The Spin: How SEGA is Ignoring the Middle Children of Sonic’s Legacy

2010 was the year Sonic the Hedgehog came back. Yes, we all heard the stories about how the franchise had declined not long after the jump to 3D, how gaming news outlets and critics even now would begin their pieces with some variation of “Sonic has had a rocky history,” and how every new Sonic game released around the “dark ages” period couldn’t shake off the dreaded “Sonic Cycle.” Continue reading The Spin: How SEGA is Ignoring the Middle Children of Sonic’s Legacy

UPDATE: Happy 10th Anniversary to Mike Pollock as Eggman in the video games (over 12 years in total!)

Mike Pollock and Eggman

UPDATE: I worked with Mike Pollock himself to make a few additions and corrections to the article, I apologize for the mistakes previously present.

###

Yes, you may have not realized it, but today (as of typing, it’s already the 16th in other time zones) marks the 10th anniversary of not just Shadow the Hedgehog (on GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2) and Sonic Rush’s release on DS in North America, but these were the very first games where the longest-running English voice actor in the entire franchise first joined the games themselves.

It’s very important to note that while this is the 10th anniversary of his debut in the actual video games themselves, Mike Pollock did indeed debut in the Sonic X anime two years prior in 2003 (as Mike points out below in our comments, he actually was heard as Eggman for the very first time in a Fox Box sneak preview on August 23rd 2003). Actually, we of course can go back to months earlier when the auditions first took place. Mike just calculates from the first airdate because he never counts his chickens before they’re hatched. (Egg analogy totally intended.)

He’s done other voices in the Sonic series as well. In Sonic X, he was also the voice of Ella, as well as the voice of Gerald Robotnik in both Sonic X and in Shadow the Hedgehog. In Sonic Rush he also voiced Eggman Nega. Most recently in Sonic Boom, he voices as both Fastidious Beaver and Mayor Fink.

Mike Pollock non-Eggman Sonic characters

Left to right; Ella, Gerald Robotnik, Eggman Nega, Fastidious Beaver and Mayor Fink, images from BTVA

But did you know he also voices characters outside the Sonic franchise? Give his Behind The Voice Actors page a look, you might be surprised by some of the other characters he’s voiced over the years!

Which reminds me, what a very interesting coincidence that Sonic’s twitter was taken over by a certain mustached man just back on Friday, with Mike Pollock behind the mic (ahem) and everything (I even saved the avatar, here it is at full size). Wonder if Sega caught that also.

Well, I wish you Mike Pollock a wonderful 10th anniversary, as well to all the other 4Kids voice actors even if they’re no longer part of the series. Here’s to 10 more years in the franchise and beyond!

Mash-Up Monday: JoJo’s Sonic Adventure

OH! MY! GOD! Three mash-ups on a single Monday!?

Conceived by Hirohiko Araki back in 1986 and acting as one of the forefathers of modern shōnen, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an ongoing Japanese manga series that tells the tragic tale of the Joestar family, whose members possessing unique latent powers are forever bound by destiny to battle against supernatural forces. JJBA spans across multiple story arcs following the preluding battles between Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando, each part with their own starring JoJo, and is currently well into its eighth part almost 30 whole years later, dubbed JoJolion.

After a handful of OVAs and a number of video games over the past few decades, JoJo has finally received a stellar anime adaptation for its first three arcs so far – Part 1: Phantom Blood, Part 2: Battle Tendency, and Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. However, one of the unspoken rules of a good anime is that it needs a really good opening sequence, and thankfully, the JJBA anime has had four incredible ones as of now!

Why all the JoJo exposition on a Sonic fan-site, you say? Context for this week’s mash-ups, of course! No need for alarm either: I can assure you that none of these are the work of an enemy「Stand」.

