Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I have! Here are some good things about Sonic R:
- It comes in an ‘Xplosiv’ box and costs £3
RPS Feature The 'R' stands for 'Relegated to obscurity'
Jon Burton – founder of prolific studio Traveller’s Tales and executive producer on the LEGO movie – has been working in the games industry for nearly three decades now. You pick up some interesting insights after that long, and now he’s sharing some of that knowledge with us.
Over the past 6 weeks, he’s been detailing coding secrets, unveiling abandoned concepts and demoing unreleased builds of older games on his YouTube channel, GameHut. Today he announced a project to polish up one of his most-maligned games through an unofficial ‘Director’s Cut’ mod.
He’s going to fix 1996’s Sonic 3D Blast.
Must travel quickly! That’s the infamous blue hedgehog’s catch phrase and it is doubly meaningful this afternoon, as the noted fugitive’s new two-dimensional adventure has been released on personal computers for all his troubled fans TODAY. Sonic Mania [official site] sees an alledgedly solid return for the steel blue country animal with a disturbing past. You’ll be using his trademark guddies and retro style to traverse whole new levels, including but not limited to:
The ageing blue hedgehog who simply will not die was due to be back on all our machines by now in the retro-styled Sonic Mania [official site] but got delayed after, I don’t know, his shoes fell apart because he can’t afford new ones or something like that. It’s too late in the day to come up with a “Sonic is not being very fast” joke. Anyway, he’s been re-scheduled for an August 15 release date, according to a fresh pre-order trailer.
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In the same way that ageing rockers prove they’ve still got ‘it’ by collaborating with hip young pop musicmen, Sonic the Hedgehog is getting re-re-remixed. As part of his 25th birthday celebrations, Sega have announced Sonic Mania, a new 2D platformer with a 16-bit style and zones inspired by ye olde Sonic games from the Mega Drive. It looks pretty interesting!
To prove that Sonic’s new material is still really good and powerful and as good as he ever was, okay, Sega also announced a yet-unnamed new 3D Sonic game.
Sonic the Hedgehog turns 25 on Thursday, which is a good cause to pull out the interactive photo book and look at how we once were. “Coo, remember when we hadta to fast?” you ask, jabbing at his cute pink belly in the picture. He frowns and tugs unconsciously at his neckerchief – give him a few years. “Ahh and remember when we wantedta go fast?” you ask, leafing through more pages. “Then… then we shouldnta gone fast. I’m sorry, I…” You take his gloved hand. “How are you really doing?”
All of which can only mean that Humble Bundle have a load of Sonic games in their latest pay what-you-want dealio. Some of them are quite good!
I didn’t mention on Monday that Sonic Lost World [official site] had just arrived on PC because, well, even enthusiastic impressions seem to boil the 2013 hedgehog ’em up down to being competent or good for a modern Sonic game – damning with faint praise, that. But! I know The Blue Blur (I do still laugh at Sega using that nickname seriously) means a lot to some folks and while I’m certain I’ll never again feel the joy of Sonic 2, don’t we live in hope? Don’t even bad Sonic games remind us of happy times? The point is: Sonic Lost World has arrived on Windows, two years after its Wii U debut.
If you were a Mega Driver back in the day (or Genesis-er if you live Stateside) then you’ll know Sonic 2 was the best Sonic. The original Sonic the Hedgehog introduced the concept and set the tone, whilst Sonic 3 tried too hard with its dodgy boss melodies and pain-in-the-arse bonus levels. Anything after that was mince. Sonic 2 was the sweet spot in the series.
Why is this relevant here at RPS’s House-O-PCs, I hear you ask? A ROM hacker has given Sonic something very cool from our home: an Aperture Science portal gun.
The early/mid 90s was a confusing time to love Sega games. Sure, they were still pumping out classic software left, right and centre, but they couldn’t make their mind up about which piece of home console hardware they wanted you to own the most. The Mega CD was a CD based expansion for their trusty Mega Drive, which let you play many of the same games as you could play on cartridges, just with higher audio fidelity and price tags. There was also a few Mega CD exclusive games though, probably most noteworthy was their flagship platforming mascot’s imaginatively titled Sonic CD, which is now heading to PC (again). Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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Alphaxion noted that old romantic partners of RPS, UK Resistance has broke the news of a new Sonic the Hedgehog PC game. It’s clearly an entirely legitimate product from Sega, and in a Modern-Warfare-2 piece of relevancy, the eponymous spiked-creature is now homeless, living under a bridge and doing drugs. Nice one Sega. Developed by one chap in four days, it’s simultaneously a revisionist masterpiece which makes us reconsider our relationship with the medium and total crap. More details over at UK:R. Send our love.