The wait is almost over for those looking for some Sonic Prime merch to go with their favorite, new Sonic series. PMI will soon bring out Sonic Prime figurines (pictured below), action figures, plushes, and more! The merchandise based on the popular Netflix series will be coming out this summer. You can read the announcement and see the first images of some of the toys below.
Sonic fans are having a great year for content: we’re less than two weeks away from the release of Sonic Frontiers and less than two months away from Netflix’s Sonic Prime. The new animated series just dropped a one-minute trailer during Netflix’s animation Twitch stream.
The trailer highlights the action in the series along with the main plot. Sonic, having smashed the “Paradox Prism” is transported to a new dimension with his friends including Tails, Amy, Knuckles, and Rouge. The series also received an official release date: December 15. Check out the link below to see the full trailer.
With SAGE in full swing, it’s nice to be able to play an original work from a developer of several Sonic fan games who has gone on to succeed with their own creation. Felipe Daneluz is well known in the Sonic community for his fan game “Sonic Before The Sequel” among others. But his gaming career really took off with 2017’s “Spark the Electric Jester”.Continue reading TSS Review: Spark The Electric Jester 3
It’s been a rough few years due to the pandemic, but things seem to slowly be going back to normal. Since 2020, the San Diego Comic-Con has been an online event only. Now, it’s finally back to a live event with many of its popular panels returning, including a Sonic presentation from IDW. The panel, “Sonic the Hedgehog: 50 Way Past Cool Issues and Counting!” will be hosted on Sunday, July 24th from 10:30-11:30 am PST. Here are all the panel details straight from the San Diego Comic-Con website.
IDW’s Sonic The Hedgehog comic book reaches its 50th issue this summer, a mind-blowing face-off with Sonic and Tails facing their twisted counterparts, Surge and Kit. IDW editor David Mariotte, artists Gigi Dutreix and Adam Bryce Thomas, and writer Daniel Barnes provide a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a milestone and tease what’s next for the Blue Blur!
I’ll be there to cover the panel along with any other Sonic news coming out of Comic-Con. If permitted, I may even be covering the panel live here on the Sonic Stadium!
This upcoming holiday season just got a bit merrier thanks to Jakks Pacific. A Christmas collection of the 2-inch Sonic figure line will be arriving in an advent calendar later this year. For those not familiar with what an advent calendar is, it’s usually a large box with tiny gifts inside that you open one per day all December long up until Christmas eve. However, if you’re like me, you’re going to buy the whole box yourself and open them all at once for a nice Christmas display.
The set includes Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Mighty, Ray, and many more including accessories. Some will be in festive outfits and some, like Ray, will make their first appearance in the 2-inch line. The MSRP is currently unknown.
Big thanks to Sonic Merch News for providing the information and first images of the set. Here’s the image of all that comes in the set in a separate link just in case you plan to open this the old-fashioned way and don’t want to be spoiled. Check out the full box image below.
For as polished as Sonic Unleashed’s graphics are, its biggest visual flaw is its framerate. The Xbox 360 version played at a mostly steady 24-30 (capped) FPS, while the PS3 version was worse for wear despite an uncapped framerate that would bring the game up to 48FPS on occasion, but dropping to 24FPS or below ruining the flow of the game.
In many ways, the game’s graphic-intensive “Hedgehog Engine” was a bit too ahead of its time. It couldn’t keep a steady 30 FPS on the most powerful system of that era. It would take 2011’s Sonic Generations to iron the kinks out. While the Werehog levels weren’t affected too much by the framerate, several daytime Sonic levels dropped frames horribly. Jungle Joyride became a slideshow at times. Now, in 2022, Sonic Unleashed’s full potential has been unlocked thanks to the Boost Mode on the Xbox Series S/X, bringing the game to a steady 60 FPS.
To me, this brought the game from a guilty pleasure to a legitimately good Sonic title. Sonic’s daytime levels run as smooth as silk, giving you better handling and control. Even the Werehog levels feel less cumbersome as Sonic now feels faster and more responsive. There seems to be less blur as well. The high framerate allows for a faster response time. I can honestly say I was actually enjoying the Werehog levels for a change.
That doesn’t mean the game’s old flaws aren’t still present. Medal collecting near the end game is still soul-crushing, the Werehog levels are still a bit too long, and having the camera suddenly change position when you’re balancing across a steel beam is still as irritating as ever. That said, if you love this style of Sonic gameplay, it’s never looked or played better than it does on Series S/X.
The Series S/X boost mode also improves other Sonic titles as well. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed gets a 60 FPS boost, and Sonic Generations runs at both 4K resolution and 60FPS.
To see Sonic Unleashed in action on the Series S/X, check out our gameplay video below.
