Watch The Game Awards With Us, Starting at 7:30 EST!

If you’ve been paying attention to our streaming schedule you already know about this, but we will be running a react stream for The Game Awards announcements tonight! Join GX and Nuckles87 as they patiently wait for the Sonic announcements!

It will run on our Twitch channel until sometime after both Sonic trailers have debuted. It will also be shown on both our front page and on SSMB. If you’d prefer to watch The Game Awards without our heavenly voices, you can do so here.

TSS @ SHC 2021 SNOLF: Tournament Edition

Sonic hacks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from character swaps, to whole new games, to things that use the existing physics and levels to do something completely crazy! Drmelon’s SNOLF goes for the latter, offering a very different spin on Sonic 2 as Sonic is now a golf ball. But is this hack a fun spin on Sonic 2, or is it too frustrating? The answer is both.

SNOLF: Tournament Edition basically turns Sonic 2 into a 2D golf game, with the end of the stage acting as the hole. You line Sonic up and take swings to get him through the stages. Each button acts as a different kind of club, so you can get weak to strong swings. Button A is a putter swing for light taps, B is regular, and C is a driver, which offers the strongest swing. To measure, you have a ring that goes left and right and then up and down so you can get the proper angle. You also have some control of the ball when it is rolling, but not in the air. Because of that, the are moments where you can’t get the momentum to go further, whether it’s rolling from the top of a cliff, or going straight up and down on a spring. When this occurs, the trick is to try and get a swing in mid-air to get a bit further. There’s also a multiplayer mode for up to four players in competitive and cooperative play.

Swatting Sonic through the Sonic 2 levels is both novel and frustrating at the same time. It took me a long time to get any good at this hack and I still had to just give up at Chemical Plant Zone Act 2. There are moments when it seems like it’s just near impossible to traverse any further, not to mention many moments where you can get stuck for tens of swings (I still don’t know how I managed to beat Robotnik in Emerald Hill). Many times, I felt like throwing down my controller in defeat. That said, there are some options to make your experience less frustrating. For example, you can set it to only do Act one of each zone so you don’t have to go against Robotnik. 

After everything that’s been said, SNOLF is definitely something you should check out at least once. It’s difficult and frustrating as hell to play, but its unique challenge kept me coming back despite the times I wanted to toss the controller. It’s just crazy and unique enough to give it a go.

TSS @ SHC 2021: Sonic the Hackable Splash Hill Demo

To many die-hard Sonic fans, Sonic 4 is a game unworthy of its title, with a physics engine more closely related to Dimps’ DS past than the Genesis/Mega Drive trilogy. But what if Sonic 4 was a Genesis game? CHRdutch gives us a taste of what that might be like in this Sonic 1 hack which covers Splash Hill Zone acts 1-3.

Splash Hill Zone act one mimics the original Sonic 4 level fairly closely. There are some sacrifices made. Gone are the pulleys and rope swings and in their place are rotating platforms. However, it does have much of the original’s poor level design, including the lack of slopes, narrow loops, and completely unnecessary dash-pads. CHRdutch also does an impressive job trying to copy Sonic 4’s game play quirks into this Sonic 1 hack. When rolling into the air off a wall, Sonic will fly up with his arms stretched open and completely defenseless. Sonic also has a forward boost with a double jump. While there is no homing attack in this version, it can hit enemies when used right and works well for a quick boost forward. However, since this is a hack that still relies on Sonic 1 physics in some form, it doesn’t replicate Sonic 4’s physics, so you won’t find things like wall-walking here. That’s a nice improvement in my book, though.

While Splash Hill act one and act three are pretty faithful to the original, Act two offers its own original design. Keep on the upper path, and you can get to the goal quickly. Fall into the lower path, and you’ll be running underwater. Unlike Labyrinth Zone, it doesn’t feel slow and it won’t take too long until you can find your way out. It’s a well-done level. Also impressive is how well the original soundtrack comes over to the Genesis with little sacrifice. Now, from what I recall, Jun Senoue wanted to get the soundtrack as close to the Genesis sound as possible. Still, I’m surprised at how well remix composer LackOfTrack was able to bring over the soundtrack almost perfectly. At times, it’s exact.

