Sonic Xtreme has been seeing quite the resurgence as of late, but this takes the cake for the most impressive release to date.
Forum member Andrew75 announced the release of never before seen iteration of Xtreme head programmer Ofer Alon’s V037 NV1. This is a PC port created by Jollyroger and it packs a staggering 150 stages to play around with, most of which never before seen. Andrew does mention that a number of these stages are simply just reskins of other stages in the list, but with either new textures or with some setting changed for testing. Most of these are just test levels after all.
For a full breakdown on changes and download links, direct your favorite point and clicking device to this little bit of text.
[UPDATE: The SHC site seems to be overloaded! For now, hang out in the IRC channel provided below for as-they-happen updates.]
Rise and shine, Retro. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re already groaning that another work week has come in this hamster wheel called life. But that’s fine, because there are several new hacks waiting for you to get your digits all over.
If you swing on by the Sonic Hacking Contest 2015’s website, you now have a selection of titles from some of the Sonic Scene’s more technically inclined to try out and evaluate. While you can play the games without restriction, voting does require a Sonic Retro or an SSRG account, so try to snag one by Saturday if you want to guarantee your vote.
If you’re not about that, you can enjoy a week of streams, with one kicking off in a less than 20 minutes. These streams will let you see some of the community’s finest play the games for you to watch and just hang out with fellow fans. Fan-favorites MegaGWolf and SomecallmeJohnny also return, with a music workshop hosted by DalekSam Saturday, if you’re interested in learning how to create songs for games. The schedule is as follows:
5pm BST / 12pm EDT to 7pm BST / 2pm EDT – Monday to Friday: Donnie 7pm BST / 2pm EDT to 9pm BST / 4pm EDT – Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Spanner 9pm BST / 4pm EDT to 12am BST / 7pm EDT – Monday to Friday: MegaGWolf 12am BST / 7pm EDT to 3am EDT / 10pm BST – Monday to Friday: SomecallmeJohnny 5pm BST / 12pm EDT to 7pm BST / 2pm EDT on Saturday: DalekSam Music Workshop 7pm BST / 2pm EDT to 11pm BST / 6pm EDT on Saturday: Nova 7pm GMT / 3pm EDT to 9pm GMT / 5pm EDT (clock change on Sunday): Results Show
So come on by and relax in the Sonic Hacking Contest’s IRC. Just point your favorite client (or mibbit) to irc.badnik.net #shc2015.
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.
Ready to blast through Chemical Plant Zone once more, but now in stereoscopic 3D? SEGA hopes you are with M2‘s latest GigaDrive-enhanced Sonic game: 3D Sonic The Hedgehog 2.
Chances are, if you played Sonic 2 at any point in the last 20 or so years, you already have a good idea of what you’re getting into: 11 zones, seven Chaos Emeralds, two playable characters, and one spike pit of death. But like Sonic 1‘s GigaDrive release, Sonic 2 comes with its own set of enhancements, such as filters to make the game look like it’s running on an old CRT TV, audio modifications to make it sound like it’s on the MegaDrive 1 or MegaDrive 2, and of course the fan-favorite addition of save states.
Because, you know, Metropolis, Wing Fortress and Death Egg usually sends people to the Internet to angrily complain about how cheap the game is.
But maybe this isn’t the case this time. M2 realizes some people have trauma over Death Egg Zone or may find classic Sonic games hard, and have made a new gameplay mode for the game called Ring Keep. Players begin a level with 10 rings free of charge. If you take a hit, you only lose half of your rings instead of all of them.
3D Sonic The Hedgehog 2 also features local co-op play in Sonic 2‘s multiplayer mode. The mode models the original multiplayer, so only three zones and the special stages are available. Two 3DS’ and two copies of the game are required to play, naturally.
It’s a shame SEGA is leaving Sonic 1 and 2 (2013) to rot on mobile, as both are very much the definitive versions of the games, but are more than happy to release a rom in an emulator shell. It’s an old song and dance often griped about, but SEGA of Japan is known for being ignorant of common sense. If president of SEGA Games Co. Haruki Satomi’s words of SEGA wanting to earn back the trust of gamers is true and not just crocodile tears, this may be one place to start.
