Sonic Fans Bombard SEGA With Dreams of RPGs and Fighting Games

SEGA’s Sonic Community Manager got a little more than they bargained for this past weekend after a seemingly harmless question about new Sonic game genres generated thousands of responses from Sonic fans desperately seeking their favourite hero in a new RPG or fighting game.

It all started simply enough. Sonic social lead Katie Chrzanowski casually posted, “What’s your dream genre to see a Sonic game (or more Sonic games) created as?” But before too long, an army of Twitter users with starry eyes and big dreams bombarded the reply box with requests for a follow-up to cult spinoff games such as Sonic Battle and Sonic Chronicles.

Of over 2,200 replies in just over a day, it was clear that the fanbase has long been yearning to see the blue blur in a role-playing scenario once again. Former Sonic social manager Sergio Montealegre elaborated on this by suggesting IDW’s work could form part of the universe:

Honestly? After Sonic the Fighters and Sonic Battle, I think we’re due for another official Sonic fighter. Runner up is an earnest attempt at a Sonic RPG. Chronicles left much to be desired, but there’s a viable path if you put IDW characterization with a good battle system

IDW writer and author Evan Stanley added, “my greatest wish is for a little point and click adventure game or an RPG,” but generally wanted to see more done with the open zone mechanic introduced in Sonic Frontiers. ‘MrPasquale’ referenced BioWare’s Nintendo DS RPG, Sonic Chronicles, while explaining how SEGA could pull it off with a seasoned internal team…

I would go crazy to see another full on Sonic RPG. Chronicles had the right idea, it just needed way more budget. If Atlus got involved with a project like this, that would legit be a dream come true.

Twitter user ‘Arcade Awesome’ took the role-playing concept to the extreme however and suggested a dating sim that… well, you can read the full thing on his social post here but here’s the elevator pitch.​

I need a Sonic the Hedgehog RPG dating sim…. However, it would star Big the Cat and Sonic is his wingman (the player). The mission is helping Big go from being a zero to a hero with the ladies. Level up Big the Cat and turn him into the ultimate bachelor.

Elsewhere, there was just as equal a response for a new Sonic fighting game. Many users referenced GBA brawler Sonic Battle and arcade classic Sonic the Fighters, but a few fans had ideas of their own – like Sonic Stadium member Linkabel suggested the following:

A 2.5D fighting game, especially something with a similar visual style to the Uekawa artwork. It could even be a three-on-three fighting game to keep the teams that other games have used. (Team Sonic, Team Dark etc etc)

Even the NiGHTS fanbase got involved! ‘Digi Valentine’ went big with the vision, imagining a full-on SEGA roster that matches up with that of Sumo Digital’s kart-racing series, SEGA All-Stars Racing.

SEGA All-Stars fighting game (that features a selection of Sonic characters). You can put Sonic front and centre because that’s to be expected, but it would be incredibly cool if such a game could utilise SEGA’s catalogue of other IP’s too.

‘TRiPPY’ also felt that a fighting game was the most exciting idea, as “Fighters Megamix was such a great game and I’d love to see the Sonic lot take on other famous iP again.”

And then you had fans who went right down the middle of both action-RPG and fighting. “A Beat ’em up in the style of Shredder’s Revenge. I’ve always wanted to see something like that,” wrote Balena Productions, while everyone’s favourite Meme Bean Machine threw in a concept image to illustrate what that may look like.

So! Everyone has lots of ideas! If anything can be learned from this madness, it’s that Sonic really is quite a versatile enough character to fit into most genres of games. And everyone wants to see him in everything! So really, if this was some secret exercise by SEGA’s social media team to poll what their next Sonic spinoff project could be… well, let’s hope the response has helped them get a little bit closer to a decision!

What’s your dream genre / type of game for Sonic that hasn’t been realised yet? Let us know in the comments section below!

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The Top Sonic GBA Games We Want To See on Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo surprised everyone during its recent Nintendo Direct showcase, by announcing the launch of a Game Boy Advance suite of games for subscribers of its Nintendo Switch Online (Expansion Pack) service. Not only was the GBA a short-lived but stunning little system, but its game library available for it is packed with some of the most excellent portable experiences you could find.

