Sonic Mania Adventures debuting today

Sonic Mania Adventures, the web-only 5-part animated short series based on the game, will be debuting later today. This news comes from a tweet posted by Sonic Social Media Manager Aaron Webber. Webber confirmed that anyone who wants to catch the episode as soon as it debuts will be able to find it on both the Sonic the Hedgehog Youtube channel and Twitter page.

We’ll be sure to update the front page with an embed of the episode as soon as it debuts!

UPDATED: Sonic Mania Adventures Animated Short Series announced

Live from SXSW, SEGA has revealed a new series of Sonic Mania-themed animated shorts. The series will comprise 5 episodes which will be shown on YouTube, created by the same team that created the Sonic Mania opening short, headed by the one-and-only Tyson Hesse, and soundtracked by Mania composer Tee Lopes.

The short series will take place after Sonic Forces, and will cover what happened to classic Sonic after he returned to his world after the events of Sonic Forces.

The first episode of Sonic Mania Adventures will debut in the next 30 days.

UPDATE: The Sonic the Hedgehog Youtube has released a 30 second sample of the series:

Check out the array of concept art for the series shown at SXSW in the gallery below!

 

New environment, Mystic Jungle, coming to Sonic Forces Speed Battle

Live from the SXSW Sonic panel, Aaron Webber has revealed that Sonic Forces Speed Battle will be getting a new environment: Mystic Jungle. They only showed the above title card during the announcement.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the SXSW panel, going on right now at their twitch stream.

SXSW live-streaming Sonic Panel today

If you can’t make it to SXSW to see this year’s Sonic panel, you’re in luck: the event will be hosting a livestream of the panel on its SXSW Gaming Twitch channel, which you can find here.

Gotta Go Fast: The Official Sonic Panel, will start running on the Twitch stream at 3:30 PM local time, 4:30 PM EST, and 8:30 PM GMT. There may be a game announcement at the event, and there may be more than one announcement overall, if this SEGA Europe tweet is any indication.

If you can’t watch the stream for whatever reason, don’t fret: we will be reporting the news as it’s announced on the front page and through our Twitter feed.

The panel will feature Sonic Team Head Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Social Media Manager Aaron Webber, Sonic Western Product Development Director Austin Keys, Unit Production Manager & Sonic Boom contributor Jasmin Hernandez, and Sonic comic artist/Sonic Mania Animation Director Tyson Hesse. The panel is located at the Austin Convention Center Gaming Expo, on the Discovery stage, in Exhibit Hall 2.

Two stinky new villains revealed IDW’s Sonic comic, plus other details

Sonic’s extensive rogues gallery will be getting some new additions in the IDW comics this April: the skunk brothers Rough and Tumble. This pair of malicious mephitidaes will be antagonizing Sonic and Knuckles in the series’ third issue.

Kotaku interviewed the comic’s associate editor David Marriotte, who said that the new villains aren’t exactly masterminds, meaning we shouldn’t expect them to be hatching any grand schemes any time soon. He also confirmed that they are “independent agents,” though did hint that they could become henchman down the line. So it may be safe to speculate that they’ll end up working for Dr. Eggman eventually.

Rough’s finalized concept sheet
Tumble’s final concept sheet

Marriotte also talked about how new comic characters are designed: they are first described by writer Ian Flynn in a few paragraphs, then they are designed by one of the comic’s artists, and then they are sent to SEGA for approval. After some back and forth between IDW and SEGA, the characters are fleshed out and finalized. According to Kotaku, the characters used to be more heavily clothed, had less defined eyes, and Tumble use to look a lot more rabid.

Meanwhile, in a Game Informer interview released yesterday, Ian Flynn confirmed that the IDW comics will be a fresh start focused on story elements and characters from the games. Early issues will feature stories that are light on world-building and lore, but heavy on adventure and cinematic action. Despite starting with “bite-sized” stories, Flynn also confirmed that these stories will start building up to a surprise that will pay off within the comic’s first year. This surprise will be an obscure antagonist that hardcore fans may be able to guess, but casual fans will find new and exciting. You can find the full interview, which goes into more detail about Flynn’s plans as well as his past, here.

