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

 

Sonic Mania’s European Steam trailer reveals a release date

While SEGA has remained vague about Sonic Mania’s release date, we may finally have an answer. Sonic Mania’s UK and German Steam pages’ new trailer ends with a confirmation of the release date: August 15 2017.

Unlike past release date leaks from retailers, this is almost certainly not a mere placeholder. So while the release date may still vary a little bit by platform and region, it seems that we finally have an idea of when Sonic Mania will be coming out. Currently, we only have confirmation that this trailer is up in UK and Germany, specifically. We have no confirmation from other European countries, though given how European releases tend to work it’s likely the date will be shared by the entire region. The US Steam page, meanwhile, still only says “Summer 2017”.

Stay tuned for further developments!

New Sonic Mania Zone Leaked?

It’s the licensing expo in Vegas this week, once again Sega is in attendance.

Only this time they might have leaked an unannounced stage in Sonic Mania.

In both an advert for a licensing meeting and on Segas booth itself there are a number of screenshots from Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania including one which appears to be from an unannounced level.

After a few other images were posted a few Sonic fans played around with the images and came up with the following.

It appears to be a gothic castle like stage with a water motif.

Sega have yet to comment on the stage but odds are that will change soon now it’s been discovered.

Oh and until we get word otherwise, I’m calling this stage ‘CastleMania Zone.’

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.

Such was the case with Sonic Mania when the Sonic Team panel at SXSW 2017 revealed that the game wouldn’t be launching this spring as originally envisioned, and has since been pushed towards a summer launch. Turns out that the wait might be over sooner than we think, as the ESRB has just recently published on their website that the game will be rated “E for Everyone” once it launches on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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;

On top of that, there are three new screenshots showing Sonic, Tails and Knuckles in action. You can view them in the gallery below. All in all, it looks like quite a spiffy remaking so far!

With E3 around the corner, there’s bound to be more snippets like this coming our way. Also bear in mind that this is just act 1, who knows what act 2 will bring to the table.

Source: Gematsu (Youtube), Gematsu

Rejected Sonic Extreme Concept Became Sonic Riders, Claims US Developer

The concept for rejected spinoff Sonic Extreme was lifted by Sonic Team years later to develop Sonic Riders internally, claims a US developer responsible for pitching the early-2000s Xbox demo to SEGA. Continue reading Rejected Sonic Extreme Concept Became Sonic Riders, Claims US Developer

Sonic Boom Season 1 to Hit Netflix in More Countries, Season 2 to Start Airing in 2017 across EMEA

For European fans looking to catch up on the Sonic Boom cartoon, the wait may not be much longer. The May issue of Licencing World was published today, and it had some new information on SEGA’s plans for Boom this year.

Continue reading Sonic Boom Season 1 to Hit Netflix in More Countries, Season 2 to Start Airing in 2017 across EMEA

TSS Review: Sonic Boom Season 2 – Robots From The Sky Parts 1-4

I’m sure many of my fellow thirty-somethings have breathed the same sigh of relief in that as we grow ever older, cartoons have not lost their appeal; I’d even go as far to say that we are in the midst of something of a cartoon renaissance – with multiple franchises successfully walking the line between children’s entertainment and veiled adult humour garnering cult followings.

The success of these series is largely down to the creators knowing their audience, and for the writers of Sonic Boom, they have certainly done their homework. I have lost count of the number of references to the Sonic universe the show has now made, and it is wonderful that 75+ episodes in, the jokes and in-jokes show no sign of relenting. The series on the whole to date has been wonderfully self-aware, subtle enough that younger audiences can enjoy the action and slapstick, while purposefully cliché and self-referential to deliver a wink and a nudge to older audiences, or a comical reprieve for parents who probably have already had to endure unending hours of Peppa Pig.

As the second season passes its mid-way mark, this week’s episode will introduce the first in a four-part story, Robots From The Sky (sung to the tune of a popular 80’s cartoon featuring metamorphosing machines, of course). The episode introduces the characters Mighton and Bolt who feature throughout the arc, two sentient robots from a floating city who find themselves stranded on the ground after their ship crashes. In a case of mistaken motives, the two misconstrue Sonic and friends as antagonists following a bout with Eggman’s machines. The episodes each end on a cliffhanger, as the team investigate why robots all over the world have begun to turn evil, with events from the past resurfacing in a series of plot twists.

