Boy, it’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen this project hasn’t it? You’ll recall Sonic 2 HD as one of the featured projects on this very website up until the project disbanded in 2012. When the project was dead in it’s tracks, it did give us PagodaWest Games who’s talent eventually led to the amazing Sonic Mania and the Sonic 2 HD team got some fresh talent in 2014 to resurface the project from it’s ashes. You can read a summary of the project’s troubled history from Guess Who’s editorial.
Now the project is back with a new trailer showcasing the smooth artwork, zones, remastered soundtrack and gameplay with new material not seen since it’s first public demo in 2012. Sonic and Tails are shown running together through the previously featured Emerald Hill Zone and the similarly colored Hill Top Zone that was originally hidden in the first demo. The bigger highlights include Chemical Plant Zone being shown off for the first time, new character artwork and the video’s closing teaser for the game’s second demo set to release later this month on the 30th. The team also relaunched their website simplified to feature screenshots, wallpaper and social media links.
The project continues it’s long trek but certainly shows a lot of promise. We can’t wait to see what’s in store in the project’s second demo after so long. Over time they have been showcasing new assets and even positions for those who want to put their talent up to honor the original 1992 game. Be sure to check out their website and social media links for more information.
sonic 2 hd
Nobody knows if Monday Links is alive or not. Sometimes is just kinda pops up again, while at other times it just kinda seems to have died into obscurity. Some wonder if Monday Links was ever truly alive for the past year or so, as it only sometimes kinda popped up and then disappeared again for who knows how long. Others just don’t care cause really why would you you probably normally don’t even look at the front page and just go straight to the wiki or forums you jerk. >:(
Anyway, these Monday Links articles usually takes quite a bit of time to make so I’m gonna trim them up a bit from now on. From now on it’ll focus more on Sonic and less on SEGA in general. If you want to see the latest SEGA news and cool SEGA features, you should go visit SEGAbits. Those guys do a pretty damn good job covering all things SEGA and really I’m just wasting time linking all the stuff they put up there when you can just visit their site.
Also I’ll probably use more Space Dandy gifs.
Sonic Retro stuff
- Ell678 put together a trailer and a couple of new screenshots for his snazzy looking 2.5D fangame Sonic Incursion. [I guess people really like to use Tenderoni for Sonic trailers]
- The people working on Sonic 2 HD now put up a time lapse video of the new end level pose animation. [Cause who doesn’t like a cool end level pose?]
- Andrew75 is still updating his impressive Sonic X-treme inspired fangame Project AXSX. [Go take a look]
- S0LV0 has started a development blog on the stuff she’s doing for the Sonic Generations Unleashed Project mod. [Yup, work is still being done on that]
- SonLVL now has support for Chaotix object layouts. [Admittedly I’ve never used it before but it sounds like a neat addition]
- Here’s our first look at the Sonic X-treme OpenGL port [Holy shit you guys it’s Sonic X-treme]
- A Sonic remix album called Spindash is out now for ten bucks on various digital platforms. [Officially licensed by SEGA]
- No, Sonic’s not going to be mobile and PC only. SEGA of America is gonna have a huge re-structure but that’s not gonna affect any Sonic games Sonic Team or whatever has in production. SEGA is gonna push mobile and PC games harder (which they’ve already been doing), but they’re not gonna stop making console games. It’s still bad news of course, but not as bad as some make it out to be. [Not really Sonic related but it’s a rumor that needs to be cleared up]
- This anime fighting game called Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax that has a Green Hill Zone stage will be getting a western release. [So it’s still Sonic related I guess]
- We thought that we’d get to see what Sonic Runners looks like last month but we didn’t. [😐]
Remember Sonic 2 HD, which unceremoniously died following its alpha release because of nonsense regarding former project programmer L0st? The quick excitement and then sorrow of the project’s release and cancellation reverberated across the Internet and it looked like the dream had finally died.
Not so fast. In the waning hours of Sonic’s 23rd Birthday (and we do hope you keep your Sonic memories coming in), the Sonic 2 HD Facebook group sprung back to life and announced the project was back on. Turns out that a newcomer, who remains anonymous, stepped up with an engine to fill the hole L0st’s firing caused, and the engine received approval by project head Vincent.
While the team is a short a few members from its original development (citing real life obligations), it looks like the project will continue development. If any of you are feeling creative and have the skills to assist the group, it may not be a bad time to contact the team and show them your stuff.
We all remember Sonic 2 HD and how it regrettably met its end not long after releasing a playable demo of Emerald Hill Zone due to internal controversy. Just because the door on that project closed though doesn’t mean that this was the end for them. Some of the team, now working under PagodaWest Games, put their talents toward a brand new IP for iOS systems called Major Magnet.
Retro Engine creator and the man behind the 2011 digital port of Sonic CD Christian “Taxman” Whitehead confirmed as much in a tweet to his followers earlier today congratulating the group on the successes the dev’s title has met, including an Editor’s Choice award from Apple itself.
While Sonic 2 HD may be resting eternally, definitely give these guys some love and pick up the game on your iOS device and hope that they can bring the game over to other platforms. Good job, PagodaWest!
The decision comes on top of several allegations from team members that LOst held the project hostage through the inclusion of DRM, public feedback of a bloated engine running an otherwise simplistic game, and other behind the scenes issues. The final straw was the massive negative reception after reports of a keylogger were detected by various antivirus software.
After some careful examination by forum member Guess_Who, the “keylogger” was confirmed to be benign and a false positive, revealing that it was a result of shoddy DirectInput programming. This is how the program was able to register key presses even when the window was not selected and running in the background. In other words, it’s like how CW Cheat can trigger antiviruses as a trojan horse, despite having no malicious software behind it.
(The following is a guest editorial written by forums member Guess Who, because frankly, someone needed to say it.)
