Sonic Talk 47: Sonic Mania is Runnin’ Wild!

Well let me tell ya somethin’ brother!! I was at Venice beach pumpin’ iron when I heard someone listenin’ to a podcast!

It had these three nerds, Jason, Alex and GX, all talking about that new Sonic game, Sonic Mania and heapin’ a bunch of praise on it! Jason was reviewing that new Sega game, Yakuza Kiwami and giving his hands on impressions about Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. They also talked a bunch about all the news on Sonic Forces and reviewed some of the latest episodes of Sonic Boom!

So watch’a gonna do? When Sonic Mania runs wild on you?!!

Amazing Sonic Merchandise Up For Grabs at Tokyo Game Show

If you’re heading to Japan this year for Tokyo Game Show, then you’ll be happy to know that SEGA has prepared a metric tonne of incredible merchandise for you to buy on the show floor. Not only will there be interesting new Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces-themed items on sale, but a number of fresh items in a brand new ‘With Sonic’ range. Continue reading Amazing Sonic Merchandise Up For Grabs at Tokyo Game Show

7 Amazing Things That Went Unused In Sonic Mania

The PC version of Sonic Mania hit Steam last week, and it didn’t take long for the Sonic hacking community to construct tools to unpack, data mine and mod the game.

We’ve assembled a list of the seven most interesting things the community have found lurking inside the game’s source code!

1. Jan-Ken-Pon! An Alex Kidd-themed boss

Tracker_TD has found some interesting sprites that appear to point to a boss that indicate that at some point in the development of Sonic Mania, the Studiopolis boss was originally going to be a Rock-Paper-Scissors battle between Sonic and Eggman! This was likely going to be a nod to yet another classic SEGA title, Alex Kidd, before it was scrapped for the Weather vane boss.

2. Re-Discovering Sonic Mania’s past

Back before Sonic Mania got it’s name (Takashi Iizuka explains the origin of the name at the SDCC Panel), the working title was Sonic Discovery. It appears that the old title card still exists in the data!

3. I’m just a Love Machine

Amy fans might have been disappointed at her omission from Sonic Mania (besides a self-destructing Amy doll in the incredibly cute gachapon boss in Metallic Madness), but seems she was also to be used in this love tester machine, again in Studiopolis. While it is unclear from the sprite artwork as to how the machine was actually to function, it appears that there may have been three results possible, producing one of the three protagonist images. And what about that Eggman Icon?

While not a Sonic reference, we can’t help but be reminded of a classic Simpsons episode…

4. Where you going, You big drip! Unused Tails animation

The Sonic the Hedgeblog Twitter account has produced this neat comparison gif of Sonic Mania sprites, showing the animation from the opening cut scene in Chemical Plant Zone, alongside an unused animation. Rather than utilising the “look up” animation when a drop of the Mega Mac lands on Tails’ head, Tails instead uses his propeller action to dry himself off! It’s unclear why this animation was cut, as it is blatantly the cuter of the two!

5. Escape From The UFO!

Another discovery by Tracker adds intrigue to the UFO Special stage! The graphic below shows the text implemented in the game – and nestled between them is the phrase “Time to escape!”. Does this hint that in early builds of the special stage, the player possibly had to escape either the stage or the UFO itself once the Chaos Emerald had been grabbed?

6. Were Hyper forms once planned for?

Similar to 5., BlueParadox has uncovered text that appears to hint at a feature that either went unused or never made it off the drawing board. Many fans asked if the Hyper forms (as seen in Sonic 3 & Knuckles) would return in Mania, however Iizuka-san has on more than one occasion stated the Super Emeralds are non-canon. It seems strange however that the Super Emeralds appear to be present in the Heavy King fight, and that buried in the data, the text for “Hyper” exists. Perhaps Iizuka-san had a change of heart at one point…maybe we will never know!

7. “I’m outta here!”

