Could the US Sonic Runners Servers Be Shut Down Tomorrow?

Looks like NA users will be affected by the Sonic Runners shutdown earlier than we though, as SEGA announced on Twitter that the game’s regional servers will shut down on Monday May 30… before deleting any mention of it. Continue reading Could the US Sonic Runners Servers Be Shut Down Tomorrow?

(UPDATE: And the US Google Play store) Sonic Runners removed from the US iTunes store

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UPDATE: Operationgamer17 points out that apparently it’s been gone since at least yesterday as of when TSSZ first mentioned it on their twitter. Also, Ming Ming Yuigahama clarified that the game is actually not on the US Google Play store either (I misunderstood that part, my mistake) and even snapped a screencap of what she sees when you access it:

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And she points out in the same post that this is not so unusual and may simply come back on Monday. We’ll see what happens. Also I forgot to mention that Komodin first brought that part up. Thanks again go to both for the clarification.

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It has come to our attention that Sonic Runners has been removed from the US iTunes store. This was first brought up on our forum by Operationgamer17. Our own writer VEDJ-F afterward mentions that it’s still up on the UK Google Play store, and another member Soni mentions it’s still up on the Canadian iTunes store.

Another member Ming Ming Yuigahama also linked to and confirmed that the game, while indeed gone from the US iTunes store (the link now redirects you to the iTunes store if you have it installed saying it’s not available), is still available on the iTunes store in the UK, Canada, and Japan. Ming Ming Yuighama also shows that the game is still up in the US Google Play store under “SEGA Corporation”.

So far we have no idea what the reason is for the game’s removal from the US iTunes store. We’ll have a follow-up report if we hear more.

Thanks goes to all the users mentioned above for their help in checking the stores to see if the game is still available in their respective regions.

Volume 2 of the Sonic Runners Soundtrack is Now Available on iTunes and Amazon!

SonicRunners2OST

To celebrate Sonic’s 24th anniversary, SEGA was internally working on their own take on the endless runner genre with their new mobile game, Sonic Runners. While the game was released early in smaller markets for testing, it finally dropped internationally on iOS and Android devices towards the end of June, and with it came the release of the first volume of the game’s soundtrack.

And now, just in time for Christmas, the EP-length Sonic Runners: Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 has finally arrived on digital streaming services!

The second volume, like the first, is solely composed by Tomoya Ohtani himself, and is mainly comprised of some of the music featured in recent in-game events – unsurprisingly, the music is gorgeous and an absolute blast to listen to, making the second volume a must-have for any Sonic OST fan’s library.

The track listing is as follows:

  1. “Going My Way” (1:01)
  2. “Go Quickly!” (3:09)
  3. “Fiery Passion” (3:34)
  4. “End of the Summer” (3:48)
  5. “Strange Parade” (3:42)
  6. “Magical Snow Day” (4:11)
  7. “Ambition” (3:54)

The second volume is available now on iTunes (UK / US) and Amazon (UK / US), with individual tracks costing £0.79 / $0.99 a pop. If you choose to get the entire 7-track album right away, the price sits at an affordable £5.53 / $6.93 – with Vol. 2 sounding as beautiful as it does, it’s an absolute steal!

Planning on downloading this gem for yourself? If you’ve already bought the album, which track is your favourite of the bunch? Sound off below!

Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom Coming Soon to Android and iOS

"WHAT THE WHAT?!!"
“WHAT THE WHAT?!!”

Well, Sega certainly seems to like to surprise us out of left field with Sonic Boom games don’t they?

Found late last night on the Google Play store, Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom is a sequel to the popular Sonic Dash mobile game. Only now, you’ll be playing as the characters from the Sonic Boom franchise. It’s not just running and jumping either. You”ll also be using the Enerbeam (with added tilt controls) and slide on rails among other things. Characters from the show also make an appearance in the back ground. Here’s some more details from the store page.

The dazzling sequel to SEGA’s hit endless runner, SONIC DASH. Featuring the cast and world of the new TV series, SONIC BOOM.

New and amazing 3D worlds, challenges and game play. Play as Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, and Sonic’s new friend, Sticks. Let’s do this!
SONIC DASH 2 FEATURES
– RACE with up to three characters in new Team Play mode! Swap runners mid-race to earn high scores
– UNLEASH new special powers – Amy’s Hammer, Knuckle’s Jump Up & Slam attack, Sonic’s even faster Dash, and more
– CONQUER new obstacles and badnicks
– DASH on new fast-paced tracks in and above the beautiful Sonic Boom world
– MASTER new Swing & Tilt gameplay with the super charged Enerbeam; tilt your device to swing the runner towards the rings and orbs
– COLLECT, evolve, and run with new magical Sprites
– EARN special prizes in new Events and Daily SEGA Challenges.

No links have worked so far and it seems like it could either be a soft launch starting in Canada again, or the game simply isn’t quite available yet. What do you guys think? Are you excited for a new spin on Sonic Dash or does the thought of yet another Boom game repulse you? Let us know in the comments section. Personally, I’m cool with this. I think Sonic Boom works better for mobile than for console.

EnerbeamSonic Dash 2.1TailsDash

 

 

 

10 Tips For Great Runs In Sonic Runners

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Sonic Runners recently launched worldwide for those who’ve been out of the loop – it’s an endless free to play running game where you aim to get the highest scores possible. Higher scores push you up the Runners League and get you better rewards, companions, and bragging rights among your peers.

So you want to be a Runners expert? Say no more. Here’s our tips and tricks on how you can bag those big scores.

1: Use your boosts!

Free! Free! Free! But for how long?
Free! Free! Free! But for how long?

First off, before you even start your run – let’s go over some important stuff. Booster items are pretty great for helping your score. Primarily the Score Boost and Character Switch. Score Boost is an obvious choice and will really aid your total, and Character Switch will give you a second chance to keep your run going by switching to your sub character selected through the character menu. And for a limited time(?) you’ll be able to use these for free once a day, so take advantage!

2: Level up, go far

This is pretty much the only place where rings come in handy.
This is pretty much the only place where rings come in handy.

Sonic Runners sports a level up system on the characters you use, applied through spending rings or earning EXP on runs. It’s important to keep at least a single character high up to make sure that your overall bonuses help you hit the high marks. Wisps and power-ups will last longer when you use them too as an added bonus to it all. But your Score Bonus, Animal Bonus and Ring Bonus are what you want to increase – this is why I normally opt to just focus on one character at a time. Sonic easily adapts to most level environments which is why my primary focus is on him.

3: Crack the Eggman

Wait, so where does Sonic keep his rings?
Wait, so where does Sonic keep his rings?

Though it can get pretty repetitive, it’s best to make your confrontations with Eggman last as long as the timer will allow. Not only do you have the possibility of seeing Red Rings pop out of him, but the rings he’ll drop will boost your score with the help of your Ring Bonus quite a bit. This can be used in turn to help level up your characters and increase your overall boosts. Not to mention, you can get quite a few score gems which increase in value the further you are into the run.

4: Do a trick!

What, you thought you couldn't be stylish on these?
What, you thought you couldn’t be stylish on these?

Something the game neglects to tell you is that Runners sports a small trick system within similar vein to that seen in Sonic Colours. When you approach these red spring-esque contraptions, make sure you tap the screen to leap high into the air – but don’t stop tapping once you’re flying high! Repeatedly tap the screen to do up to five trick poses, giving you that familiar “good, great, awesome, outstanding, amazing!” response!

5: Be an animal advocate

Not like PETA, though.
Not like PETA, though.

Like always, defeating the classic badniks throughout the stage will earn you points and release the little critters inside. But unlike the old games, they’ll bounce around on screen until you manage to catch them. You might want to try reaching out for them before they vanish off screen if you can. They’re worth quite a few points, and those points only increase with the Animal Bonus you level up.

6: Keep that combo

It can be difficult to maintain, but do your best!

An extremely important aspect of any run is the combo and bonus number you can see above. Combos are maintained through collecting score gems, rings, and animals (not badniks!), and once you get over 1000 you’ll have the maximum bonus of +50. This will go a long way once you reach higher scores. Combos can be broken through damage or too much time between collecting combo items listed above. Power ups can help you out – the shield will prevent damage from ending your combo, and Combo Bonus will prevent damage and time from doing so.

