Sega 3D Archives 3: Final Stage revealed for 3DS in Japan (includes Sonic 2)

Sega 3D Archives 3 Final Stage Article Preview

Just like the first two before it, Sega have announced via the Japanese magazine Famitsu that they will release a 3rd retail compilation of the 3D Classics games on 3DS. So far we only know of five games (all of which are already on the eShop) and will only be released in Japan at the moment. See the list of games below.

Continue reading Sega 3D Archives 3: Final Stage revealed for 3DS in Japan (includes Sonic 2)

Mutant Mudds developer wants to bring Sonic Mania to 3DS

While Sonic Mania has only been announced for PS4, Xbox One, and PC so far, that doesn’t mean that some other developers in the industry wouldn’t mind bringing the game to other systems. One such developer is interested in doing a 3DS version of the game.

Continue reading Mutant Mudds developer wants to bring Sonic Mania to 3DS

Sonic sale live in NA on both the Wii U and 3DS eShop

Today in this week’s NA Nintendo Downloads PR, it was announced that various Sonic games are on sale on the NA eShop on both Wii U and 3DS, and there’s quite a few games to choose from. You can view the entire list below.

Continue reading Sonic sale live in NA on both the Wii U and 3DS eShop

E3 2016: Sonic Boom Fire & Ice Preview, Jason’s Take

“A delayed game is eventually good. A bad game is bad forever.” – Shigeru Miyamoto

While these words aren’t necessarily true (just look at Duke Nukem Forever), a delayed game with the purpose of fixing it’s issues can only make a better game. Such seems to be the case with Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. A game originally scheduled for November 2015 that looked like it might be just a slight improvement over the original, but nothing major. Fast forward 8 months later and lo and behold, we seem to have a pretty good game on our hands. Continue reading E3 2016: Sonic Boom Fire & Ice Preview, Jason’s Take

E3 2016: Sonic Boom Fire & Ice Preview, Alex’s Take

I didn’t care for Shattered Crystal back at E3 2014. Between the maze-like level design and clunky character switching, the game left me frustrated by the end of my 20+ minute play through of a single level of the game. My opinion of the game improved somewhat when it was finally released, but many of the issues I had with it remained. If Fire & Ice’s E3 demo is any indication, Sanzaru has learned a lot from their last game’s mistakes. Continue reading E3 2016: Sonic Boom Fire & Ice Preview, Alex’s Take

E3 2016: Interview With Aaron Webber

Yesterday, I sat down in a quiet location of E3 with the master of memes himself, Aaron Webber. We discussed a little bit of Sonic Revolution, Sonic in Lego Dimensions, but mostly Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. You’ll hear about improvements made due to the delay, the trailer cutscene, the length of the game and much, more! So please watch and enjoy. Continue reading E3 2016: Interview With Aaron Webber

Mystery of New Animation in Sonic Boom Fire and Ice Solved

You may have seen the new Sonic Boom Fire and Ice E3 trailer and seen a brand new cartoon scene mixed in with cuts from the first season. Many speculated that this new spot consisting of Sonic and Amy using teamwork together was from the “totally not confirmed” second season. Not so! Continue reading Mystery of New Animation in Sonic Boom Fire and Ice Solved

Sonic Generations (3DS) and more are on sale on the NA Wii U and 3DS eShop

Nintendo today released the PR of their weekly NA eShop update. Among the releases of this week’s games and weekly sales, was the news of four Sonic games being discounted on both the Wii U and 3DS eShop. Games and prices are below. Continue reading Sonic Generations (3DS) and more are on sale on the NA Wii U and 3DS eShop

TSS Review: Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (3DS)

The biannual bash of gaming’s top titans is here again and it’s a far more enjoyable fare than a certain recent movie featuring two other huge fictional rivals. Mario and Sonic return to the Olympics with their biggest roster ever and a surprisingly meaty single-player experience. However, with this being the fifth outing for this mascot sports series, is it too much of the “same-old, same-old”, or is there enough meat in the portable outing to be worth a purchase? Continue reading TSS Review: Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (3DS)

Sonic 2’s Special Stages Return in Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice

A listing for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice over at Play-Asia has revealed some new details about the game both in terms of plot and gameplay. First, the game will have only 4 bosses, there are also six exploration-based levels and bonus stages similar to those found in Sonic 2. Continue reading Sonic 2’s Special Stages Return in Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice

Nintendo Releasing Series of live-action videos for M&S Rio 2016

Here’s a familiar sight. Nintendo has uploaded to their Play Nintendo YouTube page the first episode of a live-action series of videos about Mario and Sonic training for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The first episode is titled “Training for Rio!”, and it focuses on the 3DS version which released today in North America. Continue reading Nintendo Releasing Series of live-action videos for M&S Rio 2016

New Overview Trailer for Mario & Sonic Rio 2016 3DS

Coinciding with the game’s US release today, Nintendo have uploaded a brand new overview trailer for the 3DS version of Mario and Sonic’s latest Olympic crossover. The trailer shows off a selection of the events on offer, from soccer and golf to athletics and gymnastics. There’s also a peek at some of the game’s Dream Events, which add a Mario or Sonic spin on the traditional sports. Continue reading New Overview Trailer for Mario & Sonic Rio 2016 3DS

Mario & Sonic Rio 2016 launches 8th April in Europe

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Just announced via Nintendo of Europe’s official Twitter page, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be hitting European store shelves in a couple of months on Friday 8th April. Starring gaming’s two biggest icons in their fifth sporting crossover since 2007, the new game in the best-selling franchise promises more characters, more events, and more fun than ever before.

