Have a Listen to Sonic Mania’s Special Stage Music, “Dimension Heist”

San Diego Comic-Con 2017 is wrapping up today, and so does our coverage for the yearly star-studded convention. For one last hurrah, and as promised in last night’s Sonic Mania developer panel, the theme for the game’s Special Stages has been uploaded on the Sonic social channels today after being previewed to attendees.

Have a listen to Tee Lopes’ “Dimension Heist” above! If you’ve liked what you’ve heard, be sure to preorder the vinyl album from DATA DISCS on their website – the limited edition version will only be available until tomorrow!

SDCC Sonic Mania Panel Roundup & Special Stage Reveal

San Diego Comic Con played host to the Sonic Mania Development team yesterday, in a panel that included Takashi Iizuka, programmers Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley, alongside lead artist Tom Fry, composer Tee Lopes and SEGA community manager Aaron Webber. Our man in the field Jason Berry was at the panel, and captured the events as they happened via The Sonic Stadium Twitter.

The following is a summary of the panel discussion:

  • Sonic Mania was originally named “Sonic Discovery” during it’s early development stages
  • When Sonic Mania was first pitched to Iizuka-san in early 2016, a working demo was already playable featuring Studiopolis Zone
  • Iizuka-san came up with the phrase “By the Mania, for the Mania”
  • Many different story narratives were discussed for Mania, including a defeated Eggman retiring, while his machines form their own gang in the Hard Boiled Heavies
  • The Sonic CD-like special stage was revealed, which sees the player chase a UFO
  • The special stage music track “Dimension Heist” was played
  • Sonic Mania will feature sprite cut scenes, a la Sonic 3 & Knuckles
  • Sonic Mania will feature an opening animation by Tyson Hesse, and will be revealed on August the 14th
  • Aaron Webber stated no Super Emeralds will feature in the game, following an audience question
  • Attendees at the panel received a free “Introduction manual”, in the style of the 32X instruction manuals, detailing game story, developer profiles and new sketch-hog art by Tyson Hesse

The gallery below shows some of the pages of the manual, courtesy of Aaron Webber and Steven Page via Twitter.

IDW Announce NEW Sonic the Hedgehog Comic for 2018

SEGA and IDW Publishing have today announced a partnership to continue Sonic the Hedgehog comics in a new series in 2018. The news comes a day after SEGA officially announced the end of a 24-year partnership with Archie Comics.

According to SEGA, creative teams are still being formed at IDW, with more news to come later. The news shot also hints that the writers and artists are involved in the news comics, stating they are in talks with “Sonic fan-favourite creators and new creators alike”.

As always, TSS will keep you up to date as news comes!

Meet Infinite in the Brand New Sonic Forces Trailer for SDCC 2017

Among the familiar faces fighting under Eggman’s name in Sonic Forces comes a brand new villain by the name “Infinite.” SEGA dropped some new music for the occasion with a dedicated theme song featuring vocals and lyrics by Dangerkids band members earlier today (and sounding so deliciously Shadow the Hedgehog-like, I might add), and now we have a trailer dedicated to this dangerous new evil as well.

Give it a watch above, and share your thoughts with us on Infinite in the comments below!

New Sonic Forces Villain “Infinite” Gets his Own Dark Theme Music, Courtesy of Dangerkids

It’s only been two days since we were introduced to Tee Lopes’ “Hi Spec Robo Go!” for Sonic Mania‘s Hard Boiled Heavies, and today SEGA has come around with another new song just in time for San Diego Comic-Con, this time for the new villain starring in Sonic Forces.

Composed and arranged by Tomoya Ohtani, as well as guitar by the legendary Jun Senoue, the new track features vocals and lyrics by Tyler Smyth and Andy Bane from Dangerkids, aptly titled “Infinite.” Those who enjoyed the edgier and darker theme songs from Shadow the Hedgehog are bound to get a kick out of this tune, as well as better insight into the character of Infinite himself.

