SAGE 2019 had a ton of exciting entries, some of which continued to crack the tough egg that is controlling Sonic in a 3D space! One of those is Sonic Islands, and it’s one of the best ones since the Sonic Utopia demo in 2016! It’s changed a bit since last year’s entry, in fact it looks like they started from the ground up! To get to the bottom of this, we went to the developer himself to see what Sonic Islands is all about.
One of SAGE’s hottest showings this year was a little demo for a rather spooky game called Vertebreaker! It’s being developed by Head Cannon, one of the driving forces behind Sonic Mania, and now it’s come to Kickstarter to get a boost in funds to become a full-fledged indie title!
Now you don’t have to jump through a couple of hoops in order to get that sweet, sweet Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games demo for Nintendo Switch. If you live in Europe, that is. Because that same demo is now available on the EU Nintendo eShop. Continue reading Mario & Sonic 2020 Demo Hits European Nintendo eShop
As we mentioned yesterday, Sega released a demo for Sonic Forces on the Japanese Nintendo eShop. Today the Japanese PSN also got the demo; this prompted many fans to speculate that the demo might eventually end up on western stores by next week.
Unfortunately, this will not be the case.
Earlier tonight on the Sonic the Hedgehog live-stream, Aaron Webber confirmed that the demo would not be making it to the west. Whilst no direct reason was given, it was suggested that regional differences were the reason behind the decision which was also the reason for the 60 second time limit.
If you are desperate to try the demo. You can create Japanese accounts on your PS4 and Switch and still download and play it, just a little extra hurdle but it is possible.
If you’re a Switch owner who’s been wanting to try out the upcoming Sonic Forces game, today is your lucky day: SEGA has released a demo on the system’s Japanese eShop.
An E3 2014 demo and interview with Big Red Button’s Mark Vernon has revealed some new details on Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Wii U. The previously seen crystals are called ‘Chaos Crystals’ and there are nine of them to collect through the game’s story. Vernon also goes into more detail about the game’s time travel element and reveals that players will go to the past and the future, seeing areas in both times.
The name of the underwater base level played is ‘Ancient Template’ and in this demonstration we get to see some of the hidden areas of the level. Vernon gives us a look at the collectibles menu and a ‘Freeze Rod’ weapon that, as you guessed, freezes enemies in ice. It’s clarified that while these weapons are obtained from enemies, the enemies can’t actually use them and they are one-time limited use only. You can’t store them.
Vernon also explains that collectibles will earn you upgrades, which aren’t just for making your characters stronger, but also unlock new abilities. When asked about a release date, Vernon says he can’t remember the exact date, but it’ll probably be the first half of November. Finally, merchandise fans will want to stick around until the end to have a close look at some of the upcoming Sonic Boom action figures.
Source: The Family Gaming Team
Better late than never! In one of the most topsy-turvy release schedules ever, demos for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions of Sonic Lost World will be arriving in Europe when the eShop updates this week, on Thursday at around 2 or 3pm British time. This follows the demos hitting the US last week and Japan last month – which, when you consider that Europe got the full game before either of those regions, is a rather baffling series of events.
As with the other demos, the EU Sonic Lost World demos will likely contain Windy Hill Zone 1 on Wii U, in addition to Windy Hill Tutorial and Windy Hill Zone 1 on 3DS. If you’ve not played either of the versions yet and want to try them out before you buy – especially with Christmas on the horizon! – now’s finally the chance to do so.
Will you be downloading the demos when they arrive in Europe later this week? Let us know in the comments!
Sonic Lost World arrived on Nintendo systems in the US a couple of weeks ago but if you haven’t gotten around to picking it up yet and want to give it a try, then rejoice – you can finally go hands on with demos for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions! (only a month after Japan, but let’s not be bitter…)
Both demos can now be downloaded from their respective eShop service and can be played a maximum of 10 times – more limited than a typical Nintendo demo, but considering the game is already out waiting for you to buy it, it should be enough to help make your mind up one way or the other. The Wii U demo contains Windy Hill Zone 1 while the 3DS demo contains the Windy Hill Tutorial as well as Windy Hill Zone 1.
There’s no word on the demos appearing on the European eShop services at the time of writing.
Will you be downloading either of the demos for Sonic Lost World? Let us know in the comments!