It’s been almost two decades since Sonic and friends have been part of a McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion, but it looks like Sonic will be returning to the Golden Arches very soon. Yesterday, several images hit Twitter showing three (out of six) Sonic 2 Happy Meal toys. Tails, Knuckles, and a yet unknown Eggman robot. The images were quickly taken down due to a copyright claim.
Now, McDonald’s just started a Stitch Happy Meal promotion, so if this is true, don’t expect to see the toys for a few weeks, and it may depend on what country you are in. While we’re putting this under rumor, the images being taken down quickly due to a copyright strike would suggest that they could be the real deal.
It may be the Year of the Tiger, but for us Sonic fans, it will always be the year of the hedgehog. Paramount Pictures Malaysia has just released some new advertisements celebrating the Chinese New Year. You can see these new renders down below. Sonic 2 hits theaters on April 12 and April 28 in Malaysia.
Sonic hacks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from character swaps, to whole new games, to things that use the existing physics and levels to do something completely crazy! Drmelon’s SNOLF goes for the latter, offering a very different spin on Sonic 2 as Sonic is now a golf ball. But is this hack a fun spin on Sonic 2, or is it too frustrating? The answer is both.
SNOLF: Tournament Edition basically turns Sonic 2 into a 2D golf game, with the end of the stage acting as the hole. You line Sonic up and take swings to get him through the stages. Each button acts as a different kind of club, so you can get weak to strong swings. Button A is a putter swing for light taps, B is regular, and C is a driver, which offers the strongest swing. To measure, you have a ring that goes left and right and then up and down so you can get the proper angle. You also have some control of the ball when it is rolling, but not in the air. Because of that, the are moments where you can’t get the momentum to go further, whether it’s rolling from the top of a cliff, or going straight up and down on a spring. When this occurs, the trick is to try and get a swing in mid-air to get a bit further. There’s also a multiplayer mode for up to four players in competitive and cooperative play.
Swatting Sonic through the Sonic 2 levels is both novel and frustrating at the same time. It took me a long time to get any good at this hack and I still had to just give up at Chemical Plant Zone Act 2. There are moments when it seems like it’s just near impossible to traverse any further, not to mention many moments where you can get stuck for tens of swings (I still don’t know how I managed to beat Robotnik in Emerald Hill). Many times, I felt like throwing down my controller in defeat. That said, there are some options to make your experience less frustrating. For example, you can set it to only do Act one of each zone so you don’t have to go against Robotnik.
After everything that’s been said, SNOLF is definitely something you should check out at least once. It’s difficult and frustrating as hell to play, but its unique challenge kept me coming back despite the times I wanted to toss the controller. It’s just crazy and unique enough to give it a go.
To many die-hard Sonic fans, Sonic 4 is a game unworthy of its title, with a physics engine more closely related to Dimps’ DS past than the Genesis/Mega Drive trilogy. But what if Sonic 4 was a Genesis game? CHRdutch gives us a taste of what that might be like in this Sonic 1 hack which covers Splash Hill Zone acts 1-3.
Splash Hill Zone act one mimics the original Sonic 4 level fairly closely. There are some sacrifices made. Gone are the pulleys and rope swings and in their place are rotating platforms. However, it does have much of the original’s poor level design, including the lack of slopes, narrow loops, and completely unnecessary dash-pads. CHRdutch also does an impressive job trying to copy Sonic 4’s game play quirks into this Sonic 1 hack. When rolling into the air off a wall, Sonic will fly up with his arms stretched open and completely defenseless. Sonic also has a forward boost with a double jump. While there is no homing attack in this version, it can hit enemies when used right and works well for a quick boost forward. However, since this is a hack that still relies on Sonic 1 physics in some form, it doesn’t replicate Sonic 4’s physics, so you won’t find things like wall-walking here. That’s a nice improvement in my book, though.
While Splash Hill act one and act three are pretty faithful to the original, Act two offers its own original design. Keep on the upper path, and you can get to the goal quickly. Fall into the lower path, and you’ll be running underwater. Unlike Labyrinth Zone, it doesn’t feel slow and it won’t take too long until you can find your way out. It’s a well-done level. Also impressive is how well the original soundtrack comes over to the Genesis with little sacrifice. Now, from what I recall, Jun Senoue wanted to get the soundtrack as close to the Genesis sound as possible. Still, I’m surprised at how well remix composer LackOfTrack was able to bring over the soundtrack almost perfectly. At times, it’s exact.
Sonic the Hackable: Splash Hill shows both the flaws of Dimps 2D design while showing the strength of the Genesis Sonic’s physics. While not a perfect 1:1 port, the changes made are for the better. If you were wondering if Sonic 4 could work or even be improved on the Genesis, CHRdutch’s Sonic the Hackable seems to be a solid “yes”.
