3,653 Nights: 10 Years of Sonic and the Secret Rings

A Storybook Retrospective of Sonic and the Secret Rings

Once upon a time, on the nineteenth night of February 2017, I had fallen fast asleep on my sofa. An issue of Sonic the Comic lay strewn out upon my face, its pages fluttering up and down in the makeshift breeze as my body gently breathed in and out. A fireplace roared away in the corner of the room as the quiet ticking of the grandfather clock permeated the silence. Eventually, the two hands pointed upwards and the simple staccato beats transformed into a melodic chime. A strange magic seemed to fill the air.

“Zzz…” I snored, happily oblivious to my surroundings.

“Um…” murmured a familiar voice. It was not enough to make me stir.

“Zzz…” I snored some more. My unexpected guest grew impatient.

“Hmph! Hey, wake up!

I came to with a start, the comic slipping off my face and onto the floor. My eyes shot straight over to the clock. Midnight! February 20th had arrived.

“Boy, is it that late already?!”

I leaned down to reach for the comic, but instead found myself picking up a shining circular object. A copy of Sonic and the Secret Rings! But what was it doing here, and why was it out of its box…? Suddenly, a ghostly mist surrounded the disc, and out popped a female genie with pointy ears and purple-pink hair!

“Do not be alarmed,” she explained, “I am Shahra, the Genie of the Disc!”

I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. Surely this couldn’t really be happening?!

“This is what I get for listening to Big the Cat’s Emerald Coast music before bedtime…” I mumbled to myself.

“Please,” she begged, “look at this!”

A laptop materialised in her hands, the screen displaying a series of posts on an internet forum. The name of the thread: ‘Sonic and the Secret Rings sucks!

“Wow, those comments are… harsh!” I observed, a little shocked. “Opinions on it really have changed, haven’t they!”

“Our world, the world of the Secret Rings, is vanishing!” she revealed. “It is the work of an incredibly evil spirit… the Erazor Djinn! He has begun to carve up our game’s reputation. When it first released exactly ten years ago today, the reception was generally positive – but now it is crumbling apart! If our fanbase ceases to exist, then this story will be silenced forever…”

“That definitely sounds like trouble,” I agreed, “but what do you want me to do?”

“I want you to stop it. Only you can restore the people’s belief in Sonic and the Secret Rings!”

“I suppose I can help out with that… but this is all something out of a videogame, right?” I questioned, ever so slightly perplexed. “How am I supposed to do anything about that?”

“That’s easy,” Shahra replied, “you are my master, having called forth the Genie of the Disc. Bringing you into the world of the Secret Rings is within my power. Now, please place the disc into the console…”

Obediently, I bent down and inserted the game into my dusty old Nintendo Wii. With a thunderous whir of power and a flash of rainbow light, I found myself standing in a whole new world.

I had arrived in a tunnel of golden light: a swirling vortex with giant pieces of paper floating all around.

“Where are we?” I asked Shahra.

“This is the Lost Preview, the world before the Secret Rings…”

I looked down at the pages making up the road beneath my feet. They were extracts from old magazine and website articles about the game, from early impressions to initial reviews. Lo and behold, most of them were pretty optimistic.

“Hey, I used to read some of these! Wow… I’d almost forgotten that the game was called Sonic Wildfire in early development! Check out some of the great things people were saying… man, I was so excited for it back then!”

At this point, it also occurred to me that, completely automatically, I had started running along in a straight line. Shahra noticed my surprise, and commented:

“Yeah, that’s a force of habit in the world of the Secret Rings. You’ll get used to it.”

Unfortunately, it seemed I had also lost my ability to stop, and soon found myself running straight into the back of a big ugly purple genie wielding a mighty scythe. The Erazor Djinn!

“You… you must be that ape that just got added to the story!” he grinned, turning around to face me.

“Don’t you know anything? I’m not an ape, I’m a human!” I pedantically corrected him.

“I have already ruined this game’s Metacritic average and forced SEGA to de-list it from retail stores! Soon the rest of its fans will follow…”

“We’ll see about that!” I bit back, my legs still stuck in a running animation with Shahra having to hold me in place.

“Oh, you’re one of them, are you? I suppose a suitable punishment is in order, then…”

Without warning, Erazor shot a burning arrow of fire right into my chest.

“This game’s reputation is tied to the flame. Bring me one good reason not to blight it to oblivion before the arrow extinguishes. If you do not… your journalistic credibility is forfeit! Hahahahaha!”

“Ouch!” I yelped, as Erazor quickly teleported away into the ether. “I reckon I’m going to need some Gaviscon to sort out this heartburn…”

“No, we do not have time. Let the speed mend it!” Shahra suggested instead. I wondered if she realised she had just made an in-joke. “You must hurry and remember what made you fall in love with the Secret Rings a whole decade ago…”

Shahra conjured up a luxurious-looking magic carpet and gestured to climb on board with her. She handed me a Wii Remote, telling me that I could use it to steer us around.

“Now this is first-class!” I exclaimed, just grateful not to be endlessly running on my feet any more.

I looked up to see a series of locales now listed in front of me. Somewhere from the depths of the vortex, a voice was singing: ‘Make-believes reborn! Myths in mind rethought..!’. That won’t ever get annoying, I thought. Deciding to visit the areas in order, we soared onward, and my adventure into the world of the Secret Rings had begun…

One thing became clear as we perpetually ventured forwards: every step on our journey was a fast and thrilling rollercoaster ride of fun. Or, at least, most steps were. In between the high octane magic carpet flights, we had to make shorter and less exciting visits to each locale. I didn’t much see the point in revisiting the same places over and over again for a number of trivial tasks: collecting (or not collecting) rings, destroying a very specific amount of evil spirits, or painstakingly hunting for dinosaur eggs. Shahra, however, insisted that it was necessary in order to forge the path ahead – which would have been fine, except that we had to zig-zag between locales to do so, with increasingly grating echoes of ‘Make believes reborn!’ greeting us every time. For a world so obsessed with moving forwards, Secret Rings didn’t really seem to comprehend the virtues of straightforward linearity.

“This is needlessly obtuse, you do realise that?” I remarked. Shahra chose to ignore me.

It had also become clear after a while that our mode of transport was far from ideal. The Wii Remote, though a novel means of steering, was just that: a novelty. Tilting to and fro worked fine, but the struggle to slow down and reverse caused untold amount of crashes and near-misses. I pleaded with Shahra for a more traditional method of controlling our movement, but she insisted that this was the only way. I started to believe that turning around and going backwards must be considered a crime in these lands. Either that or the world had just taken Green Forest’s ‘Won’t Stop, Just Go!’ mentality a little too seriously.

By the time we finally reached the heart of the Night Palace, I was feeling pretty jaded and weary – our adventuring had literally been non-stop! But, in spite of all my frustrations, there was no time to rest. The flaming arrow in my chest was nearly gone, and the Erazor Djinn still had to be stopped. Entering his throne room, we could hear him reciting an incantation:

“Ifalas zaras I e zaraq, Ifalas zaras I e zaraq…”

“What’s he doing?” I asked Shahra.

“He’s summoning an angry mob to burn what’s left of this game’s reputation to the ground!” she panicked. “You must stop him, now!”

Erazor finished his spell and an army of disgruntled Sonic fans with torches and pitchforks materialised beside him. Sensing our presence, Erazor turned around and laughed maniacally.

“Ah, it’s the ape again! Have you brought me your one good reason?”

“Umm… actually, I don’t know…” I answered honestly.

Erazor and Shahra looked equally stunned.

“You see, I can completely understand why some people wouldn’t like this game. It can be a right royal pain trying to traverse through these areas using the Wii Remote, and the constant coming and going between different areas to complete missions can bring the momentum grinding to a halt. Which is ironic really, considering it’s all meant to be about never-ending speed!”

Shahra put her head in her hands, defeated. Erazor smirked and nodded to the angry mob to start approaching.

“But,” I continued, “that doesn’t mean it’s not without its charm. For all of the game’s faults, I can’t help but admire it. Whether it was Sand Oasis, Evil Foundry, Levitated Ruin, Skeleton Dome, or anywhere else: this is a gorgeous, gorgeous world. The landscapes, the lighting, the set pieces… they’re all beautifully diverse. And all from a launch-window title on a standard definition console! Maybe including dinosaurs and pirates is a little strange thematically, but I’m willing to give those a pass for sheer spectacle alone. Oh, and I absolutely loved the music of this world, too! I may never know what an Unawakening Float is, or find out who’s gonna rock the place, place, place, but these are all songs I will never forget. They’re just so… unique. And I think that about sums it up: Secret Rings is a game that dares to be different. Yes, it’s a product of its time that cashed in on gimmicky motion controls. Yes, it hasn’t aged very well by modern standards. But back in 2007, compared to the other Sonic titles on the market, this was a big deal. Strip away its technical flaws and Secret Rings is a game that’s simple yet compelling in its story, its presentation… and, at times, even its gameplay. Trash talk it all you like, but its creative heart will burn on with a passion that can never be extinguished!”

