The Spin: The Case for Shadow the Hedgehog in Smash Bros. Ultimate

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

“Shadow, Quick to Action” render by Nibroc-Rock.

On June 12, 2018 via their E3 2018 Direct, Nintendo finally unveiled Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to the world, coming to Nintendo Switch just in time for Christmas. The celebrated blockbuster franchise is back to reunite gaming’s greatest all-stars, this time with series creator and director Masahiro Sakurai going above and beyond to bring back every single playable character in Smash Bros. history, including one-offs like Pichu and Young Link and DLC characters like Bayonetta and Corrin.

Chief among them is Sonic the Hedgehog, who has arguably become a Smash mainstay since his groundbreaking debut in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, alongside Solid Snake of Metal Gear Solid fame, as a third party fighter. This trend paved the way for other gaming giants to join the battle in later instalments.

So with the new game on the horizon, discussions for new character ideas has unsurprisingly overtaken the Internet. Ultimate is already filled to the brim with nearly 70 playable characters at this time, with the entire Smash cast now joined by the likes of Inklings, Princess Daisy, and the highly demanded Ridley as of the game’s formal reveal last month. Sakurai was wise to advise Direct viewers that they made bringing every character back their first priority, and that hopefully we’re not anticipating too many new fighters towards launch.

This is the ultimate showdown (of ultimate destiny)!

Smash 64 started with 12 characters. Melee more than doubled that count to 26. Brawl pushed to 39 while scrapping a few veterans. Including the seven DLC characters, Wii U/3DS totalled to 58. In Ultimate, we’re up to 68 right now with three of these fighters being new… almost.

That doesn’t leave a lot of spots left for wholly new characters, which will more than likely include some of Nintendo’s most recent stars—like Rex from Xenoblade 2, Spring Man from ARMS, or Celica from Fire Emblem Echoes—or other highly demanded characters from the company’s storied past like King K. Rool or Geno.

Thankfully, the game’s emphasis on Echo Fighters—fighters with cloned movesets and animations from another playable character—might help pad out the roster with a few more fun variants. Echo Fighters and semi-Echoes, compared to brand new characters, take little time to develop, as most of the groundwork for movesets is already done, so like Lucina, Daisy, and the three Links, we could expect characters like Impa as a foil to Sheik, Octolings to Inklings, or, dare I say it…

…Shadow the Hedgehog to Sonic.


Like Sonic, Shadow made his Super Smash Bros. debut in Brawl, joining the Blue Blur as an Assist Trophy. Once on the field, the Ultimate Life Form would unleash Chaos Control and slow down time for everyone but his summoner for a short period. This was a role he later reprised in Wii U/3DS.

These days, in the midst of newcomer predictions months ahead of Ultimate‘s release, the growing brouhaha surrounding the nature of Shadow’s possible return to Smash has taken an interesting turn since the game’s reveal this past E3, starting off with the Direct, the show floor demo and the revived Dojo.

Our first deep dive into Ultimate‘s inner workings not only showed how each returning character changed and which stages are confirmed (whether explicitly name-dropped or implicitly hinted mid-footage), but also showed off some of the Assist Trophies. Like the roster, the new Smash will have a much higher count of Assist Trophies present with 50+ confirmed (compared to Wii U/3DS‘ 39).

“We bad!”
“We bad.”
“’cause if I bad and you bad…”
“…then we bad.”

With the 2018 Invitational and numerous Nintendo Treehouse previews, we have seen 29 of them in action at this time. To the delight of Sonic fans, among the new Assist Trophies comes one who is rougher than the rest of them, the best of them, tougher than leather! Knuckles the Echidna will be lending his hallmark strength and burrowing capabilities to his summoner, surprising opposing fighters with rushes, Homing Attacks, and surprise uppercuts from underground.

However, Shadow is nowhere to be seen. Not only is he not featured on any of the promotional material or even the Smash Bros. website, he is mysteriously absent as an Assist Trophy in the E3 demo at this time.

This leads to one of three possibilities:

  1. Knuckles has wholly replaced Shadow as the Sonic the Hedgehog series representative Assist Trophy. Given Shadow’s own aforementioned popularity, him being cut at all feels incredibly unlikely to happen, so I don’t think we’ll have to worry.
  2. Shadow is still an Assist Trophy, and simply hasn’t been shown off yet. Ultimate is still in development after all, and we’ve only seen roughly half of the Assist Trophies from the final version, so Shadow returning to his established Smash Bros. role is all but written in stone. Sonic could very well have two of his rivals backing him up as Assists this time around.
  3. Shadow the Hedgehog becomes a playable character. While not a probable eventuality, despite the already packed roster and Sakurai’s own comments on a limited newcomer count, quite frankly it’s not an impossibility.

