Hedgehogging His Bets: Sonic Fan Remix

By Alec Meer on October 21st, 2010 at 3:32 pm.

To be honest I find Sonic games a bit boring but didn't dare say that in the main post

Is this allowed? Are shotgun-wielding Sega employees hauling a bound and gagged indie developer to a shed in the everglades even as we speak? Quick, before it’s too late: one Mr Sonic T. Hedgehog is wearing his PC hat for the first time in years, in the form of a fan-made remake of his classic jewellery-thieving, animal-bothering outing. Given half the world’s frothing/complaining about having Sonic 4 on their eXecutableBoxes this week, it’s good to have a spot of blue spiky retro-fetishism on PC too. It’s a sort of 2.5D thing: modern visuals, olden DNA.

Here’s the 100MB demo, but as it’s only hosted on RapidShare for the time being, you might want to stare at the below video while you wait. Pretties, if on the manic side.

That looks… familiar. Even taking the music seems like a bad idea, frankly, but maybe/hopefully Sega are cool with it.

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55 Comments »

  1. Dominic White says:

    There have been dozens. Possibly HUNDREDS of Sonic fangames over the years. There’s a whole site dedicated to them here:

    http://www.sonicfangameshq.com/

    Hell, here’s a particularly good one that runs on the Doom engine: http://www.srb2.org/ – no joke.

    There’s also about a thousand Mario fangames, and a few dozen Metroid fangames. Nintendo and Sega give negative fucks about fangames. Capcom, too – there’s a great many fan-made Megaman titles out there, including the recently released Megaman: 8-Bit Deathmatch – http://cutstuff.net/blog/?p=2369

    • Rich says:

      I guess the survivability of this depends largely on whether the guy making it is going to ask for money. Does the existence of a demo suggest that there’ll be a full, paid for, version, or just that it isn’t finished yet. If it’s the former, expect to see some legal torpedoes heading his way fast.

    • Dominic White says:

      The demo is simply there because that’s all he has created so far. There’s approximately zero chance of him ever asking for money. That would be immensely stupid.

      Of all the many full-length fangames I’ve seen, not one has ever had a price tag.

    • Eclipse says:

      that Sonic Roboblast 2 mod for ZDoom was a sort of cult in the old wad scene :)
      There’s also a Mario themed one somewhere but it’s not a full conversion

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      Sega may have taken a passive stance on fan games in the past, but this one might cut a little too close to the tepid release of Sonic 4

  2. Rich says:

    “Is this allowed?” Probably not.

    • Dominic White says:

      Aside from Square (who have the most litigous American wing in existance), Sega, Nintendo and Capcom largely adhere to Japanese copyright laws, which are a *lot* more relaxed about fan-works. It’s why you can find unofficial Final Fantasy porn comics actually being sold on store shelves over there.

    • Byth says:

      ^Square doesn’t mind the TI-84 calculator fangames :P

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Depends on your mental health. Or in other words: If your model of reality, has anything to do with actual reality anymore.

      Since ideas/information/data can not be controlled or owned, there is nothing wrong with this. It’s the same thing that happens with ideas since the dawn of time: They are used as a basis for new ideas.

      The crime that’s not allowed, is to harm others that help us. And there you see why this is not a crime: There’s nobody harmed.
      But logically, harming someone for a “crime” which is not a crime, is still harming him, and therefore itself the crime, if that one would have been helpful. (Otherwise it’s just the war of natural selection, where the other side is evil by just being on the competing side, and nothing else.)

      Now I don’t know if you live in a country, where the government is criminal. But either way, it should not distort your own view of reality… of right and wrong… or rather of wise (don’t harm those who do you good [like fans/clients]) and stupid (attacking your own kind and thereby losing their support).

  3. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    Blinking heck that looks a whole bunch better than the Official Sonic 4.

    • Dominic White says:

      Not only is it far better-looking, but just from that brief gameplay clip, I can see the physics are much, much more accurate to the original three games. Sonic 4 really doesn’t feel right – the movement physics just feel wrong, somehow.

    • Will Tomas says:

      The movement physics in Sonic 4 are off, for two reasons: there’s no momentum unless you hold a direction, so that you will fall straight down if you do a running jump and let go of the direction pad, and secondly, Sonic’s acceleration is crap. It takes him too long to get up to speed, so he doesn’t feel as nippy as he should. There is a way to make Sonic handle more like he used to in Sonic 4, if you do a homing jump (not at anything) he then acts much better. Until you hit a wall, and you have to start again.

      I never really got why the modern Sonic 2D games (which, I have to say, I haven’t owned but have played via friends) seem to think that to counteract Sonic’s high max speed he needs to have rubbish acceleration? That’s not the point at all. Although, replaying the Megadrive ones recently, this issue did start in Sonic 3 – it’s only in Sonic 2 that he handles as fluidly as you want.

      Still, Sonic 4 was entertaining and miles better than anything that Sonic Team have produced in 15 years so I’m not a hater.

    • Spooty says:

      I cannot wait to play this. As for the fluidity of Sonic 3, I find it to be the superior game in terms of movement, physics, music, pathing – pretty much everything.

