SAGE 2020: Virtua Sonic Lets You See What it’s Like to be in Sonic’s Shoes…if He Could Get Motion Sickness

This year’s SAGE has been filled to the brim with quality, creative, and odd games. Fewer, however, so perfectly represent all three of these qualities like Virtua Sonic does. “Virtual reality Sonic” sounds like an awful idea on paper. VR games in general tend to struggle with allowing for movement without giving the user motion sickness, so how is a game about a high speed hedgehog that constantly spins around supposed to do it? Well, I don’t know…but somehow, Virtua Sonic isn’t the vomit-inducing VR experience I was expecting, and on top of that it’s…actually a surprisingly decent Sonic game!

First, it’s important that I talk about my own tolerance for VR, and my current set-up before I go on. Experiences like this are certainly not for everyone. I’ve been exposed to VR gaming for roughly four years now, starting with the HTC Vive back in 2016. Like a lot of people, I’m able to handle room scale VR (where you physically walk around a virtual space) for long stretches. Also like most people, standing VR games (where movement is handled via a controller while you just stand or sit) does make me sick, and my tolerance level for these games used to be 10-20 minutes, but that has marginally improved.

If you can’t handle these kinds of VR experiences, Virtua Sonic is not for you. That said, Virtua Sonic is actually one of the better standing VR experiences I’ve had. I don’t know if it’s something to do with the game design or my own tolerance, but I was able to play for 20 minutes before I started to feel sick, and I was able to play it for 40 minutes without having to put it down. Not bad! I played the entire thing on an Oculus Quest, connected to my computer via its Oculus Link feature. Oculus Link can be a bit jittery, and this occasionally got in the way of the experience, but I won’t be noting those aspects of the experience here, as that has nothing to do with the game.

Virtua Sonic plays surprisingly well and it is…mostly intuitive. You move by holding down buttons on the motion controllers and pumping them up and down like you’re “running,” and jumping is done by holding down the triggers and thrusting a controller down. Aside from running and jumping, all of Sonic’s moves are here, from the homing attack, to the light speed dash, stomp, spindash, and roll.

All of these moves are handled via a combination of motion controls and button presses. None of these moves are as intuitive to pull off as they are in the official games, but I eventually got used to them. That said, I did run into some problems. For one, the jumping controls just don’t feel natural in this game.

You jump by holding the triggers and thrusting a controller down, which just kept conflicting with what my brain wanted to do. I wanted to thrust the controller up, in the direction I wanted to move. I’m not sure if it would have interfered with other parts of the controls, but it took me until my third play session with the game to finally get used to it. The stomp, likewise, feels unnatural: you do it by raising your hands after a jump. Again, thrusting my arms down would feel more natural for a downward stomping motion.

But once I got used to everything, playing through the game actually felt pretty good. Like, way better than I ever would have expected a VR Sonic game to feel! Homing in on enemies, rolling, spin dashing, and light speed dashing all felt supremely satisfying. There’s even a move in the game where you basically need to “Naruto run” once you achieve a high enough speed. This allows you to retain your momentum and pull off all sorts of neat tricks like running on water or along walls. I admit, this could make me feel pretty goofy, but actually replicating Sonic’s running stance to run along a waterfall is also probably one of the most satisfying moments I’ve had in VR.

You’re going to need to master these moves to get through the demo. Aside from the tutorial stage, which is pretty linear and basic in its design, Virtua Sonic sports one full level and boss fight, and that level, Sakura Sanctuary, is big. It’s got multiple paths to to run through, and it gets increasingly large and expansive as it continues. It features design sensibilities similar to the superb Sonic GT, which isn’t surprising, since it’s based on the same tech as GT. The boss battle’s also pretty fun: you’ve got to chase down a big robot, using the physics and your moves to keep pace with it and bring it down.

It isn’t all roses, though, as the levels do have a few rough edges. In the tutorial stage, the hill that’s supposed to teach players how to jump is just a little too high, and I found myself consistently struggling to successfully scale it. There’s also an incline towards the end of Sakura Sanctuary that’s nearly impossible to get up consistently. Even spin dashing didn’t seem to work! These are small issues, but ones I found detrimental to the overall experience.