Sonic 1’s earliest tech demo is something that has only been preserved in screenshots from game magazines, and was only ever shown publicly at some events in 1990. This demo featured many different backgrounds, enemies, and visual elements. Fans have long wanted to get a taste of what this old demo was like, and MCTravisYT and crew’s hack, Sonic Debut, gives us all a chance to live out that fantasy, by giving us a glimpse of what could have been if Sonic 1 had been produced with its earliest concepts intact.
The first thing of note is that Sonic looks and feels just a bit different here. MCTravisYT has put in new sprite animation to better represent the artwork of early screenshots. Also, Sonic is now more vulnerable in the way he jumps. One button press gets him to jump while a second rolls him into a ball. It’s not bad, but a little hard to get used to. I tend to forget that I can’t attack an enemy from below and end up getting hurt.
Speaking of getting hurt, there is a new life and damage system in Sonic Debut. Rings are now just coins. Fifty coins get you a new life represented by a star on the bottom-left screen. When you get hit, coins don’t explode out of you, but rather, you gain health by hitting monitors with hearts on them. The hearts are also numbered on the bottom left screen. On the plus side, this results in you not losing your coins when hit, so getting enough coins for an extra life is easy. However, it’s much easier to lose track of how many times you’ve been hit. Thirty years of losing rings when damaged is in my muscle memory, so it feels strange that one ring won’t save you anymore.
Besides new sprite work for Sonic, there are new Badniks about. One is a robot pig who shuffles to the side and drops bombs out of his belly while the other is a blue, gremlin-looking thing that looks more like a tooth-shaped monster than a Badnik. I call him a “Cavity-Creep”. The two returning Badniks include Buzz Bombers and yellow Choppers. The only other new obstacle is a large ball that rolls along, though it’s more in the way than a threat.
The level layout is very different, as it’s now more linear and a bit larger. That said, neither the upper or lower path seems to offer the player any advantage. The level design leaves a bit to be desired as there are a few instances where going too fast can lead to your death. There’s one spot that always seems to get me where I’m rolling and a spike trap comes up and bounces Sonic back and forth until he runs out of health and dies. It becomes a case of studying the level rather than having fun with it. Robotnik’s boss fight is different as well. There’s still a large wrecking ball on a chain, but now it’s separated from him. The boss fight is a bit more vertical and you have to use elevated platforms to attack him. It’s a fun change as it requires a bit more skill to finish Robotnik off.
That said, MCTravisYT’s Sonic Debut isn’t about its level design as much as it’s giving us a bit of a “What if?” in terms of looking at Sonic in his earliest form. When it comes to early Sonic, we only have screenshots to go by and Sonic Debut is a very interesting look at what might have been. If this was what Sega put out, would it still have been a huge hit? It’s hard to say. Still, it’s compelling to see someone try their hand at filling in the blanks with this entertaining Sonic hack. I’d recommend this to anyone curious about Sonic’s roots, or those who would enjoy a different take on a classic game.
I remember the days of bootleg NES cartridges with ROM hacks that would bring Sonic to the NES with usually poor results. Titles like “Sonic 6” would take an existing Mario or other platform game and drop a Sonic sprite into it and maybe change a few enemies. They were always a pale imitation of the Genesis classics. Pico-Sonic goes below even NES limitations and still manages to feel authentic to the Genesis Sonic era.
“Pico Sonic” by Komehara is everything a demake should be. It lowers the pixel count, coloring, and sound bites to an underpowered 8-bit engine, but still keeps the core of the 16-bit original intact. It’s a one-level demo of Angel Island Act-1 done on the Pico-8, a fictional mid-80s game console with specs that fall between an NES and an Atari 7800.
Even with those limitations, Komehara pulls off an amazing little port. Sonic’s animations are all there along with his cool spring bounce pose from Sonic CD. The physics are intact as well, and Sonic’s roll, spindash, and overall sense of gravity are done perfectly. While this level is inspired by Angel Island, there are some limitations that slightly hinder the experience. The rocks don’t break apart when you hit them and there are no real enemies to be found. Instead, your main goal is to find all seven chaos emeralds scattered throughout the level. This gives you a major incentive to explore. If you don’t get all of the emeralds before finishing the level, it asks you to try again, basically giving you the bad ending.
While I would have liked to have seen some enemies in the level, Pico Sonic is a surprisingly charming fan game that shows that Sonic can still work as a game even on very low-powered hardware (or in this case, emulated low-powered hardware.) I’m hoping to see Pico Sonic return to SAGE next year with some more updates.
