Many Sonic games on sale on the NA 3DS and Wii U eShop until Nov 29th

Sega back on Thursday put on sale most Sonic games available on Wii U and 3DS in NA, which runs until November 29th. The major exclusions include Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice and the Olympic games.

The list of games and their prices are below (regular price is in the brackets):

Continue reading Many Sonic games on sale on the NA 3DS and Wii U eShop until Nov 29th

Japan’s Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Special Edition Is Making Us All Jealous

How do you get people in Japan to buy the American-flavoured 3DS action game Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice? Simple – just chuck in a whole heap of gorgeous-looking, limited edition merchandise! Continue reading Japan’s Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Special Edition Is Making Us All Jealous

4 new Sonic themes out for 3DS in NA (one is free!)

This past Thursday, Sega released 4 new Sonic themes for the 3DS Theme Shop in NA. One of the which, the 25th Anniversary theme, is free to download! The other three can be bought individually for $2 USD each (sadly I can’t find the CDN prices) or in a 3-theme bundle for $4.99 USD or $6.49 CDN.

The 4 themes with their names and songs are:

  • Sonic series: 25th Anniversary (Music: Sonic Heroes “System Screen: Team Select”)
  • Sonic series: Sonic Style (Music: Sonic Generations: “System Screen: Option Menu”)
  • Sonic series: Classic Style (Music: Sonic the Hedgehog 3: “System Screen: Character Select”)
  • Sonic series: Boom Style (Music: Sonic Boom: “Main Theme”)

You can see pics of all themes below.

Continue reading 4 new Sonic themes out for 3DS in NA (one is free!)

Free Sonic Hat with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice at Nintendo UK

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, the sequel to Sanzaru Games’ Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal from 2014, races onto Nintendo 3DS in Europe on Friday 30th September. With only a few weeks to go until the release date, UK gamers can now put their pre-orders down on the Nintendo UK Online Store and get a nifty Sonic hat for free!

Admittedly it’s not the most exciting pre-order incentive in the world – the site openly admits that these are the same 20th anniversary hats that have been floating around and given away at events for the past five years – but it’s certainly better than nothing! If you’ve ever wanted to look like your favourite blue hedgehog and never managed to nab one of these beauties, now’s your chance.

Continue reading Free Sonic Hat with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice at Nintendo UK

New Footage of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Gives Us Another Look at Bot-Racing

There’s not much time before the launch of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for the Nintendo 3DS. Come the end of September, Sonic fans in the West can get their hands on the third playable instalment of the Sonic Boom series, helmed by Shattered Crystal developer Sanzaru Games as the studio aims to improve where the previous game went wrong – with SEGA going so far as to delay it by a whole year as part of their pledge to aim for a higher standard of quality for all of their games from here on out.

SEGA of Japan recently hosted a near-two hour long livestream showing off several of their upcoming games, including the latest Yakuza, the recently revealed Puyo Chronicle, and Atlus’ highly anticipated Persona 5, but not without kicking things off with a sneak peek at the localized Sonic Toon: Fire & Ice. Gameplay featuring Sonic, Knuckles, and Sticks was shown off in the segment, as well as another look at the Sonic Rivals-esque Bot-Racing. You can check out the interview in full, or watch just the gameplay with footage spliced together by BlueParadox, after the cut!

Continue reading New Footage of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Gives Us Another Look at Bot-Racing

Sonic Boom: RoL (Wii U) and SC (3DS) on sale for $20 in NA until March 21st

Sonic Boom RoL and SC

Following up from the earlier sale of Sonic Lost World on Wii U and Triple Trouble on 3DS, Nintendo just announced via this week’s Nintendo Downloads PR that both Sonic Boom games will be on sale for $20 in NA until March 21st.

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal from SEGA are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 21.

Click on a game’s title to look at the game’s page on Nintendo’s site.

The prices for both are:

  • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U) – $19.99 USD / $25.59 CDN (down from $49.99 USD and $29.99 CDN. Yes, I checked the CDN price)
  • Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (3DS) – $19.99 USD / $25.59 CDN (down from $39.99 in both USD and CDN)

Does either game interest you at that price? Let us know in the comments.

Arzest, formed by key ex-Sega folks, worked on M&S Rio 2016 3DS

The names you’re about to see may surprise you.

A user by the name of Cyberman65 has uploaded the true ending and credits of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for 3DS, and one company in particular mentioned (at 3:43 in the video above) who assisted in the development of the game along with the people who specifically worked on the game, will be very familiar to Sonic fans.

That company is Arzest, and the company was co-formed by none other than Naoto Ohshima (along with fellow ex-Sonic Team and Team Andromeda (Panzer Dragoon) veterans Yoji Iishi and Yutaka Sugano), who fans will very likely know is one of Sonic’s creators, most known for having originally designed his and Eggman’s appearances.

Arzest’s portion of the credits are as follows:

ARZEST Corp.

Directors: Masahito Shimizu, Noboru Shirasu

Art Director: Yoshihide Sasagawa

Technical Director: Tomoo Kondo

Game Designers: Jun Imanishi, Daisuke Hagiya, Ryo Sato, Takashi Nakashima, Mitsunori Yamazaki, Tadaaki Moriya, Rena Sakaguchi, Hidemi Hamada, Makoto Hara, Gen Murayama, Gen Shiomi, Koji Arai, Akihiko Sato, Teppei Iwanaga, Mitsunori Shimazu, Motoharu Nakajima

Stage Artists: Daisuke Kojima, Kana Fujibayashi, Ayana Katsumata, Masaya Takahashi

Character Animators: Hiroshi Arai, Eriko Kato, Yuya Iwama

Graphic U.I. Artists: Yuno Endoh, Chihiro Ishikura, Chika Yamamoto, Makoto Sonoda, Akihito Kato, Tsutomu Hatanaka, Tatsuya Ishikawa, Michiru Sasamori

SFX Artists: Tatsuro Matsunaga, Yasuhisa Nakagawa

Cutscene Artsist: Yuichi Nakamura

Programmers: Shinji Iseki, Naotaka Ueda, Kouichi Watanabe, Mikio Kume, Kenji Miyakawa, Kohei Iwata, Takanori Yoshida, Manabu Kobayashi, Akihiko Ohyama, Kazuya Azuma, Kenichi Otani, Hiroshi Fujinishi, Toshinori Suzuki, Norio Suzuki Fumie Morishita

Art Supervisor: Masamichi Harada

Supervisor: Naoto Ohshima

Producer: Yutaka Sugano

Executive Producer: Yoji Iishi

Naoto Ohshima would work with Sega on Sonic games and more until Sonic Adventure 1 on Dreamcast, on which he filled the roles of CG Movie Producer, Story Event Coordinator, one of the Event Motion Designers, and Opening Movie Editor. Afterward in 1999, he left along with Yoji Iishi and Yutaka Sugano (and numerous others) to form a company called Artoon. Their first game would be Pinobee for the Game Boy Advance (it also got a PS1 port later on).

They’re most known for projects like Blinx the Time Sweeper on the original Xbox, Blue Dragon on Xbox 360, and also Yoshi’s Topsy Turvy on the GBA and Yoshi’s Island DS. One of their final works under the name was Flingsmash for Wii directly with Nintendo. In 2005 Artoon was bought by AQ Interactive (now after mergers and renames they’re part of Marvelous). In 2010, AQ decided to absorb all of their developers (Artoon, Cavia, and Feelplus), and thus Artoon would cease to exist as a name.

In that same year, Artoon’s founders including Naoto Ohshima would leave AQ and form Arzest, along with many other Artoon folks.

Their first task was working on Wii Play Motion for Nintendo, alongside many other companies like Spike Chunsoft (makers of Shiren the Wanderer, among many other franchises), Good-Feel (Yoshi’s Woolly World, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and Wario Land: Shake It), Skip (Chibi-Robo), Vanpool (Dillon’s Rolling Western), ND Cube (Mario Party after MP8), Mitchell Corp (Polarium) and… Prope, formed by none other than Yuji Naka himself (they made games like Rodea the Sky Solider on Wii and “Ivy the Kiwi?” also on Wii and DS). Arzest handled three mini-games; Spooky Search, Jump Park, and Cone Zone. Prope on the other hand only made one; Trigger Twist.

Speaking of which, it’s actually a known fact that Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima actually BOTH came up with a ghost-themed mini-game and Naoto Ohshima got to keep his in the end. Yuji Naka mentioned this in the Iwata Asks for the game;

Right. But it got shelved it. When this project came up, we worked on it some more and made a prototype, but it clashed with Oshima-san’s project. They were both about ghosts. Ours was removed from competition, but in the two weeks left for prototypes, we made Trigger Twist.

Great minds think alike as they say.

Back to Arzest. Their first major project was Yoshi’s New Island for 3DS. Since then they’ve mostly been focused on mobile efforts including helping with Mistwalker’s Terra Battle and also a game called Boost Beast.

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for 3DS is their first major game since, but they actually are not the only developer who assisted with the project. Spike Chunsoft also lent a hand as well.

To be clear, Arzest’s role seems more of a smaller hand, rather than fully taking charge of it like with Yoshi’s New Island which was officially an Arzest-developed game. But it’s very surprising to see Naoto Ohshima actually officially work on a Sonic-related game for the first time since leaving Sega in 1999. However some might point out he was listed as Special thanks for Sonic Generations HD, but there’s no certainty of what that thanks is for. He very likely had no real part in its development. In fact, MobyGames, which collects credits for a lot of games, makes no mention of him, and I also watched a video of the credits in the game, no mention either, I even checked a video of the credits of the 3DS version (skip to 14:05), nothing. I honestly wouldn’t believe that claim at all to begin with.

And there you have it. What are your thoughts on the news of Arzest’s involvement with the game? Let us know in the comments below!

More screens and footage of M&S Rio Arcade Edition

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Arcade Edition

Sega and Nintendo have finally opened the official Japanese site of the Arcade Edition of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and includes footage from a variety of events in the game.

So far as playable characters go, we just have the usual characters including Mario, Yoshi, Sonic, Knuckles, Bowser, Peach, Eggman, Amy, Luigi, Wario, Tails, Shadow, Bowser Jr., DK, Metal Sonic, and Vector. The site teases at least four more to be unveiled, but naturally they’re surely to be any of the other known characters in the 3DS versions’ 40 total.

Among the events showcased is the classic 100m, which you can see below, with more in the events page.

And just a few of the small screens provided below. There are quite a bit more shown when clicking on a character in the characters page.

Via the Japanese website of the game.

Sonic Lost World (Wii U) and Sonic Triple Trouble (3DS) on sale in NA until March 7th

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This information came from Nintendo’s PR from last Thursday’s eShop PR for North America, but there was no mention of prices so I held back from reporting until we knew all the details which we do now.

The quote from the PR states:

Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble and Sonic Lost World from SEGA are on sale starting 9 a.m. PT on Feb. 22 until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 7.

You can click on a game’s title to look at the game’s page on Nintendo’s site.

The prices are the following:

  • Sonic Lost World (Wii U) – $19.99 USD / $25.59 CDN (down from $29.95 in both USD and CDN)
  • Sonic Triple Trouble (3DS) – $2.99 USD / $3.99 CDN (down from $4.99 in both USD and CDN)

Does either game catch your eye at that price or perhaps you already own one or both? Let us know in the comments!

Mario & Sonic Rio Olympics Wii U dated for June 2016

Sonic Boom Fire Ice 2016

Upon closer inspection of the same poster that confirms Fire & Ice’s delay to Fall 2016 (again from Tomy’s booth at the New York Toy Fair), we also get the first indication of not only a time frame, but a month of June 2016 for the Wii U version of Rio Olympics’ release.

This post will be updated if we hear about any additional details.

More Sonic Boom: RoL Concept Art Discovered

Jason Norton Sonic Boom 18

The Sonic Stadium has discovered even more concept art from Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and a few pieces from Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. The images were among the portfolios of artists Oscar Ponce and Jason Norton who used to work at Big Red Button Entertainment. The latter’s artwork is especially intriguing as it reveals scrapped ideas for Eggman’s mech, a ‘battle mode tank’ and what we can assume is a golem boss battle. Check out all fifty seven of the images in our gallery below and give us your thoughts in the comments.

