SEGA revealed three new characters to the roster of Team Sonic Racing – and to anyone who’s a fan of the last fifteen years of Sonic games, this is going to be very good news. Sonic 2006’s Silver the Hedgehog, Sonic Rush’s Blaze the Cat and the Sonic Heroes’ reboot of Vector the Crocodile will all be speeding their way to your hearts. Continue reading Silver, Blaze and Vector Are All Coming to Team Sonic Racing
A stealth early release, perfectly fitting for this new character.
IDW have decided to release Sonic the Hedgehog #8 early, and with that comes an early preview! In this issue, after the failed data capture in the Egg Fleet, Sonic is assaulting the Arsenal Pyramid. Silver is there to help him out, but there’s someone else inside the base. Why do they call them the guardian angel? And why are they so secretive to boot? You can find out here!
Sonic the Hedgehog #8
Ian Flynn (w) • Evan Stanley (a & c)
Hush! You hear that? It sounds like Sonic’s racing off to another adventure and he’s not alone! But who is this “Guardian Angel” and why does everybody talk about her in a Whisper?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Sonic the Hedgehog #8 is releasing tomorrow. Make sure to remember the early date so you can wolf down more Sonic comic content as soon as it comes out!
Source: Graphic Policy
On Saturday August 9 2008, three young British figureheads in the Sonic the Hedgehog community opened the doors to the very first Summer of Sonic convention, welcoming over 300 people into a tiny hall with nothing but a SEGA Mega Drive in the corner and some cupcakes to entice them in. Continue reading The Summer of Sonic Convention is 10 Years Old – Happy Anniversary!
‘Gotta Go FaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaAAASSSSTTT!’ Fans of Parks and Recreation will be excited to learn that Ben Schwartz, famous for playing edgy entrepreneur Jean Ralphio Saperstein in the US TV sitcom, has been cast as the voice actor for Sonic the Hedgehog in the upcoming Hollywood movie. Continue reading ‘Parks & Rec’ Star Ben Schwartz Cast as Sonic in 2019 Movie
SEGA today announced their line-up for Gamescom 2018, which is set to include among other titles such as two Persona dancing titles, First of the North Star, and Team Sonic Racing, which will be showcasing new features:
Team Sonic Racing, developed by award-winning studio Sumo Digital, is the ultimate arcade and fast-paced competitive style racing experience, featuring your favourite characters from across the Sonic Universe. Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to race on an all new track, Ice Mountain, and experience two brand new playable teams.
Stay tuned to TSS for more details on these teams as the news comes!
More images are emerging from the set of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, currently filming in British Columbia:
The Sonic Movie is saved pic.twitter.com/9xu9gsdlc9
— Ben (TWIP) (@twip98) August 2, 2018
The image, purportedly from Pitt Lake near Vancouver, shows a town sign for the fictional location of “Green Hills” (which although is cut off in the image is also written on the side of the police cruiser in the background). Note the extra “s”, in the location, likely a bit of creative license on the writer’s part rather than a nod to the lesser-known zone of the same name from the Master System version of Sonic 2.
The sign also comes with the town motto of “The little town with a big heart”, along with the town’s population and elevation above sea level (although they missed a trick with the population – should have been 1991, not 1981!).
If this image is anything to go by, it is probably a good indicator we will see more nods and references to the game throughout the movie.
Stay tuned to TSS for more Sonic the Hedgehog movie news as it comes!
A playable version of unreleased arcade puzzle game SEGASonic Bros has been spotted in the wild this past weekend, as a build was discovered at US classic gaming enthusiast show California Extreme. Continue reading See A Playable Build of Cancelled Arcade Puzzler SEGASonic Bros in Action
That is, Team Sonic Racing the comic. Not the game. Maybe.
IDW have released their solicitations for October, and not only does it feature the next part of the climactic battle, it also features the official tie-in comic to Team Sonic Racing! And perhaps a little more than that…
In Sonic the Hedgehog #10, the resistance are working hard to liberate Angel Island from the vying claws of the Egg Fleet, with Tails and Amy leading the charge, but some heroes have a little more work to do. Blaze has to face off against an army all by herself, and she’s going to need some real fire power to do it! Meanwhile, Sonic and Knuckles are working together to take out a very powerful enemy, but will their combined efforts be enough? Find out in “The Battle for Angel Island”: part 2.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #10 CVR A THOMAS
(W) Ian Flynn (A) Tracy Yardley (CA) Adam Bryce Thomas
“The Battle for Angel Island,” Part 2. As Amy and Tails lead the Resistance fighters to free Angel Island from the Egg Fleet, Blaze must face an army all by herself. Meanwhile, Sonic and Knuckles find themselves face-to-face with a Super-powerful enemy. Will they be able to beat their foe, or will they just get beat?