The game’s short, but it’s a complete package all the same. It tells a simple, complete story with good writing and solid voice work. Sakura Sanctuary and the tutorial stage are both gorgeous, and the selection of music (which includes a nice little track from NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams) works well with the levels. Once you beat the game you can play through both levels and the boss battle in Time Attack mode, which adds a bit of replay value.

I hope we get more projects like this. During an event that was full of surprises, Virtua Sonic may be the biggest of the lot. If you’ve got a VR set up and your stomach can take it, check it out! You wont be disappointed.

Balan Wonderworld Gets March 2021 Release Date

Today’s Nintendo Direct gave us some new info on Yuji Naka and Naoto Oshima’s upcoming game, Balan Wonderworld. The game will be launching on March 26, 2021, and will include 12 worlds, each with their own boss fight. You progress through the game by collecting hidden trophies, which you can do with a friend through the game’s co-op mode.

You can check out the game’s new trailer for its Nintendo Switch version below:

SAGE 2020: Sally and the Freedom Fighters Live On in These Fan Games

My first Sonic thing ever was an issue of the Archie comic. Between that and the SatAm cartoon, the American characters were just as “Sonic” to me as Tails or Knuckles, and I had always wanted to see them appear as a major part of the games. Unfortunately, media synergy wasn’t really a thing back in the 90s, so the Freedom Fighters largely remained exclusive to spin-off media.

Fan games have occasionally given me the chance to see how Sonic’s American canon could work in the games. This year’s SAGE has two such examples, both inspired by SatAm. One is a typical Sonic platformer, and the other is a surprisingly well done RPG.

Continue reading SAGE 2020: Sally and the Freedom Fighters Live On in These Fan Games

Find Tikal’s Lost Chao in New, Fan-made Sonic Adventure Dreamcast DLC

The Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure has received its first brand new downloadable content in nearly twenty years, thanks to the efforts of the Dreamcast community. This new DLC, called “Tikal’s Challenge,” has players traveling back to the past as Sonic to find five chao lost in the ancient echidna city. They’re tasked with finding the chao as quickly as possible, and bringing them to the Master Emerald shrine.

Continue reading Find Tikal’s Lost Chao in New, Fan-made Sonic Adventure Dreamcast DLC

SAGE 2020: Sonic GT Brings a New Twist to 3D Sonic

I’ve been playing Sonic fan games since the early 2000s, occasionally loading them up on my PC whenever something looked interesting. I’ve had loads of fun with these games, but while the scene has been producing impressive 2D games for decades, 3D fan games have typically been rougher, less complete experiences. That is until now: Sonic GT, developed by NotSoGreedy, is the most fun and impressive 3D Sonic fan game I have ever played, if not one of the best fan games, period. What’s more, this isn’t a demo, but a complete, finished project!

The core to that fun is how Sonic GT handles movement and level design. While official 3D Sonic games are typically about moving through fairly linear levels and getting the highest scores and lowest times possible, Sonic GT is all about having you move through massive 3D worlds and letting you find your own way. In Sonic GT, there is no ideal path, just worlds full of springs, rails, enemies, ramps and slopes.

No single area has just one path through it.

You can be running across a bridge one moment, then leaping over to a nearby rail the next. You can hit a slope with enough momentum to send yourself flying high enough to reach a new area you weren’t even planning on going to seconds before. You can botch a jump, and instead of falling to your death you’ll find yourself in a less convenient area instead. Sonic GT is all about those moment-to-moment decisions, and letting you constantly find new ways to move through a stage, sometimes by choice, and sometimes by accident.

Sonic GT accomplishes this by borrowing mechanics from a variety of different Sonic games. The momentum-centric platforming and expansive level design is drawn from the classic games, but almost everything else feels more like a fusion of Adventure and Boost era mechanics. While the game doesn’t include an option to boost, characters still feels very zippy, with a fast running speed, a homing attack with a massive range, and a targeting reticule. The game even borrows the surface gripping mechanics from Unleashed, allowing characters to grab onto sheer walls and jump off them. With enough speed, the characters will even run along these walls instead, similar to the parkour from Lost World.

You can do tricks too.

The lack of boost not only accommodates the momentum mechanics, but also gives moves that haven’t been relevant since the Adventure era like the light speed dash, spin dash and bounce attack a chance to shine. Certain moves are recontextualized by the game’s mechanics as well. The stomp move from the boost games now allows for more precise platforming. If you’re feeling adventurous, the bounce attack can be used for that same purpose, while also allowing your character’s momentum to be maintained.

