Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed Nominated for a Golden Joystick Award

S&ASRT Gamescom Wii U screenshots 4

Sumo Digitals absolutely brilliant Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed managed to win the hearts of many fans as well as critics. If you’ve read our review of the game, or played it, you’ll probably know that it’s quite an exceptional racing game that will find the weak and crush them!

Anyway.

CVG have announced their nominations for this years Golden Joystick awards and ASRT has been nominated. Oh my! What category you may ask? Multiplayer! But I think it’s got a chance to win, it’s only up against. Battlefield 3, Halo 4, Black Ops 2, StarCraft 2, Fifa 13 and… Borderlands 2… as well as a few other popular games.

Hmmm, you know, I like it’s chances of winning /blind faith.

And win it shall! *Puts on the music from the Golden Axe stage* The winner is decided by public vote, come on you lot, get on there and vote, we shall crush the other games, see them driven before us and hear the lamentations of their women!

You can vote for the game here.

Sonic Generations Preview Round-up, More Info & Gameplay Footage

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjDJd6Ay5jw&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

It appears SEGA’s embargo that IGN mentioned before has now lifted, as gaming websites SPOnG, CVG, Videogamer.com and GamesRadar have all just unleashed new previews of a near-final build of Sonic Generations, which give us some new nuggets of information. CVG has also provided new gameplay footage of Classic Sonic’s Sky Sanctuary Zone stage.

SPOnG’s preview is written by this website’s very own Svend Joscelyne/Dreadknux and tells us more about the game’s missions. Two new Speed Highway screenshots are also included.

Inbetween these stages, you’ll get the opportunity to play optional missions. There are five missions for both Classic and Modern Sonic in each zone, and will mix up the core stage in some form. Other characters will take an active role in helping you out, but for now we only know of Tails’ involvement in these levels. A mission called ‘Way Past Fast’ sees you race against the Tornado plane, piloted by the two-tailed fox

Other missions include Doppelganger races, against another Sonic, and a mission called ‘Look Out Below’ which challenges you to complete a remixed Green Hill Zone stage with breakable platforms. In each of these, the main elements of the core stage remains the same, but enemy placements will change and you may even explore completely different looking areas than you would in the main level

In Videogamer.com’s preview, there is an example of what part Sonic’s friends play in gameplay:

You don’t actually play as, say, Knuckles, but in one mission you can take advantage of the red echidna’s fists, where a tap of the button sends him burrowing into the ground for rings. As well as this there are time attacks, high speed challenges and doppelgänger races, which has you racing against the ‘other’ Sonic. Considering modern Sonic has homing attacks and the such, the odds are always stacked against his older, squatter counterpart – which is half the fun.

GamesRadar gives a bit more information about the opening of the game’s story:

The game’s plot is told through deliciously self-referential cut-scenes. Sonic eats chilli dogs while holding Amy at arms length literally with his whole hand over her face as she runs on the spot trying to get to him. But just as it’s getting all cosy, a vortex opens up in the space/time continuum and all of Sonic’s buddies (which include some Chaotix members) get sucked into it. Some cynics would likely be happy to leave the game there, having solved the most irksome problem of the past 19 years, but they’d be missing out on some gorgeous gameplay, so let’s carry on.

GamesRadar also previews the 3DS version and praises the 3D effect:

The 3DS version of Sonic Generations is very different compared to the ‘big’ game, but at the same time very similar in that the more platform-centric Classic Sonic levels are countered by faster, more dazzling Modern Sonic levels. But they all look great in 3D. I played for a long while with the 3D slider up full and it didn’t feel strained on my eyes, which was good. It can look a little simplistic in the over-the-shoulder Modern sections, but that’s to keep the speed and fluidity up, which is obviously vitally important.

All four previews are extremely positive, which is very good to see this close to release when reviews will soon be due. Will Sonic Generations be critically acclaimed? We’ll have to wait and see…

To read the full previews, head over to the links below.

Sources: SPOnG, CVG, Videogamer.com and GamesRadar [PS3/Xbox 360 & 3DS]

Thanks to SSMB member ForgeCircuit for the heads up!

Got a news tip? Send it in to thesonicstadium@googlemail.com, shadzter@sonicstadium.org or via Twitter at @Shadzter and we’ll credit you for the find.

Sonic Generations Announced For Japan, 2 New Screens & Artwork

Andriasang reports that SEGA has announced that Sonic Generations will be released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Japan this Winter. Along with the announcement, SEGA’s shared four screenshots (two old, two new) and a piece of artwork featuring both Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic. You can check out the new screenshots and artwork below.

