GamesRadar On Needlemouse: Highly Anticipated & Doomed To Fail

GamesRadar may be familiar to some Sonic fans thanks to their extremely harsh treatment of SEGA’s mascot. Staunch supporters of older Sonic games writers for the site have documented the hedgehogs fall from grace in graphic detail, labeling his kiss with Elise in Sonic 06 as their reason for taking a swing at Sonic and his friends every chance they get.

Their viewpoint on Sonic isn’t an unusual one in the mainstream gaming press, but while some persecute without remorse, reading thorough the various lists compiled on GamesRadar you can’t help but feel that at least a small part of them yearns for an exceptional Sonic game. Over a year ago now one of their writers stated the only way for SEGA to remedy the problem would be to “Take a cue from Mega Man 9 – make Sonic 4 and bring back Blast Processing.”

Capcom's revival of Mega Man has been so successful it's spawned another retro sequel. It's not a stretch to think SEGA saw this and started work on a classic revival of their own.

Over a year later and GamesRadar aren’t getting exactly what they asked for but it’s close enough and what little we know about Project Needlemouse has them excited,

“So we know it’s 2D. We know it’s HD (which rules out Wii). We know it’s clearly focused on speed and old-school feel based on the sound effects and specific blue-blur animations. By all accounts, this is it folks, the game we’ve been asking for since the late ‘90s. And you know what? We’re ready to bite… almost.”

It’s with that in mind I want to bring your attention to two of their newest lists. The first details their top 100 most anticipated games of 2010. Project Needlemouse sits pretty at number 50.

“The very name sends shivers down our spines. Why? Because Sonic was called Mr Needlemouse internally at Sega before he was called Sonic. This is it – the game where they make Sonic like it’s 1991, only now they’ve got Xbox 360 and PS3 hardware to do it with. Time and time again, our hopes are dashed, but if ever one last fragile hope burned in the void, it’s in the shape of this game. And it has to be perfect. Nothing less will do.”

The well wishing doesn’t last very long. Only a few days later Project Needlemouse appeared on a very different list; Games that are doomed to die in 2010.

“Sonic is historically an automatic seller. After years of slow franchise death, does anyone really give a crap about the little blue bugger anymore? At this point, anyone who does care probably isn’t interested in the Sonic of yesteryear, and anyone who cared about Sonic when he was at the top of the industry has had his passion destroyed by this:

The worst moment in a Sonic game? The worst game in the Sonic series? Many think so.

Claiming Needlemouse is doomed to fail strikes me as being a very premature statement. Firstly there are precious few actual facts to base an opinion on and secondly, dismissing a legion of loyal Sonic fans is a very dangerous thing to do. GamesRadar may end up eating their words with this one. What do you lot think, let me know on the comments!

Sonic Team “Could Do A Game Like Mega Man 9”

Be still my beating heart! Be still dammit! Kotaku went to the Tokyo Game Show recently and spoke to Akinori Nishiyama from Sonic Team. Asked if any of the classic games could be remade in HD – or if in fact, a new 2D Sonic title could be done on XBLA or PSN, the Sonic Unleashed producer said this;

There’s always the possibility. Whether it would be viable remains to be seen, but having a new game – or even a remake of the GBA games, which we now can’t use [thanks to the DSi] – would certainly be possible… One of our ideas has been that on older consoles, you may have had only 16 colours. One thing we could do is make a game like Mega Man 9; do a new Sonic, but in an old style.

Looks like someone’s been keeping an eye on TSS lately. One thing we would have to note though – a stipulation if you will – would be that such a project would really have to take on board all the classic mechanics of the Mega Drive originals (level design, physics based stages, epic-but-not-lame storylines, Sonic-Tails-Knuckles, Robotnik) to truly be something worth getting excited over. I mean, there was no point doing Mega Man 9 if it was just going to be Battle Network in NES graphics. If Sonic Team want to be serious about this, shit has to be taken back to the drawing board. Specifically, 1990’s drawing board.

On The Possibility Of 2D, HD, XBLA & PSN Sonic Games – Kotaku

The Crossfire: Retro Rebooting

Guess who has been busy? Me! Sorry for you Crossfire fans who have had to wait an entire month, but them’s the brakes. With college kicked into full gear, in addition to more Sonic Nexus development after the surge of popularity, I never usually get time to myself. Working on the project, with it being a classic Sonic title and given the positive response that it has received everywhere, got me thinking about something…

In the past week, I have played the absolute hell out of Mega Man 9, Capcom’s return to the original Mega Man series and 8-bit gameplay and presentation. I am enjoying every minute of it, because I am not just riding a wave of nostalgia, but I am also impressed with the refined gameplay. The fact that a game straight out of 1988 can be successful in 2008 is downright admirable and eye-opening. It makes me wonder, as a Sonic fan, if a retro reboot is in order for another blue hero: Sonic. Would a 16-bit foray treading new ground be a commerical success or another step towards irrelevancy? Today, we take a look at whether or not SEGA has the potential to make some magic, akin to Capcom and Nintendo, and if looking backward has the potential to push forward.

Continue reading The Crossfire: Retro Rebooting