What are your thoughts on Infinite’s theme music, and how do you think the Sonic Forces OST is shaping up? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Archie Sonic Comic Officially Cancelled

After six months without any release and and vast amounts of speculation of it’s fate, SEGA of America have finally announced that it is ending their partnership with Archie Comics, effectively cancelling it. The tweet sent out by the official Sonic the Hedgehog account is below;

As the tweet also says, this doesn’t mean that SEGA won’t foray into comics in the future. But it is the end of an era, and what a legacy it left;

  • 290 regular issues of the main comic.
  • Four serial spin-off comics.
  • Over 500 issues combined.
  • Several crossovers with other franchises.
  • Dozens of beloved characters, stories and places that will always stick with the fans.

We are sure many fans, including ourselves are sad to see this chapter of Hedgehog history come to an end. We will keep on top of any future updates on what SEGA does in the comic industry next.

And with the final panel ever printed in Archie Sonic, that’s this case closed too.

Source: Sonic the Hedgehog (Twitter)

[UPDATED] New Sonic Mania Track Preview, Vinyl LP Available For Pre-Order

[UPDATE] During the pre-SDCC SEGA PR stream, Aaron Webber mentioned that there are currently “discussions” regarding the release of the Sonic Mania soundtrack on other formats – most likely digital and/or CD. Those without turntables – do not despair!

Sonic fans and soundtrack collectors alike will want to mark this weekend in their calendars! Data Discs have announced that pre-orders for the Sonic Mania soundtrack, the first Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack to see a full release on vinyl, will go live this coming weekend.

The soundtrack will contain 18 tracks, and will be released in three versions:

  • 180g Clear with Blue, Red, Orange & Yellow Splatter (Limited Edition)
  • 180g Translucent Blue
  • 180g Classic Black

Unlike previous releases from Data-Discs, the pre-order window will extend from 8AM BST on Saturday 22nd of July through to 12PM on Monday 24th of July, during which period anyone who pre-orders a limited edition version of the soundtrack will be guaranteed a copy, with the two other versions remaining available after this date.

The official Sonic the Hedgehog social media channels today also gave another sneak preview of the Sonic Mania soundtrack (which you can listen to below) in the from of the theme of the Hard-Boiled Heavies, entitled “Hi-Spec Robo Go!”, and another example of Tee Lopes’ work in channeling the spirit of the classic 2D title soundtracks.

As always, TSS will keep you up-to-date on all Sonic Mania news!

Sounds of Sonic Music Event Set For San Diego Comic Con

SEGA have announced today a wealth of events to be held at the San Diego Comic-Con! To complement the already announced “Behind the Scenes” Sonic Mania panel, the five day convention will also play host to the “Sounds of Sonic” music extravaganza, which will take place at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront, and include a suite of music performed by Shota Nakama, creator of the Video Game Orchestra, and Sonic Team composer and Crush 40 guitarist Jun Senoue.

In addition to this and many other events throughout the convention, an autograph signing session will take place on Sunday, in which Sonic Team Head Takashi Iizuka will join the Mania development team. There will also be an exclusive item for attendees to collect!

Further information can be found in this hilarious graphic below!

Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes Panel At Comic Con

More comic con goodness for you lucky people who can go to it. Sega are to host a Sonic Mania panel which will go behind the scenes into the games development.

The details are as follows.

Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes

Saturday July 22, 2017 7:30pm – 8:30pm Room 24ABC

Takashi Iizuka (head of Sonic team), Christian Whitehead (developer, Sonic Mania), Simon Thomley (programmer, Sonic Mania), Tom Fry (artist, Sonic Mania), and Tee Lopes (composer, Sonic Mania) discuss the road to development behind the upcoming Sonic Mania video game and share new insights about the game. Moderated by Aaron Webber (Sonic social media manager).

Sounds like it should be a really good panel, especially for those of you interested in games development.

Source: SDCCBlog

 

Sonic Augmented Reality Experience Coming To SDCC!

Hidden away on the official San Diego Comic Con website, there is some really exciting news if you are lucky enough to be in San Diego during comic con.