Sonic Rush has always been my favorite portable (non-Switch) Sonic game, so to hear there was a demo of it done in full 3D interested me greatly. After playing the demo, I will say it resembles Sonic Unleashed as much as it does Sonic Rush. It’s also a fun ride that needs a bit of work.
Project directors ChickenWingJohnny, EnderElectrics, and Temzy have done an impressive job taking Sonic Rush’s low-poly 3D graphics into a fully 3-D environment. It includes the same boost and trick system as the DS original, but with a modern touch taken from Sonic Unleashed levels like Windmill Isle and Jungle Joyride. The level environment in the game is a mix of those two levels and Water Palace from Sonic Rush. This felt appropriate, as the background of Water Palace has always reminded me of Apotos/Windmill Isle.
In fact, in the opening cutscene, it’s Apotos that Sonic tells Tails he’s dropping into as in this version, Water Palace and Apotos are connected! This cutscene also perfectly encapsulate what I love about this game’s visual style: it replicates the low poly models and low res textures of the DS original. I love it when newer games combine retro 3D visuals with modern HD resolutions. It helps give it a sharpness while still having a dated look. As you jump into the level, a nice mix of “Back to Back” by Hideki Naganuma and “Windmill Isle Act 1” by Tomoya Ohtani plays as you run down, hit your first bumper, and attack some badniks in mid-air.
This moment is where the first problem lies: Sonic Rush 3D has very poor homing attack implementation. When attacking badniks or pawn bots, Sonic’s targeting reticle has to be on-screen. If he hits an enemy and pops up into the air, the robot in front will often be just out of view, and when you tap “A” again, Sonic will pass right over the enemy if the timing is just slightly off. It’s partially due to Sonic’s wonky physics in this game. At times, he controls well, at other times, you can boost off a ramp and fly through the air, missing where you’re supposed to land. You can also easily run onto walls and pathways you’re not meant to go to. This could lead to some shortcuts for speedruns, but also lead to drops and deaths that are entirely not your fault.
The same cannot be said for Sonic’s drifting controls, which are perfect. When playing Unleashed or Generations, I always felt Sonic’s drifting had him sliding too far. In this game, you have perfect control of the blue blur when drifting into corners. I was impressed with how well it worked. The boost works decently as well, resembling its visuals from the DS game.
However, moments where the boost is actually needed are few and far in between. You can go through most of the game at a fairly decent clip without boosting at all. There are a few exceptions, like a rush of water you have to outrun and a lower path near the end where you need to slide under then boost again to avoid drowning. There’s also a hallway of pawn bots you can plow through with it. If you want to add some flash to your playthrough, you can press the “Y” button repeatedly after being launched off a ramp or spring. This lets you do the same trick maneuvers as the DS original, and even ends the same way, with a flicky flourish animation. That’s a nice visual touch!
While it’s definitely rough around the edges in its current state, Sonic Rush 3D is pretty fun. I can’t wait to see Sonic Rush 3D come back next year with more updates, along with some fixes to its physics. It feels like an Unleased de-make as much as a Sonic Rush remake. I think “Sonic Rush Unleashed” might be a better name for this project. Now, they just need to add Blaze the Cat into the mix.
You can find the SAGE demo of Sonic Rush 3D on the official SAGE 2021 website.
From Patrick Horan’s Artstation page comes the first-ever images of Netflix’s Sonic Prime. Patrick was a concept artist on the series. “I was responsible for cleaning up the layouts and color.”
From what we can see from the images below, Sonic’s design adds new gloves and some funky, red shoes. Looks like Sonic will be dealing with a large group (a carton?) of Eggmen, a cavewoman Amy, and a kitsune Tails. Check out the other images below.
During the Sonic Central event this morning, it was announced that Sonic would be guest-starring in other game series in different forms.
First up. is “Tokyo 2020” where Sonic, in mascot form, will be playable in several events including baseball, basketball, football (soccer), and more. Coming June 22nd
Next up is Sonic DLC for “Two-Point Hospital” The hospital staff will be able to swap out their scrubs for Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles costumes. You can then add Sonic decorations to your hospital as well. The free DLC comes July 30th
The classic arcade game, Sonic the Fighters will appear in “Lost Judgment”. The sequel to the 2018 “Yakuza” spinoff. Lost Judgement comes out on September 24th.
There was also a hint of Sonic DLC for Minecraft, but no details were given outside of a tiny snippet of video.
There have been many famous and infamous Sonic cakes seen on the internet over the years. Some “Special”, some traumatizing, and some… different. But this zoetrope cake made for a 2-year-old’s birthday really takes the…. y’know.Continue reading This Zoetrope Sonic Cake is Way Past Cool!