In addition to the standard moves, GT also has four different characters, including Sonic and Mighty (I’ll avoid spoiling the rest) who each feel distinct. They each have unique moves and their own top speed, acceleration, jump height, and ways of interacting with the physics. All of these moves make the levels of GT an absolute joy to run through, and those runs are almost never the same because of the sheer amount of paths, moves, and distinct characters at your disposal.

Sonic’s got his drop dash and a unique homing attack

That said, the gameplay does have its issues. The game’s motobug badniks can be a bit of a pain to deal with, as they’ll sometimes come speeding out of nowhere and blindside you. The expansive range of the homing attack can also mean exactly what its targets can be a tad unpredictable at times. The expansiveness of the levels led to me accidentally backtracking a couple times and it is really easy to miss check points. I found being conscious of these things does a lot to mitigate them, but they can make the experience feel a bit rough and unfair at times, though they are small blemishes in what is an otherwise ridiculously fun experience.

GT’s greatest flaw is its bosses. The game has three bosses, and two of them can be pretty frustrating. For one, they each take a LOT of hits (about 12 each) which can be difficult to deliver. The first one needs to be run down, which can be an absolute thrill…until one mistake allows it to get so far ahead that it can’t be hit again. This frustrated me at first, until I realized I could run in the opposite direction and catch it from behind, but that made the whole fight feel a bit sloppy.

These little buggers have a way of sneaking up on you.

The second boss, a robotic bird in an arena surrounded by spikes, was a lot more unforgiving. It gives you one chance to reliably hit it every minute or so, after it spends some time launching electric mines at you, then attempts to blast you into the spikes with a wind attack. Only then can you deliver a homing attack…two if you’re lucky. It’s possible to land additional hits by bouncing off the mines right after it fires them off, but this is not only very unreliable, it’s also very easy to home into the mines just before they activate, hurting you instead. On top of that, the wind attack isn’t telegraphed, so it constantly took me off-guard, leading to many deaths that just felt cheap. It took me over an hour to finally beat the damn thing.

Thankfully, Sonic GT’s developers have already confirmed that a patch addressing the bird boss is in the works, and could be out in a few days. Regardless of how the other bosses are tweaked, however, GT’s final boss is still very fun to fight. So the game does at least have a solid finale!

This damn bird was a pain in my rear.

It’ll take just a couple of hours to see that ending, but the game doesn’t stop there. Like any good Sonic game, GT has replay value. You can play through the story a second time as Mighty the Armadillo, and there is a time attack mode and a mission mode. Mission mode has you playing through each level as one of the game’s four characters while accomplishing a particular goal. GT’s a ridiculously fun and feature rich experience with some frustrating issues, and these qualities extend into the game’s production values too.

The visuals, which were part of what attracted me to this game to begin with, are pretty damn impressive. Sunset Boulevard and Hilltop Zone are especially gorgeous, featuring colorful, atmospheric environments that feel like they were ripped right out of the Sonic universe. The game’s frame rate can be a bit rough at times, no matter what I set the graphical settings to, but I found myself forgetting the issue was even there after awhile.

The soundtrack is pretty diverse and understated. You won’t find any loud Crush40-inspired cheese rock here, but if you dig the level soundtracks of games like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors, you should like what GT has to offer.

It’s with the story that GT stumbles. That this game has a story at all is impressive, and I appreciate the game going in a lighthearted direction rather then trying to do something dark and edgy. The plot is pretty simple: Eggman wants Mighty’s “shell,” and kidnaps one of his friends to lure him in. With most Sonic plot lines typically dealing with apocalyptic or world-shattering scenarios, it’s nice seeing the characters dealing with a basic, hair-brained Eggman plot instead.

The CG portraits for the story scenes are also incredibly well-done, looking practically indistinguishable from what you’d get from SEGA itself. This game goes above and beyond what we typically get from fan games. Yet…the writing itself is mediocre, and the voice acting isn’t that great either. I obviously never actually expected a fan game to have professional-level writing and voice acting, but I know I would be doing the game a disservice if I didn’t set player expectations accordingly. Cutscenes cannot be skipped at all, or sped through on first playthrough either, so you will be experiencing all of it.