This follows the recent announcement from Nintendo of America that Mario & Sonic’s latest Olympic face-off would be arriving across the pond on 18th March, a few weeks prior to the newly announced European release date.

Please note both of these dates are only for the 3DS version of the game, with the Wii U version following later in the year – presumably to coincide with the launch of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games themselves. We’ll keep you posted as soon as an official date is revealed.

Are you excited to see Mario & Sonic in Rio? Will you be picking up the 3DS version on 18th March or 8th April, depending on your region? Let us know in the comments!

Tons of Tails & Knuckles Mii Fighter Screenshots for Smash Bros Wii U/3DS

Super Smash Bros. & Knuckles... & Knuckles... & Knuckles...
Super Smash Bros. & Knuckles… & Knuckles… & Knuckles…

As revealed yesterday, the eagerly anticipated Tails Mii Gunner costume and Knuckles Mii Brawler costume are arriving in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS later this week (specifically, Wednesday in the US/Japan and Thursday in Europe). To celebrate, Nintendo has released a whole smorgasbord of delightful new screenshots showing off the two new Sonic themed outfits in action!

Check out the gallery of Wii U and 3DS screens below to get a taste of how Sonic’s two best buddies will look when they square off against gaming’s biggest icons in Nintendo’s all-star brawler:

Each costume will individually cost €0.79/£0.69 to download for one version of the game, or €1.19/£1.09 for both the Wii U and 3DS versions.

Will you be downloading either the Tails or Knuckles costumes (or both!) later this week for a true Super Smash Sonic Heroes showdown? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Update: Mario & Sonic At Rio 3DS Releases March 18th

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UPDATE: Nintendo have confirmed via Facebook, that the Wii U version is still in development and will release later this year.

Original Story: Just announced via Nintendo of America’s twitter account, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is due to be released on March 18th in North America.

Oddly, this is for the 3DS version of the game, no details were given regarding the Wii U version, as of yet no information regarding the EU release date has been given either.

Source: NOA Twitter.

Tails Can’t Handle This 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Credits Sequence

One of the things we’ve loved about the Nintendo 3DS SEGA re-releases is just how much time and care has been placed into every title. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is no exception, having recently landed on the Japanese eShop. It’s all down to developer M2, whose efforts clearly show that they care about the games they’re looking after. This is no more apparent than in this quirky credits sequence for Sonic 2. Continue reading Tails Can’t Handle This 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Credits Sequence

TSS @ E3: Hands On Yuji Naka’s Rodea the Sky Soldier

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As someone who covers Sonic news and previews for Sonic Stadium, this has been one of the worst E3’s ever for Sonic news. Despite Sonic Boom : Fire and Ice and Mario and Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympics coming soon, neither of them were on the show floor. The closest things to Sonic games at E3 are Freedom Planet (a preview is available for a limited time on the Nintendo E-Shop) and Rodea the Sky Soldier. A game designed by Yuji Naka and published by NIS America.

Rodea the Sky Soldier is an action platform game that heavily involves flying. You play as Rodea, a cyborg, cat-like boy who has woken up from being asleep for 1,000 years only to find the enemy he destroyed centuries ago has returned. The game play itself is very reminiscent of NiGHTS and a little bit of Sonic Adventure which I will get into momentarily. In the game, Rodea has an arsenal of different moves at his command. The main one being a targeting lock-on that let’s Rodea fly to enemies and locals. You can also hit the “B” button to fast attack targets such as large, hovering robots.

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If you remember that in Sonic Adventure, Sonic can get special shoes that allow him to quickly grab a trail of rings that are in the air. That aspect is in Sky Soldier as well. You can target a line of yellow crystals and fly to them. This often acts as a trail to quickly get to the next floating island or set piece. When done properly, it gives the game a sort of speed-run feeling. You also use this targeting system to target enemies and boost to them for an attack or find a piece of island to land on before your flight meter runs out. Flying around these crystals, enemies and such gives the game a bit of a “NiGHTS” feeling while still being pretty original. However…

The Wii U controls are very difficult to get a good handle on. I tried the demo on two different occasions and during both times I found myself target the wrong spot and flying either into a wall or on the underside of an island before falling to my death fairly often. Both moving your character and targeting are on the same stick while the camera control is on the right, but you can’t use the camera controls if locked onto a target. It made it so I was having difficulty getting through even some of the earlier stages. Even after learning what does what and playing the game for over half an hour, I still couldn’t master it. Perhaps it’s the regular button/dual stick combo that is the problem. This game was originally meant as a Wii game only and I can see Wiimote/Nunchuck controls actually being a benefit as it feels like targeting would be much more effective by aiming with the Wiimote thus allowing your character to move while targeting. Sadly, I found out from the gentleman showing off the game that only the Wii version (which comes with the Wii U version of the game) has those kind of controls.

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One other minor negative is that the graphics haven’t really gotten much of an HD upgrade from the Wii version. It’s definitely a higher resolution, but the low polygon count and bland textures remain. Even the CGI cutscenes are still fairly low res. The biggest highlight here is the 2-D artwork looks very high-res and sharp on the Wii U version. However, since the graphics aren’t a major upgrade, it may give me a good reason to stick with the Wii version included.

