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.

Sonic Talk 47: Sonic Mania is Runnin’ Wild!

Well let me tell ya somethin’ brother!! I was at Venice beach pumpin’ iron when I heard someone listenin’ to a podcast!

It had these three nerds, Jason, Alex and GX, all talking about that new Sonic game, Sonic Mania and heapin’ a bunch of praise on it! Jason was reviewing that new Sega game, Yakuza Kiwami and giving his hands on impressions about Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. They also talked a bunch about all the news on Sonic Forces and reviewed some of the latest episodes of Sonic Boom!

So watch’a gonna do? When Sonic Mania runs wild on you?!!

Sonic Forces: Japanese Story Trailer Released

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

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

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

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

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

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle on iOS Mobile Store

A new mobile game to tie into Sonic Forces has been added to the iPhone/iPad app store out of the blue!

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle is a multiplayer racer. While it’s level design looks like Sonic Dash, you can use weapons to hurt opponents ala the Sonic Rivals series. It also features a system which allows you to upgrade your characters, some of which are unlockable. Below is the full description from the store listing.

Instantly race and compete with real players from around the world. Sprint, grind, and battle your way through real opponents in real-time four-player races. Pick-up and deploy weapons during the race and unleash them to gain the edge for victory!

Compete as Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Shadow and more! Unlock and upgrade new characters and weapons to build the ultimate team.

BATTLE TO WIN
– Attack with an arsenal of power-ups and weapons
– Master and upgrade common and character specific weapons
– Chase and maneuver opponents into spikes, badniks, and mines
– Go faster with on-track dash pads, springs, grind rails, and boost rings.
– Race on growing variety of new and challenging tracks

RACE WITH THE ULTIMATE SONIC TEAM
– Race as Sonic, Amy, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Rogue, and more
– Unlock new and rare characters including Omega, Vector, Espio
– Compete for gold and red star rings in every race to upgrade your characters
– Dominate live events and top the leaderboards

What’s interesting about the screenshots is that one of the courses seems to be set in Sky Sanctuary. While not absolutely certain, it does suggest that it will appear in the main game. Likewise, Omega and Rouge being present here may be a good sign for them being in the console versions.

While the store says that it was released on 11th September, there are currently no accounts of people playing the game as of writing. It appears to be a free app with ads that can be removed with an in-app purchase, like quite a few mobile Sonic games before.

We will have more on this if more information becomes apparent.

Source: iOS Store

Sonic R: The Original Prototype Uploaded

Every game which is licensed out starts with a pitch, quite often these pitches stay locked up, away from public eyes, only sometimes these pitches leak out for all to see.

Sonic R was a licensed game which started off this way, it all began with a pitch and today it found it’s way online, only this didn’t get leaked. It got deliberately posted by the founder of Travellers Tales, Jon Burton to YouTube.

As expected from a pitch video, it’s very incomplete, it shows Sonic running around a test track of sorts, few animations exist in the game, the loops don’t work and Sonic sometimes falls through the floor.

But this offers a fascinating insight into the development of an early 3D title. There are some noticeable changes and differences to the final product such as different textures for some objects.

Check out the YouTube video for the full video.

If you’re interested in seeing other prototypes, the channel also contains video for a cancelled Micky Mania 2 and a Wallace & Gromit GGI concept project.

7 Amazing Things That Went Unused In Sonic Mania

The PC version of Sonic Mania hit Steam last week, and it didn’t take long for the Sonic hacking community to construct tools to unpack, data mine and mod the game.

We’ve assembled a list of the seven most interesting things the community have found lurking inside the game’s source code!

1. Jan-Ken-Pon! An Alex Kidd-themed boss

Tracker_TD has found some interesting sprites that appear to point to a boss that indicate that at some point in the development of Sonic Mania, the Studiopolis boss was originally going to be a Rock-Paper-Scissors battle between Sonic and Eggman! This was likely going to be a nod to yet another classic SEGA title, Alex Kidd, before it was scrapped for the Weather vane boss.

2. Re-Discovering Sonic Mania’s past

Back before Sonic Mania got it’s name (Takashi Iizuka explains the origin of the name at the SDCC Panel), the working title was Sonic Discovery. It appears that the old title card still exists in the data!

3. I’m just a Love Machine

Amy fans might have been disappointed at her omission from Sonic Mania (besides a self-destructing Amy doll in the incredibly cute gachapon boss in Metallic Madness), but seems she was also to be used in this love tester machine, again in Studiopolis. While it is unclear from the sprite artwork as to how the machine was actually to function, it appears that there may have been three results possible, producing one of the three protagonist images. And what about that Eggman Icon?

While not a Sonic reference, we can’t help but be reminded of a classic Simpsons episode…

4. Where you going, You big drip! Unused Tails animation

The Sonic the Hedgeblog Twitter account has produced this neat comparison gif of Sonic Mania sprites, showing the animation from the opening cut scene in Chemical Plant Zone, alongside an unused animation. Rather than utilising the “look up” animation when a drop of the Mega Mac lands on Tails’ head, Tails instead uses his propeller action to dry himself off! It’s unclear why this animation was cut, as it is blatantly the cuter of the two!