Sonic Lost World is undoubtedly a fresh new take on the modern Sonic gameplay formula we’ve seen in recent years – the new running mechanics, the parkour, the tubular level designs… it’s all stuff we haven’t seen before in a Sonic game, and as such it’s a style you can’t really relate to until you’ve experienced it for yourself. Well, if you live in Japan, you’re in luck, as a demo for both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game have now hit the Nintendo eShop!
The Wii U demo consists solely of Windy Hill Zone 1, while the 3DS demo (which can be played 30 times) contains both the Windy Hill Tutorial and Windy Hill Zone 1. In each case, you can transfer over your best scores to the full retail version when it releases in the next couple of weeks.
We can also confirm now, thanks to SSMB member Smash, that the 3DS version will contain the same cutscenes as the Wii U version (albeit in slightly lower quality) as opposed to the style seen in previous handheld versions like Sonic Generations 3DS. Guess that’s the reason for the game’s slightly larger file size! You can check out one of the cutscenes in the video below… but spoilers ahoy, if you’re wanting to save yourself for release day![youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlDegxqAHOw[/youtube]
There’s no word so far of the demos hitting America or Europe, but you can be sure we’ll keep you posted. The US and EU eShops do usually update on a Thursday though, so we might not have long to wait to find out…!
Demand for tickets to this years Summer of Sonic has exceeded everyones expectations. In total, it took only 13 seconds for the event to be completely sold out, 69 tickets per second. So… if you were one of those lucky people thats coming to SOS… How would you like to Play Sonic Lost world?
Summer of Sonic will be one of the first public places that you can play Sonic Lost World ahead of it’s release later this year. Obviously, this will be one of the biggest attractions on the day so be prepared to wait a while before you get your chance to play Sonic’s next adventure.
Source: Summer of Sonic
Nintendo of America has revealed a list of content coming soon to the Nintendo 3DS eShop in the US, and among that content is a demo for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. No release date for the demo has been given, but with no screenshots, video and barely any information released about the 3DS version, let’s hope it will be available before the game’s release.
Source: SEGA Addicts
[UPDATE] Earlier today, S2HD Project Manager Canned Karma announced that LOst, Sonic 2 HD‘s programmer who needlessly added DRM protection to the long anticipated fan game, is no longer part of the project, as stated in the Sonic Retro forum.
All of us had the exact same reaction everyone here did, and we’re actively looking into it to the best of our abilities. That said, we’ve heard just as much from LOst as anyone here has lately, so I’m not sure what, if anything, we’ll be able to find that corroborated or refutes what’s been brought to light. I will say this though. LOst is no longer a part of S2HD. I’ll have a more in depth response soon. We’re just as pissed off about this as the community is.
[ORIGINAL] Scarred Sun of Sonic Retro advises everyone who has downloaded the Alpha Demo of Sonic 2 HD to delete the entire software in light of a recent keylogger discovery, the cause behind triggered antivirus alerts. Read the full statement after the jump.
After a tech demo over three-and-a-half years ago and a teaser trailer last year, the team behind Sonic 2 HD has now made a playable alpha demo available to the community. Eager players can experience the entirety of Emerald Hill Zone in high definition, complete with Sonic 3 & Knuckles-style act transitions and upgraded music.
As of now, the demo can only run on Windows operating systems ranging between Windows XP and Windows 7. Download links are available on the Sonic 2 HD homepage, as well as 1080p screenshots and beautiful desktop wallpapers. Further project details are available on Sonic Retro.
Check out some footage after the jump!
Just released on the Nintendo E-Shop in North America comes a demo of the upcoming release of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The demo features five events. 25MM Rapid Fire Pistol, European Football (AKA American Soccer), Trampoline, 100m Backstroke, and BMX. Your character in each event is chosen at random and will be different with every playthrough. The European demo should be out very soon, but if the other M&S games didn’t thrill you, I doubt this one will either. I will say the controls in each event are very unique to each other and help give the game variety. Also, the last event is like a fully realized 3-D Excitebike.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games will be available in North America on Valentines day, February 14th and in Europe on February 10th.
Thanks to Simon Perry via email and some guys in our comments for jumping on this. At around 8pm Tuesday, Sega released the second demo of Sonic Generations on Xbox Live Arcade for Gold account holders.
Sega France, and later Sega Everywhere, late last week confirmed the release for Wednesday, but rapidly backtracked to bring it forward. The PSN release in America, however, was pushed back to Tuesday the 25th.
