UPDATED (9/14/2016) Pre-orders are now available through GameStop.
SEGA continues enticing us with the release of Sonic Mania by announcing a collector’s edition with a statue base of Sonic standing atop a Genesis (With an actual power switch that will yell SEGA!! at you,) a Genesis cartridge cast with a golden ring as well as the download code on a metal card. Priced at $69.99 these sets will release for all announced platforms for it’s spring 2017 release. While the Sonic social media accounts point to the official Sonic website for a pre-order page, at the time of this writing the website does not appear to be working and is instead directing everyone to Amazon to get their orders in.
I’m a little surprised that the system isn’t replicating a SEGA Saturn, but let’s face it, with the game’s history being reflected on the Genesis (Without a SEGA CD or 32X mushroom head attachment, mind) it’s more than appropriate. Of course for some of you reading this, you may be wondering about a European release, and according to several sources it has been confirmed that there is no plan to do so. Strange, especially after the collector’s set for Sonic Generations was Europe only, it’s an odd move on their part. Nintendo fans are potentially equally bitter as not even the game itself is coming to any of their platforms.
It’s unsure when these sets will sell out, but there is still plenty of time before it’s release in Spring of 2017.
We played Sonic Mania, and now we’re going to tell you what we think! In this SEGA News Bits, George and I (Barry) rest our aching feet just hours after the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Party in San Diego to share our reaction to the Sonic Mania reveal and give our thoughts on how the game plays. Do we have another Sonic 4 on our hands or is Sonic Mania the true successor to Sonic 3 & Knuckles? The answers are obviously “nope!” and “hell yes!” in that order.
Special thanks to Neo Hazard for letting us use his footage, you can check out his channel here! Also, thanks to Bartman for being the one to play the game in our footage. You can find Bartman’s YouTube channel here!
SEGA News Bits is a production of SEGAbits, covering all things SEGA and Sonic the Hedgehog. When we touch on Sonic stories, you’ll be seeing them here on Sonic Retro as well. If you enjoyed this episode of the SEGA News Bits, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss an episode!
Sonic Mania wasn’t the only new Sonic game revealed at the 25th Anniversary Party. At the end of the stream, Takashi Iizuka revealed the debut trailer for Sonic Team’s next game. Like Sonic Generations, the game will feature both Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic. However, Iizuka stressed that this isn’t a sequel, so it’s not Generations 2.
It also appears that the game will have a dark and serious story line. If so, we hopefully it won’t be as bad as the series’ previous attempts at having one of those. The game doesn’t have a name yet aside from a working title, Project Sonic 2017, but they did announce that it’ll be released on PS4, Xbox One, NX (!) and PC during Holiday 2017.
Sega is working together with Christian Whitehead, Headcannon and PadogaWest Games to make Sonic Mania, a new 2D game featuring brand new zones alongside re-imagined versions of old zones.
People at the 25th Anniversary Party can play a demo featuring a re-imagined Green Hill Zone and a new zone called Studiopolis Zone right now. Sega has also given out a goody bag with an USB stick that includes one of the songs from the game, which will undoubtedly be put online sooner than later.
Sonic Mania will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC in Spring 2017, and we can’t wait to play it.
It’s always great to see people on our forums get so far as to work on commercial games. One example of this is Poncho by Delve Entertainment, which was released today on PC and PlayStation 4. Matthew Weekes, a member of our forums who worked on Freedom Planet, was the lead pixel artist for this game. Aside from him, it was designed by Danny Hayes and Jack Odell, who also did the programming and music respectively.
The game’s main twist is it’s an open world where you can choose your own path, and switch between multiple layers like in Mutant Mudds. Originally the game was going to be funded through Kickstarter, but after the crowdfunding campaign failed they still managed get funding from publisher Rising Star Games.
Oh dear, I got stuck with the Monday Links this week. You know that new Sonic game that everyone is talking about? Yes. No? Well, theres still not much to talk about, or Sonic Boom, or much of anything Sonic lately, and you probably don’t want to talk about sports either. In fact I’ve been busy messing around Phantasy Star Online despite being over 14 years too late, and I haven’t moved on to Phantasy Star Online 2. Why? It was something I had missed out on when it came out for the Drreamcast and Gamecube. Since I had broadband adapters for each, and my curiosity in private servers piqued, I wanted to take a look to see what I had missed.