The stunning second part of the first-year finale!
In Shops: Oct 24, 2018
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #10 CVR B YARDLEY
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #10 10 COPY INCV FOURDRAINE
Meanwhile the Team Sonic Racing tie-in comic, announced at SDCC, actually seems to be quite mysterious. We’ll get plenty of racing shenanigans that lead into the game, sure, but the plot seems to be the synopsis for the game as opposed to the comic. Do you want to see Sonic get himself out of a scrape in a strange world with the help of some fast cars and the superpower of teamwork? You might just be in luck!
TEAM SONIC RACING (ONE-SHOT)
(W) Caleb Goellner (A/CA) Adam Bryce Thomas
Sonic’s been taken to another world and entered into a race unlike any other! With a little help from his friends Tails and Knuckles, he’ll race to win the competition and get everyone home! BUT! Before that, check out a comics exclusive story straight from the world of Team Sonic Racing!
Leads into the upcoming game, Team Sonic Racing, available Winter 2018!
Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails team up in this exciting adventure!
Special extra-long one-shot!
In Shops: Oct 31, 2018
Whether you want to see a test of power or prefer some red hot speed, it looks like October will have you covered! We will have more info on both of these issues closer to their release.
Source: Bleeding Cool
Who’s ready for a good ol’ helping of spoilers today?
The full preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #7 has been revealed after SDCC has been and gone, and what it reveals is quite the doozy! In this issue, Sonic wants to bring the badniks down at the heart of operations after the mystery of Mr Tinker is somewhat cleared up. But if Sonic thought it would be easy, he’d be mistaken; there’s more brewing under the surface, and other powerful enemies set to make their move. This is “Meet the New Boss”.
Sonic the Hedgehog #7
After the dramatic events of the last two issues and the secret of Dr. Eggman, Sonic races off to shut down the organized Badniks at the source. Unfortunately, there’s more at play than Sonic has realized—and more powerful players…
Ian Flynn (w) • Adam Bryce Thomas (a) • Kieran Gates (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Sonic the Hedgehog #7 is due to release tomorrow. If you want to be the ultimate Sonic comic fan, you won’t want to miss this one!
By the way, if you don’t want comic spoilers, you may want to leave the preview until you get the comic…
Source: Comic Crusaders
With the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie entering production, the first images from the set are beginning to emerge. Just Jared have posted images of James Marsden on the set of the Sonic Movie dressed as a police officer ‘Tom the Cop’.
Team Sonic Racing will be getting a prequel comic from IDW this October. Revealed at IDW and SEGA’s “Way Past Cool Sonic Panel” at San Diego Comic Con, the comic will feature Sonic and his friends “facing an old foe” while racing across an alien planet.
The comic will be written by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles scribe Caleb Goellner and feature art from veteran Sonic comic artist Adam Bryce Thomas. You can check out the comic’s cover art, also drawn by Thomas, below:
To celebrate the release of Sonic Mania Plus, the conclusion of Sonic Mania Adventures is now out for your viewing pleasure!
Will Sonic and Tails be able to defeat Dr. Eggman? Will Ray and Mighty showdown with Metal Sonic? Will Knuckles ever retrieve the Master Emerald? Check out the finale below!
You can also watch all 5 episodes back-to-back:
Last year’s explosive release of Sonic Mania wasn’t just about a game that ended up thrilling both new and old blue blur fans. It was also proof that a brand new, ‘classic’ style 2D Sonic title will sell – and sell it most certainly did, cementing itself in the annals of hedgehog history. But, while widely regarded as one of the most critically-acclaimed Sonic titles in recent memory, there were some clear presentation omissions and missing elements in the base game – elements that you would think Christian Whitehead and co would have included, if they were just given more time to bake it in.
Enter Sonic Mania Plus. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Mania Plus
In true social media style, the Sonic community team have created an homage to the commercials of old with this 90’s-style advert, pitching Sonic Mania Plus against the not-so-fictional parody game “Finger GunZ” (I actually want to play Finger GunZ now).
In a world full of first-person shooter games, one game store customer has a choice to make.
(Sonic Mania Plus comes out TOMORROW!) pic.twitter.com/vElD6tqCqm
— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) July 16, 2018
Those with sharp eyes will notice that the dodgy salesman is none-other than internet loony Keith Apicary! If you’ve not seen the original Genesis vs. SNES advert, catch it below!
