Art Image Night 2005 Shadow Promotion Update

As most will be aware from earlier reports, the ‘Art Image Night 2005’ was a free event where numerous popular Japanese pop acts signed up to perform at a venue in celebration of HMV’s (the popular music/video/game store) 15 anniversary.

Among those to perform were none other than m-flo. Naturally SEGA’s sponsorship followed the band to the event in the physical form of ‘Shadow the Hedgehog’.

Thanks to Knuckles_X (of the ‘Sonic Stadium Message board’) ‘Sonic News’ has attained images from the event that were formerly only available from SEGA’s ‘Sonic Channel’. Continue reading Art Image Night 2005 Shadow Promotion Update

Art Image Night 2005 Details Revealed

As I reported in the SSMB forums some months ago, an event know only as ‘Art Image Night 2005’ was to take place in Japan. Because of the location of the event (Japan) very little was known about it, all information on the event was presented in Japanese, but using the crudest of translation resources (Google translation) ‘Sonic News’ aims to bring you, what it considers to be, a vital piece of SEGA gaming news.

The event has now passed, and ‘Sonic News’ has been able to establish that ‘Art Image Night 2005’ was in fact a live concert to celebrate the 15th anniversary of HMV in Japan, which it would seem has a far greater role in the Japanese music scene than it does in any other territory. Continue reading Art Image Night 2005 Details Revealed

Shadow The Hedgehog Controller Reviewed

If you found the idea of holding a launch party for the Shadow Controller at all absurd, you may now come to understand why what seems to be such a bizarre decision was made. IGN have received the controller and promptly posted a review, discussing the performance, build quality, value and comfort.

In all four fields the controller received relatively high marks, finishing with an overall mark of 7.7/10. Compare that to the score of 9/10 awarded to the XBox 360 controller and it is immediately obvious that it is indeed great quality for a third party controller. Continue reading Shadow The Hedgehog Controller Reviewed

Shadow The Hedgehog Controller Launch Party

Remember the limited edition Shadow The Hedgehog PS2 controller we reported on a few weeks ago? Well after being missing in action during the games launch just a few weeks ago, Nubytech will now be holding a special launch party in Los Angeles open to the public to commemorate their latest officially licensed controller.

The event will take place Thursday the 8th of December from 5:30 – 8:30PM at the Arena Lounge in Los Angeles (11512 Santa Monica Blvd.) Throughout the night there will be 50 stations setup featuring the Shadow The Hedgehog title and presumably, the new controller. Giveaways will include actual copies of the games from SEGA and goodies from other sponsors, including Great Eastern Entertainment, Prima Games, Swicherz, Ripple Junction, and Archie Comic Publications. There will also be a special major prize at 8:30. Continue reading Shadow The Hedgehog Controller Launch Party

Shadow the Hedgehog

When you think of Shadow the Hedgehog these days, you think of Star Wars. The constant mutterings of Hero or Dark side has pretty much become stagnant, but surprisingly fights a plausible case in the black one’s very own game.

Playing as the verse’s only representative of angst, you zip along levels, bounce off robots, collect rings and try to stop a greater evil. That’s where the similarities end pretty much – you have a choice of missions to complete, you bounce off humans and aliens as well, can choose to shoot them down and your greater evil is all dependant on your story path.

SONICTEAM have impressively managed to avoid a dire reason for searching Shadow’s past a THIRD time running by wrapping a nice, twisted storyline around it. Takashi Iizuka at his best, Shadow the Hedgehog returns fans to the bleak and dark world we last knew in Sonic Adventure 2. The world is being attacked by a new evil – the Black Arms. It’s leader, Black Doom approaches Shadow in the best Dr. Claw impression, stating that our antihero promised to bring them the Chaos Emeralds. Shadow sets forth to uncover these gems, as he snags that whatever promise he made and whatever secrets his past has will be revealed once he ‘catches ’em all’. The story is quite impressive, and it’s taken a paragraph to write about it because not since SA2 has such a moody outlook been successfully created on such a happy and bouncy video game series.

