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Sega's Double Shot Of Sonic

Wii owners get a Sonic Unleashed-like platformer while XBLA and PSN users go retro with Sonic 4.

 Totally Colors.
Sega's never shied away from pumping out the Sonic games, something that's probably angered more than a few fans of the classic, but tarnished franchise. For 2010, though, the publisher is more focused on providing different Sonic games for the different Sonic audiences that are, ostensibly, out there. So Wii owners will receive Sonic Colors, a modern Sonic game that sort of feels like Sonic Unleashed without all that goofy werehog junk. Players looking for Sonic's classic style, however, are probably more likely to be interested in Sonic the Hedgehog 4, a downloadable update that feels like it's very devoted to reissuing the 16-bit experience with updated graphics.

The E3 demo of Sonic Colors contains a world named Sweet Mountain, and the whole thing is literally made of candy and snacks. Sonic has a drill move in this game that lets you drill into the cakey center of the level, and there's a meter that governs how much drilling you can do. But for the most part, it's all running and bumpers and homing attacks.

 Pretty retro.
The Xbox 360 version of Sonic 4 was on display, as well, and the levels being shown at least look like they could have fallen out of some sort of "HD Remix" version of Sonic or Sonic 2. The key differences are that the graphics are polygonal and Sonic has that same homing attack that he's had for the past several years. The game's been pushed back to the second half of 2010 to incorporate player feedback based on responses to the in-game videos that have been posted online, so Sega at least seems serious about making a Sonic game that people might actually want to play someday. The games will be released episodically, and though Sega reps were being fishy about the total number of episodes, at one point I heard someone talk about "the other two" installments. That sounds like a three episode arc to me, but that's not quite an official confirmation.

Call me jaded or hopelessly cynical when it comes to this franchise, but even though Sonic 4 is supposed to be pointed at "my generation" of Sonic players, the homing attacks only add to the feeling that Sonic games--even the classics--barely have any gameplay in them. I felt like I was holding to the right and occasionally jumping right up until I reached a fight against Dr. Robotnik. It doesn't feel like evolution or a fun, modern take on a once-beloved franchise. It feels like strictly sticking to the original script in hopes of roping in the nostalgists that have been poo-pooing the more recent attempts to bring Sonic back. But, for me, anyway, it ain't working. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
29 Comments
Posted by Jeff
 Totally Colors.
Sega's never shied away from pumping out the Sonic games, something that's probably angered more than a few fans of the classic, but tarnished franchise. For 2010, though, the publisher is more focused on providing different Sonic games for the different Sonic audiences that are, ostensibly, out there. So Wii owners will receive Sonic Colors, a modern Sonic game that sort of feels like Sonic Unleashed without all that goofy werehog junk. Players looking for Sonic's classic style, however, are probably more likely to be interested in Sonic the Hedgehog 4, a downloadable update that feels like it's very devoted to reissuing the 16-bit experience with updated graphics.

The E3 demo of Sonic Colors contains a world named Sweet Mountain, and the whole thing is literally made of candy and snacks. Sonic has a drill move in this game that lets you drill into the cakey center of the level, and there's a meter that governs how much drilling you can do. But for the most part, it's all running and bumpers and homing attacks.

 Pretty retro.
The Xbox 360 version of Sonic 4 was on display, as well, and the levels being shown at least look like they could have fallen out of some sort of "HD Remix" version of Sonic or Sonic 2. The key differences are that the graphics are polygonal and Sonic has that same homing attack that he's had for the past several years. The game's been pushed back to the second half of 2010 to incorporate player feedback based on responses to the in-game videos that have been posted online, so Sega at least seems serious about making a Sonic game that people might actually want to play someday. The games will be released episodically, and though Sega reps were being fishy about the total number of episodes, at one point I heard someone talk about "the other two" installments. That sounds like a three episode arc to me, but that's not quite an official confirmation.

Call me jaded or hopelessly cynical when it comes to this franchise, but even though Sonic 4 is supposed to be pointed at "my generation" of Sonic players, the homing attacks only add to the feeling that Sonic games--even the classics--barely have any gameplay in them. I felt like I was holding to the right and occasionally jumping right up until I reached a fight against Dr. Robotnik. It doesn't feel like evolution or a fun, modern take on a once-beloved franchise. It feels like strictly sticking to the original script in hopes of roping in the nostalgists that have been poo-pooing the more recent attempts to bring Sonic back. But, for me, anyway, it ain't working.
Staff
Posted by ip007

OK?