It was at this point that I expected the flaming arrow in my chest to burst forth with almighty, triumphant vigour. Alas, no such luck.

“Pah! You think that’s good enough to stop me?” laughed Erazor at my excuses.

“Oh… umm…” I desperately scrambled for other ideas, “well I suppose Secret Rings is technically canon now, seeing as it did get mentioned in Generations, so…”

Erazor just carried on laughing. Even I knew that was a pathetic attempt.

“You have failed, ape! Now, feel the wrath of the flame!”

With a click of his fingers, Erazor’s angry mob angled their pitchforks in my direction and came after me. I needed a get-out and I needed it quick.

“This doesn’t look good! Shahra, please lend me your power!”

A distant voice cried out: ‘Time break!!’

There was a flash of grey and the world slowed to a crawl. Seizing the opportunity, I turned and ran. And I ran, and I ran, until I found my way home. Sonic somehow managed it, so I figured I could too.

I don’t know whether my efforts managed to make any difference to the fate of the Secret Rings. Ten years on from its original release, I got to relive both its highs and its lows – and, while it often felt like an arduous journey, I do not regret making a return visit to its world. Strange, isn’t it? That’s this game in a nutshell. Maybe that’s what makes it special.

The past was kind to Secret Rings. The present, not so much. Its future reputation? Well, that remains uncertain. Day by day, only time will tell if it’s meant to be… but in my opinion?

It’s worth a chance.

– THE END –

Celebrate 10 years of Sonic and the Secret Rings by sharing your memories below!

Scrapped Sonic and the Black Knight Poster Found

Sonic & the Black Knight promo poster

The Sonic Stadium has uncovered what appears to be an unused promotional poster for Wii exclusive Sonic and the Black Knight. The poster was created by a company called KJSCoverArt who have designed a lot of album covers for various artists, as seen on their portfolio. We assume this image must have been made pretty early on because you’ll notice Sonic is wearing two of the same gauntlet he wears in the game instead of just one, as well as a helmet, which looks much like Shadow/Lancelot’s. Other changes include slight differences in Caliburn’s hilt and the game’s logo.

What do you think of this artwork? Would you have preferred Sonic to have worn more armour? Speak out in the comments.

Source: KJSCoverArt

TSS @ E3: Hands On Yuji Naka’s Rodea the Sky Soldier

rodea_skysoldier

As someone who covers Sonic news and previews for Sonic Stadium, this has been one of the worst E3’s ever for Sonic news. Despite Sonic Boom : Fire and Ice and Mario and Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympics coming soon, neither of them were on the show floor. The closest things to Sonic games at E3 are Freedom Planet (a preview is available for a limited time on the Nintendo E-Shop) and Rodea the Sky Soldier. A game designed by Yuji Naka and published by NIS America.

Rodea the Sky Soldier is an action platform game that heavily involves flying. You play as Rodea, a cyborg, cat-like boy who has woken up from being asleep for 1,000 years only to find the enemy he destroyed centuries ago has returned. The game play itself is very reminiscent of NiGHTS and a little bit of Sonic Adventure which I will get into momentarily. In the game, Rodea has an arsenal of different moves at his command. The main one being a targeting lock-on that let’s Rodea fly to enemies and locals. You can also hit the “B” button to fast attack targets such as large, hovering robots.

Rodea-the-Sky-Soldier_

If you remember that in Sonic Adventure, Sonic can get special shoes that allow him to quickly grab a trail of rings that are in the air. That aspect is in Sky Soldier as well. You can target a line of yellow crystals and fly to them. This often acts as a trail to quickly get to the next floating island or set piece. When done properly, it gives the game a sort of speed-run feeling. You also use this targeting system to target enemies and boost to them for an attack or find a piece of island to land on before your flight meter runs out. Flying around these crystals, enemies and such gives the game a bit of a “NiGHTS” feeling while still being pretty original. However…

The Wii U controls are very difficult to get a good handle on. I tried the demo on two different occasions and during both times I found myself target the wrong spot and flying either into a wall or on the underside of an island before falling to my death fairly often. Both moving your character and targeting are on the same stick while the camera control is on the right, but you can’t use the camera controls if locked onto a target. It made it so I was having difficulty getting through even some of the earlier stages. Even after learning what does what and playing the game for over half an hour, I still couldn’t master it. Perhaps it’s the regular button/dual stick combo that is the problem. This game was originally meant as a Wii game only and I can see Wiimote/Nunchuck controls actually being a benefit as it feels like targeting would be much more effective by aiming with the Wiimote thus allowing your character to move while targeting. Sadly, I found out from the gentleman showing off the game that only the Wii version (which comes with the Wii U version of the game) has those kind of controls.

rodea

 

One other minor negative is that the graphics haven’t really gotten much of an HD upgrade from the Wii version. It’s definitely a higher resolution, but the low polygon count and bland textures remain. Even the CGI cutscenes are still fairly low res. The biggest highlight here is the 2-D artwork looks very high-res and sharp on the Wii U version. However, since the graphics aren’t a major upgrade, it may give me a good reason to stick with the Wii version included.

 

Which is a shame since this game shows a ton of potential and originality. It’s the most…”Yuji Naka” of Yuji Naka’s Prope Studio games. It feels fresh while still having feature reminiscent of NiGHTS and Sonic Adventure. However, it also feels like a game from those times as well. It’s controls are archaic and the game itself seems about ten years behind the times. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing more on Rodea the Sky Soldier and hoping the full version proves my fears wrong.

Rodea the Sky Soldier will release on Wii U (with Wii version included) and 3DS in North America on October 13th and in Europe on October 16th.

 

 

Retrospective: The Colours Still Feel So Right

soniccoloursretro

2010 was an interesting time to be a Sonic fan. At the start of the year, the franchise was at one of its lowest points, with jokes about the Sonic Cycle being thrown around every which way following the downward spiral of quality in the games – Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic ’06, Sonic and the Black Knight… even 2008’s Sonic Unleashed, the closest thing to a step in the right direction we’d seen, was critically panned and bogged down by poor design choices. Luckily, there seemed to be a shining ray of light on the horizon, one that the entire fanbase was clinging their hopes onto, something that promised to set the series back on track at last…

That game was Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. And we all know how that turned out.

Yes, rather unjustly in retrospect, it was the disappointing sequel to the classic Sonic trilogy that garnered the most attention in 2010. Instead, there was another, far better, far more memorable Sonic game released that year that deserved to receive the lion’s share of fan interest. Announced slap bang in the middle of the Sonic 4 hype, Sonic Colours – or Sonic Colors, for our American readers – was eternally in the shadow of its downloadable counterpart, with only a month separating the two games’ release dates in October and November respectively. It’s understandable, of course – the game’s rather obscure title and lack of concrete gameplay details upon its initial reveal made Colours a bit of a harder sell compared to the prospect of a follow-up to Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Even I’ll admit, I thought Sonic Colours would be a puzzle or spin-off title when I first saw its announcement… but fast forward a few months, and it ended up being one of my favourite Sonic games of all time.

NE Sonic Colours Wii 5

Whereas Sonic 4’s hype train went out of control before well and truly coming off the rails, the more quiet and subtle excitement surrounding Sonic Colours actually worked in its favour. When the astonishingly good reviews came rolling in – that all important first score of 86 from NGamer and an 8.5 from IGN, to name but a couple (let’s just forget that 4.5 from Destructoid though, eh?) – it caught us all by surprise and made us appreciate the game even more. It not only surpassed Sonic 4, it trampled all over it and gave us the first genuinely good Sonic experience in years. Say what you want about the game, but you cannot deny that Sonic Colours set alight the hearts of several fans and critics again after oh so long.

So what was it about the title that sparked off such acclaim? Well… a bit of everything, really. Presentation-wise, Colours definitely delivers on its title – this is a bright, quirky, visually appealing adventure that really pushes the graphical boundaries of the Wii to their limits. While we’ve since seen the likes of Planet Wisp and Starlight Carnival recreated in high definition in Sonic Generations and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, their original incarnations still hold up beautifully on Nintendo’s last-gen system. What really stands out about Colours though is its sheer imagination, fusing recurring Sonic tropes into entirely fresh new locations such as the tropical casino aesthetic of Tropical Resort and the watery Chun-Nan that is Aquarium Park. Despite being a modern 3D title, Colours captures the vibe and essence – and, dare I say it, magic – of the classic era better than ever before (arguably better even that Sonic 4 did), to the extent that famous badniks like Motobugs even make their long-awaited return with a few new twists of their own.

