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.
Surely the internet isn’t going to make the title of this article a played out meme before it goes up, nope, probably not, nah.
So that Sonic SXSW panel happened, and we got some pretty good reveals out of it. And enough of them for us to actually make a recap article for once! Now, if you want to watch the panel for yourself, Tails’ Channel has the panel up on his YouTube channel. But if you just want all the news about Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces, here’s our recap:
Sonic Mania wasn’t the only new Sonic game revealed at the 25th Anniversary Party. At the end of the stream, Takashi Iizuka revealed the debut trailer for Sonic Team’s next game. Like Sonic Generations, the game will feature both Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic. However, Iizuka stressed that this isn’t a sequel, so it’s not Generations 2.
It also appears that the game will have a dark and serious story line. If so, hopefully it won’t be as bad as the series’ previous attempts at having one of those. The game doesn’t have a name yet aside from a working title, Project Sonic 2017, but they did announce that it’ll be released on PS4, Xbox One, NX (!) and PC during Holiday 2017.
Originally, I was just going to throw up a clip of The Critics’ Jay Sherman just saying his trademark line of “It stinks!” but that would be simply broadside-ing with an elephant gun what at its core is a good game wrapped up in layers of garbage, like one of those Babushka figurines.
So, let’s talk Sonic Runners. Even though Sonic Dash is still very much a thing and is celebrating 100 million downloads by shoe-horning in a brand it has no business even associating with in Angry Birds, Sonic Team decided it wanted to take a stab at this crazy bizarre world known as mobile freemium development.
Enter Runners. Simple enough premise: Sonic and friends run to the right and collect gems and rings through an obstacle gauntlet of spikes, enemies, dash rings, pits, loops–you name it. At the end of each segment, Sonic encounters Eggman hauling a stash of goodies and is tasked with smacking that old greedy capitalist of all his money for your own purposes. Then the level speeds up and repeats with a more difficult layout. Rinse and repeat two more times to max speed until you eventually die.
Throughout this, you’re treated to very simple stories of Team Sonic helping out Animal friends, lost Chao, and even scared groups of Wisps in their battle to stop Dr. Eggman from whatever anti-environmental/furry critter plot he’s hatching for that chapter. It may sound like I’m complaining or ready to just eviscerate the game, but this isn’t the case.
So SEGA put out a update for Sonic Runners which you have to download if you want to be able to play the game, which is okay as long as you can download it. Except it’s not officially released yet outside of Japan and Canada, so Android users outside of those countries can’t update the game the normal way.
Thankfully, Neowl from our forums has uploaded the .apk file, so just install it on your Android device and you should be able to play the game again. And your save data won’t be lost by downloading it. Alternatively, you can also download the update through the Japanese QooApp store. You should also be able to download any future updates through that as well. iOS users should be able to normally update the game through the App Store.
As for what the update actually does, we don’t know the official patch notes but our forum members have noticed framerate improvements and that the game no longer closes when their phone goes into sleep mode. So you no longer have to worry about your phone going on stand by because of how long the loading screens are.
SEGA gives us our first glimpse at what Sonic Runners actually looks like with this new gameplay trailer showcasing Sonic, Knuckles and Tails running through worlds from Sonic Lost World.
It also teases that a bunch of other characters will be in the game, including Shadow, Amy and Vector. Aside from that, there appears to be some sort of story mode that includes boss battles with Eggman, and Chao return as support characters that seemingly affect the way you’ll play the game.
Finally, it looks like Sonic’s been made slightly shorter in this game and his quills aren’t quite as long as they used to, making him resemble his classic design a bit more while still looking modern. Sonic Runners is coming to iOS and Android in Japan this Spring. SEGA also updated the game’s official website to include more new info and screenshots.
Maybe a little later than we expected, but still we’ve finally gotten the first details of Sonic Team’s upcoming mobile game Sonic Runners. SEGA released a teaser trailer for the game, but it doesn’t show anything from the game aside from one of its music tracks, which is seemingly composed by Tomoya Ohtani. According to the game’s official site, it’ll be a free game with microtransactions that’ll be released for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android phones. The above promotional image also shows that Chao will make a return, that Windy Hill is one of the game’s worlds and that Mother Wisp from Sonic Colours DS is in the game for some reason.
Famitsu has given more details on what we can expect from the game, which Andrej from the Sonic Stadium has translated. The playable characters are Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, with more to be added later. Graphically it’s comparable to Sonic 4, as the game is played from a 2D perspective but uses 3D graphics. And while Sonic will run forwards automatically like in Sonic Dash, it won’t be an endless runner. Instead the game will have 50 stages with more that will be added later on, each of which take up to two minutes to finish. You’ll also be able to take multiple/hidden paths to get faster times. Aside from that, the game will have a story that’ll be split into short scenarios, with some of them having callbacks to older games.