Starting in the late nineties, a sizable community formed around reverse-engineering Sonic games. Thanks to the work of this community and its extremely talented individuals, amazing feats have been achieved. The original Sonic titles have been disassembled into their raw Motorola 68000 assembly code and thoroughly documented, allowing for substantial modifications; Sonic Adventure DX has similarly been torn apart, allowing for the creation of useful tools such as level and model editors; even the brand-new Sonic Generations has already been hacked wide open for creating custom levels, porting levels from Sonic Unleashed, and importing music. One thing all of these accomplishments have in common is that all of them are the result of collaboration. Many people worked for days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years to acquire and share the knowledge necessary for all of these technical marvels to come to fruition. Sonic Retro has always fostered a collaborative environment thanks to its forums, wiki, and Mercurial repository, and consequently has become the de facto hub for all things Sonic hacking.
So in March 2008, when Sonic 2 HD was announced, it was hailed as a shining example of the collaborative community environment that’s been so crucial to the Retro community. Media outlets like Kotaku covered the game’s announcement with great anticipation. It was given its own forum where members could contribute their own assets to the game, whether it was art, music, programming talent, or just general feedback. The engine, coded primarily by long-established community member LOst, was built using the disassembled code of the original Sonic titles (you know, that code collaboratively reverse-engineered and documented by a number of community members?) as a basis for its physics. The original Sonic 2 HD board received a whopping 14275 replies, mostly from members offering their own work or feedback for the product.
You waited for nearly two years. You questioned whether this project was still alive and kicking. But with time comes development, and to show you that things ARE getting done, the Sonic 2 HD team has released a new playable demo.
Being an alpha release, it’s understandable that not everything is perfect and things can (and likely will) go wrong. But what we do have is an impressive feat of love and creativity from a group of fans with a passion to give Sonic the Hedgehog 2 a visual spit shine and touched up music.
However, a small bit of controversy around the project is the nature of it being listed as a Sonic Retro Community Project, despite being a rather closed operation. Project Manager Canned Karma addressed this further by confirming the project will continue a closed development cycle.
“With the game’s Alpha Release, this means our involvement with Sonic Retro’s Community Projects also comes to an end as, in all honesty, S2HD hasn’t been a community game for a long time,” Canned Karma said. “In line with this, we’ve now closed out the topics in the Community Project sub-forum in favor of a single discussion thread here.”
Currently, the demo only supports Windows operating systems from Windows XP through Windows 7.
Updates and downloads on the project will continue to be posted on the team’s official website. For now though, big props go out to the team for all their work so far and we look forward to seeing the project grow and mature even more. Let them know what you think of the game so far in the comments down below.
So, I was walking around Target the other night, and I couldn’t help but notice one of Atgames‘ many officially-licensed Genesis plug-and-play systems, the Arcade Blast Sonic, was on the shelf. Since I was pretty bored, I picked it up to take a look at it.
That’s when I saw something a little…weird.
Why, I’ve never seen a Sonic the Hedgehog 2 title screen drawn that way on a Sega product–even that shirt which was licensed a few years back didn’t quite have the artwork like that. Wait, could it…? No, of course not.
Then I flipped the box over.
Huh. It’s there again, too! Every other game on the box uses the standard title screen, but this is using that art instead. You know, if I didn’t know any better, I would say that wasn’t official artwork.
Of course, gentle readers, we know better. It’s not.
It’s actually a very old Sonic 2 HD title screen that was replaced, but its legacy lives on in Atgames packaging. Certainly, this isn’t the first time fan works have appeared in official products (the Sonia fanart in All-Stars Racing comes to mind), but it doesn’t make me smile any less each time it happens.
Slingerland is away this week, as he’s too busy being awesome or something. In the meanwhile, we still need some Monday Links, so let’s go!
Sonic Retro News
- Perfect Chaos Zero responds to a thread of old fan game nostalgia by…dropping hundreds of old, forgotten fan games on us for download. [Sonic Fan Games (The older ones)]
- FraGag released a port of the KENS compression/decompression libraries to C# for use on the SVN. S2LVL just got even more awesome. [KENSSharp]
- Another week, another art tease from the Sonic 2 HD team. This time around, we get a look at the Tails design. [Sonic 2 HD General Project Feedback]
- The annoying Asteroid Coaster Act 2 is made…less annoying with this walkthrough [SEGA Blogs]
- Phantasy Star Online 2‘s specs have been released; alpha registration is available for select groups. [SEGAbits]
- Activision and SEGA team up to make Wappy, a robotic dog that interfaces with the Nintendo DS. [CNET]
- Editor E-102 has been working pretty diligently this week to document what Wave Master musician composed what tracks from various Sega games. [SEGA Retro]
Tonight marks the World Premiere of Sonic 2 HD! For the first time since the project’s technical demonstration in 2008, the curtain has been pulled away to let the world see what Team S2HD has been building up. We hope this answers many of the questions long-time fans of the project have had, and that everyone is just as excited as we are for what’s to come.
For those who haven’t seen S2HD since the Tech Demo, you’ll notice that just about everything has been rebuilt from the ground up. What isn’t as obvious is that everything behind the scenes was scrapped as well: shortly after the Tech Demo’s release, the engine used was thrown away in favor of an even more accurate engine in the works–one capable of far more expansion than was originally imagined. In the year that followed the art direction also saw massive changes, and, from late spring of 2010, the finalized art style brought about the last wave of changes to everything that had been created previously. All of Sonic’s movement frames were redone. All the Badniks were scrapped and redesigned. Many of the level art assets underwent the same treatment. The result of these changes is reflected in what you now see.
By the fans, for the fans, spread the word: the alpha release of Sonic 2 HD will arrive Q1 2011!