Multiplayer Showcase is the review show where you get to see me and some friends of mine play multiplayer games that have been long forgotten and give it a proper analysis by sharing our opinions on the game in a roundtable discussion to see how things have held up for gaming’s past brightest stars and lowest points.
This episode compares the boxing gloves to the green shells with the Mario Kart-inspired Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. I never got to play this game much with friends locally. I’ve certainly played it online some time ago, but as you might recall, there are limitations added when playing online, so playing with a group of people with everything unlocked lets everyone dig in for some four player action coupled with SEGA nostalgia.
Originally, I was just going to throw up a clip of The Critics’ Jay Sherman just saying his trademark line of “It stinks!” but that would be simply broadside-ing with an elephant gun what at its core is a good game wrapped up in layers of garbage, like one of those Babushka figurines.
So, let’s talk Sonic Runners. Even though Sonic Dash is still very much a thing and is celebrating 100 million downloads by shoe-horning in a brand it has no business even associating with in Angry Birds, Sonic Team decided it wanted to take a stab at this crazy bizarre world known as mobile freemium development.
Enter Runners. Simple enough premise: Sonic and friends run to the right and collect gems and rings through an obstacle gauntlet of spikes, enemies, dash rings, pits, loops–you name it. At the end of each segment, Sonic encounters Eggman hauling a stash of goodies and is tasked with smacking that old greedy capitalist of all his money for your own purposes. Then the level speeds up and repeats with a more difficult layout. Rinse and repeat two more times to max speed until you eventually die.
Throughout this, you’re treated to very simple stories of Team Sonic helping out Animal friends, lost Chao, and even scared groups of Wisps in their battle to stop Dr. Eggman from whatever anti-environmental/furry critter plot he’s hatching for that chapter. It may sound like I’m complaining or ready to just eviscerate the game, but this isn’t the case.
SEGA announced at the Sonic birthday event that’s taking place at Tokyo Joypolis that Sonic Runners will launch worldwide on June 25th. Despite only launching in Japan and Canada, the game has had a decent success up to now with more than 500,000 people having played it already. As of right now there’s little information about the worldwide release, but it’s safe to assume that it will launch on both iOS and Android.
Okay, so it turns out that this is an in-game event that’ll go on for three weeks, in which you can unlock a different Angry Birds Epic character each week by collecting tokens. That, or you can just buy them. These includes Red ‘Knight’, Chuck ‘Mage’ and Bomb ‘Pirate’. You’ll still be able to use keep using these characters even after unlocking them. This event will be on all three platforms: iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
So uh, yeah, medieval Angry Birds characters in a Sonic game. Just in case for if you weren’t weirded out already by the Sonic Twitter suddenly becoming a lot more meta.
So SEGA put out a update for Sonic Runnerswhich you have to download if you want to be able to play the game, which is okay as long as you can download it. Except it’s not officially released yet outside of Japan and Canada, so Android users outside of those countries can’t update the game the normal way.
Thankfully, Neowl from our forums has uploaded the .apk file, so just install it on your Android device and you should be able to play the game again. And your save data won’t be lost by downloading it. Alternatively, you can also download the update through the Japanese QooApp store. You should also be able to download any future updates through that as well. iOS users should be able to normally update the game through the App Store.
As for what the update actually does, we don’t know the official patch notes but our forum members have noticed framerate improvements and that the game no longer closes when their phone goes into sleep mode. So you no longer have to worry about your phone going on stand by because of how long the loading screens are.
Sonic Retro forum member woun has been uncovering a plethora of data contained in the recently soft launched Sonic Runners. The new assets reveal upcoming characters and events that will take place in future episodes of the game. While several characters were shown off in the game’s latest trailer, new surprises include Metal Sonic and Big the Cat! Sorry, had to include an exclamation point, because c’mon… it’s Big the Cat!
Also revealed are upcoming events featuring characters and locations from Sonic and the Secret Rings, Shadow and Omega with creepy glowing purple eyes, and what appears to be Metal Espio and Metal Eggman. You can see woun’s findings as they come over at the Sonic Retro forums.
[UPDATE: Read below for a lovely write up by forum member Roybertito about the game and some of its nuances.]
As seems to be the case with mobile games and their oblong release dates, Sonic Runners bursts out of the warp zone and onto your friendly local digital shop. There are some caveats, however.
As of this time of writing, I am unable to download the title on any of my three Android devices (a Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013 running on the latest version of Licorice, and an Xperia X10 running on Gingerbread) on the Google Play Store but those on the Apple side of the digital world have already gotten the game running. Interestingly, the version released is marked as 1.0.0t, representing it’s a test build. Of course, the humor isn’t lost in the event that another Sonic related thing was leaked early, as has seemingly become a trend in some capacity.
Regardless, early reports show the game plays like an auto runner ala Rayman Jungle Run with you in control of Sonic and friends’ movements as they zip through the grassy knolls of Sonic Lost World’sGreen Hill Recolor #29 Windy Hill Zone. And if that isn’t enough to tickle your free-to-play mobile game fancy, plenty of microtransactions are included! One such, as posted over on Sonic Stadium’s Twitter via H Hog, invites players to invite their friends to play the game for a bounty of red star rings and the chance to play as series fan girl and general annoyance, Amy Rose. But only if you get 10 friends to join the game!
Remember, we’re dealing with normal Amy here, not arguably better Boom Amy.
Regardless, with the game now on the shops and playable on the iOS side of things, it’ll only be a matter of time before Android users can join in on the fun and advertising.
SEGA gives us our first glimpse at what Sonic Runners actually looks like with this new gameplay trailer showcasing Sonic, Knuckles and Tails running through worlds from Sonic Lost World.
It also teases that a bunch of other characters will be in the game, including Shadow, Amy and Vector. Aside from that, there appears to be some sort of story mode that includes boss battles with Eggman, and Chao return as support characters that seemingly affect the way you’ll play the game.