Source: Andriasang (via CVG)

Iizuka Explains The Secret to Making 2D Gameplay Work

UK Xbox 360 specialist magazine Xbox World 360 recently sent out e-mails to a variety of game developers to find out the secrets of the industry for a feature in their magazine, which has now been made available online on partner site CVG. One of the developers queried was Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, who was asked “What’s the secret to making 2D work?”, to which he replied with the below statement.

I think there are various kinds of 2D platformer and each one of them focuses on different game elements. In the case of Sonic games, I put a premium on the game tempo of the stage.

A game cannot be constructed with only speed elements and a game with only jump actions is not a Sonic. Though jump actions bring a feeling of tension and cause a lot of stress, it’s an element giving the player a great sense of achievement when completed.

In addition to that, maximizing the feeling of achievement and exhilaration in a game whilst still providing the speed is the basic concept – and also real pleasure – of Sonic games.

Takashi Iizuka has gotten a lot of flack from the fanbase for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 due to physics being very different to the classic Mega Drive titles among other reasons, and those fans who didn’t enjoy Episode 1 are hopeful things will change in Episode 2. While this statement doesn’t mention physics, does it give you some hope for Episode 2 and any other future 2D Sonic games? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Source: Xbox World 360 @ CVG (via GoNintendo)

Iizuka: “We recognise there are different needs”

CVG has published a new interview with Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka today. In the interview we find out Iizuka’s thoughts on how Sonic Colours compares to past 3D titles and why this latest entry isn’t being released on Xbox 360 and PS3.

Iizuka explains that the comparison between past 3D Sonic games and Sonic Colours is the cast of characters. The older titles had a large playable cast, while Colours has Sonic alone, which he says is what the fans want.

If you look at previous 3D Sonic games, it began with Sonic Adventure and moved on to others. Those titles always had Sonic as the main characters but also had different rival characters. Those characters were like different action characters – Sonic was the speed character. This time around in Sonic Colours the team really wanted to focus on high-speed Sonic, which is what made the Sonic games special to begin with. The focus was always on the Sonic character itself, they wanted to make Sonic as the only playable character because fans only want to play as Sonic.

Instead of having other characters with different gameplay twists, Iizuka says this time they decided to implement the Wisp power-ups, so they could keep Sonic’s fast-paced gameplay and not break the tempo.

At the same time they also want a different twist to the gameplay and that is why we introduced the Colour powers. The focus is on high-speed Sonic and those colour powers are in more of a complimentary role. We wanted high-speed to be the main focus and didn’t really want to break up the tempo. It’s more like we tried to blend in those actions in a more efficient way, not really distracting the player from the core gameplay.

When asked if Sonic fits with the Xbox 360 and PS3 audiences, Iizuka details why they went with the Nintendo platforms for Sonic Colours and that Sonic still has an audience on the HD platforms.

It’s not that Sonic is for the Nintendo platform, it’s more like when we looked at the target audience for this particular title we wanted to expand the franchise more to newcomers. That is why we chose the Nintendo platforms.

This doesn’t mean that the PS3 and 360 don’t have an audience for Sonic any more, it’s just this title in particular is more tailor made for the Nintendo platform fans – more like fun, enjoyable and vibrant, which Nintendo platforms excel at. It’s more that this type of game is more tailored to those platforms.

Finally, Iizuka tells CVG how Sonic Team recognise there are different needs in the Sonic fanbase, how some want speed, others want platforming and the rest want something new. He says they are looking forward to developing more titles in the future that cater to these different groups of fans.

This year the reason the team is releasing Sonic 4 and Sonic Colours in the same release window is because we recognise there are different needs in terms of Sonic games and characters. There is the platforming, the high-speed and people looking for something new. This is the style that the team thinks works best, looking at the classic fans in one way and the new one in another.

It’s pretty hard for the team to satisfy those two very different fans with just one title. We probably look forward to developing titles which are made more towards the core and casual Sonic fans, that’s probably one of the ways the team thinks it can keep Sonic popular and expand fans for the future.

For the full interview, head over to CVG.

3 New Sonic 4 Lost Labyrinth Zone Screenshots

CVG has released some new screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, three old and three new. While three of them are new to the eye, they actually appear to be from an older build, because Sonic is running in his old animation rather than the recent blurred one SEGA changed it to.

You can check out the rest of the screens below.

New:

Old:

Source: CVG