Continue reading More Sonic Boom: RoL Concept Art Discovered

Sega 3D Classics Collection for 3DS coming to NA on April 26th, 2016

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Sega just announced that they are releasing the Sega 3D Classics Print 2 collection for 3DS they released in Japan last year for NA. This contains 9 games (all listed on the official website) which are; Power Drift, Puyo Puyo Tsu, Fantasy Zone II W, Sonic 1, Thunder Blade, Galaxy Force II, Altered Beast, and also the 3D Master System games Fantasy Zone II and Maze Runner. Though not confirmed to be in the NA collection, the collection also featured the Master System version of Fantasy Zone 1 as an unlockable game in the Japanese version, so hopefully that is also included here.

The 3D Classics release of Power Drift, Puyo Puyo Tsu, and the two Master System games are being released in the west for the first time. The box art for this NA release is also based on the 2nd pack featuring artwork by none other than the artist of Pokémon, Ken Sugimori.

Sega also released screenshots of the collection:

The pack will be available at retail and the eShop on April 26th, 2016 in NA for $29.99 USD and $44.99 CDN.

Via the official NA website and the JP website. Pricing and eShop release info was provided via Nintendo Everything.

2 new Japanese trailers for M&S Rio 2016 for 3DS featuring characters and amiibo

Nintendo have uploaded two new trailers of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for 3DS on their Japanese YouTube account.

The first trailer is the main trailer featuring new playable characters and events, among the characters shown include Cream the Rabbit, Zavok of the Deadly Six, Eggman Nega, and more.

The second trailer shows off the amiibo functionality. While no new amiibo were announced, we see that at the very least the Mario amiibo from the Super Mario line, and the Sonic amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. series are confirmed to be usable.

Unfortunately we do not yet have translations of the info discussed in the trailers. We will provide a follow-up report when we have the info translated.

The 3DS version of the game will release in Japan on February 18th, 2016. There’s still no info on a release date of the game in the western regions, nor is there any updates on the Wii U version of the game.

First footage of Mario & Sonic Rio 2016 Arcade Edition

Above we have the first video (recorded by Arcade Heroes) from the IAAPA 2015 arcade event showcasing the arcade version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games already translated in full English.

The video shows off the current roster of playable characters which at the moment are your expected norm, being Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Eggman, and Shadow for the Sonic-side. As well as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Wario, and Yoshi on the Mario-side.

We also have a look at four activities in the game (100m, Archery, Hammer Throw, and Javelin Throw), the same four already known of before in an earlier report (which talked about the controls of each event). Each starts off with a tutorial screen that can be skipped.

There will be two different cabinet releases; one with 4-player support which is shown in the video with the overhead displays and screens, and a 2-player version without the extra displays.

The arcade version actually indeed runs on Sega’s Nu arcade hardware, which is more or less a revision of Ring Edge 2.

The arcade version is set for January or February 2016 in the US. The 3DS version is only scheduled for a February 18 2016 release in Japan, while the Wii U version has no date as of yet.

TSS Review: 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for 3DS eShop

3D Sonic The Hedgehog 2 BannerDeveloper: M2 Release Date: July 22, 2015 (JP), October 8, 2015 (NA/UK/EU) Price: 800円/$5.99/£4.49/€4.99

Review copy provided by Sega

3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the second Genesis/Mega Drive Sonic game to hit the 3DS eShop again comes with added stereoscopic 3D visuals and other new features as the original did before it. I played the game from beginning to end, and actually for the very first time ever as well. This will be a fresh perspective from someone who has never played the game fully before which may surprise some people. I would be lying if I said I’ve never played the game before, because I did in fact play it in Sonic Mega Collection for the GameCube way back in 2002. However that was more in bite-sizes and playing around with the infamous debug mode (can’t go wrong with instant Super Sonic).

But here on 3DS I played the game fair and square… with one exception, which I promise to address in the review you are about to read.

Sonic 2 Screenshot 1

Home Menu of the game

To begin, I wish to clarify that I only merely tried out the 3D the game is offering, and in my personal opinion, it doesn’t add much to the game at all. You’re not going to get something revolutionary unless you love 3D to begin with (to me, 3D is a complement, rather than a needed feature in games, it doesn’t mean much to me other than minor amusement). In particular, I found the 3D in the special stages, which a lot were looking forward to seeing in motion, really doesn’t work much at all. Especially since the frame-by-frame motion of the stage doesn’t mesh with the 3D and can indeed be hard to handle. The game may be called 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but to me the real appeal is that the game is on it in all its classic Genesis/Mega Drive glory and in native 320×224 resolution to boot, no more blurry upscaling here. I also want to quickly mention that I did not play the multiplayer mode in the game because I don’t have anyone else to try it with so this review is squarely about the core single-player game.

With that aside, let’s talk about the game. This is a tad difficult, because people reading this have a lot of expectations, because the vast majority have played all the classics and love them dearly, and I can very much see why and the appeal. My personal experience with Sonic 2 is actually not as rosy as you’d imagine it to be.

Sonic 2 Screenshot 2

Regular gameplay of Emerald Hill Zone in Original Mode

Let’s start with the good, and there are certainly great things to talk about. First off, it’s a beautiful game, the game on 3DS indeed still runs at a brisk 60 frames per second and you really get that classic sense of speed when going fast. Also the aforementioned native resolution just makes the pixels shine, and of course you have beautiful color reproduction and it being on an LCD and everything. You’re looking at the game literally how it was supposed to look.

There’s also the music by the same composer as Sonic 1, Masato Nakamura. His tunes are back, and sound exactly as they should and great as always. I must say and others have pointed this out; when you boot-up the game on 3DS the “SEGA” chant is bizarrely lower-quality than it should be, I tested Sonic 1 on 3DS and it sounds fine. I’m not sure why that is, M2 are famous for their attention to detail and skills in porting and emulating, so I won’t fault them for it. There must be a reason, but it’s not that big of a deal, it sounds alright otherwise and the music and sound effects are just fine. Actually it needs to be brought up that the sound effects tend to favor one over the other where certain occasions will only play one sound over and other at the same time, but that’s likely just to emulate the Genesis/Mega Drive’s limitations.

Sonic 2 Screenshot 3

Special Stages

With the good out of the way, it’s now time to look at the bad, and there are some major topics to cover. The biggest of them all is what you see right above; the special stages. Is it the format with the half-pipe? No, actually the gameplay is legit fun and trying to grab each row of rings and whatnot is fun yet challenging. Sure the spike balls can be a bit of a pain to avoid, but overall that’s just fine. The real thorn, is Tails. Tails has a problem; he is not only able to grab rings, but he is not invincible, and he’s not one to avoid hazards. This is a critical problem. As you may know, the goal is to collect the amount of rings required to get through three sections until you finally reach that precious chaos emerald with 7 to collect in total. Tails likes to hog rings and loses them constantly, he cannot hold on to rings to save his life, so it comes down to you having to make sure Sonic is the one to grab them before Tails does. But there are times when it’s just a constant case of where you’re less than a handful of rings short of the goal, and this happens a lot.

There are other issues in the game and surprisingly, it comes from Sonic’s trademark; his speed. The very soul of the franchise, the very thing Sega used to combat Nintendo and Mario himself. Sonic loves to move fast, who doesn’t? There’s just a problem, he doesn’t get much of a chance to do just that, because you usually have an enemy right in his path who you’ll bump into and lose all your rings. This can be pretty bothersome, but admittedly it’s not the worst thing (that would be the aforementioned special stages issue), but it is an annoyance all the same.

Sonic 2 Screenshot 4

Super Sonic Mode

There’s also the platforming that needs to be addressed, while Sonic is able to hop around platforms alright, Super Sonic is a nightmare at times. He is as slippery as butter, especially at Wing Fortress. A major issue is that you are forced to transform once you collect 50 rings after a mere jump, you have to lose all your rings to avoid doing so but it’d be much better if you could either use a different button to transform (or just hit the jump button a second time in the air), or have the option to return to normal and retain your rings.

Another minor issue though this is solved anyway but is one that existed in the game’s design; I’m not fond of having to play the game all in one go. I grew up with games with save files, I can’t imagine playing a game where if you have to leave or take a long break, you’ll have to leave the system on or be forced to shut the system off. This however is fixed in two ways anyway, one in the actual game where you can use the level select cheat via the sound test, but not everyone would’ve known this especially in the early nineties. The second, which is by far the best thing about this version of the game and you will be so thankful it exists, is the use of save states. Save states truly saved the game for me… no pun intended. This is so useful in many ways, but most of all in the special stages where you can save at any point in them, even to the very ring spot. Trust me I used this feature to the fullest and I am so thankful for it. I honestly would not have beaten the game without it.

Sonic 2 Screenshot 5

Ring Keeper Mode, along with the Pause Menu

The 3DS version does add a Stage Select option in the bottom screen menu you can access from the start of the game (handy for returning players). As well as a Ring Keeper mode that gives you 10 rings at the beginning of each act and cuts your ring loss in half instead of losing them all. This mode can actually indeed make things a lot easier for you, particularly when going after special stages or trying to collect enough rings to become Super Sonic. Though save states when used right arguably do the job better; save when you collect rings, if you get hit, revert to said save instantly. It really depends on what you need it for, or if you even want to use save states. Options are always welcome of course. The CRT mode allows you to give the graphics a color-bleeding, blurry appearance in addition to curving the outer corners of the screen, as if you were playing on a real CRT television. You actually are able to use the 3D to view it like it was in a curved screen, but again it depends how much value you see in that.

The game also allows you to unlock Super Sonic Mode by beating the game without getting all the emeralds. At the beginning of each act you’re given 50 rings so you can just jump once and turn into Super Sonic straight away. This is handy because as mentioned the special stages are quite a handful, and they’re far easier to access just as long as you don’t wait too long and your ring count goes below 50 when being Super Sonic. It’s up to you if you want to beat the game in the old fashioned way, which is what I did. I was determined to play it as close as possible to how it was designed to be played, but I could not handle the lack of saving and the other issues I need not bring up again hence the use of save states.

In conclusion, understandably most of the review has been focusing on the game itself, rather than the 3DS version itself. The real question is for those who played the game at some point on other systems would be; “is the 3DS version worth it?”. The answer to that question is; it comes down to if you’ve had issues with the game and if you want to put up with them again, use the options available, or if you find that the issues are too off-putting to work with again. Really the port offers nothing amazing or grand for returning players other than the save states which will make replays far easier. And the aforementioned native resolution makes the game on a graphical front an attractive incentive. Of course there’s also the portability and the use of actual buttons compared to the mobile version for example.

As for me, honestly despite the annoyances I’ve had, I enjoyed my time with the game. The port is most attractive to me due to the native-resolution, save states, and the general portability of it. The port served my needs perfectly. So the answer to me is yes, it is worth it. However if these benefits don’t interest you and/or you’ve gotten your fill already, then no, it’s likely not worth playing yet again. I am personally hoping we’ll see 3D Sonic 3 and 3D Sonic & Knuckles as soon as possible on the 3DS eShop. Sonic 3 & Knuckles being the one I did play the most by far in Sonic Mega Collection (though again mostly in debug mode, I gave up playing it legit at, where else, the drum).

You’ll Love:
+ Save states, you’ll be so thankful for them.
+ The visuals really are a sight to behold with the sprites, colors, and native resolution making the game look super clean.
+ It feels like you’re playing a real Genesis/Mega Drive game on the go, kinda like the Sega Nomad, but not nearly as heavy or power-consuming.
+ The music is of course great to listen to.
+ When you go fast, it is fun to do and see.
+ Super Sonic is awesome, when you’re able to use him to his fullest.

You’ll Hate:
Tails in the special stages doesn’t co-operate, he’s the real hazard in them.
Going fast is a blessing and a curse, you’ll bump into many enemies unless you take it slow, which kind of defeats the purpose don’t you think?
Super Sonic is like butter, do not use him if you’re focusing on very specific platforming sections.
3D and other features such as a CRT-style mode don’t add a whole lot, it’s more of a “meh” point than a hate point, but it’s still worth mentioning.

