Sonic Jumping Tour & Sonic Star Race Images Surface

Just over two years ago we brought you news that Sega was opening a new Joypolis theme park in China, along with it were several new Sonic Rides and attractions, whilst a few images were released, some key details were missing, such as what you actually did on the ride and in the case of Sonic Jump Adventure, what you actually watched on the screen.

Since that time; virtually no information about the attractions has surfaced, no video, photos, visitor descriptions of any kind.

Well we can now share with you a few details, Joypolis China has redesigned their website and along with it comes several new photos and descriptions of some of the rides.

Sonic Star Race looks like a bonkers cross between the dodgems section in Twinkle Park and All Stars Racing, but there’s actually a few details here you might miss.

See that screen on the left side? That’s a scoreboard! As you drive around the arena, you get points by driving over the different coloured lights on the floor. Not sure if you get points for using a super horn at other drivers though.

Next up is the most interesting one.The literal translation of this ride was ‘Sonic Jumping Adventure’ but now we finally know it’s actual title ‘Sonic Jumping Tour’. No additional details were given as to what you actually do on this ride, but we do finally get to see part of it and… boy it looks odd. There is a slightly different image available in the gallery, but if you can figure out what’s going on, be sure to let me know in the comments.

Source: Joypolis China

F4F Are Bringing The Boom8 Sonic Figures to the West!

Earlier this year, GNFToyz, a South Korean company released a number of really awesome Sonic figures and have since teased an expansion of the range… Just one tiny problem; these were a retail exclusive to a South Korean store and unless you lived in South Korea it was exceptionally difficult to get your hands on these. Well… that’s not true, you could get them if were willing to pay 3-4 times the RRP on ebay, no really they were being re-sold for that amount!

Well it looks like they may have found a western distributor. A photo taken by Toyark of the First4Figures New York Comic Con booth appears to confirm that F4F are going to be distributing them worldwide!

Based on the photos taken, it looks as if F4F have begun a partnership with GNFT and series 1 of the figures will be available ‘soon’.

Hopefully we won’t have to pay 3-4 times the RRP to get our paws on this one!

Keep Checking TSS for more updates as we get them.

Source: Toyark

Chemical Plant Zone Confirmed for Sonic Forces

Sega revealed today that another old stage would be returning for Sonic Forces. This time the Chemical Plant is making an icy return.

Hinted at previously through in-game dialogue this is the first time we’ve seen the Chemical Plant Zone in Sonic Forces. However, unlike it’s incarnation in Generations and Mania, the Chemical Plant is a little chilly, it’s been frozen over with ice.

So far only screenshots showing the Avatar have been made available. But given the track history with Forces so far, odds are Classic and Modern Sonic will also see action in this stage.

Source: Sonic the Hedgehog twitter.

 

Sonic Forces @EGX 2017 Hands On Impressions

This week was the Eurogamer Expo (EGX), I attended the convention over two days and I was able to play Sonic Forces several times across all platforms (PC was not available).

I tried and tested every Avatar weapon and power up, each stage was played multiple times and I ended up discovering all the pathways on each stage.

This will be a long read because if I were in your position, I would want a very detailed impression on this game so I have a very clear idea as to what I can currently expect.

Music

[This applies only to the tracks in the demo, not tracks released on YouTube]

Every time I listen to Forces’ soundtrack on YouTube, I really don’t like it. So why did I really enjoy the music when actually listening to it in the game? Even the Green Hill Boss fight was quite catchy.

Even after I finished the Avatar stage I found myself humming the tune and singing the lyrics for a few hours after it, it’s that addictive.

It’s down to the simple reason that the music compliments the action quite well, even the silly sounding synths during the Green Hill fight work as Eggman slowly advances towards you.

I’m as shocked as anyone, I actually like the music in Forces.

Performance & Visuals

[This does not apply to the Switch version; I will talk about that separately at the end of the article.]

Aside from the fact the colour scheme is dark and moody, graphically it’s ok. Textures are high quality; the frame rate appears to be a constant 60fps. I didn’t notice any slowdowns or issues on the PS4/Xbox One versions of the game; it’s a nice game to look at in motion.

Tiny details are scattered around, like a blurry reflection of Sonic and the surrounding scene in a puddle, grass blades blowing in the wind during Green Hill and there’s a huge level of detail on the ending models when you beat a stage.

Sadly though, if you stop in Sunset Heights and try to look at some of the ruined buildings, their textures are lower than they probably should be, shop names appear to be blurred and some details outside the boundary of the path are also low quality. Which is a shame since this is detail you can see from the playable area.

Loading times were also very fast on the PS4 and Xbox One versions; don’t have a time, but they were fast, 2 or 3 seconds at most.

Sonic Forces was running off the systems HDD, unsure if the consoles were pro or standard systems.

Controlling Modern Sonic

Modern Sonic still cannot perform a spin attack, he cannot roll and he still has the same control problems which have plagued the boost era since Unleashed.

At times the gravity in Sonic Forces seems to switch from low to high depending on the situation. For example, quite often I ended up leaving a ramp, went flying through the air only to find the falling arc is not what you expect, as if gravity is much lower or Sonic is somehow floating away, this also happened when attempting to jump across platforms too.

Other times it feels like gravity is higher than it should be. For example; in Sunset Heights after the rail grinding section if you turn back the other way, there are 3 platforms to reach a red ring. The jumps here do not feel natural, Sonic feels heavy at this section and failing what appears to be a set of simple platforms is quite common occurrence.

It does not feel natural to land jumps at all, most of the time you cheer when you make a difficult landing not because you estimated the jumps naturally, but because you finally figured out what kind of auto motion was being put on your character or natural circumstances have been put into place to create an artificial sense of difficulty instead of designing a naturally challenging level in which the physics remain constant throughout.

Sonic’s acceleration also has a problem… the following diagram illustrates Sonic’s acceleration speed if you just hold the ‘left/right button’ in Sonic Mania.

See how there is a constant acceleration until top speed is reached? Unless you go down a hill or get a power up, it’s a constant rate.

Here is how it works in Forces.

For some reason, and this is very noticeable at the start of Sunset Heights since you cannot boost at the start of that stage, Sonic begins to gain speed at a rate you expect, but the moment his animation changes there is a sudden and dramatic increased in speed, not a natural acceleration speed, this happens on two different occasions until max speed is reached.

It doesn’t feel right, it makes Sonic harder to control and it feels as if Sonic is on ice as he lurches to the left or right from the sudden acceleration. The moment you hit the higher speed bands, you suddenly lose control of Sonic and he weirs off to the left or right.

The issue of scripting and automated segments come into play here too, there is a lot of automated and scripted segments which force Sonic along a specific part of the route, otherwise when these are not enabled, Sonic hugs the left or right wall even when boosting no matter how hard you try to make him move towards the centre.