Sonic the Hackable: Splash Hill shows both the flaws of Dimps 2D design while showing the strength of the Genesis Sonic’s physics. While not a perfect 1:1 port, the changes made are for the better. If you were wondering if Sonic 4 could work or even be improved on the Genesis, CHRdutch’s Sonic the Hackable seems to be a solid “yes”.

Sonic Hacking Contest Announces This Year’s Winners

Sonic Hacking Contest has announced the winners for the more than 50 trophies up for grabs this year. The community, the contest’s judges, and the media panel (which included us!) got to vote for their own favorites. You’ll find a few familiar names, as we covered several of these games throughout the week. You can find that coverage here. And while the event may be over, and the winners have been chosen, stick around! We’ll be doing more SHC 2021 coverage over the next few days.

Sonic Hacking Contest has also confirmed its 2022 dates: October 10-16. You can find out more info about this year’s SHC, and what they have planned for next year, in the 2021 Winners newsletter here.

The winners for each of these votes are as follows:

TOP THREE RETRO (JUDGED)

1st – Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

2nd – Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

3rd – Sonic The Hedgehog: Ancient Isles by Catswell

TOP THREE RETRO (COMMUNITY)

1st – Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

2nd – Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

3rd – Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Epilogue by Hardline Team

Best Retro Voted by Media Panel

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team and Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Epilogue by Hardline Team

TOP THREE 3D (JUDGED)

1st – Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

2nd – Sonic ’06 – Emerald Coast by Nonami

3rd – Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

TOP THREE 3D (COMMUNITY)

1st – Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

2nd – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

3rd – Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

Best 3D Voted by Media Panel

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer 

Honorable Mention: Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

TOP THREE 2DPC (JUDGED)

1st – Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcNuggie

2nd – Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

3rd – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

TOP THREE 2DPC (COMMUNITY)

1st – Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcNuggie

2nd – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

3rd – Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Voted by Media Panel

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honorable Mention: Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Of course, there are far more SHC categories than just the best overall games. Games were competing in a variety of categories. For the complete list of winners for each available Sonic Hacking Contest trophy, look at the list below:

RETRO CATEGORY

Best Visual – Judged

Sonic the Hedgehog: Ancient Isles by Catswell 

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Best Visual – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Audio – Judged

Sonic the Hedgehog: Ancient Isles by Catswell 

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Audio – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Technical – Judged

Sonic 1 Blastless DX by vladikcomper

Best Technical – Community

Sonic 1 Blastless DX by vladikcomper

Best Level Design – Judged

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Best Level Design – Community

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Most Entertaining – Judged

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Most Entertaining – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Most “WTF?!” – Judged

VTuber in Sonic 1 by ProjectFM

Honourable Mention –  SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Most “WTF?!” – Community

SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Honourable Mention –  VTuber in Sonic 1 by ProjectFM

Best Team Entry – Judged

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Team Entry – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Multiplayer Entry – Judged

SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Best Multiplayer Entry – Community

SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Best Character Implementation – Judged

Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Pink Edition by E-122-Psi

Best Character Implementation – Community

Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Pink Edition by E-122-Psi

Honourable Mention –  Big the Cat in Sonic the Hedgehog by E-122-Psi

Best Boss Design – Judged

Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Epilogue by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Best Boss Design – Community

Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Epilogue by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Judged

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Community

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Most Potential – Judged

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Most Potential – Community

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic the Hackable – Splash Hill Demo by CHRdutch

Most Improved – Judged

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic the Hackable – Splash Hill Demo by CHRdutch

Most Improved – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic the Hackable – Splash Hill Demo by CHRdutch

3D CATEGORY  

Best Visual – Judged

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Honourable Mention – Sonic ’06 – Emerald Coast by Nonami

Best Visual – Community

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Honourable Mention – Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

Best Audio – Judged

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Best Audio – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Best Technical – Judged

Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC Restoration by DeaTh

Honourable Mention – Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Technical – Community

Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC Restoration by DeaTh

Honourable Mention – Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Level Design – Judged