UPDATE: Mario & Sonic Rio 2016 out in Japan on Feb 18 2016, Rosalina, Ludwig von Koopa, and Dry Bones confirmed

Mario & Sonic Rio 2016 3DS Japanese Box

UPDATE: Just found a small Japanese trailer for the 3DS version on Nintendo’s JP Youtube channel.

What IS going on with the Wii U version? Maybe it is just a bit delayed, or being moved to the NX, we’ll find out I guess.

ORIGINAL: Here it is! Japanese box of the 3DS version, which now adds DK and Amy to the mix, and also new screens that confirm Rosalina, Ludwig von Koopa, and Dry Bones are in the game as playable characters.

Amazon Japan only shows the 3DS version at the moment, as we know, the game is also due on Wii U and it’s also coming out on arcades in Spring 2016. We also see a reconfirmation of amiibo support for the game. Nintendo’s Japanese twitter account also confirms the date alongside a fuller piece of artwork, complete with Sticks, and a horse!

M&S Rio 2016 Twitter Artwork

Here are all the screens from Amazon below:

So what are your thoughts on the game thus far? Any character you’re excited to play as if you get the game? Which version in particular? Let us know in the comments!

HoL’s Musings: Sonic needs another shot at an RPG

You all remember Sonic Chronicles right? No? Too bad, because it happened!

SCTDB

I was thinking about it just now and I’ve thought about this topic before about what Sega could’ve done differently for Sonic’s grand debut in the RPG genre, so now I think it’s a good time to talk about it and brainstorm some ideas!

Continue reading HoL’s Musings: Sonic needs another shot at an RPG

(Update: It’s $5.99) 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 landing on 3DS eShop in NA on Oct 8th

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Update: Nintendo has added the game to its website and like the other games in the Sega 3D Classics line it’s $5.99!

Well, it’s a little later than planned (they just said September), but not by that much. 😛

Sega of America confirmed today on twitter that the game is finally coming out at least in NA on October 8th, after having already been released in Japan back on July 22nd.

The 3DS version actually has a wireless co-op multiplayer feature where one player is Sonic, and the other is an invincible version of Tails to assist Sonic in the game, basically like you did on the TV back in the day. You’re also able to save at anytime and can now more easily unlock Super Sonic just by beating the game on any mode, which gives Sonic all the chaos emeralds when the feature is turned on.

Sadly at the moment there’s no release date yet for Europe.

(Update: Confirmed) Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Delayed to 2016

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Update: It’s officially delayed to 2016! Thank Aaron! 😀

Perhaps someone’s listening eh? 😉

The online game rental site GameFly is now listing the game for a Dec 31 2016 release date at least in North America, however this is just another way of saying it’ll be out in 2016 at some point. This change is very recent, as looking through a Google Cache of the site, it showed that as recent as September 8th that the game was still listed for November 3 2015.

If this is indeed true, we may just be in a very rare turn of events where we go a whole year without a retail Sonic game. Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Rio Olympics are also scheduled for 2016 as opposed to their usual release being in the year prior to said Olympics.

Wonder what’s up with this? I’ve wondered if the NX has anything to do with this, specifically for M&S if they want to do a premium NX version of the game, and also maybe they think releasing the game closer to the Olympics will give it more fanfare, what with the Olympics being the talk of the town at that point of course. 😉

For Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, I dunno, there’s never been a cross-gen handheld release (being released on a current handheld, and also it’s successor at the same time, like if for instance Sonic Advance 3 was delayed on GBA for a few months and appeared on both GBA and on DS at launch), but this IS a great sign that they want to take more time to give it a nice extra layer of polish and/or to try better things with it. Maybe this is going to be better than the first one after all. 😉

 

It finally happened, Ken Sugimori (Pokémon) has drawn Sonic!

l_55e84605c3550Above you see the cover artwork for the just announced Sega 3D Classics Print 2, a compilation of Sega’s 3D Classics on 3DS, though only five games are confirmed right now, including Sonic 1.

What’s so special is that like the box of the first pack, this was drawn by the main character designer and artist of Pokémon himself; Ken Sugimori.

More surprises are teased, like the blurred out bit above. Any guesses?

The pack is due on December 22nd 2015 in Japan. The first never left Japan, so don’t expect the same for this.

Image and announcement came from Famitsu.

LBX: Little Battlers eXperience on 3DS has a mission called “Gotta Go Fast”

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Memes so strong even your greatest rival references them! The newly released 3DS game LBX, developed by Level-5 (makers of Professor Layton, Fantasy Life, and the Japanese phenomenon Yo-Kai Watch) and localized and published by Nintendo, has a mission in the game with that all-so-familiar phrase.

LBX is a customizable robot fighting game that can be compared to franchises like Medabots and Nintendo’s own Custom Robo series (hell it’s not far from Sega’s Virtual-On series either).

It may not be via amiibo support (which the game doesn’t support, hell the thing came out in Japan in 2012 on 3DS, and is a port of a PSP game from the year prior in 2011, yeah :P), but it’s still humorous that Nintendo would throw that in there. It’s not the first time either that they threw in memes of competitors, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl referenced the terrifying, delicious, and apparently historically accurate Giant Enemy Crabs and them being prone to receiving Massive Damage in their weakpoints.

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(To be fair, would you bat an eyelash if that meme didn’t exist? Likely not.)

Anyway, there you have it!

May as well just clarify as not everyone knows the meme, the meme Gotta Go Fast originates from the 4Kids dub of Sonic X and its opening features that lyric. 🙂 Guess it just took awhile to catch on. 😛

Huge thanks to Fandangox at NeoGAF for snapping the pic on top. 🙂

The Spin: Can a Sonic Boom game be done right? I think so

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In today’s edition of The Spin, I want to talk about something I think that, despite being a question no one will ask; if a Sonic Boom game can be good let alone should be made, is that if such a game period can be good or even GREAT. Short answer? Of course it can!

The long answer? I have some ideas.

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Back when the whole initiative was announced by Sega back on February 6, 2014, that they would launch a sub-brand of Sonic that would not only come with a new TV show, but two games to accompany it, and at the time, the games seemed to be the meat and potatoes of the sub-brand with the show existing to complement it, rather than the other way around. Well in the end the opposite felt like the truth, where the show felt like it was the true Sonic Boom product and the games were put out to market the show.

We know how the games turned out, but I think most will agree that the show itself is pretty damn good, and is one of the sole saving graces of the Sonic Boom name, that and the comics, but I don’t follow those personally. 😛

So back on June 9, 2015, just prior to E3 was the surprise announcement that Sega got Sanzaru Games, who developed Shattered Chrystal on 3DS, to make a sequel called Fire & Ice, once again for 3DS set for this year, making it the only Sonic game on traditional gaming platforms for this year (Rio 2016 is out next year breaking the Olympic series’ traditional release schedule).

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And so far Fire & Ice is… not too shabby from what I’ve seen. Shattered Crystal was seen as the “not as bad but not that good anyway” of the two and this at least looks like it might just bump that opinion to “hopefully at least pretty decent”, thanks to some potential refinements to the previous game’s formula and adding in a few extra layers of polish.

This brings me to the main point of the article; can a game be not just good, but even GREAT as I asked? Let’s get to how that might be accomplished.

I don’t particularly think Big Red Button is fit for the job, mostly due to a really bad first impression (I think Rise of Lyric is on both of Sega and BRB’s hands for different reasons), and there’s no telling just how hard the team has been hit following ROL’s release (all we know at the moment is that they helped out with God of War 3 Remastered on PS4) and if they’re even able do a AAA release, even though they were formed for that purpose. The problem is, one, this was their first true game, the second, is that it’s their first game after being formed 6 years prior in 2008. The only dev I can think of that had a similar history that actually put out a damn good game (just one example anyway) is Zoonami who after so long put out an “eh” game with Zendoku on DS and PSP, but then worked with Nintendo directly to make Bonsai Barber on WiiWare which got really good reception for what it was, yeah it was a vegetable hair cut simulator (how many games can be called that?), but a damn fine vegetable hair cut simulator!

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But when can we trim a hedgehog?

Ironically, both companies were formed by pretty notable folks from legendary companies, with BRB being formed by Naughty Dog vets, with Zoonami being formed by a Rare veteran (specifically by Martin Hollis, the director of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark).

Anyway, it’ll take some sort of great game, even a small scale one to restore faith in BRB in my opinion. It can be done, but I want to see it happen first naturally before I want to see them on another big game, and specifically a Sonic game in this case.

So what now then? Well, I’ve come up with two choices. One we already have if only to just make a really good one, but another if Sega REALLY want to do a AAA release without holding back.

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The former would be Sanzaru again on a Wii U game (talking from obvious history here with the games being on Nintendo systems, just work with me here), we have a very proven dev who earned their fame from working on not only remastering the Sly Cooper games, but created an all-new sequel on PS3 and Vita with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, which of course was a full 3D platformer.

Do they own any of the tech used in Thieves in Time, I don’t know, but let’s assume they do. they can use the engine as a starting point, and bringing a PS3 engine to Wii U is way easier than from what we heard of BRB trying to bring PS4 and XBO-made tech to Wii U (supposedly the game started there and was forced to downport), also not using an engine not proven to shine on the platform and also Sanzaru would know their own tech inside and out, so they’d know how to get it working naturally (also they did port the game to Vita and that’s much weaker than Wii U).

I think this is a recipe that can work, if they make a true 3D platforming game that maybe takes some elements of Fire & Ice (I’d expect them wanting to as they are the same dev after all) and make a big adventure on Wii U, I’m thinking the results would surprise some people, especially if Sega do mean it when they said they’re sorry for the poor output recently. Who knows.

The other dev in mind if Sega really want to go all out, and it’s certainly one very familiar with western 3D platformers that really push boundaries, and can work on Wii U, that dev can only be; Insomniac.

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These guys, unlike their pals at Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch, actually do still make 3D platformers, and Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is supposed to the best in the series and each game is filled with personality and when they’re at their best, are outstanding experiences. And just look at Ratchet & Clank on PS4 which is a remake of sorts of the very first game. I said wow.

If Insomniac put the passion and quality they put in for example A Crack in Time in a Sonic Boom game on Wii U, I think we’d ALL be in for a real treat. It also depends if Sega would allow it by giving them the time and money needed to reach that kind of quality.

Of course, on the Wii U side of things, most would just say “wait until the NX”, whatever it ends up being, and you’re right. Wii U’s not having a good time (to say the least) and there’s a lot of talk about the NX being its successor that could be out in 2016 (it will be shown in whatever form it is next year, that much we know). Well let’s focus on the here and now and not straight away assume things. I’ve made my own but this probably isn’t the time or place for you to do the same, this is about Sonic Boom after all and not about what Nintendo’s doing next on the console front. 🙂

So yeah, this is just an idea of what Sega can do with the Sonic Boom series if they want to show people that a Sonic Boom game can be done right. Will they do it? I doubt it, but you never know what the future holds! What do you think of these ideas, and Sonic Boom as a whole? Do you think the Sonic Boom line can be salvaged gaming-wise, and would you like to see a truly serious effort in a game in the series? Do you have any ideas, like of who should make a Sonic Boom game, and what direction it should be taken? Let us know in the comments!

M&S Rio 2016 Arcade Edition out in Spring 2016 in Japan

M&S Rio 2016 Arcade Edition

Famitsu put up a new post about the game (which Perfectly Nintendo translated), and also Sega opened up the official website for the game.

It mostly just shows screenshots that were in a poster for the locatests mentioned before, and most importantly that the Arcade Edition actually has a release period set for Spring 2016 in Japan. Could we see the Wii U and 3DS versions at the same time? Only time will tell. As a note, Sega are developing and publishing the Arcade Edition, but Nintendo is publishing the Wii U and 3DS versions worldwide.

