Why are Sonic's eyes green in Sonic Adventure, the franchise's first serious crack at a fully 3D polygonal platformer? It turns out there's a lovely little story behind that. Ristar creator Yuji Uekawa was the man tasked with revamping Sega's mascot for his debut on Dreamcast. Some of his decisions were practical: shrinking Sonic's enormous, swept-back skull and elongating his limbs, for instance, so that he doesn't look like a fuzzy joystick when viewed from the rear. Others were a touch more poetic. "He is always seeing these green pastures around him, like in Green Hill Zone," Uekawa explains in an interview conducted for Sega's 25th anniversary artbook. "I thought it would be nice to reflect that in his eyes."
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Sega mascot and Mario arch-frenemy Sonic the Hedgehog has turned 25 today.
Sonic the Hedgehog's longtime nemesis Ivo "Dr. Eggman" Robotnik has commandeered the already bizarre Twitter account for the Sega mascot.
As Sonic celebrates his 20th anniversary, Sega West boss Mike Hayes has admitted to "making too many Sonic games", promising: "The development teams now know what they need to do" with future titles.
Despite "stagnant personal consumption", "generally weak demand" for video games and the devastating 11th March Japanese earthquake and tsunami, SEGA has managed a magnificent profit.
Sales of Platinum Games' Vanquish, Sports Interactive's Football Manager 2011 and Nintendo platforms game Sonic Colours in Europe and North America were "slow", SEGA has said.
In its latest financial report the Japanese company said demand for videogames was "generally weak" in western markets.
Why? Because of "sluggish personal consumption". SEGA sold just under six million game units in Europe, 5.8 million in the US and 1.9 million in Japan and other regions.
In graphical terms, next-gen consoles have matured to a point where developers are really pushing at the edges of platform capability. It's an arena in which the Wii, with its sub-HD capabilities, was never designed to compete.
It's far from obsolete, though. Sonic Colours is a reminder that visual impact needn't be about bump-mapping and high dynamic-range lighting. One level, aptly named Starlight Carnival, is a textbook example of how to get the most out of a less well-endowed machine.
The level begins and Sonic hurtles out of an airlock, down a twisting, loop-de-looping pathway into the heart of a star fleet, and it's a marvel to behold. Colossal rainbow-coloured ships wheel and turn while the pathway loops manically around them and you bullet along at breakneck speed. It's a riot of neon signage and lambent, Escher-like design, drunk on fizzing, synth-tinged J-Pop. It's stupefyingly fast and utterly thrilling.
Sonic the Hedgehog maker SEGA wants to stop people squashing real hedgehogs with their cars - splat!
SEGA exec Alan Pritchard has revealed more about the company's plans to delist less-than-stellar Sonic games - suggesting the publisher may take a leaf out of an old rival's book.
Recent Sonic games have been specifically designed to appeal to Nintendo gamers, SEGA has confessed.
SEGA has removed Sonic games with average Metacritic scores from shop shelves to combat franchise fatigue.
TGS screens from the DS version.
Wii version screens from TGS.
White Knuckles ride?
Wii and DS adventure game Sonic Colours will be released on 12th November in Europe, SEGA has announced.
With upcoming, downloadable, side-scrolling platformer Sonic 4, SEGA is taking the speedy blue hedgehog back to his Mega Drive roots. But what of Sonic Colours, the Wii and DS adventure game due out later this year? What roots, if any, is that game digging up?
For your viewing pleasure.
Sonic Team's Takashi Iizuka has told of the difficulty SEGA's experienced trying to please veteran Sonic fans with new Sonic games.
Slightly extended teaser from SEGA.
Sonic Colours, then. It's another return to the hedgehog's roots, but in a different way to Sonic the Hedgehog 4's elaborate sprite tribute to his Mega Drive days.
Sonic gets a new hope on Wii and DS.
SEGA has revealed details of the 20948129810th instalment in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
Titled Sonic Colours, it's described as an action adventure game in which our hero "races through incredible theme park-inspired worlds to rescue a colourful alien race from the clutches of Dr Eggman". Or Dr Robotnik, as he was known before fleeing Soviet Russia.
The aliens in question are called the Wisps. They possess a "unique colourful energy" which Sonic can absorb for extra powers. For example, the Yellow Drill will allow him to create new paths by drilling holes, while the Cyan Laser will let him speed through environments as an actual laser. You can also string Wisp power-ups together for combos and boosts.