First up is mash-up artist BotanicSage‘s concoction, which brings the opening tune “Bloody Stream” for Battle Tendency and Hideki Naganuma’s “Vela-Nova” from Sonic Rush together into an even funkier jam combined. I suppose you could say that the end result is a real match…「Made in Heaven」! Eh?

Eh?

…get it?

. . . . . .

Yare yare daze, you’re no fun at all.

Anyway, here’s “Bloody Nova”!

We’re switching gears from jazz to rock now as we turn to our next JoJo/Sonic mash-up, this one by guilhox!

When some people think of a memorable Sonic theme, chances are they’re going to think of the iconic “Live and Learn” by Crush 40. When it comes to JoJo, understandably, a lot of folks will point to Jin Hashimoto’s “Stand Proud”, the opening track for the first half of Stardust Crusaders, the arc that formally introduces the ethereal spiritual projections known as “Stands” into the JoJo universe. Rock out to the fused “Live and Stand” below!

Albeit this is a Jet Set Radio mashup rather than a Sonic-themed one, we might as well feature this final gem for the week! Richard Jacques’ “Everybody Jump Around” from the SEGA Dreamcast classic is mixed together with “A Fine Fellow Arrives” by Yugo Kanno, the latter straight from the original soundtrack for Stardust Crusaders. Courtesy of Swordy, here is “Jet Set JoJo”!

Found any other interesting Sonic music mashups out there on the web? Maybe you have one of your own you’d like to share? If so, then you can post some in the comments below (as well as your thoughts on BotanicSage, guilhox, and Swordy’s mash-ups above!), or you can reach me via any of the following to see your choice next Monday:

Even Speedwagon would be impressed!

Sonic List: The Most Overrated Sonic Games

Ahhh nostalgia! You make things so much better than they actually were.
Ahhh nostalgia! You’re so good at lying to my brain.

Remember when I did those lists like “My guilty pleasures” or “Defending the lesser loved characters”? Lists that made you feel good about your Hedgehog hobby? Yeah, this is not one of those lists. Sorry. This time, I’m gonna tear apart some of the most beloved and critically acclaimed Sonic titles for the brilliant but flawed games that they really are. Games that got far more praise than they deserved. Even games I happen to love myself that have some bad design choices. Get ready! It’s time to take off the rose-tinted nostalgia goggles and find the lumps of coal inside these diamonds!

Sonic The Hedgehog 1991 (Sega Genesis)

"Riding blocks in lava. Some much more fun than oh, running super fast and rolling through loop-de-loops."
“Riding blocks in lava. Some much more fun than oh, running super fast and rolling through loop-de-loops.”

Now this is a hell of a way to start a list! The one that started it all. The classic game that first introduced us to the speedy hedgehog. Notice what almost every new remake of the game added? The spindash. Why? Because outside of the Green Hill Zone (and one or two other zones), this game is SLOOOOW!

It was a fantastic game for its time, but when you play other classic Sonic games with great pacing and flow like Sonic 2 or 3, you’re BEGGING for more speed. Especially when you go from a speedy fun-filled world like Green Hill and then get dropped into the dull, drab world of the Marble Zone. I go from loop-de-loops rolling super fast down hills to the point where you can’t even see me toooo…..pushing a block into lava and riding it very, very slowly. Oh look, the lava pushed the block up. Whee.

Let’s be honest here, if you were forced to lose a classic Sonic game out of the original trilogy, this would be the first one to go. It’s still a great game, but it’s not quite as fun or fast-paced as the other two.

Sonic Rush

"Whooo that was tricky! But now I got a nice, safe parachute anLAZER!!"
“Whooo that was tricky! But now I got a nice, safe parachute anLAZER!!”

Ohhhh this is painful as it’s one of my favorites. Sonic Rush has Blaze the Cat, incredible speed and a wonderful soundtrack by Hideki Naguma (Jet Set Radio). I absolutely love this game and have played through it several times. However…..