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Best Level Design – Community

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Most Entertaining – Judged

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Most Entertaining – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Most “WTF?!” – Judged

Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Honourable Mention –  Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

Most “WTF?!” – Community

Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Team Entry – Judged

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Sonic Riders DX by Extreme Gear Labs

Best Team Entry – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

Best Multiplayer Entry – Judged

Sonic Riders DX by Extreme Gear Labs

Best Multiplayer Entry – Community

Sonic Riders DX by Extreme Gear Labs

Best Character Implementation – Judged

Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Character Implementation – Community

Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Boss Design – Not Awarded in Judged or Community

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Judged

MISSION REPLACEMENT: SA1 Gamma-Timer Variant over Kill X Many Missions by Twilord

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Community

MISSION REPLACEMENT: SA1 Gamma-Timer Variant over Kill X Many Missions by Twilord

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Most Potential – Judged

Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

Honourable Mention – Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Most Potential – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

Most Improved – Judged

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

Most Improved – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

2DPC CATEGORY  

Best Visual – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Best Visual – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Audio – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Best Audio – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Technical – Judged

Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Best Technical – Community

Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Honourable Mention – SONIC CD: EPISODE METAL by jackelzxa

Best Level Design – Judged

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Honourable Mention –  Sonic The Hedgehog: Lost Island Demo by CartoonsAnimate22

Best Level Design – Community

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Honourable Mention –  Sonic The Hedgehog: Lost Island Demo by CartoonsAnimate22

Most Entertaining – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Most Entertaining – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Most “WTF?!” – Not Awarded in Judged or Community

Best Team Entry – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Best Team Entry – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Best Multiplayer Entry – Not Awarded in Judged or Community

Best Character Implementation – Judged

SONIC CD: EPISODE METAL by jackelzxa

Best Character Implementation – Community

SONIC CD: EPISODE METAL by jackelzxa

Best Boss Design – Judged – Not Awarded

Best Boss Design – Community

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Judged

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Community

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Most Potential – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic The Hedgehog: Lost Island Demo by CartoonsAnimate22

Most Potential – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic The Hedgehog: Lost Island Demo by CartoonsAnimate22

Most Improved – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

TSS @ SHC 2021: Sonic Debut

Sonic 1’s earliest tech demo is something that has only been preserved in screenshots from game magazines, and was only ever shown publicly at some events in 1990. This demo featured many different backgrounds, enemies, and visual elements. Fans have long wanted to get a taste of what this old demo was like, and MCTravisYT and crew’s hack, Sonic Debut, gives us all a chance to live out that fantasy, by giving us a glimpse of what could have been if Sonic 1 had been produced with its earliest concepts intact.

The first thing of note is that Sonic looks and feels just a bit different here. MCTravisYT has put in new sprite animation to better represent the artwork of early screenshots. Also, Sonic is now more vulnerable in the way he jumps. One button press gets him to jump while a second rolls him into a ball. It’s not bad, but a little hard to get used to. I tend to forget that I can’t attack an enemy from below and end up getting hurt.

Speaking of getting hurt, there is a new life and damage system in Sonic Debut. Rings are now just coins. Fifty coins get you a new life represented by a star on the bottom-left screen. When you get hit, coins don’t explode out of you, but rather, you gain health by hitting monitors with hearts on them. The hearts are also numbered on the bottom left screen. On the plus side, this results in you not losing your coins when hit, so getting enough coins for an extra life is easy. However, it’s much easier to lose track of how many times you’ve been hit. Thirty years of losing rings when damaged is in my muscle memory, so it feels strange that one ring won’t save you anymore. 

Besides new sprite work for Sonic, there are new Badniks about. One is a robot pig who shuffles to the side and drops bombs out of his belly while the other is a blue, gremlin-looking thing that looks more like a tooth-shaped monster than a Badnik. I call him a “Cavity-Creep”. The two returning Badniks include Buzz Bombers and yellow Choppers. The only other new obstacle is a large ball that rolls along, though it’s more in the way than a threat.

