TSS Review: Sonic Forces

Note: This review qualifies as mostly ‘spoiler free’, but it does contain information on stages, gameplay elements.

It’s odd to think it’s been so long since the last major Sonic the Hedgehog release from Sonic Team. In fact, it’s just over six years since the release of Sonic Generations for the 20th anniversary. I’m sure there were raised eyebrows as the 25th anniversary came and went without an A-list title, but perhaps the majority let this pass as the fandom became gripped amidst ‘Sonic Mania’. Continue reading TSS Review: Sonic Forces

New Japanese Sonic Trailer Focuses on Story

A new Sonic Forces trailer was recently released from Sega of Japan. This new trailer focuses more on the story mode, but also gives more detail on what you can expect from the game more than any trailer released so far. This includes being able to borrow your friend’s avatar, a sneak peek at more stages and more details on customization options. So what do you think? Has this trailer got you any more hyped for the game? Let us know in the comments section.

Here’s a translated version on the trailer from Woun.

Sonic Forces on Steam has Denuvo, may be co-developed by Hardlight Studios

Sonic Forces has popped up for pre-order on Steam, and with that came some new info regarding this version of the game. Like the PC version of Sonic Mania, Sonic Forces will have Denuvo, a controversial anti-piracy program that is unpopular within PC gaming circles.

Sonic Forces on PC also appears to be co-developed by Hardlight Studios, which shares a development credit with Sonic Team on the game’s listing page. Hardlight Studio is a UK developer that specializes in mobile games. It has developed a variety of Sonic mobile games, including the recently released Sonic Forces: Speed Battle.

Like the PS4 and Xbox One versions, pre-ordering the game will net you a Shadow avatar costume and the SEGA pack, which includes avatar costumes for a variety of SEGA characters including NiGHTS and Beat.

The PC version of Sonic Forces is scheduled for release on the same day as the console version of the game, November 7.

Sonic Forces Releases on Nov 7. US Price and Pre-Order Bonuses Detailed

 

Looks like the rumors are true! Sega has announced on the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account that Sonic Forces will be arriving on November 7th along with a US price tag of $39.99. On top of that, folks who pre-order the game will receive a controller skin for their system of choice. Along with the controller skin comes five different skins for the avatar based on several Sega/Atlus game properties including Jet Set Radio, Persona, Puyo-Puyo, Super Monkey Ball and NiGHTS. Looks like a great price and bonus for those interested in the upcoming game.

Sonic Forces will be available for Switch, PS4, X-Box One and PC November 7th.

The Spin: The Notion of ‘A True Threat To Sonic’

[This article will contain some spoilers for Sonic Mania, so if you’re waiting for the PC version, see you next week]

You know how some people have these phrases that they use to try and articulate their feelings? Especially when it comes to Sonic games? Well today we’re going to look at one of them; this one:

“I want the villain to be ‘a true threat to Sonic”

Continue reading The Spin: The Notion of ‘A True Threat To Sonic’

Sonic Mania’s Secret Ending! [SPOILERS]

So you’ve gathered all of the Chaos Emeralds. You’ve defeated Egg Reverie. You have screamed your way through 32 taxing Blue Sphere levels, and collected a gold medal from each of them. You’ve beaten the game with Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles… and you’ve honed your speed-running skills in Time Attack…

You might be thinking you’ve seen all that Sonic Mania has to offer…but think again! Continue reading Sonic Mania’s Secret Ending! [SPOILERS]

Sonic Mania Achievement / Trophy Guide

So Sonic Mania is out and available to download on home consoles. On PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, there are a range of Achievements and Trophies to collect and challenge yourself with. If you’re having trouble getting some of them, why not look through our Game Guide for some pointers?

NB: Spoilers inside, obviously. Continue reading Sonic Mania Achievement / Trophy Guide

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Mania

Note: This review qualifies as ‘spoiler free’, but it does contain information on stages, gameplay elements and story concepts that have already been made public by official SEGA marketing channels. Be aware, if you’ve been on a total media blackout.

