It’s that time of year – Geoff Keighley is back on stage, looking business casual as he hosts the Summer Game Fest. Being a Sonic fan, you never really know if you’ll get anything at these events, yet you can’t resist tuning in anyway. Today, sandwiched between news about Remnant II and Honkai: Star Rail, a certain blue hedgehog suddenly ran onto the screen, with a certain weasel watching from the shadows.
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.
[Source: Super Monkey Ball Official Twitter]
It’s hard to imagine a time where Sonic the Hedgehog didn’t exist. A time when he wasn’t ever present on video game shelves, where a cartoon featuring the character wasn’t airing on television, when a monthly comic book wasn’t available to buy at your local comic shop. But back in 1990, Sonic was just a dream. Springing from the mind of Naoto Ohshima, there was certainly a time when he was nothing more than a simple doodle scratched upon a napkin. Mr. Hedgehog, one drawing among a sea of many, all of them vying to become the face, and the hope, of an entire video game company.
What was it like when Ohshima sat in Central Park all those years ago, signaling for random passersby to see his funny, slightly strange doodles? How many of those people had the slightest idea what SEGA was? What videogames even were? Did they just think of him as a cartoonist who had made his way to the big city, looking for inspiration among the towering skyscrapers? When shown the drawings of that egg-shaped man, or that spiny blue critter who couldn’t wait to run off the page, what did they say? Did anyone have the slightest inkling they were witness to history?
Likely not. After all, it was just a drawing on a piece of paper. No grander sense of the world that was being created. Of the gameplay slowly being refined in Japan. No idea that this character, who would take the name Sonic, was destined to forever alter the video game industry. If they had been told ahead of time, those who were aware of Nintendo’s dominance would have surely laughed. Video games were dead in America until Mario brought them back to life, how could anyone attempt to overthrow them? Where would you even begin?
Regardless on how you feel about 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games, you can’t deny that there’s been a lot of interest in Sonic Forces. Ever since its teasing last July, speculation has run rampant as to what this game could contain. When news earlier this year confirmed that a third character would be revealed, even more speculation commenced. Now, after months of crazy theories and slight trepidation, we have finally seen who this mysterious third will be…
Well. That’s. Hey let’s hit that jump button and figure out what we just watched.
After getting a sneak peek during a Nintendo Direct earlier this month, we now have our first full look at some Classic Sonic gameplay in Sonic Forces. And yes, it’s Green Hill Zone again. Though now it’s no longer much of a tropical island and more a grassy field in a desert. Also it has all new music rather than another Green Hill remix, so that’s something.
Forces will also feature Modern Sonic, who’ll play similarly to how he played in Sonic Generations. Plus there will be a third gameplay style featuring the new character that was teased earlier this month.
Throughout the summer, YouTube channel The Geek Critique has been covering the classic Sonic games in a six part Classic Sonic Retrospective which is, as described by the video’s creator, as being “essentially a feature-length documentary covering every single game in the classic series”. The retrospective covers why Sonic was such an influential series personally, and to the industry as a whole. It also does a good job in tackling the recent notion circulating the internet that Sonic was never good to begin with. Give the series a watch and stay tuned to The Geek Critique’s channel as he plans to cover the Sonic Adventure series next summer!
Valve recently released its Source engine video editing software to open beta to allow talented individuals to create movies using Source-compatible assets. YouTube user Waxination decided to try their hand at remaking a certain segment from the popular (and highly “memetic”) ’90s Saturday morning cartoon, Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog.
Aside from showing a small sample of what can be done within the Source Film Maker, it’s also interesting to see how well the Classic Sonic model fits with Jaleel White’s Sonic. Although it’s very unlikely the short’s creator will do much more than finish the clip, it could be an interesting undertaking for a group of fans to try and “adapt” an episode of the cartoon using the film engine.
Check out one more example by YouTuber ChaoFanatic below! Thanks to RGamer2009.
During our little downtime (more on that later), Famitsu scans flooded the Internet confirming another level for Sonic Generations, Sonic 2‘s Chemical Plant Zone, and the boss for the stage in Metal Sonic.
From the start, Chemical Plant looks much darker and grungier than its Sonic 2 counterpart, looking like a hybrid of it and Eggmanland from Sonic Unleashed. The double helix paths, Mega Mack-lined tubes and purple water all return in Classic Sonic’s version of the level. If you had nightmares about that one area in Act 2 with the rising water, get ready as it will likely return.
Continuing the slow drip of information on Sonic Generations, a few nuggets of joy were dropped in an interview on G4 conducted by Morgan Webb.
While there’s no new information on other levels aside from the already confirmed (and naturally expected) Green Hill Zone remake, Patrick Riley, director of international production at Sega, confirmed that the poll recently conducted by Sega on what stages fans loved was used as feedback for the development team to gauge which stages to include. Sega has also been scouring the forums of popular video game and Sonic sites (COUGH) to see fan reactions on the game and discussions on the series.
Coffee’s behind the logo, Sega reps.
I certainly hope that everyone has two pairs of pants on the ready, because Sega decided to give everyone a gift today. The gift of Sonic Generations. Yes, that is the title. Yes, the rumors are true: classic levels all over the place. And yes, it looks to the best Sonic game in a decade. Posted all over the place from Sega’s official blog to C&VG and IGN, we get a game that just screams “oh man, they actually looked at all the poses Ohshima drew oh god look Sonic is holding his hand over his eyes and he even has an edge animation and he taps his foot and 1991 is the future.”