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Ten years ago the 15th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog left us with a pretty sour taste. But did you know that there was one game that came out to celebrate the heritage with a racing game boasting an extreme attitude, extreme air and some extreme gear. Tune in 7PM Centra/1AM GMT for the livestream of Sonic Riders as the Retro crew and Unleashed Project’s own S0LV0 tour through the game in extreme style!
Summer Games Done Quick is back again this year, and Wednesday is their Sonic block. You’ll get to see runs of Sonic Colors on Nintendo DS, Sonic Riders, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and the fan favorite Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
Summer Games Done Quick is the annual event, like its alternate event Awesome Games Done Quick, is a week-long charity marathon that helps raise money for the Doctors Without Borders. Donating during each run also puts you n for raffles to win prizes. Be sure to tune in, check the schedule and watch how Sonic has gotta go fast.
Amongst the trove of Sega Genesis ROMs that come out almost like clockwork every year, Sega, AM2 and Treasure have been throwing out a number of surprises lately. That bunny sure had it in for us.
Consider this as your friendly reminder. Just announced by SEGA is the re-release of Daytona USA for both Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. The Sega Saturn (and arcade!) Now featuring a widescreen presentation, online multiplayer, leaderboards, native steering wheel support, and possibly the biggest feature: Karaoke Mode so you can put on your best Takenobu Mitsuyoshi. Both versions are slated for release in the US on October 25th (PSN) and 26th (XBLA) for $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Space Bucks. Be sure to check out the trailer in this post for footage of the game in action.
Sega’s latest classic title up for download services proves to be an important stepping stone for the company. Not only is it a port of a rare Mega/Sega CD title, the collaboration behind the project showcases the 10+ year old game running with optimizations and slight changes that help solidify Sonic CD’s place among the previous games. Not since Street Fighter has a game seen this level of work, both for those who prefer games to stay as true to the original as possible as well as please those who are looking for optimizations to solidify the functionality between the Sonic games. What was shown off in the PAX demo was the entirety of Palmtree Panic, with two special stages that would be randomly chosen for each playthrough for the sake of the demonstration. Honorable mention goes to our good buddy Ken Balough who was also there at the Xbox Live Arcade booth to help fill in the gaps of what to expect.
No doubt the most promising feature is the ability to change between two different spindash types for the game. However, the demo available only allowed for players to utilize the Sonic 2 & 3 Spindash feature. While the sound effects were still similar to the original version of the game, the spindash execution itself was much more streamlined compared to the original Sonic CD. You still have to charge up Sonic before he goes blasting off, but it is much easier to access places that would normally be more difficult to reach because of this optimization. Because of the new spindash feature, the screen does not pan in front of the player as it did in the original. In the final game, the screen will pan if the legacy spindash feature is turned on.
The gameplay otherwise feels exactly as it did in the original game. Load times are quicker for sure, enemies move as you expect, the stage gimmicks, such as Sonic going through the giant 360 degree loop, are also in place. Some additions including the 16:9 widescreen presentation that properly fills the screen in both regular and special stages help with the viewing area even without the camera panning in front of Sonic. The only real oddity I came across was the stage boss in Act 3; during the part where Eggman falls from the sky, the player can still damage the boss before he begins his attack movement.
The special stages in this version take advantage of the modern hardware, well, as modern as a flat “Mode 7-like” plane with UFOs flying around can get. The 3D plane turns much more smoothly as the UFOs scale properly in the 3D space. Item UFOs are much easier to identify; Light blue represents ones with shoes, and the darker bluer ones represent rings. Of course, the time bonus UFOs are still the same light blue with red bars and will appear when 20 seconds are left on the clock. The smoothness of which Sonic runs around, (or if he gets bounced around,) makes it easier to tell Sonic’s trajectory as he travels. Despite the upgrade in presentation, control is still fully digital, (i.e. no analog,) when turning Sonic left and right.
Another feature unique to this version is a filter effect for the graphics that blur the pixels for a more smoothed, anti-aliased look. Similar to Super 2xSai or Super Eagle filters that work on all the objects on screen. The filter works by applying them per object, however the effect seemed a bit blurry, and the smaller details of some sprites became a bit tough to make out. Ken did state that the feature was still being worked out as it was thrown in shortly before the PAX showing. For purists, players can easily turn the filter off and enjoy the original look of the game. In the demo the filter feature’s switch was mapped to the Left and Right Bumper buttons of the Xbox controller, which are likely to change into a menu function in the final build.