And the fact that a playable Shadow could very well be coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is enough cause for me to speculate like crazy. Let’s dive right into the thick of it and weigh the pros and cons of just such a wild expectation.

Shadow Unleashes Chaos!

PROS

Pro 1: Ease of Development

Live and learn.
Remastered by RealSonicVideos.

As previously mentioned, one of the biggest points in the black hedgehog’s favour is that Shadow as a fighter would be much quicker and easier to develop compared to other newcomers, reason being that a good chunk of the development work—when you think about it—is already done. Much like how Dark Pit began as a costume swap or how Falco borrows from Fox’s moves, Shadow’s development would more than likely turn out being just as easy; there’s proof of this already, but we’ll get around to that in a moment.

While Ultimate is a brand new game, it builds upon the assets of Wii U/3DS as its foundation (a certainly fortuitous circumstance what with developer Bandai Namco returning at the helm). It’s only natural that they would still have Shadow’s old model that was produced for the previous Smash, so they already have a rig to work with.

As for his moveset, there’s really nowhere else to look but Sonic himself. While not as a bona-fide Echo Fighter given how he stands out, Shadow’s movepool would borrow heavily from the Blue Blur’s own arsenal, as they’re both capable of Homing Attacks, Spin Dashes, and Spin Charges right out of the gate.

“Disappear!”

Simply switch out Sonic’s Spring Up Special with Chaos Control (which would behave not too unlike Mewtwo’s own Teleport recovery), alter some of the standard moves and Smash attacks to better reflect his own Chaos-powered capabilities, and keep the running speed appropriately intact to tie with Sonic as the fastest character in Ultimate.

Plus, it would feel like a more appropriate tribute to the character than a mere Assist Trophy, let alone a redundant one. There is already an item in the game that can slow down time through the Stopwatch, so Shadow wouldn’t be missed as an Assist Trophy with the (albeit backfire-proof) same ability if he becomes playable.

Just like that, Shadow would be viable as an easy-to-develop semi-clone and perfect foil to Sonic to squeeze into the roster—a fighter that would hardly take much time away from producing more resource-heavy, wholly original newcomers—which feels like the more realistic outcome than becoming a said original newcomer.

Pro 2: “I’m the coolest!

This one somewhat goes without saying, but Shadow the Hedgehog is one of the most popular characters in the entire franchise. Ever since his debut in Sonic Adventure 2, the veritable anti-Sonic and the Blue Blur’s top rival earned himself a ton of pull from fans, having become just as (if not more) popular than the likes of Tails, Knuckles, or Metal Sonic, who’ve been around much longer than he has. Some might say he’s become “the second-most popular character in the whole canon.”

That popularity since extended beyond the Sonic fanbase and into the Super Smash Bros. community itself. Sure, we could talk about how fans still voted for the character in the previous Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot despite his established role in Wii U/3DS, but more relevantly, I ask you this.

Who was one of the very first characters to be modded into a Smash game as a playable fighter? From the likes of Project M to Legacy XP and beyond, who was one of the new, non-veteran characters developed by fans and hacked into Brawl and Smash 4?

Shadow the Hedgehog, of course!

We’ve seen already seen for ourselves how program-savvy Smash fans are well capable of modding the game, and with the tools for Shadow’s own movepool already at their disposal, some even went a step further to separate him from Sonic all the more with moves inspired by the likes of Sonic Battle. That right there is attention to detail.

At the very least, from within the Sonic fanbase since 2001 and in the Smash scene, Nintendo ought to know how popular Shadow is as a character. Hell, just thinking of Shadow becoming for an official Smash game with Sakurai’s personal touch, semi-clone or not, would get anyone excited!

Pro 3. No Arbitrary Restrictions

“But Jeff, there can’t be more than one playable Sonic character in Smash!”

…says who?

Let’s get one of the biggest misconceptions out of the way: there is no “rule” that states that no more than one character from the same third party can join the roster. There is no age-old slab of stone with the “Ten Commandments of Master Hand” written on it decreeing such a law. Sakurai has yet to be quoted on this, at least. It’s merely a popularized assumption that’s been spread among Smash fans, who at this point (myself included) should know better than to say “Sakurai wouldn’t” or “he can’t” within reason.

We’re talking about the same man directing a series of games that brings together a whole cavalcade of Nintendo all-stars led by Mario, while also featuring Sonic the Hedgehog, Solid Snake, Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu, Cloud Strife, and Bayonetta. Even James Bond was once considered for Melee following Rare’s GoldenEye 007, only stopped by licensing issues that naturally comes with an IP based on a long-running novel and film franchise.

Plus, in a game that already has a staggering 68 playable characters so far, pulled from all sorts of Nintendo properties and more, would a second Sonic character really tip the scales that much? Let alone one who often stars opposite to Sonic and wouldn’t take much time to develop from scratch?