Sonic Mania Plus officially releases tomorrow (Tuesday, 17th of July, 2018) across multiple platforms.
As filming for the Sonic movie is starting up as we speak, more information is trickling out through unlikely sources.
A Twitter user has received a proposed notice of filming for their area between August 7th and August 10th. This letter potentially reveals more than just technical information about scheduling though; the final title may have been revealed.
In the letterhead and within the actual body of text, the film is referred to the title “SONIC”. This is different to the preliminary title (“Sonic the Hedgehog”), and is more in line with Hollywood’s tendency for snappy titles.
In addition, the letterhead possibly has the final logo for the film. It looks mostly the same as the Sonic we’ve seen before, but Sonic’s head emblem is now a shape within the curl of the “C”. If they’re not going to use “the hedgehog”, it helps to have some way to show it’s not a film about the restaurant chain!
The letter doesn’t reveal anything about what will happen within the film, which is good for those wanting to avoid any possible spoilers. Unless you consider a car pulling up to a house and conversation happening indoors news.
An official reveal of these hasn’t been done as of yet. With production beginning now, it may be some time before Paramount formally reveal it. In any case, we’ll be sure to cover it when Paramount choose to do so.
Source: KyroDRX [Twitter]
Sonic Mania Plus hits digital game stores in just a few days time! But next Tuesday is also important for the fact that it will mark the first time that the 2017 platformer will be available in physical format on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One. We’ve had a review copy sitting in TSS Towers for a while now (review coming soon!), but we thought we’d share what you can expect to find in the physical package to help hype up next week’s release. Read on to find high-quality photos of everything! Continue reading GALLERY: See the Sonic Mania Plus Special Edition, Up Close and Personal
As a matter of disclosure, the author of this article has invested in the Smach Z Indiegogo campaign.
When I first heard about the Smach Z (initially revealed as the Steam Boy) back in 2014, I knew it was something I wanted. In addition to being a Sonic fan, I’m also a big portable gamer, so a console that could allow me to take some of my favorite Sonic games (and some other titles like NiGHTS and Witcher 3) on the go for the first time immediately caught my interest. Unfortunately, the reality has been a bit more complicated then what the initial pitch promised. Since its announcement, the system’s price has more than doubled, from $300 to $699, to accommodate more ambitious hardware (though it is currently possible to pre-order the console for $629). The system has also had to change its internal hardware twice. This and other development issues have caused the system to be delayed for nearly two years so far. But now, the console may finally be hitting the home stretch, with hardware that is supposedly on the verge of being finalized and a planned September shipping date for backers. As the company revs up for a planned 2018 holiday launch, it invited both press and backers to check out a prototype during E3.
So when I was offered the chance to check out the hardware myself, I had one question on my mind: how does it run Sonic Generations? The Smach Team was willing to indulge my curiosity when I went to check out the Smach Z prototype in a small room situated right across the street from the LA Convention Center at Hotel Figueroa. While I don’t have the best eye for things like frame rate, my fellow Sonic Stadium staffer Jason Berry does, and luckily he was with me to help me determine exactly how well the Smach Z hardware handled the game. These impressions are based off of a prototype of the 8GB “Pro” SKU, connected to an external display and played with a Steam controller.
So how did Sonic Generations perform? Pretty well. We first tried the game out at its default settings: 1080p resolution, FXAA anti-aliasing, letter box display mode, v-sync, and low shadow and reflection quality. At these settings, the game managed 30 fps with occasional frame skips. At basically the same frame rate as the 360 version, that may not seem too impressive…until one considers that the Xbox 360 achieved this frame rate at a resolution of 720p, and that the PC version was actually rather demanding when it came out in 2011. As someone who was fine with the frame rate on the Xbox 360 original, I was happy with this result. Things got even better when we decided to go into the settings and drop the resolution down to 720p. This allowed the game to hit a silky smooth 60 fps.
So this portable is capable of running Sonic Generations pretty well, which means it should also be quite capable of running many of the other Steam games I was hoping to play on it, such as NiGHTS into Dreams and Sonic Adventure 2. From a performance perspective, the Smach Z looks like everything I was hoping it would be. But does that mean I’d recommend you go out and pre-order right now? Well…no.
For one, despite the system’s expected September shipping date, Smach Team still doesn’t have a fully functional portable prototype available to show to the press. The prototype I got to see was connected to a flatscreen TV and operated with a mouse, keyboard, and Steam controller. This means I have little to say about the system’s comfort or build quality. The Smach Team did have a 3D printed mold of the final casing on display, which was fairly comfortable to hold, but being comfortable to hold and comfortable to play are two different things.
