Headcannon “Unhappy” With Sonic Origins, Claims SEGA “Made Major Modifications” to its Work

Headcannon studio developer Simon Thomley (aka Stealth) has expressed dissatisfaction with his experience working with SEGA on the recently-released Sonic Origins, claiming that the publisher made modifications to his work that led to the existence of bugs and glitches in the game.

Continue reading Headcannon “Unhappy” With Sonic Origins, Claims SEGA “Made Major Modifications” to its Work

Sonic Origins is Now Available to Download and Play

Over a year after its announcement, Sonic Origins is finally available to play as of June 23, 12AM EST. It can be purchased on Xbox, Playstation, and Switch platforms for $40, or $45 for the deluxe version that comes with $8 of DLC (including music from other Sonic games and additional animations in the menu).

We’ve been covering this game for the last few days. You can check out our review here, and find a bunch of footage from the game here.

Sonic Origins Origins PSN Trophies Revealed

A list of Sonic Origins’ trophies has finally been released, and its a pretty sizable list. We’ve got bronze, silver, and gold trophies, as well as a single platinum trophy for completing everything. You can check out the list below:

  • Complete Clear (Platinum) – Get All the Trophies!
  • Welcome to Sonic the Hedgehog (Bronze) – Watch the Opening for Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Welcome to Sonic CD (Bronze) – Watch the Opening for Sonic CD
  • Welcome to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Bronze) – Watch the Opening for Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Welcome to Sonic 3 & Knuckles (Bronze) – Watch the Opening for Sonic 3 & Knuckles
  • Beware Moto Bugs! (Bronze) – Defeat 10 Motobugs in Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Bubbly Breath (Bronze) – Use air bubbles in Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Time Traveller (Bronze) – Travel to the past or future in Sonic CD
  • Shut Down Metal Sonic (Bronze) – Win a race against Metal Sonic in Sonic CD
  • Beware Stingers! (Bronze) – Defeat 10 Stingers in Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Lucky Hedgehog (Bronze) – Get the Jackpot in Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Beware Rhinobots! (Bronze) – Defeat 10 Rhinobots in Sonic 3 and Knuckles
  • Easy Peasy with Shields! (Bronze) – Collect all three types of shields in Sonic 3 and Knuckles
  • Ring Collector (Bronze) – Collect a total of 1000 Rings
  • Gallant Spin Dash (Bronze) – Defeat 30 Enemies with the Spin Dash
  • Newbie Hero (Bronze) – Defeat a total of 50 Enemies
  • Museum Time (Bronze) – View a Premium Collection item from the Museum 
  • Very First Mission Clear (Bronze) – Clear 1 Mission
  • Knuckles the Echidna (Bronze) – Glide as Knuckles
  • Miles ‘Tails’ Prower (Bronze) – Fly as Tails
  • Boss Rush Attempt (Bronze) – Try the boss rush from any of the titles
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Mission Master (Silver) – Clear 10 Sonic the Hedgehog Missions with a S Rank
  • Sonic CD Mission Master (Silver) – Clear 10 Sonic CD missions with a S Rank
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Mission Master (Silver) – Clear 10 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 missions with a S Rank
  • S3 & K Mission Master (Silver) – Clear 10 Sonic 3 and Knuckles missions with a S Rank
  • To the Mirror World (Silver) – Play Mirror Mode
  • Movie Maniac (Silver) – Unlock 6 movie collection items with coins 
  • Sound Savant (Silver) – Unlock 10 sound collection items with coins
  • Art Appreciator (Silver) – Unlock 30 art collection items with coins 
  • Everyone’s Hero (Silver) – Defeat a total of 200 enemies
  • Super Sonic (Silver) – Turn into Super Sonic
  • Cleared Sonic the Hedgehog (Gold) – Clear Sonic the Hedgehog in either anniversary or classic mode
  • Cleared Sonic CD (Gold) – Clear Sonic CD in either anniversary or classic mode
  • Cleared Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Gold) – Clear Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in either anniversary or classic mode
  • Cleared Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (Gold) – Clear Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles in either anniversary or classic mode
  • All Clear! (Gold) – Clear all 4 titles!

