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.
If you’re like me who wasn’t able to visit GDC this year and are hoping to find a way to watch the GDC talk on Sonic the Hedgehog. You’re in luck as GDC has begun uploading this year’s panels, along with the Sonic GDC panel, onto their website the GDC Vault. The video has been made available for free viewing on their website and may even appear on their YouTube channel. Currently the GDC Vault does not allow video embed, so you’ll have to go over to their site by clicking on the image above or one of the many convenient links like this one here.
In case you missed it, Naoto Oshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara hosted a panel talking about their perspective on the creation of the character, what made him stand out as well as the game design and art direction that brought us the Mega Drive/Genesis title. Previously we were only given a glimpse thanks to the efforts of Frank Cifaldi on Twitter. Now we are able to witness more with an edited video that presents the two speakers along with their slides for easy viewing. The Q&A session follows after the panel, plus a bonus speed drawing from both Oshima and Yasuhara.
The GDC Vault is home to plenty of talks that range from game development tactics, to important topics and postmortems of other games. Some panels will require a paid subscription for viewing. You can watch the Sonic panel or other panels from this year’s conference here.
[Source: GDC Vault]
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Earlier this week, a new image (above) began floating around of the 1990 Tokyo Toy Show build of Sonic The Hedgehog. The image comes by way of the August 1990 issue of Japanese magazine MegaDrive Fan.
As with any Sonic 1 prototype finding, a certain buzz flies around of “Is it real or is it a hoax?” Thanks to forum user JumpingRyle, we can fully confirm the authenticity of the shots from a full page scan of the magazine in question.
Amazon’s set top box pulled a SEGA Saturn by releasing at the same time as it’s announcement, not only acting as a direct competitor to other multimedia devices such as the Apple TV and the Roku, but also acting as a dedicated game console as well, sporting it’s Android based operating system sporting games like Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Telltale’s The Walking Dead and more. With an Android based system comes SEGA with a number of conversions of their Android based Sonic games. Check out after the break below to see the list of games from SEGA that became available at the launch of the system as well as their price and more on these ports.
A slew of updates rolled out for several Sonic titles across Android and iOS devices. Sonic 1 and 2 now both enjoy more stability and Android Kit Kat’s unobtrusive mode, while iOS7 support is included on the Apple side for Sonic 1, and the ability to use a controller instead of smudging screens with filthy fingers. Sonic 2‘s updates further refine multiplayer to be less of a hassle (though that still doesn’t seem to stop people from disconnecting… rude.)
If for some reason you still happen to be playing Hardlight Studios’ Sonic Dash, you’ll be delighted to find out that after putting up with Zazz beating you like a “DRUUUUUUM” for the past several months, a new boss has stormed out the gate to wreak havoc on the ever repetitive Seaside Hill Zone.
Every other run through the never-ending serpentine roads will result in Zazz and Eggman switching places to try and cut your run short. Unfortunately, while being two different characters, Hardlight decided to phone it in and just reuse the same boss A.I. So it’s less a new boss, more Zazz in an Eggman suit. At least the Egg Hornet theme from Sonic Adventure makes a return!
The update also contains new achievements for Silver and the announcement of the next global challenge to unlock series jewel thief Rouge the Bat. Neither are actually up and running as of publish time.
June 23, 1991. 22 years ago today, the world was hit with a concept unlike any other. Sega was gunning for the king’s throne from Nintendo and it had just launched its meal ticket to do just that. Amazed from the cutting edge looks and bright colors not seen meshed together so elegantly before, the world was captivated and a new star was born.
It’s been a rough couple of years for this little bugger, but many can agree that he’s made an amazing rebound in the past few years, like a teenager who pissed away the best years of his life only to realize, “Well, damn, son, I need to get my act together.”
And while we all have different opinions about the character, whether we like his classic stout look or the lankier taller look, we can all agree that without him, these past 22 years would not have been possible at all.
So join us as at the Sonic Retro family of sites raises its glass to one of Sega’s most influential mascots.
Happy 22nd Birthday, Motobug! Please enjoy playing through his exciting debut adventure one more time.
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Less than a week ago, Sonic 1 received a Taxman/Stealth makeover for mobile platforms. The updated port has already cracked the Top 10 Paid Apps list in the US for both Google Play and the iOS App Store at #2 and #8, respectively. As we covered earlier, there are a ton of bonus features that more than warrant its $2.99 price tag. We encourage you to purchase the app, which you can find in the links below. After the jump you will also find some screenshots showcasing some of the bonus features (slight spoilers).
Another year, another insatiable urge for Sega to release a brand new iteration of Sonic 1. Launching May 15 in Japan, Sonic 1 joins Super Hang-On and Space Harrier as the first three 3D Classic Mega Drive remakes for the Nintendo 3DS. This is to commemorate the Mega Drive’s 25th Anniversary in Japan.
While this isn’t particularly thrilling news, and especially on the toes that Christian “The Taxman” Whitehead is at work on a Sonic 1 remake for Sega along with the Sonic Scene enigmatic man known as Stealth, the game will follow the line of other 3D Classic series titles on the 3DS that uses the system’s 3D features to add depth to the the game’s background.
A little real talk first before business goes on. We earlier reported that Sega staff member Patrick Riley was interviewed by forum member Shade Vortex. It looks like he might have been a little starstruck as he was actually not speaking to Patrick Riley at all, but Sonic Digital Brand Manager Ken Balough. Patrick Riley had no involvement with the previous interview and we wish to offer our apologies to the two gentlemen and to you, our readers who put up with us, for the confusion. For future reference:
This is Patrick Riley.
This is Ken Balough, as you truly imagined him. Please beat us over the head if this happens again.
Let’s move on to the video interview goodness after the jump.
Add one more to the number of ports this game has.
While people enrolled in PlayStation Plus have had the game (for free) for over a month, the game has now been deemed worthy of release to the lowly free peons of the PSN in exchange for $4.99 out of your PlayStation Wallet.
What will you find? Just Sonic 1 as you remember it, only now with a new menu system that prevents using the level select code but allows for savestates to be made at the player’s leisure.
In other words, it’s a port of the Xbox Live Arcade “Sega Vintage Collection” port of Sonic 1, with all the pluses and minuses (moreso minuses) well intact.
If you’re visiting this site, you’ve likely played this game in some sort of capacity. This one’s purely for the diehards who want Sonic 1 on every system they own (legally) or for those who somehow missed on the multiple other ports of the game. May I suggest just picking Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection instead?