Sega held a party for Sonic’s 25th anniversary at one of their Joypolis parks in Japan earlier today, which they live streamed online. There they showed new gameplay of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice and announced that the next main Sonic game will be released in 2017.
But the coolest thing that was shown was the original concept art of various Sonic characters. While a bunch of it has been shown before (and can be found on our wiki), we also get to see never before seen design sketches of characters like Shadow the Hedgehog, E-102 Gamma and Big the Cat for the first time. You can see all of the concept art that was shown above.
[Source: The Video Game Art Archive]
Is your Sonic library on Steam lacking a few titles? Why wait for a Steam sale when you can set your own price and meet payment tiers in the latest Humble Bundle featuring a trove of Sonic games that can be redeemed on Steam which includes Sonic Lost World and an exclusive T-shirt for $35. Games such as Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Generations all feature their DLC included as well, except for our good buddy Simon from Yogscast in Transformed. The SEGA Genesis and Mega Drive games also take advantage of the updated emulator that supports ROM hacks as well.
If you’re not familiar with how the Humble Bundle works, you can set the price on what you would pay for the games and receive a Steam validation code for each game covered by your payment. You can also pay above two different tiers with one being the average paid amongst different users on the Humble Bundle. Previous Humble Bundles included mobile Sonic titles and the Archie Sonic comic series. This marks the first time Sonic games on Steam appeared in a Humble Bundle set.
Be sure to check out the Humble Bundle page on more information. More games will be added to the bundle in the near future which do not require additional payment. Hit the jump to see what games are available in the bundle.
This is Sega Europe. They do things like localise games from Japanese and release them in the UK, Germany, France, Australia, etc.
Oh, did I say localise games? Old hat. Their current job is to say “no information at this time” to any questions on Twitter. Over and over and over again. This is a shame, because SoE used to be the best Sega division, and SoA has rather cheekily stolen this title in the last couple of years.
The only reason I can think of for them doing this (other than just tormenting the audience, and I can’t see this as a logical business decision), is that they don’t think they’ll make any money on a release. That the translation won’t get them sales, and that they need some incentive or something.
Right. They want some incentive? Let’s bloody GIVE them an incentive! If the only thing they’re going to listen to is cold hard cash, I think we can do that.
Edit: 3/23/2016 You can now watch the full panel courtesy of the SEGAbits channel.
The Sonic 25th Anniversary panel at SXSW will begin just a few hours from when this post is published. And thankfully SXSW will be hosting a live stream of the panel, which you can see above. The Sonic section of the stream will start at at 1:30pm PDT / 3:30pm CDT / 4:30pm EDT / 8:30pm GMT / 9:30pm CET.
The panel will feature Aaron Webber, Austin Keys, Mike Pollock, Roger Craig Smith, Takashi Iizuka and Yuji Naka, and will focus on the history of the franchise. The panel’s description also teases that they’ll “look to the future”, though Sega has already clarified that they don’t plan to announce any new games at the panel. Aside from that, Aaron Webber has teased that the meaning of the numbers on the Game Grumps photo from a couple of months ago will be revealed.
Whatever the panel is going to be about, with that selection of guests it’s sure to at least be something worth watching.
It is an end of an era for Sonic the Hedgehog at the English theme park Alton Towers. The rollercoaster ride Sonic Spinball, which has been in operation under the Sonic branding since February 2010, has been re-themed as Spinball Whizzer. The ride originally opened in 2004 under the Spinball Whizzer name, but was given a Sonic re-theming with a lot of fanfare back in 2010. Not only was there a Sonic themed ride, but there was also a Sonic-themed hotel room as well as Sonic merchandise throughout the park. I’ve heard from fellow fans that the Sonic merch has been slowly drying up, signaling that the Sonic license may be coming to an end, and this recent news all but confirms it. It is unknown if the Sonic-themed hotel room has also been removed or will be removed. The room is best known to fans for being one of the earliest instances of Roger Craig Smith voicing Sonic the Hedgehog, as audio of Sonic would greet guests as they entered the room. Hilariously, due to an audio snafu the voice sounded much lower leading to the infamous “check out the consoles” line and many fans freaking out that the new Sonic sounds a lot older and slower. The audio was soon fixed, but it was funny while it lasted.
Roger spoke about recording for Alton Towers, as well as the audio mistake, in a Swingin’ Report Show podcast interview which can be heard right here. You should also check out the article Overlord did about his trip to the attractions back in 2010.
Note: “Closed” in the above graphic refers to how long the wait times are, not the permanent closure of rides. As the park was closed at the time of this screenshot, all rides are closed as well.