The UK Sega Shop and Justgeek.com have announced a new Sonic 30th Anniversary statue, which is now available for pre-order. The statue pays homage the very first boss fight from Sonic 1. The statue will retail for £69.99 UK and $69.99 US. It will be available in August 2021. Here’s the full statement from the Segashop website.
Celebrate more than 30 years of the world’s most iconic blue blur, Sonic the Hedgehog as we bring you this super exclusive statue! Boasting an action-packed scene of Dr. Eggman and Sonic in the midst of an intense fight, this statue stands at a mighty 9” tall and comes with high-level details. If you’re a huge Sonic enthusiast, this is one collectible you definitely don’t want to miss out on!
Official SEGA product
Designed by and engineered by Numskull Designs
Exclusive statue featuring Sonic and Dr. Eggman in battle
Depicts a detailed scene in the style of the classic Sonic games with retro style grass base.
Made from high grade vinyl and PVC
Dimensions: 9 inches (22.86cm) x 8.6 inches (21.84cm) x 7.4 inches (18.79cm)
PLEASE NOTE – IMAGES ARE OF A PROTOTYPE – FINAL PRODUCT MAY DIFFER SLIGHTLY
In a statement made earlier today, Sega announced that Team Sonic Racing is now available on Amazon’s cloud-gaming platform, Luna. This makes the second Sonic game to be available on Amazon’s new service, along with Sonic Mania.
For those interested, I am currently in the Luna beta and have checked out TSR on its streaming platform. The game looks and plays exactly like its HD counterparts on PS4 and Xbox, however, I did notice occasional dips in framerate from 60 down to 40 or less at times. I tested the same tracks on my Series S and it runs at 60 fps without any issues. That said, the issue pretty minor and the game still runs very well on Luna.
Here’s hoping for more Sonic on the Luna platform in the future. After all, the more Sonic folks can play, the better.
Earlier today on Twitter, Tails voice actor Collen O’Shaugnessey was showing off her new flocked Tails Funko Pop that she got from Target, when she broke some surprising news in the comments.
As we reported earlier this month, Colleen is one of several voice actors not returning to their previous roles in the upcoming Sonic Netflix show, Sonic Prime. However, as one fan mentioned how much they are going to miss her, Colleen surprised everyone with the following…
So what does this mean for Colleen in the role of Tails? Well, she’s completely out of Sonic Prime. “Still not Canadian, so still not doing prime” she replied to one fan. Whether she’ll be back for the Sonic 2 movie, or if she’s returning to the games, she definitely won’t be leaving Tails and the Sonic franchise behind just yet.
Both Sonic Prime and the Sonic 2 movie will be out next year.
He’s still here!! While the Sonic voice-acting talents have changed many times over the years, one actor has managed to consistently keep his role since 2003: Mike Pollock as Dr. Eggman.Continue reading Mike Pollock to continue playing the role of Dr. Eggman
Lookout, Super Nintendo World! Sonic’s got his own themed land too! Albeit much, much smaller, and inside a mall.
Badnik Mechanic’s youtube page has reported on a Sonic-themed playground inside the Vila Vella shopping mall in Brazil. The playground has rings to jump through slides, checkered tubes, obstacle courses, and more, all with a Sonic theme around it. It uses a Green Hill background and cardboard cutouts of Sonic, Eggman, and Tails from different eras. Whether this playground has Sega’s blessing or not remains to be seen.
And the award for ‘Best Villain in a Movie’ goes to… Jim Carrey! In the inaugural, “Critic’s Choice Super” awards, (which focuses more on superhero and action movies rather than dramas), Mr. Carrey won the award for his comical portrayal of Dr. Robotnik. He beat out other actors such as Kathrine Langford, Martin Short and J.K. Simmons.Continue reading Jim Carrey Wins Award for “Best Villain”
Character designer and popular Sonic artist Tyson Hesse will be returning once again to Blur studios for the sequel to the Sonic movie. Along with him with be will storyboard artist Fill Marc.Continue reading Tyson Hesse and Fill Marc to work on Sonic Movie Sequel
The hacking community isn’t just about Sonic Mania and crazy versions of the 16-bit Sonic games. There are plenty for the 3D games as well, including one by hacker AnotherBlob that takes Windy Hill Zone 1 from Sonic Lost World and turns it into a version of Dead Line Zone from Sonic Rush. While AnotherBlob admitting to rushing it out to meet the Sonic Hacking Contest deadline (ha), it’s a quality mod, though there’s some room for improvement.