7: Wisps are wonderful

This is probably one of the best score increasing sections of the game.
This is probably one of the best score increasing sections of the game.

Wisps return in Sonic Runners, and they’re mostly a fantastic help to boosting your scores. Asteroid is arguably the weakest as it moves slow and provides no multiplier to your bonus, but in can tear through all obstacles in your path. Laser lets you blast through sections of the stage at lightning speeds and collect every gem, ring, and animal on screen by tapping. Drill could arguably be the greatest score increaser, as it multiplies your bonus massively. At its max, you can gain +500 – combine this with magnet, and the specific Drill designed sections which can appear in levels (seen above), and you’re looking at a gigantic overall score boost.

8: Companions are key

Unfortunately, this is the only way to get them.
Unfortunately, this is the only way to get them.

Companions could be your life saver when it comes to runs. They can provide anything from boosting the overall length items last, granting you a wisp when you reach a certain combo number, or giving you the last boost at the end of the level. They can level up to increase the effectiveness of their abilities too – sadly, the only way you’ll be able to earn them is through the premium roulette wheel. To spin, you’ll need Red Rings you earn through placing on the Runners League, completing story events, or other promotions.

Outside of that, there are a few other ways to earn some helpful buddies to help push your scores up:

  • You’ll earn Shahra every time you advance a rank in the Runners’ League. Each rank has three levels before you advance a letter, but she’s completely free and provides a great ability – granting you a random item when you hit certain combo numbers.
  • Look out for promotions held by Sonic Team where you’ll be able to earn Buddies through normal gameplay. For example, the Sonic Birthday event has you collecting cake to unlock the Genesis buddy and various other power ups and items.
  • Finally, completing a Showdown without taking dying once will give you a Special Egg – collect ten of these, and you’ll be able to spin the premium roulette wheel for free with increased odds on better eggs.

9: Aim high

Sonic can't fly, but he can jump three times. Which is almost as good.
Sonic can’t fly, but he can jump three times. Which is almost as good.

Classic Sonic games usually sport a level design which has both a high and low path – the higher path providing better goodies but harder to stay on, and the lower being easier to stay on but less rewarding. That concept carries into Sonic Runners, since all the best rewards are usually found by keeping on the higher paths. Though the obstacles you face are more dire and will test your ability, you’ll get much better results if you manage to keep on that upper road.

10: Practice, practice, practice

Prepare to see this a lot.
Prepare to see this a lot.

A certain element of Runners will always come down to memorisation, and the only way you’ll memorise these zone layouts is to keep playing. Knowing what’s coming will instantly put you in a better position to prepare yourself and make each run go further – you’ll soon come to recognise familiar placements of the slopes, hoops, enemies and score gem trails. It might be difficult to play for long sessions due to its design, but playing a few times daily will go a long way. It’s all a learning curve and soon you’ll be able to do Top Speed without breaking a sweat, trust me.

Have you got any helpful advice for your fellow Runners players? Or did you find some hand advice in our little guide? Sound off below and let us know. Happy running!

TSS Review: Sonic Runners (v.1.1.0)

Sonic_Runners_logo

Hey, didn’t you guys already review this game? Why yes we did, and we’ve been talking about if we should take another look at it since with every update it seems to change. Well, following the worldwide release, we feel that Runners has changed enough that our previous review really doesn’t apply or match up with the experience you’ll get with this game.

sonic runners

So here is my review on Sonic Runners, based on the worldwide release build. This will focus more on the changes between the original review and the technical performance of the game since the plot is the same and the premise of the game is the same. That said however, a lot has changed… sadly a lot has changed for the worst.

So I’m not sure how some will react with my next line but here goes… On a technical level, this is probably one of the worst Sonic game made. Yes, I am including Sonic 06 and Sonic Boom in that, it is awful, it really is. The worldwide release is plagued with issues ranging from freezing, stuttering, lag, game breaking/ruining bugs, as well as overheating issues which can potentially put the device you’re using at risk.

… You were expecting me to praise this game given how I loved the initial release? Well on a gameplay level, it’s a really fun and charming game… Which Sega have ruined by adding in the very worst of free to play features and a near broken DRM/always online requirement which by the way is doing nothing to prevent cheaters,

For full disclosure, I have used a range of different Android devices to try and play the game. Primarily I have used a Samsung Galaxy S5, however I have also tested a Nexus 7 and a Sony Xperia Z3, all of which suffer from the same and in some cases more serious problems. All of these devices could previously run Sonic Runners during the soft launch period with virtually no problems.

Sonic_Runners_Team_Heroes

So lets start with the basics, though odds are you already know this. Sonic Runners is a side scrolling endless runner in which you start off as Sonic before unlocking Tails and Knuckles.

The premise of every stage is to run as far as you can and collect as many rings and gems as possible in order to get a huge score which progresses you further along the map before you reach the end of the episode/level.

Before I should go any further, I should mention that Sonic Runners uses multiple forms of currency. There are normal gold rings which are in plentiful supply. Then there are red rings which are much rarer. We’ll cover both of these later.

At the end of each stage you are given a small reward: normally gold rings or red rings, though sometimes you get an item. The rings you can use to level up characters which improve their stats. Stats are for things like score bonus increases or item effect durations increase. You’ll find you’ll need to level up characters if you want higher scores and find it easier to progress in later stages.

sonicrunners2
This is the single most coolest image you’ll ever see in Sonic Runners.

However, the worldwide release differs from the initial release with the inclusion of an experience bar. This bar will fill based on how many rings you pick up in the game, which means you can save on spending those rings if you regularly use a character. By level 20 however, you’ll find it’s not worth waiting and will just spend those rings on your power level. Which again, do you do this from rings collected, or once more, there is that micro-transaction system hint hint wink wink.

Whilst the level cap is 100, the gains from level 50 onwards are so poor there is absolutely no point in waiting to level up, so spend those rings.

What else can you spend rings on? Nothing. Just levelling up characters. I will talk about red rings near the end of the review. Needless to say, I am not happy.

Levels are split into three types: Speed, Flight and Power. Each is designed to be played by a specific character type, though you’ll quickly find that you’ll only ever want to play as either speed or flight since Power characters are so useless compared to the other two. They’re only useful for their own stages, whereas the other types are great on every stage, with flight characters taking the top of the character tier list.

sonicrunners1

As you progress through the game, you start very simple stories involving Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and various other characters. Normally it’s “Eggman is doing a thing! Lets go stop him.” “Help! This character is missing, lets go find them!” Whilst the climax does build up into something more dramatic, this type of story is rare and a one off.

Some may find it nice that we’ve gone back to a simple story in which it’s just “Sonic goes after Eggman because Eggman did something bad.” though others may find these stories far too basic to enjoy. Personally I began to skip some of the stories since they were so repetitive and dull.

The stage layout is the same as the soft launch version. No changes. It’s a decent layout combining challenge, flow and multiple paths, however I’m not sure that in some places the higher path is the most rewarding. In some stages, the lower path is clearly more viable in terms of score.

It should be really enjoyable, and in the pre worldwide version it is. It’s a great example as to how you can adapt a classic Sonic game for a modern mobile market place, slap a small price tag on it and you have a great experience for the daily commute or for killing a spare half hour.

It’s fun and addictive. If the game had a price tag of say £2.99, I would buy this in a heartbeat. It’s a really nice charming game which is bloody good.

So what’s the problem?

Pretty much everything underpinning that which turns Runners into a near unplayable mess which is designed to rob the player of their time and money, turning runners into a gambling machine.

The game has very poor optimisation. It’s so poor in fact that after only 5 minutes it starts to stutter, lag and in some cases completely freezes. How bad is it? Well remember how I said I tested this game on three different devices? Here is how Runners used to perform.

  • Galaxy S5: Flawless, phone was slightly warm, but otherwise flawless.
  • Sony Xperia Z3: Near Flawless, phone got hotter than the S5, but otherwise fine, however battery drained quicker than the S5.
  • Nexus 7 (2013): Wasn’t tested, but is compatible with the game.

Here is how those devices performed with the worldwide release.