The only time this doesn’t happen and Sonic remains in the centre is during scripted or automated segments where the game itself is keeping you in the centre (The start of the Tag-Team stage does this), or if the game has a cut scene or something which puts you in the centre and you remain there unless you move (the Double Boost sequence).

Modern Level Design

Sunset Heights level design is as basic as you can possibly get. The stage is incredibly linear with absolutely no real alternative pathways and very little in terms of exploration.

You may have seen that moment where Sonic grabs a zip-line and swings through a building and grabs a red ring, below him is the section you take if you if you don’t take that zip-line? That’s about it for alternative pathways.

The only other instance of an alternative pathway comes during the camera switch to the 2D perspective section, this depends if you boost or not after you leave a ramp, do so and Sonic reaches a higher path, meaning you skip out a few badniks and a spring, it’s only a few seconds difference before the paths merge again, not a big change nor does it make for creative or inspiring level design.

Otherwise exploration in this stage is literally ‘there is a platform above me, I’ll jump on it, now the platform above that… oh there’s a red ring here.’ It’s so basic and the rewards are just red rings, no power ups, no extra lives, no rings, no destroyed statue of Fang, it’s just for red rings.

In many ways, the game feels like it was designed for an absolute basic player, someone new to games, or a child who has just got their first gaming system. There is nothing challenging or insightful here, the game forces you to go forward at all times, be it through boost pads, automated segments or being practically forced to use the boost in order to progress.

The level design also employs automated and scripted sections to guarantee a player ends up where the developers want you to go, over where you want to go or where your ability should take you.

For instance, use the boost as you approach a ramp, even for a split second and you’ll definitely make it to a higher platform. Don’t use it and you’ll fail each time regardless as to if you were at top non boost speed or not. They key to making it is if you were at ‘boost speed’ or not.

On other occasions, control is completely taken out of your hands to ensure you go in the right direction or to complete difficult jumps for those cinematic like moments where you fly over a huge chasm. Other times it’s just bizarre choices; during both the modern and avatar stages, control is completely taken away to ensure you actually finish a stage. Yes the game will actually finish the levels for you.

Level design is also poor when you factor in enemies; they are simply not a threat or an obstacle. You know how in Mania you sometimes have to time your attacks or attack an enemy in a specific way to defeat it? Here you just press the boost button; you’ll just go through them.

There is no challenge, no difficulty, no tactics and no options. It’s just ‘see the enemy, boost at the enemy’ it feels like a Fisher Price my first video game at times.

You constantly feel like you are being made to go forward, no exploration and no thought into how you do it, just hold down the boost and away you go, congratulations you just won the game.

The Homing Attack May Have Changed…

Something about the homing attack in this game feels off and I cannot place my finger on exactly what it is.

In Sonic Forces, say you have this enemy set up.

You approach enemy A and homing attack it, you then lock onto enemy C, the game will not allow you to attack enemy B. Even if you can still see it and aim for it, the moment you pass it you have to go forward.

Same if you attack B first, you must go onto C.

Now can you do A, B, C? Possibly… but I couldn’t get this to work, I tried several times in different areas of Sunset Heights and Tag Team, chaining homing attacks in Forces seems to have a problem.

Previously, if you just pushed the attack button, Sonic would auto move to the closest enemy and defeat them, or if you held the analogue stick, you could ‘aim’ Sonic at the target.

In Forces, when you jump, you must aim at an enemy using the analogue stick, or else you cannot lock onto it and perform a homing attack.

But something is off about it. It’s as if, not only do you have to be in range, but the target icon has such a high margin of failure that you must be so precise with your aim or it won’t lock onto your target. For quick chaining attacks in succession this presents a problem unless the target is almost directly in front of you so the game can auto lock, hence why I’ve never been able to perform a homing attack behind me, even if I can see the target.

In Sunset Heights, the initial enemies leading up-to the Zip-Line like segment don’t have this problem, but when you reach that wider area after the boost hill going down into the park square, it’s very noticeable and very easy to miss a target.

If this was the case in Generations, feel free to discard this section since I genially cannot remember it being there, certainly not this bad, but the homing attack definitely felt off, it felt much harder to aim and chain attacks, I can see enemies I want to target, sometimes being right next to them but I’m unable to do so. Something is wrong with it.

Controlling Classic Sonic

It’s very hard to judge this, it’s the Green Hill Zone boss fight again with a twist. There is very little to do here, but for the most part, Classic Sonic pretty much controls as he did in Generations with one key difference.

You how have to hold ‘down’ and mash the jump button to perform a super spin attack.

That’s about it, Classic Sonic has all the benefits and problems from Generations otherwise, he still feels a bit floaty at times when you jump at speed. But otherwise, it’s very hard to judge since this is a highly restricted boss fight.

He controls as you should expect him to, but it’s way too hard to judge in a level with a flat surface in which you cannot move for long periods of time and are fighting a boss which barely requires you to actually jump at him.

Classic Level Design

Again just judging the boss here… there’s nothing that can be said, it’s a flat plane for the majority of the fight. There are issues though when the level design meets the interface.

Aside from constantly being yelled at by Sonic’s friends, the radio obstructs both the boss and the player in the GHZ fight, meaning you have to guess where you are if you perform an attack at that moment.

Enter the Avatar

Sega had a number of randomly generated Avatars for you to play as, all had exactly the same abilities despite being different species, all moved the same and played the same.

The only difference in gameplay is based on the weapon you pick.

So, armed with a gun and a grapple hook, what’s the avatar like?

Controlling the Avatar

It’s pretty bad.

Considering how much has gone into marketing the Avatar as being the big thing of this game, controlling him is horrendous. He suffers from feeling sluggish, his jump distance at times feels random as does his jump height, he is not a fun character to play as and just begs the question as to why this was implemented?

There are moments where you have to jump on a platform or over a series of platforms over a bottomless pit, above you is the Giant Spider foot waiting to stomp on you, meaning you have to use precision platforming and speed to navigate this section.

The problem is the same as modern Sonic, at times the gravity feels either too strong or too weak, it’s almost dynamic depending on the section of the level, what worked in an earlier part of the stage will not work later on, even if the platform is exactly the same and the distance to it is exactly the same.

Often the Avatar will either float too far or seemingly drop like a brick despite what you do, often your momentum comes crashing to a halt as you have no choice but to stop at an edge and before basic jumps just to ensure you make it, you constantly feel like you’re fighting the physics instead of using them.

Avatar Gameplay

I feel that I have been very much mislead when it comes to the gameplay for the Avatar character, this character is nowhere near as cool or interesting as the trailers make him out to be. The main issue here is with the weapon you use and the Wisp power ability the accompanies it, your fun mileage varies greatly depending on the weapon you pick since it feels that stages have been designed with specific weapons in mind over others.