In the middle of Sonic Mania’s main adventure mode, Sonic is warped to the Little Planet and finds himself in a spectacularly familiar place. Golden speakers line a series of curvy narrow chutes that catapult our blue hero into the sky, against a starlit backdrop. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition & vinyl soundtrack back in stock; new t-shirts

Sonic Mania is out now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and set to release on Tuesday 29th August on Windows PC. Here’s all you need to know about getting a hold of the game on your system of choice, and all the merch we know of!
Continue reading Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition & vinyl soundtrack back in stock; new t-shirts

TSS Roundtable: Our Hopes and Expectations for Sonic Mania

It’s the final weekend before Sonic Mania is released, and boy has this been a game that a lot of fans have been waiting a long time for. A pure sequel to Sonic 3 & Knuckles is what a lot of people have asked for, and this collaborative effort between Christian Whitehead, HeadCannon, PagodaWest Games and SEGA aims to fulfil just that. So, with that in mind, what does our Sonic Stadium team think of the project, and what are our collective hopes and expectations for the game? Take a look, below. Continue reading TSS Roundtable: Our Hopes and Expectations for Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania’s PC version delayed

Aaron Webber has announced via a Sonic Official youtube livestream that the PC version of Sonic Mania will be delayed ‘for further optimization,’ to ensure it runs on all variations of PC hardware. As an apology, anyone who’s pre-ordered the PC version of Sonic Mania will be receiving a free copy of Sonic 1 on PC. Continue reading Sonic Mania’s PC version delayed

SONIC MANIA WEEK: Your One-Stop Shop for Mania News and Info!

Welcome to ‘Mania Week’ on The Sonic Stadium! To celebrate the upcoming release of the SEGA/Whitehead/HeadCannon/PagodaWest collaboration project, we will be spending the next week producing a whole heap of awesome content – all about the Mania! This post will house links to all of the stuff we have planned, in one easy location, so keep this page bookmarked and come back often! Continue reading SONIC MANIA WEEK: Your One-Stop Shop for Mania News and Info!

VIDEO: Sonic Mania Opening Animation Officially Released

While today’s leak of Sonic Mania will have us dodging spoilers for the next five days, there is one upside to it: SEGA has decided to release Sonic Mania’s opening animation early! Originally scheduled for the 14th, this animation continues where the animated pre-order trailer left off. Like the pre-order trailer, this was directed by former Archie Sonic artist Tyson Hesse. Continue reading VIDEO: Sonic Mania Opening Animation Officially Released

Data Discs Releasing Sonic Mania Vinyl LP

Heads up, Sonic Maniacs! If you’ve been enjoying the aural pleasures of Tee Lopes’ Sonic Mania soundtrack until now, then it’s probably a good idea to sit down. Data Discs, the UK-based vinyl company that has a good track record (heh) of releasing retro SEGA soundtracks, is preparing a vinyl release of the upcoming 2D platformer’s OST. Continue reading Data Discs Releasing Sonic Mania Vinyl LP

Sonic Forces: Soundtrack Style Is Character Dependent

During a recent interview with Playstation at E3, SEGA Community Manager Aaron Webber revealed that each character in Sonic Forces (Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic and “the Rookie”) will have their own unique soundtrack style. Continue reading Sonic Forces: Soundtrack Style Is Character Dependent

Sonic Forces E3 Impressions: Jason’s Take

At the front of Sega’s booth at E3, there were two different lines; one queue was for Sonic Mania, while the other, about half the length, was Sonic Forces. The crowds definitely seemed more excited for one over the other. Have Sonic’s recent flops affected fan’s love for modern Sonic titles, or is there enough love for both the modern era and a fun romp through the golden age? More importantly, has Sonic Team learned from the mistakes of it’s past?

First off, it should be noted that this game doesn’t try to experiment with new game types – it’s a back-to-basics formula of what worked in Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors (the better received 3-D Sonic games since SA2) and building on that. For the first time in a long time, Sega is playing it safe. Do you want me to tell you how modern Sonic plays? He plays EXACTLY like modern Sonic. Do you want to hear how classic Sonic plays? He plays EXACTLY like classic Sonic. If there are any slight differences, I didn’t notice them myself.

