The portal has several stages unlocked, including Aquatic Park and Starlight Carnivel. All stages have screenshots accompanying them, some of them new, and we hope to have them in a clean form shortly. A video section for all available stages is unlocked. Wisps can be collected throughout the area to unlock various wallpaper.
No doubt we’re only at the beginning of this portal’s contents being closely examined by fans. As an example, the site’s music samples have already been ripped by various sources. We’ll see what can be found, and report back with anything we know or see.
Click Here to see the Website
Also: You can play as your… Mii?
It would seem that the first review of Sonic Colors has finally come in – from Ngamer Magazine, out of the UK. Currently exclusive to the printed magazine itself, the review awards Sonic Colors an 86%, lavishing heavy praise upon the title. The same publication gave the Wii edition of Sonic Unleashed a paltry 58%, in comparison.A list has been spreading through various internet forums, including Sonic Retro, NeoGAF, and the Official Sega Forums showcasing choice quotes from the review:
- “What if Sonic were to play Mario at his own game and gain a little ground? …the result is Sonic Colours.”
- “The Similarity to the Mario Galaxy Games is it’s abundance of ideas. This is Sonic Team in an uncharacteristically creative and generous mood. It’s one that suits them well. The addition of the power-altering wisps is what does it.”
- “These aren’t powerups, they’re toys – single-use shots of pure fun that have the happy side effect of opening up new pathways in already pleasingly labyrinthine stages.”
- “The lists of powers goes on and on, and backtracking to find new areas in which to use them is a big part of the fun.”
- “Crucially, the Wisps don’t sacrifice Sonic’s speed; they simply reveal more runways for him to work on. And that’s brilliant. Speed alone reduces gameplay to a simple progression of left to right, but moments of calm exploration add texture and a sense of adventure.”
- “The environments are every bit as playful as the new wisp powers … each of them is packed with stages large and small … some are built with one idea stretched to the limit; others are constructed solely to test just how robust the new wisp powers are.”
- “The result is a series of intricate and occasionally extremely tricky levels.”
- “Again, we’re reminded of Mario Galaxy, particularly when Sonic plummets off the bottom of the screen for the umpteenth time and we get exasperated at our own lack of skill rather than the unfairness of the game.”
- “Better yet, every stage compels you to push harder, aim higher. Maintain that speed, keep your eyes open, cross any available digits and you’ll see wonders.”
- “The world is there to be reduced to a blur or discovered; to be sped through or explored to your satisfaction for an improved rank and more hidden medals. The choice is yours.”
- “Find enough of those medals and you’ll unlock Game World, a Sonic shaped satellite that houses Eggman’s Sonic simulator.”
- “As a multiplayer game Sonic Colours is less than perfect (the speedy action often results in a game of tug of war using the screen as a rope).”
- The ability to swap Sonic for your Miis means there’s still throwaway fun to be had.” (in multiplayer)
- “If the 2D sections reconfirm Sonic as a true platforming superstar and make a virtue of his speed, the 3D sections can be more problematic. Kinetic, beautiful, and dizzying. Perhaps it’s because the sort of precision we demand just isn’t compatible with speed. To be fair, Sonic Colours does a good job of making these sections work but the result is stages that can feel on rails or, worse, railed for safety. But while still not perfect, they are definitely the best of Sonic’s career to date.”
- “Much of the game plays out in 2D.”
- “The storytelling here is *gasp* rather good. Humour is the strong point and even Tails manages to be less nauseating than usual.”
- “For the most part Sonic Colours is big on spectacle, so it’s odd that the bosses are so lightweight. What good ideas are here (sabotaging a huge battleship before taking on its clockwork captain) are repeated.”
- “Only the Starlight Carnival Boss, an immense warship, really pushed our skills by constantly switching from 2D to 3D.”
- “But these are minor niggles in an otherwise first rate package.”
- “Sonic Colours’ greatest achievement, then, is in handing back control to the player without losing that queasy feeling that you’re about to go off the rails.”
- “Sonic’s ditched the J-Rock for a full on orchestra, with impressively catchy results.”
Summary – “Colours Rockets Sonic closer to the stratospheric heights of past glories and hints at a great future. Welcome back old friend, it’s been to long.”
Sharp-eyed readers will spot the odd proclomation that the game allows you to play as your Mii during multiplayer segments, something that Vertex’s post on Sonic Retro, confirming this feature as printed on the back of the game’s own box:
A 3 CD Set Out December 22
About a month after you play Sonic Colors, you’ll be able to import the game’s official soundtrack.
Called Vivid Sound x Hybrid Colors, the OST will span 82 tracks across three CDs–a small bit below the more than 90 that were a part of Sonic Unleashed‘s soundtrack. According to Japanese website Game Watch Impress, it will include the main image theme for the game, Reach for the Starsby Cash Cash, as well as what’s likely to be the token ending theme, this time called Speak with Your Heart.