Like I said at the start of this massive preview, I’ve been playing Sonic fan games for nearly two decades, starting around 2002/2003, during the great Sonic console game drought between SA2 and Heroes. At the time, I was so hungry for new Sonic experiences that I turned to SFGHQ and started downloading my first fan games. Now, in 2020, we are in the midst of another Sonic drought, and I find myself again turning to fan games, and…Sonic GT has done a damn good job quenching my thirst. If you’ve been desperate for a new 3D Sonic game, download and play this. Despite some rough edges, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Sonic GT can be downloaded here or here.

SAGE 2020 Site Knocked Offline by Record Breaking Traffic, Backup Site Now Up

SAGE 2020 is doing so well this year that the event’s website has broken from the sheer amount of traffic! As we reported when the event launched yesterday, the website has been down since everything started. Despite this, the website logged more than 3.5 million hits in its first 16 hours. Although these are for visits, not individual users, this is a significant uptick from the 100,000 hits the event scored in its first 24 hours last year.

Thankfully, SAGE 2020 has been doing everything it can to keep the event going despite these technical issues. While they work with the site’s ISP, SAGE 2020 has launched a back up website with secondary links to many of the event’s games. You can check it out here.

If you’re a SAGE exhibitor, and your game does not yet have a secondary link on the back up website, be sure to let SAGE know through its discord server!

SAGE 2020 Starts Today!

The 20th edition of the Sonic Amateur Game Expo, SAGE 2020, has officially launched! The long running online fan event will have a whopping 250+ games this year, including loads of Sonic fan games, mods, and original titles. This massive selection shows just how far this event has since its inception as a small Sonic community event back in 2000.

Unfortunately, the website is currently experiencing technical difficulties, but you can find alternate download links for some of SAGE’s projects on Twitter, here.

Be sure to stay tuned to Sonic Stadium throughout the event for coverage of some of the events games! You can already see our coverage of one of the games here.

SAGE 2020: Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit is Looking to be a Quality Remake of a Portable 8-bit Classic

Out of all of Sonic’s 90s offerings, Sonic Triple Trouble is probably the most under-appreciated. Featuring some of the best levels, bosses, and music outside of the series’ core offerings, Triple Trouble is the apex of Sonic’s 8-bit entries. It built on the unique quirks of those games, while also coming the closest out of all of them to matching Sonic’s 16-bit releases. This makes it all the more frustrating that the game hasn’t seen an accessible re-release since it hit the 3DS eShop 8 years ago. Hopefully, this will be corrected soon, but until then, we’re set to get something much better: Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit.

Continue reading SAGE 2020: Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit is Looking to be a Quality Remake of a Portable 8-bit Classic

Sonic OVA Production Demo OST Released

A 30 minute production demo of the Sonic OVA has just been released via YouTube, thanks to the efforts of Illuminor, the same Sonic fan who was able to obtain and release the full version of the OVA’s main theme, Look-a-Like, last week.

Illuminor received this demo from the same person who sent him Look-a-Like, after asking if they had any other tracks from the production. This demo features numerous tracks from the OVA spliced together, including the long-coveted South Island theme. Many of these tracks are different from what was featured in the OVA, which leads Illuminor to believe that this is likely from before these tracks were completed. The demo also features roughly ten minutes worth of music never featured in the final production. Illuminor’s contact isn’t sure if all of this music was originally created for the OVA, as it may have been mixed in from other projects.

You can check out the production demo in its entirety below, or go to the YouTube page for time stamps of the individual tracks. Illuminor will be releasing the source files for both Look-a-Like and the production demo via the Russian Sonic fan twitter account Sonic & All Characters at a later date.

Second Wave of Jakks Pacific Sonic Plushes Trickling into Retailers

The second wave of Jakks Pacific 7” Sonic plushes, which the company first revealed last year, is finally starting to make its way to stores. Although the plushes were supposed to hit stores on July 29, they have been hard to come by so far. They’ve mostly been appearing at online retailers like Toywiz, ToyZany, and eBay at inflated prices of between $20-$40 (for reference, the MSRP is $10.99).

These plushes are slowly beginning to appear at brick and mortar retailers…at least in the UK. Sonic youtuber Dave Luty was able to get his hands on a Mighty plush, which he posted pictures of on Twitter. Check them out in the embedded tweet below:

According to Luty, his store only had the one. Given the high prices for these plushes elsewhere, it would appear that availability is pretty limited, at least for now. With a third wave that also includes Mighty slated for September, hopefully they will become more available soon. I know some of us, myself included, have been waiting 25 years for a Mighty plush, and that wait may be coming to an end soon.