  • Galaxy S5: Initially, the game runs fine… but after 5 min of play time the phone gets very hot, gameplay begins to stutter, lag, some occasional freezing in areas with lots of objects. Game eventually becomes near unplayable.
  • Xperia Z3: Same as the S5, however after 5 min the temperature of the phone increases by 16-20°C (value taken from built in battery monitoring app) the game will then completely crash. Battery life is drained by 20% after only 5 min.
  • Nexus 7 (2013): This was a fresh install so we only played the tutorial. We couldn’t accurately test the lag effects with lots of objects on the screen… But after 5 minutes of play, the device became too hot to comfortably hold and we had to turn it off to cool the device down. We were afraid it would cause lasting damage to the device and the owner then requested we immediately delete Runners and never install it on again.

You want to know something even more head scratching? These were running in streamlined mode, which is designed to take pressure of the processor and make the game perform better…. however our soft launch versions did not have streamlined mode turned on! Yet it’s performing this badly with streamlined mode on!?

Sega… What the hell happened!? How do two of the most advanced phones on the market go from playing the game flawlessly to struggling and in one case failing after 5 min of gameplay time?

The Nexus 7 can probably be explained by the fact it’s older hardware and Runners does demand a lot. But still, the heat generated was worrying to the owner of the device so if you have a Nexus 7 2013, avoid runners like the Black Death.

This is just bad optimisation, pure and simple. There is no way a game like Runners should be causing this many problems on these devices. Whilst I personally haven’t been able to test an iOS build, I’ve been told it’s a lot better, which suggests to me the Android version is a port which got little development or tooling. I would say that this claim is further supported by the fact that the Android version on launch crashed during start up due to a major problem the always online DRM, questioning how this got past the Q&A if the game had been optimised for this platform.

So technically, the game is bad. It’s really bad. In fact I’d go as far as to say it’s there with Sonic 06 and Rise of Lyric, because for as buggy as those games are, at least they allow you to play for more than 5 min and do not melt your system.

Other noticeable bugs: Buddies no longer pick up animals, the asteroid wisp will sometimes spiral to the top of the screen out of control, totally ruining a run.

runnersasteroid
I’m not touching the screen, the wisp just refuses to come down.

Then there is this odd thing…

charmytheknuckles
Charmy the Knuckles

Yes it’s funny, but you add this will the other technical problems and you really do question if any optimisation or QA took place.

Aside from it’s technical performance, are there any other problems. Yes… dear lord yes.

Lets get onto the Red Rings. Red Rings are the second form of currency that this game uses, they are much harder to come by and when you get some, it’s in very limited stock. Red Rings are used to by normal rings or extra lives, but their primary use is to use on the roulette wheel and gain buddies.

What are buddies? They’re small characters that accompany you in stages which add a bunch of effects ranging from score boosters to ring recovery and other positive effects. The vast majority of them are pointless, but some of the rarer ones are highly valuable and the key to doing well on the leader boards.

The catch is that the only way to get them is from either a special event, or from spending 50 red rings on the roulette wheel, at which point you are granted a random buddy. If you get the same buddy, it levels up before capping at level 5. The problem now is that following the worldwide release, Sega has drastically slashed the number of red star rings you can get.

How bad is it? Well under the soft launch version, completing all parts of the final scenario rewarded you with 90 red rings. 10 for each episode, 50 for the final boss. To complete the final scenario, you need a total score of 50 million, so 50 million = 90 red rings.

But in the worldwide launch, you only get 5 per episode and only 10 for the final boss! So now you only get 30 for completing the 5 hardest levels in the game. A total point requirement of 50 million, so 50 million = 30 red rings!

What about other red ring methods? You can randomly find one in a stage, Eggman may drop one if you’re lucky, and if you spam your friends Facebook accounts you can get 10 if they sign up to Runners and use your referral… oh wait hang on… that feature is currently broken.

You are therefore forced to use real world money to buy red rings. And how have Sega welcomed new users to this? By ripping them off.

runnerstore

Prior to the worldwide launch, the highest red ring price was £24.99 for 700 red rings. In the new worldwide version it’s £30 for 481, yet they still have the gall to claim that this is a sale price! But wait? What’s that bonus +1019 red ring amount, that apparently gets removed if you are actually silly enough to buy rings from the store? They call it a ‘first time buyers bonus.’ After you make your first purchase, it returns to 481.

For new players who have just picked up the game, sorry to say this but you are totally screwed. You won’t ever be able to touch those who have been playing this game for months. Their buddies are too well levelled up and they have the special limited edition characters which boost score. Don’t even try, it’s over.

runnerstoogood
See this? This is why you will NEVER be able to touch those higher level players.

…Unless you spend several hundred pounds in red rings. Then you ‘might’ have a chance, but you won’t. You won’t because you won’t have the limited edition characters who have better bonuses, so why even bother?

And now we get to a major problem with Sonic Runners in terms of it’s design and ethical issues.

runnerswheel
Is anyone ok with the fact that Runners is essentially a gambling machine aimed at children?

The game has now forced you to use the micro-transaction system. The only thing worth spending that on is the roulette wheel, which is no different than playing real roulette in a casino. You pay money, then take a chance at the wheel to get a reward.

Sonic Runners essentially becomes a miniature gambling machine, you are enticed to put real money in, then spend that money in the form of red rings, you gamble those rings for prizes, this is gambling, there is no other way to describe it. Then we get into the very murky waters of the fact that the game is aimed at children. This is a miniature gambling game aimed at kids. Surely this should have a higher ESRB rating than it currently does given that it has gambling in it?

 Before you say ‘well it’s not really gambling’ explain how? It’s no different from any other form of gambling. In fact it’s just a virtual form of casino chips, if you spend money on this game, then use those rings on the wheel, you are gambling, think about that for a moment. Some of you will be ok with it, but I know a few won’t be.

Were red rings common in the original? No, you still had to work to earn them, but you could get them for playing and doing well if you were dedicated and were generally good at the game. Now, they’re virtually non existent. So few are available that you’ll be crying out for special events or bite the bullet and spend real money to gamble with.

Your chances to get rings are further restricted due to the life/revive change. Whilst this change came during the soft launch, it was done so close to the worldwide launch it’s worth mentioning; you are now only given 3 lives. 1 life will recharge every 30 min. After which you’re told to buy more or wait until they recharge.

Even more pathetic an insult, Sega have been releasing new characters. The only way to get them is by using the roulette wheel. There’s a mere 6% chance at getting said characters. The catch is that their bonuses are much better than the default characters, so if you want to compete, gotta get these characters.

sonicrunners
Facebook support suddenly disabled

Even Amy is dangled in front of your face like some kind of bait. Spam your Facebook friends who might have no interest in the game, hope they’ll use your referral and you might get Amy… except Facebook links are currently broken so this is impossible.

asprin
To read the rest of this review, please take a moment to just stare at this picture of Aspirin for 30 seconds.

You want more examples of how the free to play nature ruins what is a decent game? Adverts… everywhere, even for completing a stage, you now get an advert, say goodbye to your mobile data limits as these are video files, the majority of which are 30 seconds long. So far I’ve not seen one which relates to Sonic or Sega, and some have nothing to do with gaming.

This brings me onto another change. When you die in a stage, you can continue if you watch a video advert (there is a limited number per day). This sounds like a great idea… but like most other parts of the game, there are problems. Sometimes the adverts don’t play, sometimes the adverts crash or freeze your game, forcing you to quit, taking with it your life and doesn’t compensate you in any way, and sometimes the adverts are for things not available in your region. I got one advert for medication which isn’t available in the UK!

The always online requirement is still here, and once again it’s proved how pointless it is, players are already cheating and have been cheating for months, asking the question, why the hell is this even a thing? The game would be so much better if this wasn’t even here, it’s just pointless and restrictive to how and where you can play.

So I’ve complained for a while, might as well offer some solutions to these problems.

  • Scrap the online only requirement, it doesn’t do anything and isn’t preventing cheating.
  • Optimise the game. For the love of god optimise the game for Android.
  • Return the red ring rewards for completing the final episode to the soft launch levels.
  • Stop putting characters on the roulette wheel and give us a store to buy them from for a limited period of time.