Before I go on, SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

The quadrilogy is the first in the series with writing credit going to Sonic Boom producer Bill Freiberger (the voice of Comedy Chimp), alongside regulars Alan Denton and Greg Hahn, who once again find their stride in penning a compelling children’s story interspersed with moments of eye-rolling humour most will find themselves chuckling at (unlike Knuckles). Speaking of which, Travis Willingham continues to deliver on his portrayal of his wonderfully simple Knuckles (although I’m sure this is obfuscating stupidity) with fans cheering that seventy-plus episodes in, we get a “legs day” joke. Mike Pollock and Roger Craig Smith have created a wonderful on screen (or off-screen?) chemistry between Eggman and Sonic, to the point at which battles have become juxtaposed with casual conversation, both characters aware they are simply going through the motions.

In a change of style, the story takes on a slightly more serious tone (but only slightly) as it begins to become clear that one of the heroes has inadvertently caused the current predicament. The first episode’s cliffhanger recovers with a deus ex machina deployed as another great comic device, once again nodding to the more senior audiences. This tone makes for a refreshing change of pace in comparison to the self-contained episodes, however fans of previous Sonic shows seeking more involved story arcs will likely find no satisfaction here. Some might have grown tired of the fight scenes by this stage; for this they might be forgiven, but again in context are necessary considering the show’s primary audience and the need to keep pace. Once again, the punctuation of satire should be what mature viewers focus their attention on. The final robot showdown sees an army of mechanical counterparts created with some albeit spurious science, but provides delightfully bizarre conclusion.

The Sonic Boom TV show has successfully created own its personality and carved its own niche in the Sonic universe; it is pleasing to see the progression in its evolution that prevents the concept from going stale. For many, including myself, the show continues to be the highlight of the Sonic Boom franchise – and I hope it continues to provide entertainment, for young and old, for many more episodes to come.

Robots From The Sky Part 1 is billed to air at 6pm ET on Saturday, 6th of May 2017 on Boomerang in the United States.

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Concepts Found

The Sonic Stadium has discovered even more Sonic Boom concept art, but this time for last year’s Nintendo 3DS release Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. The images were found on the portfolio of Casey Holtz a contract designer who worked on the game’s level and system design.

Responsibilities:
Level layout on 12 Race levels
Level layout on4 Adventure levels
Boss battle design, tuning, scripting
General systems tuning and support.

The concept art gives us a look at early stage and boss level sketches. In the original image files we can see they date back between November 2014 and early 2015 telling us the game was still in the very early stages not long before it was announced in June 2015, so it’s no wonder the game was delayed until September last year.

Check out the images in our gallery below and share your thoughts in the comments.

Source: Casey Holtz’s Portfolio

Gameplay Footage of Classic Sonic in Sonic Forces has Surfaced

A video showing Classic Sonic playing through Green Hill Zone has been uploaded today. Much longer than the snippet seen in the Nintendo Direct, it follows Classic Sonic as he traverses the entirety of the zone, presumably the first one Classic Sonic will go through in the game. Get the video below and screenshots;

Continue reading Gameplay Footage of Classic Sonic in Sonic Forces has Surfaced

More on the Cancelled Comic Issues, Archie to Provide Update to Subscribers

It’s rare a story twists so soon, but here we are with an important update.

Earlier today, I gave a general comic update on what had gone on in the last month regarding the Archie Sonic comics. As said there, Sonic #291 and Sonic #294 were listed as cancelled by the publisher on PreviewsWorld’s order form.

Continue reading More on the Cancelled Comic Issues, Archie to Provide Update to Subscribers

The Long-Awaited Fan Game “Sonic Time Twisted” is Finally Released

The spring season will likely pass as another dry spell for Sonic fans looking for a new classic gameplay fix, as SEGA delayed Sonic Mania to the summer. To their relief, however, one long-anticipated fan game finally saw a timely launch for Windows earlier today after many years of work and several SAGE demos.

Developed by Overbound, Sonic Time Twisted boasts a number of Genesis-era features and callbacks, including CD-inspired time travel, a dizzying number of Zones to explore, and a variety of old and new elemental shields. The unique Dueling Ages soundtrack has also largely been composed and performed by Hinchy—along with collaborators Andy Tunstall, Joshua “EXshad” Kruszyna, Jogurt, Christopher Wright and Michael Davis—which you can download separately here.