For an up close look at the new Mighty, Amy Rose, and Super Sonic plushes, check out the gallery below:

Sonic the Hedgehog Returning to Select Theaters in US & Canada Today, Despite Safety Concerns

Paramount has revealed that their Sonic the Hedgehog movie will be returning to theaters in the United States and Canada for a limited time starting today. Currently, showings are listed for various theaters from today to next Thursday. As theaters attempt to navigate reopening amidst a pandemic, they are largely falling back on showing older films due to a dearth of new releases, with Sonic now being one of them.

We won’t beat around the bush, here: we at Sonic Stadium DO NOT endorse doing anything that will put your health at risk, including going to places like movie theaters where social distancing will be difficult to impossible. Last month, the Texas Medical Association released a chart that listed movie theaters as one of the places where risk of COVID-19 infection is high. While COVID-19 is believed to infect older and sicker people worse, healthy young people can also come down with a serious infection, which can lead to months of ongoing symptoms or death. If you still decide to go, please follow all health guidelines and ordinances.

Alternatively, you could just rent the movie for the price of a cheap movie ticket, or buy it outright for the price of a few, and just enjoy it in the safety of your home.

Sonic Fan Hack Makes its Way into Netflix Documentary Series

Sonic fans can be talented. Very talented. They can be so talented, in fact, that the stuff they produce is sometimes confused with the real thing. The latest example of this can be found in Netflix’s new video game documentary series, High Score. Continue reading Sonic Fan Hack Makes its Way into Netflix Documentary Series

As Sonic Movie Opens in Chinese Theaters, Sonic Says “Follow COVID-19 Guidelines” in New Movie Posters

The Sonic movie finally opened in Chinese theaters today, more than five months after its originally scheduled date of February 28. The opening has been accompanied with a series of posters advertising COVID-19 guidelines, a stark reminder of how much the world has changed this year. Among the guidelines, Sonic asks people to wear a mask, not eat food, take their temperature, and social distance from others, including your own clones.

These images were posted to Twitter by Daniel Ahmad, who covers the Asian video game industry.

While the Sonic movie broke records for a video game movie in the west, delays in eastern markets caused by the pandemic have kept the movie from reaching the same worldwide numbers as Detective Pikachu. Be sure to check back to Sonic Stadium for news on the movie’s box office performance over the next few weeks!

 

Sonic Mania Coming to Origin Access Premiere UPDATE: With Denuvo DRM

Anyone with an Origin Access Premiere subscription now has access to the PC version of Sonic Mania through EA’s Origin storefront. For those unfamiliar with the service, EA Access Premiere is the higher tier version of the Origin Access service. This service provides access to a library of games, discounts to all games bought on the storefront, and “extra content” for new EA games for $15 a month.

It is the vanilla version of the game, meaning that the Encore DLC will still need to be bought separately.

UPDATE: According to twitter user @CodenameGamma, who hacks and reverse-engineers games like Sonic Mania, this version of the game adds the infamous Denuvo DRM back into the game. The Steam release of Sonic Mania originally released with this DRM, before it was removed due to fan outcry. As a result, this version of Sonic Mania will not be supported by the community.

Sonic Movie Writer isn’t Sure When Filming Will Start

Moviemaking can be difficult, especially in the middle of a pandemic. While answering a fan question on Instagram, Sonic movie writer Josh S. Miller said that he “wasn’t sure when filming would start,” and that the purely animated elements can be worked on first.

Filming in live action movies can be done much faster then CGI special effects, which take far longer to produce. The first Sonic movie’s principal filming took place over roughly a month, from mid-September to mid-October, with additional filming being completed later in October.

Stay tuned to Sonic Stadium for further developments on Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s production!

IDW Releases Solicitations and Covers for Sonic #34 and Sonic: Bad Guys #2

IDW has released solicitations for October’s Sonic issues. Sonic #34 is features writing and art from Evan Stanley, as well as a cover from Abby Bulmer. Meanwhile, Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #2 will feature writing from long-time Sonic scribe Ian Flynn, and will also feature art from Jack Lawerence and a cove from Diana Skelly.

Check out the solicitations and covers below!