The demo, the best part of 650 megabytes big, contains the classic Green Hill Zone featured in the previous time-restricted demo, as well as the modern version of the same zone, which has previously only been seen in the press and at game shows. And via hacking of the original demo, but let’s not go there.
PlayStation Network currently does not have the demo, so we’d love it if you guys can give us the heads up when it does!
UPDATE: French Sonic fansite Eversonic has also confirmed the translation, so we’re now reporting this as confirmed.
SEGA France has reportedly confirmed a new demo for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Sonic Generations during their public presentation at last week’s Micromania Games Tour in France we told you about last month. YouTube user bastien061301 was there and recorded SEGA’s Sonic Generations demonstration and we’ve been told that the SEGA rep on stage confirms (at 06:13 in the video) that a new demo is coming to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live on Wednesday October 19th.
Astalavista at the SEGA Forums has the full translation:
Il y aura une autre demo qui va sortir le 19 octobre sur ps3 et xbox 360 …
There will be another demo of Sonic Generations in the 19 october for the PS3 and Xbox 360
Source: bastien061301 at YouTube
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This news post contains spoilers, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, then click your back button now.
The Sonic Generations demo released June 23rd on Sonic’s 20th Birthday was hacked on that very day by various community members, including those at Sonic Retro. Found within the unusually very large file was the game’s entire level list, boss list, mission list, characters, badniks, items, some music files (though nothing past Green Hill Zone) and the presence of the Chaos Emeralds and super forms for both Sonic’s.
Green Hill (Sonic The Hedgehog)
Chemical Plant (Sonic The Hedgehog 2)
Sky Sanctuary (Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles)
Speed Highway (Sonic Adventure)
City Escape (Sonic Adventure 2)
Seaside Hill (Sonic Heroes)
Crisis City (SONIC The Hedgehog/Sonic 06)
Rooftop Run (Sonic Unleashed)
Planet Wisp (Sonic Colours)
Casino Night – DLC Only
Shadow The Hedgehog
Silver The Hedgehog
“Time Eater” – Said to be the final boss.
The items revealed include the return of elemental shields from Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. The lightning shield, fire shield and bubble shield item boxes were both found in the demo assets, along with images of how they look in-game. The Spike Wisp and Rocket Wisp powers from Sonic Colours also make a comeback. As for the Chaos Emeralds, they too appear to be an item, which suggests Classic and Modern Sonic’s Super forms will be playable in the game’s various stages.
Update: Images removed at SEGA’s request.
What do you think of the level list? Did your favourite stage make it in? Share your thoughts in the comments.
The Sonic Generations demo has been made available for Xbox 360 and PS3 users today on Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Store. As reported yesterday, just Classic Sonic is playable and only in one Act of Green Hill Zone, but with plenty of routes to explore, it will keep you busy for a few replays. Don’t forget, the demo will only be available for 20 days and all downloaded copies will expire after 20 days too. As with all retail game demos, Xbox 360 users will need an Xbox Live Gold Membership to download the demo for the first week. Free Members will get the demo next week.
The Sonic 20th Anniversary bundle has also been made available for purchase on the PlayStation Store today. An Xbox 360 equivalent is nowhere to be seen, so it appears this is a PS3 exclusive. The bundle includes Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, Sonic Adventure (and DX add-on), and the Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 dynamic theme. The bundle will be available for 20 days at the reduced price of (£13.99/€17.99/$19.99).
Have you tried out the demo? Share your thoughts on it in the comments.
UPDATE: Andriasang reports that the Sonic Generations demo will be released both on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live tomorrow. The demo will include Classic Sonic’s Green Hill Zone stage and will only be available to download until July 12th, then after that date any downloads of the demo will expire, so make sure you take it for a spin before then. The demo, like the full game, is also said to support 3D TV’s.
SEGA will be celebrating Sonic’s 20th Anniversary tomorrow in style in the digital download space. The official Sonic 20th Anniversary Twitter this afternoon revealed that the previously announced demo of Sonic Generations will be coming tomorrow. Sony then revealed details of this week’s EU PlayStation Store update, and yes, you guessed it, the demo is listed for tomorrow for all locales. There’s no word of the demo hitting the U.S. PS Store or in any region for the Xbox Live Marketplace yet, but we fully expect it to be made available on those services.
The EU and U.S. PS Blogs have also revealed a 20th Anniversary Bundle, which consists of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, Sonic Adventure (and DX add-on), and the Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 dynamic theme. The bundle will be available to purchase from tomorrow for 20 days at the reduced price of (£13.99/€17.99/$19.99). No word on if this bundle will be released on the Xbox Live Marketplace, but we expect it will.