The game’s aesthetics and gameplay structure were the main reason for me wanting to look back at this outdated RPG, because it used a theme thoat most RPGs have not tried to work with, and most would follow the large, open world that World of Warcraft popularized. In fact several of them had an identity crisis to the point that you’d think the developers just wanted to get away with making World of Warcraft. But not Phantasy Star Online, a game that took Sega’s established RPG series and not only gave it a multiplayer component but emphasized real-time action where you are actively engaged in battle, and avoiding damage and looking for enemy weakpoints requires creative strategy. This is probably the best non-Sonic game from Sonic Team, at least in my eyes. You’re still not going to be won over by the story, and it is absolutely difficult for newcomers to find others to play with online, but it certainly reached a technical marvel and helped kickstart a genre to what was popularized by its successors. Theres also fun to be had by playing the game Single Player, but the social element definitely makes up half the game through social interaction, item trading, and planning with your teammates on what to do.
My only handicap that I am personally following is to play this game as blind as possible. I’m not going to bother with item duping, I know Force classes are utterly broken, and I don’t want to consult a wiki to generate the best possible outcome for my character(s). I want to try to match my experience with the game similar to how others played the game back when it came out. Its incredible how the evolution of game design and social interaction has changed the way we play the game, and for a game like Phantasy Star Online, the experience does not match with a modern massive multiplayer environment. But to get the most out of the game, its best to look at why the game had it’s strengths in the first place. Its not entirely possible, and I do want to try and avoid the technical hurdles the game has, because there’s nothing quite like it out there. I want to see about doing an annual check in with the game as well as have more video podcasts with people who played the game before sharing their experiences. Because honestly? I truly regret letting it pass by me, even with the paid subscription fees involved.
Now, lets take a look at the headlines for Monday.
- Barry the Nomad and Shigs talk with GameSpot Editor Peter Brown reminiscing on all things SEGA. [Swingin’ Report Show #54]
- Ben wrote an editorial on how Sonic should remain true to himself while branching out. [Sonic Lost Identity?]
- You can check out the PSO Adventures on our YouTube Playlist and on Twitch [Tales from Ragol]
- I was also part of another stream with three other people and we defeated Dark Falz [Jay’s Gaming and RetroGaming Stream]
- Wait. What happened to Vidya Retro? In a joint effort with SEGAbits, we renamed it to SEGA Channel Retro. [That Logo is Pretty Nice, Barry]
- On 2/2/2014 was the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. [You’re Old]
- Retro user MarkyJester releases another Sonic 1 ROM hack titled Ring Ride 3. [Fill Sonic with Lead]
- Jazz Jackrabbit 1 mod Sonic With a Gun by VioletCLM releases on Feburary 23rd [I Miss the Jazz Days]
- Relic Entertainment and Creative Assembly Fight to the Death in Counter Strike [Relic’s Victory is Similar to the Super Bowl]
- Akira Yuki was officially revealed as the next statuette in the SEGA All-Stars line [First 4 Figures]
Update: Because some don’t seem to notice that the “first CG animated film” is listed under “New Show”, I’ll just point this out here: that CG animated film is probably Sonic Boom and not a movie. So with that out of the way, here’s the actual news story:
Those who want a Sonic game with incredibly pretty native 1080p super duper graphics will have to wait pretty long until they get it. Jazwares (the guys who make the Sonic toys) put up a sign at last week’s Nuremburg toy fair with one piece of interesting information: that an unnamed Sonic game will be coming to Playstation 4, Xbox One and Wii U in 2015.
Not listed is the third Nintendo exclusive game. We can’t have a year without any new Sonic games though, so it wouldn’t be surprising if it’d still be coming later this year. There’s also some information about Sonic Boom, the new CG animated tv show coming this fall. However, all of this information was already mentioned in the original announcement.