Sonic the Hedgehog #34:

It’s off to the races with Cream, Cheese, Amy, and Rouge! They have to keep up their winning streak or surrender Cheese to Clutch’s evil… clutches! Meanwhile, Sonic and Tails are being watched by a mysterious figure in Eggman’s seemingly abandoned base and Shadow investigates a mystery!

Sonic #34 will be in stores on October 14.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #2

From Sonic veterans Ian Flynn and Jack Lawrence comes “Smash & Grab,” an exciting story jam-packed with bad guys and badniks!

Some of Sonic’s worst enemies are back and badder than ever! Dr. Starline, Dr. Eggman’s former-right hand, has brought together Mimic, Rough, Tumble, and Zavok and promised them even more incredible power… if they can stop fighting each other and start fighting badniks to get to it!

Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #2 will be available on October 28.

Sonic Movie Sequel Gets April 2022 Release Date

Amid the slew of movie delays being caused by the United States’ coronavirus spike, Paramount has dated Sonic’s return to theaters: April 8, 2022.

Nothing else is known about Sonic’s next film at the moment, although the people behind the movie have dropped some hints over the last few months.

The Metal Virus Saga Reaches its Finale in Sonic #29, Out Now

The long-running Metal Virus Saga has finally reached its finale in the pages of IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog with issue 29, which sees the last surviving members of the comic’s cast face off against Zavok and their virus-infected friends. The comic can be bought in stores and on Comixology right now. Check out the solicitation, alternate covers and preview pages below:

“All or Nothing,” Part Four! This is it! Sonic and the remaining members of the Restoration team-up for their final fight against the ultra powerful Deadly Six. Not only do they have to take on Zavok, but a legion of zombots as well! The thrilling final battle of the Metal Virus Saga!

Whisper Shoots Her Way into Sonic Forces With New Event, “Guardian Angel”

Whisper the Wolf, the fan-favorite socially anxious sniper from IDW’s Sonic comic, has arrived in the mobile version of Sonic Forces in a new ten day event: Guardian Angel. Whisper brings her wisp-fueled variable whispon sniper rifle to the race, which allows her to access three new power-ups: cyan laser, green hover, and pink spikes.

Cyan laser fires a beam both forward and behind Whisper, while green hover gives Whisper a speed boost and extends her air time. Her final power-up, pink spike, lays spike traps for rivals to run into.

To unlock Whisper, players will have until July 27 to collect 60 character cards by completing specific missions. Whisper’s stats give her 8/10 on speed, 6/10 on acceleration, and a 7/10 on strength. As she is a rare character rather than an event character, it should be possible to get her cards after the event is over, although they will be quite rare.

I am currently halfway towards unlocking her, so be sure to check back later for footage of her in action!

Whisper Slips into Sonic Dash in a New Event

Whisper the Wolf, friend of Tangle and the other fan favorite new character from IDW Sonic, has arrived in a new event following Tangle’s from last week.

Just like with Tangle, players will need to collect 500 Whispers tokens to unlock her. You can check out footage I captured of her being unlocked and played below! The event, which started a few days ago, will end on July 17.

Whisper will also be heading to Sonic Forces in the near future, probably right after Tangle’s event, which also ends on July 17.

 

Tangle Swings into Sonic Forces Today

Less than a week after popping up in Sonic Dash, fan-favorite IDW Sonic character Tangle the Lemur has now found her way into Sonic Forces Mobile in a new week-and-half-long event, “It’s Hero Time!”

She comes to the game as a rare character, and players will need to earn 60 character cards to unlock her. These cards are earned by completing specific missions during the event, which will last from today until July 17.

Tangle brings two new power ups to the game: tail strike, a damaging short-range dash that can take up two item slots, and tail spring, which will let Tangle essentially perform a powered-up spin attack. When it comes to her stats, she scores a 7/10 in speed, 5/10 in acceleration, and 10/10 in strength.

Whisper will likely be coming to the game later this month, after Tangle’s event ends. Stay tuned to this post for Tangle gameplay footage!

Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2020 Now Available at Retailers

After being delayed from its original April release date due to the pandemic, IDW’s Sonic annual comic is finally available!