The options available to you in terms of how you progress through a level are also dictated by the weapon you use. There is a standard non power pathway, but there is also a specific one to each weapon type.

However, for the Cube Hammer power, I could not find a single use for this one. Even it’s standard attack special is completely useless, yes it takes out enemies faster than the homing attack and it gives you rings for doing so. But there’s no point to them, the levels are flooded with rings so it’s very unlikely that you will ever be pressed for finding rings.

You can only attack enemies by using weapons, you cannot jump onto them, you cannot roll/spin to attack enemies, despite the fact the avatar can roll down S-Tubes. You must use weapons or the grapple/homing attack.

Grapple Hook Gameplay

This is a contender for most pointless grapple hook in any game of all time. This is how you use it.

  • Scripted sequences which you have no control aside from QTE events.
  • Very rare occasions when there is a specific point that you can use to access a higher path or in some cases, continue with the stage, you push one button when the target indicator blinks.
  • Homing attack enemies.

That’s it. There is no free use of the grapple hook, you cannot use it to swing over pits, you cannot use it to reach higher platforms, climb vertical surfaces, or do anything interesting or fun.

Do you want to swing over those enemies? You can’t.

Do you want to climb up that wall? You can’t.

Do you want to swing through the stage? You can’t.

Do you want to use the hook to pull items towards you? You can’t.

Do you want to do anything remotely fun with it like you can do in any game that has a grapple hook? You can’t.

Early on in the stage I was running down a hill, hit a ramp and right at the peak of the jump I pressed the button to use the hook, it felt like exactly the right moment to do that and feel amazing except…! Nothing… I just fell to where the game wanted me to be.

I then find a section with a platform above a pit… can I use the grapple hook to swing over this? No… Nothing.

I can only think of one grapple hook in gaming which is even less fun to use is the grapple gun from Resident Evil 0 because it takes two inventory slots and usually requires a player to backtrack through the entire mansion to pick it up because most people discarded it after the train!

You can use the grapple hook to attack enemies, but this is completely pointless and boring. The Avatar can only destroy one enemy at a time doing, yes it can chain attack like Sonic’s homing attack, but this move is far slower and you will not want to do this as it ruins the pace of the game.

This is how Sonic’s homing attack works.

  • Jump into the air.
  • Lock onto enemy.
  • Attack enemy (zoom into it).
  • Recover/Lock onto 2nd enemy, repeat.

This process is less than a half a second long. Here is how it works for the Avatar.

  • Jump into the air
  • Lock onto enemy
  • Fire grapple hook at enemy.
  • Zoom toward enemy.
  • Kick enemy/defeat it.
  • Recover/Lock onto 2nd enemy, repeat.

This is at least half a second long, whilst that may not seem like much, when you take into account there are normally 4-5 enemies in a row, this is a slower attack by a few seconds vs just 1 which would be what happens if Sonic were in the same situation.

Whilst you press the same buttons for the Avatar as Sonic, the process to defeat just one enemy is so slow, you will eventually resort to using the guns since the pace of the game collapses and the gameplay becomes amazingly boring by using the grapple hook to attack since it’s so slow and there is no ammo/cool down for the weapons.

When the grapple hook does lock onto an enemy, the distance on it is also broken. I was able to lock onto enemies not even on the screen yet and zoom to them, even if I didn’t know they were there, it felt at times like I wasn’t playing the game but just watching stuff happen.

How to make this grapple attack more fun: Do it like Sonic 06 where if you grapple attack an enemy and kick it, it could fly into another enemy and blow it up.

Weapon Types

The game practically forces you to use weapons and there is absolutely no consequence for doing so which basically turns the game into boost 2.0 or turns on a pseudo invincibility mode.

Lightning Whip

The lightning whip attack launches the avatar forward and whips the enemies, it’s range is huge, it can easily take out 10+ enemies together on a 2D plane, in a 3D setting it’s arc is well near 180 degrees if you wiggle the analogue stick at the right time.

It’s also very broken, in 2D view mode, you can clip through enemies using this attack, but the whip won’t have impacted them as you pass through, yet they will still blow up with the others. This also happens in 3D view mode.

Flame Thrower

The flame thrower is also broken. You can hold down the attack for the entire level, there is no consequence to doing so, the range on this thing is somewhere between 1 quarter to half the screen and every enemies dies the moment they get struck by it.

There is no fuel for this gun or cool down time, so holding it down you effectively turn on an endless boost mode that only turns off if you jump and you can then activate it again.

Cube Hammer

This weapon isn’t broken… just boring. There is absolutely no reason at all to use this unless you are going for a 100% stage completion.

This was the last weapon I used when testing the characters, so after beating this stage with the fire and lightning weapon I was very familiar with the stage.

I was forced to take the standard path in the pyramid section; the attack from the hammer was so boring and repetitive that I quit the stage because it was that dull. It’s by far the most dull weapon, in the Avatar stage I could not find it’s accompanying wisp power nor a unique use for it. In the Tag Team section, there was one Wisp power up for it, but I couldn’t find where I was to use it.

Wisp Powers

Each Avatar can be equipped with a weapon, a Lightning Whip, a Flame Thrower, a Cube Hammer (turns enemies into an Ice Cube).

Each weapon can be super charged with a specific Wisp.

But here is the catch; if you have the Lightning Whip and you pick up a Red Wisp… it does nothing. You need to find a Yellow Wisp. Same goes for the other weapons.

How much fun you have on a stage radically differs to the weapon type you use. Here is what they do.

Flame/Burst: Launches your character up into the air, in 3D mode you can move in all directions.

Lightning: It becomes the Light Speed Dash or Light Speed Attack, only you must hold down the activation button to maintain it.

Cube: Creates blocks that you can climb on.

Personally, I found the burst the most fun, the reason being is that you at least feel like you are playing the game and making some progress. You choose when to activate it, you choose the direction you want to go in, you need to time the bursts in order to reach your target.

The light dash is cool to look at, until you realise it’s another automated attack which can go on for several seconds in some stages. In the Tag Team stage, you can clear the entire pyramid by doing only this attack and one homing attack section.

The Cube, if the demo had any moments that you could actually use this I’d be more than willing to comment on it. Right now it’s completely useless.

Artificial Replay Value

So you might now be thinking… why not just use the one you find the most fun? Well… there’s a catch to that.

If you want to get 100% of the collectables, you must replay the Avatar & Tag Team stages using different weapons! Even if you master a stage with one weapon, the game forces you to replay using another weapon.

Take the Avatar Green Hill Zone. Using the burst enables you to get to the very top of the stage and you can find a red ring, but from what I can see, it’s impossible to do this as the Lightning or Cube, they cannot make that distance and the level design doesn’t allow you to get there through any normal means.