Screenshots are below as well as another look at the arcade machines:

First Look at M&S Rio 2016 Arcade Edition

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As said in the previous report, Sega are holding locatests from the 17th through the 20th at Club SEGA Akihabara and SEGA World Kasai, and so we have a peek at the game from 4Gamer with translations thanks to Perfectly Nintendo! Naturally info isn’t final and only refers to the current build they’re showing.

So we have 8 characters so far; Mario Luigi, Peach, Wario, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Shadow, and of course each are of one of three types (Power, Speed, and Balanced), with Mario as Balance and Sonic as Speed, no way! We have four sports shown; 100 metres, Hammer Throw, Javelin Throw, and Archery.

Now comes the Arcade bits; one credit costs 200 yen ($2 more or less), which allows you to play 3 sports and you’ll get the results at the end of the 3, and you can play with another person in local multiplayer here, and if you both pick different sports, they will be chosen randomly.

Controls are as follows; Your feet for events where you need to run. Two joysticks with a Start Button on the side. And a handrail to balance yourself while running for example.

We also have info on the sports shown;

  • 100 metres – You use the stick to launch yourself before you start running and at the end you have to time a jump.
  • Hammer Throw – Press a button to hold the hammer, then you use the sticks to rotate the hammer, and then then you stop pressing the button at the right time to throw it.
  • Javelin Throw – You start by running and use the right stick to control the angle of your throw.
  • Archery – You have to throw arrows at nine targets, with more points awarded the closer the arrows are to the center of the targets. You use the left stick to aim, and use the right stick to use the bow to shoot the arrows. The trajectory is determined by how long you take to draw your arrows as well as weather conditions such as wind.

We also have photos of the locatest (sadly none are direct-feed) from both $Gamer as well as Inside Games that show off what the machine looks like and a small glimpse of how the game looks:

As usual the game on Wii U and 3DS is due in 2016, and no date of any sorts was given for the Arcade Edition at the moment.

Mario & Sonic Rio 2016 also heading to… Arcades?

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Yeah, didn’t expect that did you?

That’s what gamer.ne.jp is reporting (translated by Perfectly Nintendo), the game in some form will indeed be heading to Arcades, the announcement was from Sega and while we don’t have any info at the moment about the game, next week Sega will hold what are called locatests (which are beta tests for Arcade machines) on July 17th-July 20th at Club SEGA Akihabara and SEGA World Kasai. No release date was given for the Arcade version, which right now is titled Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Arcade Edition, and no updates on the Wii U and 3DS version’s release date were provided either, which are due in 2016.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 releases on July 22nd in Japan for the 3DS eShop

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So now we finally have news about 3D Sonic 2 after its announcement back in April!

We have the Japanese website, and thanks to Nintendaan, we have the info that the game will support co-op play, but each player will need the game.

Nintendaan was also kind enough to record the trailer and snap the screenshots from the eShop page as seen below!

3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is set to release on July 22nd on the 3DS eShop in Japan for 864 yen.

Mario & Sonic Rio 2016 3DS box from Nintendo’s Swedish site shows amiibo support

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Found at Nintendo’s Swedish website, we have the box art for the 3DS version and it seems to confirm that the game at least on 3DS will feature amiibo support (naturally the Wii U version will likely support amiibo as well). I think most expected this anyway. 😛 Major thanks to MoldyClay 64 on twitter for finding out about this in the first place!

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will release on Wii U and 3DS sometime in 2016.

Sticks jumps into the modern Sonic world in Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Sticks in Rio 2016

Thanks to the eagle eyes of Katie Britt on twitter and SuperSonic772 in our comments section, it has been found in a new trailer for the game (seen at the 0:48 mark) that Sticks is now welcomed into the modern world, now would this be “canon” as they’re technically in the real world(?) olympics is up for debate. 😛 But this marks her debut outside the Boom spin-off series! it’s not official if she is indeed playable or not, we’ll do a follow-up when we find out. HUGE thanks to both Katie Britt and SuperSonic772 for the find!

See the trailer below (it’s mostly just recycled footage from the debut trailer, with the bit with Sticks and a boxing match between Mario and Bowser at the end) below:

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will release on Wii U and 3DS sometime in 2016.

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games E3 Screenshots, releases in 2016

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Nintendo’s E3 2015 Digital Event has come and gone, and while Rio 2016 had no presence in it, Nintendo opened an E3 2015 press site (as they do every year) and put up new screenshots and a fact sheet of the game, and as GameFly noted earlier, Nintendo is officially confirmed to be the publisher in at least NA, and surprisingly, the game is actually due next year in 2016 claims the fact sheet, presumably for both versions (it just says 2016 with no version specified).

See the new screens of Wii U version and a couple from the 3DS version below:

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice NA box art and more screenshots released

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As a follow-up to the announcement a few days ago, Sega have released the high-res NA box for the game (click the box for the full-size), and also 7 more screenshots of the game, have a look at them below:

Also don’t forget to check out more information by Aaron Webber about the game as grouped together here.

As a reminder, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice is developed by Sanzaru Games, and will be released on 3DS this winter in NA and EU.

(Video) TSS Let’s Talk: A Sonic of Ice and Fire

Hey folks! This is just a little opinion piece VLOG I did yesterday for the reaction of Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. I wanted to answer people’s question on why this game exists considering the last one didn’t do all that well and how they can easily make a profit off of this one without having to sell many units. Enjoy!

P.S. Yes, I’m well aware of how messy my room is. XP

“Fire and Ice” by Pat Benetar.

UPDATE: Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice unveiled for 3DS, coming this winter

UPDATE: I’ve given the article a major overhaul to hopefully provide a better look at the announcement. Sorry about the emptiness and overall generic look before.

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Well, this is something I don’t think anyone on the fandom ever expected to see. Sega have just announced a second Sonic Boom game, this time only for the 3DS called Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. Just like Shattered Crystal before it, it’s being developed by Sanzaru Games (who you may also know for the Sly collection on PS3 and Vita and the 4th Sly game Thieves in Time, also for PS3 and Vita), and it’s due this winter in NA and EU.

The game is a response to the high success of the cartoon which is the “#1 program on all TV among boys 6-11 and 9-14 in its time period”. Also key new features in the game is the addition to Amy as a playable character, and the new mechanic of swapping between fire and ice powers that grant new abilities to interact with the game’s environments, as well as Bot Racing, which is tied to the game’s story and multiplayer gameplay. Players can unlock character-themed bots to use in competitions against friends on “fast courses and tracks”.

Also new is a new villain named D-fekt, though info on the character is pretty light at the moment.

Sega have also released a trailer (via Nintendo’s YouTube page) and screenshots as seen below:

Here’s the official PR from Sega’s official blog:

SEGA® UNVEILS LATEST CHAPTER IN SONIC BOOM™ FRANCHISE
SET TO RELEASE THIS HOLIDAY

Sonic Races To Nintendo 3DS™ In Sonic Boom™: Fire & Ice; SEGA also Announces Upcoming New Sonic The Hedgehog App

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – June 9th, 2015 – SEGA® of America Inc. announced today that its iconic ‘blue blur,’ Sonic the Hedgehog, will be racing once again in Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for Nintendo 3DS. The newest title will build off of the highly successful animated series on Cartoon Network, currently the #1 program on all TV among boys 6-11 and 9-14 in its time period, and serve as the latest chapter in the Sonic Boom™ franchise. The game will introduce more adventure, speed, exploration, and an all-new fire and ice gameplay element that will help propel the action. Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, featuring the triumphant return of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Sticks, will be available exclusively on Nintendo 3DS later this year.

Developed by Sanzaru Games Inc., Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice is a single player game with collaborative gameplay components that shares key characters, events, and lore of the Sonic Boom universe. Players will see Sonic and his friends in familiar settings as they embark on a brand new adventure to battle Dr. Eggman as well as an all-new super villain, D-Fekt. The team’s adventures will bring them to locations both familiar and new as they explore, race and protect their world.

To create an entirely new experience, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice will infuse fire and ice elements throughout gameplay, enabling new abilities to play out in special character moves and interactions with environments. The new title also delivers gameplay that enables players to run through the game at top speed, or take their time with deeper exploration and puzzle play.

New to the title is the introduction of Bot Racing, a supplemental game tied to the single player story with multiplayer gameplay. The new Bot Racing feature is an extension of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice that is purely about racing and speed, where a user will unlock character themed Bots to challenge friends on fast courses or tracks.

“We really want this game to surprise and delight Sonic fans both new and old, and have created a unique, fun game that delivers,” said John Cheng, President and COO, SEGA of America. “By introducing unique elemental gameplay features like ice and fire, along with new speed and exploration gameplay, there is a lot to enjoy with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice.”

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for Nintendo 3DS will run alongside the top rated animated series on Cartoon Network, in addition to a national merchandising and promotional campaign. The Sonic Boom television series, coproduced by SEGA of America Inc. and OuiDO! Productions will continue to air new episodes throughout the year – and beyond!

This summer, the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise will be supported with the launch of Sonic Central, a brand new Sonic the Hedgehog information app, arriving on both iOS and Android devices. This one-stop-shop for all things Sonic will give fans exclusive art and wallpapers, character information, clips from the animated series, concept art, and games. Sonic Pix, a unique function within the app, will inspire fans creativity by allowing them to include Sonic and his friends in their photos.

Sonic the Hedgehog first appeared as a videogame character in June 1991, and instantly became an icon for a generation of gamers. Defined by his super-fast speed and cool attitude, in the years since he first raced on to videogame consoles, Sonic has become a true global phenomenon with over 140 million videogames sold or downloaded worldwide across consoles, PC’s, mobile phones and tablets. SEGA’s iconic blue blur has also gone on to enjoy incredible success in many licensed areas, such as toys, apparel, comics and animation.

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for Nintendo 3DS will be available in stores throughout North America in Holiday 2015.

How do you feel about the game’s announcement? Were you hoping for a second Sonic Boom game? Are you looking forward to it? Let us know in the comments.

3 new screenshots of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Wii U leaked

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Well, it would seem an eagle-eyed person by the name of PeDaRoYs at Marioboards (and LukA8 at our forums for pointing to that!) spotted that the official Rio 2016 blog accidentally posted at least three new screens of the game, which were quickly removed moments later.

Luckily, the urls still work, so the three shots are still viewable below:

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The user also spoke about other screenshots, one of which apparently shows Rosalina:

Other photos were:
-Sonic competing in Archery
-Zazz (against Yoshi) preparing to serve in Table Tennis.
-Rugby 7s with 3 Marios, 2 Sonics, Diddy Kong, Boom Booms and Egg Pawns
-Rosalina, Daisy, Peach and a female Mii competing in Synchronize Swimming

Hopefully the other screens will be found soon enough, but if not, E3 is only a bit over a week away where we’ll know much more!

GameFly lists Nintendo as the publisher of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Wii U and 3DS in NA

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So finally we have a little bit of extra news as a follow-up to the game’s announcement the other day, the rental site GameFly, which commonly lists info on unannounced games which turn out to be correct, have just put up the listings of Rio 2016 for Wii U and 3DS, and indicate that just like Sochi 2014 before it, Nintendo is back to publish Rio 2016 in NA (and likely EU), as opposed to Sega who published the first three games in the west. Nintendo has published every entry in Japan to date.

Now what’s REALLY puzzling, is that GameFly lists the Wii U version as TBD (to be determined), but the 3DS version for December 31st 2016. Dates on any site are always likely to not be final until confirmed by the publisher, but also, London 2012 did come out a bit later on 3DS than on Wii, missing the 2011 holiday season, likely to avoid releasing with Generations 3DS? Who knows. But that’s all we got so far!

When more comes, we’ll post it!

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games unveiled for Wii U and 3DS

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UPDATE 6: I got a hold of the original uber high-res artwork of the game and added it above!

Nintendo UK uploaded the footage without any narration, so you can hear the music and everything in full!