My point is: Shadow isn’t impossible. Improbable? For reasons we’re about to get into, sure. Outright impossible? I don’t think we’d be giving Sakurai enough credit.

But every party needs a pooper.

CONS

Con 1: Seeing Double

Throwing it back like it’s 1991.

Shadow isn’t an impossible addition to Smash Bros. Ultimate, but despite his strengths, there are still a number of odds stacked against him, starting right from his own home series. We could sit here all day about how Sonic’s longtime companion Tails is more worthy to become a second fighter, or how Metal Sonic would make the better Sonic clone in Smash (which sounds incredibly ludicrous to me honestly, given his robotic abilities), but when we’re talking about popularity and ease of development, Shadow loses out on both fronts to none other than Sonic yet again.

Or, to be more specific: Classic Sonic.

Shadow is not the only possible Sonic alternative, now that the little hedgehog many have grown up with is back in the limelight since the tour de force that was Sonic Mania. Classic really doesn’t need any major differences and would play 1:1 to his Modern counterpart aside from a handful of minor tweaks, and would come into his own quite naturally as an Echo Fighter with the exact same moveset. We’ve got two Marios and three Links already, so what’s a second Sonic? Easier to produce than Shadow, that’s for certain.

Con 2: Assists No Longer?

Isaac (centre) of Golden Sun fame.

As I’ve previously mentioned, Ultimate is still in development, and while we know how many Assist Trophies will join the game, we’ve only seen about half of them on display. Of the many Assists who are still missing in action, there are several Nintendo characters who have been highly requested to be made playable and, for all we know, might get the coveted promotion to playable character like Little Mac did before them.

These include forgotten heroes like Saki Amamiya from Sin and Punishment and Isaac from Golden Sun, as well as other oft-mentioned characters like Ashley from WarioWare, Skull Kid and Tingle from The Legend of Zelda, and Magnus from Kid Icarus.

Sin and Punishment’s Saki Amamiya, as an Assist Trophy in Wii U/3DS.

Sure, Shadow might have the upper hand when it comes to development time and name recognition, but there’s no denying the high demand backing some of these potentials up, not to mention how unpredictable Sakurai can be in his roster choices. The retro and obscure often make for excellent additions to the cast (Mr. Game & Watch, Ice Climbers, Duck Hunt Duo to name a few), and might even see revivals and a resurgence in popularity for smaller, neglected in-house franchises.

Fire Emblem got its foot in the door of the Western market thanks to Melee, and Kid Icarus got its first new game in over 20 years for the 3DS after Brawl, so who knows which other series might be dusted off in time for the biggest Smash game ever?

Whatever the case, Shadow isn’t the only Assist Trophy in the running for “Promoted to Playable” and might just return to his prior role for all we know, with Knuckles in tow. Still, at least he has a sliver of chance unlike some.

Sorry, Waluigi.

Con 3. Musical Chairs

The absolute madman, Masahiro Sakurai.

We’ve made including every single fighter ever our number one goal, so I’m kind of hoping you aren’t expecting too many new challengers.”

While I’m personally stoked to play as all of my mains in a single game, Sakurai’s final words in the Nintendo E3 2018 Direct did paint a somewhat bleak picture for those expecting an array of newcomers like in previous titles.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has a roster comprised of 68 characters thus far, and there are many other potential fighters who have been requested over the years. Regardless of who makes the cut from here until December, barring possible DLC after launch, many will inevitably be disappointed if the amount of spots left for new characters are slim. Shadow can, at the very least, edge in as a Sonic semi-clone, but it’s likely he’ll plain lose out to other characters.

Cool guys don’t look at explosions.

Metroid fans have asked for Ridley since the very beginning, so his inclusion lends some hope to other highly requested Nintendo stars like Geno (who Sakurai often considered in previous games) making the cut.

New heroes have emerged in just the past few years and their games have been in concurrent production with Ultimate for the Switch, so Sakurai more than likely started work on these recent additions long before games like ARMS and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 were announced to the public, just like he did with Greninja for Wii U/3DS while Pokémon X & Y was in early development.

Plus, like Shadow, there are plenty other minor Smash Bros. characters who might get the playable upgrade, be they prior Assist Trophies or cameos. Palutena once played a part in Pit’s Final Smash, Little Mac went from Assist Trophy to a deadly glass cannon of a fighter, Charizard used to be a Pokéball summon, and Inklings used to be a Mii Fighter costume. Sure, this increases Shadow’s odds, but that applies to so many others as well.

There aren’t a whole lot of spots left, and there are many names to consider. Does Shadow stand a chance among them?

DISCUSSION

Shadow vs. Sonic! From IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog #6, in stores now.

Do you believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Ultimate Life Form should stand toe-to-toe against Sonic and other Nintendo greats in Final Destination later this year? Do you think the odds are in Shadow’s favour, or should he stick to being an Assist Trophy to make way for other, potentially more viable fighters?