Overall, Sonic Runners was once a really great little game. It was really fun to play and I got lots of enjoyment from it. Then something happened called the Worldwide launch and Sonic runners was turned into a broken mess littered with adverts and the very worst of  methods to try and extract money from you.

sonicrunnersadvert

That’s not a browser advert, I just felt you all needed to see a Game of War advert, since Runners wants you to see them all the time, maybe it’s viral marketing for Eggman’s army having a cross over in Game of War?

Don’t do it, do not waste your time with this, there was a great game here, it’s gone now, it died with the worldwide release. Unless they fix the blatantly broken android version, radically overhaul the red ring system and cut down the adverts avoid this game.

You’ll Love:
+ When it works, the simple gameplay which is fun.
+ The moment you manage to unlock a new character.
+ Knuckles threatening to kill Eggman.

 You’ll hate:

–  In terms of its technical performance, it’s easily one of the worst Sonic games of all time.
–  Stuttering, lag, freezes after a short period of play.
–  Adverts.
–  Always online.
–  It’s a gambling machine aimed at children.
–  Designed to take money from you, not reward your ability to play.
–  Overheating of your device.
–  Trying to explain to your partner why their expensive phone has melted/no longer performs well due to overheating.
*Review based on the Android version of the game, running on Galaxy S5, Nexus 7 (2013) & Sony Xperia Z3.*

Second Opinion by Bradd039243d0917679ed9762e415af2f9e8

Played on the iPhone 5C, using the latest version of iOS.

When I reviewed the initial build of the game, I had nothing but praise for it. In fact, I called it the best Sonic title we’ve seen since Sonic Generations. While I hold to what I said regarding that soft launch version… there’s no way I can continue to hold that opinion with this new worldwide release.

First, I want to go over the positives – the game is still simple and fun in terms of its gameplay. It inherits some of the classic design philosophies but modernised for a new platform and it’s fun to experience. Furthermore, the production values haven’t gone anywhere either. The music from Ohtani is still top notch (if not slightly repetitive by the game’s nature) and the visuals are still great.

Something I highlighted as a positive in my initial look was how it was fair with its freemium nature. This has, unfortunately, become quite the opposite. Runners’ worldwide build finally is using in game advertisements to a mixed approach. I don’t mind having the ability to use a free revive by viewing an ad, but I don’t appreciate them appearing when I try to see my results or return to the main menu.

Daily Challenges are at least more easily completed in the worldwide release.
Daily Challenges are at least more easily completed in the worldwide release.

Red Rings have also become a true premium currency with a questionable approach. The soft launch version not only was more generous in terms of how it rewarded players with them, but I also never felt pressured to spend them. This version has cut rewarded Red Rings in half for defeating most boss encounters in game and upped prices in the store – this, alongside the awful luck based system to earns new characters and buddies, only discourages me from playing the game or purchasing premium currency.

My other negatives still stand also. The game does lack variety (don’t expect to be playing Runners for long periods of time without becoming bored), the story is still abysmally uninteresting/poorly written, and some obstacles in the game feel very cheap. But aside from what I’ve mentioned above, there’s still one more gigantic negative the worldwide version has brought – which is performance issues.

Never during the game’s soft launch builds did I ever experience issues with how the game performed. It ran smoothly and meant that generally, players at fault would be punished fairly. The worldwide version has brought very noticeable stuttering and lag to the gameplay. And this wouldn’t be much of an issue… if it didn’t cause your runs to mess up completely. Lag will make your jump go a little too high, or for you to miss an enemy, or to hit that obstacle you had dodged a thousand times before suddenly smack you in the face. This issue affects the experience immensely.

A few other things I should mention about this worldwide version of the game, as it stands:

  • A great fix the game made was showing players what level they would be facing before they entered regardless of the progress you made. This allows you to be much more prepared, and not feel cheated when you enter a level with Tails and fail immensely in a power based stage.
  • Revive tokens have been completely nerfed. Not only have they been cut to three, the recovery time for them has been increased. This could be to encourage players to connect with their Facebook friends so they can send revive tokens to one another.
  • A new experience system has been introduced. A great idea in concept and would encourage you to perform better in your runs – however the experience system feels limited and not generous on any level, even at just level 10. It makes you think it may just be another nudge to spend more rings, which in turn may make you want to use premium currency to attain…?

I’d quite frankly call the worldwide launch of Sonic Runners a bit of a failure – not only have they made a fun little mobile game a money hungry monster, they’ve introduced new problems to soft launch players that never existed before. This version of Runners is not the same experience anymore, and that truly saddens me.

UPDATE: The Spin: “What Do You Mean? There’s a Problem With Sonic Runners?”

spin

UPDATE: Following the publication of this article, the following happened.

A YouTube Video was posted showing a possible workaround for the instant crash bug. Looks like it was related to the always online DRM.

UPDATE 2: Sega has published a new update for Android users, the instant crash bug has been fixed but performance problems are still being experienced.

Game still can’t be downloaded by some users despite the fact it runs on those devices fine.

ORIGINAL STORY:

So… How did the Sonic Runners launch go?

sonicrunnersbroke

Take a look at it…  Just look at it, that isn’t them all, it’s barely a quarter of all the complaints I could find, it’s also just from one source, a small sample of all the complaints on the official Sonic the Hedgehog Facebook group regarding today’s release of Sonic Runners.

Sonic Runners was released nearly 20 hours ago and since then there has been nothing but problems reported, mainly from Android users, most iOS users despite some reported problems are actually able to get the game to start and are able to play.

Now with a lot of games lately there are bugs and issues, with mobile games especially, you have the minefield of non standardised hardware being an issue, however Sonic Runners really does set a new standard for some pretty major bugs and issues, some of which potentially pose risk to the actual device and the health of the person playing the game.

Since the game launched, players of the game have inundated Sega’s various Facebook and twitter accounts, as well as the official and fan forums to report problems with the game and in some cases issues which threaten the device it was running on.

The problems are mainly located on the Android platform, however iOS users have also reported serious issues ranging from game crashing, poor optimization, loss of connection and data loss.

Android users however have had nothing but hell since the game launched, if indeed they can get the game launched. I have at hand 3 devices which by all rights should be able to play this game without any problems, all these devices were able to play every single soft launch release build flawlessly.

 

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (barely 6 months old)
  • Sony Xperia Z3 (less than a year old)
  • Google Nexus 7 (3 days old)

 

All these devices are running the most up to date firmware/operating systems. the S5 has played runners daily at length since it originally launched. The following is a list of the VERY serious issues that I have personally experienced and other users on our forums have reported with the same/other devices.

 

  • S5 & Xperia: Crashes the moment you try to start it up, it gives the impression that the app has closed, however it’s actually still running as a background app.
  • Xperia: If the app is started and left in the background (say unnoticed by the user), the phone will get extremely hot to touch, the battery will also drain very quickly.
  • Nexus 7: The worldwide release works and runs, however after only 2 min of play the device gets extremely hot, so hot in fact we had to turn it off for fearing the safety of the hardware and because we were very concerned that it would become a fire hazard had we left it running, one part of the device was so hot it could have potentially burned someone.

 

The issues with the Nexus 7 were so bad, the owner of it immediately uninstalled the game and made me promise never to install it on there again.

Regarding the Nexus 7 issue. This is almost certainly the result of the hardware not being upto scratch, the system is being pushed near it’s limit which is generating a massive level of heat.

But the issue is this. Why is an older device  cleary struggling to play the game able to do just that. But more advanced systems can’t even get past a splash screen?

Following efforts to get the devices to play Runners, we also noticed that the devices had issues with their normal operations after the game was stopped, such as 3G & 4G connectivity completely failing for around an hour and some other web service issues, yes we even travelled to another location to verify this wasn’t a localised problem to the area.

As mentioned, other users who have got the game working on android have also noticed phones/devices overheating (confirmed on both iOS and Android), some have reported data loss when upgrading to the worldwide launch version and others have reported major performance problems on both iOS and Android.