Most of the level consists of small platforms and ramps floating in space that end with a fenced tunnel similar to the ones from original Dead Line level. Like any good Sonic level, Dead Line has its share of extra paths and shortcuts. One such path is small, blue ramp that you’ll find early in the level. If you spindash and aim just right, you’ll roll high off the ramp and over a large chasm, giving you a shortcut. There’s also a small, grinding section with some robots on the side, attack them and you can find a tube that will launch you high up to the top of some buildings where more badniks await.
There are also five hidden red rings, which can be tricky to get to. I’ve only managed to find three in my time with the game, to give you an idea of how hard they can be to get. I got the first when spindashing over that chasm I mentioned earlier, one high up top of a building, and found another on the parkour tunnel near the exit. The level has some good replayability, as there are red rings and paths I still haven’t found even after several playthroughs.
While the level uses textures inspired by the DS original, and utilizes the level’s original music track, Hideki Naganuma’s What U Need, it’s also far from being an accurate 3D adaptation of the stage. The layout is very different and of course, this being a Lost World level, there’s no boost. As a result, this is more of a homage to the level than anything else.
The level has some difficult portions, such as one area where I had to spindash up a steep hills while avoiding spikes and Moro bugs. There is a long parkour tunnel to get through at the end that requires mastery of Sonic’s parkour ability. I stink at parkour and I’m not the best at wall-running, so it took me several tries. The difficulty’s fair, but it’ll definitely test your Lost World skills.
For all it does right, the level does have an issue caused by the flat, blue texture covering most of the structures. At one point, this texturing made it hard to get out of a large area where I had to run up a slope, but couldn’t see the way out. Some more texturing on the structures to make the exits more apparent would be nice, and I hope we’ll get that in a future update.
Texturing issues aside, Dead Line is a solid, well built Lost World level. It requires the full range of Sonic’s parkour moves, which can make it pretty difficult or anyone who hasn’t mastered his moves. It’s good for being a rushed project, and I look forward to seeing what the developer is able to do with more time. If you want more Lost World, you can’t go wrong here.
Sega is having a big sale on some of their top games and products this weekend at major retailers such as Target, Amazon, and Best Buy. The sale includes the Sega Genesis Mini ($49.99), the Yakuza Collection ($39.99), Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD ($29.99), and Team Sonic Racing ($29.99).
The sale is only going on this weekend (9/18-9/20), so if you want to nab any of these deals, you better hurry.
Coming out of Reddit, an image has surfaced showing a new Arcade 1Up cabinet that includes many AM2 fighting games in one machine. The games include Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter Remix, Virtua Fighter 2, Fighting Vipers and Sonic the Fighters. There is no word on price or release date yet. Continue reading RUMOR: Arcade 1up Virtua Fighter Cabinet with Sonic The Fighters Leaked
While Tangle and Whisper will be coming to Sonic Forces: Mobile very soon, Tangle herself is available in Sonic Dash today! This lightfooted lemur is the first playable Sonic character taken from the comics and not from the games themselves (Sally and the Freedom Fighters had a non-playable cameo in Sonic Spinball). Tangle is playable by unlocking 500 Tangle tokens in an event going on all this week. Shouldn’t take players too long to unlock her as a good player can nab 20+ tokens per game easy.
The event only lasts a week, so make sure you get in some time on Sonic Dash soon!
UPDATE: Check out footage of Tangle in action below:
Sonic Revolution, the yearly Sonic convention normally hosted on the west coast of the United States will have it’s first digital convention and everyone can attend! The event will start at 10 am US pacific time on Twitch at this link. You can also chat with other Sonic fans and do “Meet and Greets” with some of the Sonic talents at the discord server. Continue reading Watch Sonic Revolution 2020 on Twitch today! (6/20)
The opinions expressed in this article are those of Jason Berry and dot not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TSS staff.
Guilty pleasures. Fan favorites. Cult classics. Names used for a variety of entertainment from movies to music and of course, video games. Usually, it refers to something that is flawed, but nonetheless, enjoyable.
The same can be said for a lot, and I mean a LOT of Sonic games out there. Games that are seriously flawed, but still have some fans who enjoy them. I’m still baffled by some people who say that they loved Sonic ‘06 but hey, don’t let me tell you what not to enjoy. Heck, I kinda like Rise of Lyric and that game is in an even more unfinished state than ‘06.
But what I want to talk about are Sonic games that were poorly reviewed by critics, but still enjoyed by fans or vice-versa. Games that are on the cusp of greatness, but some element holds it back. Games that make you say “yeah, it’s not the best, but I like it.” Games that are polished in their design, but their design is ultimately flawed. These are my five Sonic games just shy of greatness.
