RUMOUR: Sumo Digital’s Next Kart Racer to Only Feature Sonic Characters

Sumo Digital’s mysterious new kart game, with all the independent rumours flying around, is quickly becoming SEGA’s worst-kept secret. Today, we learned of a new piece of information to add to the rumour mill; that whatever the UK developer is working on will focus entirely on Sonic, and won’t feature any associated SEGA universe characters. Continue reading RUMOUR: Sumo Digital’s Next Kart Racer to Only Feature Sonic Characters

Nintendo Germany: All Three Nintendo Exclusive Sonic Games Coming This Year

Nintendo Logo

In a press release regarding yesterday’s Sonic Lost World updates, Nintendo Germany has revealed that all three Nintendo exclusive Sonic games will be released this year. That includes Sonic Lost World for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games for Wii U and the unannounced third title.

The portion of the press release containing this information reads:

Today, they (Sega) revealed further details of the second of three titles, which the two companies will release exclusively on Wii U and 3DS. All three games will be released this year.

With the third title being released the same year as the other two games, could it be a spin-off? A small digital game? Hopefully we’ll find out soon.

Source: SpinDash.de

Thanks to SSMB member Thigolf for the translation and the heads-up!

If you have any news to share, please send a news tip to news@sonicstadium.org.

TSS Exclusive: Sonic Colours Wallpaper

Sonic Colours was released last Friday (in Europe – officially, the US gets it tomorrow but it’s clear that some retailers across the pond just couldn’t wait to sell it early), and it’s a proper corker as well. TSS will be publishing its in-depth review shortly, but until then you can enjoy this exclusive wallpaper to jazz up your desktop.

You may remember that Sonic Wrecks and Sonic Retro have also posted up exclusive Sonic Colours wallpapers, and TSS’ offering differs in that it features Sonic, Tails and Yakker leaping against the colourful game’s title card design. Cool, isn’t it? You can download the European version here (which has the name spelled as ‘Colours’) and the North American version here (‘Colors’ – shudder).

Both wallpapers are in a 1920 x 1200 resolution, and can also be picked up in the Wallpapers section of the site should you miss this post some weeks later. Enjoy! Many thanks to SEGA for sending these to us!

Joint-Exclusive: Sonic 4 Blowout Coming This Week

Mark your calendars for Thursday the 20th May. On this date, Sega will be revealing a lot of new information regarding Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.

And it won’t be anything to sniff at either – some “very big” and “very good” news will be announced by way of a press release, which will go live in the evening (UK time – morning in the US).

After a successful online PR push that involved community challenges and badnik reveals, Sega suddenly went quiet about Sonic 4 when leaks started to flood the internet. A source at the company told us that the information revealed via Thursday’s press release will explain the reason for the “last couple month’s blackout” on updates.

In the meantime, the world continues to be excited (or afraid) of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. For what it’s worth, we think it’s going to absolutely rock. Roll on Thursday! Stay tuned to The Sonic Stadium for the latest news!

Community Interview: Super Sonic Knockout!

‘Sup, chumps?  You like good fangames?  Me too.  So, today, I managed to get my buddy VexusVersion (the artist formerly known as “Project ShadowBlaze”) to spill some details on the past, present, and future of his Sonic fighting game, “Super Sonic Knockout.”  Amidst the walls of text, you’ll see some awesome new screenshots of the 2009 build of the game, debuting right here on TSS.

Brad Flick: What it do, PSB?

VexusVersion: It’s actually VexusVersion now.  The name “Project ShadowBlaze sucks too much.”  XD

BF: Fair enough, dawg.  So, before we get to what’s new with SSK, there might be some TSS readers who have never heard of it.  Would you mind briefing us on what the project is?

VV: Sure!  “Super Sonic Knockout” is a platform-fighting styled fangame, which has been in development for over 3 years now.  The game is an expansion of my first project, “Sonic Knockout,” which was to get many Sonic characters and have them fight in many places across the Sonic universe. When people think about SSK, the Smash Bros. series is usually the first thing people compare it too, which is funny, because that was never really the priority.

So, I guess that it’s fair to say that SSK is kind of like Smash Bros., but just with Sonic.