The level layout is very different, as it’s now more linear and a bit larger. That said, neither the upper or lower path seems to offer the player any advantage. The level design leaves a bit to be desired as there are a few instances where going too fast can lead to your death. There’s one spot that always seems to get me where I’m rolling and a spike trap comes up and bounces Sonic back and forth until he runs out of health and dies. It becomes a case of studying the level rather than having fun with it. Robotnik’s boss fight is different as well. There’s still a large wrecking ball on a chain, but now it’s separated from him. The boss fight is a bit more vertical and you have to use elevated platforms to attack him. It’s a fun change as it requires a bit more skill to finish Robotnik off.

That said, MCTravisYT’s Sonic Debut isn’t about its level design as much as it’s giving us a bit of a “What if?” in terms of looking at Sonic in his earliest form. When it comes to early Sonic, we only have screenshots to go by and Sonic Debut is a very interesting look at what might have been. If this was what Sega put out, would it still have been a huge hit? It’s hard to say. Still, it’s compelling to see someone try their hand at filling in the blanks with this entertaining Sonic hack. I’d recommend this to anyone curious about Sonic’s roots, or those who would enjoy a different take on a classic game.

You can download the mod here. Go to the Sonic Hacking Contest website for information on how to install the mod.

SAGE 2021 Hands-On with Pico Sonic

I remember the days of bootleg NES cartridges with ROM hacks that would bring Sonic to the NES with usually poor results. Titles like “Sonic 6” would take an existing Mario or other platform game and drop a Sonic sprite into it and maybe change a few enemies. They were always a pale imitation of the Genesis classics. Pico-Sonic goes below even NES limitations and still manages to feel authentic to the Genesis Sonic era.

“Pico Sonic” by Komehara is everything a demake should be. It lowers the pixel count, coloring, and sound bites to an underpowered 8-bit engine, but still keeps the core of the 16-bit original intact. It’s a one-level demo of Angel Island Act-1 done on the Pico-8, a fictional mid-80s game console with specs that fall between an NES and an Atari 7800.

Even with those limitations, Komehara pulls off an amazing little port. Sonic’s animations are all there along with his cool spring bounce pose from Sonic CD. The physics are intact as well, and Sonic’s roll, spindash, and overall sense of gravity are done perfectly. While this level is inspired by Angel Island, there are some limitations that slightly hinder the experience. The rocks don’t break apart when you hit them and there are no real enemies to be found. Instead, your main goal is to find all seven chaos emeralds scattered throughout the level. This gives you a major incentive to explore. If you don’t get all of the emeralds before finishing the level, it asks you to try again, basically giving you the bad ending.

While I would have liked to have seen some enemies in the level, Pico Sonic is a surprisingly charming fan game that shows that Sonic can still work as a game even on very low-powered hardware (or in this case, emulated low-powered hardware.) I’m hoping to see Pico Sonic return to SAGE next year with some more updates.

SAGE 2021 Hands-On With Sonic Rush 3D

Sonic Rush has always been my favorite portable (non-Switch) Sonic game, so to hear there was a demo of it done in full 3D interested me greatly. After playing the demo, I will say it resembles Sonic Unleashed as much as it does Sonic Rush. It’s also a fun ride that needs a bit of work.

Project directors ChickenWingJohnny, EnderElectrics, and Temzy have done an impressive job taking Sonic Rush’s low-poly 3D graphics into a fully 3-D environment. It includes the same boost and trick system as the DS original, but with a modern touch taken from Sonic Unleashed levels like Windmill Isle and Jungle Joyride. The level environment in the game is a mix of those two levels and Water Palace from Sonic Rush. This felt appropriate, as the background of Water Palace has always reminded me of Apotos/Windmill Isle.


In fact, in the opening cutscene, it’s Apotos that Sonic tells Tails he’s dropping into as in this version, Water Palace and Apotos are connected! This cutscene also perfectly encapsulate what I love about this game’s visual style: it replicates the low poly models and low res textures of the DS original. I love it when newer games combine retro 3D visuals with modern HD resolutions. It helps give it a sharpness while still having a dated look. As you jump into the level, a nice mix of “Back to Back” by Hideki Naganuma and “Windmill Isle Act 1” by Tomoya Ohtani plays as you run down, hit your first bumper, and attack some badniks in mid-air.

