SEGA News Bits: Sonic Mania Delayed, Sonic & Knuckles Remix Level Revealed

Welcome to a new SEGA News Bits, now that the SXSW Sonic the Hedgehog panel has passed we sit down and discuss what we learned regarding Sonic Mania. We talk about Sonic Mania being delayed, Sonic & Knuckles‘ Flying Battery Zone being announced as a new remixed level, new official Sonic Mania artwork, the Sonic Mania soundtrack vinyl, and even the first real life look at the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition. So all you Sonic Maniacs tune in and what are your opinions on all the new Sonic Mania news? Let us know in the comments below.

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See the new Sonic Mania stage Mirage Saloon Zone and Tails & Knuckles in action

SEGA has granted YouTube channel Kinda Funny Games the exclusive reveal of a new Sonic Mania stage, Mirage Saloon Zone, as well as our first look at Tails and Knuckles in action as well as the Sonic & Tails mode. Interestingly, the new zone is very reminiscent of Desert Dazzle, a scrapped original zone that Taxman had planned to include in the remaster of Sonic CD. There are several easter eggs and fun visuals that can be spotted in the new zone, including a Fang the Sniper wanted poster and pinball flippers that resemble bird heads. We also get a look at the CRT filter which, to be honest, I’m not that big a fan of.

Give the video a watch and in the comments below, sound off on the new zone!

SEGA News Bits: Sonic Mania Hands On Impressions

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!

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Take a look at SEGA’s Sonic Mania press materials

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Friday night in San Diego at Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th Anniversary Party saw several reveals, most notably being a brand new 2D Sonic game titled Sonic Mania. George and I were there, and we shared our thoughts on the event itself in a recent SEGA News Bits, with more videos from the event to come. Unfortunately, as is the case with being on location, it’s tricky to news things immediately. Thankfully, we had our website designer Will on writing duty posting up stories as soon as they hit.

Now that the dust has settled, I managed to obtain SEGA’s press materials for Sonic Mania to offer our readers some more details on the game. Per the press release, seen in full after the break, the game is confirmed to have select returning zones from Sonic, Sonic 2, Sonic CD, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. This is excellent news, as fans of Taxman and Stealth know full well that Sonic 3 & Knuckles has been a tricky title, likely due in large part to rights disputes over the game’s music. But given that these reimagined stages will have newly composed music by Tee Lopes, new music means no issues.

While we knew who was developing the game, the press release also lays things out in a more official capacity stating that SEGA of America is developing the game in collaboration with PagodaWest Games, Christian “Taxman” Whitehead and Simon “Stealth” Thomley (of Headcannon). Also confirmed is that this will only be a digital release, and will hit PS4, Xbox One and PC. While at the event, we did ask if a physical release was in the cards but SEGA representatives sounded very iffy. Perhaps if fans make some noise we might see one? Also, additional platforms are also possible, but none are being talked about at this time.

Check out the press release and screens after the break!

Sonic Mania (Classic Sonic Game) Announced for PS4/XBOX One/PC

At Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary party a new Sonic game was finally unveiled! This game is called Sonic Mania and it seems to be a remix of past Sonic games and entirely new levels, made by Christian Whitehead aka Taxman, and Stealth.

Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are all playable and the game comes out in early 2017. It was playable at the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th anniversary event, and will be playable at the upcoming Summer of Sonic. We will update this post when we have more info, in the meantime, enjoy the trailer!

Celebrating Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary with 25 great underrated moments

sonic 25 headerSEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise turns 25 today, and while we’ve celebrated franchise milestone years in the past, there is something really special about this one. A quarter of a century is a long time, and it is a testament to SEGA’s perseverance and the devotion of the Sonic fanbase that the franchise is still going strong. Sonic Lost World and the Sonic Boom franchise – particularly the games – are often pinpointed as the franchise’s recent weak points and signs that the franchise as a whole needs to be put down or at the very least take a long break. While I am not here to debate the merits of Sonic Lost World and Sonic Boom, I will say that to end a series or take a long break because of either is both incredibly shortsighted and far too extreme a reaction. I would also argue that Sonic is about much more than just the main series games, as fans like to label the major titles, and that there has always been great Sonic things happening even during the franchise’s darkest years.

In celebration of 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, join me in looking back year-by-year as I shine the light on great moments in Sonic history that more people need to be talking about.

Taxman and Stealth celebrate Sonic & Knuckles’ 20th anniversary with a Sonic 3 & Knuckles proof of concept

Today marks the 20th anniversary of SEGA’s Sonic & Knuckles, and to celebrate, Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 remastered developer Christian Whitehead shared a proof of concept prototype from the Taxman & Stealth personal vaults featuring Sonic 3 & Knuckles running on the Retro Engine. Of course, this is presented unofficially, so don’t jump to the conclusion that a Sonic 3 & Knuckles remastered is on the way anytime soon. Still, awesome to see that they’ve done work on the much requested title, even in an unofficial capacity. The Taxman himself shared this link in Sonic Retro’s forums, stating that “this isn’t an official announcement of any Sega project, nor to we intend to work on this as a fan-project. It’s simply a proof of concept from our vaults that has been kept to our chests for some time.”

You can learn more about the technical side of the project in Stealth’s latest blog post!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 remastered secrets uncovered: Egg Gauntlet Zone & Proto Palace Zone

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 remastered for mobile devices, which was one of our favorite games of 2013, has apparently been hiding a few juicy secrets. Via developer Taxman in the Sonic Retro forums, early versions of the game had a few additional zones planned out. The first, dubbed Egg Gauntlet Zone, was a mode in which the player went through each boss one after another. Unfortunately, this feature was not included in the final game and not all the assets are available. However, crafty fans have been able to resurrect the mode via a bit of modding. Unfortunately, a recent software update has removed the assets needed to play the stage. Thankfully, the stage has been preserved for all to see in the video above.

The second secret stage, entitled Proto Palace Zone, has not been cut and can be accessed via some simple codes!

3D Ecco the Dolphin and Galaxy Force II hit the Nintendo eShop today, Sonic 2 out now for iOS and Android

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Today is a big day for classic SEGA releases, as the 3DS will see the release of 3D Ecco the Dolphin and 3D Galaxy Force II and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has released to iOS and Android devices. Those who have experienced M2’s 3D Sonic the Hedgehog, 3D Altered Beast, 3D Space Harrier, and 3D Hang-On should expect the same level of quality and features in 3D Ecco the Dolphin and 3D Galaxy Force II. 3D Ecco the Dolphin features a much touted “Super Dolphin Mode” for those who found the original game too difficult.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for iOS and Android is every bit as solid as SEGA’s previous remastering of Sonic the Hedgehog by Sonic Retro forum members Taxman and Stealth. The biggest addition that has excited many fans is the inclusion of the long lost Hidden Palace Zone stage. There are also a few new surprises, but we won’t spoil them for you just yet.

Sonic 2 Coming to iOS and Android Tomorrow With Hidden Palace Zone Intact

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After missing it’s November release date, Taxman and Stealth’s remastering of Sonic 2 is finally coming to iOS and Android tomorrow. The delay is made worthwhile though with the addition of perhaps the most well known of the scrapped levels found in the beta versions: the Hidden Palace Zone. If you’ve played the duo’s Sonic 1 iOS/Android remastering, you probably know that they like to add other new stuff to the game. So you can probably expect other new features in this release as well.

If you already own the former Sonic 2 iOS port, you’ll be able to download this new version as a free update. This is the first time the game is released on Android though, so your only option is to buy it new when it comes to that platform. You can find a couple more screenshots of the remastering below.