The remainder of the tracks were recorded either in-house or with an orchestra out of Amsterdam. Previously, Sonic Unleashed‘s orchestral arrangements were composed by the Tokyo Philharmonic. There’s no indication whether the soundtrack will include music from both Wii and DS editions versus just the console edition.
The cover art is below for viewing. Be on the lookout for this soundtrack at the end of the year; a good start would be our merchant partners CDJapan and Play Asia, which you can visit by clicking links on the right hand side. Thanks to Woun for sending this in. If you have news to share, be sure to share it with us by clicking News Tips at the top of every page.
This as Japanese Launch Rolls Out
Today, Sega of Japan released a new and likely final trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.
The trailer showcases all four principal zones. Its flow is much better, arguably, than previous trailers. Good thing, too–it’s likely the last official thing we’ll see of Sonic 4 for a while.
The video is available below. Thanks to Woun andSpeed the Hedgehog for sending this in. If you have news to share, be sure to share it with us by clicking News Tips at the top of every page.
Over 150 Reviews Yield Four Star Rating
It’s only been a touch over 24 hours, but thousands have no doubt purchased Sonic 4 for Apple’s mobile devices.
The game, as of the time of this article’s publication, already sits sixteenth on the top trending paid Apps list. At a $10 price point, it stands at #2 in the Top Grossing category.
Only a fraction of those thousands said their piece on the game in Apple’s store, but those who did for the most part had good things to say. Overall, ratings by more than 150 and more than 100 written short blurbs have yielded a four star rating, out of a possible five stars.
At times, App Store reviewers can be more brutal than Sonic fandom. We found a few quick reviews that docked points for, among other things, the lack of Retina Display support for later Apple models, a lack of Game Center support for leaderboard, and the color of Sonic himself (and not necessarily his green eyes, either.) Other comments were more constructive, longing for a true port from the pending console versions. But a barrage of five star ratings this far evens out those who bitter.
Our review of the mobile port for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I will follow in the coming days. And today begins the New York Comic Con, with Sega in tow–so we’ll shoot for some postgame questions and analysis direct from them.
Iizuka Confirms in New Interview
According to an interview published by Video Game Daily, Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka himself confirms both Amy Rose and Knuckles the Echidna will appear in the upcoming game, but only in the DS version.
Iizuka states the two characters will have a direct influence on Colors‘s overall story arc:
The DS version introduces the other characters like Knuckles and Amy as kind of the guest characters. They don’t have any direct influence on the gameplay but they act as the narrative to the background of the story, so if you play the DS version you get a better understanding of the story for Sonic Colours.
The first revelation of Amy’s appearance was made by Nintendo Acción in June. That news appeared indirectly rebuffed by community manager Kevin Eva in September on the Blognik, but upon closer inspection, Eva only deconfirmed Amy for the Wii, and said nothing about the portable version. Consider the Knuckles confirmation a complement and a nice bonus.
With it, some New Character Art & Music
Today, Sega added to its promotion roster for Sonic Free Riders by opening a website portal dedicated to the Kinect exclusive, and reaffirming what we’ve been telling you for months: The game will ship as a Kinect launch title, November 4th in North America, and November 10th in Europe.
The portal itself, at this point, affords very little new information or even new screenshots and video–those are coming soon, though if programmedsimilar to the ASR portal earlier this year, perhaps sooner than later.
Click Here to see the Website
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World…of Gears
Just coming in via a News Tip is word of a Mad Gear trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog 4.
First posted to Gamespot and embedded below, it’s the first official look at episode 1′s last stage in action. The orchestral trailer music remains, consistent with that of Lost Labyrinth. Unlike it andCasino Street, no changes are expected in this stage.
There are a ton of gears, machines, pistons, and the like–all a callback to Sonic 2′s Metropolis Zone. It looks to be quite a trip. Take a look below, and give your thoughts in the comments section.
Click Here to see the Trailer
Now that you’re eager to play the game, how about some trivia? Here are some things you might not know about Sonic Colors.
Contrary to what you may have seen or played in previous demos, getting an S-rank in the game is TOUGH. You’ll need to maximize your grabbing of bonuses, while still maintaining your speed and maximizing your ring count in order to gain them.
Yacker doesn’t have a voice as such, but makes an audible chittering noise. He’s also big on body language communication.
Since you guys love the Tails facts so much… FOXY FACT: Tails is more interested in inventing than Sonic’s heroics.
Sometimes bad situations can lead to good discoveries!
You CAN skip cutscenes – press + on the Wiimote.
Dr. Eggman ALSO has something of a 4th wall breaking moment.
The Wisps have a rather rude nickname for Dr. Eggman!