If you hang around too long in Sonic CD idling, Sonic unceremoniously jumps off the screen resulting in a Game Over. While not featuring in the final build, all the animation and sound clips are present in Mania’s source code, which has allowed those with savvy enough skills to re-implement the feature in mods (as shown in the video below).

Have you found anything interesting hiding in Sonic Mania’s data files that went unused and that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!

Meet Omelette, Sonic Mania’s Accidental New Boss Character

It was only a matter of time before someone managed to completely misread the sprites in Sonic Mania and create a brand new character out of it. We just didn’t think it would happen so soon! One player in particular has captured the hearts and minds of the Sonic community by epically misinterpreting one of the bosses. Introducing ‘Omelette’ / ‘Eggette’ / ‘Ovoid Robotnik’! Continue reading Meet Omelette, Sonic Mania’s Accidental New Boss Character

Sonic Mania Arrives on Steam With Bug Fixes And DRM

After a two-week delay, Sonic Mania finally see’s it’s PC release today on Steam.

As a reward for their wait, PC gamers can expect a version of the game that includes several bug fixes that are still present in the console versions, in addition to the Super Sonic transformation that can now be activated via a dedicated button (and allowing continued use of the drop dash once the player has collected more than 50 rings with all Chaos emeralds in their possession).

Along with Digital Rights Management (DRM), the PC game also includes an anti-piracy tool called “Denuvo”. Many users have already found frustration with these inclusions, the result of which requires the player to be logged into Steam AND be online at all times to play (and also means no mod support).

It is likely that all versions of Sonic Mania are set to see more patches and improvements in the near future – as always, TSS will keep you up to date!

Sonic Mania: The Twitter Experience

While Sonic Mania is taking many gamers back in time to the nineties, much about the Sonic hype experience is very different to that enjoyed some twenty-plus years ago. One of the biggest changes to the gaming experience has been the emergence of social media, which allows developers, critics and fans to react and interact in a way that simply did not exist back when Sonic was rocking in 16-bit.

As the reception of Sonic Mania has been nothing short of phenomenal, we thought we’d take some choice posts from Twitter as a roundup –  we hope you enjoy!

Needless to say, this post will have some spoilers from the game.

First up, a collection of tweets from Sonic Mania’s developers, including former Sonic Stadium staffer and Sonic Mania’s level designer Brad Flick:

Naturally, some former Archie Sonic artists and writers had some things to say about the game. Artist Jon Gray (who worked as an artist on Archie Sonic, as well as much behind the scenes until his departure a few years ago) and Ian Flynn (Archie Sonic’s primary writer for over a decade, and the man who first put Bean, Bark and Nack/Fang together as a trio), also commented on the game’s release:

It is no secret that online games media hasn’t exactly had many kind words to say about Sonic over the last decade and a half. While many games have generally received reasonable scores, they’ve tended to focus on the poorer offerings. Here, I’ll be highlighting some tweets from both general gaming media as well as Sonic/SEGA news people and websites. The reaction to Mania’s release has ranged from glowing to downright perplexing, from the controversial “Sonic games have never been good” sentiments to some funny observations.

While I’ve enjoyed highlighting some tweets from Sonic creatives and games media people, the true highlight of my Sonic Mania twitter experience has definitely been the fan reactions – often the hardest demographic to please when it comes to Sonic games. I’ve also gone ahead and included some artists who posted their gorgeous fan art:

Do you have any favorite twitter reactions to Sonic Mania? Let us know in the comments!

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 On The Road: Playing Mania on Nintendo Switch

Sonic Mania has officially released on a number of home consoles, but perhaps the most interesting release has to be on Nintendo’s newly-launched Switch platform. With its home-portable hybrid design, it makes it relatively easy to play the latest Sonic platformer on the move. So, a couple of our TSS reporters went walkies with their Switches to see if the experience was any good. Some of them found a pretty blurry line between the real world and the Sonic world… be careful out there, Switch users. Continue reading Sonic On The Road: Playing Mania on Nintendo Switch

Sonic CE Statue Contains An Actual LED Light And Can Be Modded to Work.