5. Escape From The UFO!

Another discovery by Tracker adds intrigue to the UFO Special stage! The graphic below shows the text implemented in the game – and nestled between them is the phrase “Time to escape!”. Does this hint that in early builds of the special stage, the player possibly had to escape either the stage or the UFO itself once the Chaos Emerald had been grabbed?

6. Were Hyper forms once planned for?

Similar to 5., BlueParadox has uncovered text that appears to hint at a feature that either went unused or never made it off the drawing board. Many fans asked if the Hyper forms (as seen in Sonic 3 & Knuckles) would return in Mania, however Iizuka-san has on more than one occasion stated the Super Emeralds are non-canon. It seems strange however that the Super Emeralds appear to be present in the Heavy King fight, and that buried in the data, the text for “Hyper” exists. Perhaps Iizuka-san had a change of heart at one point…maybe we will never know!

7. “I’m outta here!”

If you hang around too long in Sonic CD idling, Sonic unceremoniously jumps off the screen resulting in a Game Over. While not featuring in the final build, all the animation and sound clips are present in Mania’s source code, which has allowed those with savvy enough skills to re-implement the feature in mods (as shown in the video below).

Have you found anything interesting hiding in Sonic Mania’s data files that went unused and that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!

Meet Omelette, Sonic Mania’s Accidental New Boss Character

It was only a matter of time before someone managed to completely misread the sprites in Sonic Mania and create a brand new character out of it. We just didn’t think it would happen so soon! One player in particular has captured the hearts and minds of the Sonic community by epically misinterpreting one of the bosses. Introducing ‘Omelette’ / ‘Eggette’ / ‘Ovoid Robotnik’! Continue reading Meet Omelette, Sonic Mania’s Accidental New Boss Character

EB Games Australia Offers Shadow DLC Skin With Sonic Forces Pre-Order

Looks like we’re not done with pre-order news yet! EB Games Australia has just put up a pre-order offer on top of Sega’s. If you pre-order from their stores, you will get a Shadow the Hedgehog costume for your avatar. It looks just like him! Albeit a bit skinny. Before everyone gets outraged at possible exclusive content, it should be noted that no where does it say that it’s exclusive. This means that there’s a good chance the costume is available in-game, so I wouldn’t worry just yet Shadow fans.

There’s some other things of note. It says it also includes “13 more in-game outfits and items and accessories” and “four Sonic Forces Art Cards”. These extra bonuses may be replacing the controller skins in Australia as there is no mention of them on the page.

Now since EB Games is an offshoot of Gamestop, chances are we may be seeing a similar offer in the US or UK. Time will tell.

Sonic Forces Releases on Nov 7. US Price and Pre-Order Bonuses Detailed

 

Looks like the rumors are true! Sega has announced on the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account that Sonic Forces will be arriving on November 7th along with a US price tag of $39.99. On top of that, folks who pre-order the game will receive a controller skin for their system of choice. Along with the controller skin comes five different skins for the avatar based on several Sega/Atlus game properties including Jet Set Radio, Persona, Puyo-Puyo, Super Monkey Ball and NiGHTS. Looks like a great price and bonus for those interested in the upcoming game.

Sonic Forces will be available for Switch, PS4, X-Box One and PC November 7th.

Sonic Mania Arrives on Steam With Bug Fixes And DRM

After a two-week delay, Sonic Mania finally see’s it’s PC release today on Steam.

As a reward for their wait, PC gamers can expect a version of the game that includes several bug fixes that are still present in the console versions, in addition to the Super Sonic transformation that can now be activated via a dedicated button (and allowing continued use of the drop dash once the player has collected more than 50 rings with all Chaos emeralds in their possession).

Along with Digital Rights Management (DRM), the PC game also includes an anti-piracy tool called “Denuvo”. Many users have already found frustration with these inclusions, the result of which requires the player to be logged into Steam AND be online at all times to play (and also means no mod support).

It is likely that all versions of Sonic Mania are set to see more patches and improvements in the near future – as always, TSS will keep you up to date!

Sonic Forces: Tag Team Gameplay Released

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

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

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

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

Sonic Forces Release Date Confirmed

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

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

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

 

Sonic Forces Set To Feature Tag Team Stages

With Gamescom having only just commenced, new information on Sonic Forces is already coming to light. Alongside the solo stages for modern Sonic, classic Sonic and the Avatar, there will also be a tag team option available.

From early information, it appears that this tag team mode involves the Avatar character teaming up with either Sonic, allowing their skills to be used in conjunction with each other for interesting gameplay combinations. In addition, there’s a unique feature to tag team mode called the double boost, which allows you to go even faster than the regular boost will allow.

As always, The Sonic Stadium will keep you up-to-date on all of the Sonic news coming out of Gamescom this week.