The extra-large $8 comic features six stories from six different writers. , including Ian Flynn, Evan Stanley, Caleb Goellner, Sarah Graley, Sam King and Gigi Dutreix! Each story also features art by Jon Gray, Evan Stanley, Aaron Hammerstom, Lamar Wells, Jamal Peppers, and Abigail Bulmer. Here’s the solicitation from IDW:

“Untold Tales of the Metal Virus!” As the Metal Virus plague-Dr. Eggman’s latest plan that turns all organic life into zombified robots-spreads across Sonic’s world, none can escape its path! Join Sonic and some of his greatest friends and worst foes in six incredible, previously untold stories about how the world reacts to this latest threat!

For a full list of the stories, credits, as well as the various alternate covers and preview pages, check out the gallery below:

Tails and Silver Go Super and Become Funko’s Latest POP! Sonic Figures

If you’ve been wanting merch of Super Tails and Super Silver, you’ll finally be getting what you want next month…so long as you don’t mind them having black, soulless eyes. I am, of course, talking about Funko POPS. The company announced both figures as part of their line of SDCC 2020 exclusives, which will now be released at select retailers due to the event’s cancellation. They will be sold together, as a 2-pack.

Continue reading Tails and Silver Go Super and Become Funko’s Latest POP! Sonic Figures

Tangle & Whisper Uncovered in Sonic Dash Datamine!

Sonic’s mobile games have been focused on making more Sonic characters playable for years now, making deeper and deeper cuts into the game canon. Now, Hardlight seems to be mining Sonic’s IDW comics for new characters, according to data uncovered by Twitter user Bluwolfboy. He dug into the latest build of the Android version of Sonic Dash, and uncovered two new characters: Tangle the Lemur and Whisper the Wolf! These two characters were introduced early on in Sonic’s IDW run, and became so popular the soon got their own four-part mini series!

Bluwolfboy uncovered fully 3D models and character icons. They also posted proof that the characters are in the data, and Tails Channel was able to independently verify it themselves.

This is a major milestone, not just for IDW Sonic, but for Sonic comics in general. Aside from the Freedom Fighter’s cameos in Sonic Spinball, and a few canceled games, this marks the first time Sonic comics characters have been present in a game! That said, we’re probably still a long way off from any members of the Archie cast popping up in anything.

You can check out Tangle and Whisper’s game assets below. If you want access to the actual models, check out the source at the bottom of the page! Obviously, it is currently not known when these characters will be available, but given they are in the data we probably won’t be waiting too long!

via Twitter

Silver & Whisper Throw Down With Zor in IDW Sonic #28 Preview

It’s been a long time coming, but the next issue of IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog is finally on the horizon. With less than two weeks until the series’ return, IDW has released preview pages on Apple’s iBooks app. Check them out below!

Credit to @IDWSonicNews for editing and posting these pages!

Community Spotlight: Fans Re-Animate An Entire Episode of Sonic X

“Re-animation” projects have been a common thing on YouTube for a couple years now, and Sonic fans released their first crack at it back in April when they released an entirely re-animated episode of Sonic X!

Nearly 300 animators spent 17 months re-making episode 5 of Sonic X frame-by-frame, employing a variety of styles. Check it out below:

Sonic Forces Mobile Introduces Tikal Today in Keeper of Chaos Event

Tikal is now available on Sonic Forces Mobile for a limited time, as part of the game’s “Keeper of Chaos” event. The event will run for ten days, from now until June 15, and will give players a chance to unlock the character by completing specific missions. As a a “super rare” character, players must collect 30 cards before the event is over to unlock her.

Tikal has a speed rating of 10/10, an acceleration rating of 6/10, and a strength rating of 5/10. She brings three new power ups to the game, including:

Chao Guardian: Chao skip ahead to damage rivals.

Chao Chase: Run with chao, and gain an extra speed boost when you tag rivals.

Captive Light: A shining light appears in front of rivals, blinding them if they hit it.

If you miss this event, this likely won’t be your only chance to get her. This event comes on the heels of one that gave people another opportunity to unlock the Sonic movie characters, after all!

If we’re able to unlock Tikal before the event ends, check this space for footage of her in action.

TSS SEGA 60th Anniversary Roundtable: Our Most Important SEGA Memories

As Sonic fans, SEGA has invariably played at least some role in the tastes of everyone on the Sonic Stadium staff. Whether it is our love for their hardware, software or intellectual property, we each have a memory that either defined SEGA for us, or allowed SEGA to shape our tastes in gaming as a whole.

