2.5D might be one of the best ways to blend new with the old. Scenery, characters, objects, everything in a title can take advantage of modern day hardware while still feeling like the games of yesterday. The Sonic series began to take to 2.5D more and more starting with Sonic Unleashed, with the entire “boost trilogy” doing the brunt of the platforming in the 2.5D sections, with the high speed antics in 3D, almost racing-esque segments.
In 2013, a Retro user by the name of Ell678 began work on his own Sonic fan game, one that would be comprised almost entirely in 2.5D by utilizing SonicGDK. Since that point in time, Sonic Incursion has begun to take shape into the extraordinary title we see here today. A huge fan of the early Genesis games, Ell678 felt he could take what he adored about the level design the two games had and put it into something modern while still maintaining a “classic” presentation.
Sonic fan games typically set the bar pretty high for themselves. Before Sonic 4 was the Sonic 4 we all know and acknowledge as existing today, plenty of fans tried to fill the gap, touting their game as the next title in the original trilogy. It wasn’t until more recent years that we’ve seen fan games reach completion with more frequency. Titles like Sonic Classic, Sonic Before (And After) the Sequel, and Sonic Axiom are just a few of the games that did the impossible and actually gave us complete games.
Remember Sonic 2 HD, which unceremoniously died following its alpha release because of nonsense regarding former project programmer L0st? The quick excitement and then sorrow of the project’s release and cancellation reverberated across the Internet and it looked like the dream had finally died.
Not so fast. In the waning hours of Sonic’s 23rd Birthday (and we do hope you keep your Sonic memories coming in), the Sonic 2 HD Facebook group sprung back to life and announced the project was back on. Turns out that a newcomer, who remains anonymous, stepped up with an engine to fill the hole L0st’s firing caused, and the engine received approval by project head Vincent.
While the team is a short a few members from its original development (citing real life obligations), it looks like the project will continue development. If any of you are feeling creative and have the skills to assist the group, it may not be a bad time to contact the team and show them your stuff.
Another fine release by Lake Feperd (and his crew of musical co-horts) today as Sonic After the Sequel which is a fan-made sequel to Sonic Before the Sequel which was a prequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 2. You can visit this link here to grab the game for yourself. Pretty impressive considering the previous release was only a year ago, yet retains its own unique level themes, branching paths and more. In addition, Lake Feperd has announced a few months ago that he is working on a new Sonic fan game titled Sonic Chrono Adventure which takes inspiration from other titles such as Sonic CD and involves time travel and more open world gameplay.
But don’t get ahead of yourself, check out After the Sequel today! While you’re waiting, you can view the release trailer shown above.
Slingerland is away this week, as he’s too busy being awesome or something. In the meanwhile, we still need some Monday Links, so let’s go!
Sonic Retro News
- Perfect Chaos Zero responds to a thread of old fan game nostalgia by…dropping hundreds of old, forgotten fan games on us for download. [Sonic Fan Games (The older ones)]
- FraGag released a port of the KENS compression/decompression libraries to C# for use on the SVN. S2LVL just got even more awesome. [KENSSharp]
- Another week, another art tease from the Sonic 2 HD team. This time around, we get a look at the Tails design. [Sonic 2 HD General Project Feedback]
- The annoying Asteroid Coaster Act 2 is made…less annoying with this walkthrough [SEGA Blogs]
- Phantasy Star Online 2‘s specs have been released; alpha registration is available for select groups. [SEGAbits]
- Activision and SEGA team up to make Wappy, a robotic dog that interfaces with the Nintendo DS. [CNET]
- Editor E-102 has been working pretty diligently this week to document what Wave Master musician composed what tracks from various Sega games. [SEGA Retro]
We here at Sonic Retro like to celebrate whenever we get the chance. Game anniversaries, Simon Wai’s birthday (though he doesn’t invite us to his parties anymore) and whatever else that will get our minds off real life. We’re Sonic fans. We don’t take too kindly to that sort of thing. Since we love the fan community as much as it loves us, it would only make sense to celebrate the anniversary of one of the most treasured of all gaming projects. To think that we almost forgot about it!
It was ten years ago today that Jamie Bailey (you remember that guy, right?) released to the world Sonic: The Fast Revelation. Built entirely in Klik and Play and during Sonic fangaming’s infancy, S:TFR was a marvel for its time, providing a Sonic experience that is hard to forget. Though it has been overshadowed by its younger brother Sonic: Time Attacked, there is still a certain charm that can be found within. Simplistic MIDI tones that will rock your ears, enticing cinemas, the proper use of spin sound effects, and physics that are…well, let’s just say they don’t make ’em like they used to. And you get infinite lives! Not even modern Sonic games give you that.