Christian Whitehead Confirms Sonic CD Port Involvement, SEGA Gives More Details

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJa-4tMqVNc[/youtube]

Christian Whitehead (aka The Taxman) confirmed to Sonic Retro upon the official unveiling of the Sonic CD port on Thursday that his Retro Engine is powering the game. Whitehead also says the game will feature a proper looping soundtrack and an option to play using the original Sonic CD Spin Dash or one similar to Sonic 2. You can see the Retro Engine running a proof of concept demo of Sonic CD on an iPod Touch in the above video Whitehead recorded back in 2009.

UPDATE: Sonic Retro has informed us that it was actually SEGA’s Ken Balough that was interviewed below, not Patrick Riley.

In other news, SSMB and Sonic Retro forum member Shade Vortex attended PAX 2011 and interviewed SEGA staff member Ken Balough about this new Sonic CD port and got some interesting bits of information. You can read the full details below courtesy of Sonic Retro.

SONIC 2 SPIN DASH AND MUSIC

Regarding the functionality of the Sonic 2 spindash, Riley said that the feature could still be removed from the final game if it is found to cause problems within the game, going on to say that developers shouldn’t talk about features so early on for this reason.

More on that point, when asked about the inclusion of the U.S. soundtrack, Riley stated that it is not currently planned for use in the full release, due to licensing issues in using Spencer Nilsen’s soundtrack. However, Sega is trying to work around that and come up with a solution. Meaning, if an agreement is reached, this may include paid DLC, if the game can support it. For now, the game is International soundtrack only.

DOING THE TIME WARP IN THE TIMELINE

When asked about the curious use of Sonic 4 assets in the reveal trailer for the game, Riley confirmed that Sega has retrofitted Sonic CD‘s place in the timeline as after Sonic 3 and Knuckles but before Sonic 4: Episode 1. The rationale behind this was that Sonic CD’s developers never put any direct mention of Sonic CD‘s place in the timeline.

Even if a slight nod to its place exists within the original game itself.

So how exactly does this work? When Sonic CD is released later this year and Sonic 4: Episode 2 is announced, there will be a trailer where Sonic escapes from his time-travelling detour. In all the Sonic 4 trailers, Sonic is chasing Eggman from the left of the screen to the right. In the Sonic CD trailer, there’s a signpost instead, and when he hits it, he takes a detour and does the story of Sonic CD. Once his CD adventure is over, his detour ends, and he goes onto Sonic 4: Episode 2, coming out sometime next year.

Wait… so Sonic 4: Episode 1 happens, Sonic CD, then Sonic 4: Episode 2? I guess this fits with the whole “after Sonic 3 and Knuckles” thing, but wouldn’t this technically make it a side-sequel to Sonic 4: Episode 1 then? Just hit me with the Hazama cameo. Blast you and your odd time travel logic, Sega!

Opinion injection aside, there’s one more point that was tackled.

SONIC 4: EPISODE 2 RUNNING ON THE RETRO ENGINE?

With The Taxman’s earlier details revealing that Sega now owns a license to his Retro Engine, used to power the popular fan game Retro Sonic Nexus, fan speculation rocketed if Sonic 4: Episode 2 will throw away the criticized physics engine it used in favor for the Retro Engine.

And with the precision of Sonic shooting down one of Eggman’s many airships, Riley responded with a flat “No,” continuing by saying that Sonic 4 “will never” use the Retro Engine because the code base is incompatible with the existing Sonic 4 engine, which they are still using for Episode 2.

Hopefully with quite a few tweaks and lessons learned from Sonic Generations. I know, opinion injection again. My apologies.

Special thanks to Shade Vortex for conducting the interview because some of us couldn’t make it to PAX this year.

Source: Sonic Retro – Link 1, Link 2

What are your thoughts on this information? Let us and others know in the comments section below.

SOA/SOE Community Teams Interview Patrick Riley

The Sega Europe Community Blog has been doing a fair bit of Sonic Unleashed coverage over the last few days, with a daily dose of what’s actually in the game for those just waiting with anticipation to find out. Today, the company’s European and American divisions worked together to kidnap interview the Lead Producer for Sega America, Patrick Riley, to ask him more about the upcoming Sonic title.

It’s a fifteen minute long conversation featuring SOA’s ClumsyOrchid and RubyEclipse, SOE’s ArchAngelUK and Martin. The questions range from Werehog gameplay, the new moves that Sonic has at his disposal and the release of the game in the West before Japan. The guys really seem to want to hit home that this isn’t a return to the classic Mega Drive games but rather a brand new direction for the series. We wouldn’t have it any other way, long as it’s actually good. Look at Sonic Rush Adventure, after all.

One thing that we found interesting was the influence SOA appear to have had during the game’s development, and the mention at the very end of ‘something nobody’s ever seen before’ which will very briefly take control away from Sonic. They pulled a fat rabbit out of the ridiculous hat with DarkSpines in Secret Rings, so we’ll be interested to see what happens here.

Listen to the audio programme by clicking here (nice cockney there at the end, Martin).
The Sonic City Blognik has daily updates in the only way an official blog can, so keep checking here.