Sure, we all know it’s Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th anniversary. But did you know that Super Monkey Ball turns 20 this year? That’s right, those rolling simian’s are celebrating their own milestone, and in a moment of corporate synergy, the two franchises are colliding.
That’s right, both Classic Sonic and Tails will be guests in the upcoming Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania. Look at them go! They’re rolling. They’re collecting rings instead of bananas. For those keeping score, this is the second time Sonic has popped up in the Super Monkey Ball franchise, the first being 2019’s Banana Blitz HD.
Sonic and Tails aren’t the only ones joining in. Beat from Jet Set Radio was announced earlier this month, but he’s not collecting rings or bananas! He’s collecting spray paint cans. Because. Well. That’s what you collect in Jet Set Radio. Will any other SEGA characters pop in on this Monkstravaganza? Who knows. But you can pick the game up on October 5th, 2021 in all the usual places.
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!
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!
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.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2. For some, it represents everything that a Sonic game should be. The pinnacle of the series, an entry point for millions of kids who would become life long fans. Due to its development, an extra layer of mystique has also surrounded the game, which is why when anything new comes out regarding its creation, people get excited. Just one more piece of the puzzle that showcases how such a beloved game came into being.
You might remember that last month, we posted about Craig Stitt. Not only was he an artist on Sonic 2, he went on to have a pretty impressive career outside of SEGA, working on such classics as Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet and Clank. Over at the Facebook group SEGA Retro Gamers, he’s been sharing stories of his time working in the gaming industry, and posting content that has never seen the light of day. That Treasure Tails pitch? Yeah, he’s the one who shared that.
Well, earlier today, Craig posted another slew of art connected to the development of Sonic 2, drawn by none other than the creator of Miles “Tails” Prower, Yasushi Yamaguchi.
These are photocopies I made of Yamaguchi’s oringal drawings; to help me stay in sync with the game’s style while designing the art for the levels I was working on. (Hidden Palace and Oil Ocean)
When Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released, it was an instant success. Kids all around couldn’t stop talking about the game, nor could they stop talking about the newest character added to the Sonic mythos – Miles “Tails” Prower. His popularity raised just as quickly as Sonic’s did, and it wasn’t long before he was spun off into a handful of his own games. Tails and the Music Maker, Tails’ Skypatrol, and Tails Adventures all put the two-tailed fox in the forefront. SEGA had faith in Sonic’s sidekick, and for good reason.
However, those weren’t the only games that had been pitched as stand alone titles for Tails. Earlier today, Craig Stitt, known to Sonic fans as an artist on both Sonic 2 and Sonic Spinball, shared a handful of still images he created for Treasure Tails, a game that was pitched all the way back in February of 1993.
About a year ago, we posted a LEGO themed Sonic Mania project from community member toaster. The goal for any project posted to LEGO’s Ideas site is to reach 10,000 signatures, at which times, the project will be reviewed and determined if the licenses can be obtained and if the project will move forward in any official capacity. Fast forward to today, where the project is creeping ever so close to that goal, having been sign almost 9,000 in just a hair under a year! We spoke with toaster at length about the project, including its inception, inspiration, and the reception so far. Hit the jump to hear what she had to say!
We’re on the last leg of our interview with the Kart Krew, and this particular Spotlight is chock full of first looks at SRB2Kart v2! Hit the jump for the final round of questions and check out our exclusive look at the new tracks and features coming soon! Continue Reading
It turns out this student’s professor is David Javelosa who, if you aren’t familiar with him, is a freelance composer who used to be an Audio Director at SEGA of America. These days you’ll find him as a professor at Santa Monica College. You will typically find his name on western productions of SEGA titles including Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Ecco – The Tides of Time,Spider-Man VS. The Kingpin and even was part of the SEGA Multimedia Studio to help with SEGA CD development.
After the tweet gained massive popularity the poster agreed to try to convince David to put his works online somewhere. Luckily he agreed to it and now you can find this online. A SEGA Genesis GEMS Test Module. GEMS of course was the sound driver used in many western Genesis games including Sonic Spinball. But in the video below it seems to center around Sonic 2. You can find more demo reels and music tracks from this channel after the jump.
The steady trickle of Team Sonic Racing news continues, with the release of this short ‘Part 1’ video covering some of the game’s soundtrack. Featuring Jun Senoue, Takeshi Taneda and Act., this video not only shows us actual studio footage but also some new clips of the game in motion alongside it. Market Street in particular looks fantastic as Blaze bounces off hot air balloons and Shadow does some extremely slick drifting through a tight-looking S-bend. Part 1 features Market Street and Green Light Ride, as well as Frozen Junkyard so while it’s mostly stuff we’ve heard before, Frozen Junkyard is new and almost has an Ohtani vibe to it. It’s also just nice to see Jun and Co jamming together in the studio. As well as this neat little bonus, Sega have announced the Japanese pre-order bonuses for the game – hit the jump to see what’s up for grabs. Continue Reading