Japanese Sonic Channel Interview with Sonic Colors Sound Team

As yesterday marked the release of the Sonic Colors official soundtrack CD Vivid Sound X Hybrid Colors, the SEGA of Japan Sonic the Hedgehog site Sonic Channel interviewed composer Kenichi Tokoi (who previously composed for Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games and Sonic and the Secret Rings) and producer Tomoya Ohtani (Who composed for soundtracks such as Sonic World Adventure and Sonic Rush Adventure) with regards to their involvement with the soundtrack.

Although the interview was conducted in Japanese, we’ve picked out some interesting topics discussed! Tokoi and Ohtani first discuss how the title of the album came about; vivid was deemed a lively term and reflected the nature of the game well, with the word hybrid uniting the liveliness of the game with the music. Because of the mix of synthesised music, autotuned vocals and orchestral music, the term hybrid was also thought to also reinforce the nature of the diversity of music on the soundtrack.

Tokoi and Ohtani also comment on differences to composing the soundtrack compared to Sonic World adventure (or Sonic Unleashed), whereby the music in the game did not change for the stage, where as now every act on the Wii version of the game has a different tune. Thetr is also discussion of the similarities and differences between the title track “Reach for the Stars” and that for Sonic World Adventure “Endless Possibilities”, and how they feel variation of lead singers for the title tracks is beneficial.

The pair go on to talk at great extent about the inspirations and vibes considered when composing for varying levels; for example the twangy guitar was thought to capture the subtle hilarity of Sweet Mountain being an armoury masquerading as a confectionary factory. Heavy guitars were employed for the fast pace of the Asteroid Coaster, and the darker themes were used to convey the feel for the Terminal Velocity stages. Both composers also enjoyed creating the 8-bit versions of the tracks used during the virtual stages!

They interestingly also discuss how they feel they have not deviated much from the framework of most sonic Sonic soundtracks, but hope fans appreciate the more pop-themed opening tunes rather than feeling betrayed by the decision to have Cash Cash perform.

You can check out the full interview with pictures on the Sonic Channel Page.

If you haven’t ordered your copy of Vivid Sounds X Hybrid Colors, you can purchase this now from CD-Japan for ¥4200 (about $47 USD or £32 GBP).

Take Sonic On An Adventure – The Winning Photo!

It’s Easter, and so everyone’s making plans to go on holiday somewhere. Sonic’s already had his World Adventure in the form of Sonic Unleashed, but perhaps the sights of Apotos and Chun-nan hasn’t given our hedgehog a complete view of the world we live in.

This is where you come in. Courtesy of our friends at SEGA Europe, we have an Xbox 360 Elite console plus a game or two to give away to a special someone on The Sonic Stadium. As a runner-up prize, we also have a copy of Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection (Xbox 360, PAL) for one of you. This is all made possible by the good folk at the Sonic City Blognik – click the link to visit them and have good times.

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The Challenge

So what do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a brand new console? Simple. We want you to take a Sonic plushie on an adventure and take a photo of where it ends up. Much like Sonic Team’s famed plushie photo shoots (example above) we want Sonic to see all the sights of the world – be that eating at a TGI Friday’s in New York or skulking down the beaches in Skegness. The craziest photo will end up with a spanking new Xbox 360 Elite. Magical!

The Entries

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Image 1: No sooner had we opened our contest than we suffered the good old Rule 34, with our first entrant displaying a somewhat “tough encounter between rivals”, courtesy of Yuluga. Not quite sure if Tails is experiencing anything about the world apart from the fact that it can be a cruel, cruel place, but I’m sure Eggman is having a good time. So er, thanks for this Yuluga.

Image 2: Silencer226’s entry attempts to add some toilet humour to the proceedings. It’s quite impressive how he’s managing to balance that Archie with his feet, either way. According to Silencer, “…Shadow has always wondered why Sonic loves those chili dogs, so he tried one. Big mistake… from his facial expression I could tell he had much to do. Now he must live his life as the ‘Ultimate Crapper'”.

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Image 3: Here we have Shadow ‘enjoying’ the sights of Disneyland in Anehiem, California. As much of a traveller as the Ultimate Lifeform is, apparently the Happiest Place on Earth wasn’t part of his agenda. Entrant Waaurufu promised a Haunted Mansion ride to get him to come along. It’s a nice photo, let’s just hope the angsty one doesn’t find out about it.

