Sonic Unleashed is unleashed?
Saturday, 22nd March 2008, 3:13pm (GMT), 3 Comments
First screenshots of Sonic Unleashed?

If you've not been keeping up, Sega made a new trademark a couple of weeks back for the name "Sonic Unleashed", and when this normally happens, we can expect to see a new game of that name be announced shortly thereafter. What's more, we are due for the announcement of the next primary platformer at any time this year, so is this it? Certainly looks that way!

Just check out the graphics on those environments! "Sonic in Pingu land" springs to mind, as they look like they're made out of plasticine, and I would have been sceptical if someone had just told me about that beforehand, but I think they look really nice! There's something, not quite old skool about them, but not the kind of realistic stuff we've come accustomed to either. It's a unique style all of its own, but thank God, it's bright and cheerful! Apparently they're based on cities in Greece, and the desert-like one looks a tad bland in places, but overall, they've really pulled a surprise out of the bag on this one. The cut scene seems to give mixed signals of both comedy and darkness, so I don't know what quite to make of that, but I really hope they go down the lighter road with this one. We don't need any more serious storylines for the time being.

My biggest question at this stage is a matter of dimensions. 3D graphics, great, but what about the controls? I've been saying for a long time, we need a primary Sonic game that is controlled in the traditional 2D axis form, and mostly side-on. This game could still be that. If you look at the last screen, of Sonic darting out from a behind a box, it suggests to me that he's running a preditermined path down that road and you can move him left and right. Not side-on no, but I really think they'd be safer with 2 dimensional controls at this point.

To me, these look like 360/PS3 screens too. If for Wii, my fear is that it'll follow the same wii remote controls as Secret Rings, which on the whole, didn't work for me.

From what I read, there's more out there right now too. There's word of a 600MB movie, a magazine scan and perhaps more shots, but I'm struggling to gain any clues as to where they might be. Will update.

EDIT:

Ludicrous amounts of screens and Were-hog?

Suddenly the name "Sonic Unleashed" makes perfect sense now. Shared with many I'm sure, my initial reaction to that transformation was a big 'ol "WTF?", but personally I'm not too bothered by it. It seems a little gimmicky and maybe even a bit of a rip-off of Twilight Princess' idea, if this is indeed a gameplay element, and I've no doubt it is..

..But then you browse through all these screens and just think "Wow!". If the game looks this good, they can turn Sonic into a shepherd's pie for all I care. There seems to be a lot of suggestion that it takes place on the 2D axis, either sideways on or from behind like Secret Rings, and that's pretty much exactly what I had hoped for. From the screens I can see two different levels, with the African/desert one being particularly varied, and it looks like the day-to-night feature that should have been in Sonic '06 is back, and you've got to believe, here to stay. That makes me incredibly happy, as I've wanted to be able to play levels set at different times of the day for so long now. And with the werewolf gimmick it makes perfect sense, since presumably Sonic can only transform at night. The contrast between this happy, plasticene world and the darker side is very apparent, and it suggests that alongside it will exist a much darker world, or variation of these levels.

Also note the complexity of that Blue Coast style level, in the aerial shots. It looks like an incredibly non-linear affair if those paths aren't just decorational, with your route weaving around and hopefully expanding into many options. I am absolutely loving what I see, and will constantly be wanting more.

EDIT AGAIN:



Sonic Team... I could kiss you.
Absolutely perfect - EXACTLY what I had in mind. A true "2.5D" adventure for our next primary platformer. The sense of speed suggests that its inspiration mainly comes from Sonic Rush, and going by the success of that format, it definitely seems like the right move for them to have made. My only gripe? Sonic's running animation could be better. I was hoping for something similar to SSBB and indeed, Sonic Rush. Still, who the hell cares, this is pure Sonic GOLD!