Team Smach told us that they intend to demonstrate a fully functional Smach Z prototype at Gamescom in August. As it stands, I’ll be surprised if the console meets its planned September shipping date to backers. While I don’t buy into talk that the Smach Z is a “scam” or that the people behind it are crooks, hardware development is expensive and complex, and there isn’t technically a real guarantee that this thing will even make it to production.
The Smach Z is, on paper, everything I’ve wanted from a portable device for a long time, and then some. It will be able to not only run games like Sonic Generations, NiGHTS into Dreams, and a variety of other officially released SEGA games on Steam, but it will also be capable of running a variety of PC emulators (the Smach Team confirmed Dolphin to us, though I can’t vouch for it myself), and supposedly even current triple A PC titles at medium to low settings. Users will apparently even be able to customize the Smach Z’s button layout with “z-pads,” circular button inputs that will “click into” the two circular touch pads on either side of the device. These z-pads have been shown taking the form of directional pads, a second analog stick, and even different console button layouts. As a concept, it has a lot of potential, but it remains to be seen how well the Smach Z will be able to fulfill that potential, or if it will even be able to do it at all.
In addition to the regular and Pro SKUs, there is also an Ultra SKU with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB of SSD. All three SKUs can currently be pre-ordered from the website for 10 percent off retail price at $629, $809, and $989 respectively. Pre-orders can be canceled, according to the website.
As the launch of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate draws closer, Nintendo continue to tease the new and exciting features included in the game – and today’s blog post on the Official Super Smash Bros. Ultimate site is delectably Sonic AND Mega Man-themed!
Sonic Team sound director and Crush 40 guitarist Jun Senoue has been revealed to have created a Mega Man 4 Medley for the game, following on from the reveal of Tomoya Ohtani (sound director for Sonic Forces and Sonic Colors) has created his own rendition of a track from Splatoon for the title.
You can check out a sneak preview of the track over on the Official Super Smash Bros. Ultimate music page.
Will the theme of collaboration in SSBU mean a Sonic the Hedgehog cover from another prolific composer in the video game music industry? Stay tuned to TSS for news as it comes!
Recently, there was a charity racing event in which several game studios took part, including Sumo Digital and Sega’s HARDlight studio. Each studio brought a special customised car, and HARDlight’s car was themed on Sonic Dash.
Well the event is over, and most (if not all) of the cars are now up for sale!
Yes, you can now own an official Sonic car!
Currently, the vehicle is at £360, which is a lot cheaper than some other pieces of Sonic merch! The vehicles are local pickup only, but all the money raised will go to Special Effect, so check out those bus times if you happen to put in the winning bid.
Sumo Digital are also selling their vehicle too, a Sumo Digital branded Subaru Impreza Turbo.
Remember how I wrote a month ago about what exactly do we do with all these epic promotional items? Well, now is your chance to save something quite epic and a genuine one off! The links to both auctions can be found at the end of this article. We wish Special Effect all the best with their auctions.
With the Sonic Movie now under Paramount’s control and development beginning very soon, more details regarding it’s casting are slowly leaking out.
Many fans have speculated for months as to if the cast would be the current voice actors, or would celebrities be put into the series iconic roles?
Well according to a sources at Deadline, we might have an indication as to the answer of that, it seems that the role of Eggman for the Sonic Movie has yet to be cast, however, one name in the negotiations for the role is Jim Carrey!
Yes you read that right, Jim Carrey, famous for his roles in Ace Ventura, The Mask and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is currently in talks to play Sonic’s nemesis in the Sonic Movie.
We’ll update this with more information as we get it.
UPDATE: Hollywood Reporter Writer Borys Kit is claiming that Carrey will be a live action actor and not a CG/Voice Role.
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) June 29, 2018
As the hottest time of the year rolls by, it’s time for the action to heat up!
IDW have released the preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #6, and if you want sparks to fly this looks to have it in spades! Sonic and the Chaotix have managed to find Dr Eggman, but they faced a moral quandary when he turns out to be the friendly neighbourhood Mr Tinker. Shadow’s having none of that though, and his philosophy is putting him square against Sonic in an all out fight to determine the fate of this Mr Tinker fellow. But whether Eggman really has turned for good or not, he’s bound to have some tricks up his sleeves! This is “The Fate of Dr Eggman”; part 2.
