Sonic-Themed Puyo Revealed for Puyo Puyo eSports

SEGA Japan is moving hard into competitive sports, using its popular puzzle franchise Puyo Puyo as a means to tap into the market. And as a little treat to hook in Sonic fans, the company has announced that the blue blur and his pals will feature in the newly-released Puyo Puyo eSports. Continue reading Sonic-Themed Puyo Revealed for Puyo Puyo eSports

Team Sonic Racing – The Gamescom Preview

For all of Sumo Digital’s noise about wanting to develop a relatively simple and accessible game, there is a surprising amount of depth to be found during a race of Team Sonic Racing. Certainly more so than in pseudo-predecessor Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Continue reading Team Sonic Racing – The Gamescom Preview

Team Sonic Racing story mode detailed

A Sonic game just isn’t a Sonic game without some kind of elaborate story mode, and it looks like Team Sonic Racing will be no exception. According to the same Famitsu article that was the source for our article about the game’s new character, Dodonpa, the game will give players a “Team Adventure” mode to race through.  Continue reading Team Sonic Racing story mode detailed

Sneaky New Team Sonic Racing Character ‘Dodonpa’ Revealed in Famitsu

Some new details on Team Sonic Racing’s story mode has been revealed in the latest issue of Japanese games magazine Famitsu – and we now have a better idea about who the mysterious raccoon-like character is as well. Continue reading Sneaky New Team Sonic Racing Character ‘Dodonpa’ Revealed in Famitsu

New ‘Market Street’ Track Revealed for Team Sonic Racing, Riffs Rooftop Run

SEGA announced a brand new track for Team Sonic Racing at Gamescom this week, and for those of you with steely-eyed nostalgia for Sonic Unleashed you’ll be pleasantly surprised as madcap city stage Rooftop Run is represented in the colourful ‘Market Street’. Continue reading New ‘Market Street’ Track Revealed for Team Sonic Racing, Riffs Rooftop Run

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Mania Plus

Last year’s explosive release of Sonic Mania wasn’t just about a game that ended up thrilling both new and old blue blur fans. It was also proof that a brand new, ‘classic’ style 2D Sonic title will sell – and sell it most certainly did, cementing itself in the annals of hedgehog history. But, while widely regarded as one of the most critically-acclaimed Sonic titles in recent memory, there were some clear presentation omissions and missing elements in the base game – elements that you would think Christian Whitehead and co would have included, if they were just given more time to bake it in.

Enter Sonic Mania Plus. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Mania Plus

GALLERY: See the Sonic Mania Plus Special Edition, Up Close and Personal

Sonic Mania Plus hits digital game stores in just a few days time! But next Tuesday is also important for the fact that it will mark the first time that the 2017 platformer will be available in physical format on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One. We’ve had a review copy sitting in TSS Towers for a while now (review coming soon!), but we thought we’d share what you can expect to find in the physical package to help hype up next week’s release. Read on to find high-quality photos of everything! Continue reading GALLERY: See the Sonic Mania Plus Special Edition, Up Close and Personal

Sonic Mania Plus’ Encore Mode Accidentally Streamed in its Entirety

Whoops. When SEGA accidentally pushed version 1.04 of Sonic Mania on PlayStation Network last month, it enabled the ‘Plus’ expansion for free. But, it was assumed that most of the new content was still locked away until its official July release. Well, one fan mistakenly discovered a way to access the entire ‘Encore’ remixed stages in the game, and managed to stream the whole thing too. Continue reading Sonic Mania Plus’ Encore Mode Accidentally Streamed in its Entirety

SEGASonic the Hedgehog Stage ‘Trap Tower’ Revealed in Sonic Mania Plus OST

Ray the Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo are two fine additions to Sonic Mania Plus, but if the upcoming Japanese soundtrack release is anything to go by there may be more callbacks to the game these two characters debuted in – SEGASonic the Hedgehog – than we thought. Continue reading SEGASonic the Hedgehog Stage ‘Trap Tower’ Revealed in Sonic Mania Plus OST

Takashi Iizuka: Without Sonic Mania, Ray and Mighty “Would Never See Light of Day” Again

In a new interview with Famitsu, Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka revealed some interesting details about how long-lost Sonic characters Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Squirrel managed to make their way into Sonic Mania Plus. While he was happy and excited to be able to bring the two heroes back, he was certain that the door on their return to the series was otherwise closed. Continue reading Takashi Iizuka: Without Sonic Mania, Ray and Mighty “Would Never See Light of Day” Again

Sonic Mania Plus Leaked On PS4!

Out of respect for the developers, we will not be posting major details regarding the spoilers that have been discovered from this leak.

Following reports on our forums, it would appear that Sonic Mania Plus got accidentally leaked onto the Playstation Network just over an hour ago.

It seems that someone accidentally put an update file onto the public side of the network and if you were using your PS4 at the time, had Mania installed on your system and had automatic updates turned on, the console downloaded what appears to be a new ‘test build’ of the game which includes a large portion of the Mania Plus update.