The new game mode is played with the avatar, a character you create and referred to as “the rookie” throughout the game. You decide how the character looks and what species he/she is. I believe you buy extra gear for your character through both common gold and red star rings, thus giving a reason for you to replay levels and giving the game a whole “carrot on a stick” feel (although I’m guessing this seeing as how you can no longer regain any rings you lose). This makes some boss battles more challenging as me and Alex watched one poor soul who just couldn’t seem to beat Eggman during the classic Sonic boss fight.

During our play through of the demo, our avatar was generated completely at random; sometimes I’d get a purple cat, other times a black bunny, and there are videos on youtube of some playing as the red wolf from the trailer. Before you enter the level, you’re given the choice between two different “Wispons”, a wisp-powered weapon. A flamethrower Wispon allows you to use the burst wisps to project your character higher into the air, while the other weapon, a lightning whip, allows the player to execute the light speed dash and quickly follow a trail of rings. There were two different stages in the demo depending on the system: the Nintendo Switch got a level very similar to modern Sonic’s stage, in which you eventually travel a slightly different path, and I found this level to be the most fun level in the demo. He/she can use their grappling hook to swing up to higher paths or attack robots via a homing attack. Alternatively, you can also use your Wispon to bring down a whole group of robots all at once. The Switch level was fast, visceral and overall, fun. This was mainly due to going through the levels a breakneck speeds only stopping to attack your enemies, with no real emphasis on platforming.

…And that’s where the PS4 level comes in to play. Oh boy.

The level sees the player racing down the Green Hill zone as it appears to be undergoing industrialization, while being chased down by a giant robot crab while smaller robot crabs try to squash you along the way. This level is entire 2-D and requires precise platforming to get through – if you read Alex’s take on the avatar character, you’ll have some appreciation for why this is a bad thing. The physics while jumping with the avatar doesn’t feel right, and it is almost impossible to turn in mid air; small platforms throughout the stage make playing the level a bit of a chore rather than fun. However if this issue can be remedied for release, then the Avatar mode could be the best new gimmick yet avatar controls much like Sonic. Personally, I don’t want to fish, I don’t want to brawl, I don’t want to pilot a mech. I want my extra character to control like Sonic as I think that is what works best in a Sonic title! It seems that Sonic Team are really investing in the avatar stages, embellished with vocal songs that are only present in their stages. These stages have the potential to be the best stages on the Switch version of the game, and if they can nail the physics, this is looking like it could be a top-tier 3-D Sonic game.

I managed to play the demo on all 3 systems, and one thing I noticed was that PS4 version of the demon was playing on the PS4 Pro…and it showed. The 1080P graphics looked incredible, and were of similar caliber to Sonic Generations on the PC with ultra-high settings. The XBox One version looked to have been running at 720P as it seemed lower resolution; this might be due to anti-aliasing and as Alex mentioned in his article. The Switch version, while still very detailed, appeared to suffer the most graphically and seemed to be at 720 or sub-720P with jagged edges due to no anti-aliasing.

Physics aside, Sonic Forces is looking to be a solid, above average Sonic title. I think Sonic Team have made the right choice to stick to proven game styles, with the new gimmick being pretty much “Sonic with weapons”. I doubt it will beat Sonic Mania in reviews or sales, but still, it appears we are getting two great Sonic games in one year.

Sonic Forces: Custom Hero E3 Impressions

Sonic Force’s decision to include a custom character with a very different game play style has been a decision that has polarised the fan base. It continues Sonic Team’s history to add new dimensions to bolster the established 2D and 3D platforming in order to produce a more broad appeal. Continue reading Sonic Forces: Custom Hero E3 Impressions

Sonic Forces E3 Impressions: Alex’s Take

SEGA has been frustratingly quiet about Sonic Forces since they revealed it as Sonic Project 2017 last year. It’s only been in the lead up to E3 that the game’s identity has begun to take shape publicly. While the game features shades of Sonic Generations, to call it an outright sequel (or rehash) isn’t quite right. The Forces demo is both familiar and new, if not also a little awkward.

