New Genesis Is Phantasy Star Online 2, But It Isn’t

For those of you confused about Phantasy Star Online 2’s upcoming update “New Genesis,” you’re in good company, because it’s connected to PSO2, but also it’s its own thing, but… Okay, you know what, let’s just break it down:

According to the PSO2 official news blog, New Genesis will release in place of a new episode next year and targets bringing the 8-year-old game to fit modern tech and design expectations. It features a new world, new enemies, a new combat system, a more open map (though it’s premature to call it true open world yet), and significant visual upgrades.

The news post refers to the setup as “twin universes,” noting that you can you can swap between playing original PSO2 and New Genesis. New Genesis’ PC requirements will be a step above PSO2, but your created characters and emotes can shift between the two games. Both remain free-to-play and use the same account. Further, your weapons, units, and Mags can move over from PSO2 to New Genesis…with some significant caveats.

You will effectively have to treat the two as separate games, as you can’t bring over most of your items and basic character progression (your level/EXP, skills, arts, etc…). Weapon stats may change, and you may not be able to use certain weapons at all until the required class is put in the game (which may imply some current classes won’t be available at launch of New Genesis). Same with Units, but they will not be visible on your character. Mags will… exist, but they won’t impact your gameplay or character, suggesting they could be cosmetic only.

Much like Final Fantasy 14 and A Realm Reborn, this mid-life drastic shift is a high risk move with potentially high rewards, especially if PSO2 continues to grow outside of Japan. At the moment, only Xbox One and Windows 10 are the confirmed platforms with the statement “If PSO2 is added to new platforms, we plan to make PSO2: NGS available on those platforms as well.”

Xbox Super Saver Sale Spotlights Significant Sonic Savings

Good things come in pairs, and following the Sonic sale on the U.S. Nintendo eShop, Microsoft joins in with intense 50% discounts on ten more Sonic games for multiple Xbox Marketplace regions, most of which aren’t part of the Nintendo sale. As a reminder, all these games are playable on the Xbox One, and will likely be playable on the Series X in the near future.

Prices in USD/GBP respectively.
Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis) – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis) – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic CD – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic the Fighters – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic Adventure – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic Adventure 2 – $4.99/£3.37
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I – $4.99/£3.37
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II – $7.49/£4.99
Sonic Unleashed – $7.49/£5.99
Sonic Generations – $9.99/£7.49

Via @videogamedeals and xbox.com

Plush Infinite Demands Your Hugs this August

Infinite fans rejoice! Infinite fans? I mean, you have to exist somewhere, don’t you? Anyhow, if you are a fan of Sonic Force’s helmet-clad antagonist, Great Eastern Entertainment has you covered with a teaser for everyone’s favorite jackal returning in plush form this August.

Per their twitter:

GE Entertainment, also known as GE Animation, is a long standing licensed anime merch manufacturer, and has worked with such licenses as Sanrio, Shonen Jump, and Bandai. The company sports a history of quality Sonic plush, and this diamond dog will join the likes of Super Shadow, regular Shadow, Metal Sonic, and other plush rogues and Rouges. If previous releases serve as an example, Infinite’s price could fall somewhere between $20 and $36 USD depending on size and complexity.

Sonic 1 Beta Footage Found in Sega Promo Video

Authentic Sonic 1 beta footage remains an uncommon find, but in early January, Youtube user wadelyjp posted a Japanese Mega Drive promotional video featuring about six minutes of pre-final build Sonic 1!  Wadelyjp’s account has uploaded a number of 90’s and early 2000’s Japanese promo videos  and ads from Sega, Nintendo, Capcom, Konami, and others.

The video, which Google translates to “SEGA New Game Introduction Video Vol. 7,” immediately reveals itself to be a beta build, showing off several stage gimmicks and differences  previously found in stills and magazine scans that never made it into the final published version.  These differences include but are not limited to:

  • An tethered checkerboard ball that rolls down hills in Green Hill
  • An invincibility monitor on top of the first loop instead of a shield
  • A victory hop replacing Sonic’s rolling jump after spinning the end of level signpost
  • No special stage ring for having 50 rings at the end of an act
  • Sped up music in Green Hill Act 3, including the boss fight and end-of-level scoring (the same music speed you’d get from a power sneakers monitor)
  • UFOs in the sky of Marble Zone
  • No enemies in Star Light Zone
  • An unused spinning spike trap in Spring Yard Zone
  • A  shorter air limit in Labyrinth Zone
  • An unused special stage layout? (There does not appear to be a direct equivalent in the released game)

This isn’t the first found footage of Sonic 1 beta; its predecessors include  footage of Green Hill Act 1 in a build used for the pilot episode of Nick Arcade. However, this version contains two full levels, the game’s first boss fight, and clips from later stages. This unearthed gem shines as another clue in our ever growing view on how Sonic evolved from sketchbook to game.

Thanks to Dave “Badnik Mechanic” Luty on TSS forums for the tip!

Sonic Mania LEGO Design Builds Its Path Towards Official Approval

Just as Sonic Mania itself is a fan labor of love made official, Toastergrl’s Sonic Mania LEGO design continues its trek towards becoming an officially licensed LEGO set. Today, 2020’s first period of LEGO Ideas crowd support ends, and Toastergrl’s design was among an unprecedented 26 designs to reach the 10,000 supporters needed for official consideration. LEGO Ideas will announce their final determinations this Fall.

The roughly 700-brick design features a classic take on the Lego Dimensions Sonic minifig facing off against brick-built Dr. Eggman with his Egg Robot mech and Hard Boiled Heavies, all complimenting several iconic Green Hill Zone level features.

The path for a LEGO Ideas design to become an official set is a long and difficult one, with only three to five approved each year. After achieving the required 10,000 supporters on ideas.lego.com, candidates must go through an internal review process to assess the feasibility and appropriateness of the project. Competition will be especially tight this year, as the number of successfully supported candidates is more than double compared to previous evaluation periods. Other licensed and unlicensed projects being considered include a 17th century-styled train station, the Gemini spacecraft, a micro-scale recreation of 4th century Rome, a 15 inch (39 cm) tall functional globe, the garden from Untitled Goose Game, a detailed model of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, an articulated model of The Iron Giant, and the Planet Express office and ship from Futurama.Details and additional renders of the design can be found on its LEGO Ideas page, and in TSS’s March 2019 interview with Toastergrl. With some luck, hope, and enthusiasm, perhaps we shall see Sonic Mania alongside other brilliant fan developed LEGO creations in 2021.

Sonic Talk Podcast, Episode 68: Bad Podcast Etiquette

You want box office and Rotten Tomato statistics? A wholly unnecessary return of LCD games from the 90s? A jacket stitched  with three wildly different fonts!? We’ve got all that, and we’ll even remind you that all your favorite video game events are cancelled on this month’s Sonic Talk!

Continue reading Sonic Talk Podcast, Episode 68: Bad Podcast Etiquette