Might as well share this, Nintendo of America out of nowhere shared a Nintendo Direct Micro (literally, they just uploaded it without any fanfare), and it covers most of what was featured in the Japanese Direct from yesterday (why were the two separate and not simultaneous like usual then?) including Rio 2016, it uses the same footage (with Gotta Pirouette Fast Eggman intact!) which you can see here at 6:42 into the video. My question is, who is publishing the game in the west, Nintendo (like with Sochi 2014), or Sega again (like with the first three games)? There’s no indication, nor do we have a date (Niche Gamer reports “August” in the west, but Bill Trinen in the Direct says the Olympics takes place in August 2016, and no other site claims such a release date sooo…).

New characters are spotted in the video such as Nabbit (from Mario), Zazz (from Sonic Lost World), Diddy Kong (from Mario, specifically the DK series), Rouge the Bat, and Jet the Hawk scattered in the video as possible playable characters as folks from our forum spotted.

Yes indeed! Just announced in the Japanese Nintendo Direct (at 18:26 in the video), surprisingly, the next Olympic game is indeed on the way, AND on both Wii U and 3DS!

Info is still a bit fuzzy as it’s from a Japanese source, we’ll update over the next bit with more info.

Artwork found here.

UPDATE: The Spin: A look into Sonic’s history with Nintendo

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UPDATE: I just found out and added that Marvelous (then known as MarvelousAQL) helped with Mario & Sonic London 2012 3DS!

Hello again! 🙂 Over the past while I’ve made lookbacks covering two Sonic games on Nintendo systems, specifically Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Unleashed, both for Wii, and I thought, you know what, why don’t I just cover the whole history? Of course, the opinions in this article reflect my own thoughts and may not reflect the thoughts of the other Staff members. With that, let’s start from the very beginning…

Mario & Sonic Together

A rivalry past, comes friendship to last

Back in 1991, the gaming industry was still in its infancy, Nintendo had taken the gaming world by storm thanks to an Ape who’d later kick some tail, and in the mid-80’s with a console that again took the world by storm, and the man to spearhead that success was an Italian Plumber named Mario. Sega, looking from afar, didn’t want Nintendo to have the whole pizza pie, they knew they needed to come up with a character of their own to spawn an entirely new franchise, and commissioned three individuals; Hirokazu Yasuhara, Naoto Ohshima, and Yuji Naka to brainstorm and piece together something so good that it can challenge the mighty plumber. This resulted in this odd blue spiky thing, called Sonic the Hedgehog, you might have heard of him.

And Sega did what no other thought was possible, they succeeded in making a mascot that made Nintendo sweat! With a string of great games with the original Sonic games on the Sega Genesis, Nintendo had to up their game to keep up! But then things got hairy (and not just due to some tie-wearing Gorilla and red cap-wearing Monkey either!), after a lot of misdirection and failed ideas and hardware mistakes (add-ons didn’t exactly catch on), this ended up hurting Sega so badly, that even when Dreamcast was Sega’s shining star in reception and sales (set the industry record for highest debut), it wasn’t enough, and on January 31, 2001, Sega announced they would bow out of the hardware race and go Third-Party.

This obviously shook the Earth, this meant Sega would actually have to make games for what were once their most bitter rivals, and ESPECIALLY make Sonic games on NINTENDO consoles, has hell frozen over?!

Well apparently the results weren’t all that bad, as believe it or not, Sonic has been on Nintendo hardware longer than he ever was on Sega’s own. Hell, if my math is correct, he has had more Nintendo exclusives than all games on Sega’s hardware combined. Think about that!

And you know what? We are going to look most of them, all the exclusives, ones with Nintendo themselves, and other notable titles, right here, right now, only leaving out some rare exceptions which I’ll of course address.

I’ll be focusing on the console games first. Let us begin!

Console Games

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Sonic Adventure 2 Battle

Developer: Sonic Team USA Release Date: December 20, 2001 (JP) February 11, 2002 (NA) May 3, 2002 (PAL)

Yes, the game that rocked the world by seeing Sonic running on a Nintendo home console for the very first time. And it was a damn good game at that, one of my all-time favorite games bar none. You know it, the catchy tunes, the variety, the Chao, it was bliss for me. This game stayed as a GameCube exclusive for a very long time, not being ported until the HD version a few years back. This didn’t even get a PC release until then, unlike Sonic Adventure DX which did get a PC version just a few months after the GameCube version, so yeah, after the Dreamcast, if you wanted to play this, you had to get a GameCube.

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Sonic Mega Collection

Developer: Sonic Team Release Date: November 10, 2002 (NA) December 19, 2002 (JP) March 7, 2003 (EU)

So after being introduced to Sonic with a killer game, Sega gave Nintendo fans a truckload more in a single package, containing every single Genesis Sonic game including Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles, Blue Sphere, Knuckles in Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic 3D Blast, and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. And with Flicky and Ristar to top it all off (did you know the character designer of Ristar is Yuji Uekawa who of course redesigned every Sonic character in Sonic Adventure?). If you had a GameCube and loved Sonic, you were pretty damn set, and the good stuff would keep on coming. This game remained exclusive for about two years, later being ported to the PS2 and Xbox as Sonic Mega Collection Plus, adding in some Game Gear games and some early footage of Sonic Heroes’ cutscenes, among other things.

SADX

Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut

Developer: Sonic Team/NOWPRO (Mission Mode) Release Date: June 18, 2003 (NA) June 19, 2003 (JP) June 27, 2003 (EU)

And more goodness did come. The OTHER favorite Sonic game of mine, this was was actually a much bigger retooling than Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was. It features redesigned character models (well, except Big, Gamma, and Eggman seemingly…), completely redone textures, uped the framerate to 60fps (most of the time :P), an all-new Mission Mode (developed by NOWPRO), additions to the Chao from SA2, and an actual incentive to getting all the emblems; Metal Sonic… as a model-swap of Sonic in Time Trial mode, hey, it’s something! 😛 If you loved SA2B, you’d likely instantly fall in love with this game, even with it’s glitches and what not, it’s no Sonic ’06 or Sonic Boom, nowhere NEAR close. As a major bonus, you get the ENTIRE Sonic Game Gear catalog upon collecting emblems (every 20), these include; Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic Chaos, Sonic Triple Trouble, Sonic Blast, Sonic Drift, Sonic Drift 2, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Sonic Labyrinth (yaaaay…) Tails Adventure, and for the first time outside Japan, Tails’ Sky Patrol!

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Sonic Heroes

Developer: Sonic Team USA Release Date: December 30, 2003 (JP) January 5, 2004 (NA) February 6, 2004 (PAL)

And here comes the first true multiplat Sonic game, releasing on not just GameCube, but also on PlayStation 2 and Xbox (and makes it the first console game NOT on a Sega console). It’s apparently been said that the game was made specifically on the GC (naturally, as the team would be very familiar with it by now), and then ported to the Xbox, as well as to the PS2… but with less than stellar results for the latter. All your favs are back, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Rouge, Amy, Cream, Big, the trio from Knuckles Chaotix, being Espio, Charmy, and Vector, and newcomers Omega and Cream (and Cheese the Chao). Mighty’s invitation must’ve got eaten by the giant alligator in Lost Jungle (Vector: “Who?”). The game’s reception is a bit divided, but I personally really loved it, the graphics were a bump up from the Adventure games, even the shiny models grew on me, the framerate was a flawless 60fps. Yeah Heroes was disappointing after the Adventure games, but it was great then and I see it even more favorably now all things considered. It’s the game I consider to be closest to being Sonic Adventure 3 (emblems, composers, voice actors, characters, etc). Unlike the Adventure games, there was no JP voice track in the GC version at least which I found very odd, also the last major unlockable was a Super Hard Mode for Team Sonic, pretty anti-climactic in I’m honest. Speaking of voice actors, this is the last console game to feature the original voice cast from Sonic Adventure to this point, with 4kids taking over in the following year with Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Rush. Sonic Heroes also used the middle-ware engine called RenderWare created by Criterion (makers of Burnout) to help out with bringing the game to all three systems at the same time.

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Sonic Gems Collection

Developer: Sonic Team Release Date: August 11, 2005 (JP) September 30, 2005 (EU) August 16, 2005 (NA)

Here we have the second collection, containing Sonic’s later post-Genesis games such as Sonic CD, Sonic the Fighters/Sonic Championship, and Sonic R, as well as about half of the Game Gear line-up, seemingly the missing ones are in Sonic Mega Collection Plus, likely since both games are on PS2 (the PS2 version of Gems only came out in Japan and EU, skipping NA). So for GC owners, these Game Gear games were a tad redundant if you owned SADX and got most of the emblems. 😛 The game also contained most of the Genesis line-up as timed demos, but the funny thing is, all are actually fully-intact, allowing you to fully play them provided you use an Action Replay to freeze the timers. But if you have Sonic Mega Collection anyway, this wasn’t a concern. One advantage Gems Collection had over Mega Collection was the addition of 480p support (likely for Sonic the Fighters and Sonic R, since the sprite-based games were interlaced anyway, thus 480p wasn’t deemed necessary for Mega Collection) What’s also interesting is that judging by the fact TT Games have their current logo in Sonic R, that would imply they actually came back to do the port of the game, making their first time working on the series since the PC version of the game back in 1998, also they were working with Sega on Super Monkey Ball Adventure at the same time so that would’ve helped as well.

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Shadow the Hedgehog

Developer: Sonic Team USA Release Date: November 15, 2005 (NA) November 18, 2005 (PAL) December 15, 2005 (JP) December 22, 2005 (KOR)

Here’s that damn forth GC game… if Gems wasn’t the fourth (DAMMIT!). So yeah, after losing his memories in Heroes, Shadow is on a quest to get the answers he’s been seeking. Will you be good, or evil? Well it doesn’t matter since Shadow did NOT destroy the damn planet. The game brought gunplay into the series as well as vehicles (which would return in Shadow’s levels on Sonic ’06). And that damn Hedgehog had the tendency to say that damn d-word a whole damn lot. And so, people didn’t take kindly to Mr. Ow the Edge being as edgy as edgy does, and the forced playthrough to every single ending in the game to finally get to the last story was not exactly a high point. So even after the game came out and answered questions, the game was deemed awful and people quickly got tired of Shadow. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Also what was up with Sonic Battle already having Shadow be his old self, and with the original voice cast to boot? Speaking of which! This is indeed the game that brought the major recast of voice actors from Sonic Adventure and ending with Sonic Advance 3. People didn’t take it well, and some still today with this event had never occurred. it’s worth noting that aside from some rare exceptions, the Japanese voice cast remained the same since SA1, to this very day.

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Sonic Riders

Developer: Sonic Team UGA/NOWPRO Release Date: February 21, 2006 (NA) February 23, 2006 (JP) March 17, 2006 (EU) March 23, 2006 (AUS)

Now we have the first console spin-off that’s not a compilation, since Sonic Shuffle in the modern era (I consider Shadow mainline). This game sort of takes a page from Kirby Air Ride where you’re racing on a hoverboard called EXTREME GEAR!!! and with a simple control scheme (though here you have more to do like use drift and special moves with the B button and A to jump) where Kirby was just steer with the stick and drift with any button really (attacks and items were automatically used when claimed). This introduced the Babylon Rogues (that’s “Babel-Long” in case you’re unsure of the pronunciation :P); Jet the Hawk, Wave the Swallow, and Storm the Albatross. Actually, it’s funny, if Wave was voiced by Amy Palant instead of Bella Hudson, each of the two teams’ actors would voice both of their counterparts (Jason Griffith = Sonic and Jet, Dan Green = Knucklehead and Storm). This game marks the debut of Rumblebee into the series, singing the Babylon Rogue’s theme song Catch Me If You Can, he’ll get a lot more work in the series as time passes. 🙂

I originally skipped Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Riders, because as far as I am aware, there’s nothing Nintendo-specific about them at all, with the MINOR exception being this odd mention by Yuji Naka back in 2005 of a mysterious GameCube Sonic game being underway at the time, was it Shadow? Was it Riders? Maybe it was Gems Collection, none were fully GC-exclusive though, we never got a full confirmation about the definite identity of the game, was it even addressing a GC-exclusive to begin with? Hopefully this will be cleared up someday.

So with that, that ends the GameCube era, and with that, a new generation begins, with many surprises for Sonic to come ahead.