Source: Revue Multimedia (site is in French)

Image Sources: kitkatfox1 [Instagram]

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Gets Wii U Nintendo Selects Re-Release

Surprise! Nintendo and SEGA have apparently re-released mascot racer Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed in North America, with the budget ‘Nintendo Selects’ branding slapped all over it. Continue reading Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Gets Wii U Nintendo Selects Re-Release

Sonic On The Road: Playing Mania on Nintendo Switch

Sonic Mania has officially released on a number of home consoles, but perhaps the most interesting release has to be on Nintendo’s newly-launched Switch platform. With its home-portable hybrid design, it makes it relatively easy to play the latest Sonic platformer on the move. So, a couple of our TSS reporters went walkies with their Switches to see if the experience was any good. Some of them found a pretty blurry line between the real world and the Sonic world… be careful out there, Switch users. Continue reading Sonic On The Road: Playing Mania on Nintendo Switch

Sonic CE Statue Contains An Actual LED Light And Can Be Modded to Work.

A twitter user by the name of Jojo has discovered that if you open up the Genesis/Mega Drive stand of the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition statue, there is an actual LED light in the display! (NOTE: Doing so would void any warranty you might have on it.) What’s more, you can make it work! The tiny circuit board for the “SEGAAA!” sound includes two holes marked “LED”. All you need is a bit of copper wiring and a screwdriver. You can check how he did it on Jojo’s Twitter page, but man! What an easy mod! It makes you wonder though. Sega seemed to back out of the LED light working at the last minute. Why?

 

“No DLC Planned for Sonic Mania”

Following the release (and in the run up to it’s release) of Sonic Mania, a number of people have been asking the question ‘will there be DLC or additional content of some kind released at a later date?’ 

Unfortunately if you were hoping that there would be, you’re going to be disappointed. According to Mr Iizuka, there is nothing planned at this time.

During an interview with Game.jp, Mr Iizuka confirmed that there are no plans for extra Mania content when asked the question.

We’ll let you know if this changes.

Source: Game.jp (contains spoilers)

Sonic Mania’s Secret Ending! [SPOILERS]

So you’ve gathered all of the Chaos Emeralds. You’ve defeated Egg Reverie. You have screamed your way through 32 taxing Blue Sphere levels, and collected a gold medal from each of them. You’ve beaten the game with Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles… and you’ve honed your speed-running skills in Time Attack…

You might be thinking you’ve seen all that Sonic Mania has to offer…but think again! Continue reading Sonic Mania’s Secret Ending! [SPOILERS]

Sonic Mania Achievement / Trophy Guide

So Sonic Mania is out and available to download on home consoles. On PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, there are a range of Achievements and Trophies to collect and challenge yourself with. If you’re having trouble getting some of them, why not look through our Game Guide for some pointers?

NB: Spoilers inside, obviously. Continue reading Sonic Mania Achievement / Trophy Guide

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

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Mania

Note: This review qualifies as ‘spoiler free’, but it does contain information on stages, gameplay elements and story concepts that have already been made public by official SEGA marketing channels. Be aware, if you’ve been on a total media blackout.

In the middle of Sonic Mania’s main adventure mode, Sonic is warped to the Little Planet and finds himself in a spectacularly familiar place. Golden speakers line a series of curvy narrow chutes that catapult our blue hero into the sky, against a starlit backdrop. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition & vinyl soundtrack back in stock; new t-shirts

Sonic Mania is out now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and set to release on Tuesday 29th August on Windows PC. Here’s all you need to know about getting a hold of the game on your system of choice, and all the merch we know of!
Continue reading Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition & vinyl soundtrack back in stock; new t-shirts

TSS Roundtable: Our Hopes and Expectations for Sonic Mania

It’s the final weekend before Sonic Mania is released, and boy has this been a game that a lot of fans have been waiting a long time for. A pure sequel to Sonic 3 & Knuckles is what a lot of people have asked for, and this collaborative effort between Christian Whitehead, HeadCannon, PagodaWest Games and SEGA aims to fulfil just that. So, with that in mind, what does our Sonic Stadium team think of the project, and what are our collective hopes and expectations for the game? Take a look, below. Continue reading TSS Roundtable: Our Hopes and Expectations for Sonic Mania

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

Sonic X-Treme Amy Rose Models Found

You may remember a report we made a couple of years back about a LinkedIn profile we found for Sonic Xtreme’s Lead Artist Ross Harris which stated he designed character models for the game, including Amy Rose. Well, The Sonic Stadium has now found a portfolio website for the artist which features the above models for Amy Rose as well as models for Sonic and some badniks. Continue reading Sonic X-Treme Amy Rose Models Found

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

Sonic Mania Street Date Broken: Game Is Leaking

Well… This isn’t good.

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

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

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

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

Sonic Forces Day One Edition Listed – Includes Avatar Costume DLC

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

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

These include…

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

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

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

Source: Xtralife.es

 

Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes Panel from San Diego Comic Con

Check out the Sonic Mania panel at 2017 to get all the details we couldn’t cover! Join host Aaron Webber with guests, Takashi Iizuka, Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, Tom Fry, and Simon Thomley as we get more details on what went into this game.Get the full scoop on the game, check out some wacky glitches and the fan Q&A it’s all here! Continue reading Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes Panel from San Diego Comic Con

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”