More importantly, who do you think will make the cut for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and which newcomers would you most like to see? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, so share them with us in the comments below!

A Trio of Fan Works to Look Out For: Sonic Gaiden, Sonic Studio & Project Hero

The world of Sonic fan game development never rests. What with annual Hacking Contests, Amateur Game Expos (plus Really Amateur Game Expos), and the odd flash of brilliance catching the Internet’s attention, these games not only help us pass the time between the major official releases from SEGA, some even push the boundaries of the unwritten rulebook of Sonic game design in ways we can only dream of.

Such is the case with a trio of ambitious passion projects in the works, as these three have gained significant notoriety lately for striking a significant chord with the wider Sonic community. In order, we have a large scale mod upending Sonic Mania with a whole new game, an easy-to-use tool to test the limits of your imagination, and something someone’s been working on that may have redefined Modern 3D Sonic gameplay as we know it – check them out below!

Continue reading A Trio of Fan Works to Look Out For: Sonic Gaiden, Sonic Studio & Project Hero

Jam Out to an Hour of SEGA Fes 2018’s “SONIC DJ LIVE,” Plus Recap

SEGA Fes came back to Akihabara with a vengeance last week for its 2018 run, hosting two days of panels, presentations, and announcements for what’s down the road.

To recap, here’s what went down:

Continue reading Jam Out to an Hour of SEGA Fes 2018’s “SONIC DJ LIVE,” Plus Recap

Sonic and Friends Swap Voices and More in this Quirky Fan Animation

So it’s no secret that Sonic has a whole cavalcade of friends built up across his history, and with most bearing a distinct and unique voice, you’d typically be able to recognize each one and discern who’s who just from the sound alone. However, if their voices were to switch around, like hearing the charming and sweet Cream the Rabbit talking in Big the Cat’s velvet tones, well… things can get weird really, really fast.

In this BrainstormAlex-animated short directed by longtime Sonic community member Loor101, what happens is just that when Tails’ latest gadget goes wrong when Eggman intervenes!

Check it out below.
Continue reading Sonic and Friends Swap Voices and More in this Quirky Fan Animation

Sonic Generations’ Casino Night DLC Returns to Xbox For Free

I’ve heard of “timed exclusivity,” but seven years is a little overkill, isn’t it? Ah well, better late than never!

Sonic Generations finally hit Xbox One backward compatibility last week—with the added bonus of Xbox One X enhancements—and now it seems fans who hadn’t preordered the game on Xbox 360 seven years ago (or who don’t own it on Steam) can finally enjoy the complete experience at no additional charge.

Continue reading Sonic Generations’ Casino Night DLC Returns to Xbox For Free

Sonic Paradox is Expanding into Webcomics with “Sonic Legacy”

If you’re a Sonic fan on the internet, chances are you’re very familiar with a series of satirical animation shorts from a group known as Sonic Paradox. Heck, you’ll find that we’ve covered quite a bit of their work over the years here at TSS!

The animation team has worked on shorts, dubs, and a variety of other projects since its inception, and now they’re looking to expand into the world of action-packed art and text. Introducing the Paradox-powered fan comic in the making, Sonic Legacy!

Continue reading Sonic Paradox is Expanding into Webcomics with “Sonic Legacy”

Sonic Generations Finally Hits Xbox One Backward Compatibility

About friggin’ time!

Microsoft held their second episode of Inside Xbox yesterday, in which they share a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s inner workings, and today’s livestream held a special announcement regarding backward compatibility on Xbox One.

The gaming giant revealed that a handful of backward compatible Xbox 360 games will become Xbox One X-enhanced, a beefy update through which last-gen titles receive a substantial performance boost on the most powerful home console on the market, after the presentation. Among them is none other than Sonic Generations, which also means that the 20th anniversary title celebrating Sonic’s history has also been finally retrofitted for the Xbox One family of systems as of today!

Episode 2 of Inside Xbox also revealed a ton of new original Xbox games being added to the backward compatible library, including SEGA’s own Panzer Dragoon Orta.

Now that leaves only Sonic Unleashed and Sonic ’06 as the remaining mainline Sonic games to become Xbox One backward compatible… I’ll certainly be keeping my fingers crossed.

Update: Leaked TV Spot Shows Sonic in Spielberg’s “Ready Player One”

First Litwak’s Arcade, now The Oasis?

It won’t be long before Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name, premieres in theatres. In a dystopian near-future ruined by the evils of pollution, political corruption, and climate change, a despondent mankind turns to a worldwide network of virtual reality for work, education, and entertainment.

The fantasy online world features a number of pop culture cameos so extremely high it would make more modest product placement advertisers blush, featuring the likes of Tracer from Overwatch with her signature salute to the towering figure of The Iron Giant‘s titular character. Additionally, it looks like SEGA has gotten our favourite Blue Blur in on the action as well, as Sonic the Hedgehog himself has been spotted by eagle-eyed fans in a leaked commercial for Ready Player One.

