Sonic the Hedgehog 4 has been previewed, played, reviewed, picked apart, dissected and a whole host of other actions. We’re not here today to do any of those things. This article isn’t about how Sonic 4 Episodes I & II played or the behind-the-scenes politics of how the game came about. This article is about how a few fans with too much time on their hands bothered SEGA enough about silly little details.
Way back in 2010, SEGA revealed Sonic the Hedgehog 4, and speculation ran rampant. How would it play? How would it tie to Sonic 3 & Knuckles? Could we expect a Sonic 4 Happy Meal? These and many more questions were asked. Now, six years later, many of those questions have been answered and with the upcoming Sonic Mania, fans are looking towards the future while Sonic 4 Episodes I & II remain in the past. But one little question has always gone unanswered, and that question is “What is the name of the island in Sonic 4?”. Following the game’s release, I reached out to SEGA for an answer, but I came back with just a few names of the bosses from Episode II. We tried again last year in an interview with Aaron Webber, but aside from his own head canon answer there was no apparent official name.
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.
Seasons greetings, dear Retro readers! Last night, jolly old Santa Claus visited the Retro HQ, ate all our cookies and milk, and didn’t leave us a damn thing. Fortunately, we managed to pull his bag off his sleigh as he tried to escape from our armed pursuit, and in his wonderful bag of gifts, we found a hundred pounds of solid gold ingots. We promptly sold all the gold, and I’m happy to report that all of the Retro staff slept on mattresses made entirely out of cash last night. In the spirit of the Christmas season, we thought we’d pass our frankly tremendous fortunes on to you, so today we’re holding a giveaway for a Sonic Franchise Steam Bundle. This bundle includes every single Sonic game available on Steam (see complete list below), and only one lucky reader is going to walk away with the whole thing. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post before 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on December 31st, 2012, and include an email address we can contact you at in case you win. Make sure to read the rules below as well. Good luck, and may you enjoy these games as much as we are enjoying our endless pits of money.
Complete List of Games Included:
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
- Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
- Sonic 3D Blast
- Sonic Adventure DX
- Sonic Adventure 2 (with Battle DLC)
- Sonic CD
- Sonic Generations (with Casino Night DLC)
- Sonic Spinball
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II
- Sonic Retro staff are barred from entering. Yes, me, that means you.
- You must not already own more than three of the games on Steam. We will need permission to view your Steam profile to verify that you meet this requirement. This is so that people who don’t already own these titles have a chance to get them.
- Entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on December 31, 2012, and must have supplied a valid email address.
- Only one entry per person. Trying to skirt this rule may result in all of your entries being disqualified, not just the additional entries.
- The winner will be chosen
whenever we feel like itbetween January 1st and January 7th, 2013.
- You do NOT need to put your email address in the text of the comment, just use the email field provided for you.
- You do not need to put your Steam profile in your comment. We will email you and request that information when and if you are picked as the winner.
- DLC, such as the Adventure 2 Battle DLC or Generations Casino Night, does not count against the three game limit from rule two. Games will be considered as listed above.
After much fan demand, Sega has begun releasing several of their Sonic series soundtracks on to Apple’s iTunes service. Most of these albums, though recently released, aren’t too easy to track down and import for those looking to legally own the music, never mind worrying about bootlegs.
The albums now available are the 20th Anniversary editions of Sonic CD, Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes, as well as “The Best of Crush 40: Super Sonic Songs”, “The Works” (Jun Senoue‘s standalone album featuring several original songs and some Sonic music), and Sonic Colors ViViD SOUND × HYBRiD COLORS, the last one lovingly divided into three volumes for all three discs (Disc 2 and Disc 3 can be found at those links.) Sega further states that the soundtrack to Sonic The Hedgehog 4‘s episodes will also be touching down on iTunes in the future.
It should be noted that the 20th Anniversary album for the two Adventure titles aren’t as all encompassing as their original releases, which may turn some fans off. However, this is the best chance short of importing to show support for the musicians that worked hard to keep series’ reputation for good music alive and well.
With Sonic Generations dropping in less than two weeks, sights are beginning to move to the next point for Sonic as he hits the Past signpost and revisits a more simple time where Time Stones, Metal Sonic and Rosie the Rascal where some of his bigger headaches.
Sega released a new trailer for Sonic CD, powered by Christian “The Taxman” Whitehead’s Retro Engine, showing off how the game looks in its new wide screen perspective as Quartz Quadrant’s International Present music jams on in the background under a random announcer. Not much more to say outside of it’s Sonic CD as you truly remember it, only with a wider perspective and a different soundtrack for the U.S. folks.
Before jumping the gun on the Sonic 4 mention, please remember that Sega’s own Sonic Digital Brand Manager Ken Balough clarified that Sonic CD‘s story will be a pivotal point in Sonic 4: Episode II, especially given the Metal Sonic nod after completing Episode I with all seven Chaos Emeralds in tow.
Sonic CD is scheduled to boom onto Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, PC Download services, and the iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 app stores later this year.
