For those not aware of the game, Big’s Big Fishing Adventure 3 re-tells the story of Sonic Adventure 2. This time from the perspective of that fat cat based on his numerous cameos in the game. Further details were released through the panel hosted at the 2016 Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam. You can catch up on the going’s on for Big’s big debut by watching the panel here, starting at 46:00. The game’s developed by members of the Sonic community in order to raise efforts for Child’s Play.
We at Sonic Retro share involvement in the project and are just as passionate for Big the Cat as everyone else is working on it. You can expect to keep an eye on us or the other teams involved with the game’s development when the game finally releases in early 2017.
We’re already talking about Hacking Contest in 2017? You bet! The Sonic Hacking Contest’s 15th anniversary is upon us all and they need your help in a big way! The early report brings about rule changes and new trophies are being introduced in next year’s contest.
New rules are set to enact new “quality control” measures for entries to give a bigger focus on the technical achievement for entries with a lower focus on referential humor. New trophies are being made to address entries made for other platforms such as entries for handheld platforms with the Advance Trophy, 8-bit hacks with the Crystal Egg Trophy as well as introducing new trophies to be voted on by the community at large.
You can read up on how you can get your entries ready by reading Spanner’s post on the forums that details the rule changes, trophy guidelines and more. But when does the contest start? You have nearly a whole year before the deadline which is set for Sunday the 8th of October. The contest week then goes between the 6th of November to the 12th. There is plenty of time before then, but don’t let it sneak up on you before you know it!
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!