We’ll update when we know more about all of this content’s availability.
Thanks to frokenok3 at the SSMB for the heads up on the Sonic 20th Anniversary Twitter update!
In an update to their Twitter feed, SEGA reports that Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka has announced a demo for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Sonic Generations at the SEGA of America’s Sonic Boom event. No details have been revealed as to when we can expect the demo to arrive on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace or what stage is included, but when that information is made available we’ll pass it along.
Last year, Takashi Iizuka separated the Sonic fandom into classic fans and modern fans, claiming you couldn’t please both. A year later, one of Iizuka’s own creations looks like it will prove this statement false.
This is it. If Sonic Colors could qualify as a dessert, Sonic Generations is definitely looking to be the main course. The HD graphics are beautiful, better then Unleashed. The physics in the classic game play are nearly dead-on, with all the momentum of the classics intact. Modern Sonic’s levels are as fast as they were in Unleashed, without any pesky QTE sequences getting in the way. As awesome as Sonic Colors was, I can’t help but believe that any disillusioned Sonic fan who still believes Sonic is still down in the trash of the gaming industry will finally see this game as his redemption.
Graphically, Generations is a veritable tour de force of color and style. The art style of Green Hill shines through vividly here. The flowers and rocks and green checkerboard grass are all how you remember them, except this time rendered in stunning fully 3D HD polygons. It’s great to see the classic style of the old games rendered so well here. On top of these beautiful graphics, Sonic Generations is also the first game to be rendered in eye popping 3D across all platforms! That’s right, the 3DS version isn’t the only one getting the 3D treatment. Both the PS3 and the Xbox versions will be capable of displaying in 3D. The 3D effects aren’t terribly noticeable during classic Sonic’s game play, but during the speedy sections of modern Sonic’s level the 3D really pops. Things aren’t all rosey with the visuals though. Much like the Sonic Colors E3 demo last year, this demo does have a rocky frame rate. The game can become really choppy at times. Hopefully this issue will be resolved by the time the game arrives in stores this holiday.
Despite the funky frame rate, the game is still incredibly fun to play. Classic Sonic’s game play is likely to be the biggest crowd pleaser. I’m happy to say I tried all the tricks Brad told me about for Sonic 4 last year, and the results were good. Unlike Sonic 4, Sonic Generations’ Sonic does not stop dead in his tracks or in mid air when the player stops pushing forward on the controller. Sonic cannot stroll up inclines, nor can he stand on walls or in loops. Gravity will push you down hard if you don’t gather enough momentum.
That being said, classic Sonic still moves way faster than he did in the Genesis games, and the level design itself is a bit different. There are still a lot of bumpers that bounce you around in some places, but there is not one booster pad in site. There were many diverse paths to try as well. It’s not an exact replica of the classic Genesis games, but it still acts as a nice, effective homage.
Modern Sonic game play is as you’d expect: really fast, very boost centric, and incredibly hectic. Modern Sonic’s version of Green Hill is a fun level, and it’s certainly well designed. Those disappointed with Sonic Colors being a mostly 2D game will be happy to know that at the very least the Green Hill stage is more 3D then it is 2D.
All in all, Sonic Generations is shaping up to be even better then Colors, and something that should finally please retro fans and modern fans alike. This game does indeed outdo Sonic 4, Sonic Unleashed, and Sonic Colors in on fell swoop, if this stage is any indication. Hopefully, this game won’t hit any pot holes along the way, such as the sudden revelation that classic Sonic is murdered and replaced by a jealous Bubsy the Bobcat half way through. Fingers crossed, people!
Australia’s Classification Board today approved a demo for Sonic’s new PS3 and Xbox 360 title Sonic Generations. The board rated the demo ‘General’, which deems it fit for all audiences to play. With the demo being rated now and the full game not due out until the holiday season later this year, could we be getting to download a sample of the game sooner rather than later?
A demo for Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was released on Xbox Live Marketplace in September, rather than around the full game’s November release, as with most game’s demos. There’s always the possibility that this could just be a rating for a demo being shown to the press and/or public at various events though, so don’t get your hopes too high.
Sonic’s 20th Birthday is June 23rd and we’re sure a demo release around then would be a welcome surprise for fans.