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. DIMPS is really good on a TECHNICAL level. They can do the graphics, physics and the engine of a game just fine but when it comes to actual level design, they tend to suck. Sadly Sonic Rush is no different. This is the first Sonic game to use the boost mechanic and it does so to the point where there’s barely any actual platforming to be had. “Boost to win” became a meme due to this game, but that’’s still not so bad as it gives the game a great sense of speed. What is bad is that when you finally get to a point where jumping from platform to platform is important, it does so when you’re highest in the air and any wrong step can kill you. I’m sure I’m not the only one who had Altitude Limit push them to their limits of patience.

All in all Sonic Rush is still a wonderful game IMO, But still, it’s far from flawless.

Sonic CD

 

"Oh Wacky Workbench! You're so wacky and...horrifically awful!"
“Oh Wacky Workbench! You’re so wacky and…horrifically awful!”

Now, if you wanna see an over-praised game with REALLY bad level design, here you go. Sonic CD has AWESOME music, great graphics, Metal Sonic, Amy and….some anime stuff at the beginning and end. That said the level design makes it one of the poorer 2-D Sonic games out there. Sorry, but it’s true. First off, the time traveling is a HUGE pain in the ass. “Oh, you wanna go to the past? Here, hit this sign and get enough speed and a good place to run at full speed for ten seconds. Whoops! You hit a ramp at a wrong angle. Too bad! Try again. Whoops you hit a future sign just as you got to full speed! Have fun in your ugly, bad future!”

Seriously, who though have to run for so long in these levels that are far more vertically inclined was a good idea? If you’re trying to make a good future it’s a horrible, hair-pulling chore that ends up being no fun at all. Even if you don’t care about that stuff and want to just play straight through can be either good, or awful thanks to really poor level design that either bounces you high into the air and gets you lost and stuck in parts. Wacky Workbench itself may go down as one of the worst 2-D Sonic levels ever not to mention those “Super FX” 3-D bonus levels where you can’t quite judge if you’re about to land on road or time sucking water.

If you go into Sonic CD for great music, cool boss fights and just play straight through, you’ll have a pretty good time. If you’re a completionist who wants to have the best ending, be prepared to scream in frustration.

Sonic Adventure 2

"I'll save you if you just stop staring at my ass!"
“I’ll save you if you just stop staring at my ass!”

Please note that I’m not including “Battle” because the multiplayer does make the game a fair amount better.

Oooohoho! This is by far number one on my overrated list. “Why don’t they make good 3-D Sonic game like Sonic Adventure 2?!” “Remember how good Sonic games USED to be like Adventure 2?” Time to take off your nostalgia glasses boys and girls because in my humble and always correct opinion SONIC ADVENTURE 2 SUCKS!! It is SO undeserving of it’s praise. It is so far from perfect and really shows where Sonic Team was starting to go downhill.

I know you’re gonna go into the comment section about how wrong I am and what a great game this is but let me ask you a question. If they re-tooled this game and took all the admittedly great Sonic and Shadow levels out, would there be ANYTHING good to say about what’s left? Not much, if any.

All those fond memories of the game are pretty much anchored to the Sonic and Shadow levels. They are fast, cool and very well done. The rest of the game however, goes from boring to frustrating garbage. The Tails/Eggman shooter levels are just bland and far too slow paced for a Sonic game while the Knuckles/Rouge levels take the “meh” Emerald Hunting from the first Sonic Adventure and somehow screwed it all up by forcing the radar to only react to one emerald shard at a time leading to a frustrating, controller-throwing mess. I’ve literally stood next to an emerald shard and the radar did NOTHING!

And it’s not like the first Sonic Adventure where you can choose any character at any time so you can skip the stuff you don’t like. No, no, no. You gotta wade through all this crap just to get to the good stuff. Let me play as only Sonic or Shadow and I’d be a lot happier. Then there’s the story. It’s admittedly fairly well written I don’t mind a Sonic story getting a little more mature, but gunning down a little girl? A Big-Breasted bat? A moody, violent anti-hero? This is like, Penders/Bollers late 90’s Archie Sonic stuff here and I don’t care for it personally.