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Sonic and the Secret Rings

Developer: Sonic Team/NOWPRO (Party Mode) Release Date: February 20, 2007 (JP) March 2, 2007 (EU) March 8, 2007 (AUS) March 15, 2007 (JP)

And here we have our first Wii game. This resulted when Sega originally planned on porting Sonic ’06 to Wii, but a few reasons prompted the switch; first, they wanted to get the game out as close as possible to the Wii’s launch, and second, naturally the Wiimote was of great interest to them. this resulted in the Sonic ’06 team splitting in two, with Shun Nakamura staying to direct Sonic ’06, while Yojiro Qgawa took on the Wii game. to combat this split and obviously needing more resources, they hired NOWPRO to develop the game’s multiplayer party mode, the same team also made the Mission Mode in Sonic Adventure DX as said and did the bulk of Sonic Rider’s development (later entries were taken over by O-TWO). Also, the singer Rumblebee was brought back from Sonic Riders to sing all the songs in the game. Certainly gave the game its own identity I’d say. 🙂

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Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games

Developer: Sega Sports R&D/Racjin Release Date: November 6, 2007 (NA) November 22, 2007 (AUS/JP) November 23, 2007 (EU)

Wait, wasn’t this announced like just before April Fool’s Day? This can’t possibly be real? Wait, it is? Yes it is! For the first time ever, Mario and Sonic are together in a video game… in the Olympic Games? Well, it was said this was due to make the odds even… but still… Despite what kind of game people wanted both franchises to crossover in (did anyone ask for an Olympics game? I can’t imagine anyone would have), we have Yuji Naka to thank for bringing this idea to life! This was likely the final game released by Sega with Yuji Naka’s involvement before his departure in May 2006 and the founding of his company Prope just after (they would work together on Let’s Tap and Let’s Catch on Wii and WiiWare respectively in the following year). Also worth noting this is the first game on this list to also release with a handheld companion on DS! While the game wasn’t a big hit critically and not really with the veteran fans, it sure as hell made a gigantic splash at retail. People ate this up big time, over 11 million to be exact (7.09 million on Wii and 4.22 million on DS). O_o Finally, Rumblebee was called in to be the official announcer in the game, a role he has retained to this very day! Also, the developer Sega Sports R&D was actually part of Smilebit back in the old days.

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Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity

Developer: Sonic Team UGA/O-TWO/Xeen Release Date: January 8, 2008 (NA) January 17, 2008 (JP) February 22, 2008 (EU) March 6, 2008 (AUS)

Here’s the second game in the Sonic Riders series, and is actually a Wii exclusive in Japan. Again, I’d like to point you to my lookback on this game on this site for a full rundown on the game near the top, and why it is my number one fav Sonic game of the 7th generation, again, read it for a full explanation after you lift your jaw off the ground. 😉 In short, this is a very well made game and runs like butter, it’s the only Sonic game I personally know that runs in a flawless 60fps on consoles from the 7th gen onward (Sonic Free Riders apparently also runs in 60fps but I can’t vouch if it’s locked and doesn’t dip at all), the only other contenders would be Sonic ’06 (yeah, it ain’t winning that contest) and Sonic Lost World (it does not stay at perfect 60fps). Point is, for a spin-off and by B-teams, it’s very well put together. Also for those afraid of the controls, if you’ve played and love the original on GC, don’t be, it’s really easy to control I find and even on Wii U where you can’t use the GC controller, it’s still simple enough to control with the Wiimote on its side. Once again Rumblebee returns to sing the vocal tracks in the game.

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Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Developer: Sora Ltd/Game Arts (and loads of supporting devs, too many to list) Release Date: January 31, 2008 (JP) March 9, 2008 (NA) June 26, 2008 (AUS) June 27, 2008 (EU)

It finally happened, a hoax created by Electronic Gaming Monthly all those years ago teasing us that if we KO’d 20 opponents in Super Smash Bros. Melee’s Cruel Melee mode, we’d unlock Sonic and Tails, and all of those Mario vs. Sonic sprite videos, had finally come true, just in the sequel and without the ludicrous requirement (to some anyway, you should’ve seen the Toad rumor that tasked you to shoot every credit at the end of a single player mode, yeah, good luck with that!). The funny thing is, the former was THIS close to being true, Yuji Naka once again steps in to spill the beans, claiming such a deal almost took place but was far too late at that point (likely couldn’t have been made until Sega were sure they were going 3rd-Party I guess, since Melee was about 11 months to completion when that announcement happened and Sakurai was on a TIGHT schedule). The game featured lots of classic (mostly post-Adventure) songs to listen to (including the prototype theme of His World from ’06, including it’s version of the stage clear theme for Sonic’s victory song, go figure), but also featured a single remix of Angel Island done by Jun Senoue himself (he did compose the original and Sonic 3 was his first Sonic game soundtrack composed for).

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Sega Superstars Tennis

Developer: Sumo Digital Release Date: March 17, 2008 (EU) March 18, 2008 (NA) March 27, 2008 (AUS)

Does this count as a Sonic game? I guess so. 🙂 Well this is the first Sonic game in quite a long while to be made by an external western developer (Sumo is in the UK!) with Traveler’s Tales (also in the UK) being the last from Sonic R, and a familiar composer returns from then as well; Richard Jacques! And is also Sumo’s first Sonic game, but not their first Sega game. They worked together before on games like Out Run 2 on Xbox, and Virtua Tennis 3 on 360, PC, and PSP. Sega and Sumo would drop the Superstars name after this (may as well, I don’t see a whole lot of relation between this and the original Sega Superstars on PS2 which was by Yuji Naka and Sonic Team other than it being a crossover game, the following games feel like follow ups to this more specifically, will this be retitled Sonic & All-Stars Tennis someday?).

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Sonic Unleashed

Developer: Sonic Team/O-TWO/Xeen/Dimps (Daytime level design) Release Date: November 18, 2008 (NA) November 27, 2008 (AUS) November 28, 2008 (EU) December 18, 2008 (JP)

Now we have the first Wii version of an HD Sonic game (this proves that they could’ve brought Sonic ’06 over, it just might not have been exactly the same, but that’s another story), and this also came out on PS2 also as did Zero Gravity, but again, the PS2 version never came out in Japan. The game on Wii/PS2 versus the HD versions is VERY divided amongst fans and press alike, scoring some widely different scores, usually very in favor of the Wii/PS2 version, like IGN (7.2 on Wii and 4.5 for PS3 and 360) and GameSpot’s (7 on Wii and 3.5 on PS3 and 360) reviews for instance. As for my thoughts, as said I also have a lookback looking at the Wii version in full for you to check out. 🙂 I personally found the Werehog on Wii actually enjoyable, of course the amount of Werehog levels in a row got tedious, but I liked the variety it gave, and the Wiimote and Nunchuk controls worked just fine for me as long as you time the punches just right. Sales-wise, it apparently did extremely well on Wii, apparently selling more than the PS3 and 360 versions combined.

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Sonic and the Black Knight

Developer: Sonic Team Release Date: March 3, 2009 (NA) March 12, 2009 (AUS/JP) March 13, 2009 (EU)

So after the big success of Secret Rings, Sega for whatever reason instead of at least attempting to improve on the relatively successful though flawed formula with the auto-running gameplay, they instead change it heavily to make it a vaguely on-rails (you always were stuck on a per-determined path but had “control” of your movement so you wouldn’t automatically run, it was weird). This was conceived and directed by Tetsu Katano, who was mostly a lead programmer throughout the series, and he did consult with Yojiro Ogawa who directed Secret Rings. It’s safe to say this did not sit well with the fanbase since the day of the unveiling in Nintendo Power (so many thought it was a hoax), but it happened and Sonic got a sword and ran through the realm of King Arthur. Oh and there’s a talking sword (who sadly can’t sing Witchcraft). This is also the last major Sonic game to feature the 4kids voice cast (the actual last would be Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing). I find it sad that the game fell on its face, since the game was beautiful and looked well made for what it was, like on a technical level it was solid, it just had a bizarre and not so good game built into it. Some do love it though (hi FTA! 😉 ), but yeah the vast majority did not stomach it very well, though sadly even worse would come in the future… Also I should mention that Jun Senoue returned after four years from Shadow the Hedgehog to compose the game, and even Richard Jacques and a very surprise appearance by Howard Drossin from Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic Spinball also composed some tracks, also a guest composer was Tommy Tallarico, and among other tracks, did a remix of a track he did from another game called Black Dawn in Molten Mine, how about that!

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Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

Developer: Sega Sports R&D/Racjin Release Date: October 13, 2009 (NA) October 15, 2009 (AUS) October 16, 2009 (EU) November 5, 2009 (JP)

The 2nd Olympic game is actually very special, in that this was actually more or less developed by Sonic Team USA, just generally credited under Sega Sports R&D, this is because the director of the Wii version was none other than Takashi Iizuka, who directed ALL the games between Sonic Adventure (they were still in Japan for this game, the localization was the first gig at ST USA) and NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams. The same art director Kazuyuki Hoshino from the same games also returned for the same role. Jun Senoue also worked on the game (though not as Sound Director, Kenichi Tokoi did that part). This would be Takashi Iizuka’s last role as director before becoming the series producer and becoming head of Sonic Team (likely taking over Yojiro Ogawa who was about to migrate to Yakuza Studio). The game did really well, just not as well as the original. Reception-wise, fans took it a lot better, and even today a lot regard it as the best in the series I find. I’m not surprised, as Iizuka is an outstanding director (Shadow was a rough spot), not so much as a producer in my opinion, so he makes great stuff if he has full control it seems. Yes, I really liked Journey of Dreams. 😛 (hmm, might even make a lookback now that I think about it…).

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Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

Developer: Sumo Digital Release Date: February 23, 2010 (NA) February 26, 2010 (EU) March 4, 2010 (AUS)

So to follow up on Tennis, Sumo put their experience with Sega racers like Out Run 2 to make a new Sonic racing game. In the Wii version you can also play as your Mii characters. Yet in the 360 version, not only can you play as your Avatar, but also as… Banjo-Kazooie?! Man, this could’ve happened on Wii had certain things not happened in 2002. Funny as a key person from the team went on to join Rare afterward. What’s actually amazing, is that Rare is credited in ALL VERSIONS, that’s right, Rare is actually credited in the Wii version, so aside from old assets from Donkey Kong Country and the like in Brawl, this is the first time Rare had been shown in anything on a Nintendo home console since Star Fox Adventures. That’s so surreal. O_o

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Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps Release Date: October 11, 2010 (NA) October 12, 2010 (JP) October 15, 2010 (EU/AUS)

Ah yes, the game everyone who grew up with the original Sonic games on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive waited for! And… yeah. People weren’t loving the episodic nature of it, and the physics. Who knew Sonic had the amazing talent to stand on the ceiling and walls? Sonic really CAN do anything! For whatever reason, Sega never attempted to bring over Episode II to Wii (I don’t buy it being impossible in all honesty, and this make it the only Sonic game only on WiiWare as opposed to retail not counting Virtual Console games), and even more bizarre, they never even brought over the Episode Metal content which obviously would’ve worked just fine as it’s just essentially Metal Sonic in Episode I. Also, on WiiWare the game costs a whooping $15/1500 points, it was never on sale to my knowledge. What they should’ve done in my opinion was release the game at Wii retail and added in Episode Metal together for $20, I think it would’ve been a huge seller, but alas, it was not meant to be. As for music, Jun Senoue is back and tried a very… odd kind of style for the game, it wasn’t really like the Genesis/MD games at all, it’s like it was composed by cats or something. He actually brought back a canned beta boss track from Sonic 3D Blast as Boss Theme 1 in the game.