Source: Exophase via SSMB

Footage Confirms Return of Classic Zone For Sonic Frontiers Cyberspace Stage

New footage seen from Summer Game Fest appears to confirm that Sky Sanctuary will feature as one of the Cyberspace stages in Sonic Frontiers.

New images from the show, shared by Saihati72 on twitter, appear to confirm the Sonic & Knuckles stage, revisited in Sonic Generations, through the presence of the ascending Death Egg in the background.

While the zoomed-in footage is of low resolution, the image of the Death Egg is now undeniable.

Fans have been quick to point out previously that there are many similarities to the Generations design, to the point that it appears Frontiers may be using recycled assets from the 11 year-old title.

UPDATE: Another Twitter user has shared a second video that displays the stage a little clearer in the background. Thanks to ‘JL’ via email for the news tip!

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Screenshot from @Tracker_TD via twitter.

Sonic Frontiers is 20-30 Hours Long, Will Have Different Difficulty Curve From Past Games

In an interview with IGN, Sonic Frontiers Director Morio Kishimoto talked about the game’s length and difficulty curve.

In terms of length, Kishimoto confirmed that the game would be around 20-30 hours, with full competition taking roughly double the time. Kishimoto stated that the game’s length was part of the reason they decided to make Sonic upgradeable throughout the adventure, in order to keep players invested.

Kishimoto also talked about the differences in the difficulty curve between Frontiers and past Sonic games. Specifically, Kishimoto mentioned how Sonic games typically become more difficult as they progress, and how such a curve was no longer necessary with Frontiers:

“In previous Sonic titles, we had to gradually make the stages more difficult in order to reach an amount of play time that would satisfy players. It is natural for level-based platformers to become more difficult as you progress. However, for Sonic games the problem has always been that higher difficulty can get in the way of the game’s sense of speed. In Sonic Frontiers, the Open Zone offers a lot of content already, so raising the difficulty in order to increase the play time was no longer necessary. From start to finish, we were able to maintain a sense of speed with ideal level design for a Sonic game.”

For the full interview, check out the source below.

via IGN

Sonic Frontiers Work Started in Late 2017, Has Been Developed Remotely Since 2020

In an interview with Axios, Takashi Iizuka confirmed that the team has been working on Sonic Frontiers remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic forced Japan into lockdown in 2020.

Iizuka had positive things to say about the team working remotely, noting that developers benefited from a safe working environment and that the ease of digital communication actually accelerated much of their work. Sonic Team has continued to work remotely ever since.

Iizuka has noted one negative impact of remote work, however: it’s difficult for everyone on the team to see the big picture. “If you’re just on the team, you’re kind of doing your own work,” said Iizuka, “And you don’t get to look over your shoulder at the other group doing the other work, so not everyone on the team shares the whole vision of what the game is.”

Iizuka also confirmed that development of Frontiers began as early as late 2017, as the team sought fresh ideas after hitting a wall with the old Sonic format.

Check out Iizuka’s full interview with Axios in the source below.

via Axios

Sonic Frontiers’ Open Zones to be Individual Playgrounds, Act Like a World Map, Most Puzzles Optional

The details for Sonic Frontiers have continued to pour in thanks to numerous interviews with Sonic Team, and they are shedding further light on the developer’s vision for the game.

In an interview with Axios, Takashi Iizuka described the structure of the game’s world, and why they were calling it “open zone.” Iizuka thinks the current reaction from fans stems from the simplicity of what’s been seen thus far. “This is just the first island. Maybe it’s going to feel easy. But later on, you will need [more] technical skills to get to certain places.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with IGN, game director Morio Kishimoto further elaborated on what Sonic Team is going for with this open zone design. Kishimoto described Sonic Frontiers’ open zones as a world map that is entirely playable. He elaborated:

“A playable world map that includes stage-like elements is something that hasn’t really been done before, so we had to come up with a new name. What is often defined as a World in other level-based platformers is called a Zone in Sonic games, so we took that and combined it with Open, which refers to a freely explorable field. So that’s what Open Zone stands for.”

“Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in Japan in 1988. I believe this was the first game to introduce a world map. The system has been used by countless platformers since, even to this day. A true evolution of this structure is what we see as the essence of Sonic Frontiers’ field. We wanted to provide a next-gen level-based platforming experience. But how do we evolve a level-based platformer like Sonic into this new Open Zone? That’s what Sonic Frontiers is all about.”

In essence, what is meant to separate open zones from hub worlds and world maps is that these locations are not just a way to access levels, but are filled with level elements themselves. “The Open Zone stands central in Sonic Frontiers’ gameplay, and the game’s levels exist as elements within this area. From grind rails to platform objects, loops and so on, the Open Zone is packed with the athletic action we love in Sonic games,” said Kishimoto.

One important thing that Kishimoto noted, which is likely key to Sonic Team’s approach to the game, is that this is not meant to compete with other open world games. This is still being made as a platformer, first and foremost, meant to rival the likes of Mario and Kirby.

When discussing puzzles, Kishimoto noted that most of them would be optional, as the central focus of the game was Sonic’s sense of speed. This would seem to indicate that much if what we’ve seen earned from puzzles may not be needed to complete the game. The puzzles themselves are going to be diverse, ranging from brain teasers, to tests of “action techniques,” to mini games.

Sonic Frontiers is currently scheduled to release Holiday 2022. Check out the full interviews in the source links below!

via Axios and IGN

Sonic Frontiers Gameplay Footage Shows Off More Enemies and World Level Design

A number of outlets seem to have additional gameplay footage following Sonic Frontiers’ appearance and hands-on impressions at Summer Game Fest. The footage itself looks to be samples for use with video impressions (such as NintendoEverything’s Hands-On), but the clean five minutes of footage has also surfaced (via SEGABits):

Among new views of the opening area, Sonic deals with a few more significant combat encounters that vary quite a bit. Sonic performs homing-attacks on a bipedal blade-wielding enemy, and counters its defensive move with some sort of rapid swing to get behind it.

In the following encounter, Sonic fights a towering drill enemy, breaking its lower segments and avoiding a spinning ring the enemy uses like a hammer. In both scenarios, a little white line (like some sort of spider-sense) appears to show Sonic when an enemy is about to unleash an attack. Further, both victories earn Sonic a “gear” that we’ve come to understand help unlock the more traditional stages in the game. A mysterious voice (not Amy) states “Use the gear as you have done before.”

A later encounter with a smaller enemy shows a distinct counter move, where after fighting a red ring-shaped enemy, it begins spinning like a top before Sonic deals a finishing blow with a cinematic kick.

Previously unseen world elements include platforms that elevate when you hit them with homing attack and a field full of monolith-style upright tablets. We previously saw changes in time of day and weather, but those features of the world are really highlighted here, with Sonic approaching the blade enemy as rain pools in the arena. Later, Sonic navigates floating platforms as the sun sets in the background. We’re also reintroduced to the large tower that Sonic scaled in the first IGN footage, but this time, Sonic runs further up one of the spires at the top to show off the scope of the land past distant cliffs.

Sonic Frontiers is still months away from release, and while this drip feed of info about this new play style has been frustrating, this new footage has a few small bits to be optimistic about if you’re looking for more involved combat and bizarre places to explore. Keep an eye out here on Sonic Stadium, as we’ll be rounding up the many hands-on impressions coming out of Summer Game Fest soon.

Iizuka Reveals Hopes of Using Sonic Frontiers Work Towards Future Sonic Adventure Sequel

Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka has revealed that the studio’s past work contributed to Sonic Frontiers’ ‘Open Zone’ gameplay approach – and has expressed an interest in using learnings from the upcoming title to make a new entry in the Sonic Adventure series.

Continue reading Iizuka Reveals Hopes of Using Sonic Frontiers Work Towards Future Sonic Adventure Sequel

Some Sonic 3 Levels in Sonic Origins Will Have Different Music, Composed by Jun Senoue

Today’s Sonic Official on YouTube confirmed a long-standing concern about Sonic 3’s soundtrack in Sonic Origins. During the stream, Katie Chrzanowski, social media manager for SEGA, notes that the game will not have all the game’s original tracks. Instead, the game will have new original-hardware adaptations of the songs composed by Jun Senoue.

