With the discharge of Sonic the Hedgehog, online game motion pictures have turned a nook. After years of being outright terrible, they’ve lastly reached a tier maybe greatest described as “harmlessly nice.” However now that we’ve fortunately reached a degree of fundamental competence, it additionally weirdly sufficient gave me a delirious second of imagining what might come now that we’re there.
Frankly, it wasn’t really something that was in Sonic that gave me that second. Don’t get me unsuitable, the film’s nice—it’s not unhealthy, not superb, it’s…nice! It’s cute. Sonic flosses, a number of occasions, which my screening viewers beloved. The Olive Backyard advertising and marketing seamlessly folded into the script flew over the heads of stated screening viewers, if solely as a result of a) they’re within the UK, the place we don’t have Olive Backyard, and b) they had been principally 5-year-olds.
No, as an alternative it was the studio credit.
Sonic, like all movies, opens with the title credits of its distributing studios and licensees. The circle of stars flies in over the Paramount mountain—replaced by Sonic’s golden rings in a cute little nod—and so on. My eyes glazed over a little, because, well, the movie’s not really started yet so I’m only paying half attention, when Sonic owner Sega’s own little title credit started playing—its debut, given that the Sonic movie is its first attempt to leverage its vast gaming catalog in the Hollywood realm. It flicked by like those Marvel Studios credits—the ones where pages of classic comic books flip past your eyes—and then Welkin Gunther was on screen, and suddenly, I was wide awake.
For those of you unfamiliar, Welkin Gunther is the protagonist of Valkyria Chronicles, a 2008 tactical roleplaying game printed by Sega, set in a fantastical alt-World Struggle II by which you ship anime youngster troopers to doubtlessly die horrible deaths or perhaps turn into glowing blue magic individuals. What I’m saying is it’s each nice and in addition a online game I by no means anticipated to see footage from plastered extensive throughout a film display. I like Sonic video games sufficient, certain, however Valkyria Chronicles? That’s my bullshit (you learn the bit the place I stated it’s anime techniques in faux-World Struggle II, proper?). In amongst this sea of young children and their dad and mom, I used to be having my thoughts ripped aside.
I believed, for a quick second, I had maybe gotten lightheaded, having skipped breakfast, and had entered a state of delirium. A sense that solely continued when Welkin’s face light farther from view solely to get replaced prominently by Kazuma Kiryu, the protagonist of the beloved Sega gangster action/zany Japanese life sim collection Yakuza. I’m certain there have been different Sega icons on this cavalcade of gaming characters flying by to finally type that traditional brand of theirs, however my mind, on hearth with the absurdity of the “what’s Kiryu doing right here within the title card for a Sonic film oh my god I’m having a stroke” vitality flowing by it, couldn’t inform. The Sega logo formed, the second handed, and I used to be free to mildly take pleasure in a wonderfully nice Sonic film.
And but, within the days since, I haven’t been in a position to cease occupied with that gleefully foolish opening title, the shock it evoked, and what it’d sooner or later portend—particularly now that Sonic is on observe to turn into probably the most profitable online game film ever, besting even the may of Pokémon. May there be a Ghibli-esque, watercolor-palleted animated adaptation of Valkyria Chronicles on the large display sometime (the viewers can be me and roughly 5 different individuals, so, sadly, in all probability not)? A zany crime caper riffing on the slice-of-life and wild motion combo of the Yakuza video games? A excessive fantasy epic primarily based on Panzer Dragoon? An adaptation of Shenmue that’s simply the scenes about forklifts and on the lookout for sailors?
Video video games really feel like a world of untapped potential for turning their worlds, irrespective of how bizarre or grandiose, into unbelievable avenues for cinematic storytelling. For a quick second, Sega’s bonkers film credit jogged my memory of that—after years of hoping that sooner or later one in all these rattling movies may not suck complete ass, there may now be an opportunity to see a few of my favourite worlds and characters on the large display. That was as pleasant and enjoyable to me as any of the Sonic film’s most charming moments.
Maybe Sonic had to floss so that Welkin Gunther could run to the box office. Or, well, drive a tank probably, that’s what he does.
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