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We went hands-on with Sonic X Shadow Generations (the milkshake)

A hand holds a Shadow milkshake.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends
Summer Gaming Marathon Feature Image
This story is part of our Summer Gaming Marathon series.

Throughout the weekend, Digital Trends has been on the ground at Summer Game Fest. We’ve had the chance to demo tons of upcoming games, many of which you can read about right now. There’s still plenty of games we’re hoping to get hands-on with over the next few days, including the upcoming Sonic X Shadow Generations. But before that, we got hands on another Sonic treat at the show.

I drank Shadow the Hedgehog’s milkshake. I drank it up.

As part of the press and creator event, Sega and Atlus didn’t just bring demos for upcoming games like Metaphor: ReFantazio. It also set up a dessert truck for attendees full of sweets themed around its upcoming games. Shin Megami Tensei fans could knock back some flavored ice, while Monkey Ball brought attendees the gift of frozen bananas. But, of course, this is the year of Shadow. The antihero had to make his presence felt at the Summer Game Fest Sega dessert truck. The people would have rioted.

A menu shows Sega deserts.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

Thankfully, the mad king delivered with the Shadow Shake. A menu outside the truck told me that I wouldn’t be able to Chaos Control myself when I slurped down Shadow’s cookies and cream shake (topped with a swirl of red velvet). That sounded risky, but I figured that nothing could be as dangerous as giving Sonic Frontiers a negative review and enraging Sonic’s loyal fan base.

So how well does the Shadow Shake represent its namesake hog. I have mixed feelings. Naturally, it’s a delicious shake that pays tribute to the character’s color scheme, though the cookies and cream tone feels at odds with Shadow’s pure black quills — though I guess it wouldn’t be legal for Sega to serve attendees a glass of steaming hot black paint. Maybe something like a blackberry smoothie would have been a safer option.

Safe is a good word here to sum up the contradiction inherent in Shadow’s milkshake. It was a pleasant experience, but Shadow is a true freak. When I think of him, I smell gunfire and think of him saying “Damn.” I’m not sure that a delightful milkshake captures that essence, even if I can’t complain about a good milkshake.

Sonic grinding on a rail.
Sega

Hopefully, Sonic X Shadow Generations will avoid that same pitfall. The original Sonic Generations was, naturally, built around the blue hedgehog and matched his bright-eyed attitude. The new version will add Shadow to the mix and I’m hoping that comes with some tonal changes. I’d love to see some darker content mixed in to make his segments feel a little more distinct. Sonic games are at their best when they’re shaping the gameplay to its eclectic cast of heroes. That’s why Sonic Adventure 2 remains one of the series’ best entries.

I’ll find out for sure when I finally go hands-on with Sonic X Shadow Generations. But frankly, I think I got the better job at Summer Game Fest. Sorry to all the suckers cooped up in a demo kiosk while I’m out in the sun slurping down a shake.

Sonic X Shadow Generations launches on October 24 for PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Ninendo Switch, and PC.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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