Flynn later clarified on Twitter that he doesn’t want to front load a new, fast paced book with lore, and that he wanted to keep things game-centric to make the comic recognizable to casual fans. Once the tone is set, he will get into bigger arcs and begin exploring the characters.

IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog will launch April 4, and release a new issue every week for its first four weeks before going monthly with issue 5.

 

Takashi Iizuka and Tyson Hesse to Star in SXSW 2018 Sonic Panel

If you were planning on going to South by Southwest this year, you’re in luck: SEGA is returning to the event with another Sonic panel. Gotta Go Fast: The Official Sonic the Hedgehog Panel, will feature several prominent behind the Sonic the Hedgehog brand, including Sonic Team Head Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Social Media Manager Aaron Webber, Sonic Western Product Development Director Austin Keys, and Sonic comic artist/Sonic Mania Animation Director Tyson Hesse. Continue reading Takashi Iizuka and Tyson Hesse to Star in SXSW 2018 Sonic Panel

Sonic Mania’s Soundtrack Officially Released on Digital Platforms

As of today, Sonic Mania’s soundtrack is no longer a vinyl exclusive, as it has finally hit digital music platforms as Sonic Mania Selected Edition. This version of the soundtrack is more comprehensive than the vinyl, containing all forty-seven music tracks created for the game. The soundtrack can be downloaded for $15.99 on iTunes, $14.49 on Google Play, and $18.99 on Amazon. Individual tracks can be had for $1.29, $0.99 and $1.29 on each service respectively.

While the soundtrack is pretty comprehensive, there is a reason why it is called the “Selected Edition”. The album lacks the tracks that were originally composed for Sonic 1 and 2.

Sonic Runners Adventure coming to the App Store and Google Play

After months of waiting, Sonic Runners Adventure is finally coming to Apple and Google’s official mobile storefronts. While Android users have been able to buy the game for the past several months through Gameloft and some other websites, the game’s arrival on the App Store will mark the first time iOS users will be able to play the game.

While the announcement trailer doesn’t have a firm date, the game will likely arrive on both storefronts within the next few days.

Sonic Forces Launch Trailer Released Containing Major End Game Spoilers

The North American version of the Sonic Forces launch trailer was officially released by SEGA today. Unfortunately, unlike the Italian version we reported on a few weeks ago, this trailer contains some serious spoilers. Not just unannounced levels like the Sonic Mania, but actual footage of the game’s final boss and ending cutscenes.

So if you’ve been trying to dodge spoilers since the game was leaked last week, you might want to avoid the trailer. If not, you can check the trailer out below:

Sonic Forces Leaks Early


Did you enjoy all that spoiler-dodging in the wake of the Sonic Mania leaks? Well, we’ve got good news for you: you get to do it again with Sonic Forces!

At least several copies of the Switch version of the game have been sold early by as-yet unknown retailers. Unfortunately, while the person who posted the images in the above tweet has refused to leak anything, others haven’t been so restrained. Sonic Forces streams are reportedly already popping up, though SEGA is taking them down.

Just like with Sonic Mania, we won’t be reporting on the impending wave of spoilers from these streams. If you want to avoid them, you may want to stay off social media and message boards until you’ve played the game yourself.

Sonic Forces will release be released for the Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 7.

Knuckles Wants you in leaked Sonic Forces launch trailer

At more than a week and a half away from release, it’s a bit early for a Sonic Forces launch trailer. Still, that hasn’t stopped someone from leaking it: the Youtube channel Koch Media Italia has released the Italian version of the game’s launch trailer, which has Knuckles narrating the struggle against Eggman’s forces and recruiting you to fight for the resistance. Check out the trailer below:

Sonic Forces releases worldwide for Switch, Xbox, PS4 and PC on November 7.