Cubot’s voice processor is broken – and stuck on “cowboy mode”.
If you run out of Wisp power when underground in Drill mode you WILL die.
FOXY FACT: Tails isn’t as keen on high speeds as you might think…
Pits of death DO exist, however when you approach a section where this isn’t immediately obvious a hazard warning triangle will appear at the bottom of your screen so you do get some warning.
FOXY FACT : Tails’ toolbox is painted like the blue Tornado paint scheme, and even has his two-tail logo on it.
Destroying all enemies in a built up area using a Wisp power or dash will get you a “SLAM” bonus.
When Sonic absorbs Blue Wisp, a cubic Wisp with three eyes, he can exercise the mysterious “Blue Cube” Color Power. This mysterious power switches blue blocks and blue rings, meaning routes that were once inaccessible can now be explored. In addition, when using the Blue Cube Color Power and landing on a ground, nearby enemies can be destroyed.
For see the wisp blue click here
Does a Red Orb Signal Online Multiplayer?
The video below is very strange and is certainly worthy of discussion. It’s courtesy of French website Gamekult, and it shows what we’ve known to this point to be the multiplayer component of Sonic Colors.
There’s one major difference, however: instead of a blue Sonic joining the reddish pink one in-game…there’s a red orb. The orb appears to do little than act as a follower to Robot Sonic; we don’t see it destroy enemies or anything like that. You’ll also note the score and lives counter for what would be that second player is grayed out.
News tipster Jakeiii, who sent this in, believes this video–part of the “Sonic Simulator,” we find out–to confirm the multiplayer component online. “It uses a glowing ball for the other player, like the DS version and in Sonic Rush!” he says.
The circumstances of this, however, may be a touch suspect. Everything in the simulator, including the menu choices, look to be controlled by a single person, with no lag. So if it’s not online multiplayer, it looks to be single player with some sort of assistance via the orb. So we may have either online multiplayer, or the ability to play some of the Sonic Simulator as part of the single player campaign. The former, if it pans out, is quite exciting. Remember that the game is already confirmed for WFC compatibility and online leaderboards will already be a part of the game–so full blown online multiplayer certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
We’re just not sure at this point. Take a look at the video below and judge for yourself in our comments section. Thanks to Jakeiii for sending this in. If you have news to share, be sure to share it with us by clicking News Tips at the top of every page.
Rocky Ridge, In Action, Inside
This morning Sega streamed as part of its Tokyo Game Show lineup the first official trailer for Sonic Free Riders.
Much of the footage is from the first stage, but there are bits and pieces of the just unveiled Rocky Ridge stage…including Sonic controlling a minecart. Apparently Sega just can’t distance themselves away from the idea.
The video has been uploaded to Youtube courtesy ofWoun, and it’s below. As it’s originally from a Ustream feed the quality is a bit pixelated, but if we see a cleaner version we will update. Thanks also to curly hair wisp for sending the tip in. If you have news to share, be sure to share it with us by clicking News Tips at the top of every page. And remember, TSSZ News reporter Danny Russell will be on the show floor of the 2010 Tokyo Game Show later this week, so keep it here for developments direct from Japan.
Included, a Peek at the Rocky Ridge Stage
Loosely based on the wild west, the area will have mine carts, wagons, trains, switches, and some strategy–including a section where you’ll need to lever up–literally–and mold alternate routes to avoid bottomless pits.
The CVG article also confirms Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Rouge, and Silver as playable characters, along with already confirmed Avatar support.
Your first peek at Rocky Ridge in still form is below. SFR should be at this week’s Tokyo Game Show along with the other two Sonic titles out later this year, and TSSZ News reporter Danny Russell will be there to bring you reports and more from the show floor, so we may get our first peek at the stage in action there.
Sega Rep Allegedly “Certainly Hinted” at More at Demo
In a preview published by UK based Dealspwndetailing the multiplayer component of Sonic Colors, there lies at least a hint that the so-called “Sonic dolls” presently on display won’t be the only ones available to play.
Much of the preview spoke of things already known from previous previews, and the general opinion of the piece is that this combined with the single player campaign could make for “the best Sonic title in years,” according to writer Jonathan Lester. But there was one tasty tidbit at the end that could mean nothing, or could mean a great deal, depending on both your interpretation and your tastes:
Finally, I just had to ask whether we’d be seeing any other characters in the final version. Whilst the QA rep was extremely cagey about revealing any details at this stage, he certainly hinted that the Sonic Doll certainly wouldn’t be the only multiplayer skin on offer. Our money’s on the original Tails Doll, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more familiar faces make an appearance.
