a 7/10 in their review, which gained over 941,000 views in a week (shown below). The game's performance and graphics on the Switch were criticized by some, particularly for the decrease in draw distance and effects.[12] The day before the game's release, a thread was posted to /r/Games[18] collecting reviews of the game.

Online Presence

Fan Art

The teasers for Sonic Frontiers inspired discussions about the game and fan art. On December 10th, 2021, Deviant Art[4] user blueseamoon posted art based on one of the teasers, gaining over 150 favorites in six months (shown below, left). On March 10th, 2022, Redditor Sir_di3l posted art based on the teaser to /r/SonicTheHedgehog,[5] gaining over 130 upvotes in three months (shown below, right).


Fan art increased following the game's release, the content delving more into the finer details of the game's story (example shown below from Twitter).[17]


Gameplay Teaser Reactions

The May 31st, 2022 gameplay teaser inspired discussion across social media. On that day, Redditor realXViteal posted a meme to /r/SonictheHedgehog[6] criticizing Sonic's incorrect animation during a section of the trailer where he performers a finisher move on an enemy, gaining over 1,700 upvotes in a day (shown below).

Sonic fans: Having faith that Frontiers would be an amazing game. Me, Noticing these 41 frames: KAPWING

On the same day, Redditor PhobiusofMobius posted a meme to /r/SonicTheHedgehog[7] wishing for the game to have a Chao garden, gaining over 1,900 upvotes in a day (shown below, left). Redditor Black-dragon4129 posted a meme to /r/SonicTheHedgehog[8] sharing enthusiasm for the game's soundtrack and disregarding the criticized frames of animation, gaining over 160 upvotes in a day (shown below, right).

VideoGameDunkey Review Backlash

On November 14th, 2022, YouTuber[13] VideoGameDunkey posted a negative review of the game where he shows off various glitches and annoyances he came across while playing. The video gained over 2.9 million views in four days (shown below).

The video inspired backlash from Sonic fans, who criticized Dunkey for making the game seem glitchier than it is and possibly discouraging people from buying it with his review. Following the video, the Metacritic score for Sonic Frontiers was seemingly review bombed as users gave it low ratings, some with account names that mentioned Dunkey by name (examples shown below).[14][15]

BerserkChip @BerserkChip Dunkey literally made a hit piece on Sonic Frontiers, proving once and for all that he's just as bad as the game journalists he criticized in the past. Out of context pop shots, endgame spoilers with no spoiler warning, just an altogether meanspirited unfunny mess of a video. 6:07 PM - Nov 13, 2022. Twitter for Android You can just tell that every negative review that Sonic Frontiers got today is because of the Dunkey video, some even mention it. 0 0 Joe is the CEO of Personality @OneBizarreJoe 0 sudonim Nov 13, 2022 i just saw dunkeys review and this game looks really bad!! i havent played it yet but sonic sucks and he goes too fast its too hard to see whats going on. i would rather play the best game ever, elden ring than this trash. git gud, dont buy this game edit: Person108 on twitter this was a test and you failed 0 of 6 users found this helpful Squirtle Boy This review contains spoilers, click expand to view.... Expand 0 of 1 users found this helpful Wittle A buggy disappointment. It's trailers are exactly how it is in the gagame. Absolutely horrid. 1 of 5 users found this helpful Cheezeledez The game is not really finished, finished games don't deserve anything higher than o 1 of 6 users found this helpful Coolguy5000 Is it somehow impossible to make good Sonic games now? The most closed open world ever lol. 1 of 8 users found this helpful All this user's reviews 1 of 5 users found this helpful Nov 13, 2022 All this user's reviews Suttner hot flaming garbage riddled with bugs, no fun, no story, bad fights like seriously, any previous sonic game is better, including any fan made one on roblox or wherever O of 4 users found this helpful Nov 13, 2022 All this user's reviews Nov 13, 2022 All this user's reviews Nov 13, 2022 All this user's reviews Nov 13, 2022 All this user's reviews Neighbourskid Nov 13, 2022 It's the worst game since cyberpunk, and i hate how (just like cyberpunk) they get u excited for noting / All this user's reviews phoenixtum Nov 13, 2022 This is a terrible game, I REALLY wanted to like this game as a devout Sonic fan of the Sonic franchise. In fact, to show my bias towards this game I bought the Digital Deluxe edition, simultaneously SCAMMING me off my ⠀