Image 4: Peter had no Sonic plush, so he entered with his favourite figurine instead. We suppose it counts, particularly if you end up having a Bug’s Life-esque adventure as Sonic seems to be having here. Makes even a Bulgarian garden an exotic locale for some exploration.

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Image 5: Sonic climbs among the rocks of Barry Island, Cardiff in this photo, immortalised by Frobman. Doesn’t look like he’s breaking much of a sweat – maybe all those past adventures have kept him fit over the years. It’s an awesome picture nonetheless, and almost won the contest.

Image 6: Josh enters a photo of a particularly knackered Sonic, which kind of links quite nicely from the last entry here. “He didn’t quite save [the world] this time, so he gave up because there was no hope–because the earth was already taken over, and so he decided just to take a nap on the beach.” Apparently beaches aren’t what they used to be after the world got destroyed by Eggman, hence the photo. Nice try, Josh.

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Image 7: Amy tries the economy-busting approach to holidaying, by fishing in a bucket in MilesDX’s backyard. Well, at least she can’t complain about the quality of the food or accommodation this way. Let’s hope she doesn’t end up with a frog for dinner, otherwise Big won’t be happy.

Image 8: Rather than go on a world adventure, Deancast shows Sonic that the best place in the world can be home, as the blue blur is caught finding some chili dogs to cook up. The way he’s looking, it seems ol’ Sonic’s had his fair share of dogs as well. Getting a bit porky there. Deancast, just how long has Sonic been stuck in your house living on this stuff?

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Image 9: The chili dog scoffing must have taken its toll on Sonic’s fitness, as Chaos360 sends us a picture of our hero gallantly failing his daily training in a gym in Catford. Bonus points to Chaos360 for the confused onlooker on the rowing machine there.

Image 10: Sonic needs gems! Emeralds! Shiny things! To satisfy his desire to complete his gems collection, Pri0n took his plushie to a New York jewellery shop. After ‘detecting some strange energy patterns’, the hedgehog discovered that the store had Chaos Emeralds, and they were for sale too. If only Dr. Eggman knew how easy it would be collecting the elusive seven…

Image 11: The Word Tamer lives up to the name by sending us a short story alongside this entry, where Sonic valiantly escapes from his most dangerous foe yet – Sonic Man! While quoting a bunch of hyperactive side-characters, Sonic’s task in “Sonic Adventure 3” is to reclaim the stolen Yuji Naka-Sanchinity orb from Sonic Man, all the while abandoning Tails and Knuckles via rope swing in Wivenhoe Woods. An ‘A’ for effort here, and an ‘A’ for sympathy as Wordy apparently fractured his wrist on that very rope swing prior to his career change to unconvincing villain.

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Image 12: Frack’s entry speaks for itself: “Before being relocated to a maximum security, underwater GUN prison , Sonic was temporarily held in a similar facility in San Diego, CA. Poor guy.” He doesn’t quite look like he’s enjoying his world adventure there, does he? It’s OK Sonic, Amy will save you… at least she would, if she wasn’t bucket fishing.

Image 13: Tracy sent in a pretty cool photo of Sonic jamming in a band with Tails and Knuckles. She says the gang had just defeated Eggman for yet another time and playing the drums helps Sonic relax. Well, as long as Sonic doesn’t go anywhere near a guitar that shoots happy hardcore laser beams, we’ll be okay. And I think the neighbours would accept loud drumming noises compared to that as well.

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Image 14: Sonic enjoys a well-earned rest in a nearby tree – well, with all this exploring around the world and seeing all sorts of sights, you do need a break every now and then. Dylan took this photo while Sonic was napping, but I’m sure he won’t mind.

Image 15: “Sonic is on in adventure this Easter Cracking One Bad Egg at a Time…” reads this entry from Future. Sonic finally gets Eggman into a corner – or should we say cup – as he declares “This is going to happen to you next!”, pointing at a broken egg. My my, we never knew Sonic had it in him. Eggman’s understandably a bit soiled at this threat, and the shocked face slapped on that egg is awesome. Nice work.