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Sonic Colors

Developer: Sonic Team Release Date: November 11, 2010 (AUS) November 12, 2010 (EU) November 16, 2010 (NA) November 18, 2010 (JP)

Now we have the first true AAA Sonic game built exclusively for Nintendo systems from the ground-up, and by the same team behind Secret Rings and Black Knight no less (with Morio Kishimoto, lead game designer of those two games being promoted to director for Colors on Wii). Takashi Iizuka, newly appointed producer and now head of Sonic Team, said this was due to the success of the Olympic games and wanting to make a Sonic game for newcomers to the series. It was the first in the “boost trilogy” to only be about regular Sonic running fast. But seemingly in place of the Werehog they just made so much of the game in 2D, and the 2D sections… were not all that good in my opinion. Personally, I was so hyped for this like you wouldn’t believe, but in the end it was underwhelming to me. However others really loved it and it reviewed wonderfully which is the first since Sonic Heroes I believe on consoles. This game is also the first to not only feature the current Studiopolis voice cast (exception being Mike Pollock returning as Baldy McNosehair), but is also the first Sonic game where the story (or just the English adaptation, I’ve heard conflicting reports) was written by Warren Graff and Ken Pontac, previously both worked on MadWorld and Happy Tree Friends, luckily they didn’t bring the blood and guts with them. This game also introduced the Wisps and their color power abilities, and wouldn’t be the only time we’d see them either. The game ended up doing really well on both systems, shipping 2.18 million copies.

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Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Developer: Sega Sports R&D/Racjin Release Date: November 13, 2011 (EU) November 15, 2011 (NA) November 17, 2011 (AUS) December 8, 2011 (JP)

And now we have the 3rd Olympics game, and basically in place of Sonic Generations no less. Takashi Iizuka claims this was due the Wii’s hardware and wanting to make the game squarely for the HD systems. Whether they could’ve worked around the issue is debatable of course (looking at you Unleashed and Colors!). Not much to say specifically about this game, other than for whatever reason, no new characters were added this time around.

And with that, ends the Wii era, and a new generation begins.

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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Developer: Sumo Digital Release Date: November 18, 2012 (NA) November 30, 2012 (EU) May 15, 2014 (JP)

Here’s not only the first HD Sonic game on a Nintendo console, but it’s also the only Sonic game so far that’s a port/multiplat on Wii U, AND for the first time is a direct port of an HD Sonic game rather than a completely reworked version. This game got terrific reception and did really well on Wii U, even like Unleashed before it, outsold the PS3 and 360 versions combined… on a userbase against 10’s of millions on the other systems. The Wii U version even had exclusive content, such as 5-player multiplayer and exclusive battle arenas, one of which is called Super Monkey Ball Arena, where the GamePad user is controlling AiAi with the 4 other players using the TV. Also for whatever reason, this never got a “Standard Edition” print. I’ve seen it for at least the 360 version, but all Wii U copies are still the Bonus Edition. Eh, not a bad thing, just odd.

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Sonic Lost World

Developer: Sonic Team Release Date: October 18, 2013 (EU) October 19, 2013 (AUS) October 24, 2013 (JP) October 29, 2013 (NA)

Now we have the first next-gen/8th-gen Sonic game and it’s Wii U exclusive. Morio Kishimoto returns from Colors to direct again, but decided to completely reinvent everything, throwing out the established and popular boost formula, opting instead to make these odd tube and cylinder-shaped levels. Also the game introduced an all-new set of villains called the Deadly Six or Zetis as they’re also called. Warren Graff and Ken Pontac return to write the story, and personally I find it to be their best on the series yet (not like Colors and Generations offered much competition anyway in my opinion). The gameplay to me was really lacking, the parkour was hard to pull-off in 3D and 2D, and frankly, the DLC levels not only featuring NiGHTS, but also, in a huge twist of events, the Zelda and Yoshi series (Fun Fact: The recent Yoshi games Yoshi’s Topsy-Turvy and Yoshi’s Island DS were by Artoon, and Yoshi’s New Island was by Artoon’s successor Arzest, and those companies were formed by ex-Sonic Team veterans including Naoto Ohshima, that’s a funny coincidence), are the best levels in the game. Go figure. And speaking of which, this game started a 3-game exclusivity deal between Nintendo and Sega Also, just like Transformed, this never got a Standard Edition print from what I’ve seen. Not that it’s a bad thing, the NiGHTS level as I said is wonderful (which is also a lovely call-back to Sonic Adventure and Christmas NiGHTS) and the box has a lovely foil effect on the front and back. Actually Sonic Colors on Wii and DS also had a foil cover in NA at least, I only saw it in like one or two stores though.

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Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Developer: Sega Sports R&D/Marvelous Release Date: November 8, 2013 (EU) November 9, 2013 (AUS) November 15, 2013 (NA) December 5, 2013 (JP)

And the 4th Olympic title is the second of the 3-game deal. This time Marvelous helped out in the game (funny as Marvelous also helped out with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz on Vita, and Marvelous absorbed Artoon, a team of ex-Sonic Team folks, most of whom are now at Arzest). This is the first HD entry and is also the first to feature actual online multiplayer. But it’s also the first ever game with Sonic in the title to actually be published by Nintendo worldwide, Nintendo only published the earlier games in Japan, Sega took the honors in the west. Bizarrely, no handheld version ever came out for 3DS.

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Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

Developer: Big Red Button Release Date: November 11, 2014 (NA) November 21, 2014 (EU) November 29, 2014 (AUS) December 18, 2014 (JP)

And now we have this little “gem”. The 3rd and last of the exclusivity deal, and so far is the last known Sonic game on consoles at the moment (until the next one is announced). This was an “interesting” endeavor to do a fresh take on the series by a company formed by ex-Naughty Dog folks (but certainly not just by them, see here and here) and have a new TV show debut alongside it. Suffice to say… the game was a huge bust. The final product is so full of glitches and unpolished it might even make Sonic ’06 blush, the gameplay wasn’t even fun, and it was UGLY. You may remember I wrote a review on this game, well, it’s gone thanks to the problem we had not long ago, but also, I take back what I said in it, I highly apologize, I was WAY too soft and forgiving of it, so I hope you forgive me for that. It was also amateurish, not the best first review I could’ve made, but hey, learning experiences. 😛 Also, Iizuka claimed the game wasn’t coming out in Japan, then voila, it did, for some reason. The Wii U and 3DS Boom games just now are at only 620k copies shipped worldwide, whether that’s too little overall or too much for such a poorly made game is again debatable.

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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Developer: Sora Ltd./Bandai Namco Entertainment (and lots of supporting devs, too many to list) Release Date: November 21, 2014 (NA) November 28, 2014 (EU) November 29, 2014 (AUS) December 6, 2014 (JP)

Now let’s wash away that mess and look at the 2nd appearance by Sonic in Super Smash Bros! What’s special is not only is he in the game period, but it also came with something special; Sonic’s very own amiibo Toys-to-Life figure! This would also be Sonic’s debut in native 1080p on consoles I believe!

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Release Date: January 22, 2015 (JP) January 29, 2015 (AUS) February 1, 2015 (NA) February 20, 2015 (EU)

Sonic’s amiibo in Smash Bros allows you to fight against or alongside an AI-controlled Sonic and the amiibo fighter can gain stats and new abilities, and you can customize their abilities also. You can use the very same figure in multiple games, but so far only Smash Bros and one other game actual utilize Sonic himself.

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Mario Kart 8

Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 1 Release Date: May 29, 2014 (JP) May 30, 2014 (NA/EU) May 31, 2014 (AUS)

And that other game right now is Mario Kart 8. While you sadly can’t actually play as Sonic, you do get to unlock a special Mii outfit of Sonic himself.

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Release Date: April 23, 2015 (Worldwide)

This marks the first Nintendo game Sonic has shown up in some form since Smash Bros and the Olympic crossovers.

And that’s the end of the console section. On to the handheld games!

Handheld Games

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Sonic Advance

Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps Release Date: December 20, 2001 (JP) February 3, 2002 (NA) March 8, 2002 (PAL)

And here’s the first Sonic game ever on a Nintendo handheld, and it came out on the same day as SA2B in Japan. This is also the first Sonic game developed by Dimps in name, as technically Sonic Pocket Adventure for the Neo Geo Pocket Color was still made when the founders were at SNK (when will we get this system and game on the 3DS Virtual Console already Nintendo?!). This is actually the only Nintendo handheld Sonic game to be ported to a retail platform elsewhere, that being on N-Gage as Sonic N, where the screen and resolution forced the sides of the game to be trimmed, or you played it with the original aspect ratio, but way smaller and way more pixelated, can’t imagine that being fan. The game itself was very highly rated, and many consider it to be the closest thing to the real Sonic 4, since they got the physics and everything pretty close to the mark. You can also play in a special Chao Garden called the Tiny Chao Garden, and can link up to SA2B and SADX, and you can obtain special eggs only available on the Game Boy Advance, to transfer them to the GC games.

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Sonic Advance (Wii U VC)

Release Date: February 18, 2015 (JP)

This is also the first and so far ONLY modern Sonic game to be on the VC, having released in Japan on the Wii U VC by Sega.While it’s likely coming to EU, there’s a problem for NA, as THQ was the publisher there, and they went belly up, having sold most of their IPs and name to Nordic Games. It’s likely possible as long as Nordic Games sees fit to do it.

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Sonic Advance 2

Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps Release Date: December 19, 2002 (JP) March 9, 2003 (NA) March 28, 2003 (PAL)

Now we have the second in the Advance series. This introduced Cream the Rabbit and Cheese the Chao to the world (though if you had Sonic Mega Collection, you saw them first there in the artwork section).

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Sonic Pinball Party

Developer: Sonic Team/Jupiter Release Date: June 1, 2003 (NA) June 15, 2004 (JP) October 31, 2003 (EU)

The odd one out of the GBA line-up, being the only one published by Sega worldwide. Why? I have no clue. And one of the only two developed by Sonic Team alone.

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Sonic Battle

Developer: Sonic Team/Jupiter (Character Design Support) Release Date: December 4, 2003 (JP) January 5, 2004 (NA) February 27, 2004 (PAL)

And the other game developed only by Sonic Team is Sonic Battle. This released on the same day as Sonic Heroes on GC in NA. And frankly this game kicked ass. The combat and fighting style was a breeze, the move card collecting and customization with the robot Emerl was addictive, and the story was legit good, even bringing back the Master Emerald and Chaos (guess Chaos is baby-sitting the Master Emerald these days, seeing as Knuckles never brings it up anymore), even Gamma returns in this game, now voiced by Jon St. John (Big, Omega) due to the passing of Steve Brodie just after SA2 came out on August 10, 2001, having voice Mr. President in that game also.

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Sonic Advance 3

Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps Release Date: June 7, 2004 (NA) June 15, 2004 (EU) June 17, 2004 (JP)

The third and last title in the Sonic Advance series. This attempted to take some ideas from Heroes including the team-based gameplay, as well as the “formations”, though more like classes or types in this case. Instead of three at a time you controlled two characters, with your partner being an assist, kinda like Knuckles Chaotix seemingly. Each character was a Speed, Flying, or Power character. For whatever reason, the Tiny Chao Garden was absent and instead replaced by a Chao hunt as a sort of collectathon addition, though it ain’t exactly going to challenge DK for the amount, so don’t worry about getting five in each level with each character or anything. 😛 This would also be the very last game to feature the original voice cast that began voicing the characters in SA1, including Deem Bristow as Eggman, who sadly passed away on January 15, 2005. Mike Pollock has confirmed numerous times that the recasting was not due to his death, and was already decided before he passed.

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Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis

Developer: Sonic Team Release Date: November 14, 2006 (NA)

Likely taking the cake as the WORST Sonic game on this list, maybe even in the whole franchise, it’s horrendously broken and… UGH! It’s also just a singular port of Sonic 1 that has barely anything new (a Jukebox, continuing where you left off, jumping on certain bosses… yay?)! I actually forgot about it (big surprise? :P), the odd thing is, I can’t find any legit info on who did the conversion, credits only show the original folks from Sonic 1, and Sega of America folks. I would think this was a very quick penny budget port by a western team (it seems to be a NA-exclusive)… unless Sega of America did this in their office? I have no clue. 🙁 Now it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t acknowledge that a fan named Stealth actually in his spare time ported the original Genesis game to the GBA to see if it can be done properly. Spoiler: yes it can. This is also the last Sonic game on the GBA, though there was going to be a version of Sonic Riders on it, alas it was not to be.