Sonic the Hedgehog #6
Ian Flynn (w) • Tracy Yardley (a)
“The Fate of Dr. Eggman,” Part 2. Dr. Eggman has been located, but Sonic’s not the only one to find him! When Shadow comes, whose side will Sonic be on?!?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
? Guest starring: Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat, and the Chaotix Detective Agency!
? The second part of the gripping story, setting up the series through 2019!
? Cover A by Tracy Yardley, Cover B by Jonathan Gray, Cover RI by Nathalie Fourdraine
Sonic the Hedgehog #6 is due to be released this Wednesday. If you want to find out the true fate of Dr Eggman, there’s no excuse for missing this issue!
The Japanese Sonic birthday party is often full of surprises – and at this year’s 27th birthday event at the JOYPOLIS theme park, Takashi Iizuka and the party hosts have used to opportunity to announce three new playable characters for Team Sonic Racing!
Images of Amy Rose, Big the Cat (in a suitably frog-themed car) and Chao (that’s four chao, comprising the Neutral, dark, and Hero Chao along with Omachao!) have been revealed as the Team Rose combination, with the Chao replacing Cream the Rabbit as the technical-based character in the established Team Rose configuration.
Check out the images of the individual characters from the stream in the gallery below.
As always, TSS will keep you up to date on all TSR news as it comes!
Part 4 of 5 of Sonic Mania Adventures has hit YouTube today – with this episode chronicling Ray’s search for Mighty! But watch out Ray – someone is in hot pursuit!
Catch the latest episode above.
Sonic Mania Adventures features character art from Tyson Hesse, music from Tee Lopes, and animation from Neko Productions.
Live! From Sonic Revolution 2018, it’s Sonic Talk with Jason and Alex! In this episode, the two hosts have a (semi) full audience for their show. They discuss Team Sonic Racing, IDW Sonic comic #5, the upcoming Sonic movie and much more as they desperately try to fill the 45 minute mark as Jason forgot to write down notes! Revel in the awkwardness!!
The gang’s all here when September comes!
IDW have released the new solicitations for September 2018, and for Sonic that means everyone is pitching in for the fight! In Sonic the Hedgehog #9, a villain to be reckoned with is attacking Angel Island. The goal? To get to the Master Emerald and use its power to take control over everyone and everything! Sonic and all his friends are in a race against time to stop them, but has the clock already ticked down? This is “The Battle for Angel Island”: part 1.
Sonic the Hedgehog #9—Cover A: Lamar Wells
Ian Flynn (w) • Tracy Yardley (a) • Lamar Wells (c)
“The Battle for Angel Island,” Part 1. One of the greatest threats Sonic has ever faced descends upon Angel Island, home of the mystical Master Emerald, seeking to take the Emerald’s power and control the world. Can Sonic and his friends stop the attack on the island—or is it already too late?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Sonic the Hedgehog #9—Cover B: Tracy Yardley
Ian Flynn (w) • Tracy Yardley (a & c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Tangle, Whisper, Shadow… Everyone’s in this issue!
It’s all been building to this!
Variant cover by Nathalie Fourdraine!
As always, we will have more news on this comic closer to the time of its release. Until then, you can read the more immediate upcoming issues to see how they build up to this story!
Source: Bleeding Cool
If there’s one thing Sumo Digital is best at more than anything, it’s making a solid racing game. From Outrun 2 to Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, the development team has proven that they are the best at what they do. The only thing that could possibly hold them back is a good concept with a fatal flaw. And this is where Team Sonic Racing comes in. Having gotten my hands on the game at E3, I find that it feels just as good as the previous two All-Stars games. However, there’s one major thing that separates Team Sonic Racing from it’s predecessors and that’s relying heavily on AI in order to win.
The demo begins with you picking a racer out of two teams. Team Sonic (Sonic, Tails and Knuckles) or Team Shadow (Shadow, Rouge and Omega) with red and blue Egg Pawns filling out the rest of the roster. Once you’ve picked your driver, it’s time for the race to start and this is where Team Sonic’s major flaw rears it’s ugly head. The game relies not on you getting first place in the race you’re in, but for all of your teammates to perform well. This is done by trading Wisp power-ups with your friends, skimming past them to help them get a speed boost or driving on their wake to help speed yourself up. Good teamwork brings up your “Ultimate Meter” which will give all three of your teammates a huge boost of speed. This is why teamwork and sharing items is very important. If the three of you do well, your score at the end of the game will determine if your team wins.
