Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Project: Needlemouse

An interesting development has occured today. SEGA clearly can't keep quiet about a Sonic title long enough. What am I talking about? Check out Gamespot's interview with Ken Ballough, SEGA's associate brand manager to learn more about it.



The trailer itself doesn't really yield anything outside of it being an all-new 2D adventure for consoles and that it was built from the ground up. OH, and I forgot to mention the classic "SE-GA!" opening from the original Genesis titles. While details are largely under wraps, it seems SEGA has caved into fan demand for a 2D side-scrolling adventure similar to the original Genesis games. One question that comes to mind is "Who, exactly, will be developing this title?" My guess it that it might be a collaborative effort between Dimps and Sonic Team (a la the Advance and Rush titles), but it's possible that it'll be Sonic Team only.

Gamespot is listing the game as coming out to multiple platforms: 360, PS3, Wii and PC.

One thing I'm a little on the fence about though: while I am excited to see a new Sonic adventure, especially a console game done in the style of the classic Genesis title, I'm bothered by Mr. Ballough's wording.
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.
That's all well and good, but does this mean that more Sonic games will go the 2D route instead? Honestly, I hope SEGA hasn't given up on making a GOOD 3D game yet, as I feel they are definitely close to accomplishing that if they just give Sonic Team more time. The game is slated for a 2010 release, so I'll be interested in hearing more about the game's development in the coming months. I'll probably add some extended commentary later in the week about the interview*.

*I also had some other content to work on for this site, but given that school is now in full effect, I have put more time into my schoolwork than my blog... Oh well, just because we didn't update last month doesn't mean we're dead... yet! That reminds me though, I'll need to get ahold of Rave and see if he'll have the chance to throw something up here in the future (Yo, Rave, where you at?!).

EDIT (09/10/2009): It appears the concept art is actually from a fan-game which happens to also have the "Needlemouse" handle attached to it. I'm a little disappointed actually, but it would be great if SEGA were to go in a similar direction for the art style (though it might just add to the confusion!). Anyway, I'm pretty interested in the Needlemouse fan-game and it'll be interesting to follow that in addition to SEGA's new game. The guys on the project sound pretty humble and like they have a great respect for the series. Anyway, read their press-release: http://www.needlemouse.com/ . It seems they've also got a message board set up. While I haven't joined yet, I'd love to check it out sometime in the future. Good luck to Jono Forbes and Matt Schoen, I'll be looking forward to the demo in the future!