Later in the stage a bridge collapses over a bottomless pit. There is a number of rings here and a red ring. I was only able to get this ring if I used the Lightning Wisp power. It might be possible with the burst if you save it and the cube… if they add cube wisps to this stage!

The Tag Team level has the same problem, the lightning special allows you to collect one red ring, but you have to go through the slower/normal route to get at least an additional two.

Tag-Team Gameplay

The above video is of myself playing through the Tag-Team section, it includes an analysis which helps compliment the issues I raise in this section.

Changing things up from tradition, Sonic and the Avatar team up to take on a level, that’s the idea, here is how it works.

You start off as Sonic locked into a scripted/automated section in which your options are to either use the boost button or the slower homing attack to defeat a few enemies… you hit a ramp, the Avatar then has the option to grapple swing to a higher platform.

That is the extent of the complexity of tag-team.

  • There is no switch in/switch out.
  • There is no choice to make a character active or primary.
  • The game auto decides which character is the primary character.

For example, outside the pyramid, the player is practically forced to use, long straight corridors, boost wisps and speed ramps practically force you to use his abilities. Only once does the Avatar have the option to use his grapple attack, this move is tied to the jump button, meaning Sonic could have and has done a similar move using his homing attack and has done this exact ranged jump before (Generations/Chemical Plant Zone).

Inside the pyramid, it’s another story, you are practically forced to use the Avatars powers, grapple hook jumps to move to the next cog, to then instantly become surrounded by enemies, use the weapon (it’s faster than the homing attack by a long way) to defeat enemies or else you cannot progress through the stage.

Given how you cannot set a character as being active or primary results in some strange behaviour. Despite being on very restrictive circular platforms, Sonic can still use the boost meaning you can fly off the stage even though you’re under the impression that you are using the Avatar as a primary character.

There is nothing that suggests a symbiotic relationship in the tag team mode, not even a partial one, it’s literally “Here is the Sonic part, here is the Avatar part, here is the Sonic part.”

What’s the difference? One is boost to win; the other is use the weapon and wiggle the analogue stick to aim.

The following video is of myself playing through the tag team section of the game, I used the lightning wisp to show you the fastest way through, you can see in the video most of the issues I wrote about here.

When you watch it, it looks cool. But to play; it’s amazingly simplistic and dull.

Edit: Just as I was going to press, according to the Tokyo Game Show livestream, you can switch in and switch out Sonic/Avatar as the ‘leader’ but based on the stage I played there is no point in doing so, the stages seem to be clearly designed for ‘this is the Sonic part, this is the Avatar part.

Tag-Team Level Design

As I said before… it’s literally ‘This is the Sonic Segment, this is the Avatar Segment’ there is nothing clever here which means you’ll use both their abilities in harmony, it’s essentially two levels stuck together with tape.

The design is so basic it’s hardly worth reporting on, the initial Sonic section has a few higher paths, but they’re simple to get to, your options are literally ‘use the boost, or the slower homing attack’.

If you have seen official playthroughs of the interior of the pyramid, the impression you get is that there are loads of pathways, that you can jump on different cogs to progress… You cannot.

If you take the basic non wisp power pathway, you follow a strict route, each instance is the same dull gameplay.

  • Jump on a cog.
  • Defeat enemies
  • Jump on next cog
  • Repeat

The Lightning Wisp power allows you to bypass this, but again, you are effectively holding down one button to do so, it looks cool, but it’s boring to play.

The Burst Wisp power allows you to bypass the cogs, it’s much more enjoyable than the lightning, but only because you actually feel like you’re finally doing something and having control over your game in a non scripted or automated segment.

The Pyramid section is full of automated sections through the use of the grapple hook, you do not decide where it takes you, the second ends with a boost pad sequence and loads of rings, so even if you did badly you’ll still get a ring bonus.

Another really odd design choice was the very end, when you fall into the bomb room, I took my hands off the controller because I wanted to see what was behind me when I landed, but Sonic and the Avatar automatically ran forward and finished the level without my input.

Double Boost Is Pointless

This Double Boost move… You hammer the button to do a fist bump within a time limit and off you go!

Ever wonder what happens if you don’t do that? Do you get less boost power? Do you fail the segment?

What happens? …Virtually nothing.

My partner tried this before me and she mashed the button, succeeded and the double boost section began.

When it was my turn I said “I’m going to deliberately fail this, I want to see what happens!”

What happened made us both laugh, Sonic and the avatar fist bumped, Sonic yelled ‘Double Boost’ they stumbled a little, but that was it. I got the exact same double boost power and the segment played out exactly as it did for someone who bothers to do it.

You do not even need to move the characters or touch the controller in order to complete the stage, predating this section is a scripted section which lasts for 5 seconds, you then enter the double boost section which lasts for another 25 seconds before you regain control in the pyramid free fall.

So for 30 seconds you are not playing the stage, it’s virtually completely automated.

The only difference I could see was that you don’t get a point bonus if you fail the fist bump, but it’s still possible to get an S rank even if you fail this section!

During the double boost even though you have the ability to move left and right during it, there is no point in doing so since the game immediately centres you on the pathway, you might as well stay there since you’ll still hit all but maybe 3 enemies only this time you’ll collect all the rings at the end of the segment.

You are literally rewarded for doing nothing!

Overall Gameplay Thoughts

This is one of the most scripted and automated Sonic games I’ve seen. I want to actually be able to play a Sonic game, not watch an automated or scripted section. I want a Sonic game where I’m not just sat there waiting to turn off the boost button or push jump at the right time and that’s the extent of my decisions.

Modern Sonic still has all the problems he previously did; it’s still boost to win, only now the homing attack seems to be a little broken.

Classic Sonic controls exactly like he did and you’d expect, nothing else to really report until we can finally get a level to play instead of an easy boss fight.

The biggest disappointment comes from the Avatar. Aside from being sluggish to control, his one unique selling point is barely used, all the weapons are fantastically over powered, the Wisp special attacks are either boring or appear to do nothing.

Other universal issues are just baffling, there seems to be a lack of shadows under the characters at times, which means that it’s very hard to see if you are directly over a platform or not during platforming segments, this is basic game design for 3D games which has been around since the days of the N64, why is it not here in Forces?

Characters jumps can either be floaty or their arcs cut shorter than you feel they should be.

Overall Level Design Thoughts

The level design is poor, it feels like it’s just recycled parts from previous games masquerading as something new.

It’s like running through a movie back lot and seeing all the old scenes that we’ve seen before in movies past, here is that platforming segment, here is that free fall segment, here is that boost segment, here is the chase segment. Done it all before, it’s boring now.