While the game is meant to be played in multiplayer co-op for the best experience, the demos at E3 were in single player. This means you are completely reliant on your AI buddies being good enough to not screw you up. Sure you can share items with them and watch their back as best you can, but if they run into a wall, you’re screwed. This leaves you with trying to babysit your team rather than focus on winning the race.
That doesn’t mean this one aspect ruins the game. The racing is still just as smooth and intense as it’s ever been. Drifting and handling is spot on and the enemy AI doesn’t take it easy on you, making for a more enjoyable race. New items such the cube and rocket wisps provide plenty of new ways to antagonize your opponents. Think bananas are annoying in Mario Kart? Try giant, blue cubes everywhere. My favorite is the burst wisp. It lets you shoot flames from the back of your vehicle that do serious damage to the racers behind you.
Another interesting aspect is the sound. What little music I heard is rock solid, with an original track that starts out really jazzy, but quickly brings in the rock guitar in a tune that reminds me a little of Jun Sunoe’s work on Sonic Heroes. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Junoe worked on the soundtrack. The sound effects themselves are satisfactory enough, but the sounds of ring collecting seemed muted and slightly different from the traditional ring sound.
The biggest change in sound is the voice acting. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s still the same voice actors and it sounds like even the announcer from the last game makes a return. But this is possibly the first in the Sega sports series of games to include all original voice acting (not counting the Sonic Riders series) specifically for this game. This means no stock voice work from previous games to save money, but full on taunts and brags to make the game feel more alive. Of course, this being a Sonic game, that means some really groan-worthy lines too. Does all of this extra dialogue mean we’ll get a full story mode as well? Who knows?
As far as graphics go, they’re a bit of a jump from the last game. The game features smooth textures with great lighting and a high resolution. Little details such as particle effects like pollen or confetti in the air and the tread on the tires as it spins are all present. There are even billboards for different things in the Sonic-verse. Some of which I’m sure will have obscure references.
All of this comes at a price. Like it’s predecessors, the game currently runs at 30 frames per second. Whether this will change before release remains to be seen. From what I could tell playing both demos, the PS4 version seems to have a resolution of 1080P while the X-Box One version is running at 720P. The Switch version was not on the show floor, but Sumo Digital has always done a good job at porting their racing games to less powerful consoles while keeping it looking and feeling great.
One minor thing I noticed is that the PS4 demo has a bit of a performance issue. Sometimes when boosting, the frame rate will suddenly chug and drop heavily. This also leads to the sound stuttering as well. I wouldn’t worry too much about it as the game is still in development and it has a long way to go before release, so I doubt this will be an issue.
While I’m not to crazy for the teamwork game play aspect in it’s current state, Sumo Digital has never let me down and since Aaron Webber has already confirmed more modes within the game, I have great confidence that the more we see of this racer, the more hyped I’ll be for it. That said, Team Sonic Racing’s got a long drive ahead before it can beat All-Stars Racing Transformed past the finish line.
Team Sonic Racing speeds into stores on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, X-Box One and PC this holiday season.
Yesterday Afternoon during E3, I got a chance to sit down and chat with Sega’s social media manager and world’s biggest Big the Cat fan, Aaron Webber. We chatted about all things “Team Sonic Racing” including extra modes and customizations. This is a good one folks, with plenty of new info. So sit back, click and enjoy.
The Sonic franchise is no stranger to the power of teamwork. Tails has been an inept, if occasionally useful, AI sidekick to Sonic since Sonic 2. Knuckles Chaotix was built around the idea of two characters using each other’s momentum to rubber-band around the stage. Sonic Heroes had players switching between different characters and using their strengths to get through stages. These instances have one thing in common other than using the power of teamwork: they were all arguably lesser experiences because of it. I’m not sure Team Sonic Racing breaks this trend, if the brief E3 demo is any indication.
At first glance, Team Sonic Racing looks, feels, and even sounds a lot like Sumo Digital’s previous superb Sonic racers. The cars still control like a dream and seem to even have a little more weight to them this time around, which feels nice. The game’s focus on drifting is complimented by superb drifting controls which work as smoothly as ever.
The weapons are common and useful enough to spice up races, but aren’t powerful enough to interfere with the game’s sense of speed. This time around, the weapons are based on wisps rather than generic items like rockets and banana peels. Some of the new wisps are basically just analogs for the old weapons, like the blue block wisp replacing the banana peels and the orange rocket wisp replacing the rocket. Others, however, are brand new, like the fire wisp, which leaves a trail of damaging flames behind the racer that used it.