This moment is where the first problem lies: Sonic Rush 3D has very poor homing attack implementation. When attacking badniks or pawn bots, Sonic’s targeting reticle has to be on-screen. If he hits an enemy and pops up into the air, the robot in front will often be just out of view, and when you tap “A” again, Sonic will pass right over the enemy if the timing is just slightly off. It’s partially due to Sonic’s wonky physics in this game. At times, he controls well, at other times, you can boost off a ramp and fly through the air, missing where you’re supposed to land. You can also easily run onto walls and pathways you’re not meant to go to. This could lead to some shortcuts for speedruns, but also lead to drops and deaths that are entirely not your fault.

Despite them standing right in front of you, you can easily miss them.

The same cannot be said for Sonic’s drifting controls, which are perfect. When playing Unleashed or Generations, I always felt Sonic’s drifting had him sliding too far. In this game, you have perfect control of the blue blur when drifting into corners. I was impressed with how well it worked. The boost works decently as well, resembling its visuals from the DS game.

However, moments where the boost is actually needed are few and far in between. You can go through most of the game at a fairly decent clip without boosting at all. There are a few exceptions, like a rush of water you have to outrun and a lower path near the end where you need to slide under then boost again to avoid drowning. There’s also a hallway of pawn bots you can plow through with it. If you want to add some flash to your playthrough, you can press the “Y” button repeatedly after being launched off a ramp or spring. This lets you do the same trick maneuvers as the DS original, and even ends the same way, with a flicky flourish animation. That’s a nice visual touch!

Easter Egg?

While it’s definitely rough around the edges in its current state, Sonic Rush 3D is pretty fun. I can’t wait to see Sonic Rush 3D come back next year with more updates, along with some fixes to its physics. It feels like an Unleased de-make as much as a Sonic Rush remake. I think “Sonic Rush Unleashed” might be a better name for this project. Now, they just need to add Blaze the Cat into the mix.

You can find the SAGE demo of Sonic Rush 3D on the official SAGE 2021 website.

Submissions Are Now Open For The 2021 Sonic Hacking Contest

It is that time of the year again. In 2 months, the 2021 Sonic Hacking Contest begins. And if you have been in the process of creating an entry for this year, then you will want to get ready. The SHC 2021 website is open, and you can now send in your submissions.

Continue reading Submissions Are Now Open For The 2021 Sonic Hacking Contest

Sonic Streamers Plan to Run Through Sandopolis Zone 601 Times Back-to-Back

What’s that age-old saying… “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again”? Well, a UK-based Sonic fan is taking that phrase a little too literally, as he and a group of mates have announced a plan to race through the first Act of Sonic & Knuckles’ Sandopolis Zone more than 600 times in a row! That’s very brave!

Continue reading Sonic Streamers Plan to Run Through Sandopolis Zone 601 Times Back-to-Back

Fang the Sniper or Nack the Weasel? Character Creator TOUMA Explains The Two Names

Depending on which region you grew up in, you might have come to know one of Sonic Triple Trouble’s main antagonists as either Fang the Sniper in Japan or Nack the Weasel in the west. But why the two names? Character creator ‘TOUMA’, explained to fans via twitter this week as to the origin of the two aliases, amongst other bits of character information!

Continue reading Fang the Sniper or Nack the Weasel? Character Creator TOUMA Explains The Two Names

Hydrocity Zone Act II Theme Gets Funky With This Big Band Cover!

Nothing beats a good bit of funk – especially when it’s a big band cover version of the theme to Sonic the Hedgehog 3’s Hydrocity Zone!

Composer Tyler Mire leads a big band ensemble complete with reeds, horns, and rhythm section in this phenomenal tribute to one of the greatest 16-bit era Sonic sounds. You’ll want to listen to this more than once to properly aborb all of the layers to this!