People crap all over Sonic Unleashed for the Werehog and they’re right in doing so because those levels are far too long. However, I’ll take a Werehog level any day of the week over any Rouge/Knuckles levels in Sonic Adventure 2. To me, it’s very undeserving of its praise.

Feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments section below. Just please, keep it civil.

Jason says to please give all your hate mail to Hogfather @ sonicstadium.com 😉

(Don’t, please. I’m just kidding.)

 

Friday Five: Best Sonic Games of the Past Generation

sonic_generations_cityescape2

While we’ve had the Wii U for a full year now, the PS4 and X-Box One have made their debut. Since Sonic Lost World is part of the new generation of systems, I thought it would be a good time to reflect back on the best Sonic games of this past Generation. It was a hard list to make, not because there was a ton of great Sonic games to choose from but because there were so few to be brutally honest. Also, I have one rule to this list, no spinoffs. This means no Mario and Sonic or All-Stars Racing. (I should have been stricter with the staff pics and added no remakes or fan games but too little too late.) I wanted this to focus solely on Sonic. This means there’s a game in here that wouldn’t normally make any top five list. So prepare for the good, the great and the…..meh.

NOTE: This is an opinionated article and everyone’s gonna have their favorites, so if your list is different from mine that’s fine but let’s make a huge fuss over it okay?

Continue reading Friday Five: Best Sonic Games of the Past Generation

Naganuma Monday: Mash-Ups R What U Need

As Jet Set Radio will see its first release onto the digital marketplace in a few short days (PSN+ users, you lucky gits), this week’s Mash-Up Monday is entirely dedicated to the man responsible behind most of JSR‘s delicious soundtrack. You may also recognize his work in Sonic Rush as well!

Yes, this week, we’ll be looking into mash-ups involving the music of the one and only Hideki Naganuma! We got a total of five mash-ups to celebrate his work!

First up is a mash-up by Seenik09, comprised of Naganuma’s Teknopathic from Jet Set Radio Future and something I’m sure you all miss dearly.

Put your slam jams together for SlamnoJamthetic!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=673y8SC_4og

More after the jump!

Continue reading Naganuma Monday: Mash-Ups R What U Need

Sonic Rush and Rush Adventure soundtracks Available on iTunes

This is what U need

Looking for a new venture in music? I got what u need right here. Both Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure soundtracks are now available on iTunes so you can listen to these awesome tunes back 2 back! Both albums are $9.99 (U.S. Dollars) each with individual songs being 99 cents. But with over 40 tracks per album, you’d have to be crazy to not buy the whole thing. Momma wasn’t raisin’ me up to be foolish with my money. So get edgy and pick up these awesome albums cuz it’s a new day for Sonic tunes!

The Top 10 Sonic Games Of The Decade

2009’s almost out. That means we’ve enjoyed a whole decade of Sonic the Hedgehog goodness in the last ten years, from 2000’s Sonic Shuffle (for Americans, we didn’t get it until the year after, damn SEGA) to 2009’s Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. So, rather than just round up the games of the year, The Sonic Stadium crew have taken to list their Top 10 Sonic games of the decade!

This is how we’ve done it. A bunch of TSS Staffers wrote over their unique Top 10 (which will be listed at the end of this article). Along with it, a short paragraph as to why they ranked each game the way they did. When bunching all of these lists together, we formed an average by giving points to each game’s placement on each staffer’s countdown (so a #1 position would get 10 points, and a game in 10th place would get 1 point). Add all the points up, and we have our own, not-so-scientific average. What game will get TSS’ #1 Sonic Game of the Decade? Read on, dear reader… Continue reading The Top 10 Sonic Games Of The Decade

Ebay Watch: Rare Tomy Sonic Char-G

sonic-char-g

News is slow at the moment, so it’s time for another edition of Ebay Watch. Back in the early 90’s toy developers Tomy released alot of Sonic merchandise to fill the young fans playtime when away from the awesome Sonic video game titles. One piece of merchandise Tomy released was a Sonic edition of it’s then popular Char-G remote control cars.

