Ever wondered what its like to play Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II online with a friend? Me and Guess_Who, (With GeneHF and Retro user AndrewRoks1998 also providing commentary!) play through the game despite the struggles, frustration, and desyncs that got in our way in this Vidya Retro highlight. You can watch the misadventures segmented on YouTube or on Twitch in 60 frames per second.
Xbox Live Arcade
SEGA seemingly finally remembered that they hadn’t announced a specific release for The Cave yet even though they said that it’d be out this month, so now they have: it’ll be out January 22nd on Playstation Network and the Wii U eShop, January 23rd for Xbox Live Arcade and PC and Mac through Steam. It’ll cost $14.99 in the US, £9.99 in the UK and €12.99 in the rest of Europe.
What SEGA hasn’t mentioned in their PR is that it will also be available on Linux through Steamplay, making this the first game published by SEGA to be released on the OS.
SEGA and Double Fine just released a new trailer for The Cave. For those who don’t know what this game is, The Cave is an upcoming puzzle platformer by Ron Gilbert (The Secret of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion) and Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts, Brütal Legend) that’s being published by SEGA. It’s going to be a lot like those old point and click adventure games, except with a lot less pointing and clicking and more moving left and right and jumping. You have to choose from three of seven characters at the start of the game, all of which have their own quirks. This new trailer showcases four of these characters, and another upcoming trailer will showcase the rest of them. The game can also be played with up to three players in local co-op.
This is a seperate project from Double Fine’s upcoming crowd-funded point and click adventure game Double Fine Adventure, though Ron Gilbert is working on that game as well. The Cave comes out January 2013 on Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, the Wii U eShop and Steam.
Confirming rumors that have been circulating for some time now, Sega today announced the Model2 Collection, a digital collection of five classic Sega titles originally developed for their Model2 arcade hardware. Among those titles is Sonic the Fighters, a somewhat obscure Sonic-themed fighting game built on the Fighting Vipers engine and previously rereleased as part of Sonic Gems Collection. Most interesting to note is that this new release appears to include several characters not previously playable in the game, such as Metal Sonic and Eggman (who were previously bosses), as well as Honey the Cat – a character based on Candy (known as Honey in Japan) from Fighting Vipers. Retro aficionados will know that Honey was actually buried in the data for the original arcade release but not playable without hacking the game, so to see Sega put in the effort to make her (and the boss characters) playable is truly refreshing after some of their more lackluster porting efforts in the past. The Japanese site for the Model2 Collection also makes mention of online play, which could be a big selling point for this rerelease as well. Currently there’s been no information about an overseas release, but Sonic the Fighters is due to hit Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this fall in Japan. See the trailer after the break.
(SPOILER WARNING: This review contains unmarked spoilers. The game is over a decade old and well-known amongst our readers, so we deemed it unnecessary to refrain from spoilers. If you’ve never played the game before, you’ve been warned.)
In a franchise like Sonic that has been on such a rollercoaster of quality for the past twenty years, Sonic Adventure 2 somehow sticks out in the franchise as possibly the most polarizing game in the series. To one part of the fanbase, it’s the pinnacle of Sonic. Because it was the first major Sonic title on a Nintendo platform, many people cite SA2 as their introduction to the franchise. And yet to others, the game symbolizes the start of everything that nearly killed the franchise forever. So as I review Sega’s recent digital rerelease of Sonic Adventure 2 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I feel it’s necessary to frame the game in context.
Outside of the broader fanbase context, I – like many others – have my own personal relationship with SA2. I was but a wee child when it first came out for the Dreamcast in 2001, and I spent a frightening number of hours engrossed in the game. It wasn’t my first exposure to the series; that title goes to Sonic 2 on the Genesis, whose predecessor and sequels received a similarly obsessive amount of my attention. In fact, the sole reason I asked for a Dreamcast for Christmas in 2000 was so that I could play the original Adventure. So, being the fanatic little child I was, Sonic Adventure 2 earned a special, fuzzy, nostalgiatastic place in my heart. The question, then, is: eleven years later, can it keep it?
Later today the Retro crew are going to be hosting a Sega Heritage Collection showcase. We’ve been in contact with Ben K. as to when we can show the games off, and he was kind to let us know that we can go ahead and show off all three games as of this week.