There’ll parts throughout the game where Eggman pops up and has to be driven off, and the Colour Powers from Sonic Colours and Lost World also make a return. You’ll also be able to use support characters, and if you happen to live in Japan you can sign up to get a “special companion” when the game is released. Finally, you’ll also be able to compare times on leaderboards and there will be special in-game events during holidays like Christmas. Sonic Runners will be released this Spring in Japan, and seemingly soon after in the rest of the world.
The true sequel to the Dreamcast classic Phantasy Star Online is coming to the Playstation Vita. The portable edition will be the same as the PC version and will even support cross-platform play. This means that if you own the Vita version you can play the game with PC users. You’ll probably notice that it doesn’t look like the PS Vita can handle the game very well. That’s because this version is less than 10% complete and is currently running on the lowest settings, so it goes without saying that the graphics and framerate will be improved considerably.
While it hasn’t been announced if the game will be released in the west, the chance of it being localized is pretty big considering that most of the other games in the franchise did get released stateside. Phantasy Star Online 2 will be released in 2013 and is being developed by Sonic Team. After the jump is an older trailer of the game.
Sonic Colors for the Wii and DS has been announced today, along with a teaser trailer! It seems like this is Sega’s answer to Mario Galaxy.
Details from Sega of America’s Blog:
We’re excited to announce a brand-new game for Sonic the Hedgehog! Sonic Colors is a high speed action-adventure in which Sonic races through theme park-inspired worlds to rescue a colorful alien race from the clutches of Dr. Eggman. An extraordinary amusement park has been seen orbiting around the home planet of Sonic the Hedgehog, and rumors are spreading that an alien race of Wisps, who have a unique colorful energy, are being held captive there by the evil Dr. Eggman. Soon after arriving at the amusement park, Sonic discovers he is able to use these mysterious alien forces to help the Wisps escape!
Sonic Colors will be available on the Wii and the Nintendo DS around holiday 2010. Sonic Colors for the Wii seamlessly combines both 3D and classic 2D game play perspectives, while the Nintendo DS version takes full advantage of the console’s dual screen.
Sonic Colors sees Sonic accelerating to adrenaline-pumping super speeds and blasting through obstacles in ways never before seen in a Sonic game. The alien Wisps featured in the game each have a unique “Color Power” that, once freed, Sonic is able to absorb while speeding through the various theme park inspired planets. The Wisp energy enables Sonic to create new paths through the stages by drilling through the ground (Yellow Drill) for example, or speeding through the stage as a laser (Cyan Laser). Stringing the Wisp power-ups together creates a combo that increases Sonic’s boost gauge even more quickly. Exclusive Wisp power-ups will be available for both Wii and the Nintendo DS versions, ensuring a unique and super speedy gameplay experience for Sonic fans everywhere.
Today Sega announced that the Episode 1 release of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 has been moved to late 2010, with the extra dev time being spent on “tuning and balancing” the game. Nothing more concrete than this window has been announced.
The press release that was released today officially confirms the iPhone & iPod Touch release of the platform that was discovered from the offcial website’s assets earlier in the year. A video is due to be released after tonight’s episode of GameSpot’s On The Spot feature, which will go up at 10pm UTC/GMT (i.e. just over half an hour from this post).
“SEGA is incredibly happy at the overwhelmingly positive response to Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I from both press and fans around the world, and wants to ensure that we’re delivering the best Sonic experience possible,” says the official press release on the Sonic Blognik blog. “With this dedication to quality and the Sonic experience in mind, SEGA has decided to extend the development of the game, and will now release Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I in the latter half of 2010. The additional time will allow the Development Team to focus on ensuring overall high-quality throughout the game by continuing to tune, balance, and maintain the kind of polish that an important title like this demands, and ultimately providing fans with an unrivalled classic Sonic feel.”
In addition, a new Sonic 4 trailer has been released featuring footage from the first level in the game, Splash Hill Zone:
As you may recall, Retro & Stadium exclusively broke the news of this upcoming announcement 3 days ago. Stick with Sonic Retro for future developments on the Q4 2010 release of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.
UPDATE: According to Gamespot’s On the Spot, the iPhone release of Sonic 4 will sport two exclusive levels not present in any of the console releases! No specific details on that yet, but we’ll let you know.