Level creators are nothing new to video games at large, but throughout the long history of the series, Sonic the Hedgehog has only had one level editor officially released. While long since gone, as PlaySEGA itself has been shut down for several years now, those who played it will likely recall a less than stellar recreation of the original Sonic the Hedgehog with some new sprites thrown in for a fairly limited experience. Enter Lapper, a Sonic Retro user who has been working diligently since 2010 to create a more thorough and consistent level creator based on previous Sonic titles on the Genesis dubbed Sonic Studio (formerly known as Sonic Maker.) We took some time to grill Lapper about his project and what we can expect in the future.
The first incarnation of Nazo Unleashed was released on Newgrounds a little over 10 years ago as of this month. For a lot of fans, seeing Sonic combined with the action of Dragon Ball Z just clicked. Over the years, Aaron Cowdery a.k.a. Chakra-X, has proceeded to release high definition remasters of the original before eventually opening up a Patreon to support his latest endeavor, Sonic: The Wrath of Nazo. We interviewed Chakra-X and several members of the Nazo Unleashed team about the project, their own history, and what we can expect to see in 2019.
2.5D might be one of the best ways to blend new with the old. Scenery, characters, objects, everything in a title can take advantage of modern day hardware while still feeling like the games of yesterday. The Sonic series began to take to 2.5D more and more starting with Sonic Unleashed, with the entire “boost trilogy” doing the brunt of the platforming in the 2.5D sections, with the high speed antics in 3D, almost racing-esque segments.
In 2013, a Retro user by the name of Ell678 began work on his own Sonic fan game, one that would be comprised almost entirely in 2.5D by utilizing SonicGDK. Since that point in time, Sonic Incursion has begun to take shape into the extraordinary title we see here today. A huge fan of the early Genesis games, Ell678 felt he could take what he adored about the level design the two games had and put it into something modern while still maintaining a “classic” presentation.