A twitter user by the name of Jojo has discovered that if you open up the Genesis/Mega Drive stand of the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition statue, there is an actual LED light in the display! (NOTE: Doing so would void any warranty you might have on it.) What’s more, you can make it work! The tiny circuit board for the “SEGAAA!” sound includes two holes marked “LED”. All you need is a bit of copper wiring and a screwdriver. You can check how he did it on Jojo’s Twitter page, but man! What an easy mod! It makes you wonder though. Sega seemed to back out of the LED light working at the last minute. Why?

 

Sonic Stuntman In Parkour Panic Rescue Act 1!

A Facebook user by the name of Devin Super Tramp who describes himself as a ‘stuntman’ has uploaded a rather amazing video to show his excitement for Sonic Mania, dressed Sonic, he runs through the countryside and performs a number of Sonic inspired stunts and acrobatics through trees, walls and even some old ruins, as he rushes to rescue his Amy Rose.

This is how Sonic the Hedgehog does parkour! Stoked for Sonic Mania!

Publié par Devin Super Tramp sur mardi 15 août 2017

Add in some special effects and sound effects and you have a cracking little Sonic movie for one very talented individual.

Source: Facebook

“No DLC Planned for Sonic Mania”

Following the release (and in the run up to it’s release) of Sonic Mania, a number of people have been asking the question ‘will there be DLC or additional content of some kind released at a later date?’ 

Unfortunately if you were hoping that there would be, you’re going to be disappointed. According to Mr Iizuka, there is nothing planned at this time.

During an interview with Game.jp, Mr Iizuka confirmed that there are no plans for extra Mania content when asked the question.

We’ll let you know if this changes.

Source: Game.jp (contains spoilers)

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

You Can Now Download Hyper Potions’ “Friends” from the Sonic Mania Opening

“Porta Vista,” “Checkpoint,” and “Time Trials.” Hyper Potions have become synonymous with promotional Sonic music over the past year, and their contributions to the brand have finally reached a head with Sonic Mania‘s release tomorrow on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

The opening animation to the highly anticipated throwback to the classics (of which you can read our TSS review with Svend and Adam here) was accompanied by Ian and Kevin’s newest nostalgia-inducing single: “Friends.” The full version of the track made its debut alongside the opening’s unveiling, and today, it is now up for grabs on digital markets such as iTunes and Google Play.

Continue reading You Can Now Download Hyper Potions’ “Friends” from the Sonic Mania Opening

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

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

Sound Test Saturday: Pre-Mania Launch Edition!

We’re just one last, impossible weekend away to Sonic Mania, so I feel it’s only appropriate to highlight one celebrated aspect of the game: its music! The news of Tee Lopes’ hiring as Mania‘s composer was met with widespread acclaim across the Sonic community, and over the past year, we were gifted with a number of his contributions to the soundtrack.

For the occasion, I am bringing back Sound Test Saturday and have catalogued one remix for every Zone confirmed by SEGA in Sonic Mania, as well as a few bonuses! Don’t forget to support and follow these artists in the links provided below. Now, enjoy!

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Pre-Mania Launch Edition!

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

Sonic Talk 46: Comic Con Carne

In this month’s episode, Jason talks about his trip to the San Diego Comic Con and we discuss all of the big Sonic news that happened during the event along with recent news, including some Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces discussion, Archie’s Sonic cancellation, IDW’s Sonic acquisition and much, much more! Continue reading Sonic Talk 46: Comic Con Carne

Sonic Mania Street Date Broken: Game Is Leaking

Well… This isn’t good.