The modern Sonic game play is essentially just a polished form of what we’ve been getting since Sonic Unleashed. Visuals aside, this game would be right at home in Sonic Generations, and there is zero learning curve for anyone who’s already played that game. The same can also be said for classic Sonic’s boss battle, which starts out as a new (if not exactly inventive) take on Eggman’s swinging ball weapon, replacing the ball with a buzz saw that cuts through platforms.

After that (easy) fight, Eggman hops into his Egg Dragoon, which first appeared in Sonic Unleashed, and starts attacking from the background. He fires a giant chain gun and chucks rocks and metallic boulders, the latter of which can be hit back to damage him. This part takes longer and is more entertaining, though the boss fight on the whole is fairly easy. The first two parts of the demo are as fun and polished as Sonic has ever been, but they do nothing outstanding or new design-wise. If all you want is more Generations (like me) than you’ll be satisfied with what’s on display for these modes in the demo.

So that’s what’s familiar, but what about the new stuff? Well, the visuals of Forces are a nice upgrade from past Sonic games. While some have complained that the new Green Hill stage looks barren compared Generations, this game looks better than any past Sonic game at an objective, technical level. The demo runs at a near silky smooth 60 frames per second, the first non-PC Sonic game to do so (Dreamcast HD ports notwithstanding). Individual blades of grass in Green Hill now move back and forth individually. In terms of pure polygons, this game is clearly pushing way more than any past Sonic game. These are the highest fidelity Sonic models I’ve ever seen.

That said, as with any E3 demo, the visuals aren’t 100 percent polished. At the end of the avatar stage, during a chase scene, the frame rate does get a little janky. But given that E3 demos typically boast notable technical issues due to their incomplete state of development, what I saw in the demo bodes well for the visuals in the final product. And speaking of the avatar stage, this brings me to what will surely be the most controversial part of this game.

I have felt uneasy about the player-made hero character since it was unveiled. While my time with the character does allay those fears somewhat, I do still have some concerns.

First, the positives: the “wispons”, wisp fuelled weapons that can be used for both attacking and traversal, fit surprisingly well with the flow of game play. During my playthrough, I used what was effectively a lightning whip. It let my character lightspeed dash across trails of rings, reverse the direction of my jump in mid-air, briefly boost forward, and attack and destroy horizontal rows of enemies. Overall, the wispon actually positively benefited the flow of play, and didn’t feel nearly as awkward as it looked.

On the negative side, there’s a learning curve to controlling the character. The character cannot roll, jump dash, or perform any of Sonic’s other moves. The way the character jumps feels different, and potentially awkward. I was missing a lot of jumps in my initial play through as a result, but whether this was because I was used to Sonic’s jumping mechanics and need to simply get used to the custom-hero character, or if the character’s controls simply aren’t very good, I can’t say without spending more time with the game.

Sonic Forces doesn’t look like it’ll be a groundbreaking title, but it ought to be a very fun one. While the hero character is a potential chink in the armor, it doesn’t look like the disaster I thought it might be either.

There will be additional game play impressions later this week, as well as a more in-depth impression of how the hero character plays.

UPDATE: Sonic Forces E3 Trailer Reveals New Villains

Sega have just released a new trailer for Sonic Forces and it shows us our villains gallery including what appears to be a new enemy for Sonic to fight.

Looks like that Sonic will be facing off against Eggman, Shadow, Chaos, Zavok, Metal Sonic and a ‘mysterious new villain’.

All we know about the villain is that he has a ‘strange new ability’ and his name is Infinite.

Also released was this key art piece.

We’ll keep you updated with more information as we get it.