 

Which is a shame since this game shows a ton of potential and originality. It’s the most…”Yuji Naka” of Yuji Naka’s Prope Studio games. It feels fresh while still having feature reminiscent of NiGHTS and Sonic Adventure. However, it also feels like a game from those times as well. It’s controls are archaic and the game itself seems about ten years behind the times. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing more on Rodea the Sky Soldier and hoping the full version proves my fears wrong.

Rodea the Sky Soldier will release on Wii U (with Wii version included) and 3DS in North America on October 13th and in Europe on October 16th.

 

 

Aaron Webber Talks Level Design, Game Mechanics, and More on NeoGaf and Twitter

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Sonic PR man Aaron Webber has taken to NeoGaf and Twitter to answer the burning questions fans have for the upcoming Sonic Boom sequel.

The first thing he’s made sure to address is the game’s quality. “We’re putting a Big effort into improving the game based on feedback from last year!” Big puns aside, Webber has elaborated on what’s been improved.

First of all, the level design has been streamlined. Shattered Crystal’s stages were criticized for being too large and taking too much time, but in Fire and Ice the levels will allow for a faster experience. The collectibles that forces players to replay stages in order to progress have also been repurposed. Now, stages only need to be completed once and collectibles only serve to unlock “neat things” according to Webber.

The titular “fire and ice” powers are toggled on the fly with the shoulder buttons and affect how the player progresses through a level. Webber spoke in-depth about how these powers work on NeoGaf, which I’ve posted below:

Within the levels, you’ll find elemental blocks and interactable components that you can adjust depending on which of the elemental powers you have on. As you can see in the trailer, you can melt ice blocks with fire, or freeze water blocks with ice, etc. It’s all pretty simple early-on, and gets more complex as you progress.

The game’s music is being composed by none other than Richard Jacques, who’s best known within the Sonic community for his work on the Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic R, Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed, and both of last year’s Sonic Boom games.

Finally, when asked whether or not the game might be ported to the Wii U, Webber said that there are currently no plans to release the game on any other platforms. So if you don’t have a 3DS, I’m afraid you’re out of luck!

Those are all the details Webber has revealed today, but be sure to stay tuned as we continue to bring you all the latest on Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice!

Sonic and Caliburn join the hunt in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

gaming-sonic-the-hedgehog-monster-hunter-02There’s no denying that Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has taken the world by storm on 3DS. Placing you in the shoes of a brave hunter, you seek out huge creatures and pit yourself against them, learning their ways and finding the best method to slay each beast. With critical acclaim and commercial success behind it, what more could this game possibly need? Well, Sonic the Hedgehog, of course!

Released today as free downloadable content, you can now access an additional mission called “Super Sonic Seregios” – emerge victorious and you will be able to craft special Sonic themed gear for your Palicoes, including Caliburn from Sonic and the Black Knight.

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There’s plenty of other crossovers in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario, to name but a couple – but this is definitely one of the coolest looking ones so far. With this and the Sonic Amiibo suit coming to Mario Kart 8, April is set to be filled with bonus Sonic content for Nintendo games!

If you own Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, will you be taking on the DLC and equipping your Palicoes with Sonic and Caliburn? What other Sonic crossovers would you like to see? Let us know in the comments!

 

Sonic Boom 3DS Theme hits Europe on Friday

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They’ve been out in the US for almost a week now, but this Friday will see Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal making their way to European shores – and that’s not all! Revealed via Nintendo’s UK 3DS Facebook page, the Sonic Boom 3DS theme (which has been available to American 3DS owners since last week) will also be hitting the handheld come 21st November… and best of all, it’ll be completely free to download!

The Sonic Boom 3DS theme initially displays only Sonic and Tails, but scroll it along and it’ll eventually showcase all five members of the main cast, including Knuckles, Amy and Sticks. You can get a better preview of the theme in the video below, alongside a sneak peek at a 3DS StreetPass puzzle – there’s no confirmation yet whether this will be arriving in Europe as well as the theme, but we’d place a good bet on it!

Will you be downloading the Sonic Boom 3DS theme on Friday, be it in addition to the games or just to decorate your handheld menu with everyone’s favourite blue hedgehog? Let us know in the comments!

In the meantime, stay tuned for our TSS reviews of Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal, both coming your way soon!

Freak Out Fri… Uh Tuesday!: Party at Amy’s House *Boom Spoilers*

Warning: Spoilers ahead, do not click the video unless you want the final unlockable in Boom 3DS spoilt.

This is what happens when you get all the badges in Sonic Boom Shattered Crystal on the 3DS.

You get invited to a party at Amy’s house.

What is… why are they dancing like…  …Am I awake? Is this update actually happening?

UPDATE: First Sonic Boom Pre-Order Bonus Revealed

UPDATE 2: Sega’s twitter provided a HQ PNG pic of the box for your viewing pleasure:

Bu9BMZQIEAAgIcX.png origUPDATE: Offer also available in Canada at EB Games.

ORIGINAL STORY:

An advert for the gaming store GameStop shows what appears to be the first pre-order incentive for Sonic Boom.