In fact, there’s a lot to be appreciated in Shadow the Hedgehog, because it’s not a Sonic game and it doesn’t follow the standard gameplay procedure. Yet the game fails to aid the player and inform them that this is a very different game to Sonic Adventure 2. Your first play will no doubt be insanely confusing, and there won’t be much help from the game alerting you to goal differences.

The levels range from extremely linear to the confusingly free-roaming, which makes for a bit of inconsistency in the design. Stages such as Westopolis and GUN Fortress are boringly simple “run forward” affairs, while Central City and The Ark result in you running around in circles on your first agitated attempt. Mad Matrix appears to be one of the only stages that has a decent mix of these extremes. However with a little bit of practice and trial and error you start to enjoy these levels much more.

TSS Interview: Remix Factory

Look on the credits of Shadow the Hedgehog, and you’ll notice a lot of artists have put their time and dedication to the angst-fest. Obviously Crush 40 is there, and JULIEN-K makes a pleasing return. But there’s a British studio called ‘Remix Factory’, that have only done two tracks for the game but are quickly going up in the world. TSS has an exclusive chinwag with the founder, ‘LB’, on working with Jun Senoue, the origins of Remix Factory and future plans. Continue reading TSS Interview: Remix Factory

Shadow the Hedgehog WAP Site Launches

Those who cannot wait for a bit of Shadow the Hedgehog in their lives need not wait for the 18th November release date for European PAL territories. SEGA Europe has just launched the new “Hero or Villain” WAP website, which you can log onto using you mobile phone.

Released on 4th November, you can access the WAP site and download a whole bunch of exclusive material, such as Shadow the Hedgehog ringtones, wallpapers and accessories to totally drown your phone in angst. A fantastic “money-can’t-buy” limited edition prize is up for grabs in a WAP site competition too. Continue reading Shadow the Hedgehog WAP Site Launches

Sega Europe unleashes Shadow site

A brief piece of Sonic news here:

Sega of Europe has unveiled their European ‘Shadow the Hedgehog’ website. Unlike pervious EU Sonic sites this one is identical to that of its US counterpart, the only difference being the PEGI game rating, and a link to ‘Sonic City’.

The notification came in the form of an email that was sent to those who had signed up to Sonic City. The email contained an advertisement for the game (the first of the Shadow promotions in Europe) which when clicked upon, linked to the European Shadow site. Continue reading Sega Europe unleashes Shadow site

Sonic Channel Updates

‘Sonic Channel’ have had a rather large update, with yet more promotional photos from the ‘m-flo’ event, and loads of downloadable goodies such as wallpaper and art sheets.

M-Flo Content

Sonic Channel has added to its site new images of the promotional event: where ‘Shadow the Hedgehog’ and the Japanese hip-hop soul group m-flo teamed up for a photo shoot. The photo shoot was to promote the soon-to-be-released Shadow remix of their song ‘TRIPOD BABY’ entitled: ‘TRIPOD BABY (SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG MIX)’. Continue reading Sonic Channel Updates

m-flo LOVES Shadow the Hedgehog! Japanese Pop Group Collaborate on New Game With SEGA!

Japanese pop group ‘m-flo’ are to record a remix of one of their previously recorded songs, in the name of Shadow the Hedgehog, Famitsu’s website has revealed. Continue reading m-flo LOVES Shadow the Hedgehog! Japanese Pop Group Collaborate on New Game With SEGA!

Shadow the Hedgehog Interview

With the pending release of Shadow the Hedgehog, IGN has had a catch-up with project leader Takashi Iizuka about game specifics.

As many people are already aware, the player has the ability to change the course of the game ending and scenario throughout the game, even within the stages themselves. This has been expanded a little upon in this interview:

“Each story’s progression is dependant on the choices that each player makes during the course of the game. Unlike previous games we’ve created, stage order, mid-boss levels, and of course endings, will all be affected by the decisions the gamer makes… Shadow’s appearance does not physically change as he progresses through the game. What is affected is the level of “special powers” that increases, as he develops as either an evil villain or a true hero… We also have mission NPC’s at the beginning of each stage. Shadow will meet both an evil and a good NPC that will provide his mission at the beginning of each stage. If the player decides not to choose either mission, they will continue the game through the “normal” path.” Continue reading Shadow the Hedgehog Interview

‘Sonic Next’ in development

The Games Convention in Leipzig was host to a special day of Yuji Naka signage, as SONIC NEWS reported some days ago. Naka-san used the event to showcase Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic Rush and Sonic Gems Collection, but he has also revealed that a next generation Sonic the Hedgehog game is in development.