Tyler Mire on Youtube

Submit Your Questions for Mike Pollock and Johnny Gioeli for Race for Good 2021

Do you have a burning question to ask legendary voice actor Mike Pollock? Or perhaps you want to know what Crush 40 vocalist and rock star Johnny Gioeli’s perfect Sunday is? Well, you now have the perfect opportunity to ask! As part of the Race for Good 2021 event, Mike and Johnny will be available to answer your questions in a Q&A on June 26th – and from today you can submit your questions for them both.

Continue reading Submit Your Questions for Mike Pollock and Johnny Gioeli for Race for Good 2021

What Could SEGA Announce At Sonic’s 30th Anniversary Livestream Event?

Finally. We’ve all waited nearly six months for a morsel of information on what SEGA may be planning to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th Anniversary. For a character best known for his lightning-fast speed, updates have been almost-controversially slow. But yesterday, SEGA revealed a special livestream taking place on May 27th focusing on Sonic announcements and news. So, what could they have lined up?

Continue reading What Could SEGA Announce At Sonic’s 30th Anniversary Livestream Event?

This Zoetrope Sonic Cake is Way Past Cool!

There have been many famous and infamous Sonic cakes seen on the internet over the years. Some “Special”, some traumatizing, and some… different. But this zoetrope cake made for a 2-year-old’s birthday really takes the…. y’know.

Continue reading This Zoetrope Sonic Cake is Way Past Cool!

Sonic Game Speedruns Are Back For Summer Games Done Quick 2021 Online

For the second year in a row, Summer Games Done Quick is going to be an online-only event. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t going to be any speed-runs. And for Sonic fans, you’ll be able to see some speed-runs of 5 different Sonic games this year.

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Race for Good 2021 Announced for Sonic’s Birthday Week, Featuring Special Guests Mike Pollock and Johnny Gioeli

Sonic community streamers Andy ‘The British Andy’ Wilson and Pete ‘TitansCreed’ Nethercote have formally announced the next ‘Race For Good’ charity event, and this time around, they’ve brought company – along with interviews with special guests Mike Pollock and Johnny Gioeli!

Continue reading Race for Good 2021 Announced for Sonic’s Birthday Week, Featuring Special Guests Mike Pollock and Johnny Gioeli

Fans Seek to Continue Sonic Boom Themselves Through Project M2

A bunch of Sonic fans have gotten together to resurrect Sonic Boom as a YouTube series. Called “Project M2,” the fan show is already well underway, with locations, character riggings, and storyboards in the process of being made.

They’ve announced the project alongside a Patreon, which will allow them to cover costs already incurred. Anyone who pledges $20 or more will gain access to work-in-progress assets, such as the aforementioned locations, character riggings, and storyboards, of which more than 20 are already available. According to the people behind the project, the Patreon funds are only meant to cover the cost of production, and the completed episodes will be made available for free to everyone on YouTube.

While they largely seek to stay true to the show, they will be integrating their own ideas into a few things, mostly in the set design.

All of this was announced via a YouTube video. The guy explaining the info does a remarkably good Roger Craig Smith Sonic impression, so it’s probably safe to assume he’ll be doing the voice for the show! Check out their Patreon here, and their announcement video below:

Save the Date! SAGE 2021 Starts August 21

This year’s Sonic Amateur Gaming Expo will be coming a bit earlier than it has in recent years: it’ll be running from August 21 to August 27. In addition to the start date, SAGE also revealed their new logo and tagline for the year, which you can check out in the tweet below:

SAGE is a long running Sonic fan game expo that celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. You can check out our coverage of last year’s SAGE here.

Watch this INCREDIBLE Upscaled Sonic CD Opening!

An incredible cleaned and upscaled version of the Sonic CD opening has been released by Sonic Retro members Tanks and Quazza – you can watch the full remaster below on Youtube!

This consciencious upscaling utilises AI, which while the authors acknowledge is controversial to those communities working on archiving genuine articles, is a wonderful way to get around issues with compression that are intrinsic to versions that have appeared on the likes of Mega Collection.

Quazza has also made an interesting discovery in that a few frames in the OP appear out of order – and here’s his comparison:

We think this is a wonderful piece of work bringing new life to a much-loved piece of Sonic the Hedgehog history.

