Try Out the Classic-Inspired “Sonic Utopia,” One of SAGE 2016’s Biggest Surprises

After a week-long run, the 2016 edition of the Sonic Amateur Games Expo finally unveiled its biggest surprise from the online fan game festival. An early demo has gone live for a project called Sonic Utopia, which seeks to recapture “the best of Sonic’s style and tie it together in a cohesive [and intuitive] experience” in 3D.

Sonic Utopia is being produced by Mr Lange, Murasaki, Tpot, and Pixy, and the fan game plays very similarly to the popular Green Hill Paradise, but nearly everything in the demo—from the sound design to the actual gameplay engine—was developed from scratch. See it in action in the reveal trailer below!

Visit the booth now before SAGE 2016 ends, and try Sonic Utopia for yourself by downloading it (1, 2, 3) as well!

Source: SAGE 2016

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VizardJeffhog

Unparalleled Canadian greatness! Jeffrey is a writer for TSS and Gamnesia, a pianist obsessed with video game music, and a recent university graduate majoring in Communications. Loves all things Sonic and Nintendo to a fault.

29 Comments

      1. Pandering is making the exact same game with the same graphics and levels as a game from 25 years ago and not doing a thing to modernise it, or even giving it an original identity beyond nostalgia.

        This isn’t pandering. This is taking that formula and doing something new with it, with style.

      1. Can I third this? I mean this fan game looks positively beautiful, but there could be a bit less focus on Classic Sonic in general. Not every game he was in was good.

        Also, a small aside, I wouldn’t really call that an “old diss”. Bringing up 06 after a full decade is an old diss, this is more a middle-aged diss.

  1. A tad empty for my tastes, but my word, it looks gorgeous. And that may be one of the best remixes of Green Hill Zone I’ve ever heard.

  2. This looks really cool, but it feels like you would get lost easily. Yes, games like Unleashed and Generations were pretty linear and could’ve used some more exploration room but you knew where to go, and you got a great sense of speed (even though it was a bit hands-free at times). I think Sega was close to finding a nice balance with Lost World, with it’s controls and level design, if they hadn’t put it in anti-gravity tube form. Picture those levels being laid out flat, this would give the player a middle and two side areas to run through. Thus, it’s more like a miles long obstacle course instead of a race track with death traps or a vast field with nothing to do. (I feel a big question sonic game designers need to ask themselves, in order to make a working/playable game, is: Do I want to control and watch sonic as you play? (i.e. 2D games) or, Do I want to feel like sonic? (i.e. moving him around in 3D) and if so, in what way?: 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?) (Asking these questions should help in keeping designers from mixing elements from the 2 gameplay types, because it was a sonic mechanic before, and make a more solid game.)

  3. I’m tired of classic Sonic. He’s been given more attention in this day and age than he was given in his OWN day and age. Those games were fine, but for the time. To assume it’s the only good Sonic’s ever been in is naive and obnoxious.
    I want some more modern stuff. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but they need to take the seeds they planted with the Sonic Adventure/Heroes games and water them….build on those assets, not this antiquated stuff.

      1. Antiquated by virtue of age, but not by gameplay. Adventure 2’s Sonic/Shadow stages are still very fast and exciting to play. Spruced up for modern consoles with heightened intensity could surpass Generations-style gameplay and make for an excellent Sonic experience.

        1. And the same could be done for Classic Sonic. You’ve seen Mania, and you see him here. I prefer classic over modern.

          1. I like classic Sonic too, but we could still have a modern Sonic game that has all of the physics that the originals did.

          2. @Thro Is progression really necessary?

            @EDX What’s the point of that? Aren’t we trying to progress?

          3. @Thro: Are we? Cuz it seems to me that people either want classic or modern Sonic instead of meeting in the middle somewhere because I like modern Sonic but I don’t mind the classics either but seemingly everyone wants either one or the other so I don’t really think neither Sega or the community really knows what progress would be when it comes to Sonic.

  4. Genesis sonic is sonic….green hill paradise sux compared to this. This is close to perfection as we will ever see

  5. You know when Sonic fan game is so good, that even Vinny of the Vinesauce has included it on its latest stream, as considering his views towards the franchise. Pretty awesome stuff.

  6. I’m kinda weirded out by all of these Sonic fan games (Sonic World, Green Hill Paradise, Sonic Utopia) that are just open worlds…

    I mean, they are nice, but it feels like a lot of wasted space where the player just holds forward to get anywhere (much like the criticism of the recent 2D games that all you have to do is “hold right/boost to win”). Most open world games complement that space with something to do; “Spider-man 2” was fun in a way that “Superman Returns” was not because the act of simply getting anywhere required a degree of skill (webswinging vs. simply flying to your destination). Similarly, just going fast means nothing if there is no challenge to that speed (in a mundane way, like how you have to drive AROUND buildings in GTA).

    More than that, it feels like a misunderstanding of the core Sonic ethos: “Speed is earned, not automatic.” The Modern Sonic trilogy of games play like they do (tight corridors with an obstacle/path choice every minute, with boosts to automatically generate speed that you have to FIGHT to MAINTAIN) because every second there is an obstacle that challenges your ability to go fast; whether its split-second decision to choose an alternate path, an enemy or stage obstacle that slows you down, each level is a puzzle, the goal of which is to figure out how to get to the goal faster by exploring the level enough to discern the best route. Its an expansion of the 2D games, which play in the same manner.

    Also, while the effort can be appreciated of these levels as tech/engine demos, I find myself incredulous that these could ever evolve into “full/finished” games. Building that much space for a minimum of 16 levels (8 or so themed zones/worlds, and two levels/acts per zone) and maintaining a consistent interest curve seems like a difficult gesture, especially given that most of the player’s goal will be about ignoring 60% of the rest of the game (check out any speedrun of these fan demos). While there is the implication that what I’m saying is “Make it more like Unleashed/Generations/Colors,” I would instead rather these burgeoning developers focus more on tightening their level design and introduce a degree of focus that makes these demos feel less like ”open world with Sonic characters” and more like a “Sonic in 3D” first level of many.

  7. I wish SEGA would pick this up, so we could play it on real hardware.

    But as usual, the levels are too big and open, where you could get lost if you trek off the intended path.

  8. I love it, a 3D Sonic game where I can run around a loop-the-loop or mobius ring using my momentum, rather than a dash panel that then takes my control away.
    Complete proof that Sonic can make the transition to 3d with the true speed coming from effectively using his momentum, and without reliance on the intrusive lock-on system.
    In the next version I’d love to see some other stages (I love classic Sonic and all but Green Hill again?…) but also some activities to do.

  9. This is what I want in a Sonic 3D game. Add the choice between different models of sonic (think of it as costumes) and I would buy this in a heart beat. Wish I had a computer to play this on

  10. Sonic Utopia is a pretty good Sonic Fan game. The open world concept really works well and the classic looking sonic ain’t half bad either. Anyone remotely interested should try out the demo or watch some game play to get an idea:
    https://youtu.be/fSWB8rOfDIw

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