Sonic the Hedgehog CD. For a time, even saying the name produced an aura of mystique. Released during SEGA’s nearly-undisputed reign in the 90’s, the fact it was only available on the Mega-CD forced the next entry in the Sonic franchise to become a cult classic. There was no Mega Drive counterpart, kids without the hardware add-on instead being gifted Sonic Spinball for the holiday season of ‘93. Sonic CD would become this mythical game for those it was out of reach, screenshots in magazines being the only way to experience it. Even when Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were released the following year, there was still the sense that, somehow, one had missed an important chapter to the Sonic the Hedgehog saga.
True, it would be released on other platforms in the coming years, but somehow it still seemed a curiosity. The PC version from 1996 was harder to come across than it should have been. A port was meant to be in the Sonic compilation Mega Collection, but due to emulation issues was held back until the less-successful follow-up, Sonic Gems Collection. It wasn’t until the 2011 rerelease on the Retro Engine that it became accessible to a wider audience. No collections needed, just an Internet connection and enough hard drive space to experience the definitive version of the game.
Even before it was released on modern hardware, people argued how great the game actually was. Debates on the game’s level design, which version of the soundtrack is better, and where it ranks as one of the best or worst in the Sonic pantheon are topics that have been repeated in nearly every corner of the Sonic Internet community. It’s an argument that began the moment the game was released – GamePro gave Sonic CD its highest honors, while the review on UK television show Gamemasters felt it was “a problem” that Sonic was still going through platform levels. But regardless of how one feels about Sonic CD, it can not be denied that it delivered to the player some of the most iconic aspects of the franchise. The opening animation. Metal Sonic. Amy Rose.
Once upon a time, a man named Simon Wai came across a prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Not only did it include lost and unused content, it was a window into the development process of one of the most celebrated games of the franchise. Sharing it with the Sonic Internet community, this discovery inspired an entire generation. Not only to wonder, to dream of things they could create, but to also research into the history of the Sonic franchise, and preserve it for future generations.
Over the past few weeks, a plethora of brand new prototypes for a number of games starring Sonic the Hedgehog surfaced. Presented by both Hidden Palace and The Cutting Room Floor, these early versions have answered questions, sparked debate, and most importantly, provided further context for understanding not only Sonic, but game development as a whole.
We also got to see Knuckles make Sonic talk to the hand.
On this week’s SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show podcast, we’re joined by Stealth, who worked on the official recent remasterings of Sonic The Hedgehog CD, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 alongside fellow developer The Taxman.
Stealth talks to us about how the remasters began development, the process of remaking classic Sonic titles, the much talked about the remastered Sonic The Hedgehog 3 proof of concept, and what fans can do to try and make Sonic 3 remastered a reality. Also featured is discussion of Sonic The Hedgehog 4 and the recent decisions SEGA has made with the franchise. If you love classic Sonic games and behind-the-scenes stories of game development, this is the show for you!
Also, Barry and George discuss the recently revealed ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter by Greg Johnson (who will be joining us next week) and Sonic Team’s mobile release Sonic Runners, which soft launched yesterday.
Support the Sonic 3 Remastered campaign: http://sonic3remastered.com/
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It’s the middle of December, and the rerelease of Sonic the Hedgehog CD is supposed to happen at any moment. No, we don’t have a release date still. But Sega of America seems to realize that, yes, we really want this game. And so instead of telling us when it’ll come out, they’ve given us something amazing. Something that, by all rights, should have been in the documentary Sonic: The Birth of an Icon. Though the interior has been redone by our very own Taxman, the visual style of the game is still definitely that of Kazuyuki Hoshino, who was also the lead character designer of the game. And since he’s still at Sega, someone decided to ask him to talk about the game. And talk he did.
Next month, the re-release of Sonic the Hedgehog CD will be in our digital hands. Available for just about everything (except for Nintendo users…yes, we understand your pain), this will certainly be the definitive release of the game. A choice of soundtracks, unlockable “Tails,”…how could you not want it? I know we’ll have plenty of time to gush over Christian Whitehead once it’s released, so for right now we just have to settle for what the Internet has given us today: courtesy of xbox360achievements.org, we now are able to see just what is in store to get that perfect gamer score. If you want to stay in the dark as to what the achievements are, turn back now.
I don’t know how many people were aware that Gamestop was making their own gaming tablet until someone noticed that Sonic the Hedgehog CD was being included for free on it. I know I certainly didn’t, but then again I don’t really pay all that much attention to the tablet scene. Well, the tablets were meant to be released today, and already the demo units are up and running. Soon enough all the juicy details of this port will be up on YouTube. And by soon enough, I mean starting right now.
YouTube user Spindash54 woke up bright and early, deciding to record footage from his nearest GameStop with his trusty cell phone. While there is the same footage of Palmtree Panic we’ve all seen, we get our first look at the snazzy new menus within the release. Pausing has never looked so good, my friends. And the main menu, along with an extras list? Yes, you can make out the return of D.A. Garden and the Visual Mode on there, but two more remain with the illustrious question mark. One is assuredly Miles “Tails” Prower, but the other? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
All I do know is that Christian Whitehead certainly isn’t unlockable. Look at his name scroll by. You certainly deserve it, Tax ol’ boy.
Oh man is that Brand-new World in your credits sequence oh man that is fancy.
We here at Sonic Retro can’t get enough of the jams. I don’t think there is anyone here not excited about the soundtrack to Sonic Generations, for instance. And on Sunday, what else is there to do but to just sit back and listen to some more of that fancy music? That is, if you’re not already waist-deep in the Sonic Retro Game Marathon Extravaganza that is going on right now.
For being a game that has caused a musical debate for well over a decade, Sonic the Hedgehog CD has never seen its original Japanese soundtrack released. Sure, nearly all the songs for the Spencer Nilsen soundtrack composed for the North American release were seen on the CD Sonic Boom (which itself was a pre-order bonus for Sonic the Hedgehog 3), and one can not forget the excellent Japan-exclusive Sonic the Hedgehog Remix, which used the Japanese soundtrack as its inspiration. But the songs originally composed by Naofumi Hataya and Masafumi Ogata have never seen a stand alone release. Hot on the heels of the best-of compilations for the “Dreamcast Era” of Sonic, Wavemaster continues to celebrate Sonic’s 20th anniversary in style by announcing the Sonic the Hedgehog CD Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition. Calling itself the first complete release of the game’s music, it’s sure to cause some people to get very excited to relive the soundtrack Ohshima demanded be on there.
Set to be released on November 23rd, the disc looks to be the best desert one could expect for the 20th anniversary, winding down after the main course that is Sonic Generations. But that appetizer we have been waiting patiently for? We knew how many tracks there were going to be, but the list has finally been revealed.
People love anniversary issues in the comic book world. Every 25 issues, something intense has to happen. Something crazy. And with the 50 and 100 marks, it has to be even bigger and crazier. Sonic the Hedgehog is no exception to this rule, and his first anniversary issue wanted to be nothing but the biggest and best. Devoting an entire issue to one story, the crew at Archie comics decided to adapt Sonic’s other “best game ever,” the one and only Sonic the Hedgehog CD. And even though it features the Knothole Freedom Fighters, I can say right now that it stays far more faithful than Sonic’s last two outings in the world of game adaptations. With that said, was it any good? Did people care? How was Sonic‘s silver anniversary when all was said and done? Read on and find out, good sirs and madams! Continue Reading