Sonic Colours Wii screen 1 1st Aug

Musically, the soundtrack is also up there with the finest in the series – and that’s an impressive feat considering how consistently brilliant Sonic music tends to be (Chronicles notwithstanding). Almost every tune is a joy to listen to, ranging from the adrenaline-pumping sounds of Terminal Velocity to the gentle and serene Planet Wisp tracks. It’s also the last time we had a vocal song as the main theme of a Sonic game – can you believe it’s been four years already? – and, while Cash Cash’s Reach For The Stars and Speak With Your Heart aren’t to everybody’s taste, they’re serviceable enough and undeniably catchy for those who want to sing along as the credits roll.

Most importantly, Colours nailed the gameplay. Taking the day stages from Sonic Unleashed as a basis, cutting out all of the nonsense like medal hunting and Werehogs, every stage was a high octane blast of speedy Sonic fun. The level design is top notch with some hugely enjoyable courses to overcome right from the off – there’s no messing around with opening cutscenes or tutorials, you press Start at the title screen and you’re straight into Tropical Resort Act 1. It’s a platformer at its most straightforward – clear one level, move onto the next, rinse and repeat until you face off against the world’s boss, then move onto the next area – and it’s all the better for it, with nothing to get in the way of the fun and preventing it from becoming sidetracked by anything unnecessary.

Sonic Colours Pink Wisp screen 1

It’s the Wisps that really steal the spotlight here though. Before 2010, if you heard the words “Sonic” and “gimmick” in the same sentence, you’d shudder in horror. Fishing, treasure hunting, guns, motion controls, stretchy armed brawling, talking swords… you name it, Sonic had probably tried it, often to disastrous effect. But the Wisps did something that none of these other gimmicks were capable of – adding to the basic Sonic gameplay rather than detracting from it or outright replacing it. Each of the different coloured Wisps grants Sonic a new kind of Colour Power to utilise as he traverses his way through a level, be it a quick-firing laser, the ability to hover, or a drill to dig through the earth (or cake, if you happen to be in Sweet Mountain). Each is a bite-sized burst of fun, never outstaying its welcome and often leading to some previously unexplored section of a stage. In a game where the gimmicks are almost entirely optional, you’ll be actively wanting to use them more than ever, going back to previous locales to seek out those hidden Red Rings you missed first time around because you hadn’t unlocked the right Wisp yet. They’re a joyous addition, and it’s a shame that they were used much less gratifyingly in their comeback appearances in Generations and Lost World.

This isn’t even scratching the surface of what Colours brought to the table – a brand new voice cast featuring Roger Craig Smith in his Sonic debut (if you conveniently ignore Sonic Free Riders, as most people do), a more simple and streamlined narrative focusing on just Sonic and Tails rather than the cavalcade of sub-par sidekicks seen previously, the infamous Eggman P.A. announcements, and the first time we’ve seen Super Sonic playable in regular levels in a 3D game. It was a total shift for the Sonic series, both tonally and reception-wise, and it was just the ticket to dig the hedgehog out of the hole he’d dug himself into over the preceding years.

All praise aside, it’s not the perfect Sonic game – there’s some awkward difficulty spikes, it’s only a few hours long, and the story is rather minimal with some love-it-or-hate-it scripting – but it’s by far the most original entry we’ve seen in the franchise in recent memory, Generations included. There’s a certain magic and a certain joy that I get from playing and looking back on Sonic Colours, and that’s something that’s distinct from any other entry in the franchise.

Sonic Colours Wii screenshots 21

In this uncertain age where Sonic is once again descending into mediocrity, it’s enlightening to remember that once upon a time, when even the most promising of projects led only to the bitterness of disappointment, a game like Sonic Colours came along out of nowhere and revitalised the series in a way no one expected. Who’s to say that lightning can’t strike twice…? And, if nothing else, it proves that Sonic can do Nintendo exclusivity right when it puts its mind to it. Sorry Lost World and Boom, but you’ve got nothing on this gem.

With Sonic Colours, SEGA reached for the stars – and boy, did they come close. Four years on and the colours still seem as right and as bright as they ever did. Long may they continue to shine.

What are your feelings and memories about Sonic Colours? We’d love to know your thoughts too, so sound off in the comments! Don’t fall apart, speak with your heart!

Nintendo UK Store offers Mario & Sonic Wii U Bundle

mariosonicwiiubundleThe Mario & Sonic series is no stranger to being a part of console bundles – the London 2012 entry even came with its very own blue Wii system – so this latest announcement comes as no real surprise. No doubt in a bid to cash in on the ongoing Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games as well as to shift a few extra Wii U consoles, Nintendo UK has revealed a brand new bundle featuring the latest entry in the series, exclusive to its online store.

Simply dubbed the “Mario and Sonic Winter Olympics Bundle”, you get a black Premium Wii U console in addition to (of course) Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, NintendoLand, and one of those swanky Mario Wii Remote Plus controllers released towards the end of last year. What’s more, you can get it all for just £299.99, which means a saving of over £75 on the RRP of the individual products.

If you’re swept away by Winter Olympic fever at the moment or are just waiting for the right deal to come along to entice you to join the Wii U brigade… this might be the bundle for you!

Source: Nintendo UK Online Store

Sonic 4: Episode I Sold Best on PS3 on Consoles

SEGA Digital Brand Manager Ken Balough has revealed at the SEGA Forums that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I sold best on the PlayStation 3 platform on consoles. Xbox 360 came second and Wii last. The news is quite a twist when compared to retail Sonic titles, where Nintendo’s consoles usually come out on top. No information was given as to where PC and mobile platforms ranked.

Will the same happen for Episode II? Time will tell. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II is out now on Steam in the UK, and will be released later today in other territories. The PSN version will also be released later today in the US, then Europe tomorrow. The Xbox Live Arcade version is due out worldwide tomorrow.

Source: SEGA Forums

[UPDATE]Retailer eStarland.com Lists Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing 2 For PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii

UPDATE 08/03/12 23:59 GMT: Well, that didn’t take long. The product pages on eStarland have now been wiped clean and all versions of the game no longer show up in searches.

Original article:
Listings for the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing sequel we first brought you word about in January have appeared at US retailer eStarland.com. The site lists Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing 2 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii platforms and says the game will be released November 30th 2012, which is likely a placeholder date, because games usually release in the US on a Tuesday, not a Friday. There are no signs of Wii U, 3DS and PS Vita versions, but at this early stage anything could change.

A placeholder box art is also on display on the site featuring the first game’s logo with a number 2 underneath it. The product description simply reads “Sonic and friends go back to the track in the sequel to their 2010 kart racing outing.”

Could these listings mean an official announcement is soon on the way? We’ll keep you posted.

Source: eStarland.com – PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii

Sega Confirms No Sonic 4-2 For Wii

Ken Balough has recently confirmed what many wondered at the end of his Gamespot interview. Sonic 4 Episode 2 will not be making an appearance on the Wii console. This makes the third Multi-platform Sonic game in a row not to see release on the Wii. Here’s what Ken had to say.

But no – the reason Episode I was on the Wii was because we wanted to bring the Sonic 4 saga to the widest possible audience. Episode II unfortunately will not be coming to the Wii – for reasons most people have probably guessed, but that doesn’t mean the SEGA isn’t supporting Nintendo platforms, we have a very strong partnership and will continue to do so.

Oh well. Here’s hoping for a disc compilation at some point.

Source [Sega Forums]

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Price Roundup

With the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games out now in the US and Australia, and the European release coming tomorrow, you might be wondering what the best deal is online. Well, below, we’ve put together a list of the current prices available for the game and its blue Wii console bundle, as well as some of the extras certain retailers are offering.