Nothing else has been mentioned, other than the fact that the title exists. First details will pop up at the upcoming Tokyo Games Show in September. Continue reading ‘Sonic Next’ in development

Sonic Release Date Delights

Today, SEGA Europe announced when the next three Sonic the Hedgehog titles are due for release in our continent.

The gun-toting Shadow the Hedgehog has been given a release date of 25th November, as has the blue blur’s DS debut, Sonic Rush, making for a bit of a Sonic day in Europe. For more information on Shadow the Hedgehog, click here and for all the latest on Sonic Rush simply click here.

As for when you may expect to play Sonic CD and Sonic the Fighters via Sonic Gems Collection, the new compilation will arrive in Europe at a much earlier date of 30th September. Read all about it here.

According to our sources, Sonic Gems Collection was just released today (17th August) in the US, with Shadow the Hedgehog also getting a November release and Sonic Rush a tentative ‘Fall 05’ slate across the pond. Let us know what you think of Gems in the comments.

ACMI: Sonic Exhibit Report

In Australia, to celebrate Sonic’s 14th Birthday, the Australian Center for the Moving Image dedicated an exhibit for Sonic the Hedgehog, and the fanbase that surrounded it. The Sonic Stadium was invited for a special opening event, and we have obtained exclusive pictures and information on just what went down.

Our three TSS Reporters for the event, “julz_sega_bob”, “chibi_sonic” and Matt the Yak (of Sonic Vegemite fame) detail their discoveries and opinions on the SSMB Forums.

Julz commented on the Games Area of the exhibit, mentioning the profiling of fansites such as The Sonic Stadium and mutual chums The Green Hill Zone. “The movies contained clippings of someone going through the site, along with a narrative. It was quite hard to get the narrative in video, but from what I heard, it gave a pretty detailed description. It was accurate, showed main areas and didn’t babble off.Continue reading ACMI: Sonic Exhibit Report

Sonic Team Official Website Updated

As new titles have been suddenly revealed at E3, Sonic Team have updated their website to reflect this too. Being E3, this is an unusually large update, unfortunately for English speaking fans close to all of the content is in Japanese and Flash, so Babel Fish cant help this time!

The first of the updates include the long overdue Japanese website for Shadow the Hedgehog. The website contains new movies and a few new screens, whilst confirms the game will be 1-2 player, no release date was specified.

The movie begins with Shadow loading a weapon before using Chaos Control to fly through a cityscape and Chaos Blast to attack some enemies. Some new landscapes were visible in the movie as well as Sonic rendered in the games alternate style.

Continue reading Sonic Team Official Website Updated

More playable characters in Shadow the Hedgehog?

Sketchy details have surfaced once again for Shadow the Hedgehog, the latest are hinting at Shadow not being the only playable character in the upcoming title.

Nintendo Insider tell us . .

More details have surfaced regarding SEGA’s GameCube title, Shadow the Hedgehog. According to Jeux France, Shadow won’t be the only playable character in the game, but Shadow will also be aided by Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and the infamous Dr. Eggman. Furthermore, the game features a unique time travel mechanism that allows players to alter their path in the game.

Whilst these details cannot be confirmed at the moment, if they are a sign of things to come could this turn around many of the negative responces and outcry of Sonic fans?

Shadow the Hedgehog Game Website

On the run-up to E3, SEGA America have added a game page for Shadow the Hedgehog to their game entries. It includes new screenshots and a bulleted list of information already revealed about the game. Thanks to Professor Machenstein for the link. You can check it out here:

Stay with SONIC NEWS for the latest Shadow the Hedgehog details from E3 next week.

TSS: What to expect at E3 2005

As The Sonic Stadium is to be covering E3 2005 almost from the inside out, SONIC NEWS has made room for a TSS article to collate everything that’s already been said, what’s been confirmed, what’s been rumoured. E3 can be a very confusing and somewhat dangerous place for those who haven’t been catching up, so allow this article to hand you all the current information we have, so you get some background knowledge on what Sonic Team has and might be offering.