As for the story, the game’s events take place in a separate timeline after Sonic CD and the destruction of the Death Egg, this time leading to the demise of Dr. Robotnik. Metal Sonic aspires to resurrect his fallen master using ancient alien tech, and it is up to Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to gather both the Time Stones and Chaos Emeralds to put a stop to the mechanical maniac’s fiendish plot!

Be sure to check out the Overbound Studio website for more information and the actual download for the free fan game. A Mac-supported release for Sonic Time Twisted is also pending.

Have you been keeping track of this game’s development, or will you be going in with a fresh pair of eyes? What have you enjoyed most from Time Twisted so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

UPDATE: Amazon Points to ‘September’ Release Date for Sonic Mania

It looks like we might have an idea as to when Sonic Mania may be released – and for those of you banking on a ‘Summer’ window as described by SEGA America recently, you may want to try asking Father Time to re-adjust the seasons so that Summer also includes September 4. Continue reading UPDATE: Amazon Points to ‘September’ Release Date for Sonic Mania

UPDATE: First4Figures Hints Future Sonic Statues at Risk of Cancellation

A funny thing happened on my way to the First4Figures Collectors Club Page today, I was quite surprised to see tons of posts from multiple posters lamenting the cancellation of the Sonic line. Quite baffled by this I looked into it a little more and found even more people saying that the Sonic line was to be cancelled or ‘in danger’.

After doing some research, it seems that in a recent Q&A video, First4Figures strongly hinted that the Sonic line was indeed in danger, specifically future releases being cancelled unless the next statue sells very well.

The comments in question are made in this video (April 7th, between 46:00-48:00), a user asks about a ‘Modern Metal Sonic’ statue and the staff respond that it won’t happen unless the 25th anniversary statue sells very well. At first the tone is jokey, but then it changes to a more sombre and serious one, with them finally saying “Make sure that sells well or… forget about Modern Metal Sonic,” at which point one of them even shakes their head.

Now whilst there has been no official confirmation (that I can find) as to the specific reason as to why the Sonic line is in danger, but many long term fans of F4F have been stating on the Facebook page that what’s happening is very similar to what happened to Kirby and a few other franchises.

It seems that future lines can suffer depending on the sales of a previous statue, even if in the past the line had done very well. Fans have been citing Kirby as a prime example, which had a previously announced statue cancelled due to poor sales over an earlier release.

So if that’s indeed the case, who was the last character in the Sonic series that got a statue? This guy.

Yup, Silver is being cited by many on the F4F page as being the reason for these comments, checking the exclusive statue, it seems that only 375 were made in response to orders… Compare that to the Exclusive Tornado statue which cost $45 more had 425 made… that’s… not good.

More information as and when we get it.

Source: First4Figures Q&A

UPDATE: A F4F staff member responded on our Facebook page with the following

Hey all. Let me chime in. that 425 number isnt the real number. That was just a random number selected before we moved to the 2 week preorder system, where you get a more accurate number for Silver at 375. (We usually round it up to a nicer number) So sales arent just based on Silver alone. Tornado sold way less than the 425 number suggested. For many years, the company only had 3 members, so those ‘low’ numbers were ok to get by however with growth now in these last couple of years. Things need to be improved at all levels. Our prices have remained relatively very low and competitive in the same market and we continue to improve the way we make our products accessible with flexipay options. Hope that helps abit more with the story. Thanks

So what we get from this are a number of things.

The first is that the Tornado sold even lower than the 425 quoted here, combined with the fact that F4F has expanded it’s business means that we now have two statues in a row which might have both fallen far below expectations which suggests that the line really is at risk.

Second Sonic Synergy Trailer Discovered

A few days ago, a few websites reported the discovery of a trailer for Sonic Synergy, the game which would become Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, the trailer showed a number of differences to the final product, such as some very different Eggman designs, better looking graphics and a completely different title.

Well, a few hours ago, a member on our forums revealed that they had an extended version of this trailer which shows even more differences, and that they had it for 2 years but were under the impression it was already known! Well… we know about it now!

Some of the more noticeable differences include Sonic who has finger-less gloves and his arms are not completely blue, the chao were also going to be in the game at some point.

Check out the trailer and see the differences yourself.