[UPDATE: Sega’s Ken Balough offers more clarification on the jumbled mess that is the timeline. Read the full quote at the bottom.]
Brace yourselves one more time. This could be a bumpy ride.
The start of PAX today in Seattle allowed attendees to get a first taste of Sonic CD on the Retro Engine before making its way to consoles, computers, and mobile devices, running through the entirety of Palmtree Panic Zone. Initial reactions from the crowd are fairly positive.
While trying out the game, forum member Shade Vortex got to speak to
Patrick Riley, a staff member at Sega of America, [UPDATE: Ken Balough, Sonic Digital Brand Manager,] about the game. A few of the details revealed by Retro Engine creator Christian “The Taxman” Whitehead might have been a little premature.
It’s been slow, so why not.
Takashi Iizuka, the long time target for everything older fans perceive wrong with the series, sat down for an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine to talk up the 3DS version of Sonic Generations. He dropped that the fans of the old Mega Drive games are very much hard to please. He hopes that Sonic Generations will fix that.
“Our team are always trying to present new gameplay innovations so it’s hard to please fans who like the gameplay from the older games,” said Iizuka.
“However, we have included the older gameplay as part of Sonic’s 20th Anniversary, so we think the fans of the older games will enjoy it [Generations] as well. We are also looking into continuing the Sonic 4 series which was released on WiiWare, and we’ll keep developing titles so more fans will enjoy the games.”
Easy on the Sonic 4: Episode 2 comments. Lord knows the fire wave it will bring with it will be enough further down the road.
It may not be necessary to keep trying to please the older fan base by trying to recreate a 1:1 variant of the Mega Drive games in a 2.5D environment, as some of the demands (and believe us when we say we are certainly no strangers to seeing some of these on this very site) border the point of just rom-hacking Sonic 1 or 2 and releasing games in that manner.
At the same time, trying to shoe horn in mechanics such as the Werehog, swords, angsty characters with guns, or even shoddily implemented team-based game play isn’t necessarily the way to go. When thinking of “gameplay innovations”, as they call it, the best strategy is to see what can work with the base gameplay instead of throwing darts at post-it notes on the wall and going with it. Knuckles taking the Werehog’s place while keeping similar play style and calling it Sonic and Knuckles 2? Bank.
If Sonic Colors was anything to go by, just release a game that’s charming and genuinely fun to play and everyone will be happy. You could even argue that the formula was within reach as early as 2002.
[Image Credit: Cyrus Parker]
Don your scuba masks, because here comes one hell of a flood.
Earlier, we reported that Nintendo Power confirmed Sonic Generations on 3DS. Now, thanks to forum member Effexor, we have delicious gigantic scans of the article and images of the 3DS version for your consumption.
But for those of you who don’t want to sift through all the text to find whatever tasty morsels of information are in there, just hit the jump for the key details. You can also find the scans down below.
As Sonic’s 20th Anniversary year chugs on, Sega has shown three titles for the franchise in a tease of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, the duel of mascots thrice over in Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games and an assault of media for the upcoming PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Sonic Generations.
And yet, it seems that aside from a downloadable game and a collection of mini-games that Wii and 3DS owners are hardly getting any love in the form of a substantial Sonic platformer.
That may all be changing as next month’s Nintendo Power magazine includes a rather substantial teaser for the celebration of Sonic’s 20th Anniversary, featuring an edited version of teaser art for Sonic Generations. Could it mean that Sonic Generations is headed to a Nintendo console?
At the moment, it’s unlikely, but considering that Nintendo’s Project Cafe is set to be demonstrated at next month’s E3, and one of its rumored bits of design allows developers to easily port games from Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it’s certainly a possibility.
Or it could even be a brand new title. This would go against what Sega of America Vice President of Sales and Marketing Alan Pritchard said in an interview with GameInformer last year stating that the company only had three new titles lined up for the franchise, as we already have three titles for the most part announced.
After the warm reception Sonic Colors got on both the Wii and DS in sales, a Sonic title for any of the console giant’s trinity is all but confirmed.
Remember Sonic 4: Episode 1? I sure hope you do.
(Looking at the post below this one is cheating. Stop that.)
Sega’s Sonic 4 Brand Manager Ken Balough confirmed today that Episode 2 of the series within a series is already in production. Naturally, we’ll have to wait for the first images and teasers of gameplay.
However, a few key points were stressed about Episode 2. According to Sega, since Episode 1 sold pretty well, Episode 2 may be allowed a bigger budget for development. A lot of elements in Episode 1 that players found problematic are also being addressed, with additional feedback from Sega of America and Sega of Europe being considered. One of these includes focusing on level elements that have never been seen before.
Lastly, the company stressed that, despite a certain teaser at the end of Episode 1 when all the Chaos Emeralds are collected, Episode 2 will not be a remake of Sonic CD. The amount of episodes Sonic 4 will hold has also been long decided by the company.
So get ready for another year of Sonic 4 goodness. Hopefully this time around, things won’t cause such a massive uproar about every minute detail under the sun. Also physics.
[Via Sonic Stadium]