So, Sonic Forces. It’s tough to know what to say about it. The game has been out for a while now and admittedly this review is coming a little late, but if Forces shows us anything it’s that the franchise itself needs to slow down and take time for a bit of reflection. Having had longer to digest the game, perhaps we can have a better idea of what went wrong, what went right and just how we got here.
The first trailer for the game in 2016 could be described as confusing. Announced as Project Sonic 2017, many fans (myself included) really didn’t know how to parse what they had just seen. After what had then been years of light, fluffy, Saturday morning cartoon-esque stories, we had a trailer showcasing a seemingly ruined world, overrun by Eggman’s giant Death Egg Robots destroying everything – and wait, Classic Sonic’s here too? Just what is happening? That question, along with the fact that this was being developed by the team behind Colors and Generations, was enough to raise eyebrows and generate significant interest in the title, even alongside the also-announced Sonic Mania. It’s fair to say that expectations were tempered (especially after Lost World) but many fans were expecting a return to the ‘boost gameplay’ that, love it or hate it, has probably been one of Sega’s more successful attempts at doing Sonic gameplay in 3D yet.
So is that what we got? Well, kind of.
The steady trickle of Team Sonic Racing news continues, with the release of this short ‘Part 1’ video covering some of the game’s soundtrack. Featuring Jun Senoue, Takeshi Taneda and Act., this video not only shows us actual studio footage but also some new clips of the game in motion alongside it. Market Street in particular looks fantastic as Blaze bounces off hot air balloons and Shadow does some extremely slick drifting through a tight-looking S-bend.
Part 1 features Market Street and Green Light Ride, as well as Frozen Junkyard so while it’s mostly stuff we’ve heard before, Frozen Junkyard is new and almost has an Ohtani vibe to it. It’s also just nice to see Jun and Co jamming together in the studio. As well as this neat little bonus, Sega have announced the Japanese pre-order bonuses for the game – hit the jump to see what’s up for grabs.
Sonic Lost World is right around the corner for those that don’t own a Wii U – trusting of course that they do have a PC and a Steam account – and it seems that SEGA is pulling off at least one official community event this year after all. Summer of Sonic it ain’t, but SEGA Europe is going to be hosting a relatively small community open day at London’s Loading Bar on Saturday, October 31st.
The event starts at 14:00, finishes at 20:00 and you must be at least 18 to enter – alcohol will be present, this being the Loading bar after all. Visitors will be able to play the new version of the game ahead of it’s general release on November 2nd, as well as get the chance to meet Dan Sheridan, the new European community manager. There’ll be a chance to win prizes, presumably from some form of challenge involving the game itself, though this isn’t clarified. The first fifty people to turn up to the event will receive goodie bags, apparently again featuring that Sonic hat. Yes, the same one as Summer of Sonic 2011.
Tickets are limited, so grab one from the event page here. You can find the Loading Bar at 97 Stoke Newington Rd London, London N16 8BX, but the map on the event page is probably easier.
I’m starting to wonder how many of those Sonic hats were or are still being made.
So a week has gone by since we streamed the Hero Story of Sonic Adventure 2 – and what a stream it was! Many ups, many downs, and we somehow miraculously managed to start at 20:00 and finish at 22:00 with the credits ending. Exactly two hours!
Whether that will happen again this time is totally up in the air, as we’ll be playing the Dark Story this weekend – and most likely the Final Story, too. Somehow I don’t think Cannon’s Core can carry a stream by itself.
If you want to tune in, chat with some of the staff – and Sam and Spanner – and just spend your Saturday night with some Sonic goodness/badness (14 years on and the jury’s still out on that one), tune in to NovaRetro on Twitch tomorrow at 20:00 BST/15:00 EST/12:00 PST.
See you there!
So, there it is. Sonic Adventure 2. We’ve done a few streams recently, from speeding through the brilliant Unleashed Project and Sonic Generations to a playthrough of LakeFeperd’s absolutely stellar Sonic After The Sequel, so we’re starting to get a bit of a feel for the core ‘stream team’.
I was trying to think of what to play this weekend – I knew we needed something but I struggled with what that should be most of this week. Then this idea hit me. I didn’t want to do the original Sonic Adventure for a couple of specific reasons – first of all, I don’t think it’s as consitently interesting. There’s not as much to riff on. Then you have the fact that the Grumps are playing it currently and I think everyone’s a bit tired of seeing it right now. So this led us to Sonic Adventure 2.
We’re aiming to play at least the Hero story tonight, with the Dark story to follow next week if there’s enough interest. We’ll be watching the often-horrendous cut-scenes too, so it should be a fun packed stream that should neatly carry us to that 2 hour mark or even beyond.
So if you fancy joining us tonight, head on over to NovaRetro on Twitch at 8pm BST/3pm EST/12pm PST.
So the weekend rolls around again and finally (at least if you’re a 9-5 worker in the UK), you can afford to put your feet up, crack open a beverage of choice and enjoy yourself for a couple of days.
After the success we enjoyed last week with the Sonic Generations stream – well, popularity-wise, anyway; gameplay-wise, I wasn’t particularly successful but hey, I’m out of practice and it’s something to work on – we’ve decided another stream might be a good idea for a weekend event again. In lieu of this, and combined with the fact that the creator behind popular fangames Sonic BTS and ATS LakeFeperd has announced a kickstarter for his new, original project named Spark The Electric Jester, we decided a stream of Sonic After The Sequel could be a great idea.
Don’t panic – it’s not tonight, so you have time to plan ahead if you were particularly interested in seeing the game played. We’re going to kick things off tomorrow (Saturday 1st August) at 8pm BST/3pm EST/12pm PST.
The stream will be hosted over at //twitch.tv/NovaRetro.
Of course, I don’t want to leave you high and dry for your Friday night so have some tunes directly from the game, neatly featured in a soundtrack playlist for your listening pleasure.
Watch live video from NovaRetro on www.twitch.tv
[Update: Okay, show’s over. If you missed it you can watch the archive of this stream over here. Also it gets NSFW at the end because of Nova being drunk. Dammit Nova. -TimmiT]
WHERE DID THE LAST THREE WEEKS GO?!
Okay, I didn’t do a Something For The Weekend post for them. I kind of felt guilty about just constantly doing music-related posts when this was meant to be a catch-all for ‘fun, weekendy things’ so I held off for a little bit.
However – and it’s a good however – I have actually somehow acquired a half-decent gaming rig and as I showed myself last night, it is completely capable of streaming Sonic Generations while running at 60FPS. So, I had an idea.
Tonight at 8pm BST (12pm PT/3pm ET), I’ll be speeding through some Unleashed Project while slightly under the influence. SUI? Is that a punishable offense? Hopefully not.
You’ll be able to find the stream on my personal channel here, and there may even be a guest appearance.
Today, we lost a great man; and the industry will forever be brighter for his presence.
Satoru Iwata. September 6, 1956 – July 11, 2015.
Thank you for everything.