      “Sonic 3 included more scope than any other game in the series to date: the play fields were three times larger than previous games, with multiple paths for different characters, more environmental elements with which to interact, faster maximum speeds, more end-of-level bosses, and more setpieces, all without any of the framerate issues that plagued certain parts of Sonic 2.” Sonic 3 Wikipedia entry.

      MJ is heavily hinted to have written a number of songs on the soundtrack plus it’s direct sequel Sonic & Knuckles was absolutely fantastic – plus you could JOIN THE CARTRIDGES TOGETHER FOR MORE GAME. Epic old skool way of DLC really :P

    • Lewie Procter says:

      There’s also this:
      http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/8040/imag0110v.jpg

      (that’s me stood stationary. Not holding the controller).

    • Will Tomas says:

      Re: Sonic 3, I’m perfectly willing to accept that the reason it felt slow to me was due entirely to PAL slowdown.

      But Sonic 2 is what I grew up with. And so is just better.

  4. brian says:

    For what it’s worth this is being done by a chap who went to the trouble of dissecting the way sonic’s physics engine works to an incredibly specific degree, all from frame data and rom hackery. This project is meant to have almost the exact same feel of the first few sonic games and hopefully someone that in depth with the technical side of things will understand what made levels in the first few sonic games great as well.

    I believe it’s being done in Unity too for what it’s worth. Hopefully Sega won’t get all angry, I don’t believe he has any plans to profit from it in any way.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      I was about ready to ask just how accurate the physics were for this game. I haven’t played any other fan games but I imagine that’s the trickiest part in providing a real experience. Now hopefully the levels hold up and are designed well for a great experience.

    • DrGonzo says:

      The physics are great. But the controls are a bit dodgy, well on a 360 pad at least. Needs the dead-zones tweaking on the joystick.

      Even so it’s amazing. Feels a lot more like Sonic than the new Episodes.

  5. El Stevo says:

    It’s been taken down from Rapidshare. I was halfway through the download.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Yeah I went to the page to download and it said it was marked as illegal. That’s more of a rapidshare issue than any real issue with Sega or whatnot. Hopefully he finds a new way to host it.

      Anybody making a torrent?

  6. equatorbear says:

    aggggg, down already? copyright restrictions? w?t?f? is sega dropping the hammer, or is rapidshare just reacting to a flag or other false claim?

    • Dominic White says:

      99% likely false claim. A quick google reveals that I can get hold of all the Wii and NDS Sonic games off of Rapidshare, straight-up piracy style Some dick has gone and mashed that ‘report for inappropriate content’ button on Rapidshare, probably because they fancy themselves some kind of internet vigilante.

  7. IDDQD says:

    Managed to reel it in on time. It has the exact same feel as the 16 bit games. The visuals are a bit cluttered for my taste but I still think it looks gorgeous. Runs great too. Getting a solid 60 FPS at highest settings and 1920*1080. There are however some minor bugs related to the physics. Sometimes you just slow down coming out of a loop. I also like the variation on the theme. It’s familiar yet fresh. All in all, a big kudos to this 2 man team managing to outsega Sega.

    • Dominic White says:

      Put it up on Megaupload or some other major sharing site while you’re gloating, eh?

  8. Alexander Norris says:

    This looks absolutely amazing and exactly what I imagine people wanted Sonic 4 to look like. Sonic 2 is the best one, too, so I’m glad it’s the one getting the remake.

  9. ScubaMonster says:

    Strangely, this is probably better than Sega’s Sonic 4 they just released. I’ve heard complaints about the physics and controls of Sonic not being right. How Sega failed that, and an indie programmer did it is beyond me.

  10. Wot says:

    A quick google search will get you the file (SFRdemo.rar) if you’re still looking for it.

  11. IDDQD says:

    Alrighy. Here it is.

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=E1V1MV27

    Not sure if it worked cause it was awful fast.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It was awful fast because Megaupload noticed someone else had uploaded the exact same file, so just linked you to that and pretended your upload was finished. It should work fine.

  12. circadianwolf says:

    The visuals are far, far too busy to me (though bad art direction is sadly extremely common for fan works), but the gameplay looks really good. Hope he manages to release it.

    • R. says:

      Yes, exactly. I’m baffled as to why so many are creaming their pants over it. It looks hideously busy and overdesigned, the creator’s own art contributions are poor and the decision to have the FINAL BOSS OF THE GAME pottering about in the background is just ridiculous. Yes, it does a better job of the physics than the abysmal Sonic 4 but that’s hardly saying much.

      There are much better fan-made versions out there than this. Compare this with the (admittedly video playback only) Sonic 3 & Knuckles example doing the rounds at present – that looks good while not assaulting the eyes with everything under the sun.

      Class > Vulgarity.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      Actually, it looks brilliant, the art direction is superb (except for the title screen, that looks a bit amateur), and while it could do with a little contrast/color tweaking for the backgrounds it’s not an actual issue at all after about 30 seconds of play time where you get used to its style. And no, there aren’t many far better original graphics Sonic fan games out there, highlighted by the fact all you could show as “better” is a pre-rendered video that is not even really better and simply does a completely different 3D take of a completely different 2D game.