Oh, and apparently, the screens posted are from the XBox 360 version, and there is said to be a preview coming up in the Official Nintendo magazine, which suggests a multi-format release. Good move.
Comments   3 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Rachel[i luv sonic] on Friday, 25th April 2008, 10:50pm
Can you add more levels to sonic2?
And you should add more games,too.
#2. Comment posted by Lauren on Tuesday, 13th May 2008, 2:18pm
This website is amazing!
The amount of detail you have gone into is incredible. You've gone to heaps of effort with the aesthetics... just awesome.
I'm doing a Game Design course, and have a theory assignment on genres. I've chosen to write about one of the best games in history - Sonic the Hedgehog.
Very glad to stumble across your page.
Keep up the bewdiful work :)
#3. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 13th May 2008, 5:46pm
Thanks a lot Lauren, I really appreciate the comment!
Wow, lucky you, I'd love to be able to write a piece of coursework on Sonic! Hope my site can act as a useful reference for you.
Best of luck with it!
Oily Mitts
Sunday, 9th March 2008, 8:00pm (GMT), 0 Comments
Update: Oil Ocean Zone added to the Sonic 2 section
Hey guys. Exactly two months wait for Oil Ocean Zone. Well, it's an improvement on last time anyway. I'm off to Turin this week, so I thought I'd better make the effort to get it out there before I leave. Metropolis, the biggy, is next, and I won't have much time to work on it until May, so don't expect that in a hurry either, I'm afraid. Still, it's pretty easy sailing for Sonic 2 after that though isn't it? I reckon I could do Sky Chase in a single day if I could get one free.

Once the whole game is out the way, I plan to adapt all the existing pages to their new dynamic forms, spruce up the whole site to a new look, start on the "theory" section (in which I'll be posting various articles about things such as game and level classifications), and start on the next game, which will be Sonic CD. I chose to do that before Sonic 3, because Sonic 3 has collossal maps, and for Sonic CD, I don't plan on doing the same level of depth in mapping as I have done. Mainly because there are seventy different maps in that game, and frankly, life is too short. I wanted something that I would be able to update more regularly than I have been doing so recently. Plus, Sonic CD really needs a good guide written for it, because it's a game you need to explore, and there are only about 2 FAQs for it.

Despite still being hidden away as far as ties to other Sonic sites are concerned, Zone: 0 seems to be doing better and better with hits and new visitors, largely from google I think. If you search for guides or maps to any particular zone that I've covered, this place usually ranks top of the list, which is fantastic! Been getting more feedback from you guys lately too, so thanks a lot for that. It's just a shame I don't have the time to update as often as I'd like.

So, I've been playing NiGHTS Journey of Dreams lately. It's a bit rough around the edges, and with rather boring cutscenes that are forced upon you and rich in poor quality voice acting, but overall, it's a fun game. It's a bit like a flying Sonic, if you haven't played it, and remains true to the original in this way. Levels are massively imaginative, colourful and clever at times. A particular favourite was in Memory Forest, where you must hit musical notes in time to play a tune. The fact that it all takes place in dream worlds mean that Sonic Team could have fun mixing up Sonic style level types into the same, imaginative stages. It's essentially a 2D game most of the time, in 3D graphics, and the fact that it plays so well like this hopefully nudges Sega to the (I would hope) inevitable decision that Sonic's next big adventure should be in "2.5D". I also hope it nudges them to the decision that these games either need better voice acting or perhaps preferably, none at all would be just fine for me thanks.

I haven't picked up Sonic Riders Zero Gravity yet, but will do next week. Like the original, I'm a bit "meh" towards it before playing, but will probably like it once I'm on it. It's just all the sunglasses and big shoes seem too gimmicky for me, and I'm getting less and less interested in non-platformers in the series.

I'm sure you've heard that a whole batch of Megadrive pre-releases have been released upon the interweb recently, including loads of Sonic 2, 3 and Sonic & Knuckles and even later, non-Megadrive games too. Personally, I'm a bit "meh" about that as well really. Great if you discover whole new levels out of it, but I've never been that into the whole "this version of Sonic 2 has that object missing in this particular place!" thing. I know that sounds a bit hypocritical coming from someone who writes excruciatingly detailed guides to the levels of these very games, but I just prefer to stick to what we actually ended up with, really. I haven't done a lot of research about what's been discovered, but what I have read hasn't particularly interested me. A complete Sonic 3? So.. Sonic 3 & Knuckles then. Right.

Sorry, I'm being awfully negative today. Don't mean to offend those into the whole hacking/pre-release/whatever scene, but it's not particularly for me.

Anyway, that'll be it from me I think. Enjoy Oil Ocean.
Comments
No comments have yet been posted in response to this Blog post.
Featured Posts
Sonic's latest Wii U outing turns away from the popular and well established speed dashes of recent games, in favour of a more traditional platformer approach. But does it work? Get ready for one of the most different Sonic games in every respect!
We've finally done it! The Zone: 0 guides have reached their last big update. Owner LiQuidShade has new projects on the horizon, but this site will always remain in his heart.