Away from the actual event, in the Omni San Diego Hotel Grand Ballroom you can find Sega hosting a Sonic the Hedgehog Augmented Reality Experience. There will also be a concert with Shota Nakama held on the Tuesday evening but no details on that were given.

The event opens to developers and the public as a preview on the 19th of July, but it fully opens up on Thursday 20th and runs until Sunday 23rd.

Sega is presenting an AR Sonic experience and a special concert with the awesome Shota Nakama on Thursday evening, and dome takeover on Friday! 

WHERE: Omni San Diego Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 4th Floor

WHEN: Wed., 7/19: Developer & Public Preview, 6:00–9:00 PM • Thu.–Sat., 7/20-7/22: 9:30 AM–7:00 PM • Sun., 7/23: 9:30 AM–5:00 PM

Absolutely no details as to what this experience will be were revealed, or if it will ever be released in any way so those who are not there can see or experience it. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood at that time, lets us know what it was like.

More information as we get it.

Source: Comic Con 

Data Discs Releasing Sonic Mania Vinyl LP

Heads up, Sonic Maniacs! If you’ve been enjoying the aural pleasures of Tee Lopes’ Sonic Mania soundtrack until now, then it’s probably a good idea to sit down. Data Discs, the UK-based vinyl company that has a good track record (heh) of releasing retro SEGA soundtracks, is preparing a vinyl release of the upcoming 2D platformer’s OST. Continue reading Data Discs Releasing Sonic Mania Vinyl LP

Happy 26th Birthday, Sonic the Hedgehog!

Can you believe it’s been 26 years to the day that the original Sonic the Hedgehog video game was released on Sega Mega Drive? The blue blur is now way too far gone for any ‘old enough to drink/drive (though not at the same time)’ jokes. In fact, he’s well on his way to being old enough to starting a mortgage and a family. Continue reading Happy 26th Birthday, Sonic the Hedgehog!

The Sonic Movie To Release In 2019

Ever since it’s announcement, details regarding the Sonic movie have been incredibly thin, despite being a live action-CG hybrid, we don’t even have a cast list for it, and it only very recently announced that Deadpools director would be directing the film.

So when rumours and mumbles of a 2018 release were being talked about, this seemed a bit unlikely given the lack of information released so far about the film.

Well, Sega have now said that the movie will now be coming in 2019 which is a far more realistic release year.

In an interview with Games Industry, they dropped the line that the film would now be released in 2019.

“Nostalgia is actually very much in vogue, which is one the reasons we’ve been chasing it down,” he says. “Everything Nintendo has been doing has been driving big waves in nostalgia, they’ve done some amazing things and they had a lot of success with the classic NES. There is a film and documentary coming out about retro gaming called Console Wars. We also have a Sonic movie coming in 2019.”

So there we have it, time to book your tickets to the far off future of 2019.

Source: Gamesindustry.biz

Additional Members of Sonic Mania Dev Team Revealed

Following Sonic Mania‘s success at E3 (and nominations for multiple awards at the event) come the revelations of more of those involved in the game’s development…and it really is a who’s who of some of the most prominent talent in the Sonic the Hedgehog community! Continue reading Additional Members of Sonic Mania Dev Team Revealed

E3 2017: Sonic Forces Nintendo Switch footage

Have you been wondering how Sonic Forces would perform on Nintendo Switch? Well wonder no longer! While we were on the E3 show floor, we were able to record some footage directly from a Switch. While it may not be easy to tell, the game is running at a consistent 30 frames per second on the console. As a bonus, you also get some off-the-cuff commentary on the experience from Jason and I.

You can expect a more thorough run down of the Switch version’s performance from us in a video and a write-up later this week.

Sonic Forces E3 Impressions: Alex’s Take

SEGA has been frustratingly quiet about Sonic Forces since they revealed it as Sonic Project 2017 last year. It’s only been in the lead up to E3 that the game’s identity has begun to take shape publicly. While the game features shades of Sonic Generations, to call it an outright sequel (or rehash) isn’t quite right. The Forces demo is both familiar and new, if not also a little awkward.