It’s a significant remark if true. Certainly, nothing is confirmed, but it’s sure to whet appetites and stir speculation on who else could join in on the multiplayer campaign. We’ll label it rumor for now, but we will keep tabs on it and let you know anything more that we hear. Thanks to Jscsonic and Silverwind for sending this in. If you have news to share, be sure to share it with us by clicking News Tips at the top of every page
Peeks at New Areas Inside
You can see there are plenty of peeks at new areas within them. Unfortunately they are branded quite heavily to the point where it’s a distraction in some of the shots. We did our best to get you the cleanest available at this moment, and if we can relay some clean shots, we will update this story. Still, a major of the shots are from new areas from later in the game, with only a scant couple showing off areas from Planet Wisp and Sweet Mountain.
The shots are below. Thanks to Jakeiii for sending this in. If you have news to share, be sure to share it with us by clicking News Tips at the top of every page.
Badnik Bashing, Ring Hunting, and More
Courtesy of the UK’s Official Nintendo Magazine, below in our gallery are five branded screenshots from the multiplayer component of Sonic Colors for the Wii.
You’ll see the robo-Sonics engage in a plethora of activities, including Wisp power combination, scores of badniks standing in the way, and some good old fashioned platforming.
That’s all available in the gallery below. DS screenshots are soon to come. We thank Jakeiii for sending this tip in. If you have news to share, be sure to share it with us by clicking News Tips at the top of every page.
What are these tidbits? Well, they are pieces of information that many of our fans will find interesting/useful/helpful but aren’t big enough for a full-on reveal announcement. So without further ado…
1) Dr. Eggman has built his park after developing a sense of remorse for his past “indiscretions”. Hmm… a likely story.
2) At one point in an early cutscene Sonic “breaks the fourth wall” and talks directly to the gamer. (Actually, its a bit of an aside about whats being talked about at the time. I’m not going to spoil it, because its funny… I think the community will definitely appreciate its intent, let’s put it that way!]
3) SA-55 (the round red robot also known as “Ergo” by fans) will return, but slightly more jaded than before. Oh and by the way SA-55 ISN’T his name… his name is actually “Orbot”.
Since you like Orbot so much, here is his character render in high quality PNG format. He has had a bit of a paint job by the looks of things.
4) Orbot also has a counterpart in this game. Orbot’s compatriot is called “Cubot”, as some detectives have been able to deduce. He’s a cube shaped robot – ‘Cube-Bot’, much like Orbot is spherical, quite literally ‘Orb-bot’ (also an anagram of robot if you hadn’t noticed) who is… er… a little defective shall we say.
5) Tails’ “Miles Electric” handheld device that appeared in Sonic Unleashed makes a re-appearance.
6) The boss you have already likely seen from Tropical Resort is referred to as the “Big Boy” by Dr. Eggman.
7) The curly haired white Wisp is important to the Colors story, and its name is Yakker. He is the Wisp Sonic and Tails communicate with to find out what is going on. A silent guide, if you like, to the world of Wisps.
We officially award kudos points to Umiyuri incidentally, who identified the name first (as far as we can see).
8 ) FOXY FACT: Tails can read binary fluently. (So he’s one of the 10 types of people…)
9) Contrary to reports elsewhere, Amy Rose does NOT feature in the story of Sonic Colors Wii. Seriously, unless she’s become an invisible mute post-Unleashed, we’ve seen nothing to indicate otherwise.
10) We will see the “consequences” of Sonic destroying a giant robot… in more than one sense. DUN DUN DUUUNNNN!
11) Oh, okay then here’s Cubot’s character render too.
We’ll have some more tidbits as we get closer to the release of Sonic Colors on November 16th!
Looks like we got our first look at the new bot in town. Orbot’s new buddy helps make this team the new “Scratch and Grounder.” These images are from a recently released Sonic Colors manga:
Three Glimpses at “Game Land” Inside
Criticize IGN all you want for their recent distaste of the Sonic franchise, but this week at least, they’ve been quite good offering new glimpses into upcoming titles, and staying positive.
Today, the media megasite posted three new videos of the game’s recently unveiled multiplayer co-op mode. It all takes place within the realm of Game Land, and with a decidedly retro feel and soundtrack to it (including a rendition of the game’s main theme, you’ll get a good glimpse of what to expect from this component of the game. Powers can be combined, in some cases to really sock it to streams of enemies. Also note what appears to be a bonding system not unlike Knuckles Chaotix.
Game Land will apparently be divided up into acts much like the main stages, if the video descriptions are any indication–and different colored acts will encompass different tasks and different Wisp powers.
check out the videos here
AAUK Also Teases A-of-As
Promoting it as nothing more than the “odd tidbit” or two, Sega Europe Community Manager Kevin Eva disclosed some mostly story oriented details forSonic Colors via the Sonic City Blognik today.
At least one lesser known character and another item from Sonic Unleashed will make return appearances, according to the entry. There also appears to be a larger role for the white Wisp, which was teased as part of a couple “announcements of an annoumcement” for next week.