I know one question that we’ve seen over and over is, what is the situation on the music in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. So, while unfortunately we can’t use all of the original sounds from the SEGA Genesis version of the game, Jun Senoue’s been working really hard to adapt the original music that was composed in 1993 for Sonic Origins, and he’s been going so far as reproducing it with the same soundchip as the SEGA Genesis and using is own digital audio tape collection to make this, like, as faithful to the originals as possible.

Katie Chrzanowski, Sonic Official, Season 6 Episode 3, about 36:00

Sonic 3 has long had issues with re-releases due to music contributed by Michael Jackson and Brad Buxer. This includes Carnival Night Zone, Ice Cap Zone, Launch Base Zone, the Multiplayer menu, the Sonic 3 Act 1 boss music, and the Staff Roll. Unreleased beta versions of Sonic 3, as well as the 1997 Windows PC version of the game, used significantly different compositions in place of the tracks.

While it’s a shame that we won’t be hearing the iconic sounds of Ice Cap once again, it’s definitely encouraging that we’ll be getting new versions of the alternate songs from Senoue, who contributed to the original soundtracks of both Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Though if you’re really itching for those original sounds… probably a good idea to keep an eye out on the modding scene after it launches.

Brad Buxer Clarifies Details of Sonic 3 Soundtrack Development in New Interview

The mystery surrounding Sonic the Hedgehog 3’s soundtrack – and Michael Jackson’s involvement – has once again been thrown into the air thanks to a recent interview with Sonic 3 co-composer and Jackson’s longtime collaborator Brad Buxer.

Continue reading Brad Buxer Clarifies Details of Sonic 3 Soundtrack Development in New Interview

IGN Confirms Skill Trees, Storylines, Linear Levels and More in a Positive Hands-On Preview

We finally got a bunch of new Sonic Frontiers details today, but…not from the place we were expecting. While today’s Sonic Central gave us a brief look at a single boss, IGN’s hands-on of Sonic Frontiers has finally given us an idea of what the game will actually be.

First of all, the impressions themselves: the previewer, Mitchell Saltzman, said he played the game for about four hours. He was mostly pretty positive about his experience, saying “This early build answered the one question I had on my mind: will Sonic’s one-of-a-kind game play translate to an open world? The answer is a resounding absolutely.” He did encounter a lot of pop-in, however, and also noted that there were still bugs that needed to be quashed, though he also pointed out that this was all from an early build of the game. The large bosses were the roughest part of his experience: he was thrown off the boss’s arms far too often, and sometimes didn’t have enough momentum to actually attack the boss’s head despite reaching the top.

In addition to his hands-on impressions, we also got a lot of details on the game itself. The game’s story starts with Sonic, Tails and Amy being sucked through a wormhole. Sonic then finds himself alone on a mysterious island. Sonic’s only companion appears to be an AI voice, which tells Sonic to gather the chaos emeralds. According to Saltzman, Sonic Team is intentionally going for a “mysterious mood.”

Smaller, linear, more traditional bite-sized levels were also confirmed. These levels are accessed by obtaining “portal gears,” which are dropped by the game’s giant bosses. The levels have optional goals, including collecting red rings and beating them within a certain time limit. Completing these goals will earn players “vault keys,” which are needed to unlock the chaos emeralds. Yes, this does appear to be details on Frontiers’ game play loop! Saltzman elaborated on this via Twitter, stating “The flow of the game is basically: Explore open world > solve puzzles to open up map > find collectibles to improve stats > fight world bosses to earn portal gears > use portal gears to unlock linear Sonic levels > complete linear Sonic levels to unlock chaos emeralds.”

Finally, Saltzman also went into detail on the game’s combat. We got a name for that move where Sonic runs around enemies (the cyloop), and we now know that Sonic can also perform dodges and parries. Many of the enemies can be defeated in a variety of ways. In the example he gave, he stated one enemy could either be attacked when it left itself open to attack, or Sonic could create an opening by either using the parry or his cyloop move. He also confirmed that the game will have a exp and a skill tree. When talking about the skill tree specifically, he said the game had a nice sense of power progression, even during the four hours he had with it.