Naturally, as soon as the GBA NSO app was revealed, gaming fans around the world began speculating about what kind of games could appear on the service. Well, at the Sonic Stadium we’re not above some entertaining wish-listing, and given that Nintendo’s purple little portable was home to several fantastic Sonic the Hedgehog games, we felt the time was right to hype up the best of those games and hope that SEGA offers us a chance to replay these on modern console/s.

So here it is; our breakdown of all the Sonic (and Sonic Team, for good measure) games on GBA that we most want to see on the Nintendo Switch Online service (or alternatively, on some kind of special compilation developed by SEGA). It’s quite hard to rank these games because almost all of them (well, all except one really) were very entertaining in their own right, and honestly speaking we’d ask to have all of the below games (well, all except one) re-introduced to Switch in some way or another.

10: Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis

Yeah, this is the exception we mentioned before. Sonic the Hedgehog: Genesis was an attempt at a 16-Bit Sonic the Hedgehog remake on Nintendo’s handheld console, and it absolutely stank. Only released in North America, and for good reason, a number of small quality of life improvements in a spin dash and save feature couldn’t offset the glitches, awful music reproduction and inexplicable sluggishness of its core gameplay. This was a 15th Anniversary celebration gone horribly wrong.

We’d probably only want to see it on NSO as a curiosity, and even then let’s make sure all the other games in this list have been added first.

9: Tiny Chao Garden

This is more of a micro-game than a full-blown boxed GBA release, but we think it counts! Tiny Chao Garden was included in most Sonic GBA titles (including all of the Sonic Advance games), but was also a standalone app that could be temporarily installed into your GBA’s memory (just don’t turn it off!). It was a means for players to transfer their A-Life Chao creatures from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and Sonic Adventure DX on Nintendo Gamecube onto Game Boy Advance, so that they could raise and nurture their little racer/fighter on the go.

An obviously cut-down version of the overall Chao raising experience, it offered a couple of minigames you could play with your Chao for in-game currency, as well as the ability to purchase food and various items for your little buddy to interact with.

While we did really enjoy using the Tiny Chao Garden where it was available at the time, it’s really best used when transferring Chao from GBA to Gamecube for short periods. And given that transfer functionality is unlikely to be included in any NSO app re-release – on top of the fact that it’s already included as a side-game in the Sonic Advance games – we don’t really see much value in its separate inclusion.

8: Puyo Pop

Sonic Team was busy throughout the Game Boy Advance’s lifecycle. Not only were they working with Dimps on many of the Sonic Advance titles, but they also had a hand in developing the Puyo Puyo games, thanks to a studio re-organisation at SEGA at the time. Puyo Pop was the first such title under Sonic Team’s production, and one of the first unashamedly ‘Puyo’ games to reach the West.

If you’ve played Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, you’ll know what the score is here. Little coloured blobs drop down, Tetris-style, into your play window, and you must arrange them by matching at least four of the same colour to make them disappear (or send ‘junk’ blobs to your opponent’s play window). It’s a puzzle game that’s stood the test of time, and wholly addictive fun. We think there’d be value in letting a puzzle game like this run wild on NSO’s GBA app.

7: Puyo Pop Fever

Following the toe-dip in the water that was Puyo Pop, Sonic Team followed up with a full-on head dunk with Puyo Pop Fever. This was a hyper version of the blob-matching original, with a very vibrant presentation featuring anime characters doing battle at a weird Puyo magic school (or something), vying to be top of the class. Gameplay-wise this entry introduced new mechanics such as different Puyo shape combinations and a ‘Fever’ mode that allowed players a chance to build up some combo-clears that would send your opponents packing.

It’s a much more engaging sequel to play over the first Puyo Pop title, so if there was a choice between the two games to include on NSO, we’d plump for Amitie and crew here.

6: ChuChu Rocket!

ChuChu Rocket! was originally a surprise release from Sonic Team on the Dreamcast – a quick and furious party game of (space) cat and (space) mouse which was developed to highlight the SEGA home console’s innovative online gaming functionalities. For something that was essentially a hobby project for Yuji Naka and co, we thought it was a one-hit wonder at the time, until 2001 when a Game Boy Advance version was announced.

The core gameplay loop is extraordinary fun with three friends – each player has to lay down arrows to try and direct a stream of mice into their space rocket, while also directing cats (which eat the mice and wipe out your score if scuttled aboard your vessel) to your opponents’. There is also a slower-paced but cerebrally-challenging Puzzle mode which was so addictive it ensured the game stayed in your console.