First of all, let’s base things on SEGA’s Official E3 Lineup. On the Sonic Team side, you have two titles; Phantasy Star Universe and Shadow the Hedgehog.

Phantasy Star Universe is, as the name suggests, the true sequel to Phantasy Star Online. It’s the “next generation” of PSO games. Sonic Team first revealed ‘PSU’ at E3 2004, but raised more questions than answers.

Continue reading TSS: What to expect at E3 2005

Pre-E3: SEGA’s Lineup

In a press release sent to us by SEGA, the house of Sonic is fast preparing its offering for the E3 2005 event. Most interesting of note is that two BRAND NEW Sonic the Hedgehog games are set to be announced.

SEGA is also fully supporting PC, handheld, and current-generation users with AAA titles like Spartan: Total Warrior (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube), Shadow The Hedgehog, Virtua Tennis: World Tour (PSP portable gaming system), and Phantasy Star Universe (PlayStation 2, PC). And on the first day of E3, SEGA will announce two new additions to the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise.

Shadow the Hedgehog has already been mentioned on the SEGA Press Release list, so this opens up some doors. We already know that the Nintendo DS Sonic the Hedgehog game is to be revealed in a near final form, so this will no doubt be one of the two ‘new’ games announced.

Continue reading Pre-E3: SEGA’s Lineup

Shadow the Hedgehog Trailer Re-Released

Following news of GameTrailers leaking a new Shadow the Hedgehog Trailer on April 1, SEGA have now allowed the showcasing of the trailer on all media and fan websites.

SONIC NEWS reported the leak, which had GameTrailers adding a sequence of the new game involving Shadow facing the Egg Fleet and more moves available at the player’s disposal. The trailer was removed some hours later, yet many fansites had already obtained a copy of the trailer and offered it for download.

We contacted both SEGA and GameTrailers for comment, and it appears that the leaked trailer was not to be unveiled to the public until SEGA’s Pre-E3 Conference next month. SEGA consequently retracted their copies of the trailer, and requested all other websites to remove the movie from their sites.

Continue reading Shadow the Hedgehog Trailer Re-Released

IGN reveal new details on Shadow The Hedgehog

IGN have recently posted another preview of the eagerly awaited Shadow the Hedgehog, writer Jeremy Dunham records positive impressions of the early version of the game, as well as disclosing more details relating to the gameplay style. A link to the article has been posted to the left.

New details from this article include more information on the weapons, further emphasis on branching storyline and the games faithfulness it felt to that of the Sonic Adventure series.

Continue reading IGN reveal new details on Shadow The Hedgehog

Shadow Trailer Relisted

Update: The new Shadow the Hedgehog Trailer has been relisted on The Sonic Stadium. There was some hoo-hah over GameTrailers breaking the embargo on the new trailer some time ago (it was probably THEIR idea of an April Fools joke), and I’ve been in touch with both GT and SEGA-Europe and SEGA America, and it appears the trailer in question was never to be released until just before E3, next month. Literally, the day before. Perhaps in a special SEGA E3 Presentation.

Svend, Thank you for cooperation re: GT. The trailer was let out before we intended it to. We decided to release that trailer to the public just three days ago via IGN. We will be making it available to the public this afternoon. Please feel free to re-post this trailer as of now, with the full permission of SEGA.

Cheers, Bret

Continue reading Shadow Trailer Relisted

New Shadow the Hedgehog Trailer Leaked

Early yesterday, a new Shadow the Hedgehog movie trailer was released on Game Trailers, however later that night it was mysteriously removed, but not before fans watched the new video showing off Shadow flying a dragon around the Egg fleet, destroying GUN bots, slashing up enemies with the weird alien sword, blowing up doors with a bazooka, using his blast attack, and much more.

For those that missed the trailer, many Sonic website managed to get it before the entry was removed. Not only does affiliate Shadow of a Hedgehog have the trailer to download via Fileplanet, The Sonic Stadium also has new information and movie analysis via the Shadow the Hedgehog Game Archive.

Be sure to keep up to date with all new Sonic game information by checking SONIC NEWS and The Sonic Stadium’s Game Archive.