How does this happen? Especially with the debut of a ‘new’ character with ‘new’ gameplay. Here we go playing the Avatar stage, a new idea with a new gameplay mechanic; instead it’s just pound shop Modern Sonic. The first boss for this character is literally a QTE chase sequence which involves the quick step.

You know, I think we’ve played this boss before… wasn’t this done in Unleashed, Generations, 06 and Rise of Lyric?

Hang on, we have a character here with a grapple hook fighting a giant spider, why is this boss not an open area in which you have to use the hook to grapple onto the Spider Bossswing between its legs as it tries to grab at you, climb onto the top of it and use your weapon to try and break parts off it or open it’s head to rip out its circuits. The boss battle ends with the robot crashing down, you leap off it as it explodes and pull a victory pose.

That would be fun!

That would be giving me something to do! Instead I’m watching a chase sequence which is feels lifted and recycled from Sonic Unleashed that ends with a QTE. And at the time I forgot to check if failing that sequence results in a death or if it’s just a point bonus since you still win if you fail the double boost so why not here too?

Here is our Modern Sonic stage, it’s another linear corridor/path like level, here are our enemies which do not present a challenge, your options are boost through them or use the slower homing attack. You don’t need to think, you don’t need to react, just hold the boost button and you’ll do it, maybe press jump on occasion.

If you are wondering about the length of the stages? Based on the fact the demo levels let you find all the red star rings, they really are between 60 and 90 seconds long, with up-to 30 seconds of automated segments in some stages.

You want to explore the stage? You want to go back, tough, there’s boosters everywhere to force you in one direction, only now we don’t even allow you to go back to attack enemies with a homing attack.

There is something wrong with a level when you can hold down 1 button and either boost or fly over the entire thing and still come out with an S Rank. It’s catastrophically wrong when on my estimation when you can beat the Tag-Team stage in under 1:30 get away with only 10 presses of the controller buttons, collect nearly 700 rings and still get an S rank after only two playthrough’s of the stage!

There are also some perspective problems with some objects, take a look at this part of the Avatar Green Hill.

At this section of the stage, below you is a bottomless pit, you have to use these platforms to get past it (unless you have a yellow wisp power). Due to the positioning of this platform, it lines up perfectly with that checkered wall. It looks like it’s a wall preventing you from progressing… but it’s not!

I saw other players get very confused here, even I made an error the first time I encountered this part of the stage. Some players tried to use the weapon to break through the wall, I saw others trying to jump left (blue arrow) to what looks like a ledge, others just stopped and were killed by the spiders foot because they had no idea that you can just walk right off the block, because it looks like a solid barrier when you actually sit down and play it.

The Nintendo Switch Version…

…Is absolutely atrocious in it’s current state.

The Switch version was so poor when critiqued both as a stand alone product and directly to the PS4 and Xbox One version I question why it has been let out into the public demo space in it’s current state.

It was not just the worst of performing Sonic title, out of all the Switch games I played at the entire convention, it was the worst performing game of the lot.

The loading times on the Switch version are long, much longer than all other counterparts, which is to be expected since it’s running off a cart and not a hard drive but still, the difference in time is not just the odd one or two seconds, we’re talking around 5-10 seconds of extra time waiting at loading screens in some cases.

Technically, the Switch version is ugly, both graphically and in terms of performance. Graphically, the low res textures are poor, the comments from E3 and Gamescom are not an exaggeration, it really does look like an early PS2 era game, it’s an ugly horse. Blurry low quality textures in a ruined city blur together in a brown bury mess add onto of that a blur filter when boosting, it’s hideous to look at.

Even when not using the boost, it’s hideous.

Frame rate is also a problem, whilst there is no way I can accurately measure it in a demo pod, it’s certainly no better than 30fps, I was also sure that I saw some drops during Sunset Heights.

This might explain one of the worst offenders in the Switch version, the controls are much poorer across all characters compared to their rival system counterparts.

Platforming becomes much harder, precision jumping is much harder and frustrating, even basic things like the homing attack become a problem. Remember how I mentioned that the homing attack seems to have altered slightly? Combine that with the lower performance of the Switch and homing attacks become an utter mess.

There was also some noticeable input lag during certain levels which becomes a nightmare for avoiding hazards and bottomless pits and chaining the homing attack.

Based on what I have played, there is absolutely nothing positive to say about the Switch version of Forces at all, it’s not fit for purpose in any respect.

There was no portable version available to play anywhere in the convention, Nintendo had a booth but I did not see Forces anywhere in it. They did however have Mania.

The Switch version also lacked the Tag Team stages, which adds more questions as to the Switch versions current quality and performance.

It’s extremely concerning to be nearly 2 months away from release and seeing the Switch version at a public demo in the state its currently in missing an entire level/gameplay mode and yet it’s currently at a much higher price point worldwide.

Final Thoughts

Based on the demo I played…

If you have already played any Sonic game since Sonic 06, you have already played this game, there is nothing new or interesting here, it’s the same old level design which if you can believe it feels even more tired than it previously did.

If this is your first Sonic game, it’s going to feel amazing and new because to you it is new.

It’s a highly automated game which results in dull automated and scripted gameplay, the player is limited in what they can do and is forced to proceed in one direction through automated moments and deliberate design choices.

I’ve been waiting since 2011 to play a new 3D Sonic game on a system that I own, I think I’m still waiting.

Positives:
+ Music is pretty good.
+ PS4/Xbox One versions are technically fine.
+ Sonic’s animations when you S Rank a stage are really good.
+ Very accessible experience, no high difficulty/experience level required.
+ Low price point.

Negatives:
– Level Design is poor, feels recycled from previous games, stages are painfully short.
– Avatar gameplay lacks ambition & potential.
– Modern Sonic still suffers from decade old problems.
– Switch version is currently abysmal.
– The most automated/scripted Sonic game in years, makes the gameplay feel boring.

Fun Fact I Learnt: The Green Wolf Avatar is actually female. You can tell by the noise it makes when you perform the stomp move.

TSS Review: Sonic The Hedgehog Bath Balls

Product Purchased By Author.

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Sonic Bath Balls, a charming little toy/cosmetic product which was released in Japan earlier this year. The above video contains footage of what it’s like to actually use one, so if you’re curious to see what the effect it has on water as well as human skin check it out.

Not Quite Blind Bags…

So the idea is, you buy a bag at random and then take a bath with the bath bomb. As the bomb dissolves you are left with your toy. Typically, these blind bag toys have no clues as to what’s inside them unless you weigh them.

Well this is where things get interesting, because these blind bags do have an identifier! Each bag has a code printed on the back, there are 5 different codes which relate to the different characters. Each code ends with the following combinations.

  • 005A = Sonic
  • 005B = Amy
  • 005E = Shadow
  • 005C = Tails
  • 005D = Knuckles

So it’s completely possible to get a full set of these without ever buying a single duplicate!