On Game Boy Advance, much of the manic action is maintained – the main differences being that the polygonal graphics are replaced with sprites, and instead of the Dreamcast’s online play the multiplayer was limited to game link cables. With NSO’s GBA app allowing for online link-up play, we think there would be some weirdly poetic sense to offering this engaging game for a whole new generation.

5: Sonic Pinball Party

Now we’re getting to the real Sonic games on the system, and we’re starting with a decent pinball spinoff that not only features Sonic the Hedgehog, but Sonic Team favourites NiGHTS and Samba de Amigo as well. Sonic Pinball Party, unlike Sonic Spinball before it, takes a rather conventional approach to the flipper game, opting to have players running standard steel balls against themed tables.

It wasn’t really a game that held your interest for very long, as you could see everything on offer within a short few hours, but there was enough charm in the table environments and fun gimmicks to be worth several return plays. Just don’t go into the Story mode for anything really meaningful, it’s a load of old tripe. But you know, any excuse to see Sonic, NiGHTS and Amigo share the spotlight – probably the first and last time that will ever happen.

There will no doubt be other pinball-themed candidates that Nintendo will want to put on the GBA NSO service before Sonic Pinball Party, but if SEGA drags its heels over revisiting the core Sonic Advance series this would be a pretty easy get while we waited for the primo stuff.

4: Sonic Advance 2

We absolutely adored Sonic’s second handheld adventure on Game Boy Advance, when it was first released. Giving it full marks in our review at the time due to its super-fast action, original zone environments and stylish new moves that worked with the level design to make you feel like a boss as you air tricked to upper routes.

The game has lost a little bit of that shine over the years, with repeat plays revealing some frustrations with the rather straightforward stage maps and little opportunity for traditional Sonic-style exploration. Not to mention the frustrating approach to Chaos Emerald collection (even if the Special Stages themselves are pretty cool). But with a banging soundtrack, excellent presentation and some nice unlockable bonuses, this is still worth a play for the dedicated Sonic fan.

Because the Sonic Advance trilogy was originally published in the West by not-SEGA (THQ in the US, Infogrames in Europe), it’s difficult to know whether we will see these games appear on NSO’s GBA app due to the possible additional licensing involved. If SEGA is smart, they’d have found a way to regain sole publishing ownership of these games. But if not, there’s still a chance they could appear on the Japanese NSO service, given all three were previously released on Wii U’s GBA Virtual Console.

3: Sonic Advance 3

The third and final entry in the Sonic Advance series mixed things up a bit with a new ‘tag’ system that allowed players to use two characters at once and combine their abilities. It was extremely gimmicky, but paid off better than a similar execution in its home console spiritual cousin, Sonic Heroes.

With more sensible pacing, intricate level design and an interesting plot to boot, Sonic Advance 3 ends up becoming a little more engaging than its predecessor in the long term, and we’d love to get the chance to blast through Sunset Hill and Cyber Track once again.

2: Sonic Advance

We know the first Sonic Advance game is the slowest of all three in the series, but we feel that it has stood the test of time a lot better than its sequels. Although the animations on Sonic, Tails and friends are a little stuffy by today’s standards (we’re really not sure about the look of that run, Sonic), everything else about this game channels the very essence of the classic 16-bit Sonic adventures to the letter.

The multi-tiered stage design, the inertia and pacing, the music, the boss fights… everything here just feels correct in a way that Sonic Advance 2 and 3 couldn’t quite match (or in some cases, over-egged). And for the first Sonic outing on a Nintendo platform, this remains a perfect introduction. What we wouldn’t give to experience the atmosphere of Egg Rocket once again on a modern console. That soundtrack and sunset, man.

1: Sonic Battle

As much as we love the Sonic Advance series, there’s one Sonic the Hedgehog title that we would describe as ‘iconic’ on the Game Boy Advance, and that game would be Sonic Battle. A spinoff that is packed full of style, story and (literally) kick-ass gameplay, Battle was a portable fighting game that takes a lot of cues from the Super Smash Bros series while introducing a uniquely fresh ‘Sonic’ twist. And it was executed to perfection.

