As we try to wash away the stench of the Werewolfy bits from Sonic Unleashed, Sega has given us real hope regarding the future of the hedgehod with ‘tude with the announcement that it’s releasing a new title.
The new Sonic game is due next year and will be more in-keeping with the traditional Sonic gameplay of old, according to Sega. After a slew of so-so (Sonic Rivals) and lame (Sonic Unleashed) Sonic games, the Japanese developer has announced that the new title, currently codenamed Project Needlemouse (the original working title for the eponymous mascot before Sega christened him Sonic), will spin its way onto unconfirmed consoles in 2010.
Furthermore, and this is eked from the trailer, which gives very little away, ‘Speed returns in an all-new 2D adventure built from the ground up’ (we’ve italicised the important and promising words in that preceding sentence). Also, speaking to GameSpot, Sega associate brand manager Ken Balough confirmed that Project Needlemouse was a response to “old-school Sonic fans” who “have long asked to see Sonic return to a more 2D style of gameplay.”
So there you have it, straight from the brand manager’s mouth – Sonic is going back to his 2D roots and Sega has finally listened to what ardent and passionate Sonic fans have been requesting for years. Hopefully this’ll mean no more annoying preschool-looking characters like Charmy Bee or Big the Cat, no repetitive Crash Bandicoot bits, no guns or motorcycles, no Werewolves, Count Draculas, Swamp Things, or any other mythical creature taking possession of one half of Sonic’s body and gameplay, but instead a return to that exhilarating and classic Sonic gameplay that exudes elation and fun from every pixel.
So if we had to speculate as to what Sega has planned for Sonic, we’d hazard a guess that it’s going right back to the beginning with the franchise and is maybe looking to plant a younger and more spritely Sonic in the starring role (a bit similar to what Nintendo did with Super Mario World 2 perhaps?). We think the trailer kind of gives the impression that the game could take that direction – Sonic’s silhouette looks really quite tiny and the game’s telling project name seems to back this thinking. So what do you guys think?