You can watch IGN’s hands-on impressions below:

A Tails Costume Is Coming To Fall Guys In August

One of the more smaller details from the Sonic Central video presentation was news in regards to a Fall Guys collaboration. Sonic and Knuckles costumes have already been in the game before, so that isn’t new. What is new is that a Tails costume is on the way.

The strange thing is that, despite gameplay footage of the Fall Guys collaboration being shown, the Sonic Central broadcast did not show the Tails Costume whatsoever. Nevertheless, if you haven’t tried out the Sonic Fall Guys content yet, now may be a good time. You’ll be able to check it all out this August.

Via IGN

New Boss Highlighted in Sonic Frontiers Gameplay Reveal

Today’s Sonic Central gave us a look at another one of the game’s massive bosses, which is giving off serious Starlight Carnival vibes. This new boss appears to move through the environment, leaving a path made out of energy in its wake. Eventually the path becomes an arena.

You can check out the 30 seconds of footage below:

Sonic Frontiers to Receive Animated Prologue Starring Knuckles

SEGA’s long running series of animated Sonic shorts is set to continue with a new Sonic Frontiers animated special, Sonic Frontiers Prologue. Set before the events of the game, the special will focus on Knuckles. The sneak peak, shown during today’s Sonic Central broadcast, show’s Knuckles standing stoically in front of the Master Emerald during a rain storm. Check out a screenshot of it below:

Nothing else is currently known, but Ian Flynn did hint that something he is involved in would be shown, so it seems quite likely he wrote the script for this. We’ll update this article when the status of his involvement is known.

Super Shadow, Mephiles Coming to Sonic Forces Mobile, Sir Percival Heading to Sonic Dash

We’ve just been hit with a flurry of mobile Sonic game news thanks to today’s Sonic Central livestream! There are several updates coming to two of SEGA Hardlight’s key titles, Sonic Forces and Sonic Dash, including the arrival of Super Shadow and Mephiles as playable characters.

Continue reading Super Shadow, Mephiles Coming to Sonic Forces Mobile, Sir Percival Heading to Sonic Dash

SEGA Expands Roblox Collab With New Sonic Speed Simulator Stage and Exclusive Chao Collectible

It’s not been long since Sonic was officially inserted into Roblox thanks to a special collaboration between SEGA and Gamefam Studios, but already we’re getting more. Announced at the Sonic Central livestream was a new stage for Sonic Speed Simulator – Chemical Plant – alongside a special bonus Chao collectible.

Continue reading SEGA Expands Roblox Collab With New Sonic Speed Simulator Stage and Exclusive Chao Collectible

Sonic Frontiers Gameplay Impressions

So, Sonic Frontiers gameplay has finally been unveiled, thanks to two videos this week that outlined two key concepts; exploration of the open world, and advanced combat techniques. Now that we’d had a chance to digest and absorb all the information, our gut reaction is… we didn’t… hate it?

Continue reading Sonic Frontiers Gameplay Impressions

Sonic Readies for Fisticuffs in the latest Sonic Frontiers Footage

After Wednesday’s world navigation trailer, today’s new gameplay footage from IGN First shows off Sonic Frontiers’ combat mechanics:

Much like the previous gameplay reveal, the video is entirely show-don’t-tell. Sonic performs homing attack combos on a robot made of several balls, uses his new updraft ability to remove the armor of another baddy before attacking, and shows off a ranged air-kick move that looks right out of anime. Even the sidestep, a move previous Sonic games used to setup quick lane changes in long corridors, has some combat dodging potential here.

The enemy designs have bizarre and varying designs, from bipedal robots that turn into spears, to weird legged stalks with a heavy armor ring around them, to the massive three-armed pillar teased last year. Different enemies are susceptible to specific attacks, and to ascend a titan, Sonic used an updraft around one of its legs to throw it off balance, and needed to wall-run using only blue boost gates and avoiding red ones. Upon reaching the top, Sonic attacks giant spikes on its head to destroy its arms.

While we still have very little context around the game’s upgrade system, rewards for combat, and even its basic premise, today shows off a few new moves added to Sonic’s modern moveset and more variety in combat than previous combat-heavy Sonic games had. Here’s hoping the rest of June brings further revelations on Frontiers mechanics and mysteries.