Source: SSMB (special thanks to BxB-Meister for posting the goods).

First Images of New Sonic Character In Sonic Forces

Today’s Nintendo Direct Live Stream revealed more footage from Sonic Forces today, but more interestingly gave a glimpse of a “new ally”, very likely connected to the third style of game play heavily alluded to in previous announcements. Continue reading First Images of New Sonic Character In Sonic Forces

Morio Kishimoto is Directing Sonic Forces, No Boom Sonic, Will Be At E3

The director behind Sonic Colors and Sonic Lost World will be taking the helm once more for Sonic Forces, it has been revealed – and if you were hoping for that ‘third playable character’ to be Boom-universe Sonic, prepare to be disappointed. Continue reading Morio Kishimoto is Directing Sonic Forces, No Boom Sonic, Will Be At E3

Rumour: ‘Sonic Runners Adventure’ Coming to Mobile Devices

To those of you who were sad to see Sonic Runners leave our phones last year, listen up. It looks like SEGA is working with Gameloft to bring the concept back, in a new title called ‘Sonic Runners Adventure’. Continue reading Rumour: ‘Sonic Runners Adventure’ Coming to Mobile Devices

Sonic Mania Will Feature Levels Inspired By Scrapped Mega Drive Stages

SEGA has revealed that the team working on Sonic Mania has been given access to a wealth of scrapped levels from past 2D Sonic games, opening the possibility of seeing levels like Dust Hill Zone and Genocide City in a completed form for the first time. Continue reading Sonic Mania Will Feature Levels Inspired By Scrapped Mega Drive Stages

Sonic VR Proof of Concept Found

The Sonic Stadium has discovered a proof of concept for a Sonic the Hedgehog virtual reality project. The concept was developed for SEGA by Big Sky VR a Los Angeles based studio who worked on Coachella Explorer the first-ever mobile 3D simulation of the Coachella Music Festival. Big Sky describes their Sonic concept as a puzzle game in which our blue hero takes the user on an adventure through typical Sonic environments, though they fail to elaborate on any puzzle elements.

Big Sky developed a proof of concept for Sega to help them bring their icon Sonic the Hedgehog to the world of Virtual Reality. In this puzzle game experience Sonic escorts our user along an adventure that takes him across land sea under volcanos and above the clouds thats true to Sonic form.

Big Sky’s Greg Edwards has shared a video of the demo on his Vimeo account two months ago indicating that this is a very recent project. Whether anything more will come of this further down the line is unclear, but it’s interesting to know SEGA is looking at bringing Sonic to the world of virtual reality.

sonic from Greg Edwards on Vimeo.

Source: Big Sky VR

Would you like to see a Sonic the Hedgehog virtual reality game? Let us know in the comments.

Is This The Very First Sonic Plush Ever Made?

Before Sonic was a franchise, before he was a household name, before he even had a single game, he was just an idea and a pitch. It’s quite common knowledge that Yuji Naka and Naoto Oshima along with a few others had to pitch the idea of Sonic to Sega higher ups in order to get the green light for development.

Part of this pitch included ‘a small Sonic plush toy’, this has been a matter of record in a number of different interviews and articles, such as the History of Sonic book which came out a few years ago.

Yet, to this day, nobody has ever seen this plush… well… that might have changed.

Naoto Ohshima, the man who designed Sonic has lately been posting a lot of very interesting pieces of artwork and design on his Facebook page, including a rather curious plush.

Whilst he’s not confirmed it is the original plush from the pitch, there’s a number of clues to suggest it might be, first of all, there are no tags of any kind, it’s a homemade item, secondly, it stands upright on it’s own accord, there are only a handful of Sonic plushies out there which do this and none of them look anything like this.

Another big clue is that it is VERY high quality, this was not made for mass market, it was either made to order or was an extremely limited run.

Speaking to a few Sonic Merch collectors, none of them have been able to identify it which would either put this as a custom job… or… the legendary plush. If it is the plush from the pitch, it would make this product 001, the very first piece of Sonic merch ever to have existed and a one of a kind.

The watch on his wrist is a different product which was released a few years after Sonic 1. If we get anymore details as to the origins of this mystery product, we’ll let you know.

Source: Naoto Ohshima Facebook.

