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:
For those of you who may not have noticed, this weekend saw the release of the first teaser trailer from Sonic 2 HD! It has been in the works in one form or another as far back as 2007, and like a lot of fan projects we do wonder whether it will ever truly be finished, but you can’t deny how good this trailer looks! Interested (you should be), then check out their developer blog, their official site, or join their facebook page!
Well, I’m finally getting around to uploading the stuff I got from PAX. This is the first piece I’m putting up: footage for the Wii version of Sonic 4. Jason tells me there hasn’t been much footage of this version, so he told me to get some. Not sure if you’ll notice the differences, but the only real changes are more noticeable jaggies and darker colors, the most notable of which being the darker color of Sonic himself. The Wii’s D-pad was a really nice change in control from the crappy D-pad on the Xbox 360, so unless I can get my hands on a good 360 retro controller before the game comes out, I might find myself buying this version instead.
As you can see, I screwed around in the demo a bit. Mostly, I was experimenting with the game and trying to find things I didn’t see last time. The game was, of course, fun. As I’ve said before, the game focuses primarily on momentum, with many of the boosters only acting to keep you moving along, or help you up steeper areas that don’t give you much room to build up speed. I skipped a couple, some by accident and some on purpose, but that didn’t impede my progress much.
I will say this, though: upon repeated play, the different physics have become glaringly apparent. They don’t do anything to actually hurt the fun, but really, if the fans figured out the equations to Sonic physics years ago, would it really be that hard for you to realize them in Sonic 4, Dimps? It almost feels like the game is “faking” the physics at times. Yes, Sonic could go through loops, but he couldn’t horizontally on them! That said, Dimps has successfully made the closest thing we’ve had to a classic Sonic game in 11 years in this demo.
Naturally, this is the E3 demo. Aaron Webber confirmed this for us before the show even started. It’s still a really fun game all around and I’m looking forward to the final product, which will hopefully change the physics enough to please those who want something even closer to what the classic games where.
UPDATE: Retro member Chimp has fixed the giant hand.
The hot topics of “Sonic 4” so far have been the running animation and the use of modern Sonic. SEGA has addressed the former. One fan has fixed the latter (at least in the head department).
Imagine the sheer amount of additional hype if this Sonic appeared in the trailer. This image has made my day.
With the Sonic community, myself included, in a tizzy over 3-seconds of footage, the use of “modern” Sonic has been a point of contention amongst fans. Why, look at that… there’s already a petition to get classic Sonic in the game. Online petitions don’t work, silly kids, but I like where your head is at.
GamesRadar may be familiar to some Sonic fans thanks to their extremely harsh treatment of SEGA’s mascot. Staunch supporters of older Sonic games writers for the site have documented the hedgehogs fall from grace in graphic detail, labeling his kiss with Elise in Sonic 06 as their reason for taking a swing at Sonic and his friends every chance they get.
Their viewpoint on Sonic isn’t an unusual one in the mainstream gaming press, but while some persecute without remorse, reading thorough the various lists compiled on GamesRadar you can’t help but feel that at least a small part of them yearns for an exceptional Sonic game. Over a year ago now one of their writers stated the only way for SEGA to remedy the problem would be to “Take a cue from Mega Man 9 – make Sonic 4 and bring back Blast Processing.”
Over a year later and GamesRadar aren’t getting exactly what they asked for but it’s close enough and what little we know about Project Needlemouse has them excited,
“So we know it’s 2D. We know it’s HD (which rules out Wii). We know it’s clearly focused on speed and old-school feel based on the sound effects and specific blue-blur animations. By all accounts, this is it folks, the game we’ve been asking for since the late ‘90s. And you know what? We’re ready to bite… almost.”
It’s with that in mind I want to bring your attention to two of their newest lists. The first details their top 100 most anticipated games of 2010. Project Needlemouse sits pretty at number 50.
“The very name sends shivers down our spines. Why? Because Sonic was called Mr Needlemouse internally at Sega before he was called Sonic. This is it – the game where they make Sonic like it’s 1991, only now they’ve got Xbox 360 and PS3 hardware to do it with. Time and time again, our hopes are dashed, but if ever one last fragile hope burned in the void, it’s in the shape of this game. And it has to be perfect. Nothing less will do.”
“Sonic is historically an automatic seller. After years of slow franchise death, does anyone really give a crap about the little blue bugger anymore? At this point, anyone who does care probably isn’t interested in the Sonic of yesteryear, and anyone who cared about Sonic when he was at the top of the industry has had his passion destroyed by this:
Claiming Needlemouse is doomed to fail strikes me as being a very premature statement. Firstly there are precious few actual facts to base an opinion on and secondly, dismissing a legion of loyal Sonic fans is a very dangerous thing to do. GamesRadar may end up eating their words with this one. What do you lot think, let me know on the comments!
Merchandise time! These are Sonic the Hedgehog cufflinks that you can now buy from UK fashion shop NEXT. And as you can see, they’re not exactly of the highest manufacturing quality. But that’s what makes them so great.