The modern Sonic game play is essentially just a polished form of what we’ve been getting since Sonic Unleashed. Visuals aside, this game would be right at home in Sonic Generations, and there is zero learning curve for anyone who’s already played that game. The same can also be said for classic Sonic’s boss battle, which starts out as a new (if not exactly inventive) take on Eggman’s swinging ball weapon, replacing the ball with a buzz saw that cuts through platforms.

After that (easy) fight, Eggman hops into his Egg Dragoon, which first appeared in Sonic Unleashed, and starts attacking from the background. He fires a giant chain gun and chucks rocks and metallic boulders, the latter of which can be hit back to damage him. This part takes longer and is more entertaining, though the boss fight on the whole is fairly easy. The first two parts of the demo are as fun and polished as Sonic has ever been, but they do nothing outstanding or new design-wise. If all you want is more Generations (like me) than you’ll be satisfied with what’s on display for these modes in the demo.

So that’s what’s familiar, but what about the new stuff? Well, the visuals of Forces are a nice upgrade from past Sonic games. While some have complained that the new Green Hill stage looks barren compared Generations, this game looks better than any past Sonic game at an objective, technical level. The demo runs at a near silky smooth 60 frames per second, the first non-PC Sonic game to do so (Dreamcast HD ports notwithstanding). Individual blades of grass in Green Hill now move back and forth individually. In terms of pure polygons, this game is clearly pushing way more than any past Sonic game. These are the highest fidelity Sonic models I’ve ever seen.

That said, as with any E3 demo, the visuals aren’t 100 percent polished. At the end of the avatar stage, during a chase scene, the frame rate does get a little janky. But given that E3 demos typically boast notable technical issues due to their incomplete state of development, what I saw in the demo bodes well for the visuals in the final product. And speaking of the avatar stage, this brings me to what will surely be the most controversial part of this game.

I have felt uneasy about the player-made hero character since it was unveiled. While my time with the character does allay those fears somewhat, I do still have some concerns.

First, the positives: the “wispons”, wisp fuelled weapons that can be used for both attacking and traversal, fit surprisingly well with the flow of game play. During my playthrough, I used what was effectively a lightning whip. It let my character lightspeed dash across trails of rings, reverse the direction of my jump in mid-air, briefly boost forward, and attack and destroy horizontal rows of enemies. Overall, the wispon actually positively benefited the flow of play, and didn’t feel nearly as awkward as it looked.

On the negative side, there’s a learning curve to controlling the character. The character cannot roll, jump dash, or perform any of Sonic’s other moves. The way the character jumps feels different, and potentially awkward. I was missing a lot of jumps in my initial play through as a result, but whether this was because I was used to Sonic’s jumping mechanics and need to simply get used to the custom-hero character, or if the character’s controls simply aren’t very good, I can’t say without spending more time with the game.

Sonic Forces doesn’t look like it’ll be a groundbreaking title, but it ought to be a very fun one. While the hero character is a potential chink in the armor, it doesn’t look like the disaster I thought it might be either.

There will be additional game play impressions later this week, as well as a more in-depth impression of how the hero character plays.

UPDATE: Sonic Forces E3 Trailer Reveals New Villains

Sega have just released a new trailer for Sonic Forces and it shows us our villains gallery including what appears to be a new enemy for Sonic to fight.

Looks like that Sonic will be facing off against Eggman, Shadow, Chaos, Zavok, Metal Sonic and a ‘mysterious new villain’.

All we know about the villain is that he has a ‘strange new ability’ and his name is Infinite.

Also released was this key art piece.

We’ll keep you updated with more information as we get it.