BF: Yeah, I’d wager that a Smash Bros. comparison is fair.  I had never heard of “Sonic Knockout” before.

VV: That’s probably a good thing.

BF: Haha!  Anyway, what is the development history of SSK?

VV: Back in 2005, I almost finished my first fangame project, “Sonic Boom.”  I already had an idea for a sequel to continue what I started, only better. On September 23rd, 2005, I officially started programming the new project, titled “Sonic Boom 2.” However, progress stopped for a long time on both titles because of other commitments.

However, in 2006, the first Summer of Sonic event was a few months away and I thought it would be a good idea to try my hand at fangaming once more. I renamed the first game to “Sonic Knockout,” hastily put together all the pieces, rushed the ending, and submitted it on SoS 2006.

BF: S0S 2006 is a blur to me.  I don’t even remember there being fangames there aside from BlazeHedgehog’s Sonic 2K6 2D-adaptation.

VV: Well, it was and since that the original was finished, I began continuing work for the sequel, which I renamed to “Super Sonic Knockout.” I think that the first demo was released in January of 2007.

BF: You gave me such a specific date for “Sonic Boom” and for your current project, you say, “I think?”

VV: *shrugs* XD

BF: Speaking of whens, when and what was the last demo that you released to the public?

VV: The last demo I released? That was way back in March of last year. It was a bug-fix of the last beta that I made and was titled “Beta 3.3.” I released the last beta one month before, and I had quite a list of glitches to fix.  Unfortunately, I made one new glitch that people STILL mention as if they were the first to find it.

BF: Heh, it’s the Internet.  People have a tendency to be complete fuck-ups and not read anything.

VV: I still find it funny, too.

BF: Are you looking to erase that famous glitch in your next demo, along with other developmental strides?

VV: Well, people who have been following the project probably know that I have started a new engine from ground zero, which will eliminate the glitches in the previous builds. I’ve dubbed it the “2009 engine.” The old engine was showing its age. It was built around code that I developed over 2 years ago, so it was unorganized and had a lot of unused stuff. That, and some features had to be cut because they just wouldn’t work.

The new engine solves that though. Basically, everything that I wanted from the beginning is in the new engine, from throws and arial combos to tag-team and multi-stage elements.

BF: That’s the gameplay side of things, but I know that you have a story lined up for this game as well.  Are any story surprises going to surface in the next build?

VV: Surprises?  I look back at my first game and I see the story as a disaster… it didn’t make a lot of sense.  As a result, I’m rewritting the original game’s story and putting that as a secret story in SSK’s “Story Mode.” The improved story should make much more sense than the original did, plus it would help shed some light to story elements in SSK’s story, too.

BF: You ever going to tell me what that damn, red fancharacter is doing there?

VV: You and fancharacters.  I swear.

A video package of Beta 3.3.

BF: Sue me.  I digress.  After you release a demo with the 2009 engine, what are your future plans?

VV: I plan to continue working on SSK and to make sure it gets done and done right, of course. I’m also helping STi work on Sonic Firestorm, working on zone backgrounds. I’m also going to be working on refining my art skills, so I’ve always got something to do.

BF: I know what STi is, but again, some people might not.  What is it?

VV: Sonic Technical Institute is the formerly named “Sonic Cage Dome Technical Institute.”  We work on SSK and Sonic Firestorm, two popular fangames.  If anybody wants to join our team, visit our website and inquire.  Make sure that you have skills!

BF: Mad skills?

VV: Sure.

BF: Well, I’m done here.  Say “hi” to your mother for me, ok?

VV: …ok?  XD

Get Yer Exclusive Sonic Chronicles Wallpaper Here

With the epic Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood game just around the corner, we thought we’d provide more of an opportunity to salivate over it just a little more. SEGA Europe have just sent us this wallpaper, which is exclusive to The Sonic Stadium. Download it, slap on your desktop and be proud. SEGA Nerds also has their own wallpaper, but those with a fetish for Tails and HOT WRENCH ACTION can probably make do with this one. I’ve got it on my desktop now. Those blue, alluring eyes…. looking right at me… as if I was — (Runs off to write a fanfiction)

Sonic Chronicles: Tails Wallpaper (TSS Exclusive) – 2.1MB
Right click and select ‘Save As…’

Interview: Richard Jacques

Yeah, so this one’s been sitting in the archives for a while. Originally recorded on 30th June 2006, Mark Kidley from RadioSEGA and myself sat down with the one and only Richard Jacques for a chat about his career, experience working on Sonic soundtracks and with Sonic Team and much more besides. This was to be used for the original Summer of Sonic event in 2006, but time flies when you’re all of a sudden organising a real life convention.

