Looks like SEGA have figured a way around that pesky Sonic & Knuckles lock-on technology problem, as Japan is about to get the classic mushroom-shaped Mega Drive game soon on the Wii Virtual Console, complete with backwards compatibility across other Sonic MD games.
SEGA Japan announced the lock-on feature workaround, which involves an additional menu before you boot the ROM up asking you if there is another purchased Sonic game you would like to connect it to. Nintendo itself made no mention of the feature, which led us all to worry that the VC version would have nixed lock-on play – as has been the trend these days with Sonic & Knuckles re-releases. Sonic & Knuckles on Wii Virtual Console will hit Japan on the 27th October for 600 Nintendo Points.
The original Mega Drive classic was released in October 1994, eight months after the launch of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. As the two games were confirmed to be two parts of the same game, Sonic Team created a special cartridge that allowed copies of Sonic 3 to be ‘locked on’ the top of it. As a bonus, copies of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 also worked on the lock-on; the former as an ‘endless’ gauntlet of special stage game ‘Blue Sphere’ and the latter allowing players to control Knuckles in Sonic 2 Zones.
Source: Andriasang (thanks for the tip, BassDS!)
SEGA UK have today confirmed SEGA Vintage Collection 2 for Xbox Live Arcade. Among the games to be released in the new collection are Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Sonic 3 has been known about for a while after the achievements were released to the net a few weeks back which you can check out in our article here.
Sonic & Knuckles will also include the lock-on feature we informed you about 2 weeks ago if you have Sonic 3 and Sonic 2, a feature missing from the recent SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection version.
Other games to be released in this collection are –
Gunstar Heroes(XBLA, PSN)
Shinobi (Arcade) (XBLA)
Phantasy Star II (XBLA)
Altered Beast (XBLA)
New features in the games will include:
Re-worked for High-Definition
Network Play (Excludes Phantasy Star II, Shinobi, Comix Zone)
All of the games are currently planned to be released summer 2009 except for Sonic & Knuckles which will be released late summer 2009. No news on the collection being released outside of the UK yet but we will update you when we hear news.
SEGA Of America have confirmed in their blog that the games will be released in the U.S. too.
Also, SEGA have posted a blog entry about this news on their European blog confirming their release in the whole of Europe.
Old technology becomes new as ‘lock-on technology’ has been reported to feature on the Xbox Live Arcade version of Sonic & Knuckles, according to Netherlands Sega Online Website which holds pictures of the feature in action. This would allow you to couple Sonic & Knuckles with any of the previous Sonic XBLA titles to unlock their ‘& Knuckles’ feature. The lock-on feature was missing from the recently released Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection.
Sega developed lock-on technology for the original Mega Drive/Genesis cartridge as a way to basically split the game in half to release two Sonic games in 1994. Combining Sonic & Knuckles with Sonic 3 created ‘Sonic 3 & Knuckles’, basically the complete version of Sonic 3.
Sega were also able to make Sonic & Knuckles work retroactively with Sonic 2 placing Knuckles as the sole playable character, something that was never though of on Sonic 2’s release in 1992. Finally coupling Sonic & Knuckles with the original Sonic game gave you access to a vast number of ‘Collect The Blue Spheres’ special zone
No news is available regarding a release date for either Sonic 3 or Sonic & Knuckles on XBLA at this time
Thanks to TSSZ
OK then. I’m not going into great depth with this one, but basically Sonic and Knuckles, when linked with Sonic 1, gets you this monstrous mini-game thing. You can play as either Sonic or Knuckles, through literally millions of Sonic 3 Special Stages. Sounds fun eh? Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic 1 & Knuckles (Blue Sphere)