Game News

“Sonic Central” Announces A Slew Of Sonic

Hey, guess what? There’s Sonic news.

It’s no secret that people have been waiting to hear what’s next for Sonic the Hedgehog. We’ve had rumors, we’ve had wild speculation, but now we have something to actually talk about! As advertised, “Sonic Central” went live earlier today. Running for twelve minutes, the team over at Sega HQ were able to cram in all sorts of Sonic goodness, including some game announcements. So let’s just dive right in!

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Game News

“Sonic Central” Broadcast to Announce New Projects, Events, and More

Sonic Central image, May 27th, 2021. 9:00am PT | 12:00PM ET. Tune in for a first look at some of our upcoming projects, partnerships, and events to celebrate Sonic's 30th anniversary!

This image from the tweet dishes all the juicy details. Click through to see the tweet.

This morning, the official Sonic Twitter account shared the above image to announce a broadcast titled “Sonic Central.” As you can see in the attached image above, it promises a look at what we can expect throughout Sonic’s 30th anniversary. While small tidbits have been shared regarding SEGA’s plans for the franchise this year, it’s not a surprise that people have been wanting to hear more, especially when it comes to what games are in the pipeline for the blue blur. Recently, there have been some rumors spreading thanks to two now removed product listings on the French gaming site “SoGamely.” Sonic Colors Ultimate and a Sonic Collection were listed, with no further details. Could these give some indication of what to expect? Come May 27th, 12:00pm ET, we’ll definitely have a better idea.

SEGA HARDlight, the developers of mobile games like Sonic Forces: Speed Battle and Chu Chu Rocket Universe!, quote tweeted the announcement with their official account, adding “Be prepared for some exciting HARDlight game announcements! 👀 #Sonic30th”. Whether this is alluding to a new game from them or new content coming to an existing game remains to be seen.

Accompanying this announcement was a short video titled “Unstoppable.” Uploaded to the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube channel, it celebrates Sonic’s history while looking forward to the next 30 years. It takes some time to highlight folks like Evan Stanley and Tyson Hesse who have contributed to the franchise. And if you look closely, you might spot some never-before-seen CG of Sonic running through a forest. What’s that from? Guess we’ll find out soon enough!

 

 

Fan Works, Hacking

Sonic Hacking Contest Announces 2021 Dates

The 30th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog is upon us. Among the celebration of three decades of the blue blur comes the annual Sonic Hacking Contest. This year the contest has revealed the deadlines for entries as well as the date for the contest week which you can see below.

CONTEST DEADLINE – End of Sunday 5th September
UPDATES DEADLINE – End of Sunday 12th September
EXPO DEADLINE – End of Sunday 26th September
CONTEST WEEK – Monday 11th to Sunday 17th October

This year includes a change to the judging process including additional judges separated between the three categories, Retro (For hacks based on vintage Sonic titles), 3D (For mods based on 3D titles and 2DPC which includes mods for 2D titles such as Sonic Mania including the RSDK decompilation projects.

For further information regarding the contest you can check out additional details, such as contest judges and categories, from the Sonic Hacking Contest website here. You can also join the discussion on our forums regarding the contest on the dedicated thread for 2021 here.

Merchandise

LEGO Approve toastergrl’s Sonic Mania Concept

Almost exactly two years ago we featured this on the front page when it was in the initial pitch phase. Almost exactly one year ago we reported that it had almost reached it’s signatures goal and interviewed toastergrl herself. Today we can report that LEGO have officially approved her Sonic Mania concept and are going ahead with it!

Do bear in mind that the image featured is not final and details are yet to be finalized, including timeframe, price and design so we’ve yet to see how big the set will end up being and how close it will be to toastergrl’s initial proposal, though here’s hoping we’ll know more by the series’ 30th anniversary. Until then, why not speculate on the forums?

Community, Fan Works, Interview, Podcasts

Feature: A History of Sonic The Hedgehog Podcast, Tom Campbell

Everyone loves podcasts. Podcasts are great, and with some countries still imposing lockdown measures into early 2021, the mini podcast renaissance we’re experiencing looks set to hold with so many working from home or otherwise just having more time on their hands – but what is surprising is the relatively small number of Sonic-related offerings out there.

This is where Tom Campbell comes in. Well-known to wrestling fans for his work at Cultaholic, Tom has launched a new podcast series called A History of Sonic the Hedgehog which covers, well… Sonic’s history. It’s all fairly self-explanatory, but there are a few things that set this effort apart. Not only is it extremely well produced, it’s absolutely packed with information while keeping things relatively brief and is peppered with various snippets of adverts and interviews from back in the day to tie everything together, as well as a few new interviews and some roundtable discussions that give the whole thing a nice personal touch.