Sonic and the Black Knight
This is low on the list because it’s genuinely a bad game in the design department, but it has two elements that really shine. Sonic and the Black Knight was the second in the short-lived storybook series just after the arguably better Sonic and the Secret Rings. So why is this one on the list and not Secret Rings? While I didn’t care much for the constant stop-and-slash gameplay of Black Knight, there were two things that really stood out for me.
One, the story is actually one of my favorites in the series. Sonic is back in a storybook world, only this time, he has the knowledge from the previous game to know that his friends are not the same ones from his world and only look the same in appearance. Also, Sonic’s smart enough to realize that something’s off with the titular villain and the surprise twist reveal is something I didn’t see coming. It also includes a moral that, well… you don’t see very often.
Two, the music! Crush 40 is back along with a great, guitar-heavy soundtrack by Jun Sunoe and other talented composers including Tommy Talarico. There are also a few remixes of previous Sonic music, but overall a rockin’ soundtrack to a sub-par game.
Sonic Lost World
Boy did everyone love this game when it made the early rounds at preview shows like E3 and Comic-Con. Most people gave this new and very different entry in the Sonic series a lot of love… until it came out. It’s not that changing the formula for once wasn’t a good idea. I love the boost formula but could’ve used a break. However, once again as most games you see on this list, the biggest flaw is the game design.
Sonic Lost World was doing it’s best to rip off Mario Galaxy and it just didn’t work. The level design, for the most part, was very good. It was the controls themselves that fell apart. Sonic with a run button just felt wrong. Not allowing a more analog run control was a mistake in my opinion, but the other problem was the game’s newest gimmick, the parkour control. Basically, Sonic could climb and run alongside walls in a parkour-style to traverse certain levels. However, it was very hit and miss. Sonic would start to slide off the wall very quickly and it was hard to bounce from wall to wall. It took a more advanced level of skill than normally required from a platformer. Surprisingly, the 3DS port had the opposite problem. The parkour controls worked very well and should have been implemented in the console game, while the level design was pure torture. Had we had gotten both solid, parkour controls along with good level design, Sonic Lost Word could have been a hit.
Sonic Forces COULD have been a great game under the right circumstances. It’s using the Hedgehog Engine 2, Classic Sonic is back, you have your classic 2-D and boost gameplay just like Generations. You can even design your original character (do not steal), making every Sonic fanfic writer’s dream come true. In fact, it did okay with critics or at least critics who weren’t that familiar with Sonic. But as a fan of Sonic, you played the game and realized right away that something was off. It looked like Generations, but it didn’t quite play like it.
I think the main problem lies in that a good amount of the team from Sonic Colors worked on this game including the director, Morio Kishimoto. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Sonic Colors. But that game has very different platform physics than Generations or Unleashed. However, this game seems to have the engine of Generations, but with the jumping physics of Colors. Casual game players might not notice, but if you’re a Sonic fan, it’ll throw you off a bit. Like riding a bicycle, only now the bicycle controls like a unicycle.
What also doesn’t help is the terrible writing once again from Pontac and Graff. I’ll admit, I loved the story in Colors and laughed at Eggman’s PSA’s but those two are comedy writers, and every time they attempt drama in Sonic games, it falls flat. Sonic was supposed to be captured by Eggman and tortured for months, but when we see him, he’s the same ol’ Sonic he’s always been. Crackin’ jokes with (not) Zavoc.
“What goes up, must come down…” Much like the quality of gameplay in Sonic Heroes.
Now, Sonic Heroes is definitely one of my “guilty pleasures”. It has a lot going for it that I like. It offers the 3-D gameplay similar to the last Sonic Adventure games, but stripped down to a level-by-level structure, much like the 2-D classics. The new gimmick in this one is that you control three characters at once. One for speed (Sonic, Shadow, Amy, Espio), one for power (Knuckles, Omega, Big, Vector), and one for flight (Tails, Rouge, Cream, Charmy). Four teams with four stories of their own. Sonic Heroes did a lot right. It brought back the Chaotix, introduced Omega, and had probably Jun Sunoe’s and Crush 40’s best tracks in any of their games. “What I’m made of” is unironically a damn good song and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise (not really). For the most part, the “three at a time” formula works and helps keep the platforming gameplay moving at a fairly fast pace. It even did fairly well by critics (for a Sonic game of that era). Seaside Hill is still a joy to play. So what’s keeping it from being one of the best?
Level design. That’s the biggest problem. Sometimes it works great (like the aforementioned Seaside Hill) while others are a disaster. Casino Park and Bingo Highway still infuriate me to this day. The game’s difficulty constantly spikes. You can be having a great time of it only to have one of the most frustrating experiences on the very next level. It also doesn’t help that this was the first Sonic game to introduce a massive amount of annoying talking during gameplay. I just want to reach into my screen and choke Tails every time he says “Look at all those Eggman’s robots!”.For a child with a high IQ, he sure has poor grammar.
