Last month, it was revealed that Sega was planning a panel for this year’s SXSW 2017 featuring everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog Sonic and his two upcoming games, the classic collection Sonic Mania and the yet-untitled Project Sonic 2017.
Sega followed through on its promise and was present at SXSW 2017. However, the announcements that it made elicited mixed reactions from attendees.
‘Sonic Mania’ Delayed
The first announcement that Sega made was that Sonic Mania, initially expected to be released in the spring, has been delayed into the summer.
According to Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka through a Sega representative, the delay was caused by the company’s focus on quality, as it wants Sonic Mania to be near-perfect upon launch.
“Though we like to go fast, sometimes, for a great game, you must also wait,” Iizuka said in a statement.
Sonic Mania is a 2D side-scroller similar to the Sonic games from the Sega Genesis, looking to evoke nostalgia for long-time fans of the franchise. The title features 16 reworked stages, with new levels, bosses, and moves by Sonic to bring the game into the modern age. Sonic Mania, which is coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch, will also have Sonic’s sidekicks Knuckles and Tails as playable characters.
Perhaps to appease the players who found out that they will be waiting a little bit longer before they get to enjoy Sonic Mania, Sega unveiled a new stage that will be included in the game. The Flying Battery Zone, which was previously seen in Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, was shown off in a brief gameplay trailer.
The Flying Battery Zone joins the Green Hill Zone as known stages for the upcoming game. A trailer recently released for Sonic Mania featured Act 2 of the Green Hill Zone, and showed off new mechanics and obstacles, including a new boss. Among the new things that were featured in the trailer include ziplines for traversing gaps, fire being used to burn wooden bridges to acquire power-ups and rings, and the new Drop Dash ability that will send Sonic into a spinning dash right after hitting the ground from a jump.
‘Project Sonic 2017’ Now Known As ‘Sonic Forces’
Sega has also unveiled Sonic Forces as the official title of Project Sonic 2017, a game that was first announced in the middle of last year.
The first teaser for Sonic Forces showed Sonic sprinting through ruins in a world seemingly taken over by robots, and invites players to “join the resistance” once the title is launched in the holiday season of this year.
Sonic Forces will be running on a new engine named The Hedgehog Engine 2, and will also be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
The first gameplay footage for Sonic Forces will be released on March 17, and it is said to be featuring multiple paths for players to accomplish each level, along with two other gameplay styles, with one resembling the classic Sonic platformers.
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