Teaser Shows First Sonic Frontiers Gameplay, More Details Coming Through June

Wait, what? SEGA dropped the first gameplay video for Sonic Frontiers today, seemingly out of nowhere. The 30-second teaser finally gives us our first glimpse of what an “Open Zone” Sonic looks like and notes more details are coming throughout June on IGN.

Continue reading Teaser Shows First Sonic Frontiers Gameplay, More Details Coming Through June

Sonic Origins File Sizes Revealed

We’re less than a month out from Sonic Origins’ release, so the final details are now being added to some of the game’s storefronts. Specifically, we now have file size listed on both the Nintendo eShop and Xbox storefronts. Unfortunately, different sizes are listed in different places, which has made reporting on this messier than it really ought to be.

Over at Xbox, both versions of the game are listed at 6 gigs on the Xbox website. If that seems a bit big, that’s because it is: Sonic Mania’s size was less than 400MB, so this is a massive increase in size over that. If you check out the game’s listing on an actual Xbox One X, however, the game’s size is listed as a mere 324.89 MB.

Meanwhile, over at Nintendo’s website, we also have different sizes…between the different versions of the game. The standard version is listed at 3.6 gigs, while the Digital Deluxe version apparently has a size of 7.8 gigs. Finally, we have the game’s Switch eShop listings, which have the standard version at 3.5 gigs and the Digital Deluxe version at 3.8 gigs.

Given the version differences, that difference in download sizes seems a bit…extreme.

Obviously, they can’t all be right. In all likelihood, this will be corrected by the time the game comes out next month.

Sonic 2006 Makes Surprise Re-Appearance on Xbox 360 Marketplace

Everyone’s favourite Iblis Trigger Disaster, Sonic The Hedgehog (2006), has made a surprise re-appearance on the old Xbox 360 Marketplace game store. It’s not forwards-compatible with Series X/S consoles yet, but it’s dirt cheap so get it while it’s here!

Continue reading Sonic 2006 Makes Surprise Re-Appearance on Xbox 360 Marketplace

Sonic Origins Video Shows Off Drop Dash, Missions & Other Features

UPDATE: We now have confirmation that this video is 100% official, and was posted on the official Korean Sonic the Hedgehog Facebook page.

While we don’t quite know this video’s origin, we do know this Korean language version gameplay video shows off some significant features in Sonic Origins the reveal trailer didn’t share:

We are marking this as rumor purely because it isn’t through official or confirmable sources at this time, but every other aspect of this looks pretty authentic. Treat this as we have high confidence but not 100% confidence in this. The button layout in the videos use ABXY, so the footage itself was taken from a Switch, an Xbox, or a PC.

While those who have played the other Retro/Star Engine ports will be quite familiar with some of these features, this gives a very brief overview of ones not present in the original 16-bit releases, including the Drop Dash and Super Sonic in Sonic 1, Tails as Knuckles’ sidekick in Sonic 2, and the prototype Hidden Palace stage connected to Mystic Cave.

Further, the video shows off a bit of the game’s interface, including Missions. In one, the player has to collect 50 rings in 50 seconds as Tails in Palmtree Panic, and another puts Super Sonic in Metropolis with a similar goal (but with the challenge of your rings being slowly depleted). In both cases, the stages are modified from their original 16-bit versions, changing formations of platforms, rings, and blocks. The rank letter in the top corner (shown in previous official screenshots) updates in real time, letting you know how well you’re performing.

If those bonus missions or getting to team Knuckles with Tails on a console platform gets you excited, Sonic Origins releases June 23 with these and many other announced features.

Thanks to Indigo Rush on the forums for the tip.

RUMOR: Sonic Frontiers To Appear At Summer Game Fest, June 9?

Today, in an announcement that the event will be partnering with IMAX, Summer Game Fest released a brief compilation trailer featuring a number of upcoming and released games. Among them was Sonic Frontiers, but before anybody gets too excited, no, it isn’t new footage:

At this time, we don’t exactly know if this is being shown as a confirmation of some games that will be there or to highlight games previously part of the Game Awards/Summer Game Fest ecosystem, so for the time being, we’re reporting this as rumor until we hear explicitly that it will be present. Other games shown in it include the already-released Elden Ring and Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, as well as the yet-unreleased One Piece Odyssey.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, June 9 at 11 AM PT, 2 PM ET, and 6PM GMT, and will be available streaming and in IMAX theaters in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada.