While the moveset for each character may seem limiting by today’s standards, at the time it was a great use of the GBA’s control system, allowing for special moves that really took advantage of each characters’ specific traits. What’s more, the Story mode had you befriend a robot called Emerl, who you could customise and upgrade skills for during fights.

Every pixel in this game just oozes ‘cool’, from the art direction to the creative 3D environments to the unusually-intense story mode, which contains a lot more canonical easter eggs than you’d expect. With the NSO GBA app offering the ability to replace link-cable multiplayer with online play, getting Sonic Battle on the Nintendo service would be a no-brainer and absolutely the first thing we’d ask SEGA and Nintendo for.

Honourable Mention – Sonic X: A Super Sonic Hero

There’s one other Sonic-related product that was released on the Game Boy Advance, and we would be remiss to not include it in this list in some fashion. The reason we can’t really rank it in the same way as the others is that it’s not strictly a game; as the name suggests, ‘Sonic X: A Super Sonic Hero’ was a GBA Video cartridge release that contained two episodes of the 2003 animated series (‘Chaos Control Freaks’ and ‘Sonic to the Rescue’).

It’s a strange product because SEGA wasn’t really involved. Majesco developed and produced the short-running GBA Video series, including this Sonic X release, using its proprietary video encoding techniques and software. There’s really no reason to want this on Nintendo’s subscription service as there are other means to watch the anime, and licensing right aplenty would mean that its inclusion would be pretty far-fetched anyway.

Still, it’s a nice little curio and worth getting for a collector’s piece.

Well, what do you think of our lineup? Do you agree with the order of this list? What would you change? Let us know in the comments section below! And let’s all cross our fingers for all (or at least, some) of these games to appear on Nintendo Switch Online’s GBA app (or even better, a modern console compilation release)!

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Chaos in Sonic Battle

The official Sonic Battle site reveals that our favorite watery creature, Chaos 0 will be a character in the upcoming Sonic Battle. Thanks to the ultra cool Topaz for the heads up.

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Battles Release, Advance 3 Announced

Belows article explains all your questions about Sonic Battles release, which will be January 2004 in North America. Also, the third Sonic Advance will be released sometime in 2004.

CALABASAS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 1, 2003–THQ Inc. and Sega Corporation today announced a co-publishing agreement through which the companies will release two new Nintendo(R) Game Boy Advance adventures based on one of the biggest videogame icons of all time, Sonic the Hedgehog(R). The games are scheduled to ship in North, Central and South America in the first half of 2004. The companies previously released two other Sonic-branded games for the Game Boy Advance that boast combined sales of approximately a million units.

Sonic Battle, the first title planned for release under the agreement, is scheduled to release in North America in January 2004. Coinciding with Sega’s new Sonic Heroes console release, Sonic Battle will benefit from Sega’s multi-million dollar Sonic Heroes marketing campaign. The companies are also scheduled to release Sonic Advance 3 in 2004.

“Sega’s uncompromising approach to design innovation and game quality have captivated audiences of all ages across every viable gaming platform since Sonic debuted on the SEGA Genesis(TM) in 1991,” said Brian Farrell, President and CEO, THQ. “We look forward to delivering two compelling new Sonic adventures to handheld gamers in 2004.”

“With THQ’s handheld publishing expertise, we have had tremendous success leveraging the Sonic brand on the Game Boy Advance platform,” said Hide Irie, President and COO, Sega of America, SEGA Corporation. “Sonic Battle and Sonic Advance 3 are poised to be strong performers in the expanding Game Boy Advance marketplace.”

The Sonic The Hedgehog series began in 1991 with the release of “Sonic The Hedgehog(R)” on SEGA Genesis(TM). The game quickly became a global hit. Over the years, Sonic The Hedgehog has been featured in more than 11 games on multiple SEGA gaming platforms including SEGA Genesis, SEGA Game Gear(TM), Pico(TM), SEGA Saturn(TM) and SEGA Dreamcast(TM). Most recently, the series continued with “Sonic Adventure 2 Battle” for Nintendo GameCube and “Sonic Advance” for GameBoy Advance, the first titles to utilize the Nintendo GameCube/GameBoy Advance Link Cable. In just over 10 years, Sonic The Hedgehog has become one of the most beloved and recognized video game characters of all time and the series has sold over 32 million units worldwide.

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