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”.

Capcom Announces Sonic the Hedgehog Collaboration for Monster Hunter Rise

The Sonic 30th Anniversary collaborations just won’t stop! During today’s Tokyo Game Show broadcast, Capcom announced that it will be partnering with SEGA to develop some special content for its beast-slaying game Monster Hunter Rise.

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Sonic Colors Ultimate Gets its First Major Patch, Removes “Rainbow Glitch”

After reports of some bugs ranging from harmless to potentially seizure-inducing, SEGA and Blind Squirrel Entertainment began work on fixing up Sonic Colors Ultimate. The first patch has just dropped, and it’s made experiencing the game much safer for photosensitive players.

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SEGA “Listening” to Sonic Colours Ultimate Feedback, Further Patches Confirmed

While we had a fantastic time with Sonic Colours Ultimate on PS4, it seems that a number of fans have had trouble enjoying the game due to a range of bugs, glitches and crashes. Last night, SEGA reps confirmed that the teams behind the remaster are listening to the online feedback and will be ‘assessing’ the details for an upcoming patch.

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Strange Sonic Colors Ultimate Glitch is Real, and Makes Colors a Little Too Bright

It looks like Sonic Colors Ultimate is having a bit of a rocky launch. Though we have had a rather pleasant experience with it so far, the Sonic community has been finding and documenting numerous glitches within the game, both large and small. We’ve experienced a few of these smaller glitches, as Dreadknux noted in his review, but there’s been a particularly bad Nintendo Switch glitch that has been garnering lots of attention and controversy.

The controversy stems from allegations that these glitches are being faked in Yuzu, a Nintendo Switch emulator. While that certainly has been true for a few, the most notable Switch glitch (which I like to call the “rainbow Sonic” glitch) is most definitely real, and I have just been able to confirm it.

So how is this glitch activated? It requires a few steps. Firstly, all six worlds need to be unlocked. Secondly, the player has to enter and immediately exit a minimum of four separate worlds. The glitch gets worse when this is done six times. From there, playing any stage appears to activate the glitch. After completing or exiting a stage, the glitch appears to immediately deactivate, and the second step needs to be redone to reactivate it.

If you suffer from epileptic seizures, we do NOT recommend doing this, as lots of flashing lights can be involved. If you don’t, the experience can be…trippy. Characters can glow bright colors, Sonic’s model can be swapped with a shark torpedo badnik, graphics can disappear and become corrupted. Some speculate that it could be a memory leak, though no one at Sonic Stadium has the expertise to say that with confidence.

We’re not linking to a video right now, but this should give you an idea of what it’s like.

What we can say, is that it appears to be a glitch that is difficult to activate by accident. Four people on our staff have access to the Switch version, and none of us have come across it by accident. I had to follow instructions online to activate it.

You should be able to exit and enter a world up to three times without activating the glitch. The Switch this was tested on was a launch model, and was downloaded onto a SanDisk Ultra 10 speed SD card. We haven’t tested it on the Switch’s internal memory as of this writing.

Sonic community Manager MiniKitty has confirmed that a patch is in the works, and that the development team is listening to feedback while assessing it. Hopefully, this glitch will be among the ones addressed.

Sonic Colors Ultimate’s Red Star Rings Aren’t Where You Might Remember

Sonic Colors Ultimate, which becomes available to anyone who bought the digital deluxe copy today, brings a lot of changes big and small to the classic Wii game. One change we are only just now finding out about comes from the locations of the red star rings, the original game’s primary (optional) collectible. So anyone who thought they’d be able to rely on memory or old guides to collect them all will need to do it the old fashioned way for a bit! While many rings are where they used to be, others have been moved, and replaced with park tokens.

This was something I personally came to realize just a few hours ago, while trying to collect them all from Planet Wisp Act 2. A few had been moved around, including the final one, which now requires the Jade Ghost wisp to access.

The red star rings are required to unlock levels in Game Land, which is a set of additional levels that can be played in single player or co-op. Beating these levels is how you unlock Super Sonic. We’ve got more Sonic Colors Ultimate content coming down the pipe, so stay tuned to Sonic Stadium!

Sonic Colours Ultimate: The Achievement / Trophy Guide

We’ve been playing Sonic Colours Ultimate for a few days now, and we’ve slowly been working our way through the Achievements/Trophy list within. We can reveal the list of meta-challenges that you can expect to find on your PC, PlayStation or Xbox copy of the game. We will update this post with guides and tips on how to unlock them as well.

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Sonic Colors Ultimate Music Heading to Tokyo Game Show

The Tokyo Game Show will be holding a concert featuring video game music called “Tokyo Game Show FES” to commemorate its 25th anniversary, and Sonic Colors Ultimate will be among the games featured.

The Sonic Colors Ultimate portion of the concert will take place at Stage 01 at 5:00 PM JST on October 2.