Earlier today, a number of users on Reddit noticed that some Gamestop and Best Buy stores in the US had the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition in stock. Whilst some stores were refusing to sell the game, others have in fact sold the game to customers. Continue reading Sonic Mania Street Date Broken: Game Is Leaking

Mania OST Sampler: “Danger on the Dance Floor,” for Mini-Boss

Only six more days remain to Sonic Mania‘s highly anticipated release on modern digital platforms. To savour the wait even more, we now have yet another juicy sample from its soundtrack dropped from the Sonic social channels, following on from last week’s music preview of Stardust Speedway Act 1. Continue reading Mania OST Sampler: “Danger on the Dance Floor,” for Mini-Boss

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

Turn it Up and Get Down to Stardust Speedway Act 1 from Sonic Mania

In the preorder trailer that debuted two months ago, we caught a glimpse of another returning Zone to Sonic Mania in the familiar form of Stardust Speedway. The hallmark stage from Sonic CD where the Blue Blur finally confronts Metal Sonic became a fan-favourite for its differing yet memorable theme tunes between time zones and regional releases, courtesy of Naofumi Hataya and Spencer Nilsen.

Continue reading Turn it Up and Get Down to Stardust Speedway Act 1 from Sonic Mania

Of Manias, Forces, and Serials: A Sonic at SDCC 2017 Recap

San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone for 2017, and this year’s gave attendees the world over a lot to look forward to in forthcoming entertainment. Superhero movie aficionados got an early peek at a number of highly anticipated films for the upcoming year (Black Panther, Justice League, and Avengers: Infinity War to name a few), bitesized previews were shown off for new seasons to Stranger Things and Steven Universe among other hit shows to whet eager fans’ appetites, and in Sonic’s case?

Well, whether you’ve fallen out of the loop or just enjoy a quick summary of last week’s events, allow me to bring you all back up to speed!

Continue reading Of Manias, Forces, and Serials: A Sonic at SDCC 2017 Recap

Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes Panel from San Diego Comic Con

Check out the Sonic Mania panel at 2017 to get all the details we couldn’t cover! Join host Aaron Webber with guests, Takashi Iizuka, Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, Tom Fry, and Simon Thomley as we get more details on what went into this game.Get the full scoop on the game, check out some wacky glitches and the fan Q&A it’s all here! Continue reading Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes Panel from San Diego Comic Con

Have a Listen to Sonic Mania’s Special Stage Music, “Dimension Heist”

San Diego Comic-Con 2017 is wrapping up today, and so does our coverage for the yearly star-studded convention. For one last hurrah, and as promised in last night’s Sonic Mania developer panel, the theme for the game’s Special Stages has been uploaded on the Sonic social channels today after being previewed to attendees.

Have a listen to Tee Lopes’ “Dimension Heist” below!

Continue reading Have a Listen to Sonic Mania’s Special Stage Music, “Dimension Heist”

SDCC Sonic Mania Panel Roundup & Special Stage Reveal

San Diego Comic Con played host to the Sonic Mania Development team yesterday, in a panel that included Takashi Iizuka, programmers Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley, alongside lead artist Tom Fry, composer Tee Lopes and SEGA community manager Aaron Webber. Our man in the field Jason Berry was at the panel, and captured the events as they happened via The Sonic Stadium Twitter. Continue reading SDCC Sonic Mania Panel Roundup & Special Stage Reveal

Sonic Mania Soda Exists!

Promotional items, they can be strange, they can be wonderful, they can sometimes be eaten, or in this case, drunk! Jones Soda has partnered with Sega to produce a limited range of Sonic Mania branded Soda. Currently a comic con exclusive but comments on Facebook point to a possibly future release, the soda comes in three flavours. Continue reading Sonic Mania Soda Exists!

[UPDATED] New Sonic Mania Track Preview, Vinyl LP Available For Pre-Order

Sonic fans and soundtrack collectors alike will want to mark this weekend in their calendars! Data Discs have announced that pre-orders for the Sonic Mania soundtrack, the first Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack to see a full release on vinyl, will go live this coming weekend. Continue reading [UPDATED] New Sonic Mania Track Preview, Vinyl LP Available For Pre-Order