GBA is done, on to the DS!

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Sonic Rush

Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps Release Date: November 15, 2005 (NA) November 18, 2005 (PAL) November 23, 2005 (JP)

Dimps returns once again to bring us the first Sonic game on a new Nintendo handheld. Instead of trying to push the series to be 3D with the available power, they instead opted to continue the 2D legacy, but this time using 3D character models, but also utilizing the DS’ two screens for twice the viewing height, and the touch screen during the special stages. The music of the game is very unique in that it was actually composed by Jet Set Radio legend Hideki Naganuma. This is also the first game to properly introduce the boost mechanic. This game was actually preceded by a graphically outstanding demo showcasing Sonic at E3 2004. This featured you scribbling on the touch screen super fast to move Sonic forward. This wasn’t exactly much of a game, but seriously Sega never reached this level on the DS, that’s like near Dreamcast quality in my opinion. Maybe the DS was downgraded before release? Doubt it.

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Sonic Rush Adventure

Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps Release Date: September 14, 2007 (EU) September 18, 2007 (NA) September 27, 2007 (AUS) October 18, 2007 (JP)

The second of the Rush series, this time the music was composed by Tomoya Ohtani (before he started becoming more or less the main composer of the console games), it brought back Blaze into the picture as expected, but it also introduced three characters we’d never see again; Marine the Raccoon, and the villains Johnny and the main boss Captain Whisker. I swear to god Long John Baldry would’ve been a perfect match to voice Whisker as he not only voiced Robotnik in AoSTH, but also as Captain Gavin Capacitor in ReBoot, literally they look like a merger of the two, freaky. Now before we move on, there’s something extra special about this game that I want to highlight, though this is only so in one region.

SRAKOR

Sonic Rush Adventure (Korea)

Release Date: September 17, 2009

What’s so important you may ask? Look at the top right of the box. That’s right, that’s the Nintendo logo, this is the only actual Sonic game (without Mario), in history, that Nintendo ever truly published and put their name on the box as if it was their own. Wow. That’s not something you’d ever thought you’d see in the 90’s, among other things.

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Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (DS)

Developer: Sega Sports R&D/TOSE Release Date: January 17, 2008 (JP) January 22, 2008 (NA) February 7, 2008 (AUS) February 8, 2008 (EU)

Here’s the first Olympic game on the DS and is the first Nintendo handheld version of a console Sonic game. It had its differences from the Wii version, aside from the touch-focused mini-games, it has five exclusive dream events not in the Wii version; canoeing, boxing, basketball, long jump, and skeet shooting.

SCTDB

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

Developer: Bioware Release Date: September 25, 2008 (AUS) September 26, 2008 (EU) September 30, 2008 (NA) August 6, 2009 (JP)

Sega finally gave us a Sonic RPG, great! Except they gave it to a western dev, and an odd choice to say the least, personally I always wanted a Sonic JRPG, get Atlus on the job, you own them Sega! Anyway, this game caused a few issues, first, this was responsible for the major lawsuit by Ken Penders to Sega since he claimed that material from the story was stolen from him. Also, the music, oh boy, rumors have it that they had the music all fine and dandy, but it all had to be replaced at the last minute due to copyright disputes, but hey, it gave us this little “gem” am I right? 😉 The game itself didn’t exactly get great reception overall. And with Bioware now being owned by EA, a sequel ain’t likely to happen anytime soon.

M&SOWGDS

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (DS)

Developer: Sega Sports R&D/TOSE Release Date: October 13, 2009 (NA) October 15, 2009 (AUS) October 16, 2009 (EU) November 5, 2009 (JP)

The second Olympic game on DS, actually has a surprising fact, did you know that the voice clips used for Omochao and Big the Cat are actually from the original Adventure-era voice actors? They’re surely archive clips, just like Deem Bristow’s clips from SA2’s multiplayer were used in the first two Riders games for Eggman when you play as him (in Zero Gravity, Mike recorded new lines for the gravity abilities, though couldn’t you just use any of the rest of Deem’s dialogue for that?).

SCC

Sonic Classic Collection

Developer: The Creative Assembly Release Date: March 2, 2010 (NA) March 12, 2010 (EU) March 11 (AUS)

The last known retail Sonic collection, containing every main Genesis Sonic game (basically all but Blue Sphere). This was actually worked on by a fan named Stephen Dittrich who created a Genesis emulator on the DS, Sega liked it, then took him in and made a full compilation out of it! Sadly the games are not terribly well emulated, a key reason is by default the games are squished to fit the resolution and aspect ratio, so it’s slightly vertically shorter. I guess just cropping the edges wouldn’t have sufficed maybe?

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Sonic Colors (DS)

Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps Release Date: November 11, 2010 (AUS) November 12, 2010 (EU) November 16, 2010 (NA) November 18, 2010 (JP)

Here’s the actual last game in the Rush series even if it’s not Sonic Rush by name. And the first handheld version of a mainline modern Sonic game (shocked they never had Dimps make Unleashed for DS and yet had Gameloft make a mobile version). The DS version had two exclusive Wisps, the Red Wisp (Burst) and the Violet Wisp (Void), as well as an exclusive true final boss.

That marks the end of the DS era! Time for the current generation in a new dimension!

SG3DS

Sonic Generations (3DS)

Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps Release Date: November 22, 2011 (NA) November 25, 2011 (EU) November 24, 2011 (AUS) December 1, 2011 (JP)

Sonic’s debut on 3DS, and sadly it’s 90% 2.5D, rather than any real 3D gameplay like the console editions, however, you do get a glimpse of full-3D gameplay during the special stages based on Sonic Heroes, and boy, they look a hell of a lot better than in the original, and the boost actually not only complements it perfectly, but I think Heroes may have been the first to ever use it in its special stages, as sloppy as it was. 😛 Here aside from Green Hill (what else), every other stage is a uniquely chosen level from the classic era through the modern era. Including a singular handheld-based level, Water Palace from Sonic Rush. When Iizuka asked if any Game Gear levels would be in it, he just laughed, wanting to use levels from more recent memory… even though the whole point was celebrating his entire legacy, no? This version wasn’t nearly as well liked as the console versions, and apparently it only had 8 months or so of development.

M&SLOG3DS

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Developer: Sega Sports R&D/MarvelousAQL Release Date: February 9, 2012 (NA) February 10, 2012 (EU) February 14, 2012 (AUS) March 1, 2012 (JP)

This is the first, and bizarrely, the ONLY Olympic game on 3DS, Sochi 2014 never came to 3DS, no explanation was ever given to my knowledge. The 3DS version has a story mode unlike the Wii version, and 57 Olympic events in single-player and multiplayer.

SLW3DS

Sonic Lost World (3DS)

Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps Release Date: October 18, 2013 (EU) October 19, 2013 (AUS) October 24, 2013 (JP) October 29, 2013 (NA)

Here, we have the very first ever 3D Sonic game on a handheld! It also has its own exclusive Wisps as well; the Ivory Wisp (Lightning) and Gray Wisp (Quake). The game sadly had a LOT of filler, stages can take like 10 minutes to complete, the game should’ve just been short and sweet instead of trying to fill the game with tedium. Also, from what I’ve seen, the special stages are utterly broken, with gyroscope controls that just are unresponsive even to skilled gamers (HellfireComms demonstrated this all too well, it is not a pretty sight). Hopefully we see a much larger effort some day for a 3D Sonic on the 3DS or its eventual successor.

SBSC

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal

Developer: Sanzaru Games Release Date: November 11, 2014 (NA) November 21, 2014 (EU) November 29, 2014 (AUS) December 18, 2014 (JP)

Finally, it’s here for you, it’s the last game, of the Sonic game crew! Sanzaru, unlike Big Red Button, actually made and released games over the course of their lifespan, most notably Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, and for their game… they went 2.5D… *sigh*. Still, it’s nowhere near as bad as the Wii game, if anything, it just caused everyone to scream “eh”. It’s more of a Metroidvania take on Sonic, and instead of Amy, Sticks is actually playable and does things, unlike the Wii U version where she’s just a mere NPC you seemingly pass by and chat with once in a blue moon.

That maybe the last original title at the moment, but as an extra, I’ll talk about two important titles for 3DS eShop:

Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3D_Logo

3D Sonic the Hedgehog

Developer: M2 Release Date: May 15, 2013 (JP) December 5, 2013 (NA/EU)

Part of Wave 1 of Sega’s amazing 3D Classics line-up of games for 3DS (including the other classics Space Harrier, Super Hang On, Altered Beast, Ecco the Dolphin, Galaxy Force II (based on the remade PS2 version!), The Revenge of Shinobi, and Streets of Rage 1). This was fully rebuilt to take advantage of the 3D effects of the system. But, did you know that when M2 had an issue adding the Spin Dash in the game, they actually got on the phone with Yuji Naka? They did! While they didn’t add a boatload of new features, they did add a nifty “CRT” effect where the colors blur and “bleed” onto another to simulate the original experience, also this mode uses the 3D to simulate the “round screen” effect also! What’s really special is that on 3DS, the game is perfectly preserved in its original resolution 1:1 of 320×224, so every pixel is shown as it was meant to be!

Sonic_the_Hedgehog_2_3D_Logo

3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Developer: M2 Release Date: September, 2015 (NA/EU) Unknown (JP)

And now we have the ONLY upcoming game on the list so yeah, there not much we know about it yet! This is part of a surprise Part 2 of Wave 2 which also includes Streets of Rage 2 and Gunstar Heroes, and the earlier Wave 2 games are After Burner II, Fantasy Zone: Opa Opa Bros., Out Run, Fantasy Zone II W (also based on the PS2 remake!), and Thunder Blade.

And with that, comes the end of the road for now. What will we see in the future? I’m still hoping we’ll see Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, since they could do some wonderful things with the setting on Wii U, I’m really looking forward to at least seeing it, if it exists. Hopefully they at least improve it as much as Olympic Winter Games compared to the original game. Also I’m really hoping Sonic is playable in Project X Zone 2, which would be a semi-Nintendo game since it’s developed by Monolith Soft, who of course Nintendo owns and are the creators of Xenoblade. I also hope we see more special uses of Sonic’s amiibo, it feels like there a lot of potential for it, have him show up in more Nintendo games with it or something. Not to mention that hopefully he’ll be a future Mario Kart 8 DLC character. Also fingers crossed for a 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and onward, and hopefully his other games from that era like 3D Sonic CD and maybe even *gasp* 3D Knuckles Chaotix so we can actually play it without buying the original copy and hardware!

Most of all, Nintendo should work more closely with Sega on the franchise, especially after how lackluster the first exclusivity deal went, Nintendo made the mistake of not working with them side-by-side and instead let them do their own thing. Imagine if Nintendo had Sega and Sonic Team put their damnedest into the games like Platinum did with Bayonetta 2, or TT Games with Lego City Undercover? Nintendo worked very closely with them. Even though Yoshi and Zelda levels showed up on Lost World, there’s no indication Nintendo really had anything to do with it, maybe just those levels and that was it. Sonic’s a very special franchise that is right at home on Nintendo systems that’s honestly just a hair from being first-party at this rate, I mean how many franchises these days get to be in Smash and crossover with Mario? Hey Shigeru Miyamoto, you made a Pac-Man game once (Pac-Man Vs. on GC), how about a Sonic game? 😛

It’s funny that Nintendo has also worked very closely with Sonic’s creators, did you know that Hirokazu Yasuhara is (still?) at Nintendo Software Technology? Arzest, formed by Naoto Ohshima, developed Yoshi’s New Island on 3DS, and Prope, Yuji Naka’s company, just finished Ultimate Angler on 3DS Mii Plaza. Nintendo should round them all up and get a Sonic game made by the original founding fathers of the franchise, the last game they all worked on together was Sonic R (but not really in design roles like in the classic games).

If the right cards are played, I think great things can happen between Sonic and Nintendo.

And that’s it! I hope you all enjoyed the article and I want to hear your thoughts about Sonic’s relationship with Nintendo. What games do you like or don’t like, and what do you think the future holds and hope to see in the future? 🙂