Bubsy Awkwardly Stares at Kid in a Sonic Costume in new game trailer

Bubsy’s back, and he’s brought his bad jokes with him. In the latest trailer for Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back, Bubsy’s house is visited by a kid in a Sonic costume. Just…watch it:

For those who may not understand why the trailer is poking fun at Sonic, Bubsy was essentially a character meant to crib Sonic’s attitude and game play. He was one of many 90s mascots with ‘tude that attempted to do this. He was one of the only ones who was any good at it.

Boom8 Sonic Figures Now Available for Pre-Order from First4Figures

The formerly South Korean exclusive Boom8 Sonic figures from GNF TOYZ are now available for pre-order from First4Figures’ website. The two 8cm (3.2 inch) PVC figures are being sold together as a combo pack for $45 USD and will be shipped out at some point in the first quarter of 2018.

Anyone who wants to pre-order will need to put down a 30 percent deposit. The deadline to pre-order is November 17.

You can pre-order the figures and see what they look like here. I’ve posted a video from the F4F site going over the figures below:

Knuckles and Silver team up in this week’s Sonic Forces comic

 

The second part of SEGA’s Sonic Forces digital comic mini series debuted today, and this week it’s catering to Knuckles fans (and Silver fans I guess). Written by Ian Flynn with art by Adam Bryce Thomas, this comic’s story is a direct prequel to the game, showing how some of the game’s characters get involved. It also…well, you’ll see on the final page, I guess.

This week’s comic pages are embedded below. If you missed last week’s comic, you can check it out here.

Aaron Webber Confirms Sonic Forces will have a “lower difficulty” mode

In a NEOGaf thread discussing Sonic Forces, Sonic Social and PR Manager Aaron Webber confirmed that the game would have a lower difficult mode. Webber confirmed this to alleviate some concerns raised over a Forces video released by GameSpot a few days ago. In this video, the custom hero’s ring count capped off at one-hundred and only lost twenty when he was hit. Webber also confirmed that the game’s regular difficulty will not have this ring cap and getting hit will still result in the loss of all rings, aside from those the player is able to recollect, like nearly every other Sonic game.

To see this mode in action, check out the video embedded below:

Sonic Spin Dashes Back into Kids Books Next July

Sonic will be returning to literature next year with two books from the Penguin Group. Written by author Kiel Phegley, both books have recently popped up on Amazon, with a scheduled release date of July 10, 2018.

The first of these books, Sonic and the Tales of Terror, appeared yesterday. According to its description, the book will feature illustrations from Ian McGinty and have Eggman and his minions trapping Sonic in three, presumably terrifying, stories. The book will have 64 pages and will be for reading age levels 7-10. The book is currently available for pre-order in both print and on Kindle for $6.99 USD.

The other book, Race Against Time, is a 32 page sticker activity book. As the name suggests, this is an activity book where readers must help Sonic recapture the Chaos Emeralds by completing the book’s puzzles and games. It is also has a reading age level of 7-10, and is currently available for pre-order in print for $7.99 USD.

The SEGA Shop is open for business

Today, months after the closure of SonicMerchandise.com, SEGA has launched its successor: the SEGA Shop. As the name implies this shop is for more than just Sonic, featuring merchandise from both Golden Axe and Shinobi franchises as well as the SEGA Genesis console. So if you’ve ever wanted a or a bar of soap shaped like a SEGA Genesis controller, you can buy it. The store is also launching with some exclusive Sonic merchandise, including a Sonic Forces shirt, pictured below:

The store is currently only open in the Americas, New Zealand and Australia.

Sonic Force’s Custom Hero Drills through Space Port, shows off rental hero & Infinite boss battle

With Sonic Force’s release now just three weeks away, SEGA is now finally showing off new parts of the game. Today’s trio of videos center around the game’s Avatar character, a boss battle and a somewhat new stage: Space Port.