Even though this interview is two years old, it’s well worth a listen for any RJ fan, particularly as we were out of time during Summer of Sonic 2008 to ask him any pressing questions. Juicy tidbits such as Sonic R’s original work-in-progress name being Sonic TT, his role behind Video Games Live and what game fans pester him the most about. You can download it from the TSS Media Portal – link below.

Summer of Sonic 2006: Richard Jacques Interview (TSS Media Portal) – 10.1MB
Right click and select ‘Save As…’

Download HIS WORLD (Blue World Prelude)

During the Summer of Sonic’s live performance featuring Richard Jacques and TJ Davis, Lee Brotherton pulled a rabbit out of the hat and surprised everyone with a brand new version of HIS WORLD. Nice, slow and chilled out, LB’s awesome re-interpretation of the Zebrahead classic features brand new lyrics, and is the official theme song to the Summer of Sonic convention. How cool is that!?

Because myself and Rory did our dare and sung the DK Rap on stage, we get to share a high quality MP3 with you of the theme song. Download it off of our media server now, and bask.

HIS WORLD – Blue World Prelude ~THEME OF SUMMER OF SONIC 2008~ (TSS Media Portal) – 6.1MB
Right click and select ‘Save As…’

First details on Sonic Unleashed!

EDIT: Due to many people misinterpreting simple English, here’s a clarification. Sonic Unleashed has not been confirmed to follow directly from Sonic 06’s story. It is simply to be considered the next ‘real’ Sonic game in the series, after Sonic 06 – which was the next canon game after Sonic Heroes. There is clearly a big dark creature that reminds us of Iblis in Sonic Unleashed, much like there was a dark evil Iblis-esque creature in Sonic and the Secret Rings regarding the Ifrit. This suggests – but not confirms – that SEGA are once again being influenced by a similar ‘dark’ storyline to tie up the game. Thank you for misunderstanding. If English is not your native language however we’ll let you off.

Further, The Sonic Stadium has obtained this information via its own sources and the only information that lies under ‘speculation’ is the information that immediately follows the word ‘speculation’. END EDIT.

Sonic Team has a funny way of making games these days. This morning The Sonic Stadium broke news of a forum post leaking images pertaining to be from Sonic Unleashed. We can now confirm that these images are real. This will be the next Sonic game.

And yet, we don’t know quite how to take the news. On the one hand, we’re excited with the promise of gorgeous levels and a Sonic that we actually want to associate ourselves with. On the other hand… well, read on. Continue reading First details on Sonic Unleashed!

Interview: Simon Jeffery

0710jefferySimon Jeffery has had a bit of a history in the video game business. Before settling into the top position as President of SEGA America, he was the President for LucasArts between 2000-2003 and a studio director before then. He’s been credited for attempting to build better relationships between external developers for creating new games on existing IPs – something he’s keen to continue at SEGA with an announced Sonic RPG from BioWare in the works.

He caught a bit of flak from the online community a month or two back with a comment that largely insinuated that Sonic was for kids under 12 years old. While this may be true, it’s evident that the ‘mature’ turn the games have taken have appeared to drag this stigmata further down. Uproar was had, then Jeffery retracted his statement somewhat. The Sonic Stadium was given an opportunity to ask the man a few questions, to understand better the mind behind the driving force of future Sonic games.

TSS: Simon Jeffery, thank you for taking some time to speak with us. First, could we get an idea of your role in SEGA, and what kind of involvement you have in the games that are released, including in particular the Sonic series?

SJ: I run SEGA of America. We, like SEGA of Europe, are a subsidiary of SEGA of Japan. I have involvement with games that are built in the West, but not with games built in Japan. Therefore, sorry to say, I am unable to answer questions about Sonic Team – as they reside in Japan and do not come under my jurisdiction at all! Likewise, I know this will make you all mad; SEGA of America has no say in the voice casting. Absolutely none, so all of the online petitions and personal emails and letters that we get at SOA cannot be acted on, sorry to say.