Posted by ComradeCrash

Cool?

Posted by ZombiePie

Ehh I'm still skeptical...

Moderator
Posted by Make_Me_Mad

Sonic Unleashed day stages were magnificent.  This sounds promising.

Online
Posted by Squall20XXuk

Sonic colors looks pretty nice and i'm glad they are taking some time on sonic 4.

Posted by Milkman

Garbage. Sega needs to stop trying.

Posted by mutha3

And they're both going to be absolutely terrible.

Posted by pbhawks45

SONIC HYPE.

Posted by fox01313

Sonic just needs to go so fast that he goes back in time to when his franchise really was popular.

Posted by masternater27

I believe the Wii is also getting Sonic 4

Posted by Whatboy

Sega is too attached to Sonic and the money he still brings in. They really should've put the character on break for a few years and brought him back with Sonic 4. Colors might work, but there's bound to be a gimmick that messes up the gameplay.

Posted by Astroknot

this can't be as lame as more recent sonic games have been... right?

Posted by Banjo_ace
@Astroknot: no they will be
Posted by CaptainFish

4 doesn't need homing attacks. It needs bumpers and springs to be separate things. It doesn't need screen turning Sonic 1 bonus levels.

If Sonic Colors is just Sonic Unleashed: Releashed, then it will be great because the daytime missions were pretty fun, and had some replayability and differing paths.

Posted by super2j

i feel like i have moved on. i will be getting sonic 4 but i am more excited about colours.  I have loved the handheld versions of sonic games and if these two games follow there foot steps i will be happy.

Posted by MysteriousBob

Jeff, you're talking a load of crap. The only games where that 'hold right' criticism was true was Sonic Advance 2, and the two Sonic Rush games.

Posted by Snail

New Super Mario Bros. is more than a Super Mario Bros. with HD graphics, that's why it works. Sega and/or Sonic team do not seem to comprehend that you need to add something to the decade-old game to make it enjoyable.

Posted by ToadRunner

Jeff, that hold right thing is just wrong,
 
play anything past the first level of the classic sonic games and you will notice it takes some solid platforming to get through the levels.
 
The only time hold right worked is in the first levels, because they were just showpieces for sonic's speed.

Posted by Halberdierv2

meh. need to see first.

Posted by Sanious

Will have to wait and see how it actually plays to give more judgement. But the homing attacks thing doesn't really bother me.

Edited by Insectecutor

Before anyone is allowed to make a Sonic game they should be imprisoned in a room full of pinball machines for a week, then instructed to beat all their best scores while wearing glasses that reduce their field of vision to a two-inch-square box.

Posted by Kazona

No thank you

Edited by bartok

The Sonic cycle is in full effect first comes skeptic hope, then comes the claims that Sonic has returned to glory, and finally crushing disappointment. Other then the 360 version of Bayonetta has Sega released a great game ?

Posted by durden77

It's good to hear someone actually say what I'm thinking, and I believe others are thinking, about Sonic 4. There are no doubt that the 2-d Sonics are classics, but I've just never felt that much depth in the gameplay department with them. I always feel like I just end up running as fast as I can to the right until I get to the end. I've never beaten a single 2-d Sonic because usually by the time I get a game over, I'm just tired of it. It's always felt a little senseless to me, and Sonic 4 will be no different, just a nostalgia rush. I just am already tired of the originals, so there's nothing there for Sega to trick me into buying it.

Posted by SecondPersonShooter

Footage of Sonic Colors looks good.
 
Bring out the Sonic Cycle

Posted by TheHBK

This is gonna suck because they didnt stick to what mattered, making the gameplay better.  Making it 2d makes it simpler for the speed aspect.  But come on.  3 episode arc?  What did Mario and Sonic do differently?  You can barely tell there is a story in the Mario games.  The Sonic games have tried to be some kind of epic opera.  Fuck Shadow and all characters that are not blue.

Posted by Lunar_Aura

"The game's been pushed back to the second half of 2010 to incorporate player feedback based on responses to the in-game videos that have been posted online, so Sega at least seems serious about making a Sonic game that people might actually want to play someday." 
 
Oh good. They're gonna cater to a vocal minority...
Posted by iAmJohn
@MysteriousBob said:
" Jeff, you're talking a load of crap. The only games where that 'hold right' criticism was true was Sonic Advance 2, and the two Sonic Rush games. "
And Sonic Unleashed.  And (if the fact that it basically IS Sonic Unleashed again is any indication) Sonic Colors. :P