Shattering any sort of barrier from the 1990s, SEGA of America, SEGA Europe, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe GmbH have announced that they will be partnering up to bring some major Sonic love to the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS over the coming years.
What does this mean overall? Nintendo is set to get three big Sonic titles exclusively to themselves, with two confirmed as the recently announced Sonic Lost World and Mario and Sonic at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The third title has yet to be announced, but it would be hardly surprising if it was next year’s yearly big title.
This doesn’t mean non-Nintendo gamers are out of luck. Sonic will continue to appear on these, though it may only be through smaller digital titles, such as the recently released remastered Sonic 1 on iOS and Android.
On today’s Nintendo Direct, Satoru Iwata has announced the upcoming 3D Sonic title Sonic: Lost World. Not much was shown, but we did get this art shot (click for full size):
We also got one other intriguing piece of information…
F-Zero GX for the Nintendo Gamecube had an interesting feature that worked with it’s Triforce brother. By bringing your memory card to an F-Zero AX arcade machine, it allowed you to unlock additional content for use in the home version and bring your custom vehicle with you on the arcade version. However due to an extremely limited release of the arcade unit, most of the AX content was basically untouchable for many. Turns out after all these years, F-Zero AX was much closer than one thought. Coming from The Cutting Room Floor, and later reported by Retro Collect, they have turned up the entirety of the arcade game is already embedded with each home copy of F-Zero GX. More or less that is. For more information on how to play through AX on your copy of F-Zero GX, be sure to check out the Action Replay codes on either site, or watch the embedded video to see AX mode in action.
Because the games work so close together and both games were in development at the same time, this should come as to no surprise. Still a very interesting insight of the game, and sure to interest those who have never experienced the F-Zero AX arcade machine first hand.
2013 has still only just started, meaning there’s still not a whole lot going on when it comes to news. Still, some of what’s going on is pretty cool, like Nvidia announced their very own gaming handheld. And it uses Nvidia Tegra technology! Meaning that Bartman3010 should be writing this Monday Links because praising Nvidia Tegra is his thing, but he’s busy so I’ll do it for him: Nvidia Tegra is amazing and cool and probably cooler than you are and can run Sonic 4 Episode 2. And that’s what Bartman3010 maybe would have written for today’s Monday Links.
Sonic Retro News
Games Radar has uploaded a video showing the Wii U version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The video keeps up with the tradition that 90% of all people playing Sonic demos on camera suck. The course shown in the video is a new Seaside Hill track, a location which already had three courses in Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing.
The player notes some issues with the version like that looking at the screen on the Wii U Gamepad is distracting and more importantly, that the framerate has trouble keeping up it at 30fps. Of course this is a work-in-progress build, so this will probably be fixed in the final version. (hopefully) The Wii U version will be available on the launch of the Wii U, which is November 18th in the US and November 30th in Europe.
Nintendo announced at their press conference earlier today that Bayonetta 2 will be coming exclusively for the Wii U. Surprisingly the game will not be published by SEGA, but by Nintendo. SEGA will instead act as an advisor on the project. It’s also the company that owns the franchise, so it’s a bit hard to not put their logo on the game.
The director of the first game, Hideki Kamiya, will only be a supervisor for this sequel. This is because he is already busy directing another upcoming game by Platinum published by Nintendo, The Wonderful 101. Instead, the game will be directed by Yusuke Hashimoto, who was the producer of the original Bayonetta.
When people tell the short version of the development of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, there are usually two names dropped: Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima. The former, though starting out as a programmer, soon became the figurehead of Sonic Team, his smiling mug plastered all over any material regarding the behind-the-scene events. The latter, of course, being the man who designed the characters including the star. However, there was a third man who, one could argue, shaped the title into the addictive game that people still play to this day. That man’s name is Hirokazu Yasuhara, who was the lead Game Planner of the original Mega Drive quartet, as well as the Director to Sonic 3 & Knuckles. While the designs to the characters were amazing, and there was a solid engine being built around it, the actual layout of the game would have been very, very different had Yasuhara not been there to design those level maps that have been burned into our minds over the last two decades. Who knows how things would have gone if he had flown to the United States when he originally planned instead of being delayed to shape one of the biggest video game franchises of all time?
That is why this news, for anyone who was there during the height of the Mega Drive’s success, is a bit crazy to take in. As of today, reported on Gamasutra and confirmed by his own LinkedIn page, Hirokazu Yasuhara is now employed at Nintendo Software Technology, a subsidiary of Nintendo of America. Best known for their work on the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, nothing has been said of what plans Nintendo has in store for the former Sega employee. Since he’s still in the United States, its very unlikely that he’ll have any role in one of the main Super Mario titles, but still. If you were to tell any 90′s kid that the man responsible for the layout of everything from the Green Hill Zone to Death Egg would one day be working at the house Mario built, would they have believed it?
This is bound to set off those of you against digital download services. Over in Japan, developers are beginning to pull games down from Nintendo’s Virtual Console service on the Wii. On top of WiiWare titles from the now-defunct Hudson and Irem’s library, Sega is pulling several Sonic titles from the service.
According to a report by Japanese website Inside-Games, these titles include the Mega Drive’s Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, and Sonic & Knuckles, as well as the Master System version of Sonic The Hedgehog. The titles are expected to be off the service by the end of the month. It’s currently unknown if other titles will disappear as well or if they will remain up for a while longer.
This development certainly begs a few questions: for those that bought the games and aren’t privy to the homebrew side of the Wii, will they be able to access the titles for redownloading? More importantly, will such a move make its way over to Western shores? It’s too soon to say, but the move is no doubt very discouraging for Virtual Console supporters.
[Via Nintendo World Report]