Episode 1 and 2 go over the history of the main series games with a few pit stops along the way and while the amount of new information here will depend largely on how familiar you yourself already are with the tale (and why not acquaint yourself with our wiki?), the way it’s all presented here is very entertaining. Episode 3 goes into the history of the comics and touches mostly on Fleetway and Archie with a quick swing around to IDW to close it out. This episode is utterly fantastic for anyone with even a passing interest in any of these comics, featuring interviews with Nigel Kitching, Michael Stephenson, Ken Penders and Ian Flynn! What a line-up!

All in all, this is not only a fantastically well-written and well-produced look into the entire Sonic franchise, it’s origins and history and how things got to where they are today, it’s also a love letter to it from someone who is very clearly a passionate, lifelong fan and whose expertise has allowed him to do it the justice it deserves. It goes without saying that I think you should absolutely check it out wherever you get your podcasts from, or go straight to the source!

I reached out to Tom to ask him a few questions about the podcast and his plans with it, and what brought him here in the first place. I was pleasantly surprised by his final answer and you might be too! Hit the jump to read on.

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Podcasts

SEGA Channel Retro: Astro City Mini Livestream on Sunday at 8PM Central/2AM GMT

Neo Hazard and I are kicking off the new year with the Astro City Mini. Neo got his in and will be going through SEGA arcade classics. The stream starts Sunday night at 8PM Central, 2AM GMT. The stream will be embedded to this post once it goes live.

Game News, Game Secrets

Finally – A Prototype For The Original Sonic the Hedgehog Has Been Found

There are a handful of games that one could point to and say they forever changed the course of the video game industry. Among them? Sonic the Hedgehog. First released on the Sega Genesis on June 23rd, 1991, it challenged Nintendo’s dominance. It introduced a new kind of platformer to the masses. It sparked the imagination of an entire generation. Nearly 30 years later, the world of Sonic continues to grow and thrive, but it all started in a little black cart with six unique zones hiding inside, waiting for someone to plug it in and explore South Island.

As the kids who played the game grew up, it was only a matter of time before many became curious as to how this game came to be. Through research, interviews, and a lot of persistent digging, much of the game’s development has come to light. The process as to how Sonic and Eggman were designed. The months spent perfecting Green Hill Zone. The debates between the American and Japanese branches of SEGA, arguing how the game would be formed, advertised, and all the million little details inbetween that could make or break the company’s hopes in the 16-bit era. It’s a fascinating story, but there was always one piece that was missing. An early piece of media that would let someone take a peek into the development process, to experience a version of Sonic just a bit different than the one that hit store shelves.

That puzzle piece has finally been discovered. And it is glorious.

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Fan Works, Hacking

Sonic Hacking Contest 2020 Trailer, Entry List Revealed

SEGA’s recent sale-a-bration has provided a trove of Sonic games for low prices. After expanding your game library, now you can expand them with brand new content. This year’s Sonic Hacking Contest has revealed a list of entries and a trailer by redhotsonic.
Check out some of the highlights for this year’s entries. A texture makeover for Sonic R turns Sonic Mania zones into 3D raceways. Add more options to Sonic Heroes‘ multiplayer mode with the Extended Multiplayer Edition. Sonic 2 Pink Edition replaces the usual duo with Amy and Cream. A mouse interface to move objects around in Sonic 1 is now possible with Sonic 1 Point and Click Edition.
 
The trailer also shows several streamer personalities showcasing this year’s entries including AntDude, Argick, MegaGWolf, redhotsonic, Sam Procrastinates, Somecallmejohnny, Tails’ Channel, Just Jesss, Garrulous64 and DaveAce.
 
The contest week lasts between Monday 26th of October to Sunday the 1st of November. You’ll be able to find all entries to download and vote for when the event goes live at www.sonichacking.org. You’ll also be able to find the streaming schedule and updates for the contest as they happen. For the list of entries, be sure to expand this article by hitting the jump link below.

 

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Opinion, Podcasts

SEGA Talk Podcast: Sonic Advance

On this episode of SEGA Talk, we fire up the Game Boy Advance and discuss Sonic’s first 2D platforming adventure on a Nintendo handheld! What is Dimps? How does a speedy hammer wielding Amy Rose control? How does the game hold up almost 20 years later? Listen and learn!

[iTunes – Stitcher – YouTubeRSS – Download]

If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add  them as a comment below or send theme directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!

Movies

Trailer for “Console Wars” Documentary Released, Premiers September 23rd.

Back in 2014, Blake J. Harris released the novel Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation. As one can guess from the title, it told the story of the quest for market domination between the two parties in the early 90’s, which resulted in some of the best video games ever released. At the same time the book was published, there were already reports that it would be adapted into a live action film, with later reports also confirming a proper documentary being produced.

Originally meant to premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March, those plans were delayed for…obvious reasons. But through the wonder of modern technology, the documentary is set to go live on September 23rd, 2020, exclusively on the CBS All Access streaming platform. The trailer features Tom Kalinski and Al Nielsen, two men who were instrumental in the success of Sonic the Hedgehog – and SEGA as a whole – in the United States.

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