Source: Sonic Retro

Artist Creates Sonic the Hedgehog “Artwork Countdown” For 30th Anniversary

Since June last year, artist and animator Keith Stack has been creating a unique piece of Sonic the Hedgehog fan art each day and posting them via Twitter, in order to count down to the 30th anniversary.

Stack’s pieces range from hillarious parodies to clever commentaries on current events, as well as some wonderful tributes to an incredible cross-section of references to obscure corers of the Sonic series and beyond (we particularly love the very “Bri’ish” take on Sonic the Comic!).

Check out some of our favourites below!

You can view the rest of Stack’s artwork on his Twitter account.

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A Sonic-Themed Playground opens in Brazil

Lookout, Super Nintendo World! Sonic’s got his own themed land too! Albeit much, much smaller, and inside a mall.

Badnik Mechanic’s youtube page has reported on a Sonic-themed playground inside the Vila Vella shopping mall in Brazil. The playground has rings to jump through slides, checkered tubes, obstacle courses, and more, all with a Sonic theme around it. It uses a Green Hill background and cardboard cutouts of Sonic, Eggman, and Tails from different eras. Whether this playground has Sega’s blessing or not remains to be seen.

Fan Stories: Meet The Guy That Made His Own Sonic Pinball Machine

Can you believe that Sonic the Hedgehog, a game series whose design has often been compared to the physics of pinball, has never had a ball-flipping table to call its very own? Not even SEGA, who once dabbled in producing licensed pinball machines, thought to build a table for its very own Casino Night-visiting mascot. This is a matter that Ryan McQuaid, avid Sonic fan and pinball restoration wizard, hopes to rectify with his award-nominated homebrew project, ‘Sonic Spinball’.

Continue reading Fan Stories: Meet The Guy That Made His Own Sonic Pinball Machine

Someone Made a Working VHS Copy of the Sonic Movie and It’s Unbelievably Retro

Sure, the internet is great for movies and all, but remember when we used to watch things on physical media? No, not your Blu-ray or DVD nonsense, we’re talking good old fashioned VHS tapes! … What? ‘What’s a VHS, grandpa?’ Why, naturally it was… um, actually VHS wasn’t all that great, but today the ancient format was made ten times cooler, because someone managed to make their own homemade VHS copy of the Sonic movie!

Continue reading Someone Made a Working VHS Copy of the Sonic Movie and It’s Unbelievably Retro

Everybody is Going Crazy Over This Japanese VTuber Playing Classic Sonic Games

If you’re old (like us) or have been living under a rock (like us), you’re probably unaware of the latest streaming craze that’s swept the internet – ‘VTubers’. And this week, the internet has been going gaga over one particular hyper-popular virtual icon who’s on a quest to play all of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games for the very first time.

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Check Out This PHENOMENAL Sonic Mania Studiopolis Zone Guitar Cover!

We love to get technical, especially when it comes to some amazing fretwork in Sonic the Hedgehog covers! Guitar virtuoso RichaadEB has set him self the immense task of covering Tee Lopes’ toe-tapping theme to Studiopolis Zone Act 1 – and what an incredible job he has done!

Continue reading Check Out This PHENOMENAL Sonic Mania Studiopolis Zone Guitar Cover!

Sonic 1 Prototype Now Available to Play for the First Time

Sonic fans will be able to play an actual Sonic 1 prototype for first time ever, courtesy of video game preservation and archivist group Hidden Palace. Hidden Palace, which held a month devoted to Sonic prototypes last year and released three more Sonic prototypes just yesterday, debuted the prototype on the Twitch account hours ago.

Continue reading Sonic 1 Prototype Now Available to Play for the First Time

Prototypes for Four Sonic Games, Including SA2 & Sonic 1, Released

Hidden Palace, a video game preservation and archival group, has released prototypes for Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Spinball, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, and Sonic 1 to the public. These prototypes show what these games were like months before they were completed and released. This gives us insight into the game’s development, often featuring content that was cut or altered in the final release.

Continue reading Prototypes for Four Sonic Games, Including SA2 & Sonic 1, Released