Costing £12, you’d expect them to probably be painted by someone whose experience isn’t just Colour By Numbers. Of course, it was most likely coloured by machine, but it still doesn’t really excuse that Sonic looks like he’s thrown up on himself, or painted half his muzzle blue. A sign of the blue blur’s deteriorating mental health in his old age, I guess.
Retro stuff is insanely popular in Blighty, and various games shops have recently caught on by selling ‘retro Sonic merchandise’ such as plushies and bags. We’ve covered these before in past articles. NEXT has been getting into the act with T-Shirts, but this probably marks a concerted effort to sell/market even more Sonic merchandise in the future.
As far as I know, if you want to get your hands on this awesome-but-terrible collectable, it might be wise to snoop through the NEXT Catalogue or via their website, as they didn’t appear to sell these in their stores. If anyone’s seen these in NEXT shops, do let us know.
Oh for God’s sake! First it was Shadow and all the shooting action, then we had Silver and his mind-moving stuff, and just recently we had to put up with a Werewolf… and NOW we get Chess in our Sonic games? This is unacceptable! This new game is just going to throw out the classic Sonic gameplay for Bishop-takes-Knight action. What has the world come to? SEGA, what are you thinking?
… Seriously, this is freaking awesome. German game maker Gaya Entertainment are creating these official Chess boards, complete with Sonic themed pieces that just melts the heart. It’s OK, adults who grew up with Sonic (and non-Sonic fans/classic fans), you can show this to all your mates and actually be cool because it uses the whole retro style to Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy. The chess board is 47cm x 47cm and the pieces are about 6cm in height, and made from PVC.
In this ‘MegaDriven’ game of chess, Sonic is the King (ironic being that the piece can only move one space at a time), Amy the Queen, Tails the Knight and Knuckles is (bashing) the bishop. Master Emeralds take the role of rooks, and to avoid using all those other shitty characters the Pawns are all rings. Wonderful. Missing Dr. Robotnik in there, would have been cool to have seen him in his Egg-o-matic and some classic badniks as the opposing side, but this is more than enough for me.
I’m not even kidding when I say this is probably the best thing SEGA have done with the Sonic franchise in a decade. Does Amy actually seem cuter to you in her Sonic CD outfit there or is that just me? Sonic looks so cool. Sigh.
If you’re as eager as I am for this (it might really be because I used to play Chess as a kid rather than the design), Gaya are selling this next February/March for 39.99 Euros.
What’s Sonic got to be happy about in that picture? The reason he looks so happy (yet malnourished) is that he’s topped a poll of the UK’s best loved computer game characters ever. Yes, he’s even beaten Super Mario. The blue hog commanded 24 per cent of the overall vote aimed at gamers in the country (or set of four countries, whatever). Mario had to settle for second with 21 per cent.
It’s not altogether surprising, considering Sega’s consoles always had such a great reception in Europe during the 1990s, and given that Sonic the Hedgehog titles tend to be some of the biggest selling games on the Nintendo Wii. PS3 and Xbox 360 not so much (Sonic 06? Chortle), but Sonic Unleashed may be the game to change the mascot’s fortunes on the high definition consoles.
In the interests of fairness, we’d let you know that Mario beat Sonic at the ‘Greatest Computer Game Ever’ with Super Mario Bros, but we’re so awash with retro feeling that that good old mascot fanboy rivalry’s seeping through again. So we’ll just stick our thumbs up at Nintendo fans instead, ignorant in the knowledge that the Mega Drive Sonic the Hedgehog title reached #5. If all else fails, blame Cornwall. Because it’s cool to do.
Be still my beating heart! Be still dammit! Kotaku went to the Tokyo Game Show recently and spoke to Akinori Nishiyama from Sonic Team. Asked if any of the classic games could be remade in HD – or if in fact, a new 2D Sonic title could be done on XBLA or PSN, the Sonic Unleashed producer said this;
There’s always the possibility. Whether it would be viable remains to be seen, but having a new game – or even a remake of the GBA games, which we now can’t use [thanks to the DSi] – would certainly be possible… One of our ideas has been that on older consoles, you may have had only 16 colours. One thing we could do is make a game like Mega Man 9; do a new Sonic, but in an old style.
Looks like someone’s been keeping an eye on TSS lately. One thing we would have to note though – a stipulation if you will – would be that such a project would really have to take on board all the classic mechanics of the Mega Drive originals (level design, physics based stages, epic-but-not-lame storylines, Sonic-Tails-Knuckles, Robotnik) to truly be something worth getting excited over. I mean, there was no point doing Mega Man 9 if it was just going to be Battle Network in NES graphics. If Sonic Team want to be serious about this, shit has to be taken back to the drawing board. Specifically, 1990’s drawing board.
A couple of Sonic fans have taken the time to draw artwork on their own dream Sonic the Hedgehog game. Called ‘Sonic Beyond’, it’s not really a fangame at all as it’s not even in development, but rather a showcase of concept art that details what such a game would be like. It’s rather nice to look at, and the different zones are all quite inspiring. We like the idea of characters earning abilities from side-characters, saves the whole playing-as-them deal. And we don’t know about you, but we reckon Egg Hoover is a great boss name. You can see high resolution pics of their artwork here. Well done Maximiliano (legendary name, by the way) and Leonardo Martinez.