If nothing else, you can take from what’s below the idea that there will be a fairly involved story component to the game, including cutscenes. We’ll continue to bring you more information as it comes in. Thanks to iFox,ThE InFoRmEr, and Dude for sending this in. If you have news to share, be sure to share it with us by clicking News Tips at the top of every page.
1) Dr. Eggman has built his park after developing a sense of remorse for his past “indiscretions”. Hmm… a likely story.
2) At one point in an early cutscene Sonic “breaks the fourth wall” and talks directly to the gamer.
3) SA-55, the round red robot also known as “Ergo” by fans who appeared in Sonic Unleashed will return, but slightly more jaded than before. Oh and by the way SA-55 ISN’T his name… his name is actually “Orbot”
4) Orbot also has a counterpart this game… who we’ll be revealing next week.
5) Tails’ “Miles Electric” handheld device that appeared in Sonic Unleashed makes a re-appearance.
6) The boss you have already likely seen from Tropical Resort Dr. Eggman refers to as the “Big Boy”.
7) The curly haired white Wisp is important to the Colours story and its name is…. something you’ll have to tune in next week to find out!
Multiplayer in Sonic Colors is ostensibly about co-op -- but you can't play it right away. Instead, multiplayer stages are unlocked by finding secret rings throughout the main game, and then selected from the main menu. You don't play as Sonic(s) in co-op, at least, not exactly. Instead, co-op is presented as a sort of Eggman/Robotnik-designed simulation with robo-Sonics of various colors going through levels specifically designed for two players to combine Color abilities to find secrets -- and to simply survive.
Sonic Colors as a single-player experience isn't particularly difficult, at least in the time I've spent with it. Sonic Colors co-op is the Ivan Drago of platformers, aiming to break you on a regular basis. Everything is basically the same speed in co-op as it is in single-player, which leads to some hilarious confusion as each player tries to run each course without colliding with dangerous obstacles, enemies, or, well, each other. During my time with multiplayer, I felt that there was a hint of competition inherent in the way the levels were laid out: from pulley systems that pretty much require both players to air dash into each other over and over to move upward to covert battles to collect more rings than the other player.
Of course, as mentioned before, it can't all be sibling (or clone, or robot, or whatever) rivalry in Sonic Colors co-op. Some sections of levels encourage or flat out require cooperative use of powers like the laser or drill abilities -- you'll often find blocks guarding rings or sometimes even the goal that can be destroyed after extended drilling, or destroyed instantly if you work together by timing the activation of the laser and drill to combine into a, er, super-laser-drill. There will be a number of other combinations required as well I'm told throughout a total of 6 tiers of three levels each.
My issue with co-op thus far is one of fun vs. frustration. A certain level of frustration is sort of par for the course with platformers and co-op games, too, but I often felt like I was dying through no fault of my own and that hurt the fun I was having. That being said, I am interested to see more of Sonic Color's co-op mode later this year -- I just hope I suck less at it when I do.
Hot off the presses… it’s the pack front for Sonic Free Riders!
Sonic Free Riders brings full body motion controlled fast-paced boarding action, developed to take full advantage of Kinect for the Xbox 360. You’ll be twisting and turning your way through a range of visually stunning courses in an action-packed Sonic experience unlike any other! Kinect’s unique motion sensor means Sonic Free Riders will see family and friends controlling their fully customizable hover board or bike by twisting, turning, and jumping in an exhilarating race to be first to cross the finish line.
Choosing from one of your favorite Sonic characters or your own avatar, you can reach out and grab a variety of pickups along the course. By throwing, shaking, or swinging your arms to launch your items, you can gain the competitive edge over your rivals in high octane single or multiplayer races.
Sonic Free Riders will be $49.99 when it hits shelves this holiday season.
The 1st Sign of Gimmicks, or the 1st Sign of Multiplayer?
The shot you see in our graphic here, and in full below, is going to get a lot of attention among fandom really soon.
It’s from Amazon’s Japanese portal promoting Sonic Colors. In it, you see a regular blue Sonic…closely followed by a reddish-pink Sonic. Both characters have an antenna device on their head, and both have their own boost gauge, lives counter, and ring counter in a previously unseen stage.
On first sight, this would indicate a confirmed two player mode, and some fans speculate it’s either a co-op or competitive race mode. That would add into the mix multiplayer talk that has to this point been dodged by Sega brass in interviews. On the other hand, with so many characters in the Sonic universe, seeing a re-colored Sonic in any official setting is very strange, to say the least. And with antennae? Can you saygimmick?
We will follow up on any more we hear. You can draw your own conclusions in the comments section. Thanks to Crysore for sending this in. If you have news to share, be sure to share it with us by clicking News Tips at the top of every page.