The visuals are vibrant and colorful, as one would expect from a Sumo Digital SEGA racer. The frame rate does chug at points in the demo, but these sorts of performance issues are common in E3 demos and are often eliminated, or at least significantly reduced, by the time of retail release. The music fits Sonic’s world rather well, and the announcer is almost certainly the same guy from Transformed. Playing into the team dynamic, there is much more conversational interplay between characters this time around. Teammates encourage and thank one another and taunt their rivals, which adds a nice bit of character to the festivities, though hearing Tails ask Shadow who his daddy is was as weird as it was funny.
Despite all these similarities, Team Sonic Racing’s demo just doesn’t grab me quite as effectively as Transformed did when I first tried it at an event six years ago. The loss of the SEGA branding certainly plays a small role: the SEGA fan service in Sonic & All-Star Racing Transformed is an important part of the game’s charm in my opinion. Team Sonic Racing’s much bigger problem is its namesake: it’s team-based game play simply feels a bit clunky, at least in single-player.
As the name suggests, Team Sonic Racing is all about racing with a team of other racers. Even if you take first place, you can’t win if they do too poorly. On paper, this mechanic sounds interesting: rather than simply looking out for yourself, you have to also do what you can to help your team. You can pass them items, pass them close to give them skim boosts, and leave them wakes behind your car that they can use to slingshot and increase their speed. Your team in turn will offer you items, leave wakes for you to slingshot on, and give you skim boosts. Do enough of these team actions and you will fill up the Ultimate meter, which allows you to activate a team ultimate, which gives your team a super powerful speed boost.
In practice, however, it just isn’t very engaging, and can occasionally lead to some frustrating losses. You don’t have much control over the performance of your AI team mates, and while they are usually competent enough to not lose you the race, the interplay between you and them simply doesn’t add much to the experience. Using your team’s wakes to slingshot is fun enough, and receiving items from them can be helpful, but it doesn’t really add much to the kart racing formula.
To make matters worse, sometimes your team mates can completely fail, costing you the race even if you get first place. During my last race before writing these impressions, I was doing what I could to help my team, enough to to fill my ultimate meter. But despite my efforts, my team mates still ended up at the back of the pack, leaving me in last place. This only happened once, but that this happened at all highlights how poor this mechanic can work in single-player.
Compared to the transformation mechanics of All-Stars Racing Transformed, Team Sonic Racing feels like a step back. Even the course itself feels like a downgrade from the transforming Panzer Dragoon course that was used to show off Transformed six years ago. It doesn’t feature any impressive set pieces and is generic in design.
Team Sonic Racing feels like something that would work better as a multiplayer-only mode, rather than the central gimmick of an entire racing game. I get the feeling that Team Sonic Racing’s team game play will work better in multiplayer, where your teammates will be other people rather than AI. I can imagine myself having a lot of fun racing alongside my mates from Sonic Talk, Jason and Chris, laughing as my mediocre skills bring down our standing as a team and cost us a race.
As a single-player experience, Team Sonic Racing isn’t awful. I still loved drifting and boosting through the demo, and I often got really into it. Much of the foundation that made Sumo Digital’s past Sonic racing games so enjoyable is still here. But if you were hoping for a game that built upon what Transformed accomplished, I think you will be disappointed.
CRUSH 40 performed Team Sonic Racing’s Green Light Ride at the Sonic X PUMA Launch Party last night and we got it all on video. Green Light Ride is the band’s first new Sonic song in roughly nine years, and this was its first live performance.
Check it out below:
Editor’s Note: The original version of this article stated the funding deadline had already passed on June 12. The actual deadline is July 12, at 12:59 AM PST
Have you ever made a grilled cheese sandwich and thought “this would be even better with Sonic’s face on it!”? Well, Sega may just have the product for you!
On shop.sega.com, you can purchase a Sonic toaster for only $34.99! There’s a bit of a catch though. It needs 1,000 orders in order for the toaster to become an actual product and get produced. At the moment, it’s only sold 376, so it’ll need to sell over 600 more to get made.
SEGA has 29 more days to reach that goal, so hopefully we will all be eating Sonic branded toast soon! The toaster has until the end of July 12 to reach its funding goal.
Nintendo’s E3 direct contained some good news for Sonic fans: Sonic will be returning in the latest entry in the Smash Bros series, Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
While Sonic’s movement and attacks appear to be largely unchanged, his final Smash has been altered. When Sonic goes super he will now automatically dash across the screen several times, damaging and/or knocking out anyone he hits.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate will be releasing for Nintendo Switch on December 7.