UK
Grainger Games: £24.99
DVD: £28.99
DVD (Special Edition: With Money Tin): £34.99
Base: £28.99
Base (Special Edition: With money Tin): £34.99
101CD: £28.99
101CD (Special Edition: With Money Tin): £34.99
BlahDVD: £28.99
BlahDVD (Special Edition: With Money Tin): £34.99
PropelGamer: £29.10
CoolShop: £29.77
SimplyGames: £29.85
The Hut: £29.95
Zavvi: £29.95
Sainsbury’s Entertainment: £29.99
GAME: £29.99
Gamestation: £29.99
Amazon: £29.99
Tesco Entertainment: £30.71
ShopTo: £31.85
GameStop: £31.97
ChoicesUK: £31.99
ASDA Direct: £32.00
Play.com: £32.99
Blockbuster: £34.99
Gameplay: £37.99

US
Toys R Us: $37.49
Amazon: $41.20
Walmart: $49.96
GameStop: $49.99
Target: $49.99
Best Buy: $49.99
Kmart: $49.99

Australia
JB Hi-Fi: $69.00AU
EB Games: $78.00AU
EB Games (Limited Edition): $88.00AU
Mighty Ape: $72.99AU
Mighty Ape (Collector’s Edition): $88.99AU

UK
ASDA Direct: £119.00
Toys R Us: £119.99
The Hut: £124.95
Zavvi: £124.95
HMV: £129.99
GAME: £129.99
Gamestation: £129.99
Gameplay: £129.99
Play.com: £129.99
Amazon: £129.99
DVD: £129.99
Base: £129.99
101CD: £129.99
BlahDVD: 129.99

If you’ve seen some prices we haven’t, share them in the comments below and we’ll add them in.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Launch Trailer

SEGA has released one final trailer to promote the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The video gives a brief look at all the game has to offer, including Olympic Events, Dream Events and London Party Mode. The game is out now in the US and Australia, and will be released in Europe tomorrow.

Source: SEGA Blog

Australia and New Zealand Get M&S London 2012 Collector’s Edition

Following the previously revealed Limited Edition, the Australia and New Zealand branches of Mighty Ape are now listing a Collector’s Edition for the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Collector’s Edition contains:
– Game
– Money tin
– Stationary Kit
– Beach ball
– Key ring
– Lanyard

You can pre-order your copy of the Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Collector’s Edition at the links below. Both retailers ship worldwide.
MightyApe.com.au: $88.99AU
MightyApe.co.nz: $109.99NZ

If the Collector’s Edition doesn’t interest you, you can order the Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Limited Edition at EB Games Australia for £88.00AU.

The Limited Edition contains:
– Game
– Steel Tin
– Poster
– T Shirt
– Notebook
– Carry Bag

Unfortunately, it appears EB Games doesn’t ship outside of Australia.

With Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games now having a Collector’s Edition, like Sonic Generations did, it’s definitely an expensive year to be a Sonic fan.

New Japanese M&S London 2012 Wii Gameplay Video

SEGA and Nintendo have released some gameplay footage of the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games via Japan’s Wii Nintendo Channel, and thanks to Youtube user NintenDaanNC, the rest of the world can get a look at it. The new footage shows a variety of Olympic and Dream Events, including Football, Show Jumping, Dream Discus and more.

Source: GoNintendo

P.S. Bowser performing in Synchronized Swimming might be one of the funniest things you’ll ever see in gaming.

New M&S London 2012 Character Art & UK 3DS Box Art

SEGA has today released many pieces of character artwork for Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Some of them you will have seen before, but a lot of them are new. The UK version of the 3DS version’s box art has also been unveiled today, and like its Wii counterpart, it has a more British background.

You can view all of the artwork in our gallery below.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games will be released on Wii next week on November 15th in the US, November 17th in Australia and November 18th in Europe. The Nintendo 3DS version will be released on February 9th 2012 in Australia, February 10th 2012 in Europe and February 14th 2012 in the US.

Source: SEGA Press

Thanks to fluttersoard for the heads up!

Nintendo UK Reveals More M&S London 2012 Wii Tidbits

Nintendo UK has today put up their product page for the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games and in it has revealed some more tidbits of information about the game.

– Option to play as your Mii character returns
– Over 20 Olympic events
– 10 Dream Events total
– In London Party mode: “The aim of the game is to collect stickers and fill sticker sheets before your opponents – a goal achieved by beating them in events and minigames that will be triggered as you roam through London.”
– The game features “great unlockable bonus content and online leaderboards”
– “Play every sport using only the Wii Remote or opt to use the Nunchuk for some events.”

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games will be available for Wii next week on November 15th in the US, November 17th in Australia and November 18th in Europe.

Source: Nintendo UK

New Screenshots Reveal New Dream Events in M&S London 2012 Wii

SEGA has today released many new screenshots of the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. In the screens we see the return of some Olympic events, but we also get to see some new Dream Events featured in the game. Dream Space Walk and Dream Rafting are based in levels seen in the Super Mario series and Dream Fencing is held in Sonic Heroes‘ Ocean Palace stage. You can find the 80 new screenshots over at Sonic Wrecks.

SEGA has also released two US TV ads for the game, which we have for you below. One has a Mario ending and the other a Sonic ending.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGI73p5eKsM&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGn6yK9C9xY&feature=relmfu

Source: Sonic Wrecks and SEGA Blog

M&S London 2012 Wii Review in Latest Nintendo Power

GoNintendo reports that the first review of the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is featured in the latest issue of US magazine Nintendo Power. No excerpts have been given, but the publication has scored the game 7.0/10, which is the same score they gave to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and .5 lower than the score they gave to the first game in the series Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.

The November issue of Nintendo Power is available at US retailers and newsstands now.

Source: GoNintendo

New M&S 2012 Gameplay Trailer

SEGA of America has released a second gameplay trailer for the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. In this latest video we see some footage of new events like football (soccer for you guys in the US), volleyball and synchronized swimming, as well as some returning events. The Wii version of the game will be available in the US November 15th and Europe November 18th. The 3DS version is due sometime in February 2012.

Source: SEGA Blog

Thanks to interface for the heads up!

Mario & Sonic London 2012 : Party Mode Trailer & 62 New Screenshots

A new trailer for the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games has been released showcasing some of the 50 mini-games in the game’s Party Mode. All of this multiplayer action takes place in the streets of London combining the city’s iconic features with elements from both the Mario & Sonic franchises. It looks like there will be some crazy fun to be had when the game hits Europe November 18th and the US November 15th.

We also have 62 new screenshots of the game, which you can view below.

Source: Club SEGA and SEGA’s Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games product page

Thanks to SSMB member Dr Spudhead and Paradox the hedgehog for the heads up!

Got a news tip? Send it in to thesonicstadium@googlemail.com, shadzter@sonicstadium.org or via Twitter at @Shadzter and we’ll credit you for the find.

Nintendo Announces New M&S London Blue Wii Bundle For Europe

Nintendo has announced that European gamers will soon be able to get their hands on a new limited edition blue Wii. This new colour variation of the console will come bundled with a copy of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games when the game hits store shelves November 18th. It will also come with blue Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers and a sticker sheet featuring characters from the game.

It’s worth noting that this Wii console is the new model Nintendo announced a short while back. This newly configured hardware isn’t compatible with GameCube games and accessories. Details such as the price of this bundle and where it will be available to pre-order and purchase are currently unknown. We’ll pass that information along when we get it.

Sources: Eurogamer and Nintendo UK

Thanks to Mark1 at the SSMB and kjeldoostra via Twitter for the heads up!

Got a news tip? Send it in to thesonicstadium@googlemail.com, shadzter@sonicstadium.org or via Twitter at @Shadzter and we’ll credit you for the find.

M&S London’s Limited Edition Contains More Than Just a Tin, Coming to Australia

UPDATE: UK fans can now get the tin as a bonus with the game at Amazon. Thanks to Thomas for the heads up!

It appears the Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Collector’s Edition revealed for Spain last month actually contains a lot more than just the steel tin shown on the box image SEGA Spain released. EB Games Australia is now listing it, except under the name ‘Limited Edition’ instead of ‘Collector’s Edition’.

The retailer has shared the above image of all of the item’s you get with this edition of the game, which include a steel tin, a poster, a t-shirt, a notebook and a carry bag. All of this is available to pre-order and purchase for $88 AU, which is just $10 AU more than the standard game on its own. It’s also worth noting that this set of goodies is exclusive to EB Games in Australia. It will also be made available in Spain, but we’ve not seen it up for pre-order yet.

Source: EB Games Australia (via Esperino)

Got a news tip? Send it in to thesonicstadium@googlemail.com, shadzter@sonicstadium.org or via Twitter at @Shadzter and we’ll credit you for the find.

M&S London Wii: UK’s Pre-order Bonus & Spain’s Collector’s Edition Revealed

The GAME Group (GAME, GameStation and Gameplay) has revealed the UK’s pre-order bonus for the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, which released November 18th in Europe. If you pre-order at either of the three retailers, you will get a free child’s large sized t-shirt (pictured above) themed with art from the game. Unfortunately, the t-shirt is only available to UK residents, so fans overseas won’t be able to import one (at least until a few inevitably hit eBay).

Your can get your pre-order in at the below links:
GAME: £29.99
GameStation: £29.99
Gameplay: £37.99

Thanks to Trixie the Great at the SSMB for the heads up!

SEGA Spain has revealed a Collector’s Edition for the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, which comes with a copy of the game and an exclusive tin, similar to ones Nintendo previously gave away with pre-orders of New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2. SEGA didn’t reveal which retailer(s) will carry this Collector’s Edition.