The Sonic Community April Fools Day Roundup 2017

We love April Fools Day, we do. At The Sonic Stadium, it’s an annual tradition – we’re the original pranksters in the community after all. It’s nice to kick back and have a little fun from time to time. And it looks like a whole bunch of Sonic sources have joined in on the act this year too, so let us bring you a selection of April Fools jokes that happened in 2017. Starting with the king, of course…
Continue reading The Sonic Community April Fools Day Roundup 2017

HQ Gameplay Video and Screenshots of Sonic Forces Released

As promised, Sega have uploaded the HQ gameplay of Modern Sonic that was shown last night at SXSW onto YouTube for all to see. Also we have two high-quality screenshots straight from Sega to share as well!

Continue reading HQ Gameplay Video and Screenshots of Sonic Forces Released

Sonic Forces is the title for Project Sonic 2017

Update (7:18PM EST): There was also a skit before the reveal that seemed to indicate the plot of the game. Apparently, it might take place in a world where Sonic has failed, and Eggman has finally won.

Update (6:48PM EST): Logo from here, HQ PNG one soon:

###

It was just announced at the panel that the official name for Project Sonic 2017 is now Sonic Forces. More as it happens!

This post will be updated by as it comes in.

We’ll get the official assets and will update here in just over 15 minutes.

Sonic Forces will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC as announced before.

Sonic Mania Delayed To Summer 2017

This just in from the SXSW Sonic panel: Sonic Mania has been delayed from Spring 2017 to Summer 2017! Still no exact date revealed. According to the panel, the devs need more time to make sure the game is as good as it can be.

They said SEGA doesn’t want to disappoint its fans, and is making sure it is taking the time needed to make a high quality game. “Quality is our number one priority.”

Read More...

Archie delays upcoming Sonic comics again, doesn’t solicit Sonic for May

Fans of Archie’s Sonic comic series will be waiting awhile longer to get their next Sonic comic fix. According to the website Previewsworld, which posts solicitations for upcoming comic books, the next issues of both Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe have been delayed again to April and beyond.

Sonic the Hedgehog #291, originally scheduled for late January before being delayed to March 1, then March 22, is now arriving in stores April 26. Sonic Universe #95 will be shipping on April 12, three whole months after the last issue. Of course, these delays have also affected subsequent issues, with Sonic #292 shipping on May 24 and Sonic Universe #96 shipping on May 10.  The solicitations for the remaining issues have yet to be altered, but they will no doubt be changed eventually to reflect these delays.

Today, it seems even these dates may not be set in stone; while in the past Archie has re-solicited delayed comics, their recently released May solicits did not feature any Sonic comics, new or old.

Things have been rocky for Archie’s Sonic comics these last few months. In addition to these delays, subscriptions for the comics became (and remain) unavailable, which we first reported back in January. The exact cause of all this remains unclear, as Archie staff have remained mum throughout all of this.

Sources: Comic Vine, Previews World

3,653 Nights: 10 Years of Sonic and the Secret Rings

A Storybook Retrospective of Sonic and the Secret Rings

Once upon a time, on the nineteenth night of February 2017, I had fallen fast asleep on my sofa. An issue of Sonic the Comic lay strewn out upon my face, its pages fluttering up and down in the makeshift breeze as my body gently breathed in and out. A fireplace roared away in the corner of the room as the quiet ticking of the grandfather clock permeated the silence. Eventually, the two hands pointed upwards and the simple staccato beats transformed into a melodic chime. A strange magic seemed to fill the air.

“Zzz…” I snored, happily oblivious to my surroundings.

“Um…” murmured a familiar voice. It was not enough to make me stir.

“Zzz…” I snored some more. My unexpected guest grew impatient.

“Hmph! Hey, wake up!

I came to with a start, the comic slipping off my face and onto the floor. My eyes shot straight over to the clock. Midnight! February 20th had arrived.

“Boy, is it that late already?!”

I leaned down to reach for the comic, but instead found myself picking up a shining circular object. A copy of Sonic and the Secret Rings! But what was it doing here, and why was it out of its box…? Suddenly, a ghostly mist surrounded the disc, and out popped a female genie with pointy ears and purple-pink hair!

“Do not be alarmed,” she explained, “I am Shahra, the Genie of the Disc!”

I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. Surely this couldn’t really be happening?!

“This is what I get for listening to Big the Cat’s Emerald Coast music before bedtime…” I mumbled to myself.