What was so special about these were that they could be recharged in about 45 seconds from the remote handset and when driving them around you could make them spin, flash the headlights and do wheelie stunts. Doesn’t sound like much now but these were pretty cool back in the day and having a Sonic one made you even cooler.

If you’d like one of these very rare pieces of merchandise you can bid for it on eBay here.

 

 

Also on eBay –
sonic-rush-empty-box

Someone is amusingly enough selling an almost empty Sonic Rush box, I say almost empty due to the fact there is no game card and just a manual inside. Even more amusing, one person so far has actually bidded on this. Some crazy people out there on eBay. You can check this out here.

New Sonic Rush game in the works?

A member of the Sonic Stadium Message Board has dug up a new trademark filed by SEGA on April 2nd 2007, for a product titled “Sonic Rush Adventure”. SEGA neither confirmed or denied such a project when we contacted them this morning.

Sonic Rush was revered as the best Sonic game of recent years when it was released on Nintendo DS in 2005, but it was largely ignored for its home console flop Shadow the Hedgehog instead. This trademark, using a similar name, suggests that a sequel is perhaps in the works. Considering the insane popularity of the DS handheld worldwide, that’s probably not a bad idea.

It is worth pointing out that many trademarks taken out by companies with the best intentions of releasing it as a product end up cancelled or the result of stillborn ideas. Judging by the nature of the title itself, SEGA could even be taking out a trademark to protect the ‘Sonic Rush’/’Sonic Adventure’ name from potential unauthorised games from other companies. So there is a chance that this could turn out to be nothing.

But hey, if it does… more wonderful 2.5D platforming may await us. Many thanks to super sleuth Keiji Dragon from SSMB for the tip. You can view the trademark for yourself here.

Sonic Converse All Star competition

There was a time when our blue buddy was content to wear cheap red knockoffs, but that all changed with ‘Sonic Adventure 2’ when he developed a lust for ‘Soap Scorchers’, and then in ‘Sonic Riders’ when he wore grungy skater boots. So what now, well lately it seems Sonic gets a ‘Rush’ from wearing Converse All Stars. Get it?

That’s right, if you were wondering where SEGA of Europe blew all its Sonic Riders and Rub Rabbits budget then look no further, the answer is Sonic Rush custom designed Converse All Star footwear. Gah it all makes sense now. Continue reading Sonic Converse All Star competition

This Month on the Sonic Channel

Every month, as most of us now know, Sonic Channel updates with a new character art, wallpaper and other goodies.

This month, we have a Big the Cat profile, along with his art and wallpaper. There is a Rouge puzzle with last month’s Rouge art added and some fan art. Lots of fun there.

Along with the site update, they have also said that the 2 in 1 packs with Sonic Advance and Sonic Battle, Sonic Pinball Party and Sonic Battle, and Sonic Advance and Chu-Chu Rocket, have been released as of the 26th of January, in Japan. However, don’t fret. There have been a few 2 in 1 packs already released for English customers. Continue reading This Month on the Sonic Channel

Sonic to do a Mario?

Gaming website Kikizo Games has recently had a chat with a few of the top dogs of SONICTEAM, and revealed a few tidbits of an interview that will be posted later today.

Akinori Nishiyama and Takashi Yuda, the brains behind Sonic Rush and the upcoming Sonic Riders respectively, spoke openly to the website about 2D games coexisting with 3D adventures, and on more Sonic spinoffs to come.

Nishiyama explained about the state of games;

“I think 2D games would be preferable for many users. I believe that in 2D games, say for example shooting games, you have to be careful of the slightest space on the screen and think in terms of how many pixels of space you have to manoeuvre.

