Sonic the Hedgehog has been Sega’s mascot since 1991. During his tenure the spike-haired speed freak has featured in over 25 titles across 13 platforms for the last 15-plus years, achieving a level of recognition and popularity to rival that of Mario. What better way to celebrate his enduring status as an enduring video games icon than an appearance on Sony’s shiny new next-gen console?
In Sonic the Hedgehog our hero is tasked with rescuing a kidnapped princess and bringing down the evil genius who seeks to destroy her kingdom. Not an original formula by any stretch of the imagination, but a popular one nonetheless, and one which Sonic fans will no doubt appreciate.
As Madonna – or more recently, Britney - could probably tell you, one way of maintaining a high public profile is to reinvent yourself occasionally to keep up with changing times. This applies to video games characters as well as pop stars. Gone is the cutesy, pot-bellied creature of previous games; Sonic’s most recent incarnation is leaner, meaner and even faster, which should tie in well with the promised top-tier animation production values, 3D environments plus next-gen art and physics.
Sonic the Hedgehog is already available for the Xbox 360 and is set to debut on the PS3 in late March, followed by the PC in mid-April. For now, we’ll leave you with a sneak peek at some screenshots, plus some of the game’s key features:
• Speed Redefined - Utilizing next-gen technologies, light bloom, and environmental motion-blur effects, Sonic’s breakneck speed and dazzling world come to life.
• Amigos and enemies - Sonic is joined by friends and foes from the franchise history, as well as a new character, Silver, whose supernatural powers will wreak mayhem on Sonic’s plans!
• Realistic World - Using a next-generation physics engine, Sonic’s moves, attacks and interaction with the environment respond realistically to opposing forces. The dynamic environments have been specifically created to promote Sonic’s sense of speed while delivering a great sense of scale.
• Two different types of stages - Town stages, where Sonic will be able explore vast environments and play various sub-missions; and Action stages, where Sonic’s blistering speed will be utilized to full effect.
• Multiplayer Mode - Up to four players can play as Sonic and his amigos in highspirited multiplayer fun!