As sure as the air gets crisp and the leaves turn brown (or green if you’re upside down in the world), the Sonic Hacking Contest is live once more for the next generation of game hackers and homebrewers. We’re partnering with SSRG once again to see what the more creative of you can do given a digital game jam of sorts.
To start, you’ll need a forum account for either here or SSRG (the rules are a little more relaxed if you’re actually entering.) Participants will have until Oct. 4 to submit a playable build of their game or hack, and then a further week to work on their projects should the entrant deem it necessary. Voting will then go live on Oct. 19, and also requires an account to either site.
Much like last year, everyone can download and play the entries, but streams will be held that showcase the games for those more interested in hanging out and talking with others.
Don’t be shy if you feel you’ll be swept up by more veteran groups. It’s not unusual for someone to come out of left field and stun the competition, such as with the likes of Robotnik’s Revenge, which in a roundabout way inspired the boss rush mode in Sonic 2 Mobile (2013)/Egg Gauntlet Zone. Practice the craft and have fun with it. Joke hacks are certainly welcome too, but not joke submissions. Basically, you can make something funny, but don’t submit something that’s clearly just stupid (see: Sonic 1337.) If you’re going to swing for worst hack, do it with some grace.
If you’re not into the whole Sonic theme, you can also submit SEGA-themed fangames too. Golden Axe, Shinobi,Jet Set Radio, Puyo Puyo… any of those brands are ripe for the picking. Going off the hip, I can say a Mighty Switchforce 2 styled Burning Rangers may be a neat idea, but you didn’t hear it from me.
And yes, this isn’t just limited to the Mega Drive games. The 3D games like Sonic Adventure, Sonic 2006, and Sonic Generations are encouraged.
One of the few remaining Coelacanths in the Sonic series is coming to a PC near you soon. Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car is a relatively obscure arcade title where the player drives in a car booth and assists a police clad Sonic. It’s also one of the earlier instances of a fully voiced Sonic early in the brand’s life, albeit in Japanese.
Sadly, it has been increasingly difficult to find a working machine in public, with one of the most recent reports being that some friends over at Sonic Paradise found the machine in a Spanish mall, albeit with a broken steering wheel.
Starting with the next release of MAME, you can enjoy this odd bit of Sonic history too, thanks to an effort to secure the board and the generous donations of many people. Further documentation about the game can be found here.
The video below, recorded by Gavin Hugh, shows one such working booth in Japan in 2012 and features game play. Using the steering wheel, the player drives through the busy city streets and avoids traffic until an encounter with Dr. Eggman happens. Regardless if you do well or nothing at all, you’ll reach the Eggman encounter and even if you beat him or not, the game is soon over.
No tickets are dispensed and the player is only awarded a score and a star ranking. It’s pretty basic as far as arcade games go, but that isn’t a big shock. It’s an attraction ride game for kids after all.
It’s not a unique game as there are many others with similar gameplay that remain undumped, but it is another obscure bit of Sonic history down. That doesn’t leave much left to dump, short of someone going crazy and finding/repairing a SegaSonic Popcorn Shop machine.
That said, if trying to preserve and dump old arcade boards interests you, definitely explore MAMEWorld and other preservation and documentation groups.
Cook & Becker teamed up with SEGA some time ago to sell new official art prints based on SEGA franchises. So far we’ve gotten fantastic new art of games like Phantasy Star, Shinobi, and Shenmue. And now it’s time for one based on Sonic.
Update: Of course right after I put up this article I realize that Sonic 4: Episode 1 was delayed by a few months. Welp. Still, at least this time it wasn’t because there was a public outcry.
What do you get when you mix fire and ice? Apparently SEGA realizing that releasing yet another unfinished Sonic game is a bad idea. For the first time ever (seriously, correct me if I’m wrong on this cause I can’t think of any other time when SEGA’s done this) the company has delayed a Sonic game in order to make sure that it’s polished enough for release, with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice now releasing in 2016 “when it’s ready”. You know, as opposed to previously released Sonic games that clearly weren’t ready for release.
It’s always been pretty clear that Sonic games are often rushed to make the deadline, even back with Sonic 3 & Knuckles when they split the game into two releases due to time constraints. So SEGA actually letting the developers take their time to finish the game is hopefully not just a one time thing. So it is a little reassuring that SEGA’s blog post mentions that they think that making sure a game is ready for release isn’t just important for Fire & Ice, but also all future Sonic games. We hope that that’s true, cause we really, really don’t want another Sonic 2006 or Rise of Lyric.
The cover, drawn once again by Pokémon artist Ken Sugimori, features some nice new art of classic Sonic running alongside a character from a game they clearly didn’t want to reveal yet. While we don’t know the full list of games for the collection yet, we do know that it’ll include:
Aside from that, we may know more about which other 3D Classics Sega is planning on putting out. GBAtemp user ninb found in the RAM of 3D Gunstar Heroes a list of unreleased Sega ports M2 may be working on, including a port of Sonic Spinball. And more importantly: Puyo Puyo Tsuu. You can see the full list of games here, though you should keep in mind that we don’t know for sure if these ports are actually going to be released.
Update (September 9th) – The latest issue of Famitsu revealed more info on the collection including the full cover art for the collection, and that 3D Power Drift and 3D Puyo Puyo Tsuu (yessss) will be included with the collection. The latter of which was found in the leaked list of games by the GBAtemp user. [Source – Nintendo Everything]