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For all customers who pre-order Sonic Boom at a North American branch of GameStop will receive a Sonic action figure which comes with an accessory called ‘The Ancients Crystal.’ Doesn’t seem to matter if you pre-order the 3DS or Wii-U version of the game, you’ll still get your figure so long as stocks last.

Interestingly, the first pre-order bonus is an actual physical item and not digital content, typically GameStop would offer some sort of pre-order bonus code if the game supported them.

We’ll keep you up to date with any more pre-order bonuses or incentives as and when we find them.

Thanks to SSMB member LovieHats for bringing this to our attention.

TSS@E3 – Interview With Matt Kraemer (Sonic Boom 3DS)

Sometimes when working for two sites at an event, it’s easy to get your wires crossed. In this case, I refer to myself as Shigs from Segabits after Alex informed me that this interview was meant for Sonic Stadium. Oops!

Anyway, this is my interview with Lead level designer from Sanzaru Games, Matt Kraemer. Matt was incredibly friendly and I gotta admit, Sonic Boom:Shattered Crystal (3DS) was by far my favorite of the two Sonic Boom games. Here, we discuss collectibles, second goals, Streetpass features and more! So why are you still reading this? Press play!

TSS@E3 – Hands-on: Sonic Boom Shattered Crystal

Boom-3DS-20For a second opinion, please head over to SEGAbits to check out Shigs’s thoughts.

It’s felt like years since I’ve played a new handheld Sonic title that I’ve really enjoyed. Sonic Colors, Generations and Lost World have all had stages I’ve liked, but as a complete package none of them seem to be able to reach the level of the Sonic Rush titles. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal is going to change that trend, if my time with the E3 demo is any indication.

Shattered Crystal brings some really interesting ideas to the table. Instead of focusing on the typical multilayered super-fast platforming Sonic is known for, Shattered Crystal’s primary focus is exploration, with some brief speed areas in between large, expansive, almost labyrinthine areas. These stages are huge. As I was playing I constantly tried to go off the beaten path to find every nook and cranny, which often resulted in me uncovering small hidden areas. Sometimes however, I found myself on a completely new path that took me further into the game. The exploration is facilitated by the diverse cast of Sonic characters at your disposal in the game.

At the start of the game you will only have access to Sonic, with Knuckles, Tails and Sticks being made available later on. Each of these characters have their own moves that allow them to access specific parts of a given stage: Sonic can blast through these large blue blocks that block certain areas, Tails can glide on air currents that allow him to access high places and get over gaps, Knuckles can dig through specially marked areas to get around walls and access hidden areas, and Sticks can hit faraway switches with her boomerang. Between these different abilities you can solve a variety of simple environmental puzzles and explore an expansive level design that is the very antithesis of “hold right to win”. Doing that here will rarely get you anywhere, except maybe dead.

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Compared to The Rise of Lyric, Shattered Crystal is much closer to a typical Sonic experience. All of the characters have a homing attack, are able to boost anywhere in the game, there are loop-de-loops, booster pads and checkpoint posts, and the overall game just feels a lot more familiar. That isn’t to say there aren’t some serious differences though. Much like the Wii U game, lives have been removed and rings now act as a life bar. It’s now possible to switch between characters on the fly, allowing you to easily choose the right character to bypass certain obstacles. Though this game feels more familiar, it is still quite distinctive in its own right.

Really, for all intents and purposes, this should be an amazing Sonic game, because it tries to correct so many complaints people have with Sonic’s side scrolling handheld affairs. In addition to being extremely non-linear, pitfalls are easy to spot in the opening stage and the game rarely moves with any serious speed. Even with the boost button the game never approaches the speed of the Rush games, which could often move too fast. So what’s my problem with this game?Unfortunately, it’s the level design and the interface.

Both the level map and character selection share the touchscreen, and players have to switch between them in order to access the different functions. In the demo, which starts with all the characters unlocked, this was a problem. In order to move smoothly through a level you need constant access to all four characters so you can quickly switch to them on the fly, but in order to make your way around the complex level design without getting lost you need access to the map screen. This game isn’t slow and methodical like other Metroidvania type games: there is constant movement and action here, and this game is at its best when you’re able to move through stages seamlessly. This interface results in awkward pacing and frustrating stop and go gameplay.

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When I first played the demo I preferred to keep the lower screen on the character selection screen, but I quickly found myself becoming lost and going in circles to the point where I was growing increasingly frustrated. So I switched to the map screen and thought my problems were solved….until I began to run into a constant flow of obstacles that required different characters, a few of which I didn’t realize were there until it was too late, causing me to fall to a lower area and forcing me to make my way back up. So I found myself constant having to switch between screens twice with many of the obstacles I encountered in order to ensure I always had access to the map screen and didn’t become lost again.

As an experiment, on the final day of E3 I attempted to run through the demo with just Sonic as my character. Since Sonic is the only character available at the start of the game, I thought that perhaps I might be able to blast through the whole demo as Sonic and enjoy a more seemless experience. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a Sonic only path, so it seems that all of the characters will be needed to traverse through at least some stages in the game.

As a huge fan of Metroid, I would love to see a Sonic game like this actually work. The most painful part about this is that I feel it almost does. I feel like there is a great game here, hidden behind a frustrating interface that makes exploration and puzzle solving more of a chore then it should be. Interface aside, there are so many parts of this game that work! The level design feels like it could yield endless possibilities and I found myself constantly torn between which way I should go since I wanted to see as much as I could in the small amount of time I would have with it. I love that feeling, and the great thing is that after three playthroughs I know I haven’t seen everything in that one single stage.