[Via Sonic Stadium]
I have been in contact with Kyle Hebert and it is confirmed, this is going to happen. A battle of wits between BIG the CATS. If you are a gamer who lives near Michigan, please share this…we would love to see all the Sonic fans there!
Posted by Jon St John on Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Next month at Midwest Media Expo, Jon St. John and Kyle Hebert, the former and current voices of Big the Cat respectively, will go take part in an event that’s been dubbed as “Battle of the Bigs.”
From St. John’s Facebook page:
“I have been in contact with Kyle Hebert and it is confirmed, this is going to happen. A battle of wits between BIG the CATS. If you are a gamer who lives near Michigan, please share this…we would love to see all the Sonic fans there!”
Who knows what will happen? One thing is for sure – Michigan will never be the same.
As you might have noticed, on one of the boards at Tomy’s booth at Toy Fair 2016 a “History of Sonic” panel that’ll be held at SXSW was mentioned. And it turns out that the SXSW event schedule website includes details about who’ll be there and what it’s about. The panel will be held on March 19th at Austin Convention Center, and it’ll have some very interesting presenters.
According to the website, the presenters are:
- Aaron Webber – Sonic Social Media Manager
- Austin Keys – Sega Prod Dev Dir
- Mike Pollock – Voice of Dr Eggman
- Roger Craig Smith – Voice of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Takashi Iizuka – Head of Sonic Team
- Yuji Naka – Sonic Original Creator
Like the name of the panel suggests, it’ll focus mainly on the history of Sonic through the evolution of gaming, the rise of online (oh geez) and mobile, and multiple TV series. They will “celebrate the past and look to the future”, and with those presenters it definitely seems like it’ll be worth attending.
Because SEGA decided that they’re no longer releasing new Sonic games annually to give developers more time to properly finish the games, there hasn’t been a big new Sonic game in the past year. The Sonic fanbase doesn’t seem to be used to not having a new game to
complain about play for longer than a year, meaning that they’re desperate for news. So desperate that they’d even look for info at the Toy Fair.
That being said: we’re part of that Sonic fanbase, and we also happen to be just as desperate, so time to look for new info at the Toy Fair. Thanks to the Flickr of Paul Nicholasi of Idle Hands, we know all the new details from the Tomy booth at the event. And it turns out that there’s quite a bit of new stuff to know about, though nothing about the new big 25th anniversary game everyone wants to know about.
Right, after Gene stole the glory of doing the last ever Monday Links, it’s time for me to start this Retro Digest thing.
So basically Retro Digest will be replacing Monday Links, the supposed-to-be-weekly summary of what’s been happening around the Sonic scene. Except it was almost never actually weekly and it often wasn’t done on Mondays either. So to stop people from making any more snarky responses pointing this out we’re renaming it to Retro Digest. This is our first step in removing all snarkiness on the internet, wish us luck!
Anyway, 2016 is already off to a pretty decent start when it comes to Sonic stuff, with the community doing cool stuff and Sega teasing the fanbase. So here’s a look at the neat stuff that’s been happening
In case you’ve not noticed, it’s a Tuesday. Besides it being M. Bison’s favorite day of the week, this is a particularly special Tuesday: it’s Sonic 2sday.
Sonic 2 was released on this day 23 years ago. Fairly exciting stuff considering all that it packed after the Blue Blur’s first outing. It even brought along perennial buddy and the sometimes annoying Miles “Tails” Prower.
Five years ago, we hosted our first Sonic 2sday Challenge. The premise is simple enough: you attempt to destroy the arduous task of Nick Arcade Expert’s Challenge of collecting 25 rings in under 30 seconds. I mean, ’90s tv sitcom star Melissa Joan Hart couldn’t! Surely a ragtag group of Sonic fans could. The catch? You must use the existing Sonic 2 Nick Arcade prototype.
Still not enough challenge for you? Then for those seeking to REALLY show off how awesome they are, feel free to submit your own challenges, such as the dreaded Emerald Hill Sweep (getting all seven emeralds in Emerald Hill) using both Sonic and Tails. Or use the mobile version of Sonic 2 and go for the gold as the fastest speed demon of Hidden Palace Zone.
After all, Hidden Palace and Sonic 2 started this lovely mess that became Sonic Retro.
Otherwise, kick back and enjoy a super spin through one of the pinnacle titles of the classic era. Sorry Sonic 3 fans: you’re ignored until further notice. If you really want to show off, you’re welcome to shamelessly plug yourselves in the comments below attempting this dreaded challenge or just streaming some Sonic 2 goodness. You could send it to the contest email from five years ago, but I hear a certain demonic presence inhabits that account now…