I say somewhat because Space Port is technically the frozen-over Chemical Plant level we got our first screenshots of last week. It would appear the plant has been converted into launch base of some sort, with the chemicals now frozen solid in their tubes and vats. The “Rental Hero” feature allows you to rent other player’s heroes, and switch to them mid-level. SEGA also showed off a boss battle between the Avatar character and Force’s new antagonist, Infinite.

You can check out all three videos below:

SEGA Release Part One of a Sonic Forces digital comic

If the death of Archie Sonic has left a void in your heart, you won’t have to wait until IDW Sonic launches next April to fill it. SEGA has launched the first part of a four part Sonic Forces digital comic. Written by Ian Flynn, with art and lettering by Adam Bryce Thomas, it follows an unnamed member of the Resistance as he conquers his fears and aids the Chaotix in a battle against Eggman’s forces.

You can read the comic here.

IDW Confirms Ian Flynn As New Sonic Comic Lead Writer, with April 2018 Launch

It has been revealed at IDW’s Sonic Comic Town Hall panel (live-streamed by TSSZ), that Ian Flynn will be the lead writer. Fans of the later Archie Sonic comics will be pleased to see Flynn return to his role as creator of Sonic comic story lines.

While details on the comic from the panel has been sparse so far, it has been announced that the new Sonic comic will be in its own continuity and will start with a new number one with “brand new stories.” The comic will launch April 4th, 2018 with the first four issues released on a weekly basis, continuing on monthly.

While Flynn’s involvement as lead writer has been confirmed, no other names have been mentioned at the time of this writing.

UPDATE: IDW has released a high quality version of the Tysone Hesse teaser image alongside their press release.

Sonic Forces on Steam has Denuvo, may be co-developed by Hardlight Studios

Sonic Forces has popped up for pre-order on Steam, and with that came some new info regarding this version of the game. Like the PC version of Sonic Mania, Sonic Forces will have Denuvo, a controversial anti-piracy program that is unpopular within PC gaming circles.

Sonic Forces on PC also appears to be co-developed by Hardlight Studios, which shares a development credit with Sonic Team on the game’s listing page. Hardlight Studio is a UK developer that specializes in mobile games. It has developed a variety of Sonic mobile games, including the recently released Sonic Forces: Speed Battle.

Like the PS4 and Xbox One versions, pre-ordering the game will net you a Shadow avatar costume and the SEGA pack, which includes avatar costumes for a variety of SEGA characters including NiGHTS and Beat.

The PC version of Sonic Forces is scheduled for release on the same day as the console version of the game, November 7.

Sonic Mania: The Twitter Experience

While Sonic Mania is taking many gamers back in time to the nineties, much about the Sonic hype experience is very different to that enjoyed some twenty-plus years ago. One of the biggest changes to the gaming experience has been the emergence of social media, which allows developers, critics and fans to react and interact in a way that simply did not exist back when Sonic was rocking in 16-bit. Continue reading Sonic Mania: The Twitter Experience

Sonic Mania’s PC version delayed

Aaron Webber has announced via a Sonic Official youtube livestream that the PC version of Sonic Mania will be delayed ‘for further optimization,’ to ensure it runs on all variations of PC hardware. As an apology, anyone who’s pre-ordered the PC version of Sonic Mania will be receiving a free copy of Sonic 1 on PC. Continue reading Sonic Mania’s PC version delayed

VIDEO: Sonic Mania Opening Animation Officially Released

While today’s leak of Sonic Mania will have us dodging spoilers for the next five days, there is one upside to it: SEGA has decided to release Sonic Mania’s opening animation early! Originally scheduled for the 14th, this animation continues where the animated pre-order trailer left off. Like the pre-order trailer, this was directed by former Archie Sonic artist Tyson Hesse. Continue reading VIDEO: Sonic Mania Opening Animation Officially Released

