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.
How’s this for a little role reversal? Where Sonic Mania features fan game developers work in a commercial Sonic game, a Sonic game developer makes works on a ROM hack?
GameHut is the YouTube channel run by Traveller’s Tales founder Jon Burton which recently celebrated his achievement of 25,000 subscribers. The channel provides a constant stream of video material showcasing old prototypes, special builds and insight on coding techniques of Traveller’s Tales’ work over the years. There’s a greater focus on Mega Drive material and more recently a focus on their work on Sonic R and Sonic 3D Blast / Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island. As an example I reported on videos on SEGAbits that covered a prototype for Sonic R and unseen footage of an unannounced sequel to Mickey Mania.
In a surprise announcement for achieving 25,000 subscribers on the channel Jon announced that he is working on releasing an unofficial patch for Sonic 3D titled Sonic 3D Director’s Cut that focuses on restoring content and adding enhancements to the game. This has no involvement with SEGA or any other company and is only being developed by Jon himself in his spare time. Details about the hack can be seen in the jump.
On November 7th, 2017, Sonic Forces is slated to be released across the gambit in both digital and physical formats. It seems like only yesterday the cryptic CG trailer was premiered in front of fans, and now we are less than two months away from experiencing it first hand. On Tuesday, the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube channel revealed something unexpected. It’s not a hoax or an imaginary dream, that is indeed a playable Shadow the Hedgehog in a new Sonic game!
In less than two weeks, Sonic Mania will finally be available to the world at large. Counting down the days has become painful, the question being if there’s a way to make August 15th come any faster. Since no one here at Sonic Retro HQ has the extra eighth Time Stone hiding in a cabinet, we must instead whet our appetites on the teasers SEGA has been releasing.
Yesterday, the official Sonic YouTube account put up a video showcasing, among other things, the brand new Special Stage for Mania. Yes, we get some blue spheres going on, but there’s a whole lot more to it than that.
Inside SEGA’s booth were a dozen demo stations for both Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces making their first and last E3 appearance. Con-goers did their best to pilfer posters given out any way they can. E3 was packed this year due to the convention allowing the public to enter for the first time in years which means the lines were more than double and that means plenty of eager people wanting to check out whats new.
Hit the jump for our thoughts. (Bartman3010 and Neo Hazard)
It’s hard to believe that Sonic Mania is only a short two months away. It seems like only yesterday the game was first announced, a magical look at the Sonic experience that could have been on the Sega Saturn. When the digital pre-order trailer came out a couple weeks ago, some assumed that very little new content would be revealed in the days prior to E3. Yes, we’re a bit late to the party, but SEGA did announce a new level in style: Chemical Plant Zone.
Sure, you’ve watched it before, but there’s no shame in jammin’ out to that Act 2 music all over again. Hit the jump to see what else Mania has been up to as it speeds to it’s release.