This is the second time Frontiers has been given a significant spotlight within the broad Keighley-sphere. Late in 2021, The Game Awards premiered a teaser trailer that partially revealed the open world nature of the game alongside a trailer for Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2. SEGA’s remained tight-lipped on the game (despite a handful of leaks), and we’ve yet to see any actual gameplay footage of the Holiday 2022 title. Sonic’s presence at Summer Game Fest should hopefully clear up a few more lingering questions about the title.

Thanks to Dodger24848 for the news tip!

How the Xbox Series S/X Redeems Sonic Unleashed (Sort of)

For as polished as Sonic Unleashed’s graphics are, its biggest visual flaw is its framerate. The Xbox 360 version played at a mostly steady 24-30 (capped) FPS, while the PS3 version was worse for wear despite an uncapped framerate that would bring the game up to 48FPS on occasion, but dropping to 24FPS or below ruining the flow of the game.

In many ways, the game’s graphic-intensive “Hedgehog Engine” was a bit too ahead of its time. It couldn’t keep a steady 30 FPS on the most powerful system of that era. It would take 2011’s Sonic Generations to iron the kinks out. While the Werehog levels weren’t affected too much by the framerate, several daytime Sonic levels dropped frames horribly. Jungle Joyride became a slideshow at times. Now, in 2022, Sonic Unleashed’s full potential has been unlocked thanks to the Boost Mode on the Xbox Series S/X, bringing the game to a steady 60 FPS.

To me, this brought the game from a guilty pleasure to a legitimately good Sonic title. Sonic’s daytime levels run as smooth as silk, giving you better handling and control. Even the Werehog levels feel less cumbersome as Sonic now feels faster and more responsive. There seems to be less blur as well. The high framerate allows for a faster response time. I can honestly say I was actually enjoying the Werehog levels for a change.

That doesn’t mean the game’s old flaws aren’t still present. Medal collecting near the end game is still soul-crushing, the Werehog levels are still a bit too long, and having the camera suddenly change position when you’re balancing across a steel beam is still as irritating as ever. That said, if you love this style of Sonic gameplay, it’s never looked or played better than it does on Series S/X.

The Series S/X boost mode also improves other Sonic titles as well. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed gets a 60 FPS boost, and Sonic Generations runs at both 4K resolution and 60FPS.

To see Sonic Unleashed in action on the Series S/X, check out our gameplay video below.

Classic Sonic Games Getting Delisted Across Xbox, PlayStation and Steam Next Month

If you wanted any of those older digital releases of Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knckles, and CD, you might want to get them soon, because most of them are getting delisted on May 20. This news comes via a press release from SEGA, which confirmed the delisting of these games across all platforms outside of the Nintendo Switch and mobile.

Specifically, every individually released version of Sonic 1, 2, 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic CD are all getting delisted from Steam, Xbox, Playstation 3 and Playstation Now. The SEGA AGES releases of Sonic 1 and 2 on Switch will remain, as will Sonic 1, 2 and CD on iOS and Android. The 3DS releases have yet to be specified, but with that digital service ending next year they likely aren’t bothering with it.

Sonic Channel released a somewhat more detailed list of what was being delisted, though while they say Sonic CD will be among the games getting delisted, it’s not on the list. This is likely just an oversight. You can find that here.

Sonic Spinball (and Other Genesis Classics) Join Switch Online Expansion

If you’ve shelled out for the Switch Online Expansion Pack for the bonus retro games, Sonic Spinball, Shining Force II, and Space Harrier II have been added to the Genesis app. To coincide with this update, Nintendo released a brief gameplay sample of each:

There have been plenty of collections and re-releases of these games, but let’s be real, the true hero of these releases is the rewind. Sonic Spinball is hard. It’s not very long, no, but have you ever made it to that final stage? It’s absolutely insane. So if you’re already invested in the pack, why not just boot it up and cheat your heart out? I won’t hold it against you.