If you have Microsoft’s new Kinect device for Xbox 360 and you’re on the wall about whether or not to purchase SEGA’s first Kinect title Sonic Free Riders, then you’ll be glad to hear that a demo for the racer has been released today on Xbox Live Marketplace. The demo, which weighs in at 401.4 MB, lets you play through the game’s first track Dolphin Resort as Sonic the Hedgehog or Jet the Hawk and is currently exclusive to Gold Members, but will likely be available to Silver Members (or Free Members as they’re now called) next week.
Thanks to Yong at the SSMB for the heads up!
If you live in Europe or Australia, you can now take Sonic Colours on Nintendo DS for a brief spin. A demo has been made available for download today via the Wii’s Nintendo Channel, allowing fans to have a playthrough of Tropical Resort Act 1. In this stage you can get to grips with the White Wisps that give you a speed boost in Sonic Rush fashion and the Red “Burst” Wisp that turns Sonic into a fire-ball and allows him to charge a Burst Jump that he can launch in any direction.
If you’ve given the demo a try, share your experience with it in the comments below.
The Summer of Sonic team are pleased to announce that not only will the convention house a Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing tournament and a playable demo of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (E3 version), but we will also be giving you hands-on time with Sonic Colours on Nintendo Wii (E3 version). That’s right! Thanks to the good folks at SEGA, you’ll have access to another of Sonic’s upcoming titles before it’s released later this year.
The demo contains two levels for you to explore, Sweet Mountain and Tropical Resort. Players will also be able to try out two of the Wisp powers, including the Yellow Wisp (Drill) and the Cyan Wisp (Lazer). The game will be available in our Games Zone on our Wii pod.
We look forward to seeing you in the Games Zone and, if you haven’t done so already, you can register for your Summer of Sonic tickets here.
Source: SoS Website.
One of the big treats of the Summer of Sonic convention in past years has been that Sonic’s newest games have found their way into the hands of fans way before they’re released. That’s all thanks to our good friends at SEGA and we’re very pleased to announce that this year will be no different. In addition to all the other pods on the floor, including the All-Stars Racing tournament, SOS will be graced with the presence of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.
Sonic’s eagerly anticipated 2D platformer will be on the convention floor where attendees will be able to get hands-on time with the E3 build, which contains all 3 Acts of Splash Hill Zone and its boss battle with Dr. Eggman. The game will be available in the Games Zone on our Xbox 360 pods, kindly donated by Microsoft who, as we mentioned in our S&SASR Tournament announcement, are part-sponsoring the games section of Summer of Sonic.
We hope you are as excited about this news as we are and look forward to seeing you in the Games Zone!
Source: Summer of Sonic website
The Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing DS demo the U.S. got a few days ago has finally hit the UK Wii Nintendo Channel, the demo lets you play as Sonic in Seaside Hill and contains Easy, Medium and Hard difficulty levels. Go grab it now and let us know what you think of it in the comments.
Thanks to knuxtaben over at the SSMB for the heads up.
UPDATE: Both the EU & U.S.demo have now hit the PlayStation Store weighing in at 827MB, playable characters are Sonic and Doctor Eggman. PS3 users get a Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg track to test out, named Blizzard Castle: Rampart Road. The Yakuza 3 demo is also out now. /UPDATE END
Mike Kebby of SCEE’s PlayStation Store Team has just posted on the European PlayStation Blog a list of items hitting the store later today. PS3 owners patiently waiting for a Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing demo will be happy to hear its coming today, SEGA fans will also be getting a Yakuza 3 demo to try out too. No details about what the demo’s contain are revealed but we’ll let you know once they’ve gone live. SCEA have yet to post todays update contents but we’ll update here when the list is posted.
Thanks to DSR3 over at the SSMB for the heads up.
UPDATE: We’ve just checked the UK Nintendo Channel and its not there and Pearl over at the SSMB has just informed us that its on the U.S. Nintendo Channel. /UPDATE END
We’ve just got word in from a couple of members at the SSMB that the Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing DS demo Steve Lycett of Sumo Digital said was coming has now arrived on the Nintendo Channel for you to download now. We dont know in which regions this has been released to yet but we’ll do our best to find out and update as soon as possible. If you can confirm its arrived in your region we’d be very grateful if you can let us know in the comments.
After Mondays release of a Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing demo for Xbox 360 Gold Members ArchangelUK of SEGA Europe/Sonic Wrecks and Steve Lycett of Sumo Digital have hinted at a demo for PS3 coming in the future aswell as explaining that the Xbox 360 demo should hopefully be coming to Silver members next week.