Sonic Colours gets more colourful all the time! The Green Wisp is the next in line to unveil its special Colour Power. By absorbing the Green Wisp Sonic gains the ability to soar in the air with the “Green Hover” Colour Power enabling you to find hidden paths, or explore much higher levels than normal! With help from the Green Wisp’s Colour Power you are able to perform a Ring Dash near a series of rings!
Clearing Up Confusion, Hopefully
Details from a Sega France demonstration of Sonic Free Riders offered to French Sonic site and TSSZ News affiliate Eversonic re-affirm a key area of the game once disclosed, then revised–the multiplayer component.
Sega France reps said at the Monday demo–and Eversonic’s Fox Gungrave reaffirmed–that SFR plans to support up to 4 players offline, and up to 12 players online via XBOX Live. You may remember this as the original information Microsoft promoted for the game. In July, those details were revised downward on the XBOX product page.
If this holds, it will again spur debate on whether Kinect–the hardware required for SFR to run on XBOX 360–can handle that many bodies simultaneously. Thus far, all multiplayer demos of SFR, including this one, have been with only two people at a time.
TSSZ News will carry Eversonic’s impressions and preview of Sonic Free Riders in English later on. We’ll continue to follow developments on this particular matter–and we thank Eversonic‘s Fox Gungrave for translating and furnishing it to us.
From German News Partner Spindash.DE, a Sonic 4 Skewed Q&A
Courtesy of our friends and news partners out of Germany, Spindash.de, we have below an interview with Takashi Iizuka, producer of two out of three major Sonic titles heading to stores for the Holiday season.
Furnished by the website to us in English via stafferFish and coordinated by Sega Germany’s community manager Klarissa Schmidt, the piece offers a somewhat different perspective from other recent interviews in that Iizuka not only speaks more to Sonic the Hedgehog 4, but is more succinct on detail.
The interview affirms no disc edition remains planned for Sonic 4, with Iizuka on the record with his personal desire to keep the downloadable titles just that. No additional DLC add-ons appear likely for the franchise, either, but the door is left open for a multiplayer component.
The interview is below. Again, we thank Spindash.de for providing it to us, so that we may share with you.
Would you mind briefly introducing yourself to our readers?
My name is Takashi Iizuka and ongoing projects are “Sonic 4 Episode l” and “Sonic Colours” and I’m a producer. I was director for many of the Sonic titles including “Sonic Adventure” series.
How long has Sonic 4 been in production at this point?
It’s been a bit more than one and a half years since we created the project concept around January 2009. But it was 4 months later when we fully started this project.
Why was the game designed for download and not as a retail version?
As you know, Sega have announced “Sonic Colours” the newest packaged title for this year. Apart from those packaged titles that are only for console, we wanted to make a more accessible game, with a reasonable price for wide range of platforms. This project has also been encouraged by the fact classic “Sonic the Hedgehog” for XBLA, Wii Ware etc… is doing so well.
Can we expect a retail version of the game at some point in the future?
So far we are not planning that. I would like this franchise to develop as downloadable exclusive titles.
Do you have a concrete concept of how much an episode is going to cost?
It’s still TBD. As mentioned earlier, we would like to have this series as reasonable as possible because we would like this to be pick up and play title with reasonable price.
Will there be downloadable content for purchase?
So far, this is not planned.
Will there be a difference in gameplay between the various console versions?
We have optimized the game for each console for example adjusting graphic resolutions and tilt controls etc… Although for the 3 console versions the contents themselves will be the same. On the other hand for iPhone version, 2 action stages are swapped from the ones for console versions given the fact this is handheld device with tilt control feature. So there will be 2 exclusive stages for both iPhone version and console versions.
Are future episodes going to feature an online multiplayer mode?
Unfortunately I cannot say anything yet.
Has the project been developed as a response to popular demand, or was it actually due to the well-known HD fan images that SEGA decided to produce this kind of game?
I know there’s been demand from fans for a new title for classic Sonic series. I’ve been wanting to bring back classic series if there is suitable way to do it. But it’s been difficult for us to develop classic series for package title in the way we do for current 3D Sonic series. So I can say, thanks to current established downloadable game market we could\ finally start this project.
Will the game include voice recordings, and is Sonic going to make a sound of any kind?
Now having VO is normal for Sonic titles, but we chose not to have VO for this title. This is because we wanted to enhance a good part of classic series in the new title for classic series.
More Clean Footage and New Details Inside
Continuing the rounds with Sonic Free Riders, brand manager David Allen stopped by Gamespot’s On the Spot program to demo the Kinect exclusive.
Much of what’s in the video are things seen before; the stage is the same one shown at E3. It’s what’s heard during the interview that’s most important. Allen affirms “several” gameplay modes are in the works, including a couple different co-op modes, and different ways to race. Multiplayer options weren’t elaborated on much beyond Allen’s words claiming “We’ll see how far we get with it.”