Flynn and Hesse Involved in Sonic Origins’ “Story Mode”

We still don’t know a whole lot about Sonic Origins’ touted “Story Mode,” but we do know both Ian Flynn and Tyson Hesse are involved with the animated sequences. Flynn confirmed his contribution on the BumbleKing blog today:

#KnowingSmile finally revealed! I had the extreme pleasure of writing the scripts for the animated scenes for the new Story Mode in Sonic Origins!

I hope you enjoy when the collection is released June 23rd, 2022.

BumbleKing blog post, Apr. 20, 2022

We don’t quite know what “writing” entails here, considering that most recent iterations of Classic Sonic have all been silent. It is possible that there could be some amount of dialog, or that Flynn developed the context and events of the scenes prior to Powerhouse animating.

At roughly the same time, Hesse also confirmed that he worked with Powerhouse for Origins, promising that there’s more animation in the game beyond the bits we saw in the trailer:

With Flynn contributing to Sonic Prime and writing for both Sonic Origins and Sonic Frontiers, and Hesse leading Sonic’s design in both Paramount movies, the two are quickly becoming significant figures beyond the Sonic comics, and into the franchise as a whole.

Sonic Origins Trailer Theme Available on Hyper Potions’ YouTube

If you were tapping your toe during the Sonic Origins trailer, then do I have good news for you! The Hyper Potions have released the full clean version of it to YouTube for your listening pleasure:

This is the latest of many collaborations between SEGA and Hyper Potions, from the iconic “Friends” and “Time Trials” themes in Sonic Mania, to the theme of the Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania trailer, to multiple remixes in Team Sonic Racing.

Many of their previous collaboration tracks are available on digital music storefronts such as Amazon and iTunes. Here’s hoping this Origins theme joins the others soon!

Sonic Origins Trailer, Prices, Animation, & Extras Officially Revealed

After the past few days of leaks around the edges, the official Sonic YouTube channel has revealed the trailer for Sonic Origins. The game will be released on June 23, and will hit all major platforms (Switch/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Series X|S/Epic/Steam). Gematsu reports the game to launch at $39.99 for the standard edition, and $44.99 for Digital Deluxe (more on that below).

UPDATE: The game’s official website states that Spain, France, Germany, and Italy will be getting the game on the 12th whenever you change the language. Seems that all dates have been changed to June 23rd now. Thanks to alexizaki for the news tip!

The trailer features gorgeous animation in a similar style to the Sonic Mania animated sequences and explicitly promising even more animation. The trailer also confirms the replacement of Lives with a “Medallion” system in the game’s Anniversary mode (as you’ll notice in the UI).

The game will include features both within and beyond previous HD remakes of the games, such as the ability to play as Tails and Knuckles in other games (with the exception that Knuckles won’t be in CD, per Famitsu), and the Hidden Palace boss from the Sonic 2 iOS/Android remake.

Famitsu reports further special features in the game, such as a Boss Rush mode, a “Mirror Mode” that flips the entire stage left to right, a “story mode” (unclear if this just refers to the animation sequences, or if it actually connects the four games), a mission mode, a museum collection, and leaderboards. We don’t know much about the Mission mode yet, however screenshots of it show off a menu with the Veg-O-Fortress from Sonic Spinball, and a screenshot of Knuckles in S&K’s Death Egg Zone (which he normally does not appear in) with a unique level layout, a timer, and a letter grade.

Following Sega’s recent releases, Origins will have a “Digital Deluxe” version, which is set to include an additional 11 “hard” missions, 73 extra music tracks in the museum from other Genesis and 32X games, bonus menu animations, 10 Classic mode backgrounds for the letterbox, and an “Island Camera.”

Gematsu confirms these Digital Deluxe features will also be available as DLC under the “Premium Fun Pack” at $3.99, with further music tracks available via the “Premium & Classic Sound Pack” for $3.99. Pre-orders will also get a “Start Dash Pack” unlocking Mirror mode, a Mega Drive background for Classic mode, and 100 coins.

Be sure to stay with us as further details unfold.