The Almost-Won-Its

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Image 16: Foreversonic took this stylish photo of Sonic trying his luck in Great Yarmouth’s crane game machines. The story goes that Sonic’s friends got caught in this catcher so Sonic must try to free them. The setting feels very much like a location Sonic would be seen in, and the story behind it is pretty sweet too.

Image 17: Looks like Rio went on his own world adventure round about the same time most of the TSS Staff did, as he takes a photo with his Sonic plushie by a lake in the Chu-Zenji mountains in Nikko, Japan. It’s truly an amazing view, and we can say we’ve seen similar sights in our own journey in the land of the rising sun. This almost won because it was about the only entry that actually took the contest seriously. Great work.

Image 18: Leo’s entry sees Sonic hitchhiking in rural Germany, with the Bavarian Alps looking beautiful within the town of Garmisch. It was a real close call between the winning entry and this one, as the view is absolutely breathtaking and the photography here is worthy of praise. Sonic’s all bandaged up like that as the result of a traffic accident. Trying to get to Spagonia those few seconds faster doesn’t really seem worth it now, does it Sonic?

Leo’s entry is the clear runner-up in the contest, which means he bags himself a PAL copy of Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection on Xbox 360.

The Winner

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Khyber’s entry won the contest by the width of a fishing line – literally! Setting up a scene where Tails is carrying Sonic over Bellingham Bay, WA is a unique way of staging a world adventure (as long as Tails doesn’t get too knackered after all that flying) and very fitting for the games as well. What really got us was the effort that went into taking this photo – believe it or not, the image above is not photoshopped, but rather a couple of plushies hanging on a fishing line. Kyber explains:

“I switched to fishing line instead of string because the string kept showing up in the picture. Sonic and Tails are held together with safety pins, and the angle is such that the pins aren’t visible. This was HARD to get right, but definitely worth it.”

You can see how Kyber set up the shot by taking a peek at this image. The imagination alone has earned you an Xbox 360 Elite console, a copy of Sonic Unleashed, a bonus game and a bundle of Sega goodies to boot, so well done Khyber! Thanks to all of our entrants, all of your photos were awesome and detailed a very interesting (if not sordid at times) adventure that the Sonic crew will certainly not forget!

What’s your favourite entry out of all of these photos? Let us know in the Comments box!

Sonic Unleashed DLC and Patch released today!

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It’s been a good three or four months since the release of Sonic’s super fast/generic action’y title on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, Sonic Unleashed. SEGA have updated the Xbox Live Market Place today with some of the first Downloadable Content available for the game, a Chun-Nan ‘Adventure Pack.’

The adventure pack weighs in at around 530MB in size and contains four new day time stages (Act 1-2, 2-2, 4 and 5) and two new Werehog stages (Act 1-2 and 3.) While act 1-2 for both characters is simply a more difficult obstacle course of the standard Act 1 stages, Act 4 and 5 for Sonic and Act 3 for the Werehog offer entirely new areas of Chun-Nan for players to explore. Act 2-2 for Sonic simply adds an extra two ‘laps’ on to the already existing stage, though both of these are cleverly designed and a good challenge for even the greatest Unleashed enthusiasts.

Currently, the Xbox 360 DLC is avalible in Europe, Japan and America, while the PS3 DLC is only accessible in Japan. Worry not however, as word has it the European and American PSN will be updating later tonight with the content.

Alongside a DLC update, SEGA have released a patch for the game currently only downloadable through the Xbox Live Marketplace. While it doesn’t fix everything, incorrect totals on the map screen have been fixed and a slight optimisation of the code for the Adabat stage has been put into place, lessening the frame rate drops by a small amount.

Hopefully more Adventure Packs will be made available to download in the future, alongside more frequent patches for the game, hopefully fixing art book glitches and the loss of frame rate in Eggman Land especially.

Are you happy with the Chun-Nan DLC? Were you expecting something more? Entirely new stages? Remakes of classic zones perhaps? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: SEGA Nerds.

Djahalland Reveals Sonic World Adventure Concept Art

ShadiWulf from Rings & Emeralds has discovered the website of the art studio that was commissioned to produce concept artwork for Sonic World Adventure (or Sonic Unleashed to you and I). Geoffroy Thoorens, on his personal website Djahalland, was working at art studio AOKI when they were asked to provide settings for the game back in 2007. He has recently uploaded all of those works online, and you can see them here (or on the Djahalland website).