Well ShopTo.net have apparently managed to get some clear details, if they are to be believed the Xbox 360 demo for Silver members is definitely coming next week and the PS3 demo is also definitely coming next week instead of tomorrows PS Store update like many PS3 owners were hoping for.
Here are their statements on each version of the games product pages –
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
Demo Available NOW
We’ve just released a playable demo of Sonic and SEGA Racing onto Xbox Live Marketplace. Gold members can download and play the demo right away. Players can take control of Sonic or Banjo Kazooie across a selection of tracks.
You can add the demo to your marketplace queue by visiting this link http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/games/offers/0DDF0001-0000-4000-8000-00005345883E and hitting the download to Xbox 360 button. It’s also visible on the dashboard as usual.
The demo will be available to Silver Xbox Live members next week.
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
Demo Available on the Playstation Network NEXT WEEK.
Retailers aren’t usually reliable for info, especially release dates so take this with a grain of salt though its not out of the norm for Xbox 360 Silver Members and PS3 owners to get a demo a week after Xbox 360 Gold Members.
Has the Xbox 360 demo of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing been kicking your ass? Well, apparently, the default difficulty settings on the demo are set to “Advanced.” If you’re getting rocked hard, then you should go and change the settings, according to ArchangelUK at the Sonic City Blognik:
Hey guys, if you find you’re struggling to achieve victory on the demo there might be a reason for it. Apparently the 360 demo has gone out with the settings set on Advanced, no idea why but apparently you might find that is the case.
So if you’ve been blindsided by a KO Boxing Glove on the final bend and are feeling a bit irked, nip into the Game Settings and set it to Basic.
AAUK also addressed the desire for a demo on other platforms, which is a definite possibility. With other demos comes the removal of Banjo-Kazooie, but another character would be taking their place on the other platforms:
Naturally the question I’ve been asked the most is “Is there going to be a PS3 demo coming out?” well as I said in the blog yesterday there will be more opportunities to play test the game coming. *HINT**HINT*
Oh and no, other platform demos wouldn’t just have Sonic playable there would be a second character .
The Xbox 360 demo of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing will be made available to Silver Xbox Live members next week. Currently, it is only available for gold.[via Sonic City Blognik]
The same two questions seem to be asked over and over whenever Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing gets mentioned. “Why is Sonic in a car?” and “Is it going to be better than Mario Kart?”. If you read this site often enough you’ll know the answer to the first; it’s to keep things fair as out of a vehicle Sonic would easily win any race. Sumo Digital went the first step to answer the latter question by releasing the demo for Xbox 360. TSS has been putting the game through it’s paces for the past few hours so do we think it’s shaping up to be faster than the speed of light or slower than a plumber arriving on time for an appointment?
The demo offers up the chance to play as either Sonic in his sports car or Banjo & Kazooie in their dilapidated nuts and bolts mobile. The only track available for racing is called the Lost Temple and is set in Sonic Heroe’s Seaside Hill, music and all. In fact the race course is chock full of SEGA and Sonic related paraphernalia. NiGHTS is the man in charge of the checkered flag for example and the crowd is made up of a number Chao. Crabmeat Badniks roam the sands scurrying sideways to try and block your path while Choppers leap from the sea in between jumps. Power-ups are contained TV style capsules and springs are deviously placed to shunt you off the racing line should you get too close. Any SEGA fan will be happy to soak in the detail track-side and bask in the charm of it all but when you’ve finished sightseeing it’s time to race.
This is where things may start to feel a little familiar to anyone who has played that other kart racing series. The trick to getting boost is by drifting and if you hold the accelerator down at the right time during the start you can even gain a head start. Some weapons propelled forwards bounce along the side of the track a little suspiciously like shells might elsewhere and traffic cones dropped behind you have the chance of slipping up the competition, if you get the reference. But just when you start to feel a sense of Deja-Vu creep over you the excitable announcer will shout about someone having hold of an “All-Star” and your world is about to be rocked. Every character in the game has their own unique all-star move and rather than just being this games blue shell taking out the player up front they all differ which could be a huge factor in deciding which characters become your favourite.