Sonic Forces & Mania Demo Footage Showcased on Twitch Stream

SEGA Community Manager Aaron Webber appeared on the E3 Pre-Event Twitch stream along with members of the Sonic Mania development team to, among other Sonic-related things, show off the Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania E3 demos. The Forces demo consists of three parts: a modern Sonic 3D stage, a classic Sonic boss battle, and an “Avatar stage”, which demonstrates the fan-created “hero” character. The Sonic Mania demo showed off the second Green Hill stage and boss. Continue reading Sonic Forces & Mania Demo Footage Showcased on Twitch Stream

Sonic Mania is Now ESRB-Certified for All Platforms Except Nintendo Switch

Receiving news about a delay for a video game is a bittersweet occasion. On one hand, it means having to wait all the longer for a game’s already highly anticipated release as its launch is pushed further ahead, but on the other hand, one can’t really complain about extra polish to ensure greater quality from the final product. Continue reading Sonic Mania is Now ESRB-Certified for All Platforms Except Nintendo Switch

Morio Kishimoto is Directing Sonic Forces, No Boom Sonic, Will Be At E3

The director behind Sonic Colors and Sonic Lost World will be taking the helm once more for Sonic Forces, it has been revealed – and if you were hoping for that ‘third playable character’ to be Boom-universe Sonic, prepare to be disappointed. Continue reading Morio Kishimoto is Directing Sonic Forces, No Boom Sonic, Will Be At E3

Sonic Mania Will Feature Levels Inspired By Scrapped Mega Drive Stages

SEGA has revealed that the team working on Sonic Mania has been given access to a wealth of scrapped levels from past 2D Sonic games, opening the possibility of seeing levels like Dust Hill Zone and Genocide City in a completed form for the first time. Continue reading Sonic Mania Will Feature Levels Inspired By Scrapped Mega Drive Stages

HQ Gameplay Video and Screenshots of Sonic Forces Released

As promised, Sega have uploaded the HQ gameplay of Modern Sonic that was shown last night at SXSW onto YouTube for all to see. Also we have two high-quality screenshots straight from Sega to share as well!

Continue reading HQ Gameplay Video and Screenshots of Sonic Forces Released

Sonic Forces is the title for Project Sonic 2017

Update (7:18PM EST): There was also a skit before the reveal that seemed to indicate the plot of the game. Apparently, it might take place in a world where Sonic has failed, and Eggman has finally won.

Update (6:48PM EST): Logo from here, HQ PNG one soon:

###

It was just announced at the panel that the official name for Project Sonic 2017 is now Sonic Forces. More as it happens!

This post will be updated by as it comes in.

We’ll get the official assets and will update here in just over 15 minutes.

Sonic Forces will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC as announced before.

Official Sonic Twitter Teases More Project 2017 Info To Be Revealed At SXSW

The official Sonic twitter account has shown off another teaser image, depicting the giant robots seen in the original trailer of Project Sonic 2017. The image was accompanied by the simple tease of “See you at !”.

Continue reading Official Sonic Twitter Teases More Project 2017 Info To Be Revealed At SXSW

These Mods for Sonic Adventure DX on PC Bring Back Dreamcast’s Glory

Remember the PC port of Sonic Adventure DX? Ever noticed how it looked a little… too… washed out? Bright? Lifeless? Well, thanks to a bunch of fan modders, you don’t have to worry about that anymore, as you can now patch the game to play and feel just like the original Dreamcast version. Continue reading These Mods for Sonic Adventure DX on PC Bring Back Dreamcast’s Glory

SEGA: Project Sonic 2017 Will Introduce a New Character and a New Gameplay “Component”

SEGA held a livestream event to celebrate the recent launch of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice in Japan, with series director Takashi Iizuka in attendance among others playing the latest Boom instalment and the upcoming Sonic Mania. However, a pair of bombshells has dropped since the event, this time concerning the far-flung Project Sonic 2017 launching next holiday season.

With translations provided by Source Gaming’s PushDustIn, it is confirmed that SEGA has plans to reveal “a completely new character in Project 2017.” We also now have a better idea of the gameplay, which is expected to follow the formula established in Sonic Generations with classic 2D and modern 3D levels – however, a “brand new component” is also going to be introduced.