Despite the low volume of the TV, one could determine that the music was without a doubt the Japanese soundtrack. Unfortunately, Ken confirmed that the US soundtrack would sadly not be available in the final version. (Sidebar from me: You can use the Xbox 360’s built in music player to blare your rare Sonic Boom! Music CDs.) What Ken stated on the matter is that they are still working to see what would need to happen on the legal side of things to get the US soundtrack in the final game. While DLC is a possibility, he’d much rather try to include the music for free, whether they can get it in the final or added in through a patch.
While the game was being shown on the 360, Ken did state that the game is coming out on a host of platforms including PS3, Android, iOS devices and on the PC through Steam. A WiiWare version is currently not planned. The game is on track for a release later this year, and already looks very promising. Alas, no disc based version of the game will go on sale.
Finally, on a side note. Those of you who are at PAX make sure to go check out the booth. Last few times I checked over at Microsofts booth, Sonic CD was literally untouched. Go be a bro, check it out and say ‘hi’ to Ken. I bet he’s quite lonely!
Right off, this is not “Xtreme”, the canceled Sega Saturn game, but something else.
You may remember a few months back we posted video of a previously unknown Sonic game found on the hard drive of an XDK Developmental Xbox called Sonic Extreme, featuring Sonic and Shadow on hover boards doing kickflips, 50/50 grinds and going vert off ramps in a Green Hill/Seaside Hill hybrid similar to Tony Hawk Pro Skater.
I promise never to do skateboard talk again.
For those of you craving a little more than videos and want to play this title, and you happen to be near Portland, Ore., the Game Trader booth at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo will feature the game for the public to play.
The game was determined to be an extremely early pitch demo for a Sonic skateboarding game that, after some cleaning up and changes in gameplay, would later become the first Sonic Riders title for the PlayStation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, and PC. The earliest rumors of the game’s existence back in the mythical year of 2005 also had it named “Sonic Extreme” and “Sonic R-2.” The “Extreme” part of the name still lives on in-game in the form of the hover boards, “Extreme Gear.”
For more about the history of Sonic Extreme, just check out its page on our wiki. The Retro Gaming Expo is set to start on Sept. 24.
Before you panic from the repressed memories of the game, bear with me here.
Forum member princeofknaves uploaded an old version of the RenderWare Graphics World Viewer, which could be used to view Sonic Heroes level maps as well as possibly allow moving them to other games like Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut.
But that’s not all. DaGuAr, a user at the Spanish-speaking Sonic Reikai forums, found that this viewer can also view Shadow the Hedgehog’s level maps too. This isn’t surprising since the two games run on very similar engines.
Look below to see what he found.
Despite other sites reporting a lockdown on Sonic 4 discussion here, well, this certainly warrants coverage, no?
According to IGN, Sonic 4 is homing in to consoles as early as the early half of next month.
- Apple’s iDevices will be the first to get the game on Oct. 7, though no price was confirmed at this time.
- Next up, the Wii will receive the game on Oct. 11 for 1500 Nintendo fake money, translating to $15/£10 / €13/ AU$20.
- PSN receives the game on Oct. 12 for $14.99 / £9.99 / €12.99 / AU$19.95
- Xbox Live Arcade will see minecart goodness for 1200 monopoly dollar points on Oct. 13
Pricey? Surprised at how soon the game’s hitting? Sound off; don’t worry, your comments won’t actually be censored.
[Via Sonic Stadium]
Wow SEGA. Great job tucking away that special information.
UPDATE: Well that was fast. SEGA has removed the images from their website already. At least we grabbed them while we could!
Information on Sega’s upcoming new Sonic title dubbed, “Project Needlemouse” has been rather scarce since a video released online teased the game, sending fans into a murmur.
SEGA’s Constantine Hantzopoulos confirmed to the folks over at the 4Guys1Up podcast at 1up.com that Project Needlemouse will be a downloadable title. However, he didn’t mention which platforms the title will be hitting. Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network were name-dropped later in the cast, though in a slightly unrelated context.
1up: I think that’s why a lot of people are excited about needlemouse too, because it seems like SEGA aren’t trying to make it as mass market
Hantzopoulos: that’s right, thats right. I’ve been playing a lot of XBLA and PSN games lately. Shadow Complex is great.
Hantzopoulos also mentioned this will be a smaller title, but didn’t clarify as to what that exactly meant.
Sonic Retro will keep you up to date as information trickles in.
Source: 4Guys1Up: 01/01/2010