Continue reading Update: Leaked TV Spot Shows Sonic in Spielberg’s “Ready Player One”

Sonic Paradox Debuts “Sonic Seconds,” a New Series of Shorts

Stop the presses!

It’s only been a month since the animators and voice actors over at Sonic Paradox released the karma collector-themed Vector’s Knickers, and tonight, the crew has unveiled a brand new spinoff series to the popular Sonic Shorts Volumes collaborations. Sonic Seconds!

Check the first volume of shorts out below, as well as credits, links, and important details regarding upcoming projects.

Continue reading Sonic Paradox Debuts “Sonic Seconds,” a New Series of Shorts

Nintendo Removes Wii Points Purchasing for Wii Shop Channel on March 26

Last year, Nintendo has announced that they will be closing the doors of the Wii Shop Channel for the original Wii indefinitely on January 30, 2019. The change comes as the company has moved on to online networks for the 3DS and Switch, and so, after more than twelve years of activity, the Wii Shop Channel and all its services (Wii Virtual Console, WiiWare, and Wii System Transfer Tool) will go offline at the cut-off date early next year.

Continue reading Nintendo Removes Wii Points Purchasing for Wii Shop Channel on March 26

GaMetal Unleashes a Double Whammy of Sonic Boss Theme Covers

Among the bevy of VGM cover artists I follow on the web, one standout artist in particular shines with his rock/metal arrangements of classic gaming themes in the form of “GaMetal.”

Week by week, Jonny Atma wows the scene with all sorts of fantastic VGM covers featuring his trademark solos, covering nearly every song under the sun from the popular to the obscure, and fan-favourites from the Sonic series is no exception. While he has covered a handful of tracks from the franchise in the past, Atma wrapped up the month of February with not just one, but two remixes of some of the best boss tracks Sonic the Hedgehog has to offer.

Continue reading GaMetal Unleashes a Double Whammy of Sonic Boss Theme Covers

Sonic Triple Trouble is Getting a 16-Bit Makeover in a Fan-made Remake

Sonic Triple Trouble had all the makings of a fantastic 2D Sonic adventure, but—shackled by the 8-bit restrictions of the SEGA Game Gear back in 1994—fell short in a number of ways by no real fault of its own.

Enter Noah Copeland, in collaboration with Overbound Game Studio (the same team of fans responsible for Sonic Time Twisted), who seeks to correct this injustice with a question:

What if [Sonic Triple Trouble] became a Genesis/Mega Drive game?

Continue reading Sonic Triple Trouble is Getting a 16-Bit Makeover in a Fan-made Remake

The Spin: How SEGA is Ignoring the Middle Children of Sonic’s Legacy

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


2010 was the year Sonic the Hedgehog came back.

Yes, we all heard the stories about how the franchise had declined not long after the jump to 3D, how gaming news outlets and critics even now would begin their pieces with some variation of “Sonic has had a rocky history,” and how every new Sonic game released around the “dark ages” period couldn’t shake off the dreaded “Sonic Cycle.”

Continue reading The Spin: How SEGA is Ignoring the Middle Children of Sonic’s Legacy

Sonic Paradox Returns With “Vector’s Knickers” Animated Shorts

Find the computer room!

Aha!

To get through tight spaces, press the Circle button to slide!

It’s been a long time coming, but if you’ve been itching for more Sonic Shorts Volumes, you’ve certainly come to the right place… if you’ve been expecting something much greener and scalier! Much like the Knuckles Briefs, the animation team at Sonic Paradox has come back together again to deliver more raucous laughs and satirical pokes at the Sonic franchise in a new specially themed shorts collection, this time shining the limelight on everyone’s favourite crocodile, muscle, and karma collector. Behold…

Vector’s Knickers.

Continue reading Sonic Paradox Returns With “Vector’s Knickers” Animated Shorts

Super Sonic DLC to Remain Free for Sonic Forces Forever

Crisis averted!

Last month, the long-awaited inclusion of Super Sonic had finally come to pass for Sonic Forces, but there was a nasty catch: the Chaos Emerald-powered hedgehog would have only remained free for a limited time.

Continue reading Super Sonic DLC to Remain Free for Sonic Forces Forever

Super Sonic DLC Crashlands into Sonic Forces, Free for a Limited Time

A series staple since Sonic the Hedgehog 2 over twenty-five years ago right up to the recent Sonic Mania, either earning the seven Chaos Emeralds or clearing the game’s story often yielded the highly coveted reward of Super transformation. From there, simply collect fifty rings mid-stage, transform, and blast off with ring-fueled invincibility and faster speeds.