Source: SEGA Spain’s Official Sonic Tuenti (via Sonic Paradise)

Got a news tip? Send it in to thesonicstadium@googlemail.com, shadzter@sonicstadium.org or via Twitter at @Shadzter and we’ll credit you for the find.

M&S London 3DS Gameplay Footage, English Website Updated

We’ve got two pieces of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games news this evening. First, we’ve got some new gameplay footage and screenshots of the Nintendo 3DS version from Nintendo’s 3DS Conference, which was held early this morning.

Check out the screenshots below:

And second, we’ve just got word that SEGA has given the EU and US website for the game a huge update. There’s not much new in terms of screenshots and videos, but you can check out some profiles and new artwork of the characters in the game, as well as their stats for the Wii version of the game.

Sources: Nintendo’s 3DS Conference 2011 website and EU & US Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games website

Thanks to Sonic Wrecks for the YouTube upload and thanks to YoshiUnity ’06 at the SSMB for the heads up on the website update!

Got a news tip? Send it in to thesonicstadium@googlemail.com, shadzter@sonicstadium.org or via Twitter at @Shadzter and we’ll credit you for the find.

Next Nintendo TV News Episode to Feature Exclusive Sonic Generations Preview

At the end of today’s episode of Nintendo TV News on the UK Wii Nintendo Channel, Official Nintendo Magazine informed they will have an exclusive preview of the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations in their next episode, which will be made available September 23rd. ONM hasn’t give any clues about what to expect, but given the format of the show, we should hopefully see new video footage and/or an interview with SEGA.

We’ll pass on any new information revealed.

Got a news tip? Send it in to thesonicstadium@googlemail.com, shadzter@sonicstadium.org or via Twitter at @Shadzter and we’ll credit you for the find.

Nintendo’s Strict File Size Limit to Blame For Sonic CD’s WiiWare Absence

Nintendo Wii owners may have noticed that while SEGA’s new port of Sonic CD is coming to many many download platforms, WiiWare isn’t one of them. SEGA has told GamesRadar that the reason for this is that the CD quality sound won’t fit within Nintendo’s strict 40MB file size limit for games on the platform.

In an excuse that carries a whiff of that old “the SNES doesn’t have the technology to render blood” chestnut, Sega has explained that the WiiWare platform lacks the chops necessary to replicate the CD-quality sound of the technologically-mindblowing-circa-1993 original – so, no Sonic CD for Wii owners.

Unfortunate for Wii owners. But at least if you’re not fussed about the new additions or Japanese soundtrack, there is still the option to play the original game on the GameCube title Sonic Gems Collection.

Source: GamesRadar (via GoNintendo)

M&S London: New Screenshots, Wii Release Dates & Box Art

SEGA has today announced US and EU release dates for the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The game will hit the US first on November 15th and Europe 3 days later on November 18th. The 3DS version still has no clearer date than the month of February.

A couple of new screenshots for both versions of the game, together with yellow box artwork (yes, yellow) for the Wii version and a press release marking 365 days to go until the opening of the Olympic Games in London were also released today. All of that is available below. UK readers will be happy to see some London themed differences have been made to the UK box artwork.

Press release

SEGA Europe and SEGA America are celebrating exactly 365 days to go before the official opening of Olympic Games in London next year with new packaging, assets and the release date named!

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™ for the Wii™ will be available in a unique yellow casing, a first for the series and for third party games publishers.

New screenshots are also now available with Mario, Sonic and their friends on the starting line and ready to compete in the new enhanced 100m sprint for the Wii™ and, for the first time ever, the 110m hurdles for 3DS™. These are just two of the classic Olympic events that appear alongside a host of brand new Olympic and Dream events in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™.

Over 19 million people worldwide have bought video games from the Mario and Sonic series and the latest instalment, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™, will hit stores on 15th November in North America (18th November in Europe) for the Wii™ home video game system. The Nintendo 3DS™ platform will release in February 2012.

For more information please visit: www.olympicvideogames.com

Wii screenshots

3DS screenshots

UK

France and Europe

Australia

US

Sources: SEGA Press, SEGA’s website and SEGA’s Flickr

E3 2011 Preview: Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

On Wednesday June 8th, Nuckles87 and I had just wrapped up a Q&A for binary Domain that ran ten minutes late. Sadly this meant we were late for our preview of Mario and Sonic London 2012. But as we entered the small room, the atmosphere was very jubilant and happy. The main host even ribbed me on my Classic Sonic shirt a few times ($7.50 at your local Wal-Mart kids!). He hadn’t revealed much yet as he just began discussing the newest addition to the series, the London Party Mode.

The London Party Mode is a party/campaign mode separate from the Olympic/Dream modes in the game. Here, there are over 50 events available. Not just Olympic/Dream events, but all new mini games just for this mode! In fact, the majority of the 50 events are just for this mode alone. In the game, your character will be walking around the city of London shown from an overhead view. The main goal is to compete with your friends at winning stickers in events. You can talk to many Mario and Sonic characters who are not in the Olympic events such as Jet the Hawk and get mini-games to play from them. However, when Big Ben’s Bell Rings on the hour it’s time for an Olympic event.  Also, new to this mode are bosses. First person to touch a boss (like Dry Bowser) gets to take them on in a on-on-one mini-game solo.

There were quite a few of the four-player LPM events shown. One was called “Tag-O-Rama” a cops-and-robbers style game where two players are cops with a siren on their head and the other two are robbers. (Nack would be so perfect for this game.) You basically chase each other down in a game of tag. Whoever get both robbers, or whichever robber lasts without being tagged, is the winner.

The next game shown was “Collect Toad’s Coins” which is basically self-explanatory. Four players are running around a large maze of the London City Streets collecting coins Pac-Man style and jumping on your opponents to get more coins from them. As you can guess, the person with the most coins at the end is the winner.

Next up was “Break-Neck a-thon” Here, you brutally beat your opponent to the point where you could snap their neck. Killing them inst-OKAY! OKAY! Just kidding! It’s a hurdles style marathon race taking place on the city streets. You have to jump and dodge various obstacles as much as possible as you run towards the goal.

That was the end of our preview of the London Party Mode. Next up, we got to see some exclusive events that were not on the floor. The first was “Ribbon Twirling”. Very similar to the figure skating in the last game. The host played as Peach (Nuckles really wanted Shadow doing it) as she danced and twirled the ribbon to some classical music. Once again, timing and rhythm was key to a good score.

Finally, we got to see a new Dream event. “Dream Equestrian”. A 4-player co-op game in which the players must take a cart of Yoshi Eggs from one area to another. The trick is that they have to turn, jump and do other tricks at the same time. The crew on hand really loved this game despite the fact that they were horrible at it. “There’s a dozen Eggs in the basket when you start. Our best score in the last two days has been three.” They took off! A Koopa wizard was creating hazards for them as they raced along. It didn’t take long before mass Yoshi egg genocide commenced. Sadly, at the finish line there was just one egg left. Despite the fact that everyone had been playing this mode over and over the past two days, they seemed to really be enjoying themselves. With the game over, our Q&A was on it’s way.

The dream events were very popular in the last game, will we be seeing more of that?

Much more. There will be a bigger focus on dream events this time with a larger number of events.

Will the games in London Party mode be different from the ones in the Olympic events?

Yes. It’s almost a separate game entirely. The only similarities is in the occasional Olympics event when Big Ben strikes.

Any new entries to Mario and Sonic’s roster?

No. We wanted to mainly focus on adding new events to the game so the roster is the same as the previous game. You will see some newer NPC’s walking around London that you can talk to.

This seems  very much like a “Mario Party” style of game now. Since people love the dream events as well, any chance of a pure, non-Olympic M&S party game?

I’m sure people would love that, but there’s no plans at the moment.

Since Mario and Sonic relies heavily on multiplayer, any chance of an online mode this time?

We will have online rankings, but no multiplayer.

Will the music in events like Ribbon mode change, or remain the same?

It will definitely change depending on what difficulty you play on.

With the Wii U recently announced, what kind of games would you like to make with that style of controller?

We don’t have any plans with the Wii U currently, so we can’t really get into that.

Sadly, our time was over before we got any more questions in. Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics is looking to turn into more of a party game than an Olympics game this year. Also, the new mini-games and events look more fun than ever. The party in London begins this November.

E3 2011 Q&A: Takashi Iizuka on Sonic Generations

(NOTE: Because this is a Q&A with questions taken from staff from both Sonic Stadium and Segabits, this article will be posted on both sites simultaneously.)