TSS Review: Sonic Colours Ultimate

It’s crazy to think that one of the best Sonic the Hedgehog games has been sat in console purgatory for over ten years, locked to (and in way, limited by) Nintendo’s Wii hardware. As a result, Sonic Colours has been in a strange sphere of existence in the eyes of Sonic fans; a game that many haven’t played, most definitely want to play but at the same time is seen as some sort of aberration in the series – most likely because of its graphical performance compared to competing consoles PS3 and Xbox 360 at the time.

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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.

SEGA Releases Sonic Colors Web Comic UPDATE: Now in English!

It looks like Sonic Colors Ultimate is getting more than just a web series: Sonic’s Japanese Twitter account has released a three page web comic! At the moment, the comic is only available in Japanese, but Kazuyuki Hoshino has confirmed that an English translation will be released soon. This web comic is considered “episode 1,” so there will be more.

We’ll be sure to update this post with the English translation when it becomes available! Until then, check out the web comic below:

UPDATE: We’ve now got English pages!

Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps Part 2 Out Now!

The second half of SEGA’s Sonic Colors short, Rise of the Wisps, is now out on YouTube. The short voice work from Roger Craig Smith and Kate Higgins, and writing from Tyson Hesse and GGDG. It was animated by Yeti Farm Creative.

Check it out on YouTube here, or watch it below:

SEGA Superstars Character Models Have Been Extracted After 17 Years

Community modder ‘Bluwolfboy’ has shared a number of new models that have been extracted from the PS2 EyeToy game SEGA Superstars. The models themselves will be released later today, according to the dataminer, but in the meantime they have posted some images of Sonic, Shadow (both in regular and Super forms) as well as Billy Hatcher.

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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.

Long-Lost High Quality ‘Sonic and the Secret Rings’ Gameplay Videos From 2006 Re-Discovered

E3 2006 was a crazy-exciting time for Sonic for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest was the blue blur’s first run on Nintendo’s Wii console. Sonic and the Secret Rings was an interesting new style of platformer, and so there was a lot of interest in its reveal. Now, we’ve managed to find some long-lost videos of the game’s first-ever gameplay from E3 2006 – check them out!

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Sonic Adventure Zeebo Port Mystery Finally Solved – Why Was It Cancelled?

Remember the Zeebo? A small console produced by longtime SEGA partner Tectoy released for the Brasilian market over a decade ago, the smartphone-in-a-box was originally planned to have a number of Dreamcast ports launch with the device, including Sonic Adventure. But the blue blur never ended up appearing on the console, and recently we found out why.

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Sonic & Tails Roll Into New Super Monkey Ball Trailer

We already saw this coming, but we now have official footage of Sonic and Tails in Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, celebrating both Monkey Ball’s 20th anniversary and Sonic’s 30th!

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TSS Interviews: SEGA Speaks On The Intense Work Improving Sonic Colours

The critically-acclaimed Sonic Colours is getting a fresh chance to Wispon its way to hearts old and new with a remaster hitting modern platforms later this year. This time, the game will be free from strictly-Nintendo hardware, appearing on PlayStation and Xbox consoles as well as the Switch, and on PC to boot. For SEGA producers Aaron Roseman and Calvin Vu, this presents an opportunity to introduce the fanbase to a game that may have passed them by when it was originally released exclusively on the Wii in 2010. But it also presented a hefty challenge.

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TSS Previews: Sonic Colours Ultimate Feels More Right Than Ever Before

Ah, Sonic Colours. How we’ve missed you. When it arrived on Nintendo Wii in 2010, it offered a real breath of fresh air for the Sonic franchise; we were turning a corner from all the doom and gloom of previous games and were heading straight for a vibrant, punchy new platformer with environments, enemies, music and gimmicks that felt much closer to the spirit of the original Mega Drive titles than any 3D Sonic game that came before it.

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Jun Senoue Joins Roster of Remixers For Sonic Colors Ultimate

The Sonic the Hedgehog social media channels today announced that Sonic Sound Director Jun Senoue will be joining the cohort of composers involved in reworking tracks for the soundtrack of Sonic Colors Ultimate!

A sample of one of Senoue-san’s hard-hitting remixes, “Vs. Rotatatron & Refreshinator), was also shared on Youtube, which you can listen to below!

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania’s New Trailer Contains A Speedy Blue Teaser

Did you check out the new Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania trailer that SEGA released today? If so, you may have noticed an interesting teaser at the end of it. And it features a familiar face we know all too well.

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Picross S: Mega Drive & Master System Edition Launches August 5 on Nintendo Switch

Finally, after many months of waiting, we have a release date for the SEGA-fied version of one of the greatest puzzle games ever, Picross S. The digital-only title, fully known as Picross S: Mega Drive (or Genesis) & Mark III (or Master System) Edition, will launch exclusively on Nintendo Switch on August 5.

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Happy Japanese 30th Anniversary, Sonic the Hedgehog!

Did you know that Sonic the Hedgehog technically has TWO anniversaries? That’s right – even though SEGA’s blue blur first landed on the Mega Drive and Genesis on June 23rd, 1991, that was only in Europe and North America. In Japan, the original Mega Drive release of Sonic the Hedgehog was a month later, on July 26. That makes today Sonic’s official 30th Anniversary in his creators’ homeland!

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