While oddly absent from the game’s initial release over a month ago, Sonic Forces is finally bringing in this long loved franchise staple at long last as free downloadable content… unfortunately, with a catch that is already drawing community backlash.

Continue reading Super Sonic DLC Crashlands into Sonic Forces, Free for a Limited Time

Check Out the Schedule for WinterFest 2017 at RadioSEGA, Starting Today!

For its fourth year running, our friends at RadioSEGA are holding their annual weekend-long WinterFest event, with fans all over the SEGA community coming together to celebrate good music, raise money for Special Effect, and walk away with some sweet prizes!

Just like last year, RadioSEGA hosts and guests from across the community will be hosting the festivities over the next three days, including yours truly. Read on after the jump for the complete schedule and on how to win a coveted limited edition pressing of the Sonic Mania soundtrack!

Continue reading Check Out the Schedule for WinterFest 2017 at RadioSEGA, Starting Today!

Sonic Adventure 2 is Now Xbox One Backward Compatible

Can you feel life moving through your mind?

With word from Xbox’s very own Larry Hryb, “Major Nelson” himself has revealed today that the Xbox Live Arcade version of Sonic Adventure 2 is at last Xbox One Backward Compatible. Those who previously owned the remastered HD edition of this classic on Xbox 360 can recover the digital download at no extra cost; those interested in picking it up can do so for $9.99/£6.75/9,49€.

Continue reading Sonic Adventure 2 is Now Xbox One Backward Compatible

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Joins SEGA Forever Lineup on its 25th Anniversary

Happy Sonic 2sDay, everyone!

Following the tease two days ago, a new classic SEGA title is joining the company’s SEGA Forever initiative on the 25th anniversary of its genesis.

Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Joins SEGA Forever Lineup on its 25th Anniversary

Playable Shadow the Hedgehog Returns as Free Sonic Forces DLC

It is no secret by now that Shadow the Hedgehog will be playing an important role in the upcoming Sonic Forces. The E3 trailer revealed that the ARK-born and raised Ultimate Life Form is revealed to be joining the all-star lineup of longtime Sonic villains standing in the Resistance’s way, but fans and theorists alike are still wondering why the long-reformed Shadow would possibly side with Team Eggman.

Some suspect foul play like mind control while I initially believed Eggman sprang for a rather impressive embossed invitation, but it wouldn’t be long now until we find out the truth for ourselves.

Continue reading Playable Shadow the Hedgehog Returns as Free Sonic Forces DLC

Digital Preorders for Sonic Forces’ Bonus Edition Are Now Going Live

Hope you’ve readied your wallets, folks. Sonic Forces is less than two months away from launch now, and there’s a lot about the game to get psyched about. The ability to live out your dream of having your own original character star in an official Sonic game, a notably much more ambitious and serious story compared to recent entries, a cool new villain, and now Shadow the Hedgehog returning as a playable character for the first time in over a decade, longtime fans of the series might have little reason to sit this game out.

That said, if you’re the type of gamer who prefers the convenience of owning a game digitally and playing it the moment it’s officially released, we bring good news! Preorders for the digital versions of Sonic Forces on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are going live today, with the PC version going live on Thursday, September 21.
(Unfortunately this does not apply to the Nintendo Switch iteration, as the console’s eShop is not currently enabling early purchases and preloads.)

Those who purchase the game early digitally will automatically receive the previously announced SEGA/Atlus costume pack Add-on, and the Shadow Costume, for the Custom Hero character. All owners of the game regardless of medium will also be receiving the newly revealed Episode Shadow Add-on as well.

Sonic Forces launches on November 7 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Freak-Out Friday: Tyson Hesse’s Legendary “Sonic’s Adventure,” Animated by Bocodamondo!

It’s been the lifelong dream of many Sonic fans to work at SEGA or with the Sonic brand in some official capacity, and in many ways, Tyson Hesse has achieved it.

Back when Archie Comics still published their Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe serials, Hesse was brought on board during the later years as one of many great artists behind each carefully crafted page. His beloved take on Classic Sonic soon led to him pencilling the unfortunately ill-fated Sonic: MEGA DRIVE comics, and later directing not only the animation for Sonic Mania‘s preorder trailer, but the official opening for the game as well.

However, there was a time before all of this, a simpler time, when a certain Boxer Hockey wove a masterpiece of a tale – a dramatic epic with running, giants, robots, chases, escapes, True Love, miracles, and finally…

…magical kitsunes and rock-hard fist-nipples.

For Mania Week’s Freak-Out Friday, we take another look back at Hesse’s legendary Sonic’s Adventure, as animated by Bocodamondo back in 2012. Enjoy!

Continue reading Freak-Out Friday: Tyson Hesse’s Legendary “Sonic’s Adventure,” Animated by Bocodamondo!