Now to be fair here, I have some experience with developing games for mobile devices and there is a problem, unlike developing for a console, even if your testing studio has 100 devices, you will still never have universal compatibility or be free from problems, even from things such as the size of the screen can fail a build. When releasing a game for Android, you will NEVER have a problem free launch…

However… given the scale of the issues reported, this can barely be an excuse, some of the most advanced devices using the latest OS and firmware are reporting major problems, even in Sega’s own compatibility list, devices which should work are not, in fact Sega has only said iOS users must be over iOS 7. There is absolutely no reason at all why the S4, S5, S6 or the Sony Z3 shouldn’t be able to play this game. It’s frankly baffling how this was allowed to be released in it’s current state.

But you know what is really odd about all this?

Yesterday, all these devices were playing the game fine, absolutely no problems, I was enjoying the game and have been doing nothing but praising the game since it was launched, yes I have some issues with it which I was actually intending to bring up later if they were still present in the worldwide version, but given the state of the worldwide version as it stands right now, it’s not worth the risk to your device to play it.

Now to be fair, Sega have release a statement on the matter.

 

runnersstatement

 

I want to be reassured that it’ll be fixed soon, I really do, I really love Runners and really want to play it again, however it took 2 years for them to fix Sonic 4 on mobile devices and it’s really easy to put a statement like that out, especially with no time frame or what they define as a ‘challenge’.

Especially since in a few hours time the birthday celebrations are due to begin, in which free items will be given away and users will have the chance to get classic Sonic… will we get it fixed in time to be in with a chance at picking him up? If not, how is that going to work? Compensation? If so how you going to do that since there’s no way to prove who was prevented from playing and who is a new user?

I don’t like this waiting game, especially when it was working fine the other day and there really is absolutely no justifiable reason as to why this became such a disaster for such a large portion of the user base who provided you with the test data for today’s launch.

Sonic Runners OST Now Available on iTunes and Amazon

runnersostThe mobile exclusive Sonic Runners finally makes its worldwide debut tomorrow on iOS and Android devices – and to celebrate, SEGA are pulling out all the stops by releasing the first volume of the game’s original soundtrack on iTunes and Amazon in the UK and US.

All six of the tracks on this initial release are composed by Tomoya Ohtani, who has worked on a number of Sonic titles during his career – most notably Sonic Lost World and Sonic Unleashed in recent years. Even when the standard of a Sonic game is up for debate, the soundtrack often stands out as an undisputed highlight and the usual trend of catchy rhythms and quality compositions continues here, with some excellent level themes and other tunes on offer for your musical pleasure.

Sonic Runners OST Volume 1 consists of the following track listing:

1. Beyond The Speed Of…
2. Fly Away
3. Power Ride
4. Theory Of Attack
5. Spring Emotions
6. Where To Today?

Whether or not you intend to try out Sonic Runners itself, you can download the soundtrack right now from iTunes (UK / US) or Amazon (UK / US) – individual tracks cost £0.79 / $0.99 apiece, or the full six track collection will set you back a rather affordable £4.74 / $5.94. Not too shabby!

It is expected that further volumes of the soundtrack will be released at a later date – watch this space, we’ll let you know as soon as details are announced!

Are you all ears to hear this news and plan on downloading the Sonic Runners OST? Got a favourite track from this first volume? Let us know in the comments!

Sonic Runners getting worldwide release on June 25

Sonic Runners, Sonic Team’s first mobile Sonic game, will finally be debuting worldwide on June 25. Just in time for Sonic’s 24th birthday!

This was revealed minutes ago on the official Sonic Runners twitter account. The tweet promises more details in the coming days. Sonic fans have been waiting for a worldwide release of the game since its limited release in Canada and Japan back in February.

Sonic Runners, as the name suggests, is a free-to-play endless running game, where the player tries to get as far as possible before dying. The game will be launching on both iOS and Android.

Sonic Runners Update Brings Game Alterations

11330997_997486733619661_919106623_oMobile exclusive game Sonic Runners today released update 1.0.4 to the markets which the title is currently available in, bringing some noteworthy gameplay alterations to the experience.

This update is particularly noteworthy as it alters several core gameplay mechanics – such as revive tokens, the goals for your daily challenges, and using the item roulette to win prizes on each login.

Here’s the official information provided by SEGA on the game update, via the Canadian App Store:

■Update Details
・Fly-type Character Adjustments
Hit detection now covers the whole character while in the air. It’s much easier to defeat enemies now.

・Daily Challenge Adjustments
Goals and prizes have been improved to make them easier to get!

・Additions to Results Screen
Score bonuses have new animations making it easier to understand your score!

・Revive Tokens
Max Revive Tokens are set at 3 and now take 30 minutes to recharge.

・Item Roulette Adjustments
Roulette spins reduced to 1 time, but prize amounts have been increased!

・Item Selection Save
Items selected on previous run will be automatically selected on your next run.

・Character Behavior Adjustments
Recovery time shortened after taking damage.

・Camera Placement Adjustments
Camera zooms out during loops and when speeding up to make it easier to see what’s coming.

・Object Adjustments

■Bug Fixes
・Effect and behavior corrections for some Companions
・Minor bug fixes

These adjustments could be seen in various lights. For example, while now you only get one spin a day on the item roulette wheel, the prize numbers are far greater than before. The alterations to the revive mechanics seems to only push Runners in a much more freemium direction than before, encouraging users to pay for revive tokens or ask friends for refills.

Also available to Runners users currently with this update is the log in campaign for fifty free revive tokens – simply open the game and you’ll be offered ten tokens a day for the next five days. It should be enough to keep you running for a while!

Let us know what you think of these adjustments in the comments below.

Sonic Runners out now on Android… sort of (Update: And iOS)

runners-keyart

Update: It’s also seemingly out now on iOS.

Well isn’t this a surprise. Sonic Runners is actually out now on Google Play in NA (actually was dated for yesterday on February 25th, 2015). However, some phones don’t seem to be supported (my Samsung Galaxy Ace II x GT-S7560M seems incompatible).  And some who have got it to download have gotten this error message of maintenance:

B-vkz57VEAABAbw

The Google Play page has this info:

Play Sonic, the world’s fastest hedgehog, in the all-new side-scrolling endless runner. With all-new mobile friendly controls, just tap the screen to run, jump, and spin your way across lightening fast Sonic world.FEATURESTRUE SIDE-SCROLLING SONIC ACTION
– Run and spin at lightening speeds with mobile friendly controls
– Designed by TEAM SONIC, the original Sonic development team
– Super fast and challenging levels with loop-de-loops, retro design, hidden rings, and classic enemies
– Unleash Color Powers: LASER POWER for hi-speed movements, ASTERIOD POWER for destroying obstacles, and DRILLS Power for burrowing undergroundPLAY AS SONIC AND HIS FRIENDS
– Unlock Tails and Knuckles as player characters
– Master their Speed, Aerial, and Power attributes
– Evolve your character’s powers with collected ringsRUN WITH COMPANIONS
– Run with the power of Companions
– Complete stages and enhance your character’s abilities
– Select the best Companion for the job depending on your character and the levelCOMPETE IN ALL-NEW RANKING BATTLES
– Reign in four ranking categories: Rival League, Friend, World, and Historical
– Fight against your friends and the world for the “Sonic Record”
– Compete with up to 50 players in a white-heat competition in the Rival League
– Win the top of the “”S league”” to claim the supreme honor!

COMPETE AGAINST FRIENDS
– Log into Facebook to activate the Friend Invitation and Friend Ranking features

□■What’s New■□
[Facebook account] will keep you updated on the app! Some info may only be available on Facebook!!

□■App Price■□
Free *IAPs available

□■Recommended Devices■□
Android OS2.3 or later *excluding certain devices
—-
We want Sonic Runners to be played by as many people as people,
so we’re planning on increasing the amount of supported devices.
We apologize if you cannot download Sonic Runners on your current device.
Please wait for further announcements.
—-

We’ll update you guys as more info comes!

First Sonic Runners Gameplay Footage Arrives With New Info

NEW UPDATE: English translation of the trailer at the bottom of this post.

UPDATE: More new info can be found on the official English site here.

Sega Networks has released the first Sonic Runners trailer with actual footage from the game! The game looks like a fun mesh of the autorun of Cabalt mixed with the high speed and item collecting of Jetpack Joyride. We can already see some unlockable characters that will be released including Rouge, Shadow, Amy and the Chaotix. Also, shown are some of the items that can be purchased and used in game.