Blue Bubblegum

Even before I opened the individual bags, there was a noticeable smell coming from the retail box. Upon opening a bag and unwrapping the first bomb it really kicked in. I can’t really say for certain what the smell was, but it reminded me a lot of those old bubblegum flavour pop drinks you used to see kinds in schools drinking a lot. Or like how back in the 90’s the most exotic flavour of ice-cream you could find was that blue bubblegum flavour.

So if you want to smell of bubblegum, these are a must.

Turns The Water (And Your Skin) Blue!

If you want to see what happens when you actually drop one of these into water, skip to 8:30 in the video posted at the top of this article.

Watching the ball slowly dissolve in the water, the liquid quickly turned a deep blue colour with a lighter blue foam over the top. Only, it’s not just the water it turns blue, it also changes your skin a noticeable blue colour. You might at this point be thinking ‘does it wash off?’ Well… no, not completely.

The blue colour remains on your skin for a while, even if you rub your hands with soap and water you won’t get it completely off.

It makes me wonder how many people got these and just threw them in the bath with themselves. At least they’ll get an audition at the Blue Man Group if that did occur.

Toys in The Tub

The actual toy itself is… Surprising high quality and really well made! Out of the 5 figures I’ve got, all 5 are nearly flawless, no paint errors, no build errors, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them.

The level of detail on them is also surprisingly high. Shadow actually has his jets carved into the sole of his shoes, Amy’s eye lashes are painted correctly and there is no sign of paint bleeding at all.

Even very small details like eye pupil colour, there is no sign of paint bleeding or errors on any of the toys.

They’re also quite durable, they remind me a lot of the old Monster in My Pockets, you can squish them a little but they’re not going to break unless you twist and pull them violently.

10/10 Too Much Water

This is one of the most surprising products of the year, I was expecting the toys to be really low quality, lots of paint errors, poor build construction with no way to tell what figure was inside each bag.

Instead, these are some of the best quality toys I’ve seen for a long time. Given their size and cost you would expect these to be very low end toys. But the opposite is the case, the quality is very high and is supported by a keen attention to detail.

Over here in the west the closest thing I can think of to compare these too if we go by price point and concept would be the Tomy Gacha toys. The difference is night and day, Tomy’s Gacha toys often feel and look very cheap, fall apart with ease and have a lot of paint errors, whereas in Japan’s product does more and is putting the western offerings to shame.

Definitely recommend these if you can still find them. Just beware turning yourself blue.

Sonic Forces: Japanese Story Trailer Released

Sega of Japan have uploaded a new Sonic Forces trailer, unlike previous trailers, this one focuses on the story of the game.

For those looking for new gameplay footage, you’ll have to wait a bit longer, the trailer showcases several cut scenes from the game depicting a few new locations such as the Resistance HQ and Eggmans HQ.

There are a number of story spoilers here, nothing too big, but several previously unannounced characters make an appearance and details about Infinite’s origin are also mentioned. If you are avoiding spoilers you might not want to watch.

Oh and, some very nice Sonic fans were able to provide a subtitled version of the trailer, be sure to thank them after the beep.

So if you dont care about a few minor spoilers. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Sonic Forces: Tag Team Gameplay Released

Well, we told you that there would be Forces news today! Sega have released 30 seconds of gameplay footage from the newly announced tag team gameplay mode.

The footage doesn’t show too much, just Sonic and an Avatar running through Green Hill Zone and using a new Wisp Power.

Fortunately someone at Gamescom managed to record a longer gameplay clip.

Starts at around 9:15. I won’t spoil it for you so check it out for yourself.

Sonic Forces Release Date Confirmed

With Mania released Sega seems to be turning it’s attention to Sonic Forces, will Forces hit the critical high that Mania has? We’ll find out in November.

According to reports coming out of Gamescom, Sonic Forces will be released on November 7th 2017, this is supported by the newest issue of Famitsu, which quotes the game as being released  on November 9th in Japan.

We are also expecting a lot more Sonic news to drop tomorrow so don’t forget to check back then.

 

The Spin: The Notion of ‘A True Threat To Sonic’

[This article will contain some spoilers for Sonic Mania, so if you’re waiting for the PC version, see you next week]

You know how some people have these phrases that they use to try and articulate their feelings? Especially when it comes to Sonic games? Well today we’re going to look at one of them; this one:

“I want the villain to be ‘a true threat to Sonic”

Continue reading The Spin: The Notion of ‘A True Threat To Sonic’

Sonic Stuntman In Parkour Panic Rescue Act 1!

A Facebook user by the name of Devin Super Tramp who describes himself as a ‘stuntman’ has uploaded a rather amazing video to show his excitement for Sonic Mania, dressed Sonic, he runs through the countryside and performs a number of Sonic inspired stunts and acrobatics through trees, walls and even some old ruins, as he rushes to rescue his Amy Rose. Continue reading Sonic Stuntman In Parkour Panic Rescue Act 1!

Sonic Mania Street Date Broken: Game Is Leaking

Well… This isn’t good.

Earlier today, a number of users on Reddit noticed that some Gamestop and Best Buy stores in the US had the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition in stock. Whilst some stores were refusing to sell the game, others have in fact sold the game to customers. Continue reading Sonic Mania Street Date Broken: Game Is Leaking

Sonic the Hedgehog Pixel Pal Spotted on Amazon Spain

If you’ve been into any videogame store recently, odds are you will have seen a line of figures called ‘Pixel Pals’ if not, here is what one looks like.

Just small little figures to sit on your desk and look at you whilst you do your homework. Well… it looks like Sonic might be joining the line.

A listing has appeared on Amazon.se which shows a listing for a ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Pixel Pal. No pictures of the product have been released, but a release date of November 15th 2017 and a price point of just under 15 Euros was in the listing.

As usual keep checking TSS as we’ll let you know additional details as and when we get them in.

Sonic Forces Day One Edition Listed – Includes Avatar Costume DLC

So if you’re planning on buying Sonic Forces on the very first day, it seems you might get some extra bonuses with your copy. According to retail listings on Xtralife.es and GameMania.br, a Day One edition of Sonic Forces will be released later this year.

The Day One Edition includes 6 pieces of DLC, which are various costume accessories for the Avatar character which allow it to resemble classic Sega characters.

These include…

  • Jet Set Radio
  • NiGHTS into Dreams
  • Super Monkey Ball
  • Puyo-Puyo Tetris

Along with the digital bonus features, there are also a number of concept art cards included with the package.

Keep checking TSS, we’ll let you know if this appears elsewhere and if more editions pop up.

Source: Xtralife.es

 

Sonic Mania Soda Exists!

