Sonic Goes Next Gen
Product: Sonic The Hedgehog games
Company: Sega
Date: 05/16/2006
Avaliable On:

Sega had three new Sonic titles to show of at this year's E3. Not only will the blue speed demon show up on all three next generation systems, but he will also be going back to his roots in a side-scrolling game for the PSP.

Sonic The Hedgehog will appear on both the XBox 360 and the PlayStation 3 this Fall to celebrate the icon's 15 year anniversary. This game follows the most recent Sonic trend of a massive 3D free-roaming world with large missions that's more than just a mad dash to the finish.

Sonic and his friends find themselves in an oceanic city named Soleanna, and Eggman has his sights set on the princess of the land. Now the heroes must stop the evil doctor from destroying the beautiful city. But a new player seems to have entered in the game. Silver, a mysterious character that seems to belong to the hedgehog family, will use his mystical powers in order to stop not only Eggman, but also Sonic from interfering with the affairs of Soleanna.

Sonic The Hedgehog will use the Next Gen systems to not only improve the general look of the land and characters, but the developers hope to really give the players a sense of speed with the various light bloom and environmental motion-blur effects available to them. The past few Sonic titles to fit this game's pattern didn't really do all that well. Hopefully the jump to the next generation will help the blue guy out a bit.

Sonic also makes his way to the Wii in the tentatively titled Sonic Wild Fire, and this time he is all alone. Yup that's right, no Shadow, no Knuckles, heck not even Tails, just the blue dude himself for the first time since 1991. In Wild Fire, Sonic will reenact the classic tale of Arabian Nights. But alas the last pages of the book have gone missing, so the story will have a Sonic spin to it.

So how do you control Sonic with the Wii-mote? Basically, the controller acts as a steering wheel. You hold the controller in front of you and tilt it left and right to steer him down different paths and out of the way of obstacles and enemies. Various other tilts and movements with the controller will allow Sonic to do everything from attack enemies to speed up.

Sonic Wild Fire will also be host to a wide variety of mini-games that will make full use of the controller's unique properties. Look for this title to come out in 2007. It will be interesting to see how the Sonic style will affect the classical tale.

The last new Sonic game to come out this year will be the PSP title, Sonic Rivals. Though the environment and characters will be rendered in 3D, the game is still a side-scroller and you will race up and down wonderfully decorated tracks against another character. It's all about getting to the finish line before your friend (or the A.I. controlled character if you are playing solo-style). Meanwhile, the raceway will have tons of different paths that will take you higher or lower than the other player as well as obstacles that gamers will have to jump over or go through else they will lose precious seconds.

Sonic Rivals seems to hark back to simpler games while still providing the high-end graphics that everyone wants to see. The game also supports a card-reward system that will alter your character's look in slight ways, and to top it off, those same cards can be traded with friends. Look for this game to come out this Fall.

J.R. Nip aka Chris Meyer

GameVortex PSIllustrated TeamPS2