On the Tuesday afternoon of E3, Alex and I got the privilege of seeing the first new footage of City Escape from Sonic Generations played by Takashi Iizuka himself. Seeing little classic Sonic going through the famous SA2 level was a thrill. We saw as the large GUN truck made every attempt possible to run down the roly-poly hedgehog as two new remixes of “Escape from the city” played through both levels. As he played through he told some interesting tidbits including the fact that outside of Green Hill zone, all stages on the 3DS will be different from the HD versions and will have levels based on the portable versions of Sonic’s games. Also voice overs will be done for all nationalities. Not just Japanese and English. He quit the last level as the GUN truck with it’s giant sawblades ran over modern Sonic as he ran out of boost. Here, our Q&A commenced.

There have been some who were wondering why the Wii was not given a port when the 3DS, which has comparable graphics has one. Why not port the 3DS version to the Wii?

The 3DS version is a celebration of Sonic’s portable history. As such it only makes sense that we keep that history on a portable system.

There have been rumors of hub worlds between levels similar to Unleashed. Is this something you can confirm?

Ha, ha. Well, as we’ve said. Classic and Modern Sonic meet through time anomalies as a mysterious force is erasing time. Areas are a wash of pure white. As classic and modern beat these classic levels more color comes into the world. You could say the white space starts as a hub that opens up more as the color comes back in.

Will there be any online features or DLC?
We cannot discuss anything for DLC at this time, but we are planning for online leaderboards.

Will there be more than two acts per zone?

Yes. I cannot give more detail than that at this time, but there will be several acts in each world.

Can you discuss what systems will be represented on the 3DS version such as Game Gear?

Game Gear? (Laughter) No. For the 3DS we wanted to go with systems of more recent memory. So we are more focused on levels from the GBA and DS.

We have seen boss fights with classic Eggman. Will modern Eggman be joining him?

We cannot discuss that due to story elements not yet revealed. I can say there will be remixes of classic boss fights through Sonic’s history.

Since Sonic Colors got it’s soundtrack published onto iTunes, will there be a Sonic Generations soundtrack as well?

(Laughter) Well, we know that Nintendo just announced a 25th Anniversary soundtrack for the Legend of Zelda. We are currently releasing 20th Anniversary soundtracks for many of our older Sonic games. As far as Sonic Generations goes, I cannot confirm anything at this time, but I’m glad your interested.

How early on did you go on the idea for a split between classic and modern Sonic gameplay?

Shortly after Unleashed, we were discussing what kind of game to make to celebrate Sonic’s 20th Anniversary. It was around that time that we decided that classic/modern split would be the best.

How many zones are being planned for the game?

That is something we cannot discuss at this time. (The next day, The E3 Insider  magazine said 9 worlds were planned with a release date of October. It was later debunked by Aaron Webber.)

With that, our time was up and we gave our thank you’s and goodbyes.As we I told Mr. Iizuka how much I loved last year’s Sonic Colors. He seemed genuinely happy and pleased by that.I was surprised at how many of our questions we were able to get in as most of the other press was fairly quiet. I will say that neither me or Alex are pleased by the omission of Game Gear levels for the 3DS.

 

 

E3 2011 Hands-On: Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

It’s no secret that the Mario and Sonic series of games have been a bit hit on the Wii. With both games selling millions of copies and still not hitting the $19.99 mark, it has shown that the plumber in red and the blue blur have been a huge success together. So how the latest iteration stand up? Quite well actually. On the Wii, the graphics have been slightly improved. The models seem more detailed than last time and the lighting seems better too. There were several new events to try. While me and Nuckles87 did the dream events first, I thought I’d save the best for last.

The equestrian event was well done. I played as Yoshi (who gets to ride someone else for a change) while Nux played as Metal Sonic. You controlled the horse by shaking the wiimote up and down to gallop. Then turned it on the side to turn the horse with button 2 for jumping. This was a bit tricky actually as we’d forget to stop making the horse gallop during tight turns and we both ended up placing near the bottom.  It was a decent mini-game though that was well representative of the event.

Badmitton was the weakest of the bunch. It’s best used with a wiimote/nunchuck, but we were only provided with the wiimotes. Basically, we just swung our wiimotes as the shuttlecock (snicker) came to us. Swing up or down provided different spins on the birdie. Overall it was very dull.

Rowing was mainly a rhythm game. I played as Sonic and Blaze and used the Wiimote like a paddle swinging it down to a rhythm to get the boat rowing faster. Nuckles was way behind, but once he got his stride he beat me. Overall a decent game. Now onto the dream games.

The first was an incredibly fun “Dream Long Jump”. The level is taken from Yoshi’s Story (I thought it was Kirby’s Epic Yarn by the yarn motif in the background, but I’ve been corrected several times.). You start off shaking the Wiimote to gain speed, then press button 2 to jump off. You keep in the air, going forward by bouncing off of clouds and each other. I was Vector and Nuckles was, well Knuckles. I managed to bounce off him and make him fall off the clouds. But once defeated, your opponent can come back as a spiked ball that can knock you off. I was just lucky enough to avoid him and got first place.

The other dream event was “Dream Discus Throw” taken from Windy Valley in Sonic Adventure 1. In this event you actually ride your disc. Collecting rings and knocking into your opponents to swerve them off course. You can also charge and boost into flying Badniks to get rid of them. It was funny to see Dr. Eggman taking out his own robots. Every part of the level seemed intact down to getting sucked up in the tornado. The event ends by landing on a large target where the one closest to the bullseye gets extra rings.

Now onto the 3DS. This demo consisted of several events strung together. The first one being Gymnastics. using the tilt controls I had to keep Amy Rose on the balance board as she did some tricks. I was able to land the tricks fine, but had problems with the balancing. Wario was up next for rowing. This event required me to rest the 3DS on the table and spin the thumbstick as fast as possible. Frankly, it made the event too easy as I beat it by a wide mile.

Next up…Judo! This event was fairly easy but very fun to watch Mario throw Sonic and Tails around. The controls are simple enough. Press several buttons displayed together before your opponent does. Sometimes once, sometimes two or three times in a row. This will then make you character do a Judo move and throw your opponent down to win the match. This would be trickier and more fun in multiplayer than against an A.I. opponent who doesn’t really react in good time.

The last event was speed walking. Yup, I managed to beat Sonic as Mario in a walking race. The trick was to slide the stylus back and forth like a pendulum to the rhythm of some generic music playing in the background. The better your rhythm and pace, the faster you….walk. I can see Sonic thinking “Walking?! Are you @#$%’in’ serious?”

The 3DS version did not keep me as interested in the games as much as the Wii did. This may be due to the lack of dream events in the demo, but the standard events were just bland. The dream events on the Wii however, seemed better than in the winter game. If you have only one version of Mario and Sonic at the London blahdedeblah (stupid long titles) make sure to get the Wii version. It’s just seems to be more fun overall.

E3 2011: Mario & Sonic London Olympics Trailer & Badminton Gameplay Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73l5uoeV62w&feature=player_embedded

SEGA released a new E3 trailer for Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games the other day giving us a look at what will very likely be the game’s CGI intro, which as usual sees Mario, Sonic and their friends competing in various Olympic events, but this time ends with Nintendo and SEGA’s mascots at the top of one of London’s most famous buildings.

On top of that, we also have a gameplay video below of badminton in the Wii version from GameTrailers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgFiKQRsdRE&feature=player_embedded

Thanks to Woun at the SSMB for the heads up and YouTube uploads!

SEGA Reveals E3 Lineup, M&S at the London 2012 Olympic Games Dated

SEGA has just revealed their lineup of software they will be showcasing at E3 2011, which includes Sonic Generations and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games among their various other franchises. Along with this news, SEGA’s also set rough release dates for both versions of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Nintendo Wii version will launch in November this year and the Nintendo 3DS version will be released in February 2012.

Check out SEGA’s press release with their full E3 2011 lineup below:

SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON (June 2, 2011) – SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced its roster of titles to be presented at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 2011). The company will present more than 13 new games across all major platforms, including several games in stunning stereoscopic 3D, support for PlayStation®Move for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Kinect™ for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Nintendo 3DS™. The lineup spans multiple genres and includes adaptations of blockbuster film franchises, an original squad-based shooter from the creative mind of some of SEGA’s most popular franchises, the first “M-rated” game on Kinect™ for Xbox360®, AAA digital titles, an all-new title from critically acclaimed developer PlatinumGames and many more!

To celebrate this year’s 20th birthday of Sonic the Hedgehog, one of gaming’s most iconic characters, SEGA will be hosting a celebratory community event featuring Sonic Generations™ on Wednesday, June 8th, 6PM PST at the Club NOKIA in Downtown Los Angeles.