Continue reading SEGA: Project Sonic 2017 Will Introduce a New Character and a New Gameplay “Component”

The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Bundle on Steam is on Sale for 66% off this Week Only

In April, SEGA released the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Classics Hub for Steam, which created a wide-spanning virtual hub that encompasses all retro releases from the company, complete with Steam Workshop support for modders to play around with. The hub became available for free to any Steam user with a Mega Drive game in their library, from Alex Kidd all the way to Wonder Boy, including all of Sonic’s 16-bit outings.

In fact, those who wish to complete their collection can do so for a cheap price this week only, as the all-encompassing SEGA Mega Drive Classics Bundle is now on sale for 66% off the usual price. Internationally, we’re speaking $21.07 USD ($61.99 USD), £16.31 (£47.99), and €20.05 (€58.99). The full list of games is as follows:

Continue reading The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Bundle on Steam is on Sale for 66% off this Week Only

Sega Announces Sonic Mania Collectors Edition for North America

Earlier today the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter announced the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition for North America.

Sonic Mania Collector's Edition

In addition to a download code for the game itself (of course!) on a metallic collector’s card, the pack features a 12 inch statue of Sonic standing on a Sega Genesis console – with added “Sega!” chorus when you flip the power switch – and a mock Genesis cartridge for Mania that opens up to reveal a golden ring. It’s about at close as we’ll get to an actual Sonic Mania cartridge!

The Sonic Mania Collectors Edition is priced at $69.99 ($89.99 in Canada), and is now available to pre-order at Amazon US/Ca:
Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition (Xbox One) (Canada)
Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition (Playstation 4) (Canada)
Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition (PC) (Canada)
The PS4 version briefly appeared as sold out, so supplies may be limited.

The Amazon listing also mentions a release date of May 31st 2017, which I believe is the first indication we’ve had of a solid release date. Time will tell if it turns out to be true.

No word on what (if anything?) the rest of the world is getting, but I can only hope it looks as good as this pack does!

New Sonic Mania Footage from PAX West Shows off More of Green Hill and Studiopolis

Sonic Mania is the return to form classic fans have sought after for years, and expectations are high since its debut appearance at the 25th anniversary party in San Diego, revealing a remixed Green Hill Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog as well as a brand new stage with Studiopolis Zone. With this year’s PAX West winding down, more footage from the game has surfaced, all direct feed and featuring both Zones on full display!

Check out GameXplain and Polygon’s differing playthroughs of these levels after the jump, and be sure to leave us your thoughts in the comments.

Continue reading New Sonic Mania Footage from PAX West Shows off More of Green Hill and Studiopolis

Project Sonic 2017 Announced

Announced at the 25th Anniversary Party, Sonic project 2017 “is not a sequel”. During the CG trailer we see an image of destruction in which Eggman mechs have taken over, as Sonic charges towards them he’s joined by… well… you’ll see. Continue reading Project Sonic 2017 Announced

TSS Review: LakeFeperd’s Sonic Chrono Adventure

Sonic Before the Sequel, the breakout title for then-fledgling game developer Felipe “LakeFeperd” Daneluz, shattered expectations for a fan-developed 2D Sonic game after its initial release in 2011. The full-length retro-styled game lived up to its ambitious name thanks to its gorgeous presentation, its ingenious Zones, a charming story featuring Sonic and Tails meeting for the first time as they try to stop the Death Egg’s launch, and, as of its rerelease for the online Sonic Amateur Games Expo in 2012, a stunning original soundtrack that even saw praise from THE Jun Senoue. Continue reading TSS Review: LakeFeperd’s Sonic Chrono Adventure

Sonic Invades Phantasy Star Online 2 in June

If you’ve been enjoying Phantasy Star Online 2 despite the lack of a formal Western release, then you’re going to be in for a treat this June as SEGA has announced that there will be a special Sonic-themed celebration ready for you. Continue reading Sonic Invades Phantasy Star Online 2 in June