AOKI Concept Art

Click the image to see all the Concept Art

The concept art is focused on the stages found in the final game, you can even see some of your favourite moments from the game like the lood de loops in Holoska. The artwork is amazing for the persons first job, it’s great to see how much effort went into the design on the stages and it certainly shows, in this art and the final game.

Djahalland Gallery (via Rings & Emeralds)

Pick up the Pieces: Sonic World Adventure OST Out Today!

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Tasty Gatefold Artwork!

Whether or not you’ve decided that Sonic Unleashed is a good game or not, you’ve probably heard a handful of tunes that have got your feet tapping as you blast through levels at break-neck speeds or smack goofy enemies with your Wolfy pimping-hands. So for those of you who are bonkers for Sonic soundtracks, you can rejoice in the knowledge the Sonic World Adventure: Planetary Pieces Official Soundtrack has been released today.

Once again, the usual suspects Tomoya Ohtani, Kenichi Tokoi, Fumie Kumatani & Hideaki Kobayashi have teamed up to create another monstrous album containing a comprehensive collection of all the tracks from the game. The staggering 91 track list includes the rather sexual Werehog Battle music, Jaret Reddick’s “Endless Possibility”, several versions of the game’s theme, and the pleasant “Dear My Friend” from the ending titles. Not only that, the presentation of the box is of the usual incredible standard (there’s a CD with Chip on it!)

You can check out the track listing over at the Video Game Music Data Base, and if you’ve got some coins to spare you can buy yourself a copy from Play Asia or CD Japan for about 4200 Yen...a bit steep at around £31 ($45 – and don’t forget you’ll have to pay for International Postage on top of that), but well worth it if you’re as mad as me for these soundtracks!

Channel Watch: Get Romantic With Chip Wallpaper

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Sonic Channel, for the uninitiated, is Japan’s official Sonic the Hedgehog website. It’s about ten thousand times better than the American counterpart, Sonic Central, and is currently 100% better than the European Sonic City, which doesn’t exist yet (expect that to change when it re-launches though). It’s updated on a regular basis and provides plenty of decent fanservice for Asian fans of the blue blur. Every so often, we’d like to track the updates we find on Sonic Channel, so you don’t miss out on some good stuff.

Every month we’re treated to a new desktop wallpaper and calendar PDF, which features the talented artwork of Yuji Uekawa (who should really do more artwork for promotional purposes like game boxes – too many CG pieces flying around) – and every so often a little bio written by SEGA Europe’s Community Team as well. Recently the character art has been in a sketch style, which is a cool way of seeing how Sonic and Tails are usually drawn.

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February’s calendar character is none other than Chip from Sonic World Adventure / Unleashed. I guess it makes sense – Valentine’s Day is the time of love, and Chip just happens to ‘looooooooove’ chocolate. We’re glad the little random sprat is getting some facetime. Even though it’s pink, it’s on my desktop. Because hey, I’m comfortable with my sexuality. Are you? Click here to grab the wallpaper and here for the calendar PDF.

The other main activity on the Japanese website appears to be on the official microsites of Sonic World Adventure and Sonic and the Black Knight, with the latter updating with a pretty cool video featuring Jun ‘Junny Baby’ Senoue and Johnny Gioeli performing ‘Knight of the Wind’ in a SECRET LOCATION. Well, a studio. A studio in a SECRET LOCATION. It’s pretty good stuff, head to the microsite and click the video called ‘Hey All’ to see it.

Finally, even though they’re really old items on the website, we want you to take a look at this video featuring Junny Baby and Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (of the SEGA Sound Team live performance band) singing Happy Birthday to Sonic (totally epic), and some awesome ‘Basic Sonic’ stationary that you wish you could buy.

Sonic World Adventure Xbox 360/PS3 dated

For those hardcore Sonic merchandise collectors out there who want a copy of Sonic Unleashed under the name Sonic World Adventure, SEGA have announced a release date for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions that were delayed from their 18th December date a while back. The new date is 19th February 2009. The Wii version however is still going to be released to the original plan of 18th December 2008. 19th Feb is a long way away to say their still getting the game we’ve got in quality standards as SEGA said in a press release given when these versions first got pushed back.