You Can Now Download Hyper Potions’ “Friends” from the Sonic Mania Opening

“Porta Vista,” “Checkpoint,” and “Time Trials.” Hyper Potions have become synonymous with promotional Sonic music over the past year, and their contributions to the brand have finally reached a head with Sonic Mania‘s release tomorrow on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

The opening animation to the highly anticipated throwback to the classics (of which you can read our TSS review with Svend and Adam here) was accompanied by Ian and Kevin’s newest nostalgia-inducing single: “Friends.” The full version of the track made its debut alongside the opening’s unveiling, and today, it is now up for grabs on digital markets such as iTunes and Google Play.

Continue reading You Can Now Download Hyper Potions’ “Friends” from the Sonic Mania Opening

Sound Test Saturday: Pre-Mania Launch Edition!

We’re just one last, impossible weekend away to Sonic Mania, so I feel it’s only appropriate to highlight one celebrated aspect of the game: its music! The news of Tee Lopes’ hiring as Mania‘s composer was met with widespread acclaim across the Sonic community, and over the past year, we were gifted with a number of his contributions to the soundtrack.

For the occasion, I am bringing back Sound Test Saturday and have catalogued one remix for every Zone confirmed by SEGA in Sonic Mania, as well as a few bonuses! Don’t forget to support and follow these artists in the links provided below. Now, enjoy!

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Pre-Mania Launch Edition!

Mania OST Sampler: “Danger on the Dance Floor,” for Mini-Boss

Only six more days remain to Sonic Mania‘s highly anticipated release on modern digital platforms. To savour the wait even more, we now have yet another juicy sample from its soundtrack dropped from the Sonic social channels, following on from last week’s music preview of Stardust Speedway Act 1. Continue reading Mania OST Sampler: “Danger on the Dance Floor,” for Mini-Boss

Turn it Up and Get Down to Stardust Speedway Act 1 from Sonic Mania

In the preorder trailer that debuted two months ago, we caught a glimpse of another returning Zone to Sonic Mania in the familiar form of Stardust Speedway. The hallmark stage from Sonic CD where the Blue Blur finally confronts Metal Sonic became a fan-favourite for its differing yet memorable theme tunes between time zones and regional releases, courtesy of Naofumi Hataya and Spencer Nilsen.

Continue reading Turn it Up and Get Down to Stardust Speedway Act 1 from Sonic Mania

Of Manias, Forces, and Serials: A Sonic at SDCC 2017 Recap

San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone for 2017, and this year’s gave attendees the world over a lot to look forward to in forthcoming entertainment. Superhero movie aficionados got an early peek at a number of highly anticipated films for the upcoming year (Black Panther, Justice League, and Avengers: Infinity War to name a few), bitesized previews were shown off for new seasons to Stranger Things and Steven Universe among other hit shows to whet eager fans’ appetites, and in Sonic’s case?

Well, whether you’ve fallen out of the loop or just enjoy a quick summary of last week’s events, allow me to bring you all back up to speed!

Continue reading Of Manias, Forces, and Serials: A Sonic at SDCC 2017 Recap

Have a Listen to Sonic Mania’s Special Stage Music, “Dimension Heist”

San Diego Comic-Con 2017 is wrapping up today, and so does our coverage for the yearly star-studded convention. For one last hurrah, and as promised in last night’s Sonic Mania developer panel, the theme for the game’s Special Stages has been uploaded on the Sonic social channels today after being previewed to attendees.

Have a listen to Tee Lopes’ “Dimension Heist” below!

Continue reading Have a Listen to Sonic Mania’s Special Stage Music, “Dimension Heist”

Meet Infinite in the Brand New Sonic Forces Trailer for SDCC 2017

Among the familiar faces fighting under Eggman’s name in Sonic Forces comes a brand new villain by the name “Infinite.” SEGA dropped some new music for the occasion with a dedicated theme song featuring vocals and lyrics by Dangerkids band members earlier today (and sounding so deliciously Shadow the Hedgehog-like, I might add), and now we have a trailer dedicated to this dangerous new evil as well.

Give it a watch above, and share your thoughts with us on Infinite in the comments below!

New Sonic Forces Villain “Infinite” Gets his Own Dark Theme Music, Courtesy of Dangerkids

It’s only been two days since we were introduced to Tee Lopes’ “Hi Spec Robo Go!” for Sonic Mania‘s Hard Boiled Heavies, and today SEGA has come around with another new song just in time for San Diego Comic-Con, this time for the new villain starring in Sonic Forces.

Composed and arranged by Tomoya Ohtani, as well as guitar by the legendary Jun Senoue, the new track features vocals and lyrics by Tyler Smyth and Andy Bane from Dangerkids, aptly titled “Infinite.” Those who enjoyed the edgier and darker theme songs from Shadow the Hedgehog are bound to get a kick out of this tune, as well as better insight into the character of Infinite himself.