Promotional items, they can be strange, they can be wonderful, they can sometimes be eaten, or in this case, drunk! Jones Soda has partnered with Sega to produce a limited range of Sonic Mania branded Soda. Currently a comic con exclusive but comments on Facebook point to a possibly future release, the soda comes in three flavours. Continue reading Sonic Mania Soda Exists!

Sonic Augmented Reality Experience Coming To SDCC!

Hidden away on the official San Diego Comic Con website, there is some really exciting news if you are lucky enough to be in San Diego during comic con.

Away from the actual event, in the Omni San Diego Hotel Grand Ballroom you can find Sega hosting a Sonic the Hedgehog Augmented Reality Experience. There will also be a concert with Shota Nakama held on the Tuesday evening but no details on that were given.

The event opens to developers and the public as a preview on the 19th of July, but it fully opens up on Thursday 20th and runs until Sunday 23rd.

Sega is presenting an AR Sonic experience and a special concert with the awesome Shota Nakama on Thursday evening, and dome takeover on Friday! 

WHERE: Omni San Diego Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 4th Floor

WHEN: Wed., 7/19: Developer & Public Preview, 6:00–9:00 PM • Thu.–Sat., 7/20-7/22: 9:30 AM–7:00 PM • Sun., 7/23: 9:30 AM–5:00 PM

Absolutely no details as to what this experience will be were revealed, or if it will ever be released in any way so those who are not there can see or experience it. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood at that time, lets us know what it was like.

More information as we get it.

Source: Comic Con 

SonicMerchandise.Com To Close

If you’ve been paying attention to Sonic Merchandise recently, this news probably won’t come as too much of a surprise, Sonic Merchandise is to close within the next few days.

SonicMerchandise.com was the billed as Sega’s official Sonic store for the west and promised western buyers access to Sonic Merchandise which at the time was a little bit tricky.

However, the store has had a few… problems(?) since the start of 2017, many products have been sold out for months and not replaced, their huge March sale was launched and… never ended as well as many of the promised exclusive products never making it to the store.

Well yesterday the store owners posted on their Facebook page that after 5 years the company would be closing within the next few days.

Hi Guys – we are sad to say that the Official Sonic Merchandise store will be closing in the next few days. We would…

Posted by Official Sonic Merchandise on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

All of us at TSS wish the staff the very best in the future.

The Sonic Movie To Release In 2019

Ever since it’s announcement, details regarding the Sonic movie have been incredibly thin, despite being a live action-CG hybrid, we don’t even have a cast list for it, and it only very recently announced that Deadpools director would be directing the film.

So when rumours and mumbles of a 2018 release were being talked about, this seemed a bit unlikely given the lack of information released so far about the film.

Well, Sega have now said that the movie will now be coming in 2019 which is a far more realistic release year.

In an interview with Games Industry, they dropped the line that the film would now be released in 2019.

“Nostalgia is actually very much in vogue, which is one the reasons we’ve been chasing it down,” he says. “Everything Nintendo has been doing has been driving big waves in nostalgia, they’ve done some amazing things and they had a lot of success with the classic NES. There is a film and documentary coming out about retro gaming called Console Wars. We also have a Sonic movie coming in 2019.”

So there we have it, time to book your tickets to the far off future of 2019.

Source: Gamesindustry.biz

Sega’s E3 Photo Booth is Incredible “It Has a Trampoline!”

Away from the actual gaming area, Sega has set up a rather large photo booth in which you can have your photo taken in front of a giant green screen, this will then be digitally imposed onto Sonic Forces/Sonic Mania (we’re unsure which) so you can take away a memento of yourself appearing inside a Sega game. Continue reading Sega’s E3 Photo Booth is Incredible “It Has a Trampoline!”

UPDATE: Sonic Forces E3 Trailer Reveals New Villains

Sega have just released a new trailer for Sonic Forces and it shows us our villains gallery including what appears to be a new enemy for Sonic to fight.

Looks like that Sonic will be facing off against Eggman, Shadow, Chaos, Zavok, Metal Sonic and a ‘mysterious new villain’.

All we know about the villain is that he has a ‘strange new ability’ and his name is Infinite.

Also released was this key art piece.

We’ll keep you updated with more information as we get it.

GlamGlow To Release New Sonic Themed Mud Packs

Last year GlamGlow released a Sonic themed mud/face pack and it was a surprise hit, selling very well in both the US and the UK.

Well it seems that the company was pleased with the performance of the product as it looks like they’re going to expand the range. Two posts made on Instagram have revealed that the Sonic Face Mask is to return and strongly hint at a Tails & Knuckles themed pack too!

Full details are to be released tomorrow, we’ll keep you upto date with what they show as and when we get it.

Source: GlamGlow Instagram

Update: Sonic Runners Adventure Out Now

Update: The game now appears to be available in the UK and several other territories, You can pay either through your phone bill or via paypal. Buying the game also gets you the free-to-play version.

Original Story: Sonic Runners Adventure is out now! If you live in Russia.

Last night the games FAQ page suddenly came back online and it would appear that the game has been released.

Users from the website vk.com found a number of screenshots for the game and included a link to the apparent store page where the game was available to download. However many western users reported that they found no such store.

But, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, with using a VPN we were able to access the page and can confirm that the game is indeed there to download if you live in Russia.

Trying to access the website from outside that region results in an error.

A number of screenshots for the game have emerged. The game play appears to be very similar to the original, however one significant difference appears to be a lost world inspired map

There is a premium version of the game which is apparently available now but a free-to-play version which will be released onto the Google Play store at a later date according to reports.

We’ll keep you up to date with more news as we get it.

Source: Sonic Runners Adventure Store Page

Sonic & Sega All Stars Brawl & Football Concepts Discovered

Remember how Sumo Digital kept dropping hints that they really wanted to do a fighting game? Looks like it was an idea which was seriously being considered if this discovery is anything to go by.

A design company by the name of Funsolve recently uploaded a bunch of concept art images for a number of Sega games, including the House of The Dead Overkill, Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing Transformed and more interestingly, two completely unknown All-Stars concepts, All Stars Brawl & All Stars Football.

The football concept is exactly what you would think, the Sega All Stars playing football with the trademark weapons being used during the game.

The brawl one however is the more interesting concept, with Super Sonic used to show the characters can fly around the stage as well as stand on platforms using power ups and throwing objects at opponents.

One annoying part of the concept art is that the brawl concept art was laid out like a comic book… only the second part of it is cut off and we really want to see how that fight was going to turn out.

Source: Funsolve.com

Hirokazu Yasuhara’s Sonic 1 & 2 Development Talk Now Online

Hirokazu Yasuhara who was one of the original designers for Sonic 1 & 2 has recently been discussing a lot of early concept and development work which went into Sonic 1 & Sonic 2.