We’re going to keep the big spoilers out of this update, but reports indicate that there have been significant changes; such as the level design as well as some new transitions between the levels.

Other changes noted are quite major and from last time a lot of you requested that we don’t include spoilers unless they are very clearly marked… So if you are curious to see them, check out the topic on our forums, the spoilers start instantly when you click the link, so this is your last chance to turn back.

Update: Sega Mega Drive Classics Coming to PS4, Xbox One & PC May 29th

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNjmTG2BykE

Well this is a surprise! You might remember how Sega released a classics collection many years ago on the PS3 and Xbox 360? Well it looks like they’re doing it again.

Depending on your region, Sega Mega Drive Classics or Sega Genesis Classics is a collection of 50 16bit era titles which will be making their way to current gen systems, according to the Sega Europe community manager, they are as follows.

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Alien Soldier
  • Alien Storm
  • Altered Beast
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Columns
  • Columns III: Revenge of Columns
  • Comix Zone
  • Crack Down
  • Decap Attack
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • ESWAT: City Under Siege
  • Fatal Labyrinth
  • Flicky
  • Gain Ground
  • Galaxy Force II
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe II
  • Golden Axe III
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Landstalker
  • Light Crusader
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millenium
  • Ristar
  • Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Space Harrier II
  • Streets of Rage
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Streets of Rage 3
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Sword of Vermilion
  • The Revenge of Shinobi
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
  • ToeJam& Earl
  • Vectorman
  • VectorMan 2
  • Virtua Fighter 2
  • Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World

A bunch of enhancements and extra features have also been promised, including online and local multiplayer mode. Rewind mode, a 3D room user interface, various themed boarders for playing in their original resolution and horizontal flip mode.

Sega Mega Drive Classics launches on May 29th on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Update: According to retailer shop to, a physical version of the game is available, it comes with a free poster and has an RRP of £30

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

SEGA is Teaming Up With Hooters to Promote Sonic Forces

Well, of all the crazy collaborations we’ve seen over the last 17 years, we can’t say there’s been anything quite like this. To market the upcoming Sonic Forces in Japan, SEGA has announced that it is partnering with titillating bar and restaurant Hooters. Yes. Hooters. That one. Continue reading SEGA is Teaming Up With Hooters to Promote Sonic Forces

Watch the London Symphony Orchestra Perform Sonic Forces’ Soundtrack

In recent years, there has been a rather nice trend with ‘Modern’ era Sonic games to include an atmospheric instrumental soundtrack, performed by a big-band orchestra. Sonic Forces will be no exception, following in the footsteps of Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colours by getting a symphony involved in the game’s recording. Enter the talented musical ‘force’ (geddit?) of the London Symphony Orchestra!
Continue reading Watch the London Symphony Orchestra Perform Sonic Forces’ Soundtrack

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

Sonic Mania ‘Drawn Back to the 90s’ Competition: THE WINNERS

WOW! Last week, we asked you all to ‘draw like a 90s kid’ to celebrate Sonic Mania’s launch tomorrow, and boy have we been bowled over by the humungous response (and amazing talent)! It seems like everyone’s nostalgia-bone has been well and truly tickled. Let’s take a look at the winners – and some honourable mentions – below! Continue reading Sonic Mania ‘Drawn Back to the 90s’ Competition: THE WINNERS

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

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 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

SONIC MANIA COMPETITION: Drawn Back to the 90s [CLOSED]

Sonic Mania is right around the corner, and you’ve probably pre-ordered the digital version a hundred times over (definitely not an exaggeration), right? What’s that? Something missing? You wish you had the money to grab yourself a Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition on PS4, or that you had the chance to get it before it sold out? Well, boy are you in luck – because we have five of these bad boys to give away courtesy of SEGA Europe.

[This contest is now closed – please stay tuned for winner announcements]  Continue reading SONIC MANIA COMPETITION: Drawn Back to the 90s [CLOSED]

Video: First Footage of Sonic Mania’s Competition Mode

With only one week to go until Sonic Mania’s release, SEGA has revealed the game’s competition mode! For those wondering if the mode is playable online, the Sonic twitter specifically mentions friends can be challenged “locally”, so this would appear to be an offline-only mode. Continue reading Video: First Footage of Sonic Mania’s Competition Mode

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 Mania E3 Impressions: Alex’s Take

I still can’t quite believe Sonic Mania is real. It’s certainly the kind of project many Sonic fans have dreamed of: a game by the fans, for the fans, that somehow manages to capture the nostalgia of yesteryear while simultaneously adding new fresh ideas to make it an all-together new experience. This is the video game equivalent of patting one’s head and rubbing one’s stomach at the same time: possible, but difficult to pull off. And yet somehow, Sonic Mania is doing just that, and appears to be doing it flawlessly if the E3 demo is any indication. Continue reading Sonic Mania E3 Impressions: Alex’s Take

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.