Video: First Footage of Sonic Mania’s Competition Mode

With only one week to go until Sonic Mania’s release, SEGA has revealed the game’s competition mode! For those wondering if the mode is playable online, the Sonic twitter specifically mentions friends can be challenged “locally”, so this would appear to be an offline-only mode. Continue reading Video: First Footage of Sonic Mania’s Competition Mode

IDW Reveals the Sonic Comic’s Editor

While IDW’s new Sonic comic is still many months away, it already has an editor: Joe Hughes. As the editor, Hughes will effectively run the entire book. IDW is still on the hunt for writers and artists, and is reportedly considering both veteran Sonic talent and new faces.

Joe Hughes used to be the manager of a New York City comic book store called Forbidden Planet, before getting a job at DC Comics. Starting as a direct sales representative, he eventually became an assistant editor on DC’s Vertigo imprint. He left DC in 2012 to become the Editor-in-Chief at ComicsAlliance, a major comic book news site that closed earlier this year. He joined IDW just a month ago.

IDW’s Sonic comic is scheduled to launch at some undetermined date next year.

Source: IDW Publishing

Sonic Games on sale on Nintendo eShop

European Playstation owners aren’t the only ones getting a Sonic sale! Starting today, Nintendo fans can also get in on the action. Sonic games on both the 3DS and Wii U platforms will be on sale for up to 60 percent off in both America and Europe. The sale will last until June 29th. For a full list of games on sale, please check the list below.

Special note: Virtual Console Game Gear Games are not a part of this sale in the United States.

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (SEGA EUR) – €19.99/£17.49/$14.99 (normally €39.99/£34.99/$29.99)
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (SEGA EUR) – €19.99/£17.49/$19.99 (normally €39.99/£34.99/$39.99)
Sonic Lost World (SEGA EUR) – €19.99/£17.49/$14.97 (normally €39.99/£34.99/$29.95)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (SEGA) – €15.99/£11.99/$11.98 (normally €39.99/£29.99/$29.95)
Sonic Generations (SEGA) – €9.99/£7.99/$11.99 (normally €24.99/£19.99/$29.99)
3D Sonic The Hedgehog (SEGA) – €2.24/£2.04/$2.99 (normally €4.49/£4.09/$5.99)
3D Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (SEGA) – €2.49/£2.24/$2.99 (normally €4.49/£4.49/$5.99)
Sonic The Hedgehog: Triple Trouble (SEGA, GG VC) – €2.49/£2.24 (normally €4.49/£4.49)
Sonic Drift 2 (SEGA, GG VC) – €1.99/£1.79 (normally €3.99/£3.59)
Sonic Labyrinth (SEGA, GG VC) – €2.49/£2.24 (normally €4.49/£4.49)
Sonic Blast (SEGA, GG VC) – €2.49/£2.24 (normally €4.49/£4.49)
Sonic The Hedgehog (SEGA, GG VC) – €2.49/£2.24 (normally €4.49/£4.49)
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (SEGA, GG VC) – €2.49/£2.24 (normally €4.49/£4.49)

Sonic sale on EU PSN Store

PSN’s EU store is having a sale on all its Sonic franchise titles, starting today and ending on July 5. Every single one of Sonic’s games on the store are available for at least 50 percent off. For a full rundown on the current prices, check the list below:

Sonic 1: £1.69
Sonic 2: £1.69
Sonic the Fighters: £1.69
Sonic Unleashed £4.99
Sonic Adventure: £1.69
Sonic Adventure 2: £2.49
Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed (PS3 & Vita): £5.75
Sonic 4 Episode 1: £2.49
Sonic 4 Episode 2: £3.99
Sonic Generations: £5.79

The store also has a variety of SEGA games for sale, including Virtua Fighter 5 and Fighting Vipers.