Sonic for example is turned Super and is propelled down the track at an increased speed knocking other racers out of his way. Banjo and Kazooie make the sky rain “Jiggies”; Over-sized jigsaw pieces as deadly to front of the pack as to the back. Shadow turns super himself and dishes out a liberal dose of Chaos Spears and Ryo Hazuki swaps his motorbike with a fork lift truck to power down the track. On the games default difficulty setting you’ll see your rivals use these moves several times during a race. Sometimes they can be avoided while others will bring you to a standstill and potentially ruin your chances at victory.
All the All-Star moves in the world won’t get you very far until you master the basics though. As previously mentioned it’s still all about drifting which is done by holding down a drift button (The left bumper or trigger). After a few second you’ll see some boost spew out of the exhaust of your vehicle at which point you can let go of the drift button to be propelled forwards. The only other way to boost is by pressing the drift button while jumping which will trigger a trick in mid-air and a boost while on solid ground. The trick is to make sure you’re heading in the right direction for a boost as it’s all too easy to career into a wall or off a bridge by accident.
Once you have your brain around those concepts you’ll notice, on the default difficulty at least, that you’ll either just win races after a fierce battle or spend all race being every other drivers punching bag. For example, despite coming first quite in quite a few races and having the optimum driving technique more or less mastered there were still occasions where I would finish dead last or close to it thanks to a perfect storm of punishment. Being hit by missiles and boxing gloves is bad enough but getting up to speed for a ramp only to be hit by something and falling off the track is infuriating, especially as when you re-spawn you’re basically not moving forwards. Another time while taking the only short-cut on the track which involves taking a jump to a boost pad on an island, Knuckles landed on me squashing me cartoon style and sending me to a watery abyss. This re-spawned me back on dry land BEFORE the jump meaning I was last by a mile.
It’s this unpredictable nature of ‘kart’ racing games that could really sour the experience for some. The flip side is that all the damage you take you can deal out to your foes and hitting someone with a missile and watching them fall behind you is as sweet as it sounds. Lowering the difficulty to it’s easiest has everyone just wait behind you which is no fun at all while the hardest setting is the maddest of the bunch as you fight tooth and nail for every position, the bad luck visiting almost every driver in equal measure. The balancing of the games difficulty to make the punishment exciting but not unfair will be crucial.
The frame rate in the demo isn’t the most stable but as it’s taken from an older build of the game. Steve “S0l” Lycett has promised in the SSMB that such issues had yet to be fully addressed in it’s optimization stage so hopefully the proper game will be a smoother driving experience. The game will ultimately live or die by the variety of it’s characters and it’s racetracks though and how different Sumo Digital has been able to make them feel. Seaside Hill looks pretty enough but the textures of foliage leaves a lot to be desired. Then again it’s not something you notice while you’re attempting to avoid the chaos. Other levels would do well to be packed with more SEGA references but will need some neat tricks to stop from feeling the same despite the change of scenery.
At this stage Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing has just enough promise, madness and ideas of its own to carve a hedgehog shaped niche in the Kart racing genre. With Mario Kart Wii flirting with the mainstream; wide tracks, Wiimote control and all, ASR could actually find itself in first place as the hardcore Kart game of choice if everything comes together.
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing is due for release February 23rd in the States and 26th in Europe for 360, Ps3, Wii and PC.
While the majority of the Sonic fanbase is busy arguing about the former Project Needlemouse, Sumo Digital today dropped the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing demo for Xbox 360 to remind everyone there is another game featuring everyone’s favourite blue hedgehog coming out rather soon. Sumo Digital staff member Steve “S0L” Lycett prompted eager fans via the SSMB with a cheeky message;
No-one been on their Xbox today then?
At a huge 1GB the demo is still downloading for me but check by this story later this evening for impressions. The demo is said to include Seaside Hill’s Lost Palace track with either Sonic or Banjo & Kazooie playable. Also available is a local multiplayer mode for up to two meaning you and a friend can battle it out split screen style. Kudos to Ferr of the SSMB for that particular piece of info. If you have a 360 yourself then what are you waiting for? No news on a PS3 or Wii demo as of yet but as soon as we hear something we’ll let you know.
If that wasn’t enough excitement for one day then you might want to check out the official ASR webpage where the “Characters” tab has been fully updated. It includes a brief bio for every announced character and a rotating model of their car. A quick look over the section also confirms Opa-Opa and the ChuChu’s as playable characters, the latter in their very own rocket![Update]
Resident TSS news hound Shadzter brought to my attention that the 360 Premium Theme for ASR is available to buy and will set you back 240 Microsoft points. Thanks to the wonderful AAUK we have a picture of the theme for you here;
If you want to see more head on over to the Blognik. Meanwhile you can expect a preview of ASR based on the demo later tonight on the Stadium.