Isn’t it freaky when you find things you never remembered owning? Clearing out the various rooms that I live in the other day earned me this 1992 Sonic the Hedgehog pajama set as a reward. Uh, thanks wardrobe fairy? It’s a great bit of merch from yesteryear so after a bit of a wash I took some pictures. Ah, back when Sonic looked pretty funky (and fat). This was a set you could buy in Marks and Spencer’s and is just one of a billion things you could buy with Sonic’s head on it back in the day.
For those of you who live in the UK and have been into GAME recently, you’ll have noticed you can pick up a Sonic and Tails Plush toy for the mere price of £9.99. Well, as advertised on the back of the box, the Knuckles Plushes are now available to buy, as I found out today while roaming Newcastle.
It looks like the Classic range of Sonic goodies hitting the shelves will not be stopping anytime soon! First 4 figures (the company that has produced the Assassin’s Creed Altair figurine and the incredibly detailed Link figurine from Ocarina of Time) have recently acquired the rights from Jetix to produce a series of vinyl figures based on the classic style of the Sonic the Hedgehog characters.
The first wave of figures will include Sonic the Hedgehog in a running pose, as well as a Tails and a Knuckles figurine. First 4 Figures hopes to preview these figurines at both the Nuremberg and New York toy fairs, with their release date currently being placed in July of this year.
Fans will no doubt be impressed that companies like First 4 Figures are now also catering for the Adult collectors market – I personally cannot wait to get my hands on a set!
Green Hill, Sonic’s most iconic level, will also be appearing in Super Smash Bros Brawl. Whether it will be an arena level, or an area you fight through in “Subspace Emmissary”, SSBB’s story/adventure mode, remains to be seen. You can view the (very awesome) video above.
Nintendo have announced that starting February ‘Master System’ games will be available to download from the Japanese Virtual Console.
Just like the NES, Master System games will cost 500 points a download each and will shine in all their 8-bit glory. The first two games available to download will be ‘First of the North Star’ and the iconic ‘Fantasy Zone.’
But that’s not all, Game Gear games and SEGA Mark III titles will also be appearing on the service for your downloading pleasure. Also take note that the Gear Gear games are the first handheld based titles available to download from the VC!
Popular Sonic titles such as Sonic Chaos, Sonic Triple Trouble and <b>Sonic Labyrinth</b> could also be making an appearance in the near future.
Keep checking back at TSS for all the latest Sonic and SEGA news as it happens!
As if were not shocked enough by Alex Kidd’s presence, Eurogamer have revealed 3 more characters for multi-platform games Sega Superstars Tennis bringing us to a total of 15 out of 16 characters known to date. The 16th character is apparently more secret than Secret Squirrel’s identity.
The 3 revealed characters are –
Pudding (Space Channel 5)
Gum (Jet Set Radio)
The 3 Sega themed mini-games are –
Puyo Pop themed
Space Harrier themed
Samba De Amigo themed
The new court is –
Outrun 2 – Flag man is an umprie
UK Sonic Merchandise collectors rejoice! The UK videogames retailers GAME are now stocking a selection of Sonic the Hedgehog plush toys. Currently stores have stocks of Sonic and Tails plushes, but I was politely informed by a staff member that there will also be a Doctor Eggman and Knuckles plush available before the year is out. Continue reading More Sonic Merchandise for UK Fans!
Gaming website 1up.com has caught up on a large backlog of Virtual Console reviews. Among these are reviews for Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic the Hedgehog 3. As for 3D Blast, we could all care less, but Sonic 3 gets…
… A THUMBS DOWN?!
Citing “messy level designs”, “dull and forgettable enemies”, and a “tepid soundtrack”, among other complaints, the blasphemousesteemed writers at 1up apparently don’t feel that the Genesis/Mega Drive classic is worth the Wii Points.
Now, I’m not advocating a mass protest… yet… but I think 1up should be made aware of exactly what we think of this game that they describe as “decent”. To arms! To arms!
To me, the screen looks even smaller then a Gameboy Micros!
The Brazilian company Tec Toys announced today that they are to be releasing a sort of SEGA Nomad device which lets you play 20 built in Mega Drive/Genesis titles on December 5th.
The device will retail for (a hefty) $110, around £55 if translated into UK currency. Using three AAA batteries for power, it also includes an apparent Hi-Definition screen with ports allowing you to hook up the video and audio to a television set. Continue reading ‘Tec Toys’ to release Portable Mega Drive
Well, I just got done seeing the big E3 press conference from MS, and I’ve got some interesting news for 360 Sonic fans: Sonic the Hedgehog is now on Xbox Live Arcade! Go download. Now.
Well, that is, if you don’t already have the game on five other platforms…in which case, you can resind that command and just go play it on your Genesis/Megadrive, Dreamcast, Gamecube, Wii, or whatever platform you got this sucker on.