Dunkey responded to the criticism on Twitter[16] that day blaming Sonic fans for writing the reviews to make him look bad, writing, "Sonic fans are review bombing their own favorite game to make my fans look bad." He also wrote, "I just wanted to make an entertaining video on a game I didn't really like, and I was shocked by the user scores so I included it. I can't be alone in feeling crazy when seeing them."

dunkey @vgdunkey Nov 14 Sonic fans are review bombing their own favorite game to make my fans look bad. They really thought they were slick calling their account DunkeyLover2005 (Twitter thought this was real btw) 0 DunkeyLover2005 Nov 13, 2022 I thought I liked this game at first, but then I saw Dunkey's video about it, and then I realized that this game is actually really BAD. Don't play this game! Subscribe to videogamedunkey on youtube, instead! 2 of 6 users found this helpful dunkeylover69 The game is good but it's not knack so it's actually the worst game ever made. 1 of 6 users found this helpful 2 of 16 users found this helpful 1,212 Odunkeyfan123 Nov 13, 2022 This game is quite frankly one of the worst games I ever played. At first I had no opinion on the game but after seeing Dunkey's review I came to conclusion that this game just is not good. With a poor open world and random pop-ups in the open world that block your gameplay I just don't see the appeal. I would recommend getting this game on sale for $5 dollars. Anyways check out dunkey's... Expand 2,912 dunkey @vgdunkey 45.4K t 159 ... All this user's reviews 13.7K Nov 13, 2022 All this user's reviews ↑ dunkey @vgdunkey. Nov 14 In the end, way more positive reviews are being left than negative (and it is 90% Sonic fans leaving both), and my intention was never to send review bombers. 118 All this user's reviews ... I just wanted to make an entertaining video on a game I didn't really like, and I was shocked by the user scores so I included it. I can't be alone in feeling crazy when seeing them.

Post-Release Memes

Following the release of the game, people began increasingly posting memes about it. On November 9th, Twitter[19] user @FimInfinito posted a meme about the game reminding them of older 3D Sonic games, garnering over 32,000 likes in nine days (shown below, left). On November 11th, Twitter[20] user @MationMiss posted a meme about the game that garnered over 7,600 likes in a week (shown below, right).


Sonic Frontiers Status

Sonic Frontiers Status refers to a series of bait-and-switch videos that end with the song "I'm Here" by Tomoya Ohtani and a scene from Sonic Frontiers to serve as a nonsensical punchline. The meme is inspired by other "X Status" memes like shitpost status and Reveangance Status and became popular on YouTube in November 2022 following the release of the game.

Search Interest

External References

[1] YouTube – Sonic Central 30th Anniversary Livestream

[2] YouTube – Sonic Frontiers – Announce Trailer

[3] YouTube – IGN First – Sonic Frontiers Teaser

[4] Deviant Art – blueseamoon

[5] Reddit – Sir_di3l

[6] Reddit – SonicTheHedgehog

[7] Reddit – PhobiusofMobius

[8] Reddit – Black-dragon4129

[9] YouTube – IGN

[10] YouTube – Sonic Frontiers – Story Trailer

[11] Metacritic – Sonic Frontiers

[12] YouTube – SwitchUp

[13] YouTube – videogamedunkey

[14] Twitter – BerserkChip

[15] Twitter – OneBizarreJoe

[16] Twitter – vgdunkey

[17] Twitter – KayllaCat

[18] Reddit – games

[19] Twitter – FimInfinito

[20] Twitter – MationMiss

Recent Videos 15 total

Recent Images 90 total

Top Comments

Sunsoft Bass
Sunsoft Bass

People complain that so many franchises become stale, that franchise got boring because it's always the same thing, not only people get sick of playing the same game again and again, but also the franchise refuses to evolve and use the advancements of the videogame industry to its benefit, the franchise declined because it never changes.

Sonic is a rare case where the franchise declined because it changes too much, every game has to reinvent the wheel, every game needs to have new stuff, that often no one asked, instead of just getting the stuff that worked on previous games and just improving and expanding on them, they need to make a completely different game, they could take risks if the franchise was doing well on 3D, but it isn't, they can't even do corridor stages properly, and they are already trying to make an open world.

Efezs Yiollr
Efezs Yiollr

So that gameplay trailer was…

rough. Lots of pop in for a rather undemanding game, no combat or enemies despite them being shown in the teaser, tons of floating platforms and rails with no style put in to them, the music is very low energy for a Sonic game (even one aping BOTW), and a total lack of dialogue or NPCs makes it all feel very empty. This was a real rough tech demo for a 2022 Winter release, Sega hired that man but at what cost?


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