What are your thoughts on Infinite’s theme music, and how do you think the Sonic Forces OST is shaping up? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Here’s A Sneak Peek at Sonic Forces’ Park Avenue Theme for the Custom Hero

The Custom Hero in Sonic Forces was revealed last month to the tune of two brand new trailers. One of these offered an early look at gameplay taking within the destroyed Park Avenue, and as fun as it was to see a customizable avatar character in action in a Sonic game, I think I speak for all of us back when we first heard vocals drop right within the last few seconds of a great tune that we needed to hear more of it.

Needless to say, Sonic Social has heard our plea and granted our wish! Jam to an early preview of the music from Park Avenue’s Custom Hero Act above, and sing along with the lyrics below! Special thanks to Forte-Metallix on the SSMB for deciphering them.


Take on the enemy, strike them down
We can’t let evil win, take them out
This is justice, this is what’s right

Take on the enemy, mess them up
And bring them to their knees, do your stuff
Time for justice, time to go fight

Destiny lies before you
I believe we have the power
Can you see the horizon?
Victory’s for the taking!

Sound Test Saturday: Super Sonic Racing – Otamatone Deluxe Cover

Mere words cannot do justice to this cover by self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Violinist and Master Otamatonist” Mklachu, but never in my life have I needed something so much and never known until I received it.

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Super Sonic Racing – Otamatone Deluxe Cover

Sonic Mania is Now ESRB-Certified for All Platforms Except Nintendo Switch

Receiving news about a delay for a video game is a bittersweet occasion. On one hand, it means having to wait all the longer for a game’s already highly anticipated release as its launch is pushed further ahead, but on the other hand, one can’t really complain about extra polish to ensure greater quality from the final product. Continue reading Sonic Mania is Now ESRB-Certified for All Platforms Except Nintendo Switch

Mash-Up Monday: BotanicSage’s “16BIT Magic”

Chart-topper Bruno Mars has produced a great number of worldwide hits since his solo debut in 2010, including songs such as the beautiful “Just the Way You Are,” the way too relatable “The Lazy Song,” and the unreasonably catchy “Uptown Funk” with Mark Ronson. His music videos on YouTube alone continue to gather millions of views as a testament to his talent, and his recent “24K Magic” is yet another example of that.

Turns out that “24K Magic” also mashes incredibly well with the classic Chemical Plant Zone theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Who knew? Mashup artist BotanicSage certainly caught on to it, and you can jam to this delicious combo in the video above!

Found any other interesting Sonic music mashups out there on the web? Maybe you have one of your own you’d like to share? If so, you can reach us via any of the following and see your choice on the next Mash-Up Monday:

  • Contact us via our social media outlets on Facebook and Twitter!
  • Send a message over to me via The Sonic Stadium Message Board – join today!
  • Send an email to me personally via vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org, or hit me up on Twitter with your findings @VizardJeffhog!

The Long-Awaited Fan Game “Sonic Time Twisted” is Finally Released

The spring season will likely pass as another dry spell for Sonic fans looking for a new classic gameplay fix, as SEGA delayed Sonic Mania to the summer. To their relief, however, one long-anticipated fan game finally saw a timely launch for Windows earlier today after many years of work and several SAGE demos.

Developed by Overbound, Sonic Time Twisted boasts a number of Genesis-era features and callbacks, including CD-inspired time travel, a dizzying number of Zones to explore, and a variety of old and new elemental shields. The unique Dueling Ages soundtrack has also largely been composed and performed by Hinchy—along with collaborators Andy Tunstall, Joshua “EXshad” Kruszyna, Jogurt, Christopher Wright and Michael Davis—which you can download separately here.

As for the story, the game’s events take place in a separate timeline after Sonic CD and the destruction of the Death Egg, this time leading to the demise of Dr. Robotnik. Metal Sonic aspires to resurrect his fallen master using ancient alien tech, and it is up to Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to gather both the Time Stones and Chaos Emeralds to put a stop to the mechanical maniac’s fiendish plot!

Be sure to check out the Overbound Studio website for more information and the actual download for the free fan game. A Mac-supported release for Sonic Time Twisted is also pending.

Have you been keeping track of this game’s development, or will you be going in with a fresh pair of eyes? What have you enjoyed most from Time Twisted so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Check Out Tee Lopes’ Fresh New Sonic Mania Remix for Green Hill Act 2

It’s no secret by now that Sonic Mania will be borrowing many classic elements from the Blue Blur’s genesis years to shape up for one hell of a throwback experience. One of these elements that will no doubt delight Sonic 3 & Knuckles fans is how Tee Lopes has been composing the game’s soundtrack, as SEGA already confirmed that each Act of a given stage will be given a unique musical score. Continue reading Check Out Tee Lopes’ Fresh New Sonic Mania Remix for Green Hill Act 2