The game is still targeted for spring in Japan, but no release date news for the West or Europe just yet. However, at one point in the video, you can hear Roger Craig Smith yell “Sonic Record!” so it’s all but guaranteed to show up here sometime this year.

Thanks to Chad in the comments section, here’s a translation of the trailer.

THIS sonic is appearing on smartphone!

Sonic’s appearing on smartphone!

Sonic with his friends, is running through on smartphone!

Sonic (Type Speed), Tails(Type Fly), Knuckles (Type Power)

Adding thrilling new characters in the future!

Break through levels using your favorite character!

Level up from acquired rings!(Level up characters!)

Additionally, Score up faster with “Otomo” friend support! (Powerful “Otomo” friend support)

One by one get Otomo by the Premium Roulette!(Get Otomos)

Prevent Dr. Eggman’s numerous ambitius plots

(Aim for the top in Sonic Record!) Break your own record in Sonic Record

Exhilarating speed-of-sound action using one finger (Exhilarating speed-of-sound action with one finger!!)

Run, Jump, Aim for the top

Sonic Runners

Let the exhilaration become a habit!

2nd Update: Shadow is actually an Android in Sonic Boom? What..?

UPDATE 2: Paraxade who has been going through the files of the game has uncovered audio from the Western version of the game which reveals that an explanation for Shadows out of character behaviour was included, but was cut from the final release.

One clip is of tails saying “Something’s wrong, he has some sort of chip on his head”
The second is of tails saying “You’re not yourself, you have some sort of device on your head”

So it looks like Shadow was to have a more obvious ‘mind controlled’ back story to him, but it got cut from the final version, yet in Sonic Toon they brought part of it back in.

UPDATE: More video and reports are coming in. 

It turns out that at the very end of the game the is a sort of explanation. Shadow is not a robot. He had his mind controlled by Lyric. That’s why his voice sounds really strange. Some translation of his ingame dialogue has also come to light which suggests he says that “He will do anything to help Lyric.”

Whilst this would explain why Shadow is so out of character, it still creates  plot hole in that there is nothing to show that this had actually happened since the western version of the game offers no explanation for his actions at all.

Original Story: Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric has been out for a while in the west. However in Japan the game is just released and there’s a rather noticeable difference… Shadow… is an android!

http://youtu.be/He4xWOVu1dw

Youtube user RaqibMarvelous uploaded a video showing the boss fight between Sonic & Shadow including the cut scenes which are done by the Japanese voice cast… and Shadow sounds nothing like he has done in previous games… he’s a robot.

Shadow has this mechanical like filter to all his dialogue like all the other robot characters making him sound more like an android. To compare, here is the Japanese version of Sonic Generations, Shadow pops up at 13:10 and you can hear the difference.

http://youtu.be/-dZs26bpwHg

There appears to be some dialogue changes too which don’t match up with the subtitles, if anyone can translate the dialogue for us we’d really appreciate it.

Sonic Jump Fever Out On iOS And Android Today!

Jump back into the fray with your favourite hero…Tails?

Sonic-Jump-Fever

 

A new app is hitting the mobile platforms today! Sonic Jump Fever is the improved follow up to Hardlight’s original venture with Sonic, Sonic Jump. There’s new worlds to jump in, old favourites to unlock and play as, and a new chao mechanic that should definitely spice things up for old Sonic Jump veterans with their unique abilities.  Have the launch trailer below;

There is one thing that should be noted about this release, though. Many people who have already bought the game are reporting that you do not, in fact, start off Sonic Jump with Sonic. Instead, Tails is who starts the adventure off the bat, while Sonic himself is an unlockable character! What a strange twist in conventions!

Sonic Jump Fever is free to download, although like many F2P games there are microtransactions within the game itself.

Sources; iTunes, Google Play

Image source; App Advice

Video source; Youtube (Sega America)

Andronic races onto Sonic Dash for Android

andronic

Well… umm… this is weird.

In a new update that absolutely nobody could see coming, the Android version of mobile endless runner Sonic Dash now features two additional characters – the Android robot and (yes, you’re really hearing this right) Andronic the Droid Hog.

The Android robot comes free as part of the new update, but if you play as him 50 times, you’ll unlock the Sonic themed reskin that will undoubtedly become the subject of many future fan-fictions, as with the Tails Doll and the Sonic Omochao before him. I can’t decide whether it’s meant to be adorably stupid or utterly terrifying.

Understandably, this is exclusive to Google Play, with no equivalent iOS update detailed at the present time. Perhaps this is a strange way of paying back all the Android customers who were left anxiously waiting for Sonic Dash to hit their mobile device of choice while Apple users were speeding away months in advance.

Here’s a video of Andronic in action (no sound though, unfortunately). Marvel at how silly he looks, flailing his arms around like a madman!

What do you make of this new Sonic Dash update? Will you play as Andronic the Droid Hog?

Sonic Jump Fever leaping onto iOS and Android soon

Looks like Sonic Boom won’t be the only game starring everyone’s favourite blue blur at E3 this year! Just revealed via an announcement trailer on SEGA Europe’s YouTube channel, Sonic Jump Fever – a sequel to the original Sonic Jump mobile game – will be bouncing its way onto iOS and Android devices at some point in the near future.

Originally released in Canada earlier this year, the core gameplay in Sonic Jump Fever will be very similar to its predecessor, only this time with more dynamic action, more combos… and of course, more fever! The question is though – will it be a real leap forward? (sorry, I’ll get my coat…)

Little else is known about the game’s release outside Canada beyond that shown off in the trailer, but be sure to stay tuned to TSS for any further updates on the game – and in the meantime, let us know your thoughts on this announcement in the comments!

Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed now FREE on iOS and Android

unnamedSorry, Peppy Hare took a wrong turn at albuquerue and couldn’t be here today.

Yep, the Sega and Sonic the Hedgehog twitter accounts just announced the Android version of the game is now free to download, note that it’s a big file, it’s 789MB (on Android at least)! Download the game on iOS via the App Store here and on Android via Google Play here!

Sonic Dash S races onto Japanese iOS and Android

screen568x568Talk about a bolt from the blue! Completely out of nowhere, a brand new version of Sonic Dash, curiously titled Sonic Dash S, has hit iOS and Android devices in Japan. While it doesn’t appear to differ too heavily from the current edition of the game available elsewhere across the globe, this iteration does bring with it some new features and refinements.

2qwo1tj

First up, Sonic Dash S actually seems to have some sort of plot to it. No longer is Sonic just aimlessly running for the sake of running – now he’s on a high speed chase to stop Dr. Eggman, who has once again made off with the elusive Master Emerald (Knuckles just can’t catch a break, can he?). Sonic Dash S also sees the return of the Chao who, in a similar fashion to their appearance in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, provide Sonic and his friends with special abilities to boost their skills. That’s not the only thing bumping up the blue blur’s stats in this version either – you can upgrade the characters themselves by acquiring bonuses and levelling up. Essentially, it sounds like the same Sonic Dash experience, but padded out with a few additional elements to spice things up.

SSMB member SwiftWinds also notes that characters have their own special abilities when they reach a certain level – for instance, Tails can fly out of a pit, Knuckles can overcome bombs and spikes, Amy increases your banked ring count, and Shadow increases the rings you earn at the end of a run. Additionally, characters can be unlocked using normal rings in Sonic Dash S rather than the red rings that are otherwise required in the standard version of Sonic Dash.

There is no word yet on whether Sonic Dash S will hit any other regions, be it as a brand new download or as an update to the existing game – but stay tuned to TSS and we’ll keep you in the loop! Thanks to SSMB member Woun for bringing it to our attention in the first place.

What are your first thoughts on Sonic Dash S? Let us know in the comments!

TSS Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (iOS)

unnamedI’m sure I am not alone when I say I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve purchased Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in various incarnations, be it through a port to a 7th gen console or a compilation release over the last decade. Yet, SEGA keep coming back to these classic titles in order to capitalise on those still reminiscing of a golden age, and indeed I keep coming back to these epitomes of gaming on the Megadrive. I might have been apprehensive in purchasing this game once more, had it not been for the involvement of the now legendary Taxman and Stealth in this port, and going off their incredible rebuilds of Sonic 1 and Sonic CD for iOS and Android I couldn’t resist.

