May 6, 2003 in
Sonic Team and Sega have released information on some of their newest games to hit your consoles, that will be showcased at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3). It marks Sonic's first appearance on a console other than a Nintendo one, and some tasty GameCube exclusives too. Take a look see...
No screenshots have been released as of yet, but rumours are abound that, since Sonic Team are (allegedly) reluctant to ever make a 3D Sonic game again, that this will be a 2D action game for the blue blur. According to the press release, Sonic Heroes also marks Sonic's debut on PlayStation 2 and Xbox, which makes us a tad dubious, given the GameCube 'port over' treatment, without any exclusives for the majority of Sonic fans that actually bought Nintendo's console. Apparently however, like PSO, the GameCube version could be released well in advance of Microsoft and Sony's consoles.
This one's a given really. You can catch the information in the Games Information Section. If you don't know yet, there'll be extra missions (meaning more emblems to collect), revitalised graphics and the whole Game Gear Sonic game catalogue. Sonic Team have done away with the overly-shiny graphics, which is great - let's hope the annoying camera converted from the Dreamcast version disappears sometime soon also.
A GameCube exclusive apparently, PSO returns for a third episode, only this time (a lot like the Game Boy Pokemon spin off game) you use playing cards for your offensive and defensive moves.
It all sounds a lot like Lost Kingdoms really, and if it's not GameCube exclusive (meaning that Sonic Team may be able to implement a really cool link up with the GBA e-Reader by releasing a PSO Card Series), then this title really doesn't have much going for it. If it's on Xbox and PS2 as well for example, there's not much chance of an e-Reader link up happening, which can be the only appealing sounding part of this game.
Nevertheless, we're intrigued. Naka-san hasn't done much wrong yet, so here's hoping... Judging by the only-released screen, the perspective of PSO Ep 3 seems to be turn-taking battling, harking back to classic Phantasy Star rather than free-style like every other PSO title to date. This can be either a good or bad thing depending on your viewpoint really. Still.
Very very nice indeed. After a couple of years of useless (to us fans anyway) ports to GameCube, we were wondering when, if ever, Sonic Team would get their imaginitive form back from the days of the Sega Saturn. It looks like our prayers are answered, with Billy Hatcher - which seems like a cross between an all-new 3D platformer and a Skies of Arcadia style RPG. These are just assumptions on our part though.
You raise monsters from hatching them out of eggs and go on some random quest to save the world. Possibly. It looks like Sonic Team are going to expand their patented A-Life system through this game, previously used on Sonic Adventures 1 & 2's Chao creatures and also in NiGHTS' NiGHTopians. After Sonic Adventure DX, you'll be seeing the good old Sonic Team as it once was, Saturn and Dreamcast-era.
Sonic Battle is a fighting game starring Sonic. Yes. Call me pedantic, but it does sound like Sonic Team are trying to gain from HAL's Super Smash Bros. achievements here. But meh. The game itself is in an isometric 3D style, which is quite strange for a fighting game - it looks like a free-roaming fighter, much in the same vein as Smash Bros, but using a points system (unless that's merely one of the game modes).
The sprites are updated Sonic Advance ones, but we question the Shadow sprite to a certain extent. Never mind. Without a '2D' handheld manic fighter in sight, it looks like Sonic could fill the gap of a GBA Smash Bros. Melee.
It seems like most of you have forgotten about this game already! Save for some newly-released screens, there's not a lot more to go by on the information front: it's the spiritual successor to Sonic Spinball for the Game Boy Advance, only this time Sonic takes a step back and is merely part of the background. This game calls for some serious pinball! 'Sabbuse'!
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May 6 2003
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