Hello everyone! This is my first post since June when I suspended the blog. I said in the comments section of my "final" post that I would occasionally come back whenever something interesting happens. Well today (UK time), on the 10th Anniversary of the Dreamcast's North American launch, Sega announced what old-school Sonic fans have been waiting to hear for a very long time.
In an interview on GameSpot, Sega's brand manager Ken Ballough announced a new 2D/HD Sonic game, with the working title Project Needlemouse.
"Old-school Sonic fans have long asked to see Sonic return to a more 2D style of gameplay. Many liked the daytime stages in Unleashed, but wanted to see a game that plays purely similar to the early games of the Genesis. Project Needlemouse is that critical first step that brings Sonic back to his 2D roots."
A trailer has also been released, stating "Speed returns, in an all new 2D adventure built from the ground up". This confirms the game will not be running on the Hedgehog Engine or be a remake of a previous title.
On the subject of visuals, Ballough said "You can definitely expect HD graphics". He did not confirm whether or not they would be 3D graphics on a 2D plane (as in Sonic Rivals), 3D models on a 2D background (as in Sonic Rush), or 2D sprites on a 3D background (like Namco's Klonoa). From the art that has been released, it looks unlikely that the game will be fully 2D.
The artwork released was found on the teaser website, with the filename "concept_art_snapshot.jpg". It looks to be based on Green Hill Zone, and has been rendered in 3D.
The game is set for release in 2010 on (probably) PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. I can hardly wait.
[Source: GameSpot via Kotaku]
P.S. Remember to check back here every few weeks or months - I will still occasionally post updates on major Sega events (such as this), and my time studying Games Design (which starts next week - ARGH!).
EDIT: The teaser site, containing the "concept art", is fake. This means the graphics may not be in 3D, and use one of the combinations posted above. I personally hope for 2D hand-drawn graphics, with layers upon layers of glorious parallax!