TSS: You must get that question an awful lot, huh? You say you’re a Sonic fan yourself. What’s your fondest memory as a fan, and do you have a favourite Sonic game?

SJ: My fondest memory of Sonic was seeing it, playing it, and hearing it for the first time at a CES show, all those years ago. I was working for EA at the time, and was blown away by Sonic’s first showing on the Genesis. The great music pervaded the entire show – wherever you went, you heard the Sonic tunes! Sonic 1 is my favourite Sonic game for that same reason – gives me goosebumps when I see it.

TSS: You caught a bit of unexpected controversy over your implication that Sonic the Hedgehog becomes un-cool to kids once they hit 12 years old. But it can be argued that this is because the story, atmosphere and approach of recent Sonic games have made it unapproachable by adults. Would you agree with this statement?

SJ: Absolutely. The reason that Sonic is still around after 16 years, is that the character design was so endearing, had such longevity, that he has outlived all those other woodland critters like Bubsy the Bobcat and Awesome Possom! But there is more than that – Sonic has an attitude that can be related to by people of all ages, and can do things that no other videogame character can compete with. However, some of the Sonic games over the last few years have not lived up to expectation, and it is these games, not Sonic himself, which do not appeal to older gamers. Sonic is timeless!

TSS: Sonic could well be re-invented again, and you say you are facilitating that. Could we see a more ‘classic’ Sonic the Hedgehog, with an emphasis on level design instead of multiple characters? What would you personally like to see in a redesign or re-invention of Sonic?
SJ: That’s a difficult one for me to answer, as Sonic Team is the keeper of all things Sonic! The recent Sonic games on DS have taken a more classical approach, and they have proven extremely popular. The Sonic RPG that BioWare is building, also has a great opportunity to be a game that gamers of all ages will want to play, and enjoy Sonic’s characteristics again.

TSS: There is always the assumption that Sonic Team are working under strict deadlines that have an adverse impact on the project, such as Sonic The Hedgehog on XBOX 360. Do you think if they were given more development time they could bring out a game that lives up to the name of Sonic? Sonic Adventure took several years to develop and it turned out to be one of the series’ defining games.

SJ: In reality, most games will benefit from more time in development. Sonic Team, like most other teams, however, have many ideas that they want to build in the future to keep Sonic evolving. That means that there has to be a point at which they have to stop working on one game, and move onto their next ideas.

TSS: Sonic the Hedgehog has always been more popular in the West than in Japan, and a lot of products, such as the Archie comics and early television shows in the 1990s showed this. Is this the reason a lot more Western talent is getting involved in Sonic projects, such as BioWare and Backbone Entertainment?

SJ: Very much so. Many game developers in the West grew up with Sonic, and he is one of their cultural icons. It is an honor to be able to work on a Sonic game, and to have the endorsement of Sonic Team to do so. We at SEGA also want to make future Sonic games live up to a higher quality threshold, and Sonic Team are partnering with us in that regard.

TSS: Would you say that recent Sonic games have become too complicated for fans, and thus one of the reasons the series is held in disregard? Ever since Sonic Adventure the series has slowly deviated from the original premise of simple badnik-destroying, platform hopping action. To be fair, nobody wants to be throwing boxes as Tails when they could be running around expansive worlds as Sonic.

SJ: I wouldn’t say that they have become too complicated, no. Some might have been too finicky to play in parts because of camera etc, but many fans are looking for rewarding and challenging gameplay. One thing that you have to remember is that everyone is different. There are millions of Sonic fans around the world, and they all want different things from their favorite hedgehog. You can’t please all the people, all the time unfortunately, which is why we need to focus on making great-playing games that will satisfy as many fans as we possibly can.

TSS: Both yourself and SEGA Australia recently said that Sonic needs a change for the better; I think we can all agree the hedgehog isn’t well. But you also say you don’t have any say over what happens at Sonic Team or in SEGA Japan. If Sonic Team or SEGA Japan are still stuck in their belief that any old product will do, how will you hope to ensure that the series gets back on track?