Continue reading Sonic to do a Mario?

Sonic Rush is a Liberation of the Mind!

SEGA Europe has treated those fans dedicated enough to have signed up to “SEGA City” with an interview with the producer of Sonic Rush, Akinori Nishiyama.

Nishiyama has been involved with SEGA for some time, starting off working on Phantasy Star IV and PSO and Puyo Pop for SONICTEAM, before directing all three Sonic Advance titles. It shows in Sonic Rush – a game that is very much in style to the GBA games, yet appears to break away from the troublesome level design formula that has dogged previous games. Continue reading Sonic Rush is a Liberation of the Mind!

Sonic Rush promotions get underway

It’s that time folks, time for the Sonic promotions to start.

SEGA disappointed us by allowing ‘Sonic Gems Collection’ to go un-hyped to the average games consumer, a trip to stores in the UK revealed a somber launch for the classics compilation, and with a virtual shunning of the Gamecube in even the most specialist of games shops, it’s no wonder why. A search for Japanese sellers on eBay seemed to reveal little had been done to promote the game in Japan either.

Now all attention turns to ‘Sonic Rush’ for the DS. Sonics’ first DS outing should be one to commemorate, and Sega are employing a similar promotional tactic to those used on Sonic R, Sonic Adventure, Sonic Heroes, and Sonic Advance. Continue reading Sonic Rush promotions get underway

‘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.

Yuji Naka in Leipzig

Everyone’s favourite Ferrari fanatic, Yuji Naka, will be attending a European Games Convention, held in Leipzig, Germany. SEGA-Europe’s German website has revealed details of his special appearance during two days of the event.

August 17th will be a special developer’s-only day which Naka-san will attend, to present the three latest Sonic the Hedgehog titles in the saga (that’s Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic Gems Collection and Sonic Rush in case you haven’t been catching up). The event would be perfect for European fans to learn more about the upcoming games (and perhaps on secret projects too) but we assume this pleasure will be reserved for the Tokyo Games Show commencing mid-September instead. Continue reading Yuji Naka in Leipzig

E3: Sonic Rush Speculated Release Date

Sega this morning filed an official press release for Sonic Rush, the upcoming DS title starring Sonic and the new character, Blaze the Cat. (Read about it here) Whilst next to no new details were unveiled, Sega have said that they are aiming for a late 2005 launch for this title.

Stay With SONIC NEWS for more Sonic Rush information as it appears.

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

First Look: Sonic Rush

Sonic Rush, then. As with Sonic Gems Collection, this game was already being banded about well before SEGA could talk about it. They should really guard their secrets more often. There was talk that this was going to be an all new racing game featuring Sonic and co. But this turns out to be false, instead a rather new way of playing your classic 2D platformer. The name threw many fansites off the mark concerning genre, as many rumours were dead certain that a racing game was in the works.

001.jpg 002.jpg 003.jpg 004.jpg 005.jpg

Contrary to popular belief though, this isn’t your racing game, but a whole new take on the Sonic platformer. A 2D Sonic game, using 3D models, that uses both of the NDS’ screens to give a larger perspective of the gaming field. It’s a very cool idea that appears to be being put to good use judging by these first snapshots we have of the game. The graphics don’t appear to be up to the proper standard, but assuming we know our Sonic Teams, Naka and co are simply trying to make the gameplay as solid as possible before touching up the graphics.

The level design, although it’s folly to judge base on five screenshots, do look nice however – the backdrops look like a very gorgeous blend between Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic Advance style scenery and styles, with levels you could call Hydrocity, with the fourth image above reminding us all about the level design of Carnival Night Zone. The fifth screen, while bearing resemblence to Desert Palace and Sandopolis, is a great sneak peek at the potential for many alternate routes in this game. The screens certainly show a promising game, with Sonic grinding up a vine and double-screened loops shown.