We only just got an official worldwide release to Sonic Runners, and SEGA and Hardlight Studios aren’t wasting any time on the next free-to-play entry.
Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom was spotted yesterday on the Google Play Store. As the name suggests, Sonic Dash 2 uses the Sonic Boom variants of all the characters and Sticks. The game also offers new tilt mechanics for the energy rope segments, and includes a three-character team gameplay mode that requires you to switch between characters to adapt to the track based on the situation presented.
Currently, it looks like not many (if any) devices are able to download the game, but if for some reason you’re one of the 100 million downloaders of Sonic Dash, and if you’re itching for even more endless runners/Sonic Runnershas disappointed you, SEGA has you covered.
Of course, it should go without saying that an iOS version will be released, but hasn’t been spotted on the App Store at the moment.
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Originally, I was just going to throw up a clip of The Critics’ Jay Sherman just saying his trademark line of “It stinks!” but that would be simply broadside-ing with an elephant gun what at its core is a good game wrapped up in layers of garbage, like one of those Babushka figurines.
So, let’s talk Sonic Runners. Even though Sonic Dash is still very much a thing and is celebrating 100 million downloads by shoe-horning in a brand it has no business even associating with in Angry Birds, Sonic Team decided it wanted to take a stab at this crazy bizarre world known as mobile freemium development.
Enter Runners. Simple enough premise: Sonic and friends run to the right and collect gems and rings through an obstacle gauntlet of spikes, enemies, dash rings, pits, loops–you name it. At the end of each segment, Sonic encounters Eggman hauling a stash of goodies and is tasked with smacking that old greedy capitalist of all his money for your own purposes. Then the level speeds up and repeats with a more difficult layout. Rinse and repeat two more times to max speed until you eventually die.
Throughout this, you’re treated to very simple stories of Team Sonic helping out Animal friends, lost Chao, and even scared groups of Wisps in their battle to stop Dr. Eggman from whatever anti-environmental/furry critter plot he’s hatching for that chapter. It may sound like I’m complaining or ready to just eviscerate the game, but this isn’t the case.
Fire up your Saturn consoles. The Point of View Sonic Xtreme prototype is ready to go.
By this point, if you’ve been hanging around the Sonic Scene for a fair bit of time, you know that unreleased games and prototypes are somewhat of a big deal. From Sonic 1 pre-alpha images, MegaDrive rom dumps of prototypes, and even some newer material with previously thought lost to time assets (see: Hidden Palace and its return to prominence in 2013 and the prototype Windy Valley in Sonic Adventure), it’s not uncommon around here.
So what’s so special about this prototype, released by Sonic Xtreme researcher JollyRoger? In its ill-fated development, Sonic Xtreme went through a lot of changes from a 32X game codenamed Sonic Mars to a Saturn game running on the 3D NiGHTS engine (in reality, a completely separate engine under the name Project Condor), to the more well known trippy fish-eye lens look. However, prior to the game being scrapped entirely, SEGA of America attempted one last ditch effort to realize the project by having the title exported to a company named Point of View.
What resulted is the demo video seen above. Forum user and prominent Sonic Xtreme research guru Andrew75 ascertained how this step may have transpired in the game’s development.
From what I gather, sometime in the middle of Sonic X-treme’s development, Sega outsourced the completion of Sonic X-treme to Point of View studios, without the knowledge of technical lead Ofer Alon or artist Chris Senn, who were working on the PC and Saturn engine and levels.
Point of View used assets from the original effort and developed a level converter to convert Sega Technical Institute’s engine levels into the binary format used by POV’s own engine, which had already been used before for several other games on a variety of
platforms, such as Saturn, Playstation, Nintendo 64, PC.
There is a whole lot more information available in the topic on the forum and through Senn’s website. However, for those of you that can play burned Saturn games (tricky stuff. Don’t try it at home) or have access to play it through certain other means, you can nab the iso right here with mirror links in the topic.