Preview Log: Shadow Shaping Up

The announcement of Shadow the Hedgehog to the world was certainly a shock to the system. For those Shadow fans it was finally a chance to see his past, what really happened, fill in those plotholes. For those who didn’t like Shadow, they took to it with disgust (and even some fans spat at it for the implementation of guns) and refuse to look at it. Those who just aren’t bothered, weren’t bothered though. So at least that’s progress.

Since the trailer, TSS voiced its opinions on the game, wondering how well the gun system would be implemented. The graphics really did look sore and dated, and really didn’t look like things had progressed from Sonic Adventure 1 on the Dreamcast at all.

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Recently however, SEGA were kind enough to send us five high resolution screenshots for the game, that look, we must say, absolutely gorgeous. There is no way these graphics were produced on a PlayStation2, so there is hope for a release on other platforms too (although it has NOT been confirmed, rumour has it that Shadow will be PS2 only).

Even more news on the game that we can tell you, that Shadow fans will 50 missions to blast through. We will be seeing Shadow caught in a huge battle involving aliens, good old favourites GUN and, excellently enough, Dr. Eggman will be pitching in an appearance too. Players will be able to grab more weapons than previously imagined, with a huge list of guns apparently noted for disposal, as well as objects and vehicles. Yes you read, vehicles.

We were under the impression that Sonic Team USA was developing this title. And of course, TSS was correct with its prediction – although the studio now seems to be under the rather coi name of SEGA Studio USA, most likely a result of the SEGA merge-in over in Japan, there. Takashi Iizuka, Game Director of the studio, will be heading the project up; his noted work includes Sonic Adventure 2 itself and Sonic Adventure DX. Here’s what he had to say on the Sonic spinoff:

“Since we first introduced him in Sonic Adventure 2, we have wanted to feature Shadow in his own game… we maintained Shadow as a mysterious character and now fans can control his destiny by engaging in a unique gameplay experience that offers a multitude of possibilities!”

Hoo-hah, here comes the bomb. Those waiting to hear about how Shadow ‘survived’ and what the real deal is with the plotholes may come away disappointed, as it appears that Shadow the Hedgehog will feature multiple endings! Although an excellent gameplay mechanic, this can only come as very confusing to Shadow fans and anti-fans alike. Surely fans won’t be thrown into the frustrating situation as to be confronted with five different explanations for the events that passed since Sonic Adventure 2? But maybe it’s a feature SEGA Studio USA may produce tactfully. We can only hope.

So, is Shadow a robot? Is he suffering from anmesia? Lord knows the real reason now, it appears SEGA don’t really want to say anything official on it, but what matters is that YOU control the ending, via many different routes at many different points in the game. We’re assuming how you play the game – how much you use your guns over your agility, for example – will help decide in how “good or evil” Shadow really is.

To top this all off, we have a treat for you. A brand new Shadow the Hedgehog trailer, woo. You can download it for free in the Movies section, but it appears a little strange.

Alongside showing different camera angles of exactly the same gameplay, we noted that the graphics are nothing like what we’ve seen in the high resolution shots, displayed above. We’re hoping that the high-res aren’t just PC engine test snapshots – it’s looking very much that possibility, which is a shame because the graphics now look drab again. And we get the impression that the guns, Chaos Control charge-up moves and other specials that Shadow may have at his repertoire could get boring very quickly – they seem to “do a Sonic Heroes”, in which using such moves slows down gameplay. If you hated Sonic Heroes because the team system and moves were “stop-start”, you won’t be impressed by Shadow’s new trailer, unfortunately.

If you like DragonBall Z though, you’re in for a treat with the hugh explosions that look like they take ten seconds to charge up. Kudos for SEGA for the sword for Shadow though – despite what we’ve said about the guns, we rather like the big fat meaty sword in the middle of the trailer. Other highlights of the new trailer include a big fat mutant boss that seems to spit fireballs (looking like it escaped from Doom or something) and a few rather cool homages – Shadow does his own take of Sonic Adventure’s “Sky Chase” Bonus Stage by chasing what seems to be an Egg Carrier look-a-like, on top of some kind of dragon thing. Hey, when you don’t have a fox with a plane to do it…

Overall, we’re getting slightly interested in this one. It looks rather appealing to some degree. You can never really go nuts for a game that’s in essence, a spinoff. Because spinoffs are always to be taken with a pinch of salt. Sometime they turn out great (Sonic Battle) other times they turn out a chunk of turd (Sonic Labyrinth). Shadow has enough going for it, but our main concern is the treatment of the gameplay – a return to “stop-start” gameplay from Sonic Heroes plus some charge-up moves that seem to take a rather pointless length of time look like potential turn-offs. We’ll keep you posted.

