Sonic Unleashed is seen as one of the biggest 3D entries in the history of Sonic. Whether you like the werehog or not, it brought a massive overhaul to the game design philosophy of Sonic working in the third dimension. The beautiful environments based on real-life locations, fast gameplay and a unique lighting engine all housed under the “Hedgehog Engine” helped achieve a major milestone for fast-paced 3D platformers. Fast forward towards the end of the downer year that is 2016, it has brought us one thing that can shed some meaningful insight on the development of Sonic Unleashed; the release of an Xbox 360 preview build.
At least, the first disk.
Forum user N!NJA released the build two days ago and already there has been several discoveries thanks to the efforts of others data mining information, uploading screenshots, videos and more. In addition the build also comes with debugging tools that highlights NPC and enemy behavior status, camera direction and gameplay control modifiers. While you can run the build on a modified Xbox 360 console, it is recommended to use a dev kit as you may run into crashes forcing you to shut down the console.
Some of the notable differences include…
60fps! …but not very stable, lots of screen tearing and drops
Unused level and object layouts
Old menu system seen in early E3 previews
Old GUI, especially for the Sonic the Werehog stages
N!NJA promises to release builds for other Sonic titles in the near future. If you want a quick look at the preview build, hit the jump to check out some links! Stay up to date with the discoveries thread to see what all has been unearthed from the preview build thus far or take a look at the build for yourself in the discussion thread.
Thanks to the next-gen art dealers at Cook & Becker, we have a first look at the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary art book via an in-depth gallery of images as well as a full press release. So let’s get down to it! The art book, the first ever official art book and design history for the long running series, encapsulates 25 years of history. The book will be made available in a limited Special Collector’s Edition as well as a Standard Hardcover Edition. The Special Collector’s Edition features an outer box, a special inner sleeve that folds into a display stand for the book and an exclusive newly drawn matted art giclee print by Sonic Team’s Yuji Uekawa. The Collector’s Edition is limited to 2,500 copies and sells for $120/€120 respectively. As a pre-order bonus, Cook & Becker offers a 10% discount on the Collector’s Edition if it is ordered before February 2017. The Standard Edition, meanwhile, retails for $45/€45 and consists of the book itself.
Let’s talk about the book! Officially licensed, the book (310mm H x 275mm W) will feature 200+ pages of images and text, including interviews with key Sonic designers including Yuji Naka, Takashi Iizuka and Yuji Uekawa. As seen in the image gallery below, you can expect to find concept art, promotional art, 3D renders, box art and – as revealed in our recent article – original official art and rare collectibles submitted by fans (pending approval from Cook & Becker and SEGA, of course).
If you haven’t already heard, next-gen art dealers Cook & Becker plan to release a “Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book”. The book will cover the history of Sonic and will include design sketches, official character illustrations, in-game art, pixel art, rare promotional art and game box art. While SEGA has provided Cook & Becker with many great art assets from the company archives, as is the case with original art spanning 25 years there is always more out there in private collections.
Cook & Becker reached out to us asking if we would ask you, the fans, to lend a hand if you can. As the book enters the final stages of design, there is little under a month left before the window closes on what can appear in the book and we are asking any fans with cool rare retro merchandise, rare original promotional art and rare manual scans to reach out to Cook & Becker via their contact page or email maarten [at] candb.com. Cook & Becker is looking for high res photos and scans of what they may not already have. They will credit anyone in the book that sends in material that gets included. I know, for example, that there is some really great original art from the late SEGA Genesis-era artist Greg Martin in several collections.
It should be noted that Cook & Becker are NOT looking for fan art, only rare and original official pieces of artwork and collectibles. More news on Cook & Becker’s book to come, so stay tuned!
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!
The infamous Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) celebrated its 10th year anniversary earlier this week so George and Barry of SEGAbits decided to sit down with Sonic Retro’s Bartman3010 and David the Lurker to recount our thoughts on the title. On this episode we go through the concept of Sonic the Hedgehog, talk about various gameplay elements, glitches, music, and some of us even have nice things to say (maybe). If you wanna go back a whole decade and relive the grand adventure that is Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 just hit play below or subscribe to us via your favorite podcast network.
If you like what you heard, check out our past episodes. If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add them as a comment below or send them directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!
This week has some pretty big releases on the way. Sandwiched in between the Pokémons and Watch_Dogs comes the release of the Sonic the HedgehogLEGO Dimensions level pack. We’ll be hosting a livestream on Friday, 11/18/16, at 4:00PM CST (UTC -6) of the Sonic level pack, as well as playing through some of the base levels and worlds with Sonic himself! The initial broadcast will be on Neo Reviews, with the replay going live over on SEGA Channel Retro. We’ll see you all then!
The Hacking Contest for this year has concluded, and the results are in! Spanner a.k.a. SOTI has provided a write up on the forums for this year’s winners as well as some general thoughts on this year’s contest overall. You can read more information on the results on the Retro forums here. You can also hear reactions from the contest judges and see the winners in action on the Results Show hosted by MegaGWolf here. Hit the jump to see the winners for all the trophies of this year chosen by both contest judges and community members.