The rivals race with Sticks is also a lot of fun. It’s probably the closest this game comes go traditional Sonic, with loads of ramps, loops, Mobius strips and straight-aways. You can go nuts with the boost button here, and let me tell you that in terms of physics this is probably the best handheld Sonic has felt in a long time. The characters feel like they have weight again, rather than hollow plastic action figures come to life. It feels like momentum kind of means something here, too. Finally, there’s also a 3D tube level, which adds a nice bit of behind the back 3d excitement to the proceedings. It’s nothing spectacular, but it was fun.

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After five years worth of E3s, there are three things that can usually be fixed between the demo and the final product: interface, controls, and minor graphical issues like frame rate and texture pop-in. These demos are always examples and works in progress, and I’ve seen these issues be fixed before. This game’s two major problems are its interface and framerate (which fell well below 30 frames for a sizeable portion of the demo), so this game could certainly still be a lot of fun. Personally, I’d like to see the character screen either integrated with the map screen, or mapped to the d-pad like it is on the Wii U version. I found myself preferring to control the game with the analog stick, since the game feels like it was made to work well with analog control. Alternatively, character selection icons could be relegated to one side of the map screen, so they can be accessed quickly there.

Provided Sanzaru finds a solution to this issue, this could be one of the best side scrolling Sonic games in years. If they don’t, this may unfortunately continue the string of mediocre handheld titles that the Sonic series has been left with since they were tied into the console releases. Either way, we’ll find out when the game is released in November.

Sonic on the Go: Sonic Blast

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This article is the second part of the Sonic on the Go series. You can find the first part here.

If Sonic Triple Trouble was the apex of Sonic’s Game Gear titles, its successor Sonic Blast was arguably the nadir. Aside from a few lousy spin off titles like Sonic Labyrinth and Spinball, no Sonic game on the system failed quite so hard as Sonic Blast did. Don’t get me wrong though, I still think Blast was a fun game personally. For all the hate I’ve seen the game get from retro fans, I don’t really think Blast is all that bad. Still, even if the game isn’t awful it was a huge step back for Sonic’s handheld adventures.

The game is slow and kind of ugly. Though the technically impressive pre-rendered sprites look pretty good, the levels themselves are almost completely devoid of charm or color. The level lay out is simplistic and dull, lacking multiple hidden paths and areas that made the stages in Triple Trouble so fun to explore. Finally, the game just moves too slowly, even for an 8-bit Sonic game.

Triple Trouble managed to blow this game out of the water in almost every way imaginable, which a huge disappointment given that this game was Sonic’s swan song on the system. It’s a shame that developer Aspect threw away everything they had learned about Sonic game design and the Game Gear’s limitations to create was is effectively a tech demo.

To Blast’s credit, though, it is an impressive tech demo. As the Game Gear counterpart to the Genesis’ technically impressive Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Blast was tasked with accomplishing something similarly impressive on SEGA’s aging 8-bit hardware. In this regard Aspect was reasonably successful, creating the one and only Game Gear game that utilized pre-rendered sprites by pushing the Game Gear’s color capabilities to their max. Unfortunately this game at the expense of the game design, but it’s still nice to see the Game Gear was capable of such a feat.

Blast also gave Knuckles his first handheld adventure. As a major fan of the character at the time, Knuckles’ inclusion instantly made Blast one of the most played games on my system. This game doesn’t disappoint either: Knuckles plays exactly as he should, complete with his gliding and climbing abilities. The bland level design does hold Knuckles back somewhat, but he does play well at least, and he’s a heck of a lot better than Sonic, who has lost his cool power ups from Triple Trouble and only got a double jump in return. After Triple Trouble constantly enticed me with the character’s presence, it was nice to finally play as Knuckles in the car in Sonic Blast.

In hindsight, I do have to acknowledge that Sonic Blast wasn’t all that good, but it doesn’t negate all the fun I’ve had with it over the years. So if you’ve got the money to spare and want another Sonic game to play, I think you should check out Sonic Blast. On the Game Gear it’s an interesting tech demo that demonstrates abilities no one thought the system had. On the 3DS it’s a mediocre Sonic game that can help kill an afternoon. Sonic has definitely done worse, both on and off the Game Gear. Even in terms of portable games, Sonic Blast would be followed up by what is arguably the worst Sonic game ever made: Sonic Jam on the Tiger Game.com.

UPDATE 2: First Gameplay of Sonic Boom Appears, Multiple Previews Surface

UPDATE 2: Thanks to Jayko Reynolds on YouTube, we now have a montage of all existing gameplay footage released so far for both Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal. I’ve added them to the article below, thanks to Sonicrush1991 in the comments for the heads up!


UPDATE: Looks like the original Gamexplain previews have sadly gone private. Instead, I’ve replaced the above video with an interview with Stephen Frost which also contains gameplay footage.

Original article detailing the Gamexplain preview is as follows.