SJ: We have a very close relationship with SEGA of Japan, and the executive team there is very interested in our opinions. They certainly don’t think that ‘any old product will do’ and are keen to make Sonic games more appealing to wider audiences outside of Japan. All this takes time though!

TSS: Finally, with next-generation consoles now allowing for more advanced games, consumers appear to be looking for more intricate stories and game play. The Sonic series has tried to adapt to this with apocalyptic storylines and multiple characters and failed miserably. Do you feel there is room for classic mascots of yesteryear such as Sonic in this day and age?

SJ: There will always be room for Sonic, no matter what the technology. Sonic is a character, not a game. It is up to us at SEGA to make games that bring the best out of the character, whatever platform it is on.

TSS: Thank you for your time, Simon.

SJ: Thank you! And remember folks – I can’t do ANYTHING about the voice acting – it is completely outside of SOA’s jurisdiction!

E3: Next-Gen Sonic Video [UPDATE]

SONIC NEWS FIRST: The Sonic Stadium has obtained the full movie of the next generation Sonic the Hedgehog demo in action. It shows stunning footage of how we can expect the blue blur to look like on next generation consoles.

The movie is of slight quality, due to the filming taking place from afar (covertly, one would imagine), but you can download it here from The Sonic Stadium from its exclusive E3 Coverage Section. Look under the “TSS Commentary” subsection. Continue reading E3: Next-Gen Sonic Video [UPDATE]

Sonic Team @ TGS 2003

Tokyo Game Show 2003 is soon to be and Sonic team has put up their TGS Page. Japanese gamers will get special gifts and such for playing any Sonic team games, the gifts will be exclusive to TGS. The show will also feature a few special presentation’s of Sonic team titles.

  • Play Sonic Heroes and get a Sonic Heroes Memorandum pad.
  • Play Sonic Battle and get a sticker, yay.
  • Beat the Sonic Battle Tournament and get a decorated cube.
  • Play Puyo Fever to get this eye mask (below).
     
  • Play Billy Hatcher to get a sticker reel.
  • Win a Bottle Sleeve if you beat the Billy Hatcher Tournament.
  • The Phantasy Star I Sonic Cafe version will be there too.

Unofficial SEGA Magazine: Issue #3

A Sonic Stadium Exclusive! SEGA has been a motivator in the games industry ever since the master system came out all those years ago. SEGA has always done what not other game company has. Since their recent decision to go multi-platform, news about them has been scarce and many fans have been disappointed. The purpose for this unofficial magazine is to help aid those lost SEGA lovers with a something new that can represent SEGA by the fans. This is SEGA Magazine: 100% Unofficial. 100% Free. Continue reading Unofficial SEGA Magazine: Issue #3

Unofficial SEGA Magazine: Issue #2

A Sonic Stadium Exclusive! SEGA has been a motivator in the games industry ever since the master system came out all those years ago. SEGA has always done what not other game company has. Since their recent decision to go multi-platform, news about them has been scarce and many fans have been disappointed. The purpose for this unofficial magazine is to help aid those lost SEGA lovers with a something new that can represent SEGA by the fans. This is SEGA Magazine: 100% Unofficial. 100% Free. Continue reading Unofficial SEGA Magazine: Issue #2

Unofficial SEGA Magazine: Issue #1

A Sonic Stadium Exclusive! SEGA has been a motivator in the games industry ever since the master system came out all those years ago. SEGA has always done what not other game company has. Since their recent decision to go multi-platform, news about them has been scarce and many fans have been disappointed. The purpose for this unofficial magazine is to help aid those lost SEGA lovers with a something new that can represent SEGA by the fans. This is SEGA Magazine: 100% Unofficial. 100% Free. Continue reading Unofficial SEGA Magazine: Issue #1

SFC News: Moogle Cavern Text Adventure to take Different Approach

EXCLUSIVE: After announcing a text adventure of the Moogle Caverns’ top online story – The Battle Of Cowkey – Dreadknux has canned the project entirely. BUT, don’t worry, the text adventure idea has instead been replaced with an online comic. Continue reading SFC News: Moogle Cavern Text Adventure to take Different Approach