“Please,” she begged, “look at this!”

A laptop materialised in her hands, the screen displaying a series of posts on an internet forum. The name of the thread: ‘Sonic and the Secret Rings sucks!

“Wow, those comments are… harsh!” I observed, a little shocked. “Opinions on it really have changed, haven’t they!”

“Our world, the world of the Secret Rings, is vanishing!” she revealed. “It is the work of an incredibly evil spirit… the Erazor Djinn! He has begun to carve up our game’s reputation. When it first released exactly ten years ago today, the reception was generally positive – but now it is crumbling apart! If our fanbase ceases to exist, then this story will be silenced forever…”

“That definitely sounds like trouble,” I agreed, “but what do you want me to do?”

“I want you to stop it. Only you can restore the people’s belief in Sonic and the Secret Rings!”

“I suppose I can help out with that… but this is all something out of a videogame, right?” I questioned, ever so slightly perplexed. “How am I supposed to do anything about that?”

“That’s easy,” Shahra replied, “you are my master, having called forth the Genie of the Disc. Bringing you into the world of the Secret Rings is within my power. Now, please place the disc into the console…”

Obediently, I bent down and inserted the game into my dusty old Nintendo Wii. With a thunderous whir of power and a flash of rainbow light, I found myself standing in a whole new world.

I had arrived in a tunnel of golden light: a swirling vortex with giant pieces of paper floating all around.

“Where are we?” I asked Shahra.

“This is the Lost Preview, the world before the Secret Rings…”

I looked down at the pages making up the road beneath my feet. They were extracts from old magazine and website articles about the game, from early impressions to initial reviews. Lo and behold, most of them were pretty optimistic.

“Hey, I used to read some of these! Wow… I’d almost forgotten that the game was called Sonic Wildfire in early development! Check out some of the great things people were saying… man, I was so excited for it back then!”

At this point, it also occurred to me that, completely automatically, I had started running along in a straight line. Shahra noticed my surprise, and commented:

“Yeah, that’s a force of habit in the world of the Secret Rings. You’ll get used to it.”

Unfortunately, it seemed I had also lost my ability to stop, and soon found myself running straight into the back of a big ugly purple genie wielding a mighty scythe. The Erazor Djinn!

“You… you must be that ape that just got added to the story!” he grinned, turning around to face me.

“Don’t you know anything? I’m not an ape, I’m a human!” I pedantically corrected him.

“I have already ruined this game’s Metacritic average and forced SEGA to de-list it from retail stores! Soon the rest of its fans will follow…”

“We’ll see about that!” I bit back, my legs still stuck in a running animation with Shahra having to hold me in place.

“Oh, you’re one of them, are you? I suppose a suitable punishment is in order, then…”

Without warning, Erazor shot a burning arrow of fire right into my chest.

“This game’s reputation is tied to the flame. Bring me one good reason not to blight it to oblivion before the arrow extinguishes. If you do not… your journalistic credibility is forfeit! Hahahahaha!”

“Ouch!” I yelped, as Erazor quickly teleported away into the ether. “I reckon I’m going to need some Gaviscon to sort out this heartburn…”

“No, we do not have time. Let the speed mend it!” Shahra suggested instead. I wondered if she realised she had just made an in-joke. “You must hurry and remember what made you fall in love with the Secret Rings a whole decade ago…”

Shahra conjured up a luxurious-looking magic carpet and gestured to climb on board with her. She handed me a Wii Remote, telling me that I could use it to steer us around.

“Now this is first-class!” I exclaimed, just grateful not to be endlessly running on my feet any more.

I looked up to see a series of locales now listed in front of me. Somewhere from the depths of the vortex, a voice was singing: ‘Make-believes reborn! Myths in mind rethought..!’. That won’t ever get annoying, I thought. Deciding to visit the areas in order, we soared onward, and my adventure into the world of the Secret Rings had begun…

One thing became clear as we perpetually ventured forwards: every step on our journey was a fast and thrilling rollercoaster ride of fun. Or, at least, most steps were. In between the high octane magic carpet flights, we had to make shorter and less exciting visits to each locale. I didn’t much see the point in revisiting the same places over and over again for a number of trivial tasks: collecting (or not collecting) rings, destroying a very specific amount of evil spirits, or painstakingly hunting for dinosaur eggs. Shahra, however, insisted that it was necessary in order to forge the path ahead – which would have been fine, except that we had to zig-zag between locales to do so, with increasingly grating echoes of ‘Make believes reborn!’ greeting us every time. For a world so obsessed with moving forwards, Secret Rings didn’t really seem to comprehend the virtues of straightforward linearity.