And then suddenly, out of nowhere! The first footage for both Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U) has just appeared under an exclusive first preview from Gamexplain, showing off direct gameplay and commentary preview which you can see above, and footage of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (3DS) you can see below. Needless to say, this is pretty exciting – yet all the more surprising, considering the fact E3 is just a week away now and gameplay footage is showing up early. Gamexplain go into detail about what levels were available and there experiences, but what’s most important to us all is that gameplay.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhDkFMtj0aQ

Combat is certainly a focus of the games as you can tell, with Sonic shooting off multiple hits and racking up a combo meter. The bulk of the game expected to carry out here. Punches, kicks and spin bounce attacks are seen as Sonic surprisingly more slowly moves around the field. Gamexplain details a scanning device on the gamepad to look around the environment and scan for points of interest. Rings also work differently in Boom, more akin to Unleashed where you only lose a partial amount of rings per hit. Certain characters also have unique abilities than allow them to traverse unique areas like Sonic’s spindash and Amy’s hammer acrobatics, and these characters will range from being just a duo to having all four on screen depending on the area you’re exploring. There’s a lot to take in which the preview goes into great detail in, so make sure you check it out. Also, check out those models! They look much better than their initial debut a few months back. Lovely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–0dLu-dRWk

The 3DS plays a little differently however. Instead of 3D environments which debuted with Lost World 3DS, everything is back to 2D for Sonic Boom and takes advantage of a world map over a hub world for progression. It’s apparently far more similar to classic Sonic games with springs, platforming and jumping on your foes. These stages are non-linear however – you explore the areas freely and find your own way. The word “adventure” is stressed a lot, and there’s a “Metroid style map” you can bring up to see the areas you’ve explored. There’s also rival races and speedy levels available on the handheld version. Curiously, Amy is not a playable character here, the game instead opting for newcomer Sticks, using her boomerang to help solve puzzles in the game world.

Check out some other previews from gaming outlets here:

  • How Do The Two New Sonic Booms Compare? – Gamespot
  • The Different Faces Of Sonic Boom – Game Informer
  • Don’t call it a reboot: Sonic Boom is just a ‘different branch’ of the Sonic universe – VentureBeat
  • Sonic Boom Hands-On: Eggman Defeated By Sonic’s Electric Lasso – Siliconera
  • Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal on 3DS is a throwback to classic 2D Sonic – Gamesradar

Needless to say, Boom is definitely a new direction for our speedy blue hero. But it’s looking pretty good so far. Be sure to check out both videos and let us know just how hyped you are in the comments!

Sonic Lost World’s Zelda DLC Revealed, Out Tomorrow

zdlc03011395789310jpg-0a58bc

If you thought Sonic Boom was going to be the only redesign of the speedy blue hedgehog this year… think again! Following on from the Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC last year, the much anticipated DLC for Sonic Lost World based on Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series is finally making its way to the Wii U eShop tomorrow (for free!) – and Sonic’s been taking a few fashion tips from Link himself, it seems!

IGN have posted a video preview of the new zone, which plays very differently to most other stages in Sonic Lost World – it borrows very heavily from its source material, in fact, seeing you exploring Hyrule Field before traversing an eerie and fiery dungeon. Along the way you’ll collect rupees – which are converted into rescued animals upon completion – and face off against iconic enemies including Stalfos, Gorons… and even Cuccos!

With tons of nods to the Zelda series all the way through (including an appearance or two from Link on his trusty Loftwing), this is looking like a very extensive piece of DLC that should give you more than enough reason to dust off your Wii U and boot up Sonic’s most recent outing at least one more time. It’s got to be worth it just to see Sonic running around in that classic green tunic, surely!

Sonic Lost World: The Legend of Zelda Zone will be available to download from the Wii U eShop tomorrow (27th March) absolutely free. Be sure to give it a whirl!

Source: IGN

Mike Pollock and Roger Craig Smith nominated for Behind The Voice Actor Awards

itsamike

It’s seemingly not often that the vocal talents behind the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise receive any real recognition for their work on the series (and disappointingly so) – but rejoice, there is good news on this front at last! Two of the series’ principal cast members have been nominated for accolades in the latest Behind The Voice Actor Awards, and they’ll no doubt be looking for your votes and support to help them take home the gold.

Roger Craig Smith, known of course amongst the fanbase as the voice of the titular blue blur, has been nominated in the Best Male Vocal Performance in a Video Game in a Supporting Role category for portraying the wise-cracking Wonder Blue in the recent Wii U title from Platinum Games, The Wonderful 101. However, it’s Mike Pollock that should be getting special attention from the Sonic fandom, as he has been nominated in the Best Male Vocal Performance in a Video Game category for his role as none other than Dr. Eggman, specifically in last year’s Sonic Lost World.

The two vocal stars are in esteemed company in their respective categories, nominated alongside the likes of Troy Baker (the voice of Espio), Nolan North, and Alan Young (Scrooge McDuck himself!).

We here at The Sonic Stadium wish to congratulate both Mike and Roger on their nominations, and if you wish to cast your votes for them you can do so at the awards page (you’ll need to register for an account first though). The winners are scheduled to be announced next Wednesday (19th March), so you don’t have long to get your votes in!

Sonic Boom Behind the Scenes: English VAs, Orbot & Cubot Confirmed

SEGA have just posted a brand new video to their blog, taking us on a comprehensive behind the scenes look at the upcoming Sonic Boom videogame and TV series. The video includes interviews with many of the crew working on this alternate branch of the Sonic franchise, as well as showing off concept art and work-in-progress gameplay footage. It is reiterated that the game will have a strong emphasis on story and teamwork, as we have heard in other recent interviews.