Today, on SEGA’s 60th anniversary, we thought it would be good to reminisce about the company that created a character we all have at least some fondness for.

Continue reading TSS SEGA 60th Anniversary Roundtable: Our Most Important SEGA Memories

Happy 60th Anniversary, SEGA!

Sixty years ago on June 3 1960, Nihon Goraku Bussan, a distributor of Rock-Ola jukeboxes, was established. The company was one of two created as a successor to Service Games, Japan, and was run by American salesman Richard Stewart. Service Games itself was established by Stewart as a distribution arm for the company he was a salesman for, Service Games, Hawaii, which was a company that specialized in selling coin operated amusement devices on US military bases. Nihon Goraku Bussan would acquire Service Games, Japan’s other successor, Nihon Kikai Seizo, four years later, before merging with Rosen Enterprises in 1965 and formerly becoming SEGA Enterprises. Continue reading Happy 60th Anniversary, SEGA!

SEGA Unveils the Absolutely Adorable Game Gear Micro

Have you ever wanted a SEGA Game Gear that could actually fit in your pocket? Well good news, because SEGA did you one better with their newest mini console, the SEGA Game Gear Micro, which is so small you could (probably) swallow it, or at least fit comfortable in the palm of your hand. Continue reading SEGA Unveils the Absolutely Adorable Game Gear Micro

Tikal to Join the Race in Sonic Forces Mobile

Tikal, the ancient echidna spirit from Sonic Adventure, will be joining the Sonic Forces mobile roster soon. SEGA Hardlight announced her on their Twitter account, with the image posted below.

This will be only the third time Tikal has ever been playable. There is currently no word on when she will be available, or how difficult she will be to unlock. Be sure to check Sonic Stadium for more details in the future!

via Twitter

IDW’s Sonic Comic Returning June 24; Release Dates for Next Few Months Revealed

After a months long indefinite delay, IDW’s Sonic comics will finally start shipping again, starting with issue 28.

Check out the full list of confirmed release dates below!

Sonic the Hedgehog #28: June 24

Sonic the Hedgehog Volume 6: Last Minute: June 24

Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2020: July 8

Sonic the Hedgehog #29: July 22

Sonic the Hedgehog #30: August 5

Sonic the Hedgehog Spanish Edition Volume 1: ¡Consecuencias!: August 12

Sonic the Hedgehog #31: August 19

Sonic the Hedgehog #32: September 2

Sonic the Hedgehog Volume 7: All or Nothing: October 20

Evan Stanley will be taking over as writer for a time starting with issue #33, which currently doesn’t have a release date. Flynn will be returning to the series in 2021 with a new villain-focused mini series, “Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys,” as well as some stories in the main book.

via Newsarama

F4F Injects Some Villainy into its Boom8 Classic Sonic Series With New Eggman & Metal Sonic Figures

First 4 Figures, in partnership with GNF Toyz, has revealed the latest figures in its Boom 8 line of toys, Dr. Eggman and Metal Sonic. The toys will be arriving in stores later this year.  No price or release date have been announced at this time, though if past figures are any indication, they will go for around $32.

You can take a look at both figures in the image below:

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via F4F

SEGA Planning Longer Development, Higher Quality for Future Sonic Games

SEGA has apparently decided to take its time with Sonic games from now on. On the premiere episode of the new season of SEGA’s Sonic Official stream, Sonic social media guru Aaron Webber confirmed that the company was now prioritizing quality over quantity when it came to Sonic games. Continue reading SEGA Planning Longer Development, Higher Quality for Future Sonic Games

Takashi Iizuka to be Featured in Next Week’s Sonic 2020 Stream

So far, SEGA Japan’s Sonic 2020 streams have been rather uneventful, mostly focusing on merchandise for the Japanese market. While that probably won’t be changing with next week’s episode, it will be the first to feature Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka. Continue reading Takashi Iizuka to be Featured in Next Week’s Sonic 2020 Stream

Sonic Channel Celebrates 15 Years With a New Shirt and Member Card

Sonic Channel, SEGA Japan’s official Sonic website, is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a new shirt and membership card. The shirt and card will be released on May 27 and sold for ¥3700. The shirt can be pre-ordered from SEGA’s official shop today. Continue reading Sonic Channel Celebrates 15 Years With a New Shirt and Member Card