“This is needlessly obtuse, you do realise that?” I remarked. Shahra chose to ignore me.

It had also become clear after a while that our mode of transport was far from ideal. The Wii Remote, though a novel means of steering, was just that: a novelty. Tilting to and fro worked fine, but the struggle to slow down and reverse caused untold amount of crashes and near-misses. I pleaded with Shahra for a more traditional method of controlling our movement, but she insisted that this was the only way. I started to believe that turning around and going backwards must be considered a crime in these lands. Either that or the world had just taken Green Forest’s ‘Won’t Stop, Just Go!’ mentality a little too seriously.

By the time we finally reached the heart of the Night Palace, I was feeling pretty jaded and weary – our adventuring had literally been non-stop! But, in spite of all my frustrations, there was no time to rest. The flaming arrow in my chest was nearly gone, and the Erazor Djinn still had to be stopped. Entering his throne room, we could hear him reciting an incantation:

“Ifalas zaras I e zaraq, Ifalas zaras I e zaraq…”

“What’s he doing?” I asked Shahra.

“He’s summoning an angry mob to burn what’s left of this game’s reputation to the ground!” she panicked. “You must stop him, now!”

Erazor finished his spell and an army of disgruntled Sonic fans with torches and pitchforks materialised beside him. Sensing our presence, Erazor turned around and laughed maniacally.

“Ah, it’s the ape again! Have you brought me your one good reason?”

“Umm… actually, I don’t know…” I answered honestly.

Erazor and Shahra looked equally stunned.

“You see, I can completely understand why some people wouldn’t like this game. It can be a right royal pain trying to traverse through these areas using the Wii Remote, and the constant coming and going between different areas to complete missions can bring the momentum grinding to a halt. Which is ironic really, considering it’s all meant to be about never-ending speed!”

Shahra put her head in her hands, defeated. Erazor smirked and nodded to the angry mob to start approaching.

“But,” I continued, “that doesn’t mean it’s not without its charm. For all of the game’s faults, I can’t help but admire it. Whether it was Sand Oasis, Evil Foundry, Levitated Ruin, Skeleton Dome, or anywhere else: this is a gorgeous, gorgeous world. The landscapes, the lighting, the set pieces… they’re all beautifully diverse. And all from a launch-window title on a standard definition console! Maybe including dinosaurs and pirates is a little strange thematically, but I’m willing to give those a pass for sheer spectacle alone. Oh, and I absolutely loved the music of this world, too! I may never know what an Unawakening Float is, or find out who’s gonna rock the place, place, place, but these are all songs I will never forget. They’re just so… unique. And I think that about sums it up: Secret Rings is a game that dares to be different. Yes, it’s a product of its time that cashed in on gimmicky motion controls. Yes, it hasn’t aged very well by modern standards. But back in 2007, compared to the other Sonic titles on the market, this was a big deal. Strip away its technical flaws and Secret Rings is a game that’s simple yet compelling in its story, its presentation… and, at times, even its gameplay. Trash talk it all you like, but its creative heart will burn on with a passion that can never be extinguished!”

It was at this point that I expected the flaming arrow in my chest to burst forth with almighty, triumphant vigour. Alas, no such luck.

“Pah! You think that’s good enough to stop me?” laughed Erazor at my excuses.

“Oh… umm…” I desperately scrambled for other ideas, “well I suppose Secret Rings is technically canon now, seeing as it did get mentioned in Generations, so…”

Erazor just carried on laughing. Even I knew that was a pathetic attempt.

“You have failed, ape! Now, feel the wrath of the flame!”

With a click of his fingers, Erazor’s angry mob angled their pitchforks in my direction and came after me. I needed a get-out and I needed it quick.

“This doesn’t look good! Shahra, please lend me your power!”

A distant voice cried out: ‘Time break!!’

There was a flash of grey and the world slowed to a crawl. Seizing the opportunity, I turned and ran. And I ran, and I ran, until I found my way home. Sonic somehow managed it, so I figured I could too.