We’ll be taking a look at Nights into Dreams, Jet Set Radio and Sonic Adventure 2. You can expect our fond recollections of all three games and an exploration of each game’s features before their release date. Well, except for Jet Set Radio, you can get that now on Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam. But if you’re still on the fence about any of these titles, be sure to check out our livestream later today at 4PM. You can also check back here for a direct link to the feed as well.
SEGA just released a trailer showcasing the three upcoming digital re-releases of Jet Set Radio, NiGHTS Into Dreams and Sonic Adventure 2, which are all being released under the SEGA Heritage label. The video shows that all games will also feature video interviews with it’s developers.
It also confirms that Sonic Adventure 2 and NiGHTS Into Dreams will be coming to Steam, Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network in October. According to the Xbox Live leak back from June the Sonic Adventure 2 port will be released on October 3rd, 2012, so it’s somewhat safe to assume that it will be released then.
It’s been unclear when the Jet Set Radio port and Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Death Rabbit will actually be released. So far both games have had the “Summer 2012” date attached to them, but now SEGA has announced more specific release dates for the two titles. Hell Yeah! will be released in North America on September 25th for Playstation Network, September 26th for Xbox Live Arcade and October 3rd for Steam. In Europe the game will be released for all platforms on October 3rd, the price is 1200 Microsoft Points/$14.99/£9.99/€12.99/AUD$19.95. SEGA also released a new trailer (seen above) showcasing the various ways you can “pimp up” the main character of the game, the Dead Rabbit.
Jet Set Radio will arrive a bit sooner on most platforms and will technically still be released during the summer. Playstation Plus users on PS3 will be able to buy the game from September 11th, while non-Plus PSN users will be able to buy it from September 18th. On Xbox Live Arcade and Steam the game will be released on September 19th and on Playstation Vita the game will be available from October 16th. The price on all platforms is $9.99/800 Microsoft Points.
For the past few years, Sega has struggled to keep important information on upcoming titles from leaking to the public before an official announcement – and by “struggled”, I mean “failed spectacularly”. Sonic Unleashed saw promotional images as well as an early video of Savannah Citadel find their way to the public before the game was even announced; Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I leaked in its entirety prior to release, and the negative reaction to the game at the time led to a six month delay; Sonic Generations had its entire roster of levels, bosses, and characters revealed months in advance; even Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was accidentally released several weeks early on Steam.
And so the cycle has continued with the upcoming high-definition remaster of the Dreamcast’s swan song, Sonic Adventure 2. Waaay back in April, we reported that the title had been spotted in a massive leaked list of upcoming Xbox Live Arcade titles. A month later, Major Nelson of Xbox Live pseudo-fame accidentally posted that Avatar items based on the game were due for release. And finally, just last month, Microsoft themselves posted an official listing for the game on Xbox.com, complete with screenshots, box art, and a release date of October 3, 2012. At this point, presumably Sega realized that keeping the game a secret any longer would be utterly futile, so Ken Balough and the Sega of America superteam took to the stage at Sonic Boom on Friday to show the first official trailer for the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network rerelease, poking a bit of self-deprecating fun at the company’s inability to keep a secret. Oh, and apologies in advance for the overly-enthusiastic crowd.
[Video courtesy of YouTube user joshua593210.]
Things haven’t been that great over at Sega headquarters. With the news of Sega of Europe’s restructuring, not to mention that the west is to see less and less boxed titles on store shelves, the company isn’t exactly instilling confidence in the SEGA faithful. It only makes sense that the company, who has announced their focus on digitally distributed titles, is looking into their back catalog to release gems from a long-ago era to try and make a quick dollar to keep the company going. Even with their current strife, it is hard to argue that Sega hasn’t made some fantastic games over the course of their history. With the recent Sega Vintage Collection packs and the forthcoming Jet Set Radio rerelease, Sega has certainly been putting in the extra effort on presenting their classic titles, something which for years always seemed to be lackluster cash grabs instead of products the public would actually want to repurchase.
While SEGA’s more well-known titles on the Mega Drive and Dreamcast have been enjoying the digital spotlight, there has been one game system that has always gotten the shaft, simply because of its unique architecture making it hard to emulate or port code. That representation in the digital market, however, is finally to happen – at least for what many consider to be the Sega Saturn‘s crowning jewel: Sonic Team’s classic NiGHTS Into Dreams.