April Foolish

Ah, April Fools Day. Yesterday was really something for the Sonic Community, as almost every site joined into the festivities. But trust The Sonic Stadium to come up with the best April Fools prank on the 1st – remember on TSS we announced “something big”? Well, we pretended that we were ahead of schedule on our announced Sonic Smash Cards and launched it on April 1st. Check it out here:

Looking at it now, it seems very convincing, until you see the “April Fool” error. There were different ‘honest’ errors every hour or so until we broke that error to the SSMB members at 8pm GMT. We fooled everyone, despite some front from members saying they plugged it beforehand. Check out the activity here, and the explanation for our prank here. We kick ass.

Continue reading April Foolish

Shadow The Hedgehog Release Info Announced

Sega has announced that Shadow The Hedgehog will be making its way to all 3 major video game consoles, the Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation 2, and Nintendo GameCube. The game will be released this winter and will be developed by Sega Studios USA.

“Since we first introduced him in [2001’s] Sonic Adventure 2, we have wanted to feature Shadow in his own game,” said Takashi Iizuka, game director, SEGA Studio USA. “We maintained Shadow as a mysterious character and now fans can control his destiny…”

Continue reading Shadow The Hedgehog Release Info Announced


Hooplah! It’s Easter, the time of eating Choccy Eggs… there’s also something vaguely religious about it and all (…NAAAH, the eggs! ;D), but woo. I’m going to be taking a day or so’s holiday for Easter with family (which means no comp access, hooray – be nice while I’m gone guys!), but it wouldn’t be a holiday without a long-overdue update, right? 😉

Well, after all that Shadow the Hedgehog hullabaloozah, you people certainly have been vocal about that. Be it in the SSMB Forums, in the TSS Mailbag or be it submission of Fan Articles. The latter of which will be added next week; we had a couple of Shadow oriented articles submitted, and quite frankly I just want to avoid the thing for the time being P; So next week for the articles. Promise.

Continue reading Happy EASTAAAAAH!

E3 Lineup Announced

E3, short for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, unveiled their speaker and exhibitor list, which includes appearances from SEGA of America.

E3 is undoubtedly the largest gaming event in the world, as it spans almost every company from around the world. As always, SEGA will be making their appearance, along with their newest releases – Shadow the Hedgehog will probably be playable, and many of Sonic Team’s secret projects (including Sonic DS and the new GCN Sonic title) may well be unveiled.

The Expo is set for May 17th and ands on the 20th, but please be aware that participation and entry to E3 is only permitted to industry professionals. However, members of the press will undoubtedly fill you and us in as they days go by, so keep checking back on Sonic News for the latest updates.

Several New Sonic Games This Year

In an announcement made earlier this week by their press FTP, SEGA America confirm Shadow the Hedgehog is only one of ‘several’ new Sonic games coming from the franchise in 2005.

Taken from the PDF released by Sega,

“In addition to presenting a retrospective Sonic video, SEGA of America president Simon Jeffery and Takashi Iizuka, game director, SEGA Studio USA surprised attendees of the ‘Walk of Game’ induction ceremony with a sneak-peek of a mysterious trailer labeled Shadow the Hedgehog; one of several new projects coming from the Sonic franchise in 2005. SEGA did not release any details about this new game, but assured fans that there will be more information about several new Sonic titles forthcoming.

Continue reading Several New Sonic Games This Year

NEW GAME: Shadow the Hedgehog

On the 8th March, the Game Developer’s Conference’s “Walk of Game” ceremony was the time for SEGA America to display its new game in development: Shadow the Hedgehog.