I don’t know whether my efforts managed to make any difference to the fate of the Secret Rings. Ten years on from its original release, I got to relive both its highs and its lows – and, while it often felt like an arduous journey, I do not regret making a return visit to its world. Strange, isn’t it? That’s this game in a nutshell. Maybe that’s what makes it special.

The past was kind to Secret Rings. The present, not so much. Its future reputation? Well, that remains uncertain. Day by day, only time will tell if it’s meant to be… but in my opinion?

It’s worth a chance.

– THE END –

Celebrate 10 years of Sonic and the Secret Rings by sharing your memories below!

UK Retailer Claims Sonic Mania to Get “Physical Copies for All Platforms”

For the past month we’ve had a lot of retailers listing what appears to be a physical edition of Sonic Mania on the switch, so far Sega has been completely silent on the subject despite multiple retailers listing the game for pre-order.

Continue reading UK Retailer Claims Sonic Mania to Get “Physical Copies for All Platforms”

New minor Project Sonic 2017 and Switch version details in Nintendo Dream magazine

A scan popped up on Twitter today from Nintendo Dream magazine in Japan showing bits of info for both Sonic Mania and Project Sonic 2017 on Nintendo Switch. While nothing of note was said of Sonic Mania, we got a few small bits about Project Sonic 2017, but nothing mind-blowing.

Continue reading New minor Project Sonic 2017 and Switch version details in Nintendo Dream magazine

Sonic Mania, Project 2017 Reveals Coming To SXSW 2017

SXSW 2017 have announced they’ll be hosting a second Sonic panel for this year’s event, set to reveal news about the upcoming Sonic Mania and Project Sonic 2017.

Gotta Go Fast: The Official Panel of Sonic the Hedgehog will be hosted by Takashi Iizuka (Head of Sonic Team), Roger Craig Smith (Voice of Sonic), Mike Pollock (Voice of Eggman), and everyone’s favourite social media manager Aaron Webber.

The panel, set to be an hour long, confirms that we’ll be seeing a new behind-the-scenes look at the new Sonic titles debuting this year — and a few more surprises could be in store.

Dive into the world of Sonic the Hedgehog in this exclusive behind-the-scenes look at both Sonic Mania and the upcoming Sonic 2017! With presenters from SEGA and Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka, this panel will answer questions about both games, showcase a new reveal for each title, and will discuss Sonic’s resurgence in the world of gaming since the reveal of both games. Of course, with Sonic involved, who knows what other surprises might be in store?

SXSW 2017 takes place March 10th to March 19th in Austin, Texas. Gotta Go Fast: The Official Panel of Sonic the Hedgehog will begin at 5:00pm CST (23:00 GMT) on March 16th. Get excited!

Source: SXSW 2017

Tons of New Sonic Toys Shown at Spielwarenmesse 2017!

Remember how I told you that London Toy Fair doesn’t usually have much in terms of Sonic? But New York and Germany are the ones to watch out for? Well… told you so. Spielwarenmesse is currently underway and as expected, there was a huge showing of Sonic merch! Someone managed to get inside Tomy’s booth and took photos of everything in sight! Resulting in one epic haul of Sonic merch for 2017 and beyond!

Based on the photos taken, the Sonic Boom toy line continues to be very profitable. Yes it is profitable, because if it wasn’t they wouldn’t keep making them… That’s how making money works, you make more of what is selling!

Anyway, on with the report.

Continue reading Tons of New Sonic Toys Shown at Spielwarenmesse 2017!

Sonic Revolution 2017 Announced & Dated

The Sonic Revolution fan convention is set to return for 2017, this year the event will be held Sunday, June 11th from 10 AM to 6 PM at the Fiesta Hall in Whittier, California.

Along with the confirmation of the venue and the date a number of special guests were also confirmed.

Bill Freiberger, co-executive producer and voice actor on Sonic Boom, as well as Alan Denton, one of the writers for Sonic Boom will be in attendance, fan content creator Balena Productions will also be in attendance.

Tickets will be distributed through GoGetFunding, every ticket comes with a goody bag but for those who want to spend more money, you will be rewarded with a collectable mug or T-Shirt.

More guests and incentives to attend have also been hinted at.

Full details of the event can be found on Sonic Revolution 2017 funding page.