    • Spacewalk says:

      The detail needs to be cut down a bit. The scenery isn’t geometric enough.

  13. Diziet says:

    Downloaded, the sega sonic guys don’t generally go after fan works of their stuff so I suspect this being removed is just a balls up on someones part.

  14. alm says:

    Well I like it. I can see what people mean about it being busy, but I like the elements singly and imo to say that it is hideous is a right overreaction.

  15. Bhazor says:

    Growing up I had a Super Nintendo rather than a Megadrive, because I had parents who loved me, so you can take this as the ignorant hate speech that it is.
    I just never *got* Sonic. Its a game in which the highlights are where you are given no actual input and just sit there as Sonic gets bounced around.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Have you actually played it? Because it’s actually quite a tricky platformer. The recent games have turned into that though.

  16. demo says:

    I wish more people would use burnbit when dealing with largish files…

    http://burnbit.com/torrent/157264/SFRdemo_rar

  17. Huh says:

    Huh? Too busy? Lol.

  18. EC- says:

    The file was taken off of Rapidshare. I managed to snag the RAR before this happened and have put it on megaupload:

    [url]http://www.megaupload.com/?d=S0RXAV3O[/url]

  19. icupnimpn2 says:

    For additional challenge, open one of the text files in the “zone files” directory in notepad, use notepad’s replace function to change some of the numbers around. Enjoy invisible platforms and plummeting insta-deaths.

  20. R says:

    Alex, son, you understand jack shit about decent art and basically sum up *everything* that is wrong with gaming. Go away and think about your terrible taste failure today.

    • KillahMate says:

      So, could you put up a link to the Sonic 3 and Knuckles video? I can’t seem to find it myself.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      That’s a lovely attempt to insult me but anyone who played this demo already knows you’re wrong. Perhaps you personally don’t like parts of it (I find it hard to believe you really hate everything about it considing its level of quality should shine through your obvious ignorance), but that doesn’t make the art bad despite the fact your (also obvious) arrogance makes you believe you (and anyone eager to agree with such bullshit just to be “edgy” or whatever) are the one qualified judge over what’s good and right when it comes to video game visuals. The models, the animatons, the textures, the attention to detail, it’s all damn good, and a very unique take on what a modern Sonic game should look like. That it’s coupled with good gameplay is pretty damn awesome so hopefully this will get somewhere with no SEGA issues and the worst it will get is the attention of obvious trolls like you.

    • Renzatic says:

      @KillaMate

      I’m guessing this is it…

  21. Huh says:

    Lol.

  22. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I’m uploading it to usenet at alt.binaries.games.pc theres an nzb available from nzb matrix & nzbsrus too.

  23. Ajh says:

    It WAS done in Unity.

    I played it through twice last night. It really feels EXACTLY like I remember sonic games played. I found myself wishing sega would give these people a job so they could finish this game completely and get it out to the masses.

  24. Rane2k says:

    Interesting. The movement physics seem to be precisely the way they were in Sonic 2, this is good.
    What I don´t understand is: When the physics are emulated so closely, why only allow A as a jump button?
    With only one jump button it is REALLY hard to make a max-speed spin-dash, for which you need to press a jump button on 6 consecutive frames.
    There were some pretty easy techniques to do this when you´re not a master button masher with 3 buttons (ABCABC with index, middle, ring finger on the buttons (keyboard) or on a controller just rub your thumb over the 3 buttons back and forth), but with 1 finger? No way.

    It´s also a bit jarring to run through a Green Hill Zone styled level and hearing the Hill Top Zone music (2nd level in this one), and running through familiar level areas only to then run into a wall/enemy/spring that wasn´t there in the original. Remix indeed. :-)

    (Yes, I played Sonic 1-3&Knuckles way too much. *g*)

  25. OC says:

    @Spooty: They may have released S&K as a sequel to Sonic 3, but it is only when you join the cartridges together you get the game as it was intended. The two games were developed as one, they just wouldn’t fit on one rom.

    But ithen, we got to join S&K with Sonic 2 as a bonus. Brilliant! I still keep my Mega Drive hooked up to the TV, mostly for the Sonic games.

  26. sfrRULES says:

    Fetishism!?
    The “modern” design of sonic lures more fetish porn abuse than any other game character.

    This game is clean and full of life while the controls are well programed.
    The enemies support in creating a running challenge of this fan made game.
    And i LOVE the idea of robotniks giant robot invading the place at the beginning.
    I can just mess by chasing or racing him but not necessary so it a plus in fun playing XD

    I dont try to say that sonic4 is bad. I apreseate actualy that the sega sonic team actualy did something like that after so many failures over the last 10 years in my opinion.

    But i also give big thumbs up for this game.I played the demo and it soo got everything i wanted in a sonic game :D

  27. phenom_x8 says:

    Very very Superb game it is! Wont regret if you downloaded it! hope that sega realise a lot of dedicated fan with huge talent spread around the globe. just pick them up one by one, sega!!