Sonic Forces & Mania Demo Footage Showcased on Twitch Stream

SEGA Community Manager Aaron Webber appeared on the E3 Pre-Event Twitch stream along with members of the Sonic Mania development team to, among other Sonic-related things, show off the Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania E3 demos. The Forces demo consists of three parts: a modern Sonic 3D stage, a classic Sonic boss battle, and an “Avatar stage”, which demonstrates the fan-created “hero” character. The Sonic Mania demo showed off the second Green Hill stage and boss. Continue reading Sonic Forces & Mania Demo Footage Showcased on Twitch Stream

Update: Sonic Runners Adventure Out Now

Update: The game now appears to be available in the UK and several other territories, You can pay either through your phone bill or via paypal. Buying the game also gets you the free-to-play version.

Original Story: Sonic Runners Adventure is out now! If you live in Russia.

Last night the games FAQ page suddenly came back online and it would appear that the game has been released.

Users from the website vk.com found a number of screenshots for the game and included a link to the apparent store page where the game was available to download. However many western users reported that they found no such store.

But, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, with using a VPN we were able to access the page and can confirm that the game is indeed there to download if you live in Russia.

Trying to access the website from outside that region results in an error.

A number of screenshots for the game have emerged. The game play appears to be very similar to the original, however one significant difference appears to be a lost world inspired map

There is a premium version of the game which is apparently available now but a free-to-play version which will be released onto the Google Play store at a later date according to reports.

We’ll keep you up to date with more news as we get it.

Source: Sonic Runners Adventure Store Page

Chemical Plant Zone Revealed For Sonic Mania

Another classic zone has been revealed for Sonic Mania, and this time its Chemical Plant Zone! Two videos have been showcased for it, which you can check out in the links to the announcement on Game Informer below (who refer to the stage as Chemical Factory – although this is likely an error). Continue reading Chemical Plant Zone Revealed For Sonic Mania

Here’s A Sneak Peek at Sonic Forces’ Park Avenue Theme for the Custom Hero

The Custom Hero in Sonic Forces was revealed last month to the tune of two brand new trailers. One of these offered an early look at gameplay taking within the destroyed Park Avenue, and as fun as it was to see a customizable avatar character in action in a Sonic game, I think I speak for all of us back when we first heard vocals drop right within the last few seconds of a great tune that we needed to hear more of it.

Needless to say, Sonic Social has heard our plea and granted our wish! Jam to an early preview of the music from Park Avenue’s Custom Hero Act above, and sing along with the lyrics below! Special thanks to Forte-Metallix on the SSMB for deciphering them.


Take on the enemy, strike them down
We can’t let evil win, take them out
This is justice, this is what’s right

Take on the enemy, mess them up
And bring them to their knees, do your stuff
Time for justice, time to go fight

Destiny lies before you
I believe we have the power
Can you see the horizon?
Victory’s for the taking!

Sonic & Sega All Stars Brawl & Football Concepts Discovered

Remember how Sumo Digital kept dropping hints that they really wanted to do a fighting game? Looks like it was an idea which was seriously being considered if this discovery is anything to go by.

A design company by the name of Funsolve recently uploaded a bunch of concept art images for a number of Sega games, including the House of The Dead Overkill, Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing Transformed and more interestingly, two completely unknown All-Stars concepts, All Stars Brawl & All Stars Football.

The football concept is exactly what you would think, the Sega All Stars playing football with the trademark weapons being used during the game.

The brawl one however is the more interesting concept, with Super Sonic used to show the characters can fly around the stage as well as stand on platforms using power ups and throwing objects at opponents.

One annoying part of the concept art is that the brawl concept art was laid out like a comic book… only the second part of it is cut off and we really want to see how that fight was going to turn out.

Source: Funsolve.com

Hirokazu Yasuhara’s Sonic 1 & 2 Development Talk Now Online

Hirokazu Yasuhara who was one of the original designers for Sonic 1 & 2 has recently been discussing a lot of early concept and development work which went into Sonic 1 & Sonic 2.

This includes several sketches of level concept art posted on twitter and more interestingly an entire presentation about early Sonic 1 & 2 development builds, these include details such as how the time travel aspect of Sonic 2 would work including a level map, alternative zone layouts and early concept names for zones.

The presentation is in Japanese however an English version will also be uploaded at a later date.

We’ll let you know when that happens.