What is a “Decade Moment?” It is a moment from the past ten years that us here at TSS remember vividly to this day. A game announcement, completing a tough level, or acquiring some slick merchandise… everything memorable and certifiably Sonic counts.
In the last ten years of running Sonic forums, playing Sonic games, and just simply being a fan, there is one moment that trumps all… and it’s from the least likely of places: a pre-order bonus for a Mario game. In October of 2003, Nintendo announced that the long-awaited entry in the MarioKart series would be giving away demo discs with a pre-order. I could care less for demo discs and the crap that they try to push on people. Even today, with Nintendo’s DS Download Service, they rarely have anything worth checking out. This demo disc was different though… it was stacked.
Check out this line-up: Mario Party 5, F-Zero GX, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike.
About three games out of those four ended up being any good (and in F-Zero and Rogue Squadron’s case… fantastic). You would think that this list would have me hooked right then and there. I was surprisingly not sold, however, until I got to the bottom of the list and read “Sonic Heroes.”
Flashback to a few weeks ago. A trailer had just come out for Sonic Heroes that was SEGA’s trailer of the decade. It gave me goosebumps to watch words fly at you, Sonic and company blazing past bright and colorful levels reminscent of the Genesis days, and to hear a movie trailer voice-over narrate it all. But nothing… nothing prepared you for the fangasm that was “The Return of Metal Sonic:”[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqMoXT3VJEk[/youtube]
Needless to say, I was a happy as a sophomore in high school could be. My childhood icon was calling back to his 90s glory. I knew that I was going to get Double Dash!! but this demo alone sweetened the deal. Once the option was available, I immediately went to put a pre-order down at GameStop so that I could get my hands on “the return of a legend.” Luckily, the store is not too far away from my house. I was only a permit-carrying driver at the time, so with my parents at work, I was breaking the law. I couldn’t contain myself though… I needed this demo disc.
I put $5 down and got back home safe and sound. The only thing that wasn’t safe was my grades, because I’m pretty sure I gave a big “fuck that” to my homework that night.
There were only two levels: Seaside Hill with Team Sonic and Bullet Station with Team Dark. Those two levels turned into hours of entertainment and eventually became days of satiating my desire to play the full version. I had to keep myself occupied until January 5th.
Sonic Heroes fulfilled the insane amount of hype that I had running through me once I purchased it with my two Best Buy gift cards on that fateful day in January. I played it for months until I got all A-ranks. Still, the memories of playing Sonic Heroes until completion have faded and standing strong today six years later… is a demo disc for a Mario game.
It must be that time of the year, being that the few days before SAGE are always filled with last minute hype videos for just about every project. I am well prepared to wait and let ’em all pile up, rather than flooding this here front page, devoting a single news post to a game’s preview video.
With one entire day before the show (which starts at 12 AM EST, by the way), SFGHQ members Aylingling, Nitemare, and Shadow5561 have released preview videos of their SAGE demos of Sonic Zenith, Super Mario Kingdoms, and Sonic Unleashed Advance, respectively. You can check them all out in the links below:
In other news, SFGHQ member, Streak Thunderstorm, has jumped the gun and has released the SAGE demo of Mecha Madness early. You can access his SAGE booth, which has the download to the demo, at the following link:
One last thing to be on the look out for is the ever-updating schedule, because we have added two new guests to SAGE: Lee Brotherton and Eric Iwasaki, a developer from Naughty Dog studios (Crash Bandicoot series). Times have yet to be set in stone, but they are confirmed to be guests in the SAGE chat room. Special thanks goes out to SSMB member EXshad for annoying the living shit out of us until we got him into the chat room schedule.
When the show begins, we will have the entire front page staff reviewing all the games with playable builds. You read correctly, I will not be the only one doing SAGE reporting. Please check back throughout the week for more SAGE 2008 coverage (100% free of pretentiousness and the word “first”).
Popular German gaming site ‘Gamefront’ reported earlier today that SEGA are planning to release a downloadable demo of the highly anticipated PS3 exclusive Yakuza game sometime this January.
The game is set for release in Japan on March 6th of this year and the demo has not yet been confirmed it’ll be showing its face on the US or EU Playstation Network.
Yakuza has become a big franchise for SEGA, with promise that this third title in the series will not disappoint.