This past weekend at California Extreme, an annual coin-op arcade and pinball table expo in the Bay Area, a little piece of Sonic history was made. For the first time ever, the long lost SegaSonic Bros., an unreleased Sonic arcade game that first made waves two years ago, was playable to the public. I had the opportunity to attend CAX and spend over an hour with the cabinet – playing it, filming it, and taking pictures for posterity, as the game’s files may not be released to the public for a very long time.
Check out the gameplay footage above, and hit the jump to see my in-depth thoughts on the game.
It’s the nineties. While it is time for Klax, it is also time for movie adaptations of popular video game franchises. At least that would also be the case for the blue blur should the deal between SEGA, MGM Studios and Trilogy Entertainment had gone through. Luke Owen recently wrote a book called Lights, Camera, Game Over! How Video Game Movies Get Made that details the process of how video game movie deals get made, the process of their development and why they usually become far removed from what their core audience comes to expect. The details of the never-before revealed cancelled Sonic movie were put into an article on Kotaku UK which details the painfully 90’s plot of the movie as it loosely tied itself with the upcoming release of Sonic X-Treme, only for a CG animated Sonic to break into the real world teaming up with a young boy named Josh. The article goes into detail on screen writer Richard Jeffries’ plot for the movie, how SEGA of America’s and SEGA of Japan’s played a role on the movie’s development leading up to it’s ultimate demise. Adapting to new mediums was still a concept that was not usually met with critical success and translating Sonic to the big screen was not going to be easy.
This is a very crude paraphrase on the actual article itself which is definitely worth a read. Read more on the Sonic movie that was not meant to be on Kotaku UK’s website or you can check out other video game movie projects in Luke’s book.
A new E3 means a new Sonic game and this year’s major Sonic release is a pseudo-sequel to Sumo Digital’s SEGA crossover games. While the first outing had SEGA’s superstars matching together in SEGA Superstars Tennis, the remaining titles revolved around Mario Kart racer-inspired titles with the previous one featuring transforming vehicles in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. As the name implies, Team Sonic Racing calls for Sonic & Nobody Else All-Stars Team Racing. Some folks from Sonic Retro and SEGAbits, including myself had hands on playtime from SEGA’s booth at the show floor. You can either hit the jump to check out impressions from me and Neo Hazard or hop over to our sister site SEGAbits for a tertiary (or perhaps quaternary) view from SEGAbits writers Kori-maru and Dakota.
When looking to define what Sonic the Hedgehog is, many elements can spring to mind. The surreal landscapes, the boppin’ tunes, the cool blue ‘tude. But one of the core elements to the hedgehog’s persona? Speed. So it only makes sense that, over the years, the character has been put in a multitude of games that epitomizes what speed is: the racing genre.
At the end of 2018’s SXSW Sonic panel, the next new Sonic game was teased by SEGA. With some select sound effects and that all-too-familiar “R” logo, it was clear that another racing title was slated to hit stores in the not-too-distant future. As to what form that would be, the public at large was left in the dark until today, when the first proper teaser for Team Sonic Racing went live on the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube channel:
In a move that nobody saw coming, Sonic is to join the fray in Tekken 7 according to Namco Bandai’s “Nico Easter 2018” stream earlier today. Tekken is no stranger to bizarre crossover characters (Final Fantasy XV’s Noctis was added just last month), but even by those standards it’s surprising to see a character like Sonic standing toe-to-toe with Heihachi.
Since the stream was only available through NicoVideo, information is limited. From what we can gather, Sonic’s inclusion appears to be some attempt at cross-promoting Sonic Forces – right down to his home stage being Metropolis from the game. It’s expected that Namco Bandai’s western channels will release more information and assets shortly, but in the meantime we nabbed a few screencaps from the stream. Annoyingly, you need a premium NicoVideo account to re-watch the stream, so we don’t have any footage to share.
The Sonic DLC for Tekken 7 is due out in Fall 2018.
If you’re like me who wasn’t able to visit GDC this year and are hoping to find a way to watch the GDC talk on Sonic the Hedgehog. You’re in luck as GDC has begun uploading this year’s panels, along with the Sonic GDC panel, onto their website the GDC Vault. The video has been made available for free viewing on their website and may even appear on their YouTube channel. Currently the GDC Vault does not allow video embed, so you’ll have to go over to their site by clicking on the image above or one of the many convenient links like this one here.
In case you missed it, Naoto Oshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara hosted a panel talking about their perspective on the creation of the character, what made him stand out as well as the game design and art direction that brought us the Mega Drive/Genesis title. Previously we were only given a glimpse thanks to the efforts of Frank Cifaldi on Twitter. Now we are able to witness more with an edited video that presents the two speakers along with their slides for easy viewing. The Q&A session follows after the panel, plus a bonus speed drawing from both Oshima and Yasuhara.
The GDC Vault is home to plenty of talks that range from game development tactics, to important topics and postmortems of other games. Some panels will require a paid subscription for viewing. You can watch the Sonic panel or other panels from this year’s conference here.
Since the 90’s, speculation as to the future of Sonic the Hedgehog has always been a lively, if sometimes wild, topic of conversation. Fortunately for us, the future looks a little bit clearer as of today. After the double punch of Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces, people have been clamoring for a taste of what’s to come next, which is why all eyes turned to the “Gotta Go Fast” panel at this year’s SXSW.
Once again, Aaron Webber led the proceedings of what has become a yearly function for the crew over at SEGA. Joined by Austin Keys, Tyson Hesse, Jasmin Hernandez, and Sonic Team’s own Takashi Iizuka, the panel spent the next hour going across all aspects of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Some jokes were had, some things were teased, and some pretty swell announcements were made.
It’s hard to believe that the mobile title Sonic Dash is almost five years old. With over 100 million downloads and two sequels under its belt, the endless runner certainly shows no signs of stopping. To celebrate its anniversary, the official SEGA HARDlight Twitter account made a brief teaser video as to what they’d be doing to celebrate the occasion. Dialing up a certain spherical gaming icon, Bandai Namco tweeted a follow-up where none other than Pac-Man picked up the phone. Though they had previously tangled in the world of Super Smash Bros., the two titans have teamed up for a crossover that conveniently fits in your pocket.
Updating the app on your device of choice, players can now unlock Pac-Man for a limited time. Your vintage badniks have been replaced with the classic ghosts, and using the dash move even turns them blue! Sadly, we don’t get to see Pac-Man’s smiling face tackle Dr. Eggman, the evil genius being replaced with a giant ghost named Bash. Wearing a crown, the only guess is that maybe he’s a supercharged Inky? Though he doesn’t seem very bashful anymore if that’s the case.
Instead of being content with just one mascot hopping into another’s game, the two companies have gone that extra mile and done their own video game exchange program. Not only is Pac-Man running about Seaside Hill chompin’ on ghosts, Sonic the Hedgehog has jumped into the mobile version of Pac-Man. Running about a maze version of Green Hill Zone, the classic Motobug rolls about trying to stop Sonic from getting those rings and his animal friends. In Pac-fashion, the red badnik rolls about with pink, blue, and yellow variants, and turn that dark shade of blue if Sonic grabs an invincibility item box. Heck, one of the mazes even has the word “run” in it, so you know what’s up.
As with Sonic Dash, the Sonic maze in Pac-Man is only available for a limited time, so be sure to download both as soon as possible. Though with this new development, there’s one thing to consider…since both these games have had cross-promotions with HelloKitty, how long until we get the ultimate crossover with all three having wacky adventures and solving mysteries? You know you want it to happen.