Source: Hirokazu Yasuhara Twitter

Sega Republic Appears To Have Closed Down

For several years, Sega has had an amazing theme park in the Dubai Mall running under the name ‘Sega Republic‘. The park had a number of Sonic themed rides and attractions which were quite popular with tourists in Dubai.

Despite being a popular attraction, it seems that the park has closed down with very little warning. SSMB user Sir Laptop brought to our attention that the website for Sega Republic has been taken down and replaced with a message telling customers that it’s closed.

In addition to this, their official Facebook page and twitter account appears to have also been removed.

Further evidence that the park has closed suddenly comes from several goodbye messages from the staff posted on other social media channels earlier today.

We’ll keep you up to date with more details as we get it.

Source: Sega Republic

New Animated Sonic Mania Trailer, Digital Pre-Orders Live

Today has brought with it a spate of new information on Sonic Mania, which has been officially confirmed for worldwide release on August 15, 2017 for Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC, the latter of which can now be pre-ordered through the Steam store. Continue reading New Animated Sonic Mania Trailer, Digital Pre-Orders Live

Weston Super Sonic 2017 Kickstarter Launches

It’s been all quiet on the Weston Super Sonic front, but that looks like it’s about to change! Weston Super Sonic is back for another year, this time the event will be held Saturday October 21st.

However, it needs your help to become a reality, the organisers have launched a Kickstarter in order to help secure both a venue and a wide variety of special guests for this years event.

The Kickstarter goal is £1000 and tickets for the event are available as pledge rewards, other rewards include goody bags, T-shirts and pin badges.

Source: Weston Super Sonic Kickstarter

 

Yasuhara Reveals Concept Art for Sonic 2 and Sonic 1; Sonic 2 was Going to Have Time Travel

There’s a wealth of information to be gained from these previously unseen images!

It turns out that Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Hirokazu Yasuhara was in Krakow, Poland to hold a presentation at the Digital Dragons Conference Centre. And with him, he brought some interesting new insights into the development process of the first two Sonic games!

Continue reading Yasuhara Reveals Concept Art for Sonic 2 and Sonic 1; Sonic 2 was Going to Have Time Travel

Sonic Mania is Now ESRB-Certified for All Platforms Except Nintendo Switch

Receiving news about a delay for a video game is a bittersweet occasion. On one hand, it means having to wait all the longer for a game’s already highly anticipated release as its launch is pushed further ahead, but on the other hand, one can’t really complain about extra polish to ensure greater quality from the final product. Continue reading Sonic Mania is Now ESRB-Certified for All Platforms Except Nintendo Switch

Custom Character Creator Revealed For Sonic Forces

The third character for Sonic Forces has been announced and the rumours were true – you can now create your own playable custom character!

In a trailer published by SEGA, a spectacled red wolf id shown running alongside Classic & Modern Sonic, as the sequence continues the character changes design and expression, the new hero then uses a grappling hook to attack a group of giant robots.

The trailer continues by showing off some of the character’s gameplay, including how the character creation system will work, that both male and female characters are available, and that there appears to be a significant amount of options available for customising appearance.

According to reports from other outlets, there are a number of different species to choose from, each with their own abilities.

  • Rabbit — Has longer invincible time after receiving damage
  • Wolf — Automatically draws in rings when near them
  • Cat — Keeps one ring after being hit
  • Dog — Restarts with five rings after the player dies
  • Bear — Blows away enemies with a homing attack
  • Bird — Flies high with double jump abilities
  • Hedgehog — Collects rings when getting damaged

Alongside the character creation details, the trailer also demonstrated some extended gameplay of the created character in ‘Park Avenue’

New Footage and Screenshots of Flying Battery Act 1 Released for Sonic Mania

Like a bolt from the blue, a minute of new footage and some screenshots of Sonic Mania have been released. The new video gives us our first proper look at Flying Battery Zone act 1, which for a while only had little snippets to tease at what could be to come. Follows Knuckles as he scales both inside and outside the ship; Continue reading New Footage and Screenshots of Flying Battery Act 1 Released for Sonic Mania