UPDATE: It’s also been confirmed through Sonic’s Smash Bros video that Knuckles will be in the game. The context of the video doesn’t make it explicitly clear what his role is in the game, but it seems like that he will be an assist trophy. Shadow filled a similar role in previous Smash Bros games.
Sega has just released the E3 trailer for Team Sonic Racing and its got a rocking new Crush 40 tune to accompany it!
Team Sonic Racing is being developed by Sumo Digital and will be released this winter for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.
During a panel at the Sonic Revolution convention, the original Sonic Boom creative team have confirmed that they are no longer working on the show.
When asked whether a third season was happening, head-writer Bill Freiberger confirmed that he, along writers Sam Freiberger, Alan Denton and Greg Hahn all confirmed that they were in no longer working on the show, and so therefore could not comment on the future of the series.
While not a confirmation of the show’s cancellation, this can’t be good sign for the show’s future. According to Freiberger, only SEGA really knows the future of the show right now.
The panel is currently running on Sonic Revolution’s YouTube livestream. Unfortunately, the video appears to be out of focus, but you can still hear it!
UPDATE: Freiberger has clarified with us that, even though they are not currently involved with the show, this does not mean they will not be involved in a future season.
We were also able to ask Aaron Webber about the future of the series. He uncharacteristically said “No comment.”
On Wednesday June 13, get ready to party with Belly and Crush 40 as Sega teams up with Puma to give you a rockin’ launch party for their new Sonic-themed shoes at Nice Kicks in L.A. This includes a meet and greet with Sonic Team’s own Takashi Iizuka. While the shoes go on sale on the 12th, the party is on the 13th. While no ticket info is given, it appears to be a party open to the public, so you may want to come in early before it gets too crowded.
Alex and I are bound to be there, so expect coverage right here at the Sonic Stadium. In the meantime, go to the offical launch announcement page for more information.
From June 21st, something is going to happen, something which will change the Sonic community forever.
Sonic the Hedgehog curry will be released!
A Japan exclusive item from Geek Life, because lets be honest there is absolutely no way this will come to the west! The curry is due for release on June 21st and will be delicious I imagine.
Costing a cool 500Yen, you will soon be able to dine in quick and affordable convenience using the power of Microwave radiation.
If we manage to get some of this here at TSS, we will cook it, we will eat it and we will let you all know exactly what it tastes like.
The comments are there for all the jokes and puns you can dream of.
It seems that an embargo may have lifted! A number of websites have suddenly posted lots of details about the new Sonic Racing title including our first look at gameplay!
Shacknews also had this to say…
While Sega and Sumo Digital are aiming for 15 characters, 12 players will be allowed in each race. That’s four teams of three, with each team utilizing a Speed, Technique, and Power racer. Each of these racers have their own distinct stats, vehicles, and customization options. For this demo, we got to check out Team Sonic (Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles) and Team Dark (Shadow, Rouge, and Mega), each of whom showed different stats and exchanged different banter during the race.
The race itself feels like a straightforward arcade racer. The Shacknews team got to try out a piece of the Wisp Circuit, a single standard track of three laps each. The interesting aspect of this particular track is that it featured multiple paths, with the choice to go left, right, or center. Each path felt noticeably different, with some feeling longer and more straightforward, while another one offered classic Sonic loops. It’ll be interesting to see how other, more complex race tracks will encourage the use of the item-sharing mechanic.
Kotaku also posted additional details.
Team Sonic Racing is a 12-player kart racer where racers are split up into four teams. Where kart racers typically reward players for their personal performance and own finishing position, Team Sonic Racing gives each player on a team points based on their finishing position, then adds up those points for an overall team score. Simply put, you can’t win as an individual by just being the best racer; if the team doesn’t do well, then nobody does.
Team Sonic Racing gives players a number of tools to help out their fellow racers, none of which I have really seen employed in this sort of cooperative racing game before. If you pick up an item (called Wisps) while racing around the track, but are considerably further up the pack than your teammates, you can press a button to offer that item to your team. If one of your team members accepts and takes the item, it’ll warp over to them, allowing them to catch up more easily (and hopefully knock a few people off your own tail). If you’re the player falling behind, you can use that same button to request items from your team, and any players with an item available have the option to pass theirs over. By passing items between your team, hitting enemy racers with items, or pulling off collaborative racing moves like slipstream boosts, you can slowly build up a team energy meter too which, when full, can be activated to give every racer on your team a short but substantial speed boost.
We’ll update you with more details as we get them.
Source: Shacknews Kotaku