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The Next Level In Gaming


As with many people my age (early 20′s), one of the games I grew up with was Sonic the Hedgehog. The favourite game of all in my Sega Megadrive collection, Sonic was always a game that was a joy to play, and everything about it was just done so right – the fluid controls, the beautiful environments and the challenging – yet fun – gameplay. As a child I could at first not even progress further than Chemical Plant Zone in Sonic 2, yet something always brought me back. As I got older, next came Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles which were just as enjoyable and again captured my imagination and love for video games.

However, more recently, Sonic succumbed to what many series’ had done as time progressed; it went 3D. Starting with Sonic 3D on the Sega Megadrive, and then evolving into Sonic Adventure on the Sega Dreamcast, Sonic became a new game altogether. Although the games did introduce a few nice features that I liked, such as Shadow the Hedgehog and some special moves such as the homing attack, Sonic lost something in this transformation, and like a genetic flaw it passed to its children, leaving us now with the newer titles such as Sonic & The Black knight, and Sonic Unleashed.

One of the biggest problems with this transformation was the use of Sonic’s speed – no longer was the game about simple platforming and momentum, now a 3D setting found Sonic difficult to control and no longer fun to play. More recently I found myself playing Sonic Unleashed, and after some terribly-voiced dialogue and a semi-decent running section, I almost cried in horror as I played through some awful 3rd person fighting in a sort of half-baked God of War style – albeit without the fun aspects.

It was at that point that I finally admitted that Sonic had been lost to us, his finesse and awesomeness lost to mediocre gaming carrying the title of something that was once great. However, something I heard recently has caught my attention, and I secretly think that there may be a ray of hope for the blue hedgehog yet.

An all new Sonic title, codenamed Project Needlemouse is currently under development by Sega. But this isn’t just another 3D title, oh no. It’s apparently going to be a fully HD, 2D sidescrolling title. Apparently using an engine built from the ground up, the game will return to its original roots and play in a way more similar to the old series than any of the more recent titles. Currently there is no actual footage, so we can’t say whether the graphical style will or will not be returning to a more 2D design – but the gameplay sounds like Sega could finally be doing Sonic justice.

Project Needlemouse is due in 2010, although a more precise date has yet to be revealed – and which consoles it is being produced for is also a mystery. See the short trailer below for the little info currently available; we’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything more.

Project Needlemouse

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Leon On September - 24 - 2009

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