In less than a week, the seas part and Sonic Adventure 2 arrives on XBLA and PSN to save the series from the current complaint of the time period. Since its reveal at Sonic Boom 2012 in July, very little has been seen of the game, aside from a one-level demo for PAX Prime attendees.
While this trailer hasn’t made its way to Western shores just yet, we can grab our first substantive looks of gameplay, as well as a few oddities. Off the bat, some will notice that some scenes are depicted in 16:9 display and others in regular 4:3, black bars and all. We’re not exactly sure what’s up with the inconsistency, but it may be a sign that work was still in progress or some cutscenes cannot be modified without camera clipping issues cropping up, or in the case of CGI scenes, being re-rendered entirely.
Otherwise, the trailer offers little new in details. Expanded multiplayer and Chao Karate will be added in through separate Battle DLC, and while the game has some improved texture work in places, it also gives it a strange diluted look to it. Overall, this is Sonic Adventure 2 as you truly imagined it.
To promote the upcoming release of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, SEGA has released a bunch of new avatar items. These include apparel your avatar can wear, like a full body Tails suit that’ll either make you look cool or creepy (320 MSP), a couple of hoodies in Sonic and Tails variants (240 MSP), a T-shirt with just the Sonic 4 Episode II logo on it (80 MSP) and last but not least, a Metal Sonic helmet.
But as the image above suggests, that’s not all of the new things available. There are a bunch of new props that would actually be pretty neat in real life your avatar can play with as well. These include a remote controlled Metal Sonic toy (240 MSP), a Drawstring Tails Plushie (240 MSP), a couple of toys based on two new badniks from Episode II (240 MSP), a Capsule toy complete with small animals (240 MSP), a game cartridge of Sonic 4 Episode II complete with a SEGA Genesis hooked up to an item monitor (240 MSP) and a half-pipe from the special stage (240 MSP). While to me this is all useless crap that costs way too much, there is actually some cool stuff in there if you’re into dressing up your Avatar. All of these items are now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Below are more pictures of most of the new Avatar items mentioned here.
While we have had lots of camrecorded footage of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 already, we haven’t seen any clean footage longer than 2 seconds so far. However, the Official Xbox Magazine got their hands on some for their interview with the brand manager Ken Balough, who reveals even more new details on the game. Press the image that looks like an embedded video because I can’t figure out how to actually embed it below to visit the page with the actual video:
Here Ken talks a bit more about the game’s story, like how it will have an excuse for why everything in the first episode was taken from the previous games. The upcoming Sonic Super Special #3 will also contain a small comic which explains what happens between the first and second episodes. An exclusive feature for those with both the Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 has also been announced. The versions will support cloud saving, so if you play the game on the WP7 and save it to the cloud you’ll be able to continue the game on the Xbox 360.
I don’t know what the deal is between the press and Sonic games at events. For some reason they are terrible at playing them on camera, with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 being no exception. Most videos released so far of people playing the game either have them not knowing what they’re supposed to do or falling into bottomless pits, so it’s nice to have a full playthrough of the first act of White Park Zone where the player actually knows how to play a videogame:
Last week SEGA held an event where they showcased all of their upcoming digital releases. From this came some new screenshots showing more of the game’s boss battles and a few interviews with Takashi Iizuka with quite a bit of new information on Episode 2 and Sonic’s future. All of this can be seen after the jump.
Just as we thought we wouldn’t see any more Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 info or media for a while, the achievements for the game suddenly pop out of nowhere. Around the same time Sega of Europe has uploaded seven more screenshots on their official website, showing a returning object from the more recent titles in the Sonic franchise:
As you can see, the Red Star Rings from Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations are back. In previous games they unlocked Game Land stages or extras and skills respectively, so the question is what they unlock this time around. Go after the jump to see the rest of the screenshots and the achievements, beware that these do have some pretty big spoilers.
Turns out the new Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 trailer (more on that later) may not be the most important Sega-related reveal today. A teaser trailer for the re-release of Jet Set Radio, a favorite of all Dreamcast fans, has just been released on Youtube. While there’s no release date announced, we do know that it will be released on Xbox Live Arcade and Sony Entertainment Network.
It seems like fans don’t need to worry much about Sega having lost the licensing to the music like with the digital release of Crazy Taxi, considering Funky Radio can be heard in the video above. Now let’s just hope it gets a better treatment than the other Dreamcast ports released so far as well.
With Sonic CD getting a re-release done by The Taxman next month, SEGA has started a fan-art contest with 50 prizes being given away in North America, Mexico and the United Kingdom each, so that makes 150 winners in total. The five best winners in each territory will get a copy of Sonic CD on XBLA, PSN or Steam and a copy of the Japanese soundtrack signed by Takashi Iizuka, Jun Senoue, Naofumi Hataya and Kazuyuki Hoshino, something any fan would appreciate. All the other winners will get the same except the soundtrack isn’t signed.
There are a few things you need to know before entering the contest: your submission needs to be related to Sonic CD. If it isn’t, your entry will not count and you’ve done all that work for nothing. It needs to be original, created by you and it can’t have appeared anywhere else, so it can’t be something you’ve already put on websites like DeviantArt or on forums, and you can’t show it off before the contest ends. You also need to be 13 years or older to take part in the contest. The deadline is 10:00 AM PT/18:00 GMT November 29th, 2011.
To find out how you can enter the contest and for more information regarding the rules go to the SEGA Blog.