Indeed, even after playing for a few minutes, it is obvious that there was no misplaced faith. The Retro Engine lends itself perfectly to the title, with Emerald Hill looking crisp from the get-go. Once you pop into the special stages though, your eyes are in for the real treat; gone is the old frame-by-frame half-pipe, now replaced by a glorious gliding 3D environment that is so silky smooth it’s almost hypnotic. It’s impressive that even the busiest screens don’t show any break in frame rate, which really helps maintain the pace; even when other iOS applications are throwing update after update at you.

I’ve never been fond of the touchscreen interface with mobile ports, but one thing that has made these titles much more bearable is playing them on one of the larger devices, specifically the iPad; the larger footprint of the D-pad makes for a much more pleasant experience than on the iPhone counterpart (or maybe it’s just my fat thumbs). That said there were some experiences where precision was required and my thumbs missed the control, resulting in my hurtling down the level after failing to avoid an Asteron explosion.

Sonic2-BossFightControls aside, what will really sell this to the veteran Sonic fans is the new inclusions to the game, namely the much talked about Hidden Palace Zone, which until now only existed as screenshots from the Beta version, an unused track in the sound test and years of speculation on forums. Should you be fortunate enough to find the new stage (as its name suggests, it’s hidden, and hidden in the most ingenious place), you’ll discover a level that has been built from the ground up by Taxman and Stealth. Without spoiling the mystique for those who are yet to play through, the stage feels like it’s been part of the game forever; alternative routes, Badniks and obstacles unique to the environment are some of the highlights of the stage, along with the most original and refreshing boss fight I have played though in many, many years. The Hidden Palace Zone music from the original has not been utilised to accompany the stage, but instead has been replaced with the 2-player stage theme to fit the pace of the level; a wise choice in my opinion.

On the subject of the two player mode, the feature has been completely revamped in order to open it up to the competitive arena of the internet, bringing in elements such as randomised item boxes and the shields from Sonic 3 / S&K, making for a much different experience from previous incarnations. While not an element of gameplay I generally garner the most pleasure from, many will find the ability to drop in and out of the multiplayer mode a huge attraction, even if the odd disconnection and lag occurs from time-to-time; this seems to be symptomatic of networks rather than a flaw in the game itself. The various time attack modes available also offer an extra dimension of re-playability that will extend the game’s interest long after completion of the main game.

I’m unsure whether it was intentional or not, but in both play through with Sonic and Tails I failed to encounter the Hill Top Zone boss. The first time through, the change only builds anticipation of the additional zone, however, many will be disappointed that this boss has been left out the final version, or only appears in certain circumstances. [UPDATE: Apparently the omission of the boss was a glitch, and the new update fixes this – T].

Flaws aside, and smalls flaws at that, this game makes for the hat-trick of classic ports that have regenerated the titles universally thought to be virtually perfect. The title is a testament and an example of a game in a franchise where those working behind the scenes have a great passion for what they are creating. Taxman and Stealth should once again be proud of their magnificent endeavor, and I only hope SEGA are now negotiating their work on a fourth title. If you own an mobile device, this is a must have purchase regardless of your level of dedication to the franchise. Even if you have defeated Sonic the Hedgehog 2 a hundred times, you’ll want to revisit it at least once more through the mobile port; it makes for a strangely new, yet nostalgic experience.

You’ll Love:

+ Three playable characters from the get-go for three different game experiences

+ A brand new level, faithful to the world of Sonic the Hedgehog 2

+ Boss and stage time attack modes

+ A rejuvenated multiplayer mode with online play

You’ll Hate:

– Some frustrating moments with connection issues

– Using the touch screen controls in vital situations

– Putting the game down

 

Sonic Dashes Onto Android Phones At Last

Sonic Dash™ Android (English)

Negative Nancies and Debbie Downers need not speak ill of the lack of Sonic Dash on Android devices as of today, for SEGA and Hardlight Studios have finally released the endless runner onto the Google Play store for free!

The app’s surprise release follows the tease SEGA had spread from its social media networks just yesterday, and players will be pleased to know that they won’t be missing out on certain events that went down on the iOS version of the game any longer, such as the ongoing Zazz boss battle event tying in with the recent Wii U/3DS release of Sonic Lost World.

If you are reading this from your Android phone, I think you know what you have to do!

Zazz Joins The Brawl… er… Dash!

In a surprising new update to coincide with the release of Sonic Lost World, you can now fight Zazz from the Deadly Six in a brand new boss battle in the mobile-exclusive Sonic Dash.

As can be seen in the trailer above, you’ll be facing off with the crazed Zeti atop his Moon Mech, dodging his star attacks until you get the chance to show him who’s boss and homing attack him into oblivion. It appears you’ll encounter Zazz at random as opposed to a set place in any of the stages.

The new update also includes a Deadly Six Card Collection Challenge where players from all around the world have to collect a set number of cards that can be found throughout the stages – once a certain total is reached, participants will receive some Lost World themed prizes!

You can download the Sonic Dash update now for a limited time only on the iOS. There is still no news on the game arriving on Android devices, though you can be sure we’ll let you know as soon as anything is announced.

What do you think about Zazz making an appearance in Sonic Dash? Would you like to see some of the other Deadly Six show up at a later date too? Let us know in the comments!

ASRT’s Fact Sheet Details New Features & Hints New Characters?

asrtios

Just over a week ago, Sega confirmed that Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed would be headding to mobile devices and that the game wouldn’t just be a port of the console or handheld versions.

Few details or specifics were given, however, Sega have released a fact sheet which does go into some details as to what new features will be included as well as one interesting note about characters.

You can find the full fact sheet at the end of this update, however, the most interesting points are as follows.

Social/Facebook connectivity: You can see your friends facebook pictures on the courses as you play.

Daily & Weekly challenges: odds are these will be similar to Sonic Dash/Jumps challenges.

But here is the most interesting point. The game has only 10 characters to start with. Which is in line with the console versions, now, aside from the PC exclusives which were included from the start or via updates, every other character could be unlocked via world tour mode (exceptions are Alex Kidd and Metal Sonic). But the Fact Sheet claims many more All-Stars coming soon! Suggesting that there will be more characters included at a later date?

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed™

Platforms: iOS, Android

Release Date: December 2013

Publisher: SEGA

Developer: Sumo Digital

Genre: Racer

Players: 1 – 4

It’s Not Just Racing… it’s Racing Transformed!

 Race as Sonic and a host of legendary All-Stars and prepare to transform! Speed across land, sea and air in a high velocity battle to the finish line, as your amazing transformable vehicle changes from car to boat to plane mid-race.  Racing on mobile will never be the same again!

This sequel to the hit 2011 mobile game Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing™ brings all the critically acclaimed land, sea and air racing gameplay from its console counterpart to mobile with a host of new features and improvements:

Legendary Racers

Race as 10 legendary racers at launch each with their own unique transformable vehicle. Plus many more All-Stars coming soon!

Dynamic Tracks

Take to land, sea & air as you race through dynamically changing courses. Discover alternate routes, find new power-ups and avoid emerging hazards as you race to victory – every track feels different.

designed for mobile

A brand new World Tour designed for gaming on the go, plus all-new Daily and Weekly Challenges to test your racing prowess.

ultimate Mobile multiplayer

Take on your friends in ultracompetitive 4-player races, both online and locally. Plus challenge your friends’ best times to show them who’s best.

SOCIALLY CONNECTED

Comprehensive Facebook integration – see your friends’ profile pics on the track.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID ABOUT THE CONSOLE VERSION

“The Savior of arcade racers” 9/10

Eurogamer

“Fun, challenging and easily enjoyable” 8.7/10

Gametrailers

“The metamorphosis of the kart racer” 8.6/10

IGN

“Fast, fun and easy to get into” 8.5/10

Gamespot

Sonic 2 Remastered Will Include ‘Exclusive Content’

sonic2remastered

Just over a week ago, Sega announced that Sonic 2 remastered would be released as early as November of this year. A few people speculated that the game might include bonus or extra content since Sonic 1 remastered include a lot of features cut from the game as well as additional characters.