01

Which leaves just a few questions; mostly concerning that purple character that’s posing next to Sonic. Well, we can reveal that her name is Blaze. Blaze the Cat. Blaze is the queen of another world, and protector of the “Sol Emeralds”. Much like the Chaos Emeralds, these Sol Emeralds are quite the dangerous tool if in the wrong hands. She’s also a bit nippy on the old legs, assumedly.

So what gives on the storyline? Well, Sonic and Blaze meet through a dimensional paradox that somehow collides Blaze’s parallel universe with Sonic’s own. Hedgehog and Cat (kind of an odd combination… but then what the hell, we’ve had a hedgehog and a fox for 13 years!) join forces to retrieve the Sol Emeralds before anyone else gets to them… presumably someone who happens to don a peculiar orange moustache…

Sonic Rush takes a nice and simple route regarding character control. At present, only Sonic and Blaze have been confirmed as playable characters. This is a somewhat refreshing move by Sonic Team; we were getting worried that every single Sonic game would have to have Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Espio, Cream and their mothers all join in on the action. Given how Sonic Team love characters so much (especially making new ones), we have to say we’re quite glad that the focus is solely on two characters (and undoubtedly, Eggman). Let Sonic be the star of the show for once. Having said that, Sonic Adventure 2’s early trailers merely played out Sonic, Knuckles and Eggman as potential playable characters, and then look what happened. Keep it simple, Yuji, we’ll love you for it.

All in all, we’re quite chuffed and, shall we say, excited about this one, despite the touch-ups required for the graphics. The touch screen will apparently be used for play, although how this will work out is yet to be seen. We do know that Naka-san specified that a part of the E3 2004 Technical Demo (remember, the one where you\’re rubbing the bottom screen to make Sonic run faster) will be incorporated into Sonic Rush, so perhaps we will be seeing this in a Special Stage of some kind. A brand new Sonic adventure, using touch screen, double-screened, lush backdrops and scenery, and only two characters? Slap us up some of that classic innovative design we’ve been missing for oh so long, Yuji and co, and you’ll have us biting.

E3: Sonic Rush Revealed

The latest Sonic game to be revealed will feature a new character known as Blaze The Cat, who will also be playable along side Sonic. So far the games graphics and gameplay look to be very simular to the Advance series. Below info comes straight from GameSpot:

The Sonic the Hedgehog series has gone all over the place since games went 3D. Sonic Adventure sort of took the game away from its high-speed roots, though Sonic Heroes certainly delivered its own take on Sonic’s fast-moving antics. But still, there’s something to be said for the classics. Sonic Rush appears to be on that classic track, delivering the high-speed side-scrolling 2D that the early games in the series is known for. But by taking advantage of the Nintendo DS’s dual screens, Sonic Rush is definitely a new spin on an old favorite.

Sonic Rush puts you in the roles of Sonic the Hedgehog and Blaze the Cat as they run real fast and attempt to recover the sol emeralds. Blaze isn’t playable in the short demo being shown at E3, but she’ll have her own separate adventure that, of course, often crosses paths with Sonic’s.

Continue reading E3: Sonic Rush Revealed

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

SEGA Patents ‘Sonic Rush’

Once again another entry and scarce details appears in the US Patent listings, this time Sonic Rush. Late last month it appears SEGA have registered the title to another Sonic game to be unveiled at E3 later this month, similar to when Sonic Gems Collection was registered not long ago. Unlike the SGC entry, unfortunately no logo was supplied with the entry.

Such news revives waves or rumors from last months ‘Sonic R Extreme’ sightings in upcoming release listings in the US video game retailer chain, Game Crazy. Whether this is indeed a Sonic R sequel or the name of the upcoming Sonic DS title is currently unknown, however many believe the answer will be revealed at the E3 expo later this month.

Thanks to grap3fruitman of SCARZ for the info.