A look into the voice recordings for the TV series confirms an episode including an alternate-dimension Knuckles, as well giving a feel for the comedic angle the cartoon will be taking. Knuckles sounds like a fortune cookie, but he doesn’t taste like one!

In addition, the English voice cast for Sonic Boom has been revealed. Roger Craig Smith, Mike Pollock, Travis Willingham and Cindy Robinson reprise their roles as Sonic, Eggman, Knuckles and Amy respectively, with Tails getting a new voice actor in the form of Colleen Villard. Interestingly, Orbot and Cubot have also been revealed as part of the cast, voiced by Kirk Thornton and Wally Wingert.

What do you make of all this new info about Sonic Boom? Are you any more or less excited for the game or TV show? Let us know in the comments!

Source: SEGA Blog

Sonic Boom TV world to “reset” in every episode

We’ve heard a lot of new information recently about the upcoming Sonic Boom game for Wii U and 3DS, but what of the show it’s actually based on? Well, thanks to the interview above from NintendoWorldReport, we now know a few extra details about the CG animated cartoon.

The biggest new revelation is with regards to the show’s format. It’s been stated before that the show’s primary focus will be humour and comedy with some action thrown in for good measure, but this has now seemingly been cemented by the fact that the world will effectively “reset” at the beginning of each episode – in other words, this series will be more akin to the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon where each story is standalone and can be watched in any order, as opposed to Sonic X which has ongoing story arcs. This will no doubt come as a disappointment to those who were hoping for a more fleshed out story in the cartoon, but it will undoubtedly make for a more accessible experience to newcomers.

Don’t lose all hope for story in the Sonic Boom universe yet though, as it’s already been reiterated several times that the Wii U/3DS games will be heavily driven by narrative and serve as a prequel to the cartoon, setting up the world and its characters which will then be visited in various scenarios during the series itself. In a way, it’s a nice compromise – we get the story and the action in the game, and the quick-fire comedy from the animated episodes. The best of both worlds, perhaps?

What do you make of Sonic Boom returning to the status quo for each individual story? Let us know in the comments!

New Sonic Boom Details: No Chaos Emeralds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WDFFo_uOy0

A whole slew of new details regarding Sonic Boom have surfaced thanks to the above interview brought to our attention by SSMB member Storme. As well as giving us a more extensive look at the New York venue for SEGA’s big announcements last week, it reveals some intriguing changes to the traditional Sonic premise – chief among them, the absence of the Chaos Emeralds in the Boom universe. How this will affect the story and mythos of the new series remains to be seen, but it does throw an appearance by Super Sonic or any other super forms (and arguably even the Master Emerald) into doubt.

Additional details revealed in the interview include:

  • The Wii U GamePad will be used to display a map and upgrades, as well as another function which is yet to be unveiled
  • The game follows an adventure style with currency and upgrades for the characters
  • The game is more “organically” challenging, in that difficulty arises from skill in combat and finding hidden secrets as opposed to enemies just becoming tougher
  • All the levels in the game are connected by the story and its locations
  • You will mainly use two characters at a time during gameplay, but all four will show up in hubs and boss fights
  • There will be points in the game where you are required to use a certain character to proceed
  • The game will be very character driven, with a lot of focus put onto each individual character and their unique abilities
  • We will “definitely” be seeing other characters from the Sonic series making an appearance – these will be revealed over the coming months
  • Inspiration is being taken from Sonic 2, Sonic Adventure, and Sonic Generations

(summary adapted from a post by SSMB member Blue Blood)

What do you make of all this new information? Are you disappointed that the Chaos Emeralds are a no-show? Are you excited that other characters will be popping up in the game? Let us know in the comments!

Sonic Boom announced for Wii U and 3DS

Edit 3:12PM EST: The official announcement from Sega:

http://blogs.sega.com/2014/02/06/sega-launches-new-franchise-strategy-for-sonic-the-hedgehog-with-sonic-boom/?0=1

https://youtube.com/devicesupport

For more than two decades, Sonic the Hedgehog has been one of the world’s biggest gaming icons, with over 70 video game titles, four animated series, and an extensive global merchandising line to his name.  This year, SEGA is excited to introduce a new branch of the Sonic universe, entitled Sonic Boom, that will debut a new look for Sonic and friends and launch their first-ever CG animated television series, new video games for Wii U  and Nintendo 3DS, and a new toy line.  The creative driving forces behind these projects are working together with SEGA to kick-start a global campaign for Sonic Boom that will excite and engage new and existing fans across a variety of platforms.

Sonic Boom’s visual identity includes character designs inspired by the abilities and unique personalities of each of the characters, while still maintaining the core identity and values of the Sonic brand.  The rich worlds of the TV series and videogame will share a common narrative and a number of location and stylistic similarities reflecting full collaboration between videogame, TV series partners and SEGA from the outset.

The Sonic Boom television series, co-produced by SEGA of America Inc. and OuiDO! Productions, will debut on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and on CANAL J and GULLI in France during the 2014/2015 season.  The series is an ensemble comedy consisting of 52 x 11-minute standalone episodes packed full of high-adrenaline action.  Every episode starts from a small character-driven story and explodes into an epic tale of saving the world, robot battles and more.