This however was speculation… Until now.

In a fact sheet posted on their Press Vault site, Sega have confirmed that Sonic 2 Remastered will include exclusive content for the mobile release, however they’ve not gone into details regarding what the content is.

They’ve also re-confirmed the release date to be November 2013, and stated that this will be a 1 player experience only… so no 2 player online Vs mode?

Sonic The Hedgehog 2™

Platforms: iOS, Android

Release Date: November 2013

Publisher: SEGA

Developer: SEGA

Genre: Platform

Players: 1

One of the greatest videogames of all time re-mastered for mobile devices!

Speed back in time to rediscover the game that first united Sonic the Hedgehog with his legendary flying sidekick

Miles “Tails” Prower. Revisit iconic levels packed with enemies and hazards as you zoom along loop de loops in your

mission to destroy the devious Dr. Eggman. This definitive remake for mobile devices has been fully built from the

ground up, featuring re-mastered graphics and audio, a silky smooth frame rate and exclusive game content.

A CLASSIC ADVENTURE

Race as Sonic and Tails through legendary environments such as Casino Night and Chemical Plant. Destroy Dr.

Eggman in epic boss battles or aim for the high score in Sonic 2’s iconic half pipe Special Stage.

REMASTERED FOR MOBILE

Rebuilt from the ground up, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 on mobile offers upgraded graphics, including widescreen display

and a smooth 60fps frame rate, plus a re-mastered soundtrack.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID!

“An absolute gem of a game which your Mega Drive will be screaming out for.”

96%

Mean Machines, Nov 1992.

“Without doubt, it’s SEGA’s best game ever!”

96%

Mega Zone, Jan 1993.

Obviously this means people are going to speculate as to what the exclusive content is… do I dare dream of a Hidden Palace?

Source: Sega Press Vault.

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing arrives on Android

allstarsandroid

While owners of Android devices across the Sonic fandom have been busy celebrating the news that endless runner Sonic Dash will indeed be coming to their mobile platform of choice very soon, it seems SEGA have quietly released another little (and belated) surprise on the Google Play store. That’s right, the original Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing – released in 2010 on home consoles and a little while back for iOS devices – is now available to download for Android!

This madcap racer from Sumo Digital stars 13 characters from across SEGA’s history and allows you to compete in 25 missions and 4 grand prix cups. The game costs just £1.60 and you can purchase it from the Google Play store here.

Thanks to SSMB member LukA8 for the find!

Will you be downloading Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing for Android? Or are you holding out for Sonic Dash instead?

Source: Google Play Store

Sonic Dash Coming to Android Devices

sonic_dash_screenshot2

Sonic Paradise reports that SEGA Europe representative Megan Davis has informed them that popular iOS title Sonic Dash will soon be making its way onto Android devices. According to Davis, we can expect an official announcement soon once SEGA has decided on a release date in their upcoming software schedule.

“There will be an Android version of Sonic Dash, we’re just reviewing our release schedule to accommodate it, but you can expect an announcement very soon”

When the official announcement is made, we’ll be sure to bring you all of the information here.

Are you excited to finally hear this news? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Sonic Paradise

Mega Drive Classic Sonic 1 Coming to iOS & Android, Sonic 2 Also Planned

Sonic 1 Android 2 width=

SEGA has announced at GDC 2013 that the classic Mega Drive title that kickstarted their mascot’s career Sonic the Hedgehog will be released for iOS and Android in April. The game will cost $2.99, run at 60FPS and will include a new time attack mode, widescreen support and a completely remastered soundtrack. Android Police reports that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is also planned for release on Android too, but SEGA didn’t give any details.

Christian Whitehead, who made the recent Sonic CD port, made this tweet to a follower on March 23rd. (Thanks, TimmiT)

Those feels, I’m preparing a build for GDC and I won’t even be there.

Could he be behind this port?

Hit the jump to check out some screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog on iOS & Android.
Continue reading Mega Drive Classic Sonic 1 Coming to iOS & Android, Sonic 2 Also Planned

SEGA’s Website Confirms Sonic Dash for Android

Sonic Dash Android SEGA website

Android users rejoice, as SEGA has finally confirmed that Sonic Dash is headed to Android devices. SEGA has added the game to its website today and is listing Android as one of the platforms. No news on when the Android version will launch, unfortunately, but as soon as a date is revealed, we’ll let you know.

Sonic Dash is now available on the App Store for $1.99, AUD$1.99, £1.49, €1.79 on iPod® touch, iPad® and iPhone®.

Source: SEGA’s official website

Sonic Finally Jumps Onto Android!

It’s taken a good couple of months of rumours and speculation, but at last we can finally put aside the doubts that have been surrounding an Android release of Sonic Jump, SEGA’s mobile-exclusive digital title. As revealed on the official Sonic the Hedgehog Facebook page, the blue blur has now leapt his way onto Google Play – better late than never!

Continue reading Sonic Finally Jumps Onto Android!

Sonic Jump on Android: Failure To Launch, or Botched Take-Off?

In a rather confusing turn of events, SEGA has seemingly dashed the hopes of Android-owning Sonic fans across the globe who were eagerly anticipating the release of Sonic Jump, as the official product page for the mobile-only game – which only a week ago revealed a November release date for Google Play – has since been updated to list only the iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) that the game is currently out on.

So, at first glance, one can assume that the Android listing was a mistake in the first place and the game was always intended to be iOS exclusive. But look a little further than the “available on” section of the page and there are still glimmers of hope for Android users.

Continue reading Sonic Jump on Android: Failure To Launch, or Botched Take-Off?

Sonic Jumping Onto Android in November!

Are you a Sonic fan with an Android phone? Then prepare to jump for joy!

In news that will no doubt please many, it has been revealed that the recently released Sonic Jump game for mobile – originally believed to be exclusive to iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad – is set to leap its way onto Android devices in November.

The revelation was made via SEGA’s official product page for Sonic Jump which now lists an Android release date in addition to the iOS devices, all of which are available now.

Stay tuned to TSS for all the latest on the Android release of Sonic Jump, but if you can’t wait until November, you can of course download it right now from the App Store for $1.99 US/£1.49/1,59 €. First impressions of the game seem to be positive thus far, so for all the Android users out there, it sounds like it’ll be worth the wait!

Source: SEGA

Sonic 4: Episode 2 Out Now on Android & Tegra

Earlier today, Sega announced that the Android version of Sonic 4: Episode 2 is now available to download on… things that can run android stuff? Please don’t ask me to explain what an Android device is, I’m still trying to figure out predictive text!

But if you do own an Android device and don’t have Episode 2, you can now download the game for your Android device here for £5.27, or if you own a Tegra system you can download that here for £5.38.

Furthermore, Sega announced that they would be at the Developer Sandbox conference to talk about episode 2 and answer questions about the game.

Source: Sega Blog.

 

Sonic 4 Episode 2 Mobile to Feature Two Exclusive Levels

A new preview of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 from GDC 2012 has appeared over at Droid Gamers, and in it we learn that the mobile version of Episode 2 will contain two exclusive bonus levels.

The Android version will also come with two exclusive bonus levels that you will have to hunt down.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 contained two Acts that were different in the console version, but whether the situation is the same here or not remains to be seen. Droid Gamers also shared a full demonstration of White Park Act 1, which you can view in the above video. You can read Droid Gamers’ full hands-on preview at the below link.

Source: Droid Gamers

Sonic 4: Episode 2 Teaser Trailer Unveiled at GameSpot

As stated yesterday, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 has been officially announced today over at GameSpot with a teaser trailer that reveals a new playable character. Unexpected though, an interview with Ken Balough came with it revealing more details about this episode. Balough says SEGA has listened to fan feedback from Episode 1 and in response they have added a new graphics engine, a new physics engine and fixed the uncurling.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 will be released in 2012 on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Nework, iOS, Windows Phone 7 and Android devices. Yes, it doesn’t appear to be coming to any Nintendo platforms, unfortunately.

Source: GameSpot

Continue reading Sonic 4: Episode 2 Teaser Trailer Unveiled at GameSpot