The Japanese text announcement translates(in Google translator at least) to –
PLAYSTATION3 version / Xbox360 version, Release Date Announcement
2008 Release Date November 7 to tell us postponed, and was released in the spring of 2009, PLAYSTATION3 version of Sonic Adventure World and is the Xbox360 version of the “February 19, 2009” make the decision to release MASHITA.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we will notify here.

Before the Release Date: Spring 2009
After the change of the Release Date: February 19, 2009
※ Wii version of the 2008 will be released on December 18

Link

Discuss over at the SSMB topic.

Sonic World Adventure OST Coming January

Just like clockwork, the latest Sonic the Hedgehog title is to get an original soundtrack release in Japan. Called ‘Sonic World Adventure Original Soundtrack: Planetary Pieces’, no doubt it will be a pretty comprehensive collection of tunes from all the stages, bosses and events found in Sonic Unleashed. If you’ve yet to hear the sublime music so far, you can catch a preview at the official Sega website. That Chun-Nan track sure is tight. Those wanting to sit patiently until the release date can file behind T-Bird for the 29th January 2009. Bring some crisps. And 4000 Yen.

Sonic World Adventure Original Soundtrack Planetary Pieces – CDJapan (thanks, Rob!)

Sonic World Adventure delayed until Spring 2009

While everyone seems to be jumping up and down about Sonic Unleashed, one thing that seems slightly off is regarding the game’s release date. According to the official Japanese website (the game is called Sonic World Adventure over there),  the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions are being held back until Spring 2009. The website states that this is to “improve the game’s quality”, something we’re not exactly against given the known rushings of past Sonic games.

Oddly though, this delay does not affect the Wii version, which is still scheduled for an 18th December launch. This release date confusion follows our report the other day, where we revealed that the European PS3 version won’t be released until December. Reasons were not given for the pushback, but other consoles are as yet unaffected.

AAUK, the Sega Community Manager for Europe, has stressed that the delays in Japan doesn’t mean that the Japanese version will be superior to the others.

Sonic World Adventure – via Siliconera (thanks Aly!)

Unleash the hunk/babe in you with this T-shirt

Sega have updated the official Sonic World Adventure website with news of a new themed reversible T-shirt. One side of the shirt displays Sonic the Hedgehog (White) and the other Sonic the Werehog (Black). The T-shirt comes in sizes small, medium and large and retails for 4,200 Yen. That’s a whopping £22, mind you.

You can check out the T-shirt here.

Sega Dates Unleashed in Japan

At a press briefing of Sega’s own, Sega have announced their Japanese line-up for 2008/9 and among them is Sonic Unleashed or Sonic World Adventure as it’s being named over there. The game will be released in Japan December 18th 2008. Here’s a Google translation of the Sonic Unleashed announcement –

Action on behalf of Sega games, Sonic’s latest film series. The album is Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic UEAHOGGU The two types of character to operate the Games to proceed. PS3/Xbox 360 and Wii versions are slightly different, Wii version of Sonic the UEAHOGGU me to let my part, to wave attack when the Wii remote control features intuitive operation. But the attacks also NANDO is wielding a little bit tired (laughs). Features of the series is the same sense of speed with the fans of this series, if the contents of any problems with it? Release date is scheduled for Dec. 18, 2008. Priced at 7,140 yen (PS3/Xbox 360) and 6,090 yen (Wii).

A new screenshot from the Xbox 360/PS3 version was also shown

and an old Wii one

Reading the announcement it look’s like the Wii version Werehog will involve some waggle attacks among other things when using the Wii Remote. With the Japanese release date announced, hopefully the U.S. and Europe will get a date soon.

Source: Watch.Impress

Oddities: Sonic Unleashed Renamed In Japan

Probably because they’d pronounce it “Un-reashed” and that would just be silly, SEGA Japan has taken it upon itself to rename Sonic’s latest outing for Asian territories.

There were massive rumours that the game had suffered a name change – heavily debunked by SEGA Europe, with the explanation that World Adventure was merely a work-in-progress title. Turns out nobody keeps each other informed in the land of SEGA, and now we have semi-confirmation (semi because it is Japan only after all) in the form of a new official website.

There’s really not a lot else going on with the website, so don’t expect waves of information. But if you’d like an updated Sonic Un… World Adventure experience check it out. The website does look very nice though.