Allen also reinforced the game’s intuitive nature, comparing the control mechanics to that of skateboarding or snowboarding.
The entire piece–clocking in at more than six and a half minutes–is available below.
Now Sonic Colors well be resealed in November 16!
Plus, Details on…Collectible Rings?!
Takashi Iizuka has been making the rounds in part due to a Sega Europe media day of sorts. A new interview has surfaced with him courtesy of Total Video Games, and it contains some concrete new information.
First, those hoping for downloadable content on the Wii and DS exclusive will again be out of luck. Iizuka states in the interview no such plans are underway, though online leaderboards were reaffirmed for both, as well as more items soon to be revealed:
For the online features both Wii and DS versions have Wi-Fi rankings, so you can compete against the other users for high scores. There are no plans for DLC for these titles, but there are other features of the game which we haven’t revealed yet, which will be revealed in future.
Also in the interview, Iizuka reaffirmed no plans to bring Colors to either HD console, citing concentration on Nintendo’s systems to make the “best titles.” Still, he says there will be 7 Wisp powers in the Wii edition and 5 in the DS edition. Three of those powers have already been revealed for Colors‘s Wii copy.
And for those who’ve noticed strange rings or emblems in screenshots released this week or mention of such in other previews and interviews–you’re not imagining things. There will be collectibles in Sonic Colors, and in this particular interview, Iizuka refers to them as “special rings” that unlock more game features, and it’s not yet clear whether these will work in similar vein as the Sun/Moon medals from Sonic Unleashed, which were required collecting to progress through the game:
They’re actually called the special rings, and like the name suggests, it’s to unlock special features in the game which we haven’t revealed yet. As you saw in the demo or through the E3 build, the game has – each stage has – so many ways to go around, I mean there are so many alternative paths, and so many varieties of ways in which players can really explore. It’s almost like rewards for players for finding such new routes or hidden paths, and these rings can only be found by going through a lot of routes in each stage.
It's one thing to watch people play Kinect games. It's another thing entirely to play them yourself. When the passive action of observing turns to full body movement, things get crazy. And tiring. And occasionally sweaty. This whole controller-free gaming era that Kinect is ushering in is, unsurprisingly, a lot more involved than simply pressing a few buttons.
After giving Sonic Free Riders a spin, my first thought was this: Sonic Free Riders and other similar Kinect games are going to be a blessing to parents with overactive kids. Just plop those wild rascals in front of Sonic Free Riders and watch them go bonkers wearing themselves out. Instant nap time.
Will Sonic Free Riders amaze the hardcore gamer? Not likely. It's interesting and a nice experience for those that like to be on the cutting edge of technology, but the target audience here is clearly the younger crowd.
That's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you've got a few of the little fellows around and don't want them destroying your controllers. The game puts Sonic and pals in a series of hover board races with a setup that is reminiscent of games like Mario Kart. Each character has his or her own special powers -- Knuckles, for example, can punch through walls to create shortcuts -- and your skills can be further customized depending upon which board you select.
The great thing about Sonic Free Riders is how intuitive it is. Swipe your foot along the ground like you're skateboarding and you can boost up your speed. If you pick up a missile power-up, you simply make a throwing motion to toss it at an enemy. Lean forward or back and you'll steer to the left or right. If you know the basics of skateboarding, then you know how to get started.
Though watching a video of Sonic Free Riders may make it appear to be fairly simple, there's actually a game with a good amount of depth here. Timing jumps properly will allow you to pull off little tricks, quickly filling up your boost meter. A bit of finesse is required to properly perform an aerial trick. And there are a few things you'll learn as you go that will help you improve your times.
Grinding on rails, a move that only certain characters on specific boards can perform, is a skill that will take several sessions to perfect. After playing as a novice, I watched the SEGA producer demo Sonic Free Riders for me and the difference in skill was massive.
Along with the preview comes 5 new screenshots of the game. They appear to be of the same stage shown at E3:
An excerpt from a Spong interview with Sonic Colors producer Takashi Iizuka published today indicates his struggle to keep Sonic relevant and utilitarian amid a splintered fanbase. In the published except, Iizuka admits difficulty in keeping everyone happy, but believes certain constants in Sonic games will do the most good.
“There are so many fans, each with their own unique first experience of the Sonic franchise, so I do understand that there are different Sonic fans in the world,” Iizuka said. “It’s very hard – near-impossible, actually – to please everybody, but I believe that there are some constants in the franchise that we should always try to maintain. [....] As long as (speed and attitude) are maintained, and that focus is still there, the team can think of ways to evolve Sonic, while keeping the fundamentals…”
The full interview has been published, though little if any new information is revealed. Still, you can read it at the link cited above. There is, however, a synopsis on one of the new stages we showed you yesterday from an accompanying preview.