Sonic Mania E3 Impressions: Alex’s Take

I still can’t quite believe Sonic Mania is real. It’s certainly the kind of project many Sonic fans have dreamed of: a game by the fans, for the fans, that somehow manages to capture the nostalgia of yesteryear while simultaneously adding new fresh ideas to make it an all-together new experience. This is the video game equivalent of patting one’s head and rubbing one’s stomach at the same time: possible, but difficult to pull off. And yet somehow, Sonic Mania is doing just that, and appears to be doing it flawlessly if the E3 demo is any indication. Continue reading Sonic Mania E3 Impressions: Alex’s Take

Sonic Forces on Nintendo Switch E3 Impressions


I’ve had one question in the back of my mind ever since the Nintendo Switch was unveiled: how the heck was Sonic Project 2017, which was going to be a full-on next generation Sonic title, going to run on this thing? Fairly well, as it turns out, albeit with some very noticeable compromises.

The most notable difference is that the game runs at 30 frames per second – half the rate of the competing systems. Texture and models are of lower quality, with certain effects either trimmed down or removed entirely. The lush, wavy grass from the PS4 version of Green Hill is less lush and wavy on the Switch, and far more jagged, with even shadows being effected. The shadows cast by Eggman’s Eggmobile were distinctly lower resolution, appearing jagged with inconsistent levels of darkness.

Most of these issues, outside of the frame rate, are borderline unnoticeable in portable mode. But in console mode, the flaws are very apparent.

My fellow Sonic Stadium staffer, Jason, also got to see the demo in action, and he had this to say:

Jason’s Take:

A few months back when the Switch version was announced, I’d guessed that the game would be at about half the frame rate of the HD versions and would probably suffer a little in the visual department as well – and I see this is the case.

That said, it’s not as bad as it sounds. There are still some nice effects in here that give it a next gen feel. The puddles of water are still reflective. There’s no real pop-in and you can see far out in the distance. The grass still waves around. The main difference is the lack of detail in some of the textures and the jaggy, 720P or possibly sub 720P resolution which may be due to no anti-aliasing. At least, it appears that way. 

All of this is almost invisible in portable mode outside of the locked 30 fps. I’m still considering this version and the PC version as the ports I have preference over, with the Switch offering portability and the PC for it’s eventual modding. If the Switch is your only option, it’s still a solid port – just think of it as a PC game in medium to low settings vs. ultra-high settings for the PS4 version.

E3 demos are of course usually technically inferior to the final product – something we have seen in previous years with Generations and Colors, which both contained performance issues rectified for the final game. The Switch version was never going to be the version of choice for the graphically obsessed. But for those of you who’ve always wanted to take a 3D Sonic game on the go, this looks like it’ll be a great option when it launches alongside the console and PC versions later this year.

We took a bunch of off-screen images with an actual, high quality digital camera for this article. We’re including the ones that best captured the game, with minimal motion blur, in a gallery below. While off-screen still-images are never as accurate at representing a game’s visuals as direct capture footage, these should at least give you a firm idea of the level of graphical quality in this version of the game.

Sonic Forces: Custom Hero E3 Impressions

Sonic Force’s decision to include a custom character with a very different game play style has been a decision that has polarised the fan base. It continues Sonic Team’s history to add new dimensions to bolster the established 2D and 3D platforming in order to produce a more broad appeal. Continue reading Sonic Forces: Custom Hero E3 Impressions

E3 2017: Sonic Forces Nintendo Switch footage

Have you been wondering how Sonic Forces would perform on Nintendo Switch? Well wonder no longer! While we were on the E3 show floor, we were able to record some footage directly from a Switch. While it may not be easy to tell, the game is running at a consistent 30 frames per second on the console. As a bonus, you also get some off-the-cuff commentary on the experience from Jason and I.

You can expect a more thorough run down of the Switch version’s performance from us in a video and a write-up later this week.