This includes several sketches of level concept art posted on twitter and more interestingly an entire presentation about early Sonic 1 & 2 development builds, these include details such as how the time travel aspect of Sonic 2 would work including a level map, alternative zone layouts and early concept names for zones.

The presentation is in Japanese however an English version will also be uploaded at a later date.

We’ll let you know when that happens.

Source: Hirokazu Yasuhara Twitter

LTW: “The Next 18 Months To Be Very Big & Important For Sonic”

If you take a look at the front cover of the newest issue of Licensing Today Worldwide, you’ll see that Sonic is on it, so you’d expect a major feature right? Well… there isn’t. At least nothing that we don’t already know.

There was however one interesting line in the magazine, that being that the next 18 months are to be very important and big for Sonic.

Continue reading LTW: “The Next 18 Months To Be Very Big & Important For Sonic”

Sega Republic Appears To Have Closed Down

For several years, Sega has had an amazing theme park in the Dubai Mall running under the name ‘Sega Republic‘. The park had a number of Sonic themed rides and attractions which were quite popular with tourists in Dubai.

Despite being a popular attraction, it seems that the park has closed down with very little warning. SSMB user Sir Laptop brought to our attention that the website for Sega Republic has been taken down and replaced with a message telling customers that it’s closed.

In addition to this, their official Facebook page and twitter account appears to have also been removed.

Further evidence that the park has closed suddenly comes from several goodbye messages from the staff posted on other social media channels earlier today.

We’ll keep you up to date with more details as we get it.

Source: Sega Republic

Weston Super Sonic 2017 Kickstarter Launches

It’s been all quiet on the Weston Super Sonic front, but that looks like it’s about to change! Weston Super Sonic is back for another year, this time the event will be held Saturday October 21st.

However, it needs your help to become a reality, the organisers have launched a Kickstarter in order to help secure both a venue and a wide variety of special guests for this years event.

The Kickstarter goal is £1000 and tickets for the event are available as pledge rewards, other rewards include goody bags, T-shirts and pin badges.

Source: Weston Super Sonic Kickstarter

 

Custom Character Creator Revealed For Sonic Forces

The third character for Sonic Forces has been announced and the rumours were true – you can now create your own playable custom character!

In a trailer published by SEGA, a spectacled red wolf id shown running alongside Classic & Modern Sonic, as the sequence continues the character changes design and expression, the new hero then uses a grappling hook to attack a group of giant robots.

The trailer continues by showing off some of the character’s gameplay, including how the character creation system will work, that both male and female characters are available, and that there appears to be a significant amount of options available for customising appearance.

According to reports from other outlets, there are a number of different species to choose from, each with their own abilities.

  • Rabbit — Has longer invincible time after receiving damage
  • Wolf — Automatically draws in rings when near them
  • Cat — Keeps one ring after being hit
  • Dog — Restarts with five rings after the player dies
  • Bear — Blows away enemies with a homing attack
  • Bird — Flies high with double jump abilities
  • Hedgehog — Collects rings when getting damaged

Alongside the character creation details, the trailer also demonstrated some extended gameplay of the created character in ‘Park Avenue’

A Little Look At The Sonic X Sanrio Blind Box Figures

Product Purchased By Writer.

Blind Box Figures seem to be the new hot property when it comes to Sonic, Kidrobot started the trend with it’s new classic themed toys and now Sanrio wants in on the action.

So with a full retail box in my possession, I decided to take a look at what you get inside one, and provide a brief write up on one of the more original merchandise offerings in recent years.

Continue reading A Little Look At The Sonic X Sanrio Blind Box Figures

The Spin: Sonic Forces Me To Write This…

Disclaimer: The views in this piece may not reflect the views of TSS or other writers on the staff team. The intention of The Spin is to promote debate and discussion of an issue or something that’s happening in the fandom or the world of Sonic.

So when I said in my last article that…

“I’ve seen the footage from SXSW, and the Nintendo Direct, I have a few things to say, mainly on what bugs me about Sonic Generations 2 Sonic Forces so far.”

I didn’t think that it would take less than 2 weeks before Sega did something that would mean I felt it necessary to actually talk about these things.

Continue reading The Spin: Sonic Forces Me To Write This…

UPDATE: First4Figures Hints Future Sonic Statues at Risk of Cancellation

A funny thing happened on my way to the First4Figures Collectors Club Page today, I was quite surprised to see tons of posts from multiple posters lamenting the cancellation of the Sonic line. Quite baffled by this I looked into it a little more and found even more people saying that the Sonic line was to be cancelled or ‘in danger’.

After doing some research, it seems that in a recent Q&A video, First4Figures strongly hinted that the Sonic line was indeed in danger, specifically future releases being cancelled unless the next statue sells very well.

The comments in question are made in this video (April 7th, between 46:00-48:00), a user asks about a ‘Modern Metal Sonic’ statue and the staff respond that it won’t happen unless the 25th anniversary statue sells very well. At first the tone is jokey, but then it changes to a more sombre and serious one, with them finally saying “Make sure that sells well or… forget about Modern Metal Sonic,” at which point one of them even shakes their head.

Now whilst there has been no official confirmation (that I can find) as to the specific reason as to why the Sonic line is in danger, but many long term fans of F4F have been stating on the Facebook page that what’s happening is very similar to what happened to Kirby and a few other franchises.

It seems that future lines can suffer depending on the sales of a previous statue, even if in the past the line had done very well. Fans have been citing Kirby as a prime example, which had a previously announced statue cancelled due to poor sales over an earlier release.

So if that’s indeed the case, who was the last character in the Sonic series that got a statue? This guy.

Yup, Silver is being cited by many on the F4F page as being the reason for these comments, checking the exclusive statue, it seems that only 375 were made in response to orders… Compare that to the Exclusive Tornado statue which cost $45 more had 425 made… that’s… not good.

More information as and when we get it.

Source: First4Figures Q&A

UPDATE: A F4F staff member responded on our Facebook page with the following

Hey all. Let me chime in. that 425 number isnt the real number. That was just a random number selected before we moved to the 2 week preorder system, where you get a more accurate number for Silver at 375. (We usually round it up to a nicer number) So sales arent just based on Silver alone. Tornado sold way less than the 425 number suggested. For many years, the company only had 3 members, so those ‘low’ numbers were ok to get by however with growth now in these last couple of years. Things need to be improved at all levels. Our prices have remained relatively very low and competitive in the same market and we continue to improve the way we make our products accessible with flexipay options. Hope that helps abit more with the story. Thanks

So what we get from this are a number of things.

The first is that the Tornado sold even lower than the 425 quoted here, combined with the fact that F4F has expanded it’s business means that we now have two statues in a row which might have both fallen far below expectations which suggests that the line really is at risk.