The list of titles in display at SEGA’s E3 booth (South Exhibit Hall, Booth 2023) includes among others:

Aliens: Colonial Marines™ (Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 system, PC) – Launch Date: Spring 2012
From the award-winning first-person shooter powerhouse Gearbox Software comes Aliens: Colonial Marines, the highly anticipated horror-based action FPS set in the Aliens™ universe with cooperative multiplayer at its core. Bringing new levels of bone-chilling suspense and adrenaline-filled action to the renowned franchise, the game pits players against the universe’s ultimate alien killing machines, the Xenomorphs, in claustrophobic environments guaranteed to produce horrifying shocks and surprises.

ANARCHY REIGNS™ (Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 system) – Launch Date: January 2012
ANARCHY REIGNS is the much anticipated next title from critically acclaimed developer PlatinumGames. With ANARCHY REIGNS, PlatinumGames will be using their hallmark creativity and technical excellence to challenge the boundaries of the conventional brawler genre by allowing multiple players to get involved in heavy-hitting action simultaneously. ANARCHY REIGNS incorporates a diverse range of multiplayer modes to provide players with different challenges, including a co-op survival mode and an all-out Battle Royal mode, where players can challenge others in a full-on fight for victory. Additionally, all modes will be available as offline single-player experiences as well. In the single player campaign mode, players can choose between Jack and Leo for different story experiences.

Binary Domain™ (Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 system) – Launch Date: Early 2012
Binary Domain is an original IP by Toshihiro Nagoshi, the creator behind some of SEGA’s most well-known video game franchises, including the critically acclaimed Yakuza series. The atmospheric squad-based shooter puts players in the middle of a fast-paced and intense battle against hordes of deadly robots, and a secret that could threaten all mankind. Fighting upward through the derelict lower levels of 2080 Tokyo into the beautiful upper city, players control an international Special Forces squad, specializing in covert ops, which sets out to battle to the heart of the crisis.

Captain America™: Super Soldier (Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 system, Wii™, Nintendo DS™, Nintendo 3DS™) – Launch Date: (US) July 19; (EU) July, 15, 2011; 3DS in Fall 2011
Become Captain America™, the ultimate Super-Soldier, in the darkest days of World War II as you face the Red Skull and his army in this epic third-person action adventure. Wield Captain America’s legendary shield to take out multiple enemies at once, deflect incoming fire back at your enemies, solve puzzles, and scale walls. Above all, hurl yourself shield-first into the fray, with the superior force of the world’s first Super-Soldier at your fingertips. Engage in devastating open combat and acrobatic platforming to infiltrate Hydra’s massive and mysterious castle complex and battle the infamous Iron Cross, the forces of Hydra, and a host of nefarious enemies serving the Red Skull in an all-new Captain America story and adventure.

CRUSH3D™ (Nintendo 3DS™) – Launch Date: (US) September 6, (EU) September 9, 2011
Redesigned for Nintendo 3DS, CRUSH3D is the unique platform game that gives you the ability to change perspective from 2D to 3D as you try to solve brain-teasing puzzles. Built on the foundation of the award winning CRUSH™, CRUSH3D features a host of exciting new features specifically designed for the Nintendo 3DS system, including new locations, characters and an intuitive hint system. Navigate across the surreal platforms of Danny’s mind by ‘crushing’ your way from a 2-dimensional to a 3-dimensional world and back again whenever you need to.

Guardian Heroes™ (Xbox LIVE® Arcade, PlayStation®Network & Steam) – Launch Date: Late Summer 2011
Coming exclusively to Xbox LIVE® Arcade, get ready for more swords and sorcery than you can shake your magical staff at. An ancient evil threatens the world after years of peace. Step into the shoes of one of five mighty heroes; each with their own unique attacks and customizable stats. As you fight through forests, graveyards, castles and volcanoes, your every decision will decide the ultimate fate of the world. Do you have what it takes to be a Guardian Hero? Due out this summer, Guardian Heroes features Co-Op and Online play for you and your friends, multiple game modes, optimized graphics, and brand new achievements for Xbox LIVE®.

House of the Dead: OVERKILLExtended Cut (PlayStation® Move for PlayStation®3 system) – Launch Date: (US) October 25, (EU) October 28, 2011
The pulp-style reinvention of the classic light-gun shooter comes to the PlayStation®3 in this exclusive Extended Cut with an avalanche of new content including brand new levels, weapons, mutants and more. Experience the over-the-top, mutant blasting madness with your PlayStation®Move motion controller for PS3 all in stunning 3D and re-mastered HD graphics.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™ (Wii™, Nintendo 3DS™) – Launch Date: November 2011 (Wii™), February 2012 (Nintendo 3DS™)
Mario™ and Sonic™ will once again join forces on the Wii™ home video game system and, for the first time ever, on Nintendo 3DS™ as the much loved duo head to London to participate in the officially licensed Olympic-themed video game, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™. A host of exciting new headline events, including Football and Equestrian will debut on the Wii version appearing alongside classic Olympic disciplines, such as Athletics, Aquatics and Table Tennis. The new handheld system from Nintendo will bring a whole new dimension to the Mario & Sonic universe with glasses-free 3D visuals and around 50 original Olympic themed events playable using the unique control systems of the Nintendo 3DS.

Renegade Ops™ (Xbox LIVE® Arcade, PlayStation®Network, PC digital download) – Launch Date: 2011
Created by Swedish developer Avalanche Studios, Renegade Ops will unleash unprecedented mayhem and exhilarating destruction. Players are sent behind enemy lines in a mobile commando unit to defeat Inferno, a madman intent on global domination. Defeat enemies across a range of stunning environments using a wide variety of vehicles and weapons, from dispersing electromagnetic shock waves to the deployment of a huge Gatling gun armed to the teeth. Players have the choice to fight alone in single-player mode, team up offline with two-player split screen or join the dynamic 4-player online co-op experience.

Rise of Nightmares™ (Kinect™ for Xbox 360®) – Launch Date: TBA
Rise of Nightmares offers a spine-tingling horror experience unique to the massively successful Kinect. Using their whole body the player will experience fear and tension as never before in this first-person horror adventure. Fight off hordes of undead creatures and mad scientists in this uniquely horror themed adventure that sees players desperately searching for their kidnapped wife.

SEGA Rally Online Arcade™ (Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 system) – Launch Date: Out Now on Xbox LIVE® Arcade, Coming Soon on PlayStation®Network)
When was the last time you enjoyed getting dragged through the mud? Race through five different types of terrain in more rally-bred vehicles than a baker can shake his dozen at – including the Ford Focus RS, the classic Lancia Delta Integrale and the ferocious Bowler Nemesis. Play through a slew of modes including Time Trials, Single Races, and Championship Events. Cut to the chase and face off online in a variety of 6 Player multiplayer racing events – isn’t it about time you showed your friends who’s numero uno?

Shinobi™ (Nintendo 3DS™) – Launch Date: September 2011
Shinobi for the Nintendo 3DS sees the eagerly anticipated return of the legendary Shinobi. We follow our hero, Jiro Musashi, through a wide variety of exotic locations as he battles his way past hordes of enemies using magical Ninja powers in this intense action-filled title. Shinobi will include some classic gameplay elements found in previous Shinobi titles, while introducing several exciting new features and experiences specifically designed to take advantage of the technology offered by the Nintendo 3DS system.

Sonic Generations™ (Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 system, Nintendo 3DS™) – Launch Date: Holiday 2011
Delivering the definitive gaming experience for Sonic fans old and new and part of the celebrations for Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20th Anniversary, Sonic Generations sees Sonic the Hedgehog playable as both the much loved classic 1991 character, and the modern day video game hero he has become. In this exciting new fast paced adventure set across three defining eras from 20 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, you can now speed through some of the most iconic environments, playing as Classic Sonic in re-imagined 2D side scrolling levels, and as Modern Sonic in all new, stunning 3D levels.

SEGA will be located at BOOTH 2023 in the South Exhibit Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. To schedule an appointment with SEGA at E3 2011, please contact media@sega.com.

Source: SEGA Europe Blog

SEGA Considered Peripheral For Latest Mario & Sonic Game

SEGA has told Videogamer.com that they once considered launching a peripheral together with Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the early days of development.

“In the very early stage of this project, we even considered creating a new peripheral that works – that matches best for this game. We always try to look for new alternatives or possibilities.”

No information was given as to what the peripheral may have looked like, what its function was or which platform it was for, but with Mario & Sonic’s brand power and SEGA’s success with past entries in the series, their new game doesn’t really need peripherals to sell it anyway.

Source: Videogamer.com

First Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Screenshots

Official Nintendo Magazine UK has gotten hold of the first screenshots of both Wii and 3DS versions of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The screenshots were posted on their website this afternoon, together with details of new events (including Dream Events) shown off at a recent press event SEGA held for the game.

New 3DS events include 1000m Kayak, Breaststroke, the Race Walk, Judo and Balance Beam (this event not shown in screenshots). New Wii events in the game are canoeing, equestrian, Dream Long Jump and Dream Discus.