Now, if you’re a big fan of Sonic Heroes, I understand. There’s a lot to love here. But it’s definitely not without its faults. Speaking of a very faulty Sonic game that I love…
I friggin’ LOVE Sonic Unleashed! But it’s definitely got its flaws.
It starts out soooo good! That Marza animated intro is the best Sonic…. Anything! (Speaking of, when’s that “Lupin the 3rd: The First” movie hitting the western markets?) We then meet Chip and… yeah, his mileage may vary depending on if he grows on you or not. We then meet humans and OMG!! They actually fit well in Sonic’s world for once! Giving them a cartoon appearance works perfectly. Then, after some story introductions and a training level, we are introduced to our first full level in Apotos, “Windmill Isle Act 2” and OMG is it amazing!! Sonic’s running at incredible speeds through narrow streets that blur by. Dodging buildings left and right, grinding rails and smashing through Badniks. It was the first Sonic game to introduce the 3-D boost mechanics that are still present in the latest games. It all feels sooo good and it’s over too soon.
And then it happens. The Werehog. The thing both critics and fans felt was a bad idea and frankly, still is. Now, don’t get me wrong. The gameplay of the Werehog is actually not that bad! You’re running, jumping, getting into brawls and shimmying on ledges and it works out okay. It just doesn’t feel like that kind of gameplay belongs in a Sonic game. Also, each level is about a half-hour long or more. Compare that to the Sonic daytime levels that clock in at about five minutes. I’m bored ten minutes into the Werehog levels. The one thing the Wii did right was to break them up into smaller levels so you could take a break from them. The Wii version also didn’t have the frustrating medal hunt. Don’t have enough sun medals for the next Sonic daytime level? Too bad. Back to the old Werehog levels to hunt them down.
With all, it’s faults I’d still be lying if I didn’t say that Sonic Unleashed was one of my favorite 3-D Sonic games. The Werehog isn’t gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are far worse Sonic gameplay options out there (I’m looking at you, Big in Sonic Adventure.)
So what flawed Sonic game do you enjoy? Are there any you think I should have put on the list? Let me know in the comments below.
If you’re looking to complete your Sonic collection on 3DS or Switch, Sega has you covered.
From May 17th to the 26th, a huge library of Sonic games are on sale on the Nintendo eShop. The games include the following…
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – $39.99
Sonic Forces – $9.99
Sonic Mania (Standard) – $9.99
Team Sonic Racing – $19.99
SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog – $5.99
SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $5.99
Sonic Generations – $9.99
Sonic Lost World – $9.99
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal – $9.99
Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice – $9.99
3D Sonic the Hedgehog – $2.99
3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $2.99
Prices reflect the U.S. Eshop.
Lee Majdoub, known to Sonic fans as Agent Stone from the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, will be attending Sonic Revolution 2020 this year.
Normally, the convention is held every June in Southern California, but for the first time ever, the convention will be held digitally and will be seen streaming live and online through Twitch and Discord. The convention will be available online on Saturday, June 20th. Guest lineup and more details will be coming soon.
Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020 is now out on mobile. The game is free to download but is basically an extended demo. At about a dozen events in, you will get to the paywall and need to purchase the game to get any further. So what are the options? Let’s take a look. Continue reading Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Mobile: What to Purchase
As you might recall, earlier this month, Microsoft was giving away a Sonic movie-themed Xbox One X on their Twitter page. Well, on April 24th, the winner came forward. Warner Loredo, a Sonic fan by the Twitter handle Professor Crafter won the illustrious prize, and rather than resell it for a high price, he’s using it for it’s intended purpose and playing games on it. I got a hold of Warner and asked him a few questions. Continue reading TSS Interview: Winner of the Sonic Movie Xbox One X, Warner Loredo
US Sonic fans, take note! Despite the Sonic the Hedgehog movie not being available for purchase on DVD/Blu-Ray until May 19, you can rent a copy of the movie at Rebox kiosks right now! The movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray, with the 4K version coming soon. Continue reading You Can Rent the Sonic Movie at Redbox Now
While the Sonic comic may be on hiatus due to the Coronavirus, plans for future issues are still going full steam ahead. As reported on comicbook.com, Sonic artist, Even Stanley will take over as both writer and illustrator of IDW’s Sonic The Hedgehog comic book as of issue 33. The story will take place just after the “Metal Virus” arc ends and will be a more lighthearted tale called “Chao Races and Badnik Bases.” Continue reading Evan Stanley takes over the Sonic comic while Ian Flynn pens “Bad Guys”