Sonic Forces E3 Impressions: Alex’s Take

SEGA has been frustratingly quiet about Sonic Forces since they revealed it as Sonic Project 2017 last year. It’s only been in the lead up to E3 that the game’s identity has begun to take shape publicly. While the game features shades of Sonic Generations, to call it an outright sequel (or rehash) isn’t quite right. The Forces demo is both familiar and new, if not also a little awkward.

The modern Sonic game play is essentially just a polished form of what we’ve been getting since Sonic Unleashed. Visuals aside, this game would be right at home in Sonic Generations, and there is zero learning curve for anyone who’s already played that game. The same can also be said for classic Sonic’s boss battle, which starts out as a new (if not exactly inventive) take on Eggman’s swinging ball weapon, replacing the ball with a buzz saw that cuts through platforms.

After that (easy) fight, Eggman hops into his Egg Dragoon, which first appeared in Sonic Unleashed, and starts attacking from the background. He fires a giant chain gun and chucks rocks and metallic boulders, the latter of which can be hit back to damage him. This part takes longer and is more entertaining, though the boss fight on the whole is fairly easy. The first two parts of the demo are as fun and polished as Sonic has ever been, but they do nothing outstanding or new design-wise. If all you want is more Generations (like me) than you’ll be satisfied with what’s on display for these modes in the demo.

So that’s what’s familiar, but what about the new stuff? Well, the visuals of Forces are a nice upgrade from past Sonic games. While some have complained that the new Green Hill stage looks barren compared Generations, this game looks better than any past Sonic game at an objective, technical level. The demo runs at a near silky smooth 60 frames per second, the first non-PC Sonic game to do so (Dreamcast HD ports notwithstanding). Individual blades of grass in Green Hill now move back and forth individually. In terms of pure polygons, this game is clearly pushing way more than any past Sonic game. These are the highest fidelity Sonic models I’ve ever seen.

That said, as with any E3 demo, the visuals aren’t 100 percent polished. At the end of the avatar stage, during a chase scene, the frame rate does get a little janky. But given that E3 demos typically boast notable technical issues due to their incomplete state of development, what I saw in the demo bodes well for the visuals in the final product. And speaking of the avatar stage, this brings me to what will surely be the most controversial part of this game.

I have felt uneasy about the player-made hero character since it was unveiled. While my time with the character does allay those fears somewhat, I do still have some concerns.

First, the positives: the “wispons”, wisp fuelled weapons that can be used for both attacking and traversal, fit surprisingly well with the flow of game play. During my playthrough, I used what was effectively a lightning whip. It let my character lightspeed dash across trails of rings, reverse the direction of my jump in mid-air, briefly boost forward, and attack and destroy horizontal rows of enemies. Overall, the wispon actually positively benefited the flow of play, and didn’t feel nearly as awkward as it looked.

On the negative side, there’s a learning curve to controlling the character. The character cannot roll, jump dash, or perform any of Sonic’s other moves. The way the character jumps feels different, and potentially awkward. I was missing a lot of jumps in my initial play through as a result, but whether this was because I was used to Sonic’s jumping mechanics and need to simply get used to the custom-hero character, or if the character’s controls simply aren’t very good, I can’t say without spending more time with the game.

Sonic Forces doesn’t look like it’ll be a groundbreaking title, but it ought to be a very fun one. While the hero character is a potential chink in the armor, it doesn’t look like the disaster I thought it might be either.

There will be additional game play impressions later this week, as well as a more in-depth impression of how the hero character plays.

Sonic Forces & Mania Demo Footage Showcased on Twitch Stream

SEGA Community Manager Aaron Webber appeared on the E3 Pre-Event Twitch stream along with members of the Sonic Mania development team to, among other Sonic-related things, show off the Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania E3 demos. The Forces demo consists of three parts: a modern Sonic 3D stage, a classic Sonic boss battle, and an “Avatar stage”, which demonstrates the fan-created “hero” character. The Sonic Mania demo showed off the second Green Hill stage and boss. Continue reading Sonic Forces & Mania Demo Footage Showcased on Twitch Stream