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Steam

Game News, Previews

E3 2018: Team Sonic Racing Impressions

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.

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Game News

“Team Sonic Racing” Announced For Winter 2018

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:

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Game News

Yes, You Can Play as Shadow in Sonic Forces

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!

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Game News

Sonic Mania’s Special Stages Revealed, Plus Blue Spheres Lives On

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.

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Community, Site News

Spark the Electric Jester Releases on Steam

With the pagies in cagies and Umbra Witches returning from slumber, today’s releases on Steam includes a platformer from the development team behind Sonic fan games such as Sonic After the Sequel.

After a successful kickstarter campaign and given the green light on Steam, Spark the Electric Jester comes out on Steam reliving the glory days of 16-bit platformers fusing together gameplay elements of Sonic the Hedgehog and the Kirby series. Spark comes with dozens of Steam features including trading cards, achievements and Steam cloud support.

Spark the electric jester is an action/platformer video game heavily based on best classics from the 16-bit era from both sides of the aisle.
You play as Spark, an electric jester frustrated by the loss of his job! On one beautiful day, robots decided to take over the world. Seeing as Spark’s job was taken by a robot, he decided this was the perfect opportunity for his revenge! Spark will have to travel through the world and be engulfed in high-speed thrills and tons of action against the robots and the one who has taken his job.

Check out the Steam sale page for the game here. Heck, buy copies for your friends and support your community! I’d say Spark deserves as much spotlight as games like Sonic Mania, Freedom Planet and Major Magnet.

 

[Source: Steam]

Fan Works, Hacking

Morph’s Lighting Mod for Sonic Adventure DX Restores Dreamcast Lighting Effects

Sonic Retro user Morph and several others have gone through Sonic Adventure DX and created a mod that restores the lighting effects that were previously seen in the original Sonic Adventure into the PC version. The difference gives off more vibrant colors in the environment that also reacts to objects and characters. You can download the mod from the discussion thread in our forums.

Lighting can be used to set a specific tone or mood in an environment. But why is it such a difficult thing to remain consistent when converting this to other game platforms? The game featured an artistic shift that occurred when the game was converted to other platforms. A combination of technical hurdles and creative liberties can dampen the original artistic intent, and Sonic Adventure is no exception. The original Dreamcast version featured a “Lantern” engine which provided impressive looking lighting effects using palettes on SEGA’s then cutting edge game console. However the dozens of ports of the game left out these lighting effects in favor of using drop shadows instead, until now. Check out additional videos, comparison screenshots and an interview with Morph on the mod after the jump!

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Community, Site News

Retro Community Day Returns with Sonic Transformed on PC this Saturday

640px-SASRTransformed_logo

We certainly haven’t done one of these in a long while. Let’s all gather back together to play Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on PC/Steam this Saturday at 5PM Central. Send your friend request on Steam to my (Bartman3010) account, which I conveniently named SEGA Channel Retro and watch for an invite to come play with us! We’ll be livestreaming the event to record my great feats. Or is that me getting horribly beaten? In any case, send in your requests early and come see us this weekend!

Game News, Hacking

SEGA To Allow People To Share Mega Drive ROM Hacks Through Steam Workshop

Yesterday Sega Europe announced the SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub for Steam. Basically it’s a fancy emulator shell that lets you play Mega Drive games in a virtual room. It has the standard features you might expect officially released emulated games to have like save states and visual filters. But outside of that, it’ll have one very interesting sounding feature: Steam Workshop support.

According to Sega’s blog post, the Steam Workshop support is for “modified versions” of the Mega Drive games. You might think that this sounds a lot like they are letting people share ROM hacks, which would be huge news. And it turns out: they are! It was later confirmed on Twitter that you’ll be able to share “custom ROMs” of the games with other Steam users. So yeah, ROM hacks.

It’s no news that Sega is okay with people making and sharing ROM hacks. After all, they haven’t tried to stop us from letting people host them on this site. But to let people share them through an official channel like this has never been done before. More details on how Steam Workshop support will exactly work will be shared next week, but so far this all sounds very promising.

The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub will launch on April 28th, and will be released as a free update to the current Mega Drive emulator on Steam. It’ll be compatible with all of the Mega Drive games Sega are selling on Steam, and you’ll be able to make use of the hub if you already own any of them. This of course includes all of the Mega Drive Sonic games that are being sold on Steam.