A towering steel factory in the middle of a swampy jungle!
Knuckles Confirmed! but for only Nintendo DS
Though we’re about a month and a half out from the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, there remains some material left uncovered about the games shown in Los Angeles, including Sonic Colors.
This week on WiiNintendo.net, the staff posted what they learned from a closed door interview held between Takashi Iizuka and select members of the press. A lot of it you may have already known, but there are some trinkets you don’t, including Sega’s commitment to length. A more than 20 hour gameplay experience was touted. Sonic as the only playable character was again reinforced, perhaps dashing any multiplayer hopes. Tails, Knuckles, and Amy will all appear at points but never be playable.
Also of note will be what you play in-game. The report states Eggman’s amusement park will consist of his own ship, along with seven planets and a satellite. We believe all of them to be playable entities, though we’re not sure what differentiates the satellite from the planets proper.
More details!: here
New Details on Story, Controls, and QTEs
In a lengthy interview with the staff of the Sega Addicts podcast, Sega of America producer Keith Dwyer dished some new details on the upcomingSonic Colors, exclusive to Nintendo consoles.
Notable in his remarks was Dwyer disclosing the game is “very near completion,” and that it will be Sega’s Holiday offering–so expect a November or early December release time frame.
Colors, according to Dwyer, may have been conceptualized around the time of completing Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight. Though the intent is to “build on the best of Sonic Unleashed,” according to him, the game “has to has its own life” and isn’t intended to simply be Unleashed Lite.
Dwyer notes Colors is meant to be part of the main Sonic series, so anything out of it will be considered canon. On story, Dwyer explained how the game won’t have an overload of elaborate cutscenes, and will tone the content down.
“We wanted to keep it light,” Dwyer said.
The Wisps themselves are a core element of the story, and when prompted as to whether they would talk, Dwyer ambiguously stated, “Yes and no.”
Also of note–there will be some story deviation between the Wii and DS. While both will share the same concept, there will be different “scenarios,” in the producer’s words, between the console and portable edition.
Gameplay wise, the Wii version will share many moves that harken back to Unleashed, including the Quick Step, Spin Jump, Sliding, and more–that’s in addition to the power-up moves we know about. UnlikeUnleashed, rings will strictly be used for health in-game and have no effect on your Wisp boost power. Collecting White Wisps will improve that gauge. According to Dwyer, balancing health and boost power will be a key role in the game’s difficulty.
Some news some fans may not want to hear was also made public for the first time. For one, Quick Time Events, or QTEs, will be returning, if sparsely. Dwyer makes clear there will be less of it, claiming “very little QTE action” in-game. Second, fans of Knuckles will be disappointed to hear he will not be appearing in the game, according to Dwyer.
On other notes, Dwyer explained how Sonic games have been appearing on the Wii in greater quantities versus the HD consoles. “Part of it is circumstantial,” Dwyer said, electing not to elaborate on specific demographics. “Sonic is more popular on the Wii.”
Finally, Dwyer touched on the fate of the Storybook franchise. We reported in May that internally, the Sonic Storybook Series was dead, but Dwyer cautions “it’s entirely possible that it could continue.”
The full interview is available for listening at the link cited above.
So the Internet’s worst kept secret is finally out – the Sonic the Hedgehog game series has gone through yet another voice recasting. Gone are the docile tones of Jason Griffith and Amy Palant as Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles “Tails” Prower. So just who is going to voice the most famous hedgehog in the world?
Meet Roger Craig Smith. His previous voice work includes Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 5 and Ezio Auditore da Firenze in Assassin’s Creed 2. He has also done work for SEGA in the past, including a variety of voice in Valkyria Chronicles.
Community member ''majorDump'' recently uploaded this video a 3D recreation of the doomsday zone. the animation models and sound design are all top notch . you have to be some kind of asshole to not like this video it runs a little long but I don't really care shit's incredible.
The project will last 10 minutes and will be based on the first Sonic the hedgehog 1991 with a style closer to lom it would be a long term production and confirm that it will be a mix between real and CGI elements and there is a site of short and is expected to be updated as time passes you can see the site here
Has been announced in the official channel of Nintendo where you can access the wii that Sonic Colors will be compatible with the Classic Controller and GameCube
Site for nintendo of america is now avivable on products pages of the wii and ds versions of Sonic Colors wich attracts attention is that the data ensures that the number of players is to be determined what indicate a possible announcement of multiplayer modes in the title. also reaffirms that the two versions will have connection Wi-Fi
Among the slew of awesome games coming to the 3DS, a Sonic game is among a list of multiple titles cited for the 3DS. Taken from Nintendo’s press site:
The magazine nintendo action Confirmed Amy Rose! in the title and that will share in the story as she and tails will be kidnapped by eggman on a trip which was performed at amusement park