ONM confirms that no new characters have been added to the game and online multiplayer will again not be included, but the game will feature 4 player local multiplayer. The website also reports that the Wii version doesn’t support Wii Motion Plus.

For full details of the various events, head over to ONM. (Wii, 3DS)

Check out the screenshots below and see if you recognise the Dream Event locations:
Wii

3DS

Thanks to Woun at the SSMB for the heads up!

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games to Contain Online Features?

UK online retailer Play.com is now listing Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games on their website and on the Wii version’s page they have temporary box artwork featuring the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection logo, which indicates the game will take advantage of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection in some way. The 3DS pack shot doesn’t feature the logo, but neither did Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, and that game had online multiplayer, so Nintendo has seemingly scrapped the logo for 3DS games.

The past two titles in the Mario & Sonic series have all supported Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection on both Wii and DS with online leaderboards, so it’s to be expected that SEGA will add the same feature to this new game, but could there be more features? The Wii is certainly capable of more and Nintendo 3DS has a simpler friend code system than Nintendo Wii and DS and interesting Spot Pass features to boot, so SEGA has plenty of online features they could explore to bring something new to the series.

Until we get official word on online features we advise you take this with a pinch of salt for now. When more details are revealed we’ll pass them on.

Source: Play.com
Wii
3DS

Would you like to see more online features in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games? Share your ideas in the comments.

SEGA Officially Announces Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

After this morning’s press release leak by Czech website Zing.cz, SEGA’s officially announced Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. There’s not much new details, except that the game is said to feature more events than before, including the return of Dream Events and that 20 characters will be appearing. The English press release also clarifies that the “riding” event mentioned in the Czech press release is an equestrian event, which means the characters will be horseback riding. SEGA’s also opened a new website for the game, but there’s nothing there at the moment, apart from those brief new details we just explained and some new artwork for both Mario and Sonic.

To celebrate this new game, SEGA’s of America’s Kellie says on their blog that Mario & Sonic will be touring London for photos around the city’s biggest landmarks. The photos will be published on Sonic’s official Facebook page as they are taken.
Check out the English press release below:

London’s Calling Mario & Sonic

TOKYO (April 21, 2011) – SEGA® Corporation and Nintendo Co., Ltd. today announced that the record breaking partnership of Mario™ and Sonic™ will once again join forces on the Wii™ home video game system and, for the first time ever, on the Nintendo 3DS™ . Over 19 million people worldwide have bought video games from the Mario and Sonic series, and now the much loved duo are heading to London to participate in the officially licensed Olympic-themed video game, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™.

A host of exciting new headline events, including football and equestrian will debut on the Wii version appearing alongside classic Olympic disciplines, such as athletics, aquatics and table tennis. These new sports are sure to ignite even more fierce competition between friends and family in both single and multiplayer modes! The all new roster of Dream events that are set in popular Mario and Sonic worlds make for a truly unique sporting experience that can only be found in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™.

Arriving on Nintendo’s new handheld system for the first time ever Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™ contains over 50 original Olympic themed events playable in both single and multiplayer modes. Bringing a whole new dimension to the Mario & Sonic universe, the glasses-free 3D visuals and the unique control systems mean there are plenty of new and exciting ways to compete for a coveted gold medal!

As with its predecessors, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™ for the Wii and Nintendo 3DS is being developed by SEGA Japan and is published by SEGA® across Europe and North America, and by Nintendo in the Japanese market. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™ is licensed through a worldwide partnership with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), the exclusive interactive entertainment software licensee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“Mario and Sonic have had a phenomenally successful partnership and we are extremely proud to be able to recreate this once again with Nintendo and ISM for the London 2012 Olympic Games” commented Naoya Tsurumi, Chairman for SEGA of America and SEGA Europe. “It is truly exciting to be in the position to develop interactive entertainment software titles based on the Olympic Games, and for Sonic and Mario to once again be a part of this historic event.”

“The London 2012 Olympic Games will be a sporting showcase that will embrace the world and we are delighted to have Mario and Sonic competing once again, this time in the largest number of Olympic sports ever” says Raymond Goldsmith, Chairman & CEO of ISM.

“These games bring together two of the most beloved characters in the history of the video game industry in Mario and Sonic,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “As veterans of both video games and Olympic games, they’ll arrive in London as a formidable team to provide fun, competitive sporting activities that friends and family members can enjoy together.”

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™ will be available on the Wii™ home video game system and the Nintendo 3DS™. A launch date will be announced later in the year.

For more information about the game, please visit www.olympicvideogames.com

Source: SEGA Europe

Links:
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games SEGA product page
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games official website

Thanks to Woun at the SSMB for the Mario & Sonic character artwork!

Press Release Confirms Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games For Wii & 3DS

After all of the rumours, it appears Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is officially confirmed, thanks to a press release posted at Czech website Zing.cz. The press release confirms the game will be released for Wii and 3DS, with a release date unconfirmed at present, but will be revealed later this year.

Sports announced are athletics, water sports and table tennis, with new soccer and riding events appearing to be exclusive to the Wii version. The 3DS version will feature more than 50 original Olympic sports, which will be playable in single and multiplayer modes. The press release says the 3D feature of the 3DS will make for “plenty of new and interesting ways to compete for the coveted gold medal!”

Check out the press release in full below (translation by Google Translate):

Sega announces the continuation of the popular series, Mario & Sonic, this time at the summer Olympic Games in London 2012

SEGA and Nintendo have announced that after many years of partnership Mario and Sonic, once again join forces. The legendary series that have sold over 19 million, now will head to London for the Olympic Games 2012, the official name of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games on the Wii and also the very first time on a revolutionary portable Nintendo 3DS.

Many new and exciting sports like soccer and riding, which will debut on the Wii version, will appear alongside the traditional Olympic disciplines such as athletics, water sports, or table tennis. The new sports will certainly further encourage sports enthusiasm among the players in both single and multiplayer modes!

For the first time Mario & Sonic introduces the portable Nintendo 3DS. Version will contain more than 50 original Olympic sports, playable in both single player and the multiplayer modes. Moreover, revolutionary watch 3D images without glasses bring the world of Mario and Sonic entirely new and unique control system, ensuring plenty of new and interesting ways to compete for the coveted gold medal!

Like its predecessor, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games for Wii and Nintendo 3DS developed by Sega Japan. “Mario & Sonic series has always been extremely popular and we are very proud of this partnership that we can resume with Nintendo for the Olympics in London in 2012.” Commented Naoya Tsurumi, President of SEGA of America and Sega Europe. “It’s really exciting to be able to create interactive entertainment titles based on the Olympics and also with figures of Mario and Sonic”

“The Olympic Games in London 2012 will showcase sports and we are delighted that Mario and Sonic may be yet again, this time with the largest number of Olympic sports ever” said Raymond Goldsmith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ISM (International Sports Multimedia).

“These games join two most popular figures in the history of the videogame industry,” said the president of Nintendo America, Reggie Fils-Aime. “As a veteran of video games and the Olympic Games Mario & Sonic arrives in London as an unparalleled team of impressive, offering plenty of entertainment and sports activities for all who want to have fun.”

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games will be available on the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS. Release date and other information, we will learn later this year.

We expect SEGA to make a proper official announcement soon, so check back with us. We’ll keep an eye out for more details and media.

Source: Zing.cz

What do you think of this new entry in the Mario & Sonic series? Share your thoughts in the comments.

RUMOUR: Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Evidence Builds Up

Following the leaked temporary box art (shown above) for Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games on Nintendo Wii that hit the net last week, more evidence of the game’s existence has appeared in two reports. The first one from French website SEGA-Mag.com on April 14th claims that Spanish voice actor Fabio Tassone who worked on Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games has the new game listed on his online resume, but the only problem is that it’s not there, so if the report is true, then Tassone has since removed it.

The second report is from the print edition of UK trade magazine MCV, which Sonic Wrecks founder ArchangelUK says contains an article about Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games entitled “Will this be the biggest video game of 2012?”. In AAUK’s news story at Sonic Wrecks he reports that MCV’s article features an higher quality version of the logo than the one seen in the temporary box art, which could mean that assets for the game have already been given to some press out there.

MCV also claims to know this new Mario & Sonic game’s current release schedule:

“MCV understands the game could arrive as early as this Christmas.”

The last two games in the series have both released in the holiday season (apart from the DS version of the first game), so it’s kind of expected that this new game would follow suit, but it’s very odd for a major trade magazine like MCV to be speaking about an unannounced game so openly like this. It’s also worth noting that this article is currently nowhere to be seen on MCV’s website. Could SEGA be planning to reveal Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games soon?

Sources: SEGA Mag and Sonic Wrecks