Serving as a prequel to the stories revealed in the TV series, the Sonic Boom video game will deliver a totally different experience to previous Sonic games with collaborative gameplay at its core.  Developed in the U.S by California-based Big Red Button Entertainment (Wii U) and Sanzaru Games (Nintendo 3DS) in collaboration with Sonic Team, this is the third title to be released as part of an exclusive deal with Nintendo.  Sonic Boom will take advantage of the innovative hardware of both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, with traditional elements of Sonic games, such as speed, also featured.  The videogame will also introduce exploration, combat and a new Enerbeam tether mechanic that will allow the Sonic Boom world to be discovered in totally unique ways.

Sonic Boom will be supported by a robust global licensing and merchandising program, anchored by new master toy partner TOMY. TOMY’s line will showcase the new character looks, stressing interaction between core characters, and will feature new play patterns based on both the new game and TV series.  TOMY will develop a comprehensive toy range across a broad number of categories including plush, action figures, RC, role play, vehicles and novelty. Sonic fans can expect a high-quality, collectible toy line fueled by TOMY innovation and energized with speed, lights, sounds, motion-activation and action-performance.  SEGA will launch a broad licensing program across multiple categories including toys, apparel, publishing, accessories, food and beverage, health and more – making this one of the biggest license initiatives SEGA has undertaken in recent years.  The company will enlist many of its current partners who have had tremendous success with Sonic over the past years while seeking new licensees to join this exciting new Sonic licensing program.

“We want to ensure that the Sonic brand continues to evolve and appeal to new generations of Sonic fans and this different look introduces a fresh approach that will be at once both familiar and new to consumers,” said John Cheng, President & COO, SEGA of America. “We are committed to supporting this initiative to provide great entertainment to fans for all aspects of their lives.”

Sonic the Hedgehog first appeared as a videogame character in June 1991 and instantly became an icon for a generation of gamers. Defined by his super-fast speed and cool attitude, in the years since he first raced on to videogame consoles Sonic has become a true global phenomenon with over 140 million videogames sold or downloaded worldwide across consoles, PC’s, mobile phones and tablets. SEGA’s iconic blue blur has also gone on to enjoy incredible success in many licensed areas, such as toys, apparel, comics and animation.

The Sonic Boom TV series is a co-production between SEGA of America, Inc. and OuiDO! Productions.  Executive producers on the show are Evan Baily, Donna Friedman Meir and Jane McGregor on behalf of SEGA, and Sandrine Nguyen and Boris Hertzog from OuiDO!.  Other partners involved in the TV series include Lagardère Entertainment Rights for distribution and Lagardère Active TV Licensing & New Business for licensing and merchandise in France.

Edit 3:03PM EST: Our friendly neighborhood Carbo has spotted a couple of interesting things.

1) A certain man named Chris Senn is at Big Red Button, who fans may recognize as a key player from Sonic X-Treme’s development team before its cancellation.

http://board.sonicstadium.org/topic/17839-sonic-boom-announced-wii-u3ds/page-3#entry829385

2) The game seems to run on CryEngine 3, as Crytek sneaked in a few seconds of environmental footage in their CE3 demo during Big Red Button’s segment at the very beginning (Edit 10:09PM EST: I cut and rehosted the clip as its own video for easy viewing):

Sonic Boom (Wii U and 3DS) CryEngine 3 GDC 2013 Demo Clip

http://board.sonicstadium.org/topic/17839-sonic-boom-announced-wii-u3ds/page-4#entry829419

Original Post:

A French video hosting website has posted a trailer of what appears to be the third Sonic title exclusive Nintendo. It’s based off the new CG cartoon series Sonic Boom.

Confirmed characters are Sonic, Knuckles, Amy and Tails, all showing off their new looks. From watching the trailer it has a very Sonic Heroes feel – each character has their own unique abilities, however segments show all characters on screen in the level at once.

The game is not being made by Sonic Team, but instead being co-developed by Sanzaru (Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time) and Big Red Button Entertainment (former developers of Naughty Dog).

 

Sonic Lost World OST out now on iTunes

lostworldostwithoutboundaries

“Without Boundaries”, the original soundtrack for Sonic Lost World, was released in Japan as a physical 3 CD set last week. However, in a surprising move for those of us in other regions, SEGA has revealed via their blog that the soundtrack can also now be downloaded via iTunes and Amazon MP3.

You can download all 93 tracks digitally, one disc at a time. Each disc, or ‘volume’, will set you back £7.99 (meaning the total cost of the OST comes to £23.97) or you can purchase individual tracks for 79p apiece.

Will you be downloading the Sonic Lost World soundtrack? Let us know in the comments!

Source: SEGA Blog

3D Sonic the Hedgehog hits 3DS eShop this week

Sonic 1 Title Screen

The original Sonic the Hedgehog game is racing onto the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Europe and the US this Thursday, 5th December – but it’s already been ported to seemingly every gaming system under the sun, so what makes this one noteworthy? Well, this isn’t just your straightforward port, it’s a part of SEGA’s 3D Classics series for the 3DS, enhancing some of their classic games with fancy new stereoscopic visuals. It’s a whole new way to experience the blue blur’s first ever adventure!

3D Sonic the Hedgehog also contains an option to toggle the spin dash on and off, for those wanting either a newer or a more traditional method of play.

The game will cost £4.99 in Europe and $5.99 in the US. Will you be downloading this enhanced version of Sonic’s debut? Let us know in the comments!