As Sonic the Hedgehog was awarded a place in the Walk of Game, SEGA took the opportunity to speak at length about Sonic’s achievements. This followed a trailer where Sonic’s brief game history was shot to pieces by an approaching Shadow, gun in hand.

The gameplay in the brief, trailer video included familiar Sonic Adventure 2 level design aspects coupled with the novelty of shooting, as seen in other platformers such as Ratchet and Clank. More game features were teased, involving various ‘Sonic Battle’ style charge moves and some sort of ‘hyperspeed’ warping mode.

Continue reading NEW GAME: Shadow the Hedgehog

Initial Impression: Fans go “WTF?”

The unveiling of Shadow the Hedgehog took place on the 8th March in America, where the ‘Walk of Game’ celebrations were taking place. Sonic the Hedgehog was the first entry into the ‘Walk’, and SEGA celebrated and were understandably happy. Ironically, that’s where they decided to first show this little “beaut”. Hmmm.

It has come to this. It’s amazing just how much of a pull idiot gotho-choice Shadow has on teenager fanboys/fangirls. His appearance in Sonic Adventure 2 was cool. His return (from his timely death) in Sonic Heroes just annoyed everyone. And now we get a whole GAME on this bumbling whinger? You know Shadow’s only here to cash in on silly goth-compulsive-depressants anyway, but hey if that’s your bag, so be it. The popular “word on the street” is that this game was derived from opinions set in a survey organised by SEGA of America some time back. This survey asked fans what kind of Sonic spinoff game they would most like to see. This isn’t the case, as the movie shows it has been some way into production, so the survey must have just been a hint/teaser. Although I still wouldn’t be surprised to see those results and find millions of rabid Shadow loonies craving for more. He’s dead already!

Character quibbles aside, ‘Shadow the Hedgehog’ is a game starring everyone’s “favourite” sulky git. Nothing’s been revealed aside from the trailer TSS has seen, and from the looks of things it appears a lot like a ‘backwards step’ to Sonic Adventure 2 style stages, with Sonic Heroes graphics. Did we mention Shadow has a gun?

Oh yes. For the perfect case of “dumbing down”, this game also has the added “value” of weaponry. Shadow is seen with at least two guns at his arsenal, a pistol and a machine gun (…I can’t believe I’m typing this description on a Sonic website…). Looking to mix Sonic style platforming with… shooting, Shadow the Hedgehog looks like the designs we’d more likely see from a slightly demented fangame.

While we’re obviously none too impressed that SEGA and Sonic Team have decided to go downmarket with the Sonic series and selling itself to the lowest common denominator possible, there is still some aspects of the game that seem intruiging, funny as it sounds. Notably, strange meters at the top of the screen – perhaps indicating some sort of charge move. If we were to go with this assumption, the most obvious candidate would be a Chaos Control maneouvre. More moves include something akin to his ‘Sonic Battle’ actions, and some sort of “hyperspeed” mode where Shadow is flying across a plane of obstacles at high speed. Again, probably linked with Chaos Control. The idea of guns may be some sort of inspiration from Ratchet and Clank, but to be honest when the idea of guns is crap anyway who gives a toss? And again with the whole “Choose to be good or evil” rubbish. Seriously SEGA, it’s getting old. The whole thing reeks of 2001 again. With guns. And 100% more “Shadowy” (cringes).

We’re hoping upon hope that if anything, this game will at least shed some light on all the Shadow plotholes that Sonic Team created in Sonic Heroes. Because that way at least all questions are answered and he can just sod off to where he came from (his crater-shaped grave). If this isn’t the last Shadow game (or last game with Shadow IN IT), then we’re in for a very sad end to the Sonic the Hedgehog series as we know it.

Good news though, is that this game is NOT the new Sonic the Hedgehog game Yuji Naka is banging on about for Nintendo Gamecube. He’s stipulated time and time again that the new SONIC will be revealed (and playable) at E3 in May. Which only calls to question who had the brain fart that spawned this idea. Hopefully Sonic Team Japan aren’t paying too much attention to this; an easily forgettable spinoff that’s likely to be as dull as the character starring in it. As always though, we remain open-minded and won’t give you definitive reactions until we’ve played it. Just don’t hold your breath for anything special. Or good. Stay with TSS for updates.