• Ben Schwartz recalls his hilarious struggles with the controls in the
    Sonic Adventure
    games, opting to watch playthroughs instead of playing due to difficulties while preparing for
    Sonic the Hedgehog 3
  • The
    games were divisive for their glitches, camera issues, and mixed audio, yet introduced new characters and gameplay methods that were better received.
  • Schwartz’s dedication to the
    franchise shines through as he goes to great lengths to prepare for his role in the upcoming threequel.

With the titles expected to be a key inspiration for the next movie, Sonic the Hedgehog star Ben Schwartz recalls the hilarious struggle in playing the Sonic Adventure games. The third installment in the SEGA-based movie franchise will look to the second Adventure game as its key basis for its plot as it introduces Shadow the Hedgehog to its universe, who is set to be voiced by Keanu Reeves. The Adventure games were also notable for their expansion of G.U.N.’s tenuous relationship with the titular hedgehog and impact on the world at large.

During a recent interview with Screen Rant, Schwartz was asked about his preparation for filming Sonic the Hedgehog 3, particularly which games he had played to do so. In looking at the Sonic Adventure games, the star confirmed that he did try to play the beloved titles, though recalled his hilarious struggle to do so stemming from its controls translating poorly to modern consoles, comparing it to recent ports of such titles as Super Mario 64. Schwartz did, however, note that he watched video playthroughs of both games in order to better understand just how much they would factor into the next movie. Check out what Schwartz said below:

Yeah, so I downloaded [Sonic Adventure 2] on Xbox. I started playing it, and I found the controls to be so hard to play that game. To me, it wouldn’t work. So I played it, I got to one of the Knuckles rounds where, for hours and hours, you’re searching for little things, you fly around searching for stuff. And I found the controls to be so — I just didn’t find them to be easy in that version of it. I wish I had the original, it must’ve been Dreamcast, right? Yeah, I wish I had a Dreamcast. I had that controller. I feel like it would’ve been so much easier. It’s the same thing when I play Switch and I play N64, it’s too hard. Even playing Mario 64, it’s like I find the controls to be so difficult as opposed to when I had that old controller. But so what I did is — I’m not even calling it cheating, because I didn’t beat the game — I watched a playthrough of the entire thing, to make sure I watched the entire thing. But I gave it my all, and then I was like, “I think this will take me so many days just to figure out how to handle these controls.” So I did a playthrough and got to watch the whole game, and it’s amazing.

Also, there’s so many specific things. Like, sometimes the audio mixing is bananas, sometimes the voices are over each other [laughs], and the music is so loud sometimes, and the music is amazing. And the story is — I mean, if you play that game, Sonic Adventure 2, the story is — I don’t want to ruin it if people haven’t seen it, but there are twists and turns in that story that are not evident in other Sonic stuff before it, I would say. So, I loved it, I got to watch it all, it was like watching a movie. I was like eating popcorn and loving every minute of my life, but I wish I had a Dreamcast, so I can kind of play it myself.

Why The Sonic Adventure Games Remain The Most Divisive In The Franchise

Shadow talking to Rogue in Sonic Adventure 2 Rouge

Though remaining a major influence on both modern Sonic games and the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the Adventure games still remain some of the most divisive of the SEGA franchise. The original 1998 title served as the first 3D installment, with the developer looking to follow in the footsteps of Super Mario 64‘s success by adopting the format. Many other franchises similarly tried to do so, though ultimately failed, with the Sonic Adventure titles proving to be one of the more successful attempts, even if it led to certain issues.

The biggest points of criticism for both Sonic Adventure games were its various in-game glitches and difficult-to-control camera, which often resulted in players jumping off-screen to their deaths. The audio has also remained a point of division among critics and gamers over the years, for the same reasons Schwartz notes above of characters talking over one another, or the music overdoing their dialogue, despite being praised on its own merits.


Sonic The Hedgehog 3 Wishlist: 10 Characters, Places, & More We Want To See

Shadow is teased to appear in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but there are still several other characters, locations, and ideas that we hope to see.

The various characters and different gameplay methods in the Sonic Adventure games have also left many divided, with some feeling them to be a welcome change of pace for SEGA’s franchise, while others found them repetitive. The larger roles of Amy Rose and Big the Cat and introduction of Rouge the Bat also left many feeling uncertain, though later titles would see reception become generally more favorable for Amy and Rouge.

Schwartz’s Dedication To The Games Shows Why He’s The Perfect Sonic

While most actors in a video game adaptation will have some kind of fondness for the source material they’re bringing to life, Schwartz has frequently made it clear just how dedicated he is to the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and fanbase in his tenure in the role. Even before leading the SEGA-based movie franchise, Schwartz was an avid gamer, including making multiple appearances on the Games Grumps YouTube channel’s Guest Grumps show, in which he completed the likes of the Capcom Aladdin game in one episode, among others.


How Sonic The Hedgehog 3 Pulls From Iconic 2001 Game Teased By Ben Schwartz

Exclusive: Ben Schwartz teases how Sonic the Hedgehog 3 will pull from an iconic 2001 game for the story and characters in the threequel movie.

His further dedication to attempting to play the Sonic Adventure games and watching LPs of them in order to prepare for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 further shows just how much care he has for getting the character right. Rather than lean back on the script or his knowledge of other games, the star is willing to go to every possible length to give longtime fans of the franchise what they hope and expect to see in an adaptation of the source material.

The first two Sonic the Hedgehog movies and Knuckles are available to stream on Paramount+.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Movie Logo Poster

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is the sequel to the 2022 comedy-adventure movie that featured the Blue Blur and his companions on an adventure to stop Dr. Robotnik from taking over the world. The new film sees the new antagonist Shadow the Hedgehog, arriving to cause trouble for the newly formed trio of heroes, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, as they adjust to their earthly lives.

Jeff Fowler

Release Date
December 20, 2024

Sega Sammy Group , Original Film , Marza Animation Planet , Blur Studio

Paramount Pictures

Pat Casey , Josh Miller , John Whittington

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